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Khawaga
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Dec 14 2007 13:30
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Not sure that the vast majority of Jews are working class....

Of course the vast majority of jews are working class, especially in Israel.

sphinx
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Dec 17 2007 12:06

Just briefly, Alf and Kurasje, when have I ever said that Israel is not a capitalist state? I have said that historically, it is the only nation that has a reason to exist, that reason being based in the character of the exterminatory persecution and thouroughness of the genocide attempt against Jews in Europe before and during the second world war, which is obviously rooted in a longer history of Jewish persecution in Europe; second, the existence of Jewish colonies in Palestine during the war behind Allied lines that were available as a route of escape and a place for a defense of Jews as Jews; third the fact that the popularity of Zionism only surged in the first revolutionary wave's failure, corresponding to a period of deep pessimism for universal enlightenment. In such a period, the creation of an armed Jewish collective was not only rational but necessary given the consequences of the failure of bourgeois emancipation for the Jews in Europe. Even after the war there were pogroms of Jews in Poland. There was no guarantee that Jews remaining in Europe would not see the resumption of pogroms. There were also no guarantees that countries which accepted Jewish refugees would not have major anti-semitic backlashes at some point, given that this prejudice has an insidiously international appeal.

It's true that other peoples have endured similar persecution, but none share all of the characteristics I mention above. More importantly, no other people have been fetishized as universally as 'grave-diggers of the nation' as Jews have.

I also want to point out that it is TreeofJudas' point, not my own, that Israel is a special kind of state in terms of its mode of accumulation (colonialism). This is the position I am arguing against, in order to point out the fetishistic character of anti-Zionism in a period where Israel is projected as not only the cause of escalating imperialist tensions, but also an anachronously racist entity without a class basis.

I have already listed a few major examples of the shift in discourse around Israel, but recent events seem to confirm that things will get worse in this direction. This week the IAEA and NATO have somewhat officially backed off from the potential of armed conflict with Iran, a milestone in the 'emerging influence' of this power. The Iranian ruling class's efforts to establish nuclear energy, arm Shi'a militias in Iraq and cast aside the dollar in favor of the Euro have served them well in establishing the regime as a new regional power for the west (in particular Europe), Russia etc. to reckon with. It's already clear how much the Americans have worked out agreements with Iran in order to demobilize the Mahdi Army and to control security in Baghdad (military commanders praising the contribution of Iran to the 'stabilization' of the city). It is well known that this regime is actively involved with holocaust denial, recently inviting a German NPD leader, Udo Voigt, who felt empowered enough there to declare "at max only 340,000 Jews died in the holocaust" http://karlmarxstrasse.blogsport.de/2007/12/12/npd-goes-begging-to-ahmadinejad/. He repeated the denial of 'the numbers' in Germany later and is now facing a parliamentary inquiry. I believe that Iran's new status will represent a further escalation of crass anti-Zionism that has no internationalist content, and will serve to maintain and expand the anti-semitic memes now so popular from the hard right of Udo Voigt to the 'brave taboo-breakers' of Walt and Mearsheimer. Whatever happens as a result of Annapolis, it will be European currency and German investment maintaining the most actively propagandizing anti-semitic government on earth, providing a pole for new ventures in historical revisionism and regrouping of the right.

TreeofJudas, skipping ahead a little bit...

Quote:
I'd say that a colonial state is a state whose ruling class depends on a continuing influx of immigrants directly linked to it ethnically. The important part is for a large enough group outside the state to be able to become higher-strata members of the state, and for this to be necessary for the local ruling class's survival.

The ruling class of Israel does not depend on a continuing influx of ethnically-linked immigrants as you yourself prove with immigration statistics. This point is further weakened by your later observation that many Jews left Israel during the second intifada and that Israel has not been successful in motivating them to return. At the same time Israel has failed to collapse...

Also, going by your definition, Germany is a colony of Germans. http://www.zuwanderung.de/english/1_statistik.html

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- Ethnic German repatriates: As a result of World War II, Germany took in more than 12 million expellees and other persons between 1945 and 1950. From 1950 to 1984, an average of 36,000 repatriates of German ancestry resettled in the Federal Republic each year from Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

In 1987-88 this immigration started swelling; in 1988, the number of ethnic Germans moving to Germany rose to 203,000, and in 1990, the number was nearly 400,000. From 1987 to 1999, Germany took in a total of 2.7 million ethnic German repatriates from the territory of the Soviet Union. Starting in 2000, the annual figures sank to well under 100,000 and have now returned to their 1984 level.

Even if it were somehow a 'colony of Germans', Germany is not a state that depends on the influx of the 'blood Germans' for the survival of its ruling class. The ruling class survives like all other states in the expansion of value via the mediation of the market. What the 'blood Germans' provide is a nationalist motivation, one built on a racial basis. This doesn't qualify Germany for the title 'colony'. 'Nation-state' works just fine.

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Ever since that point where David Ben-Gurion had to acquiesce to the demands of world Jewry not to be forced to obey him, so that they may support Israel financially and demographically, Israel's policy has to a large part been subservient to its need to maintain an organic connection with world Jewry. The colonial aspect doesn't have to be a matter of being given direct orders. The pre-revolutionary American colonists were not obeying orders to commit genocide upon the indigenous population, they were simply facilitating the use of natural resources for the benefit of the various empires and expanding their colonies in order to contain the influx of colonists. Indigenous peoples just happened to be in the way.

