good text on the history of the "Anti-Germans"

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Angelus Novus
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Mar 22 2012 23:13
ocelot wrote:
Am I seriously the only one who thinks that the friggin MST has nothing to do with the Anti-Deutsche other than being a reason not to answer basic questions? This is getting pathetic.

Yeah, I was just throwing out the MST as point of reference in terms of how out-of-whack the Platypus worldview is regarding what it considers "left", but Noa just decided to run with it. That's just Noa bein' Noa.

On the other hand, I definitely agree with this:

fingers malone wrote:
Tbh I'm more interested in the MST than the anti deutsche

The MST is an infinitely more interesting phenomenon.

My problem is, whenever somebody starts a thread anywhere on the Internet on the Anti-Germans, I have this compulsive need to run damage control to make people understand how irrelevant this whole trend is not just in the world at large -- which is glaringly obvious to most folks -- but in Germany itself in the year 2012.

I should really just let this shit rest. Inevitably whenever somebody from the English-speaking world does a study abroad semester in Berlin or whatever, they're going to discover there are some people in Germany calling themselves communists with a weird tick about Israel. The novelty value wears off about the same time as a 90-day tourist visa expires.

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Mar 22 2012 23:04

Not against someone starting a thread on the MST, so long as there are people who actually have some knowledge on the topic (rather than the tedious mixture of dogma, ignorance, apriorism and shite-wot-I-just-read-on-wikipedia, that seems to characterise far too many contributions). But given that there appear to be people on the thread who have some passing knowledge of the phenomena, it would be good to hear the case for the defence against the charge of being theoretically vacant.

Angelus Novus
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Mar 22 2012 23:15
ocelot wrote:
N it would be good to hear the case for the defence against the charge of being theoretically vacant.

FWIW, two of my dearest, closest friends are/were 1990s Anti-Germans. They think there is absolutely nothing to salvage in the label, and abhor what it has come to mean. Anti-German in the original sense was not a worldview, it was a contingent set of positions in response to the socio-political climate in mid-90s reunited Germany.

After 2001, the term refers to a racist neo-conservative sect peddling mystified Adornite jargon.

For reasons that aren't really clear to me, Schalomlibertad is trying to salvage the label by applying it to some groups that are heavily inspired by the state theory of a sui generis product of the German New Left that has nothing to do with Anti-Germanism, and is indeed quite hostile to it.

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Mar 22 2012 23:51

Ocelot was talking about the MST phenomena, Angelus. I was not criticizing the MST so much as the people who adopt their slogan unthinkingly, quite similar to the point you're trying to make actually; how a slogan of an entirely different context (third world peasants) or with a different meaning (Argentinian protest the slogan still meant occupy factories, I think) ends up being adopted through a Canadian magazine by a protest movement in the US where it becomes quite meaningless.

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Mar 23 2012 00:02

Thanks for putting words into my mouth. For the record by "phenomenon" I was referring to the original topic, not the MST. Although on re-reading I can see it could be read either way. Whatever.

Angelus Novus
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Mar 24 2012 13:03
ocelot wrote:
I would be interested in hearing a coherent answer to that case before I simply file post-2001 Anti-Deutsche in the bin marked "mental idiots". Can anybody provide one?

Looks like nobody can, which is a good thing.

For the sake of clarification, since Schalomlibertad spent a huge portion of this thread trying to unfairly burden the group TOP with the label of "Anti-German", here's a recent text of theirs strongly criticizing the Anti-German position.

I'm not a member of TOP, but I find them to be a fairly agreeable group that does decent work, so I'd hate to see them get a bad image abroad just because of someone's desire to pin a label on them that they reject.

Quote:
The Imagine text's (and many other Anti-German declarations of faith) concentration upon the supposed specificity of German nationalism makes it blind and speechless against the stifling brutality of global capitalism, not to speak of its contemporary killing fields."

They go on to note that Adorno's concept of a new categorical imperative, to arrange thought and action so that something like Auschwitz cannot ever be repeated, is a universalist appeal.

