German Imperial Sovereignty (was Re: The kind of antiwar movement we need)

Alex LoCascio alexlocascio at
Thu Nov 28 05:57:07 MST 2002


With all due respect, Johannes knows what he's talking about in this case.  Nobody is suggesting that we build a consciously anti-imperialist anti-war movement in Germany replete with sloganeering and red flags or that sort of thing.

But the current political climate in Germany demands a certain sort of moderation involving extreme caution concerning terms like "sovereignty," which has a certain uncomfortable resonance in a country where the echos of the term "Lebensraum" can still be heard.

A not inconsiderable section of potentially useful Leftist youth have succumbed to some rather squalid pro-Zionist politics as a result of a substantial section of the German Left's inability to come to grips with the elementary truth that the main enemy is always at home.

This mini-movement (or perhaps "nuance" is a better term) calls itself "Anti-Deutsch" (anti-German) and promotes the belief that no German critique of Israeli behavior is possible when the memory of the gas chambers is still fresh.  A lot of the ideological sources of this movement are truly awful: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's notion of a congenital "eliminatory anti-semitism" and such.  But as Carrol Cox has correctly noted before on this list, ultra-leftism is the price any movement pays for opportunism.

There is a not inconsiderable section of the German bourgeoisie and the right-wing of social democracy which has thrown itself wholeheartedly into the construction of the European project.  Part of this process involves opportunistically fanning the flames of German anger over the U.S.'s crimes in places like Iraq in order to promote the vision of a peaceful, humanitarian European imperialist project under German hegemony as a counterweight to American empire.

West Germany after the war never pursued the sort of De-Nazification that the GDR did.  The question "what did you do during the war, daddy?" only became raised when the '68 generation came into the spotlight.  Whole swathes of German society would rather forget this whole episode.

>From this perspective, Anti-American sentiment only fuels the German bourgeoisie.

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