But that's exactly my point, that (in contrast to your first sentence) world Jewry does not significantly financially support Israel and that foreign investment is paltry compared to GDP! I do agree that to a certain extent the colonial relationship needs no special order-giving. However, besides your examples of Israel, which I think is flawed, I don't think you could bring up an instance of colonists acting independent of a state. Can you? Pre-revolutionary American colonists were subjects of their respective states. They were part of a larger framework that included a domestic exchange-based economy, taxation by their home country and exports flowing back to the hosts. That can hardly be called independent action.

My point all along has been that to the extent that Israel is colonial now and historically, it is Israeli colonialism, not that of a larger body of Jews outside of it. Further, that we can better understand major events such as the Nakba or the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Hebron not in terms of colonial primitive accumulation, which is undertaken in the interest of 'looting', the extraction of resources etc. (although the seizure of houses etc. is one aspect of al-nakba), but more bluntly as acts of ethnic cleansing, i.e. domestic racism, which are consistent with the creation of nation-states generally, and undertaken to secure territory.

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sphinx wrote:

And the Germans were never subjected to a systematic policy of annihilation enacted on the basis of who and who was not a German.

Quote:
Quite a few of them were, obviously. Or are you claiming that Jews, Slavs, etc. were not true Germans?

No. Obviously I'm pointing out that the majority of Germans were not the people sought out for this systemitized annihilation, instead they survived it, and the blood laws from that period still stand today as a descendant of the Nazi racial laws. The Israeli law of return is the inverse of this policy (at least in its refugee aspect), using the Nazi definition of a Jew to provide refuge for any Jew who seeks it.

Quote:
sphinx wrote:

Germany also has a much lower population of non-Germans than Israel has of non-Israelis. Is Germany a colony of...Germans? Or just a nation state with racist tendencies like they all have? (Japan incidentally has the same policy and I'm sure others do as well).

Quote:
The law is just words on a piece of paper. Again, in practice, how large is the influx of Japanese "returnees"? How large is the influx of German "returnees"? How large are the respective external colonial pools?

No it is not just a law on paper. As I've proven above it enables a significant migratory pull, and yet no one that I have read has EVER referred to Germany as running a colony in their nation state.

What doesn't fit in understanding Israel as one of many states created by 'national liberation' struggles? These efforts always define a people against an internal or external enemy and purges that enemy to a certain extent. The nationalist recarving in the 1990s of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia is a perfect example of this. Does this affect how we have to orient our solidarity to former Yugoslavs? Not to my knowledge. And yet it is allegedly decisive in the case of Israel. Look at the Kurds in north Iraq for instance and the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from their territory as another example of 'national liberation for those without a nation', especially the conflict over who gets to live in Kirkuk.

In Israel's case, the law of return has indeed served as a colonialist lever within the national territory and outside of it (as I mentioned in my understanding of the developments in the Negev). The big immigrations of Russian Jews, of Ethiopian Jews etc. were for instance politically and economically motivated migrant waves taken in the interest of a stronger Israeli state and economy. At the same time the law has functioned (and functions) as a refugee mechanism for Jews fleeing anti-semitism. But anti-zionism has to deny the historical constitution of the law because it avoids the historical constitution of Israel.

Considering the law of return as fundamental for the character of Israel as a 'Jewish state', does the widespread anti-zionism propagandized by those not directly involved in the conflict target ONLY the colonialist, or religious aspects of this law or of this state? No, it is enough to crassly negate Zionism and Israel itself. And that's why I'm talking about fetishization.

Interestingly, now even Abbas has for instance objected to the language of 'recognizing a Jewish state' in the negotiations before Annapolis, not likely indicating that the PA and the major ruling class factions have taken up the classic bourgeois position of universal abstract equality for all citizens, but more realistically that there has been a surrender to the Hamas positions since Camp David. Hamas of course is an organization that propagandizes an intransigient anti-zionism that hardly differs from anti-semitism (all Israelis are colonists), and revise history so that Palestine's status as a 'waqf' outweighs the importance of refuge for the holocaust survivors (In Gaza, Haniyeh himself recently lead crowds in the chant: 'we will never recognize Israel' right after another Hamas legislator declared "Jews ... we have already dug your graves" http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1196847343673&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull).

Isn't it remarkable how for only one state in the world, the intimate connection between self-constitution (Jewish colonial state, and for Atzmon, Jew/Zionist as person) and imperialist expansion must be continually restated? That, otherwise, we 'aren't getting to the root of the problem'? When criticized, the imperialism of other countries are hardly ever effectively linked to the national character of its people. Yet for Israel this is repeated ad nauseam.

I wanted to get back to your original statement last, because I'm afraid I may just be misreading it.

Quote:
No, I did not. This is what I said, originally, in regards to how Zionist policy incites anti-semitism:
treeofjudas wrote:

Also, if you're looking for where the revival of anti-semitism is coming from, you need look no further than the Zionist movement, crystalized into the Israeli government, which has appropriated the consistent victimhood of anti-semitism in order to promote its own colonialism (and is still getting money from the German government as a result; I wonder how anti-Deutsch wrap their heads around that, and the fact that the Israeli government is now asking for additional funds).

Quote:
I clearly link this with the appropriation by the Zionists, rather than the mere colonialism itself.

Uh, but in your words, there is no mere colonialism in Israel's case, that colonialism has a Zionist character. No? If it's the Zionists 'appropriating the consistent victimhood of anti-semitism' in order to 'promote (Israel's) own colonialism', that is 'where the revival of anti-semitism is coming from', and since you also say that Israel's existence (the mode of state formation) inside its borders is inescapably colonial, (quoting you below)

tojiah wrote:
I do not consider what is called "settlements", i.e., Jewish villages, towns and outposts erected outside the green line (or outside the green line and the "big settlement blocks", depends on who it is you're talking to) to be the Zionist movement's sole colonialist enterprise. I in fact see them as merely as the violent margin of a process driven by the "Law of Return", which effectively promotes Israel as a colony for world Jewry.

then you are thereby saying that the colonialism of Israel (its existence in your words) is 'where the revival of anti-semitism is coming from'. Am I really misreading this?