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Mar 24 2012 13:59

Hmm. Also, surely the claim to German exceptionalism (in the role of nationalism in capitalist social relations) is itself, ironically, nationalist? It's an unpleasant combination with the cross-class universalism of the "new categorical imperative". Both cross-class and nationalist? Sounds like the worst Wash and Go ad ever.

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Mar 24 2012 15:06

I was just going to bring that up to you ocelot because in your eyes the fault of a text like 'Auschwitz the big alibi', is that it reduces it to the ordinary capitalist logic. So your point seems to be against bending the stick too far in either direction.

However Angelus claimed the antisemitic form of anti-capitalism is particularly German, and less found in the US for example. I think here the anti-Deutsch perhaps can offer some light (though not original - I don't think they claim originality anyway). A common explanation is that Germany never had a bourgeois revolution, contrary to Britain, US or Holland, so the German workers lacked the fighting tradition of democracy. This explains why Nazism had to borrow its symbolism from socialism which had become the last defender of bourgeois radicalism (Proudhon, Fourier, Fichte). The Teutons played the role the Romans had for the French revolution and the ancient Israelites for the British revolution. Its international aspect (so nothing particular in Germans' blood), seen in the fact that the petty-bourgeoisie from other European countries generally were in favor of collaboration with Hitler, has to do with simple power-politics of creating a strong Europe (which was in decay) against the rising US (Fort Europa is a nazi term). But just like before, the British refused to be part of such a deal.

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Mar 24 2012 15:34
Noa Rodman wrote:
However Angelus claimed the antisemitic form of anti-capitalism is particularly German, and less found in the US for example.

You have a way of putting words in people's mouths, don't you?

For the record, a) I don't regard antisemitism as any kind of anti-capitalism, not even a "truncated" kind, b) I certainly don't think antisemitism is limited to Germany, and c) what I said was particularly German was the notion of "communists for Israel", which is indeed a pathology that one encounters only in Germany (ok, Austria and Switzerland too).

Ocelot: Yeah, cross-class and nationalist I think describes the Anti-Germans fairly well. It's amazing how nobody in the entire history of the modern world has had a non-truncated understanding of capitalism until the last quarter of the 20th century in Freiburg and Berlin.

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Mar 24 2012 16:42

The anti-Deutsch would not disagree with your criticism (namely that saying antisemitism is a truncated anti-capitalism is giving it way too much benefit). At least I have not read a response to this criticism, which usually is made without quotes from anti-Deutsch authors, and directed against a quite common idea (socialism of fools); this idea originated from an Austrian liberal who I think used it at the same time as a way to discredit socialism.

The point of the anti-Deutsch would be that we have to deal with the fact that the nazis claimed to be anti-capitalist, in fact better anti-capitalists than the marxists who really were reformists in bed with the bourgeoisie (not an entirely uncommon idea either, cf. Bakunin and Proudhon).

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Mar 24 2012 17:05
Noa Rodman wrote:
The anti-Deutsch would not disagree with your criticism (namely that saying antisemitism is a truncated anti-capitalism is giving it way too much benefit).

Nonsense. "Truncated anti-capitalism" ("verkürzter Antikapitalismus") as a label for anti-semitism was basically coined by the Anti-Germans and their erstwhile co-thinkers around Nürnberg Wertkritik (I'll let the two groups fight over the paternity).

Though I agree with you that the concept itself is much older, originating with August Bebel's notion of the "socialism of fools".

Quote:
At least I have not read a response to this criticism, which usually is made without quotes from anti-Deutsch authors

I could dig up quotes of Anti-Germans using the phrase, but why bother? Google is your friend.

I'm getting bored by this thread at this point. Schalomlibertad's odd motivation seems to be to infuse some respectability into the term "Anti-German" by applying it to groups who reject it, but I have no idea why you care about any of this.

I think you need to get cracking on Kautsky Krew's first album.

