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The FAZ Article (19.09.04) was called Land der Träumer by Alexander Marguier. Marguier, using a couple of scenes from the famous film Pulp Fiction as his starting point, does a wonderful job deconstructing the German psyche, covering both the anti-americanism and the tendency towards voting for radical parties.

Aller Achtung!.

I agree with Oliver's comparison with the last French election. There is a combination of active constiuencies, but it has all the signs of a disorganized protest vote. Poeple are not satisfied, but they don't know what to do about it yet.

Sleepy: comparisons with the Clinton presidency welfare reform may not apply in this case. Clinton's hand was forced by a widespread social concensus that welfare in the U.S. had to change. There is no sign of that in the BRD as far as I can tell from the German and British media.

brazzo wrote
>>Dont call us KRAUTS, you dumb ZUPFER

I didn't. It was a poster named Shawn. And what's a ZUPFER?

unimportant: Thank you very much. I wonder now if Germans overall regret the unification. How sad.

Pamela: I don't think that the Germans generally regret the unification (even if a lot of us talk as if they would). But they was no opportunity anyway: If another East German state would have remained, they would not have lost 2,5 mio. people, but about 10 mio. people which would have moved to West Germany. But to refer to this blog: It's the media too, which does not show the benefits, the progress and the many things that came with the unification (especially the well-doped east german athletes ;-) just kidding). And at the end of the day it is easy to blame the East Germans for whining (which pisses me off sometimes), but the most of them have been taught that the state IS responsible for creating jobs and to provide welfare to them. And in (west german) TV they had seen that it works in West Germany. And now when they are there it turns out to be a fake - no wonder, that they are angry. But there is nothing to do, they (and we all) have to go through it.

One could even say, that the unification even has fueled the process of changing the welfare state. Without East Germany, the country would have another trillion Euros or two to spend (waste) it. Schröder is definitely not my favourite politician, but he has the balls to start the reforms (as dilletantic they may be in some details). Mr. Kohl wasn't willing to swallow that pill...

@ Anonymous

"Although it is an old chestnut, it seems clear that Europeans (besonders die Deutschen) still mistake the terms "left" and "right" in U.S. politics for the terms "left" and "right" in European politics. On the European scale, Clinton-Bush-Kerry line up directly on top of one another. They are politically identical. Any differences in their practical politics (relative to Europe's vast spectrum) is entirely one of personal nuance."

That may correspond with some European's perception of reality. However, that perception of reality is wrong. Clinton-Bush-Kerry don't line up with each other "on the European scale" or any other scale. If a European or anyone else suggests that they do, it simply shows that person is either too lazy to inform himself about the differences, or is personally indifferent to them. The differences are real and significant in either case.

@Bob:
Why do so few people like the FDP? The answer is simple: Nobody likes to be told an uncomfortable truth, and the FDP is the only party who keeps telling uncomfortable truths at least since Graf Lambsdorff has published his paper on economic reform in 1982. Yes, indeed, since 1982. For 22 years now, the FDP proposes to get rid of our huge welfare state and rely on free markets instead.

But of course, for most Germans it's much more comfy to believe the people who keep telling us that the status quo can be maintained perpetually. It's important to notice that even the neo-nazi parties in Brandenburg and Sachsen did not win votes with platforms that are anti-semitic or argue openly against foreigners. Rather, they ran on anti-globalisation, anti-capitalist and pro-welfare state platforms!

i guess that is sort of my question. here in the states, southern politicians would sometimes invoke the concept of 'states rights' during the civil rights era. the politicians would claim they wanted to protect their states' autonomy, but everyone understood that to be pro state rights was the same as being anti civil rights, ie. it was a code word for racism, at least for some.
So i am curious if you think the "anti-globalisation, anti-capitalist" platforms are masking xenophobic attitudes as well.

bobtom,
Why do so few people like the FDP? The answer is simple: Nobody likes to be told an uncomfortable truth, and the FDP is the only party who keeps telling uncomfortable truths

That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. The FDP is a bunch of laughing stocks who call themselves the "party of the well-to-do" ("Partei der Besserverdienenden") and who still are recovering from the legacy left by their deceased megalomaniac leader Moellemann who thought he could win 18 percent or more by running an anti-Semitic, anti-Israel campaign. I honestly hope you're not referring to Moellemann's notorious flyer-campaign when you talk about "uncomfortable truths." Why on Earth should anyone vote for these people?