What other ideas do you have about the origins of anti-semitism?

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Tojiah
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Dec 27 2007 16:45

Look, I'm no longer finding my head or tail in this discussion. Maybe I should restate my point: as far as I'm concerned, the rise of antisemitism isn't instigated by the very existence of Jews, or by Zionist expansionism itself, but it is exacerbated by the fact that antisemitism itself has been used as an excuse for Israel's expansionist policy (which is not really, in itself, worthy of note, seeing as the state of Israel is a tool for its national bourgeois), painting every opponent of its actions as antisemitic, leading to the point where its opponents simply gave up to the label a while ago and thrive on it rather than going through the arduous task of denying it again and again. This has, of course, allowed many wide coalitions that were impossible previously between various bourgeois groups on the left and right. This is in addition to growing class antagonisms which promote racism as a tool of bourgeois survival in these trying times.

I think that this is similar to how various Islamist groups have participated in escalating Islamophobia; this obviously doesn't mean the same thing as "the damned Muslims bringing it upon themselves", so it goes the same way in relation to Jews.

As for the immigration question, I do think that it's important; as I told Alf, it's constantly pounded on us by the bourgeois media, almost as much as the "problem" of draft-dodgers; Again, this may not be as special to Israel as I am led to believe, but I remind you that unlike the German situation there is in fact a matter of former natives and their offspring being refused citizenship or even entry on an ethnic basis, namely, the Palestinian refugees of 1948. Perhaps the whole thing could be better formulated using a generic theory linking class struggle and immigration, and how differential immigration is used by national ruling classes to hide class antagonism.

I hope I've made things clearer. What I don't understand about your stance is why you think that Israel is the only justified nation in history due to anti-semitism. By your logic Kurdistan, Armenia, Liberia, etc., are all special legitimate nations, but I don't see them as anything more than tools of various bourgeois who are less well off trying to find places where they can be a ruling class.

Here is my tentative analysis of the situation regarding Israel: as Jews were violently evicted from their proto-bourgeois stations in decaying Feudal society by the national bourgeois, which had to base itself on national grounds in order to mask the class struggle with the proletariat (hence antisemitism in Europe, anti-Chinese sentiments in much of Oceania, and other examples I don't quite remember), some of them decided to form a nation-state in which they can be the ruling class, as opposed to just hoping to participate in some other nation's ruling class (an risky endeavor), or just becoming proletarians, God forbid (which most of the others did). Their plan of action was Zionism. In that sense Zionism was a national liberation movement (and is a national project), but it has set its territorial sights on a locale where there was a large percentage of natives with their bourgeois-inspired nationalism. The former's continuing success is the latter's continuing downfall, and the brunt of the pain goes to the farmers and proletarians, who have no stake in any of this, but have to bear the costs; those belonging to the nation of the more successful group of bourgeois have been having it easier, though things are deteriorating as the expansionist trend is closing on the borders of other established nation-states. This would have happened, by the way, even had the Palestinian populace been completely exterminated during the War of Partition (1947-1948), and more wars would have been inevitable, though obviously not because of some inherent anti-semitism of the various Arab nations in the Middle East.

Am I being anti-semitic so far?

yoshomon
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Dec 27 2007 17:25

This is a side issue, but on one of the 'anti-german' blogs someone posted a link to there's an article titled "Cool Kids Don't Wear Pali Scarves'. Is "Pali" the equivalent to "Paki"? I had never seen the word before, but it came off like a racial slur.

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Tojiah
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Dec 27 2007 23:19

This may not be the place to write this, but I've just had an epiphany, and it's as good a place as any to have it torn to shreds. It's probably trivial to everyone and I've just caught on, but here it goes:

I now realize why the Jews were so central during the late 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century, why for such a long time their nation was so widely supported and upheld by so many states, what threw them to the forefront of proletarian struggles during that time.. in a sense they embodied the proletariat at least in one way: they had no country of their own. They were internationalist by nature, because they just had no national "home" with bourgeoisie who could seriously claim them as compatriots. That was why all the imperialist powers were so willing to set up Israel or a territory like it: the British, the Turks, the Americans, the Soviets (which moved from the Birobidzhan project to accepting the Partition Plan), even the Nazis(!), why the bourgeois have since kept it up for so long, in spite of the difficulties it raised regarding access to Middle Eastern oil. Since they failed in ridding the world of all Jews in the various processes which coalesced and were exemplified by the Holocaust, they needed Jewish workers to have a nation, instead, so that they could be nationalized and their class consciousness obfuscated; they needed those activist, immigrant, unsettled Jewish proletarians to find a steady territory to be dispossessed in: since they weren't able to destroy them, they had to grant them a state to be exploited in freely, where they will feel more easy in their chains.

Sphinx, you said that the Jewish state was the only nation-state with legitimacy, in view of antisemitism; but that is only true of you take the position promulgated by Zionism and encouraged by the rest of the bourgeoisie, that antisemitism is some ontological fact in the world psyche, that it is an a-historical fact, when that is not the case at all, when it is in fact a contingent, historical partner to Zionism in rerouting class struggle into nationalist warfare.

And now I shall really have to go to bed, hate working Fridays.

mk
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Jan 3 2008 18:45

Those people are fucks. They can give war victims property they have in Germany if they feel so guilty for war. If they feel guilty they can come to Poland here and make the volunteer work because still there are ruins from Germans - the houses with holes from bullets. I think they apologists for American and Jewish imperialism who live in big fat rich Germany very convenient and judge everybody antisemites instead of making anything like real help for victims.