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Mar 24 2012 17:35

I don't care about using the anti-German label to some groups, but I'm interested in a critique of them based on what they say (and here quotes help).

Angelus wrote:
Though I agree with you that the concept itself is much older, originating with August Bebel's notion of the "socialism of fools

I claim that the anti-Deutsch's point cannot be reduced to the idea of 'socialism of the fools', if only because they try to reflect on Nazism, of which the coiner of the phrase,Kronawetter, could not know. (I found no evidence that Bebel endorsed it, but he used it once against Hyndman, in a newspaper interview, which can easily distort a person's views, as Bebel warns in the same interview). The point of the anti-Deutsch is to deal with this legacy;

Quote:
"We are socialists, we are enemies of today's capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions." --Adolf Hitler
Angelus Novus
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Mar 24 2012 18:43
Noa Rodman wrote:
I don't care about using the anti-German label to some groups, but I'm interested in a critique of them

Starts about 2 minutes into this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwItwS2bG2s

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Mar 24 2012 18:47
Karl Held wrote:

"Ich vermisse bei euch eine Frage. Nämlich: Worin hat dieses Land seine Grundrechnungsart, seine Erfolgskriterien? Worin hat dieses Land ein Instrument für seinen Erfolgsweg? Daheim: im toten und lebenden Inventar; auswärts: in Welthandel, D-Mark. Aber das interessiert euch alles nicht, ihr wollt ja lieber dichten. Das ist euch ja viel wichtiger. Ich muß euch jetzt provokatorisch mal was hinsagen: Die Ausländeranzünderei ist eine blutige, das schon, aber nur eine Fußnote des Imperialismus, der von dieser Nation ausgeht. Ich drücke es methodisch aus, damit wir uns nicht in falsche Polemiken verrennen. Ich meine folgendes: Was würdet Ihr [Gremliza und Pohrt] mit euren Gedichten an dieser Nation auszusetzen haben, wenn sich jetzt nicht aktive Zündler, Faschisten usw. betätigen würden? Hat man da von KONKRET je etwas erfahren? Wie viele Leute sind auf Kosten der Außenpolitik Genschers verhungert in Afrika?
Das ist die Konsequenz dieser Exportnation, dass sie ihre einheimischen Menschen ermuntert zu sagen, die Schuld an allem, was in Deutschland fehlt, ist, dass das Ausland sich Deutschland gegenüber nicht genehm verhält und die Ausländer hier zu viele sind. Das ist keine Psychologie, das ist eine Logik. Eine Nation besteht seit 40 Jahren darauf, dass sie in den Kreis der maßgeblichen Nationen durch Wirtschaftskraft, durch Fabriken, durch Export, durch Import usw., zurückkehrt ist, durch Rüstung, durch Eintritt in die NATO usf. Ich sage, die Zündeleien sind der Gipfelpunkt auf einem Erfolgsweg der deutschen Nation, der sich ganz anders erklärt als über: Die Deutschen drehen durch. Das geht ganz anders. Das ist eine Konsequenz dieses Systems, dieser Demokratie. Und nicht, das ist ein Verstoß gegen sie. Die Differenz zu Gremliza und Pohrt ist, hier wird nicht gegen die Staatsräson Demokratie usw. verstoßen, hier wird nicht etwas versäumt oder kaputtgemacht, was im Grunde gut wäre. Sondern das ist die haarscharfe Konsequenz davon. So sind die schon immer. (…)

Der Pohrt legt allen Ernstes Wert darauf zu sagen, er kann die Phrasen vom Anti-kapikapikapi usw. nicht mehr hören. Der soll sie doch erst mal lernen, der soll erst einmal das Argument lernen, das mit der Kritik am Kapital gemeint ist. Übrigens, das meine ich ernst, Pohrt, du willst sie doch gar nicht lernen. Du wirst doch nie in deinem Leben einmal die Preisform durchnehmen oder sagen, was ein Wechselkurs zwischen Deutschland und der Türkei ist, was ein Waffenexport ist, das willst du doch gar nicht wissen. Du hast doch dein Genüge daran zu sagen: Schau’ dir die bösen Deutschen an, die zündeln. Immerzu mit Geistesblitzen über die blutigsten Angelegenheiten herfallen. Immer sich selbst darstellen, wenn was Bitterernstes zur Sache steht. (…)