BTW. The FDP had almost three decades "to get rid of our huge welfare state and rely on free markets instead." As you may remember, they were continuously part of the Bundesregierung (federal government) from 1969 to 1998.

@Jo:

Obviously you forgot or don't know that Moellemann was expelled from the FDP because of his wicked flyer.

This is a big problem in Germany: the leftists always accuse their political opponents (Christian Democrats, FDP) of beeing nazis. This makes it difficult to fight the extreme right wing parties (NPD, DVU).

For instance, it was a big scandal when Moellemann made a person named Karsli change from the Green fraction to the FDP fraction in the state parliament of Northrhine-Westphalia. Karsli's antisemitism and antiamericanism suddently were noticed by the press. Of course, he had written and said those things for years, while beeing member of the Greens. Back then there was no scandal at all. Of course, Greens may say those things...

And by the way: the Greens are now the "party of the well-to-do", as recent studies show.

@Robert
Obviously you forgot or don't know that Moellemann was expelled from the FDP because of his wicked flyer.
Yes, I do know this. But this doesn't change the fact that Moellemann inflicted a huge damage to the FDP which they are still suffering from.

the leftists always accuse their political opponents (Christian Democrats, FDP) of beeing nazis
Aren't you generalizing a little bit? Also, there is a difference between being a nazi and being an anti-Semite. So viel Zeit muss sein.

And by the way: the Greens are now the "party of the well-to-do"
Exactly, that is part of the reason why we don't need the FDP anymore. However, the Greens are not so stupid to offend their not-so-well-doing voters by making such a claim.

When I was in Europe I was shocked at how much people knew about US politics. The sad part is that such knowledge is part of an unhealthy obsession and tendency towards self-aggrandizement through resentment, rather than a healthy habit of keeping informed. Plus it leads to idiotic posturing where a Belgian student (for but one example) assumes that just because he knows so much about American politics, I should know everything that's going on in Belgium...and if I don't, it's because I'm a "stupid American". Of course when I ask the Belgian "who's the PM of Estonia", he has no clue.

Anyway, I was wondering how much of Germany's current economic troubles are due to a poor economy. I've heard that the German economy is doing quite well, particularly compared to say, France. I'm well aware that Germany is the bread basket of the EU and that German taxpayers send hordes of money to develpment funds in Corsica, Sicily, and...soon...Turkey. How much of an impact has this had on the current financial crisis?

Jason

@Jo

>> Obviously you forgot or don't know that Moellemann was
>> expelled from the FDP because of his wicked flyer.
>
>Yes, I do know this.

Then I don't understand why you were wondering whether bobtom ment Moellemann's antisemitic flyer when he was talking about the 'uncomfortable truth' told by the FDP.

> But this doesn't change the fact that Moellemann inflicted a
> huge damage to the FDP which they are still suffering from.

Are they? The FDP is not in a crisis. The FDP has been gaining votes in every election in the past years.

>> And by the way: the Greens are now the "party of the
>> well-to-do"
> Exactly, that is part of the reason why we don't need the FDP
> anymore.

"We?".

The FDP and the Greens are two very different parties. Most FDP voters would never vote for the Greens and vice versa.

Moellemann was right with the "project 18". that was the last real vision a german politician had for a long time. and they where something about 10%, untill he came up with anti-semitic bullshit.
it was a "story" something what grab the attantion of the public with an ambitious idea. and exactly that is what at least i am missing at the fdp or in german politics at all.

Today after getting home from work I fliiped on the TV. CNN Headline news had a newsflash at the bottom saying "Anti-immigrant parties win big in German elections."