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Khawaga
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Jan 3 2008 19:39
Quote:
I now realize why the Jews were so central during the late 19th century and until the middle of the 20th century, why for such a long time their nation was so widely supported and upheld by so many states, what threw them to the forefront of proletarian struggles during that time.. in a sense they embodied the proletariat at least in one way: they had no country of their own. They were internationalist by nature, because they just had no national "home" with bourgeoisie who could seriously claim them as compatriots. That was why all the imperialist powers were so willing to set up Israel or a territory like it: the British, the Turks, the Americans, the Soviets (which moved from the Birobidzhan project to accepting the Partition Plan), even the Nazis(!), why the bourgeois have since kept it up for so long, in spite of the difficulties it raised regarding access to Middle Eastern oil. Since they failed in ridding the world of all Jews in the various processes which coalesced and were exemplified by the Holocaust, they needed Jewish workers to have a nation, instead, so that they could be nationalized and their class consciousness obfuscated; they needed those activist, immigrant, unsettled Jewish proletarians to find a steady territory to be dispossessed in: since they weren't able to destroy them, they had to grant them a state to be exploited in freely, where they will feel more easy in their chains.

I think there is some merit to this argument ToJ, but perhaps a bit one-sided.

The fact is that jewish populations were starting to integrate or be assimilated with the advent of modern nation-states. Before this jews lived in their own communities in self-chosen isolation from the rest of the community/society so that they could practice their religion and follow the rather strict and sometimes very arcane laws. The jewish communities would often get special permission to keep their own laws, own justice etc. (inter-jewish struggles were treated as that, the goyim community did not intervene) after simply paying them off. In a sense the jews did have their "nation" back then, though it was not tied to a piece of property.

With the nation becoming, the rational-bureaucratic state starting to form jews were not longer allowed to have separate communities with own internal laws and justice. They had to integrate, and in some cases were forced to assimilate, so it is in this sense that the jews "lost" their dispersed "countries". Many jews did integrate quite well (most notably in Britain if I remember correctly), for others there were problems.

It is in this context that jewish aspiration for a national home, where they can practice according to jewish laws without outside interference, also comes from. From what I've read (sorry can't remember the titles at the moment) there were struggles inside the jewish community whether they should integrate or seek to establish an independent polity. The loss of jewishness was often counterposed to integration, and security for jews was the argument against jews remaining separate. Many jews were very comfortable with the local bourgeoisie and were very successful capitalists, and they did not really want to start all over again where ever Israel might finally be located. Similarly quite a few proletarianized jews wanted to stay in the nations they integrated in because they could escape the sometimes very tyrannical internal jewish justice.

The Zionist organizations had a very hard time convincing, especially Britain to begin with, to support the Jewish colonization of Palestine. The Imperial Army was basically run by Arabists. It was an uphill struggle for quite some time. While I do agree with you that it must have been a blessing for the bourgeoisie European states to get rid of militant workers, it was hardly the only reason why the Zionist project was supported. Class is one thing, for sure, but pure racism, religious motives, being influenced by Zionists organizations also played a major part.

sphinx
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Jan 16 2008 16:17

Sorry to ditch the discussion for so long, I'm having a busy winter.

tojiah wrote:
I hope I've made things clearer. What I don't understand about your stance is why you think that Israel is the only justified nation in history due to anti-semitism. By your logic Kurdistan, Armenia, Liberia, etc., are all special legitimate nations, but I don't see them as anything more than tools of various bourgeois who are less well off trying to find places where they can be a ruling class.

In any example of national liberation, a bourgeoisie that is repressed elsewhere will try to establish its hegemony in the new territory, yes that's true. The only difference between the Shoa and the massacres that the Kurds, Armenians and Liberians have faced is of course one of scale, and desired completion. The example of the Armenian genocide which you bring up is perhaps the crime most similar to the Shoa in that it involved a minority group which had previously faced political and religious oppression (and I believe sought political emancipation) being massacred on a wide scale. What differs here is that Armenians were attacked largely because they were accused of being supporters the entente, not necessarily being a corrupting or revolutionary menace in the body of society itself. They were never racialized, and were spared if they converted to Christianity. "The majority of Armenians in Istanbul (200.000 people) survived, and there was no international crusade to seek and kill Armenians outside of Turkey. Neither the Turks nor anyone else ever thought of Armenians as a demonic power threatening the whole human civilization, and the genocide was not planned as an end in itself." (Robert Wistrich, Hitler und der Holocaust, S. 330f.) This is the crucial difference that defines my position in relation to the German extermination plans and the establishment of a Jewish nation: that Jews were not seen as redeemable, even in the categories of bourgeois integration, and were as a consequence of their struggle for full citizenship, targeted for an internationally-organized elimination, in which industrialized killing apparatuses were employed, not for the conquering of territory or resources but only for a semi-automated genocide. This is an unprecedented break from civilization. Especially when you consider that (as Khawaga says) it was not because the Jews were without a nation necessarily, but often the opposite, that they were largely involved in bourgeois emancipation movements since the 1800s, had fought in WW1 in great numbers and despite this faced unprecedented pogroms and attacks on 'Jewish power in Germany'.

To get an idea of what distinguishes the Shoa from other genocides, I would urge you to read chapter 4 of 'Hitler's Willing Executioners', "The Nazis' Assault on the Jews: Its Character and Evolution" by Daniel Goldhagen.

