[Marxism] More on the 'Anti-German' Idiocy

Angelus Novus fuerdenkommunismus at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 7 17:21:34 MST 2012

Einde wrote:

> and within DIE LINKE and particularly it's youth group the anti-Germans 
> around BAK Shalom are still active in attempting to witchhunt 
> anti-Zionists in the party.

See, I think this dilutes the term to the point of making it conceptually meaningless.

BAK Shalom are essentially right-wing social democrats, similar to the rotten milieu in the United States around SDUSA, or Albert Shanker, the American Federation of Teachers, or Max Shachtman's later years. Or, in fact, large swathes of the right-wing of the AFL bureaucracy in general. In other words, they occupy the space where pro-imperialist Social Democracy blends into Neo-Conservatism.  Unwavering commitment to Zionism has always been characteristic of this wing of the social democratic and labor bureaucreacy.

A couple of figures in BAK Shalom, like Sebastian Vogt (is he even still in DIE LINKE?) come out of the rotten Leipzig milieu, but they quickly seemed to realize that any rhetorical affirmations of "communism" stood in the way of their realpolitik commitments to Zionism.

Others, like Bahamas, abandoned any tenuous contact with the left at all and have retreated into a sort of weird blend of cultural pessimism and affirmation of "Western liberal values".  They don't even like the label "Anti-German" anymore, since it interferes with their attempts to make out potential Pro-Israel allies among the likes of the CSU or Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.  They've long since abandoned any commitment, even rhetorical, to opposing "Germany" or some perceived German national collective.  They have basically adopted completely bog standard Neo-Conservative politics.

That's why the attempts by Platypus to make out the Anti-German milieu as some sort of interesting political novelty is such a joke.  The original anti-national movement of the 1990s is an interesting object of historical inquiry, but the "Anti-German" movement that emerged in the brief window between Second Intifada-Afghanistan/Iraq wars - Gaza/Lebanon wars was basically just a transitional phase for people leaving the left and becoming right-wing.  The momentary superficial adoption of Adorno phrase-mongering was just the particular German manifestation of this neo-conservative transformation (just like absurd Trotsky and Orwell posturings were the mode of expression of the Hitchens and Eustonite goofballs).

> Katja Kipping, one of the party chairpersons, is strongly influenced by > the anti-German milieu

Again, I think you're using the term in an inflated sense to basically mean "soft on/supportive of Israel", but that was never a position unique to the Anti-Germans.  It's a peculiar idiosyncrasy of the (West-)German left that goes all the way back to Ulrike Meinhof's pre-RAF writings, not to mention the debates within the Autonomist milieu in the 1980s concerning the legacy of the uglier manifestations of Palestinian solidarity in Germany (see the text by the Revolutionary Cells, "Gerd Albertus is dead", or various writings by the Autonome L.U.P.U.S. Gruppe).

Kipping seems primarily influenced by a lot of trendy Post-Structuralist and Queer Theory, and like many German leftists, she's got a wishy-washy position on Israel that wouldn't fly in any context outside of Germany.  I think it's a huge stretch to consider her in any way "Anti-German."

I maintain: The Anti-Germans are dead.  For some it was a transitory stop on the way to shitty politics (Neo-Conservatism or right-wing Social Democracy), others abandoned it for better politics (the milieu around Junge Linke or ums Ganze), but in its post-2001 manifestation, it was a short-lived phenomenon.

More information about the Marxism mailing list