Es gibt einen Weltmarkt, auf dem werden nicht alle Leute für Lohnarbeit gebraucht, für Verköstigung schon gleich gar nicht, das Prinzip gibt es gar nicht in dem System. Und jetzt laufen die Leute in der Welt auf der Suche nach der Möglichkeit einer Verköstigung auf Deutschland zu, und da hat Deutschland beschlossen, das gibt es nicht. (…) Dieser Beschluss der Nation (…) verfängt bei Leuten, ob sie 16 Jahre sind oder 32, ob sie 48jährige Faschisten oder Demokraten sind: Ja stimmt, da haben wir die Wurzel des Übels. Im Unterschied zu uns sind andere überflüssig, und die Nation tut nichts dagegen, dass die Überflüssigen uns belästigen. Da ist es nur noch ein kleiner Schritt, zu sagen: Was der Staat nicht vermag, was er nicht gescheit und herzhaft in die Hände nimmt, das mache ich mit Privatgewalt. (…)

Warum empört ihr euch denn eigentlich über die Zündelei, wenn ihr gar nicht gegen den Grund seid? Das ist der Unterschied zwischen uns: Ich halte nichts von Webfehlern und Konditionierung, wie schon gesagt, ich sage, es ist eine Benutzung von Nationalisten unten, von Bürgern, jugendlichen Bürgern, Leuten, die sich ewig die demokratische Grundlüge, der Staat sei mit seiner Ordnung, mit seinem Vorgehen, mit seinen Plänen eine Erfolgsgarantie für die Bürger, zum Lebensmittel zurechtmachen, die damit Ernst machen, in einer Phase, wo des Staat das nicht nur offenkundig nicht mehr ist, sondern selber zu Programmen der Pauperisierung fortschreitet und immerzu sagt, die Notwendigkeit dieser Pauperisierung liegt am Ausland – das ist das Standortargument – oder an den Ausländern, diesen überflüssigen Kreaturen, die den Weg bis hierher geschafft haben. (…) Die glauben, dieser Staat kann mir nicht mehr zu Diensten sein, gerade wo er ihre Lebensmittel angreift. Warum?: Das Ausland oder die Ausländer hindern ihn daran. Ich sage, der Rassismus dieser blutigen Prägung heute ist ein Produkt dieser Demokratie und nicht ein Produkt von Adolf Hitler. Das hat dieser Staat hervorgebracht. Versteht das mal.“

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Mar 24 2012 20:07

That was apropos the murder of some Turkish immigrants I think. Apparently Pohrt read some poems. I fully understand then Held's rage here (Plato was right about the poets), but he only makes some banal points. I mean, Kautsky knew that the

Lenin wrote:
state, even in a democratic republic, is nothing but a machine for the suppression of one class by another. Kautsky is familiar with this truth, admits it, agrees with it, [..] Every educated liberal can [..] show what amount of deceit, violence, corruption, mendacity, hypocrisy and oppression of the poor is hidden beneath the civilised, polished and perfumed exterior of modern bourgeois democracy.

For the interested one can find Held's views on imperialism, anti-fascism, etc. at http://archiv.argudiss.de/ and
http://dearchiv.de/php/amg.php

Angelus Novus
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Mar 24 2012 21:37

I actually find Wolfgang Pohrt worth reading, so Held picked one of the smartest Anti-Germans (at the time, Pohrt isn't anymore) to give a smackdown to.