Quote:
Here is my tentative analysis of the situation regarding Israel: as Jews were violently evicted from their proto-bourgeois stations in decaying Feudal society by the national bourgeois, which had to base itself on national grounds in order to mask the class struggle with the proletariat (hence antisemitism in Europe, anti-Chinese sentiments in much of Oceania, and other examples I don't quite remember), some of them decided to form a nation-state in which they can be the ruling class, as opposed to just hoping to participate in some other nation's ruling class (an risky endeavor), or just becoming proletarians, God forbid (which most of the others did). Their plan of action was Zionism. In that sense Zionism was a national liberation movement (and is a national project), but it has set its territorial sights on a locale where there was a large percentage of natives with their bourgeois-inspired nationalism. The former's continuing success is the latter's continuing downfall, and the brunt of the pain goes to the farmers and proletarians, who have no stake in any of this, but have to bear the costs; those belonging to the nation of the more successful group of bourgeois have been having it easier, though things are deteriorating as the expansionist trend is closing on the borders of other established nation-states. This would have happened, by the way, even had the Palestinian populace been completely exterminated during the War of Partition (1947-1948), and more wars would have been inevitable, though obviously not because of some inherent anti-semitism of the various Arab nations in the Middle East.

Hmm...well first, what anti-semitism existed in Arab nations starting from the 1930s was carefully cultivated by among others, the Germans (just one example of many: the organizer of the Hitler youth helped organize Egyptian youth nationalist groups), al-Husseini and his allies, Qassam, al-Banna and the Ikhwan. It was not latent, it was in fact given form alongside the emerging anti-colonial movements.

I don't differ largely from the rest of your analysis, only perhaps on the level of inevitability that you seem to be convinced of. I also do not think that 'things are deteriorating as the expansionist trend is closing on the borders of other established nation-states", in fact the opposite seems to be the case. Israel did not hold territory after the last Lebanon war, the colonies in Gaza have been evicted and the overwhelming tendency expressed in Annapolis is towards the retreat from at least the outposts.

tojiah wrote:
Sphinx, you said that the Jewish state was the only nation-state with legitimacy, in view of antisemitism; but that is only true of you take the position promulgated by Zionism and encouraged by the rest of the bourgeoisie, that antisemitism is some ontological fact in the world psyche, that it is an a-historical fact, when that is not the case at all, when it is in fact a contingent, historical partner to Zionism in rerouting class struggle into nationalist warfare.

Of course this is not true.

I have argued that anti-semitism is a very specific fetishistic interpretation of dynamics in capitalism, and I will further state that it is historical and contingent upon the context in which it finds its object. Calling anti-semitism a 'contingent, historical partner to Zionism in rerouting class struggle into nationalist warfare' only makes sense if you ignore the context in which the Zionist project was accomplished: that the anti-semitism of the time did not intend to leave any Jews alive for Zionism! There was in fact a garrison of the SS awaiting Rommel's victory in Egypt to charge into Palestine and cleanse it of Jews. This as the holocaust in Europe was underway! How could these two forces be partners? So that is a complete misunderstanding of history and frankly the charge of an 'ultimate' collaboration is deeply mistaken. You're wishing crude class analysis onto the past.

jesse blue
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Jan 17 2008 17:30

interesting topic.

i would lik to contribute by providing english translations to some texts from anti-german writers, namely joachim bruhn and stefan grigat, and maybe, if i got time, parts of the ongoing debate between anti-germans and the "friends of the classless society". some of you might be interested, especially as some of those texts deal with theory of revolution, antipolitics, class constitution and critique of state.

unfortunately i've got pretty little time because of alienated labor. so it seems it will take some more time.

yoshomon
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Jan 17 2008 18:01

I must admit that engaging with the anti-germans in my head has led me to re-examine anti-semetism both historically and now and has broadened my understanding (and rejection) of the left.

yoshomon
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Jan 17 2008 18:48

Neither of my parents were/are leftists or anti-semites, so I'm not sure what you mean.

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robot
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Jan 17 2008 23:12
jesse blue wrote:
interesting topic.

i would lik to contribute by providing english translations to some texts from anti-german writers, namely joachim bruhn (...)

Joachim Bruhn? I guess this is the moron who told us some three years ago, that Ariel Sharon in his anti-fascist struggle is the modern successor and heir of Buenaventura Durruti? Isn't he the chief and guru of the ça Ira printing house, that published Willi Huhns book on the "Etatism of the social democracy", the book where Bruhn in his epilog blamed council-communism in general to be "the vanguard of anti-semitism"? I don't think it is worth getting him and his friends Grischat texts translated here. Maybe you should start your translation with those two texts...

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Tacks
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Jan 18 2008 00:34
yoshomon wrote:
Neither of my parents were/are leftists or anti-semites, so I'm not sure what you mean.

rrra ha ha haaaa grin

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 03:36
yoshomon wrote:
The most insane thing to me is them marching through Dresden with American flags!

I'd join any fascist beating those fuckers up. Some things just aren't kosher (as it were)!

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 03:55
lrnec wrote:
I’m still curious about what they mean that Germany doesn’t have a right to exist. What are they actually proposing, devolution to previous principalities, absorption into neighboring countries, change of name/government but retaining all geographical boundaries, nuking all Germans?

Probably nuking all Germans. Sound like awful people. The amount of grief they're tapping into, dishonoring the slaughtered and dead.

I think (I may be wrong tho) that it's been established that the German population had no knowledge of what Eichmann and co. were up to. Who knows if Hitler even knew?