Is this an accurate assessment by CNN?


re ted

Yeah wasnt it around 2001 november or march, and the FDP was supposed to have 10% of the election in that particular State. I was living in the NL and singularly dependent on the FAZ for news, but discounting Moellemann's anti-semitic fantasies why is there no immediate support for what seems to be a very moderate social and somewhat capitalistic party? Moellemann at least in my recollection was second in charge if not the figurehead of the party on a regional level. So he doesnt like Jews. Joschka Fischer if I remember correctly did go to Palestine to train with the PLO for terrorist activities and to North Africa to attend a PLO love-fest. Schily, though obviously a very principaled man and not one I would link to an opportunist like Fischer, represented Gudrun Enslin. Regardless both of these two would not be admitted into the US currently because of their previous close ties to terrorist groups and yet I never read anything about that in an accusatory tone in the major papers. But Moellemann who has been expelled from the FDP for being a disgusting anti-semite has managed somehow to poison an entire party? How is that proportional or just? It reminds me of something my old chef used to say after seeing the placards on university walls describing the union of students against right radicals--where are the NAZIs you are supposed to be fighting against? Why is it that all this campus agitation has not erased the disgusting stickers featuring Rudolf Hess on his death-date that one finds on playgrounds on his anniversary? Not to mention the grafitti that accompanies Hitler's birthday. Why is it that the press will not forgive the FDP, but they will that Putz from the SPD whose rallying cry was 'children instead of Indians'?

@ Ray D.-

The German media would also be well advised to pay greater attention to internal political affairs and the failings of Germany's leaders. Granted, It certainly wouldn't be as profitable as bashing George W. Bush and the United States, but it might save the nation from future election embarrassments.

Ich muss mich doch etwas wundern - die US-Wahl wird hier sehr genau beobachtet, mit einer eindeutigen Präferenz und Stimmungsmache für Kerry - sachlich meiner Ansicht nach richtig -, aber zu behaupten, das Versagen der deutschen Politik würde demgegenüber nicht ausreichend gecovered, ist einfach grundfalsch. Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie genau Ray und David die Tagespresse verfolgen, aber wenn sie etwas genauer hinsehen würden, wären sie überrascht, das die Anzahl der Artikel, die über die Landtagswahlen geschrieben werden, diejenigen weit übertrifft, die über die US-Wahl geschrieben werden (um mal bei Ray D.´s Art der Argumentation zu bleiben). Abgesehen davon, das man eher eine Bundestagswahl mit der US-Wahl vergleichen sollte, sind es doch vorrangig "internal political affairs and the failings of Germany's leaders", welche in den Medien behandelt werden. Ich schlage vor, nicht nur den "Auslandsteil" der Zeitungen zu lesen, wenn man diese Art der vergleichenden Medienkritik betreiben will.

(Um der vorhersehbaren Replik vorzugreifen: Nein, ich habe keine Zeit, meinen eigenen Blog zu starten, leider.)

bob,
Why is it that the press will not forgive the FDP
It's not about forgiving or not fogiving. The FDP is just not important enough at this point to even bother with them.

Putz from the SPD whose rallying cry was 'children instead of Indians'
That's a blatant lie. As you should know, Juergen Ruettgers and his CDU came up with this in his 2000 campaign.

Robert,
Then I don't understand why you were wondering whether bobtom ment Moellemann's antisemitic flyer

I was trying to provoke him. Interestingly enough, he (or you for that matter) never answered my question why the FDP didn't use their 29 years in the federal government to implement the paper by Lambsdorf that he was referring to. Why didn't they stop Helmut Kohl from promising "flourishing landscapes" when they really endorsed a "slim state" policy and when they really were so keen on telling "the uncomfortable truth" to the people.

Why is the FDP not important?

The FDP governs (as small coalition partner) 4 of 16 german states (3 of 11 western states, 1 of 5 eastern states). The FDP has representatives in 11 of 16 german state parliaments (9 of 11 in the west, 2 of 5 in the east). It also has
representatvies in the national parliament (Bundestag) and the EU-parliament.

