Thursday, December 08, 2005

Fascism's Conflation


A Leftist who becomes a Rightist is not a Leftist. It's a simple point but one that gets lost on some of our readers and commentators. Further, a Leftist who becomes a Right fascist in not proof that all Leftists are incipient Right fascists. And the Left, though often fascist, in not identically fascist in the way the Right can be. We do get some muddle-headed comments here from careless and silly people who can't read simple texts, so we'll make it clearer here, if possible: The Left is fascist in its abandonment of the working classes and in its communitarianism, corporatism, and philobarbarism, in its reactionary eschatologies, in its counter-Enlightenment Irrationalism. When the Left joins the reactionaries of the Right, which it has over-ll, many people are left standing in old party clothes that no longer are in fashion, though they don't know enough to realize the party's over and it's time long past to change the wardrobe. The Left has devolved into fascism, and the Leftists of yore are not the Leftists of today, though the labels remain. The Left of yesteryear is gone, though many still hold classical Left views. Folks, you've been left standing at the station at Vanity Fair, and the train has moved on without you. Today's altered Left is fascism conflated with Right fascism, and it is now a grey fascism, Left dhimmi fascism and worse. Some of the old ideas from the classical period remain, mostly embedded in the cliches of the times, but the values are gone. The Left is a monster of our time, a thing that bears no resemblance to the struggles for Modernity and universal Human rights that it was in the years past. And even then it wasn't what it was supposed to be-- even on paper. Today it's completely corrupt, and yet many still hold to classical Left views not realizing that along with those they also follow foolishly and naively the neo-Left fascism of the Greens, for example, a truly Right wing fascism, as we are seeing in the posts here on Ecofascism.
We spend a great deal of time and effort trying to clarify the difference between past Left labour rights and current Left dhimmi fascism. Look at the evolution, or the devolution of the Left today in Germany, not as proof of our thesis but as an example of our thesis. Ask yourself if this is the Left of classical times. Of course it isn't, and very likely you, dear reader, are not, regardless of your supposed liberalism, a fascist in any real sense. But! But is that true in practice? You readers from the so-called Left, ask yourselves if you do indeed follow much of today's Left dhimmi fascist agenda simply because you've neglected to understand the nature of the metamorphosis of the Left today? Are you conscious of the changes in Left into Right and dhimmi fascism? Or do you find yourself at the end of the following essay vaguely sympathetic to the subject below? Are your natural good intentions leading you unknowingly into a pit of fascism that you might find you actually prefer to the current state of fascist Leftism?

The following essay comes from a Trotskite website. We've deleted some of the more ridiculous and pointless chunks to keep this to a minimum while still giving the sense of the essay. The subject of the story is a co-founder of the Bader- Meinhof Gang, the Red Army Faction who committed acts of terrorism across Europe in the 1970 and 80s. Today that same man is a committed neo-fascist on the Right. But we argue that he is of a piece, no different today from then.

In a future post on Beihl and Ecofascism we will encounter the NPD. Below we meet one of our old friends, Horst Mahler:

Germany: Former left-wing radical Horst Mahler joins the neo-fascist NPD

By Max Rodenberg
1 September 2000

Berlin attorney Horst Mahler was a lawyer for the Extra-parliamentary Opposition (APO) at the end of the 1960s, joint founder of the Socialist German Student Federation (SDS) and a member of the terrorist Red Army Faction (RAF). Last weekend he applied to join the neo-fascist National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).

Mahler's membership application to the NPD followed a weeks-long campaign for a prohibition of the party. At a press conference in Bruchsal near Karlsruhe last Saturday, Mahler—in his own words an "opponent of the party-state"—called on all those for whom "Germany was close to their hearts", to "strengthen the patriotic front, by publicly joining the NPD without consideration for the consequences for their personal fate". "We must all act at present as if we were at war, and the German Reich [empire] now demands our contribution to defend the German people and requires personal sacrifice.... Now it is a matter of Germany and the German Reich; reservations or animosities should be set aside."

[....]

He became joint founder of the first "socialist lawyers collective" and represented Rudi Dutschke, Rainer Langhans and others. In 1969, he defended Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, who went on to jointly form the RAF. ....

Following several criminal convictions in 1970—including a ten-month suspended sentence and a 75,000 mark fine—Mahler fled to Jordan with the recently released Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and others, where they trained as armed guerrilla fighters with the Palestinians.

Mahler was arrested in Berlin two months later. In October 1972 ... he was finally condemned to 12 years imprisonment for "conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery in connection with the establishment of a criminal association and participation in the same". His exclusion from the bar followed in 1974. Mahler remained in detention until 1980.

With the help of Gerhard Schroeder—the former SPD-Young Socialists chairman, later prime minister of Lower Saxony, and today Germany's federal chancellor, who acted as Mahler's legal counsel in 1978—he gained readmission as a lawyer in 1988 and was able to re-start his business practice in Berlin.