I think that there has to be some explanation of why Germany, of all cultures, should be the one that fell to Nazism. It seems so strange - being the country that produced Stirner, Schopenhaur, and Nietzsche. The German people seemed so tied up with the question of the individual and the ego and the will, but ironically it was in the Latin countries (France, Italy, Spain) that libertarian aspirations actually flowered into powerful movements. I was talking to somebody recently who suggested that the answer lay in the fact that Germany had been the original bed of Europe's will to freedom. Martin Luther, Thomas Muntzer, the peasants who first marched with the black flag singing "Die Gedanken Sind Frie." Perhaps the will to freedom was exhausted in the German people?

jesse blue
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Jan 18 2008 09:08
zarathustra wrote:
I think (I may be wrong tho) that it's been established that the German population had no knowledge of what Eichmann and co. were up to. Who knows if Hitler even knew?

oh yeah dude, you are perfectly right; in that you "may be wrong tho" that is.

as far as i know, my grandparents knew everything one would want to know, and they liked it. they were workers and peasants. and i do not know anybody who dared tell me her/his grandparents didn't.

who exactly "established" your point? maybe i will get to learn anything.

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Anarchia
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Jan 18 2008 11:39
Quote:
Martin Luther

Supported killing Jews. Sounds like a great proponent of freedom.

Oh, and jesse is right. I'm sure not everyone knew the exact details of what was going on at every camp, but plenty knew plenty, and if they didn't, chose not to know.

Terry
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Jan 18 2008 11:58

I like the way in discussing this issue generally "they knew" establishes some kinda complicity, in the context of a very repressive dictatorship - which was killing loads of people - something which might encourage one to keep ones head down. Makes you think how the period we are living in will be described in the future - "they knew" about starvation in the third world, "they knew" about the nuclear stockpile, "they knew" about climate change, and this in the context of socities relativly free from political repression.

jesse blue
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Jan 18 2008 12:53
Terry wrote:
I like the way in discussing this issue generally "they knew" establishes some kinda complicity, in the context of a very repressive dictatorship - which was killing loads of people - something which might encourage one to keep ones head down. Makes you think how the period we are living in will be described in the future - "they knew" about starvation in the third world, "they knew" about the nuclear stockpile, "they knew" about climate change, and this in the context of socities relativly free from political repression.

no, "they knew" and they loved hitler. not in spite but because of, and i don't think it is very well understood (especially among the radical left) how much "they" (that means, the proletarian and semiproletarian masses) supported hitler actively and willingly, without coercion, took part in the killing of the jews. this is not goldhagens claim, it is a reality i grew up with, amongst those very same people.

i think you fail to grasp this. your comparison seems totally absurd to me: i don't think that 80% of any population not only desires a climate change, but is also eagerly willing to sacrifice anything they got in order to facilitate it.

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 14:26
Asher wrote:
Quote:
Martin Luther

Supported killing Jews. Sounds like a great proponent of freedom.

Oh damn, so did Proudhon!! I guess we'll have to scrap him too! But seriously, Luther was a necessary step in the development of European consciousness away Papist group-think to a more individualistic consciousness. Even a Marxist historian such as Charles H. George recognizes this.

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 14:38
jesse blue wrote:
Terry wrote:
I like the way in discussing this issue generally "they knew" establishes some kinda complicity, in the context of a very repressive dictatorship - which was killing loads of people - something which might encourage one to keep ones head down. Makes you think how the period we are living in will be described in the future - "they knew" about starvation in the third world, "they knew" about the nuclear stockpile, "they knew" about climate change, and this in the context of socities relativly free from political repression.

no, "they knew" and they loved hitler.

Hitler never got more than 30% of the vote, and when he achieved power his popularity was lower even than that. There was an active resistance that was harbored by the population and were rarely turned over by fellow civilians.

Quote:
not in spite but because of, and i don't think it is very well understood (especially among the radical left) how much "they" (that means, the proletarian and semiproletarian masses) supported hitler actively and willingly, without coercion, took part in the killing of the jews. this is not goldhagens claim, it is a reality i grew up with, amongst those very same people.

What we have here is a prime example of a self-hating German. Do you say the same thing about the Russians? Stalin killed more people, after all.

Quote:
i think you fail to grasp this. your comparison seems totally absurd to me: i don't think that 80% of any population not only desires a climate change, but is also eagerly willing to sacrifice anything they got in order to facilitate it.

It's a good example. I still haven't seen any proof that the German people knew what was happening. I believe the government said that Jews etc. were being relocated to a homeland of their own in some Slavic country or something. Maybe some people suspected otherwise, but a) they were living under a totalitarian system, and b) they must have found it hard to believe.

Also, since I don't think you can quantitatively look at massacres of innocents, we should remember Dresden and the pillaging of Berlin by the Red Army.

The real criminals were the Nazis, Bolshevik traitors who undermined antifascist resistance, American Zionists who would rather see European Jews get massacred than see them immigrate anywhere but Palestine, the democratic governments who knew about the holocaust but kept mum, etc.

Terry
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Jan 18 2008 14:39
jesse blue wrote:
your comparison seems totally absurd to me: i don't think that 80% of any population not only desires a climate change, but is also eagerly willing to sacrifice anything they got in order to facilitate it.

No I don't think it is comparable. For one there were concentration camps in Third Reich Germany (majority German gentile population in them until 1942), suppression of any opposition groups, and a media entirely consisting of the propaganda of one party, not the sort of thing which exists today in Europe, yet people know - and this isn't a highly contestable supposition or a theory as is the Holocaust and knowledge among the wider public, about mass starvation,
and climate change, and before that the potential of nuclear holocaust, and yet do not do something!, in the later case, being as there were 'free elections' unlike in Nazi Germany, people in droves went out and voted for pro-NATO, pro-nuke, politicans. This to me suggests that 'knowing' about this or that big terrible thing doesn't necessarily amount to anything, and that if people today want to put previous generations on trial, it maybe the case that this too will happen in the future, especially in regard to things that it will be people in the future who have to suffer the consequences of.

jesse blue wrote:
supported hitler actively and willingly, without coercion, took part in the killing of the jews. this is not goldhagens claim, it is a reality i grew up with, amongst those very same people.