If, on the other hand, you're looking for somebody to write a "critique" of Gerhard Scheit and Justus Wertmüller, I just think: pfff...what's the point? It's not like anyone is pining for a critique of MIM Notes or the RCPB (ML). Of all the whacky sects in the world, why should Anti-Germans get a pass? Because they're continentals who reference Adorno? Puh-leez.

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Mar 25 2012 10:56
Quote:
If, on the other hand, you're looking for somebody to write a "critique" of Gerhard Scheit and Justus Wertmüller, I just think: pfff...what's the point? It's not like anyone is pining for a critique of MIM Notes or the RCPB (ML). Of all the whacky sects in the world, why should Anti-Germans get a pass? Because they're continentals who reference Adorno? Puh-leez.

AN: Who is worth writing a critique of?

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Mar 26 2012 06:46

Is there a good text on the history of MG, Gegenstandpunkt, and Karl Held? I find them quite intriguing, but have no idea about what they were doing other than producing all this theoretical stuff.

Angelus Novus
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Mar 26 2012 08:47

There's a little bit on the group (and many other groups) in the 70s in Gerd Koenen's book Das rote Jahrzehnt, but that's a god-that-failed narrative by an ex-Maoist turned liberal, so should be taken with a grain of salt.

Other than that, there doesn't seem to be much to tell. It was a relatively hermetic (albeit large) group without a "movement" orientation, so they don't really have any history of dramatic splits or anything like that. They dissolved to prevent reprisals against their members working as public employees. Now it's officially just a journal, with groups of local supporters that host regular events.

Their theory has a noticeable influence on groups like junge Linke and TOP.

The authors Freerk Huisken and Albert Krölls have some books published with VSA.

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Mar 26 2012 08:56

Thanks. To be more specific, I guess what I'm looking for is a text on their origins and, well, "most notable contributions" (any stuff on their workplace involvement in the past would be interesting too). I will check out Koenen. I know a lot of their stuff is online, but I simply don't have the time to go through it.

It seems to me that they were/are big on "state derivation" and the world market, presumably their influence on jL and TOP goes in this direction?

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Mar 26 2012 14:06

most other orgs tried to ignore the MG due to its bad behaviour, you also rarely met them outside universities ... two texts critical of the MG: http://mao-projekt.de/BRD/HES/ORG/Frankfurt_IAZZ.shtml & http://entdinglichung.wordpress.com/2009/04/01/freie-arbeiter-unionratekommunisten-faur-einige-anmerkungen-zur-marxistischen-gruppe-1984/

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Mar 26 2012 14:43

What do you mean by "bad behavior"? smile

Edit: I started reading the second text, I think it's clearer now smile.

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Mar 26 2012 14:44

disrupting meetings of other groups both by heckling and endless monologues, arrogance ...

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Mar 26 2012 15:01

Most notable contributions are found in RESULTATE DER ARBEITSKONFERENZ:

Nr. 1 / September 1974

Inhalt:

Editorial

Programmatische Erklärung der Roten Zellen/AK
Der Aufbau des 'Kapital' (I)
Kommentar zu Abschnitt 1/2, Band I
Warum scheitern Marxisten an der Erklärung des bürgerlichen Staa-
tes? Besprechung neuerer Arbeiten zur Staatstheorie: Altvater-Bi-
schoff
(PKA) - Flatow/Huisken - Funken - Hirsch - Laepple - Mandel

Nr. 2 / Dezember 1975

INHALT

Editorial
Der Aufbau des 'Kapital'
Kommentar zu Abschnitt 3/4/5, Band I
Kritische Solidarität
Wie ein sozialistisches Büro
kommunistische Politik verhindern will

Also appropriate for this thread (specifically against the Platypus1917 society):
DIE LINKE BEWEGT SICH - UM SICH SELBST

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Mar 27 2012 13:05
jura wrote:
What do you mean by "bad behavior"? smile

Edit: I started reading the second text, I think it's clearer now smile.

during the 1980ies, they were more hated than the Sparts

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Apr 3 2012 01:35

I think the underlying (unconscious?) problem for the Anti-Germans (but not only the Anti-Germans and certainly not dealt with in the most interesting way by the anti-Germans) is why Germany? The 'why' refers to three events: German Idealism, especially Kant and Hegel (and then, necessarily, Marx), Heidegger, and, of course, Nazism. Why did Germany produce the best ideas of modern philosophy and the death camps? Heidegger is at the center of this question.