The joint founder of the RAF had already become one of its critics during his detention. In 1977 he wrote that this had come from his "inner liberation from the dogmatic revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism". But his conversion went even further. In 1998, after 10 years of relative calm, Mahler surprised the public with a submission to the right-wing newspaper Junge Freiheit, in which he revealed his new beliefs. In this article he drew a connection between the radical 1968 movement and the development of a new völkisch (German-nationalist) ideology.

"The 1968 generation destroyed tradition and religion as world-shaping conceptions ... and brought our people a step nearer to maturity. The ground is only now ready for completing this enlightenment, which will simultaneously mean their surmounting. We experience this result of the cultural revolution of 1968 as Hell, since along with tradition and religion our moral substance has departed.... As a cultureless Volk [people] we live in a second Stone Age. It requires some effort of thought to really extinguish the mental vacuum—this condition of absolute negativity, which threatens to destroy us now as humans and as a Volk —and recognise as something positive, and in this sense as an historical service of the 1968 generation.... Let us be warriors of thought! Let us argue together—for God and our forefathers' country!"

In the meantime, Mahler has become an ideologue of the neo-fascist movement. The statement he issued to accompany his NPD membership application reads like a lightning course in neo-fascist ideology ....

On the basis of a conspiracy theory of "Jewish financial capital".... German politicians and media are all "well-intentioned puppets in this devilish play". What prevails is "opinion-terror against all, even so timid, stirrings of the German people's spirit. Against everyone, who ... opposes the enforced Überfremdung [swamping with foreigners]".

Mahler calls the murders and acts of violence carried out by neo-fascist young people "expressions of the natural—semi-instinctive—resistance of the German people against their Umvolkung [Grand Gesture Fascism. Dag,] [literally, un-peopling] into an Afro-Euro-Asiatic crossbreed". "In view of the population explosion in the coloured peoples' countries destroyed by Euro-American imperialism, the fear of foreigners is necessary in the coming decades [i.e., as a life-supporting defence reaction] to the extent that the pressure of migration from Asia and Africa places a question mark over the identity of Europe as the continent of the white man." For Mahler, "the taboo effect" must be removed from terms such as racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, "with which the German people were held in servitude for over 50 years". The "genuine rage and outbreaks of hate" are nothing more than "symptoms of a spiritual illness, which arise from the suppression and proscription of healthy, vital drives".

Mahler also justifies the Holocaust with the explanation: "History represents the actions of God, not those of humans. The spirit of the time denies God and "persecutes the Germans for their faith, by placing the responsibility for history, thus for God's actions [meaning the Holocaust—MR], onto the Germans."

Mahler's transformation from a left-wing ideologue to a self-proclaimed fascist is unusual, but there are, however, historical precedents. In particular, a comparison can be drawn with the forerunners of Italian fascism, with the French theoretician Georges Sorel and with Mussolini, el Duce. Their original radicalism directed against bourgeois society—Sorel regarded himself as a Marxist, and Mussolini led the left wing of the Socialist Party—assumed an increasingly nationalist colouration and finally was directed against the workers' movement and its internationalism.

[....]

The course of Mahler's development—despite all his personal eccentricities—contains a rational core.

Despite their revolutionary rhetoric at the time, sections of the 1968 movement already regarded the working class as a mass that could be easily manipulated, dominated by "consumer terror", on which the fight against bourgeois society could not be based. As a substitute, they turned to various national liberation and guerrilla movements. The highest, and at the same time most demoralised expression of this conception was the establishment of the RAF, which wanted to conduct a guerrilla struggle in the German cities.

While most of the 1968 generation soon abandoned their socialist ambitions, and returned to the bosom of bourgeois society or even (like the former street fighter turned German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer) to its head, Mahler's rejection of the working class went to another extreme. Marxism, according to Mahler today, divides the people, and that is basically false. "Resistance should particularly be directed against American supremacy and come from the völkischen Einheit [unity of the people]".

Psychologically, Mahler's evolution reflects the pent-up fear and panic of social layers that are presently being hit by the effects of globalisation and welfare cuts. [?!]

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2000/sep2000/red-s01.shtml
***

Next post we hope to continue with ecofascsim and to give further details on the NPD. Please join us.

4 comments:

Pastorius said...

There is a sense in which this guy is atypical of the Left Dhimmi Fascists. But, there is another sense in which he is just the honest one.

Clearly, many on the Left treat minorities as talisman, bringers of good luck, connection to the primal, etc.

When I was younger, I was a singer in a rock n' roll band. As such, I was immersed in the liberal world of the LA entertainment industry. Even back in my ultra-liberal days, I was very much against illegal immigration. I was often called a racist for my views. I didn't understand how I could be called a racist as I had multiple ethnicities just within my own band, my own circle of friends, and among the women I dated.