First of all "without coercion" is meaningless in Nazi Germany. Secondly where were the jews killed - in death camps in the East and by einzatgruppen in the East. Now talking about "the proletarian and semiproletarian masses" and "80% of any population"
and "took part in the killing of the jews" implies they were all over there doing that, well they were not were they, the death camps were in out of the way places outside of Germany, and the massacres in the East, were well massacres in the East. If the German public were made up of exterminationist anti-semites as you suggest they wouldn't have bothered hiding the holocaust and Himmler wouldn't have spoken of what was it a glorious chapter in our history that must never be written, ie keep quiet about this one lads.

For sure there was 'ordinary Germans' involved in the holocaust - as covered in the Order Police Battalion 101 book that Goldhagen ripped off, but it wasn't the entire population, or 80%, 50%, 20% etc... like there was an economy to run and a war to fight y'know they didn't all drop everything and start killing Jews, 'ordinary Germans' that is as opposed to hardcore committed National Socialists, pretty much the same as atrocities everywhere, except on scale, it was 'ordinary Americans' slaughtering Vietnamese villagers, 'ordinary Aussies' (Irish, English, Scots) killing the indigenous in Australia. Such is the way of the world.

I also do not doubt that a degree of knowledge about some atrocities was known about in Germany generally - but mostly about mass killings in the occupied territories - not about the death camps, for obvious reasons - there being tons of young Germans in the occupied territories, ad much less of a cover up, and there is no way people could have known about the scale of atrocity.

If the German Left wants to become useful it should spend more time concerned with today, and the future of its grandchildren, and less time concerned about what its grandparents were up to which is irreversable. Ye seem to have built up an entire milieu - and this is wider than the anti-Germans - revolving around what granddaddy did, I can't help thinking there was a time when the older folk of Germany used to go into full Alf Garnet mode just to wind ye up.

I couldn't care less if your grandfather was in the upper echelons of the SS - it is a personal issue for you to deal with - not something to build a political practise around.

The extent of involvement in, and support of, Nazi atrocities, is only a historical question now. If it were proved to be as you say, then so what?, humans have always been brutal to other humans - look at scalping or the postcards of lynchings in the U.S., the only unique facet of Germany in the 1930s and 1940s is one of scale and utter irrationality - both of which relate to policies emnating from central government, not the experience or involvement of individuals in the wider society in particular atrocities.

jesse blue
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Jan 18 2008 14:48
zarathustra wrote:
There was an active resistance that was harbored by the population and were rarely turned over by fellow civilians.

no there wasn't. you're either ignorant or in denial. there were some resisting groups in the factory, till around 1937, not longer. there were remnants of the illegal stalinist organisations, i.e. remnants from the para-secret cervice people like muenzenberg hab build. there were some catholic priests. that was all. nothing of it all was very popular.

jesse blue
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Jan 18 2008 14:56
Terry wrote:
there is no way people could have known about the scale of atrocity.

denial.

Quote:
hey wouldn't have bothered hiding the holocaust

well they didn't.

Quote:
I couldn't care less if your grandfather was in the upper echelons of the SS

thx, he was a peasant, as i told. don't even try and start distorting what i wrote , please.

Terry
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Jan 18 2008 15:30

There is no way people could have known about the scale of the atrocity cause there was no hub where reports, rumours, personal witness, etc.. could have been collated and then put forward as an analysis of what was happening in a fashion accessible to the average person. There wasn't say muckraking journalists to do this, opposition political groups to do this, human rights NGOs to do this, open publishing websites to do this, and there wasn't any publishing company or newspaper or such to then provide the information to the broad public after its collation by those non-existant (or very clandestine) groups.
So what are you left with - this or that story of a particular atrocity, maybe a photo of some Jews or Slavs being killed in the East - much like the photos of lynchings they used to have in the U.S. (except in Germany they were not commercially available as postcards), and so on - very small glimpses of what was going on (and certainly little knowledge of the specialist death camps).

The government did hide the holocaust. At a very basic level Jews were removed from Germany and killed elsewhere. If the entire population of Germany was well up for the holocaust and fully participating how come German Jews were not just killed where they were - in their houses, on the street, and something more like say in Rwanda in 1994. At another very basic level was it reported in German newspapers, no it wasn't.

Even if an appreciable large slice of the population knew and supported then what, would it be unique, they did surveys in the U.S. in the 1940s and something like 10 to 20 per cent of respondants wanted the entire extermination of the Japanese.

Aye there was an 'if' there, I was talking hypothetically, should have been clearer.

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 16:04

Very sensible stuff, Terry. I'd actually read a book about the national neurosis of guilt in Germany. It seems the only alternatives they're given is to hate themselves (with anti-deutsche being the most obvious example) or say a) they're proud of Hitler and/or b) the holocaust never happened. This kind of paralyzing guilt is horrible -- and apparently means the Zionist state has been parasiting off German tax-payers.

The fact is (as Terry said) the death camps were well away from people's eyes and the government was telling the German people that jews were being relocated.

Also, those who suspected what was happening were being thrown in the concentration camps themselves. And there was a German resistance worthy of memory!