(For the communist politician, rather than the philosopher, this question can be reformulated to ask why Germany produced both the most advanced workers movement in the world and the Shoah. To steal a quip from Heidegger, the questions are metaphysically the same.)

It is an interesting question. As ridiculous as the anti-German thing is and was, it still captured a striking aesthetic and emotional response to the question. I think Anti-Germans remain interesting on an emotional/aesthetic level. 'Destroy all states - Germany first, Israel last!' is wrong as a political statement or understanding of nationalism or something, but as a particular emotive response to the question Why Germany? it has a resonance that the 'right' answers do not have, especially if one reads 'Israel' in the classical, Biblical sense.

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Apr 3 2012 14:38

Letters, your post is why such conversations are non-starters. I just don't share the premises. What if I don't share the premise that Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger represent the best of modern philosophy? What if don't see Marx in the continuity of German idealism, but as representing a break with it? (see his critique of Friedrich List). What if I think understanding the Shoah doesn't mean embracing some metaphysical notion of evil, but rather examining the genealogy of specific racialist discourses, disciplinary practices, the persistence of the Ancien Régime in Europe, and the contingent balance of class forces between 1914-32?

That's why I agree with Ocelot that ultimately it's a perverse form of inverted nationalism. These weirdos are obsessed with the notion of Germany as being simultaneously the apotheosis and nadir of modern civilization. But you can say that arbitrarily about any society.

Why is that the United States has (IMHO) the greatest musical culture in the world (Blues, Jazz, Country/Western, Rock 'n' Roll, Hip Hop) which at the same time is rooted in the institution of slavery? Why does the US have some of the greatest novelists in the English-language (Twain, Melville, Faulkner, Pynchon, DeLillo) while being at the same time a nation founded upon the genocidal expropriation of an entire continent? Etc. etc. It's just inverted nationalist naval-gazing.

Substitute China or Russia or India or Britain for Germany and the United States. It's just an arbitrary game of viewing one's own little corner of the world as the key to understanding history.

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Apr 4 2012 06:42
Angelus Novus wrote:
What if I don't share the premise that Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger represent the best of modern philosophy? What if don't see Marx in the continuity of German idealism, but as representing a break with it? (see his critique of Friedrich List). What if I think understanding the Shoah doesn't mean embracing some metaphysical notion of evil, but rather examining the genealogy of specific racialist discourses, disciplinary practices, the persistence of the Ancien Régime in Europe, and the contingent balance of class forces between 1914-32?

Yes, okay, what if? I do hold that the highpoint of modern philosophy occurred in Germany (it may be that this is the only place where modern philosophy occurred [maybe the only thing I agree with Badiou about is that my beloved Wittgenstein was an anti-philosopher]). I do understand Marx (and I believe he understood himself) to be in the tradition of German Idealism, even if his work overcomes or explores German Idealism. He returns to Hegel again and again. He is always critical, of course, but his work is still shaped by his encounter with Hegel. Even if you could demonstrate that Marx's writing was strictly anti-Hegelian, which might be true of some of it (but is certainly not true of say the Grundrisse), I would still argue Marx was a Hegelian in the same way that Nietzsche was a Christian.

As for the Shoah and the question of evil, I think materialist histories of the Shoah do miss something, if only how the millions of religious Jews who experienced the Shoah understood what was happening to them. It would be amiss to look at the Shoah and not pose the question of evil and of G-d. The specificity of the history of European Jewry means the Shoah has to be understood as a specific event that cannot be understood in the general terms of genocide.