As time went by, I married a brown-skinned woman, and all my friends married white-skinned women. Most of my intellectual friends have moved into the academic life, and buried themselves in various white enclaves. Me? I am surrounded by non-white people.

It seems to me, it would not be very far from the truth to say that those who used to call me racist, by virtue of the lives they lead, do not feel comfortable with people who are not white. It seems to me this is evidence of a certain latent level of racism within their hearts. It seems to me that if they were honest about their views, they would be a lot closer to Mahler, than me. After all, they are the ones producing white-skinned children. They are the ones raising their white-skinned children in white enclaves.

Interesting, huh?

dag said...

Mahler is not simply some cretin who turned from the Left to the neo-Nazi Right. That in itself would condemn most men in the eyes of their fellow Human beings as scum irredeemable; but Mahler is also responsible for murder, not just of some of his colleagues in the Red Army Faction, smuggling guns into the prison cells where they committed suicide, but of killing poicemen and civilians in German, Denmark, the Netherlands, Lebannon and numerous other locations. He goes way beyond being a dilettante cafe revolutionary. The guy is a serious asshole.

What does it mean to us? He's not important in any way I can think of-- except that he's got a good line for some people in our day: he's tapping into a deep vein of ugliness that resides in the common man, a need to be right, to be superiour, to be good, to do great things. And he's a Nazi, and an offical Nazi at that. But what will he be tomorrow? He might well be a Democrat if things turn that way for him by way of opportunity and temperament. I suggest that there are many people who will veer from one extreme to the other, killing people on the way, who'll shrug it off, and who'll go on to the next atrocity or even the next glory without a thought. He is too typical, and he is legion.

What of our mates, those who today pose this way, tomorrow that, who might walk if the kids turn out to be Jewish in hard times? It's a constant battle to maintain the good in the face of the peering evil. What one man says today isn't necessarily what he'll follow through next day. But the nature of the man is hard to disgusie over the long term, the acorn becoming in spite of all an oak tree, not able to pretend it's a carrot. And what, I ask at last, is to prevent those who are evil from taking advantage of circumstances to express their deepest longings to practice their deepest longings? It's us.

We have to stand up and fight. We cannot allow this kind of man to continue to suck in the gullible, those who follow the pack, the well-intentioned, the ones who think of 'Mother Nature' as a good thing, and who think that the NPD is on the right track because they say nice things in a nice way. We have to look at the men behind the masks, to expose them as they are by showing from some careful analysis that they are evil, demonstrably so, and that they will flit from this to that evil and that we must stop them in our time, our duty, a duty we will pass on to others in their time.

Mahler, a piece of shit man, will excel at whatever he does, and some will suffer for it. We have to ensure that those who do are the fewest in number. Our friends might talk a good talk, and when the day is done they'll go back to whatever it is in them that they truly are; but we can shame them, inform them about public opinion to the point they keep themselves under control even if it's skin deep at last. Not Mahler. His is an evil too deep to be contained. But in the end the least we can do is show up the Mahlers to keep the rest from falling under the spells of those who will kill because they are killers and nothing more or less.

The rest, maybe they'll behave. It depends on what we make of our time.

Rick Darby said...

The great majority of people do not arrive at a political position by studying various systems, reading commentary of all sorts, and pondering. Their politics are formed by two factors:

1. The "in" or default position that is considered correct among their peers.

2. The desire to stand out from the crowd (because, for these people, they're inevitably members of a crowd) by carrying the belief system to an even greater extreme.

So a character like Mahler (hope he's not related to the great Gustav Mahler) took on the coloring (Red) of his cohort in Germany. And true to type, he then had to stake his claim to being more leftist-than-thou.

Now his history is repeating itself, albeit in mirror-image fashion.

I'm convinced that politics is more about psychology than ideology. Ideology is an outward sign, psychology the driving force. So, as you note, different or seemingly opposite persuasions often mask an underlying similarity.

dag said...

Funny how the mind works. As I was typing this piece above I kept thinking of Gustav as well. Both saturated in the mind-set of Romanticism, and one is a composer whose works charm and delight; the other a psychopatic killer who dreams of some Wagnerian cartoon world of the mind with himself as superhero.

And that's the best Mahler jr. can do. Those who fail to rise to their own expectations, they are the ones who become embittered and violent, I think. Smart enough to know he doesn't have the imagination or talent of Gustav, Jr. decides to wreck and ruin and kill instead to reify les pensees gran-petit that he's capable of in the hope that people will at least remember his nasty behaviour. A garden slug with delusions of Napoleonic wishes. And I'm sure he's known forever he'll never even manage to fake it in his own mind.