The German Resistance Movement

Geschwister-Scholl-Institut fur Politische Wissenschaft

Die Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

German Resistance to Hitler

Resistance in Nazi Germany

Actually, these liberal guilt-mongers are actually responsible for the current growth in racialist and neo-Nazi politics in Germany and Holocaust denial. There is no way a people can bare such a psychological burden of supposed guilt -- they either become self-haters (like anti-deutsche) or have to embrace Hitler and his deed, as I said. This guilt-mongering is objectively helping fascism.

zarathustra
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Jan 18 2008 16:12
Quote:
Between 1933 and 1945, many thousands of people resisted the Nazis using both violent and non-violent means. Among the earliest opponents of Nazism in Germany were Communists, Socialists, and trade union leaders. Although mainstream church hierarchies supported the Nazi regime or acquiesced in its policies, individual German theologians such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed the regime. Bonhoeffer was executed in 1945. Within the German conservative elite and the German military's General Staff small pockets of opposition to the Nazi regime existed. In July 1944, a coalition of these groups made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. [...]

Other forms of non-violent resistance included sheltering Jews (sometimes at risk of death), listening to forbidden Allied radio broadcasts, and producing clandestine anti-Nazi newspapers. In the face of Nazi repression and violence, acts of resistance at times significantly impeded German actions, saved lives, or simply boosted morale of the persecuted.

Non-Jewish Resistance: Overview

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Anarchia
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Jan 18 2008 22:57
Terry wrote:
I like the way in discussing this issue generally "they knew" establishes some kinda complicity, in the context of a very repressive dictatorship - which was killing loads of people - something which might encourage one to keep ones head down.

Oh, I didn't mean it like that, and I agree with the general content of your longer post at the end of page 4. I just wanted to correct zarathustra....

Angelus Novus
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Jan 19 2008 06:26
jesse blue wrote:
i would lik to contribute by providing english translations to some texts from anti-german writers, namely joachim bruhn and stefan grigat, and maybe, if i got time, parts of the ongoing debate between anti-germans and the "friends of the classless society"

Hi Jesse,

I think it might be more worthwhile to translate texts by some of the precursors of the Anti-Germans like Wolfgang Pohrt and Eike Geisel. I think Robert Kurz was correct in stating that contemporary Anti-Germans steal from Wolfgang Pohrt like kleptomaniacs in a supermarket.

I think the ISF/Bahamas crew, on the other hand, have produced very little theory of real value (pardon the pun). Ca Ira is a good publishing house for making available works by Backhaus, Reichelt, Agnoli, Rakowitz, etc., but the ISF's own texts are really nothing special, even the ones they wrote before they went off the deep end after the second intifada and 11.09.01.

By debate between ADs and the "friends of the classless society", are you referring to that article that appeared in Phase 2? I bought the first issue of Kosmoprolet, and I think the "theses on the classless society" deserve a translation.

Angelus Novus
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Jan 19 2008 10:21
zarathustra wrote:
Actually, these liberal guilt-mongers are actually responsible for the current growth in racialist and neo-Nazi politics in Germany and Holocaust denial.

Haha. Is this like the anti-semitic canard about how the Jews are responsible for the fact that people hate them?

Quote:
There is no way a people can bare such a psychological burden of supposed guilt

"A people"? Anyone who thinks in categories of "peoples" has no business calling themselves a communist. I think you might be more satisfied fighting the good anti-imperialist fight for the "progressive nations" against the "reactionary nations" alongside the SWP/Respect.

Anyway, the notion of post-war German guilt is a myth. Of course, you don't read German, nor do you know the first thing about German post-war history, so it's expecting too much from you to carry out this discussion with any sort of tangential relationship to reality. Adorno's essay "Was bedeutet: Aufarbeitung der Vergangenheit?" would give you a pretty good idea of the collective psyche in the Federal Republic in the immediate postwar era. But you're not interested in real history.

Quote:
they either become self-haters (like anti-deutsche)

Again, you know nothing about the Anti-Germans, otherwise you'd know the phrase "self-hater" is inapplicable since they define Germany as a specific mode of capitalist socialization, not as an ethnically defined people. It's a stupid notion (Germany as mode of production), but that's why I'm not an Anti-German. You, on the other hand, haven't spent anytime reading and refuting the theoretical writings of the Anti-Germans, so you haven't a clue one way or the other.

That's symptomatic for most discussions about the Anti-Germans within the British and American left, which is reducible to, "dude, I totally heard there were like Antifas in Germany who carry Israeli flags on demos". In other words, your "knowledge" of the Anti-Germans consists of rumors, your "refutation" of their ideology is with a fantasy opponent that only exists in your head.

I propose a moratorium on discussion concerning that Anti-Germans by anyone who:

- can't read German at a sufficient level of proficiency to follow the debates

- doesn't know what the difference is between the ISF/Bahamas, the BgR Leipzig/Phase 2, Rote Ruhr Uni, Cafe Critique Vienna, the ADK Berlin, or the jour fixe initiative berlin (the latter no longer even Anti-German)

- can't explain the significance of names like Wolfgang Pohrt, Eike Geisel, Jürgen Elsässer, Henryk Broder, KB Hamburg, Rainer Trampert, Thomas Ebermann, Herman Gremliza, or Günther Jacob

- can't explain the different between "fundamentale Wertkritik" and the Anti-German variant.

- can't distinguish between groups that self-apply the label "anti-german" as an adjective, and those which self-apply it as a noun.

It's a peculiar arrogance of English-speakers that they view themselves as qualified to pontificate about political tendencies and developments throughout the world without spending sufficient time living in those countries or speaking the languages.

I should post the obligatory disclaimer that I'm not an Anti-German, and consider them political opponents, but I'm sick of the half-informed hearsay and rumor-mongering on these boards.