So, I think Why Germany? is a good question and probably is the key to understanding the history of modern Europe, if such a thing were possible to understand (which I doubt). The question leads to more interesting places than the questions posed by value-form theory or communization or whatever other questions have been asked by contemporary Marxists. If the Anti-Germans failed and all became rightwing journalists or whatever you say, so be it. Their reality is of little concern to me. I have always understood them, in my naive American brain, as characters in a novel, and I was and am grateful to them for their necessary, if wrongheaded, disruptions, just as I am thankful to Adorno and Camatte and others who attempted to think through their pessimism and present their ideas.

(The question of pessimism seems to be another thing missing from this discussion. The Anti-German position or constellation of positions is a profoundly pessimistic one that follows, rather than leads to, from pessimism. The AGs felt the possibility of communist revolution had disappeared and that all mass collective movements point towards barbarism. Can one not sympathize on some level with those coming from the German experience with fascism who see the possibility of a renewed fascist project and lacking any faith in the power or possibility of the working class to emancipate themselves.. conclude that if nothing else, Jews must possess nuclear weapons. This is wrong, but its rightness or wrongness is not the point.)

We do not seek meaning in the mad poets' writings. We know that their intent is meaningless, beyond even themselves. Even so, we are drawn to them because their speech resounds outside of meaning.

Yes, but...

Quote:
These weirdos are obsessed with the notion of Germany as being simultaneously the apotheosis and nadir of modern civilization. But you can say that arbitrarily about any society.

They're right though, aren't they? You can't say that about any society, and it's certainly not said about Germany arbitrarily. I'm not sure where else you would say modern philosophy occurred that was more important or profound, not to mention theology. One would have difficult making the same argument about... Switzerland or Lithuania or Australia or Ghana, I think, unless you accept the total relativism that says all ideas are of equal value and importance and that nothing can be judged to be better than anything else. That sort of relativist nonsense makes sense in our world without philosophy or works of real artistic grandeur, but is absurd when applied to the 19th/early 20th century.

I mean, really, comparing just the work of just Weimar era German Jewish intellectuals, nevermind Heidegger or the German Idealists or Neo-Kantians or whomever else, to the combined work every other mind in Europe at the time is a bit like comparing the intellectual world of Al-Andalus to its contemporaneous N. European neighbors (or the work of Mahler to that of John Williams). That is to say, there is no comparison. There was a total qualitative break.

Quote:
Why is that the United States has (IMHO) the greatest musical culture in the world (Blues, Jazz, Country/Western, Rock 'n' Roll, Hip Hop) which at the same time is rooted in the institution of slavery? Why does the US have some of the greatest novelists in the English-language (Twain, Melville, Faulkner, Pynchon, DeLillo) while being at the same time a nation founded upon the genocidal expropriation of an entire continent?

The first question is an interesting question. Why/how did the experience of race and racism in the United States lead to the greatest musical culture in the world? Why not Brazil, which also had a history of slavery (more slaves sent there than to America), but whose incredible musical culture is largely inspired by American music? The second question is confusing. For some of the novelists you mention, this legacy of genocide looms large (Melville in particular), but as every modern state was founded on genocide, expropriation, mass violence, or war, I don't think this has much to do with the strength of American letters (as for why so many great English language novelists... well, this is probably due simply to the size of the English speaking population in the US relative to the English speaking population globally).

Navel gazing is good. It gives us time to think about what is inside of us, to wonder at the length and complexity of our intestines.

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Apr 4 2012 06:47

To plagiarize again: The role of Germany in relation to the question of 'truncated' anti-capitalism is specifically generated within German history and the discourse of that history.

Even if one rejects the Anti-Germans, this problem still remains - why did the equivalent of the Anti-Germans not arise anywhere else? Why does anti-Americanism, for example, function in the opposite way as 'Anti-Germanism'?

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Felix Frost
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Joined: 30-12-05
Apr 4 2012 11:27

I'm getting confused here. How does anti-Americanism function in the opposite way as 'Anti-Germanism'?