What Don't You Like? What Is That, Again?

OpenSentence Type Foundry typefoundry at opensentence.org
Fri Nov 21 21:02:36 MST 2003

> While later, of course, the NSDAP engaged in attacks against labor on
> behalf
> of the bosses, it did so very much in the style of the SPD, via NSDAP
> controlled unions and labor halls, and not only by physical terror
> against
> the labor movement (like mussolini). In other words, the NSDAP in 1921
> was
> very much a part of the labor movement, and hence their attacks were
> similar
> in nature as those from communists, ie attacks against the SPD's
> hegemony in
> the labor movement AND the state. The author is so lazy, that he uses as
> proof of the anti-worker nature of the NSDAP, things that happened when
> the
> NSDAP was essentially against the state, controlled by the SPD, and
> were,
> hence, subjectively pro-worker!
> author's represation of fascism. While I would have probably loyaly
> followed
> the third period at the time (after all, in Italy the commies were doing
> quite well under mussolini), to defend the thrid period on perspective
> is
> very very very dumb.
> And this are just 3 examples, but there are other similar cases.
> - --sks

I completely agree; this is the point of connection between the "Modern
Prince" and what analytic philosophers call "sense" or "modes of
presentation".  If you don't like something, it's not good enough just to
"call it names" (make negative judgments): you have to consider what kinds
of identificatory judgments you can make so you can consider how similar
dynamics might arise with a different appearance.  For example, if the
exclusion of fascist policies is the rock-bottom foundation of
socialist/communist politics, what of these tactics borrowed from the SPD
and alliances with the KPD that you speak of?  Maybe they just look
different, or maybe they are different and you don't really understand what
the fascists did.  That doesn't mean we have to cut off noses to spite faces
(although ultimately a lot of *communist* strategy is not too different from
that), just that we need to be controlling our conceptions of social
phenomena by continually cross-checking our understanding of partial
homologies between social-democratic policies and other forms of politics
(and also continually cross-checking the rootedness of tactics in the
economic power of the working class at whatever derive, rather than
abstractions or other forms of social power).

Jeff Rubard

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