Let's compare with other 'small" parties:
The Greens govern (as small coalition partner) 2 of 16 german states (2 of 11 western states, 0 of 5 eastern states). The Greens have representatives in 12 of 16 west german state parliaments (11 of 11 in the west, 1 of 5 in the east). They also have
representatvies in the national parliament (Bundestag) and the EU-parliament.

The PDS (communists, former east german dictators) governs (as small coalition partner) 2 of 16 german states (0 of 11 western states, 2 of 5 eastern states). The PDS has representatives in 5 of 16 german state parliaments (0 of 11 in the west, 5 of 5 in the east). It also has
representatvies in the national parliament (only 2) and the EU-parliament.

By the way: the next two state elections in 2005 will probably bring an end to the last two 'red-green' (Social Democrats and Greens) state goverments and change them to 'black-yellow' (Christian Democrats and FDO) , so the greens would not even
govern in one german state and the FDP would govern in 6.

So, when the FDP is not important, I suppose only the 2 'big' parties (Christian Democrats, Social Democrats) are important?

The FDP gained votes in 26 out of the 27 latest elections (losses only in the new elections for the state parliament of Hamburg).

The FDP is THE german party which promotes small goverment, personal freedom and personal responsibility (no.2: Christian Democrats). The FDP is the most US-friendly party in germany (again no.2: Christian Democrats). I think the not-german readers of this blog should know this. When they read what you (Jo) wrote they certainly believe the FDP is an anti-semitic right-wing party (which they are not, wacko Moellemann was expelled).

The NPD is a mainstream party too, because more than a third of the leadership men were state agents. German Secret Service seems to play a dual role, there were many strange cases, where secret service men warned NPD activists, shortly before a police raid was planned.
Or secret service people financing the production and distribution of neo nazi CDs.
Apart from that, I dislike racism and anti-semitism, but the success of the NPD isnt only this "neo nazi" theme. I know a few people who voted for them, because the NPD is centering on some themes, all parties have forgotten or arent caring about. Like the downfall of the german language, the destruction of the DM, the growing problems with criminal east-european young immigrants etc.
I think 2/3 vote for the NPD ,even if they are racist and have revisionist programs ( speaking of East Germany as "Middle Germany", insinuating that they want the former east back. )
They only talk about the violations on the Wehrmacht, not about the criminal and disgusting
war crimes done BY the Wehrmacht.
Protest voters dont know this - or vote for them,
because they are caring (?) about themes neglected by the other parties.
If the Neo-Communist would try a more national-communist way, these may help to detract these protest voters.
The diehard neonazi core is "only" around 2-3 percent. This is terrible enough.

Someone earlier on asked where all the CDU voters went.
Saxony:
CDU:
178.000 became non-voters
39.000 to the NPD
38.000 to the FDP
23.000 to the PDS
The NPD got voters from every party, except for the Greens.
NPD:
39.000 from the CDU
10.000 from the PDS
70.000 from former non-voters
Source: http://www.sz-online.de/nachrichten/artikel.asp?id=681441

In Brandenburg, as far as I've heard, many former CDU-voters voted for the SPD to prevent an election victory for the PDS. Haven't found an article referring to this, sorry.

One thing I'd like to mention is, that those people who voted for the DVU or the NPD aren't just a bunch of protest voters. Everyone in her/his right mind (well, maybe I'm expecting too much) knows exactly what those parties stand for.
Even if you dislike the Hartz reforms, which is understandable, there is absolutely no excuse for supporting anti-semitic and racist parties.
I've made my fair share of unpleasant experiences with Nazis, got beaten up and stuff, and my tolerance stops if it comes to right-wing extremists.

@bob: "It reminds me of something my old chef used to say after seeing the placards on university walls describing the union of students against right radicals--where are the NAZIs you are supposed to be fighting against? Why is it that all this campus agitation has not erased the disgusting stickers featuring Rudolf Hess on his death-date that one finds on playgrounds on his anniversary? Not to mention the grafitti that accompanies Hitler's birthday."
Well, you mentioned campus activity. I live in a small university town with has only about 130,000 citizens and lies in the middle of nowhere (in southern Lower Saxony). This town experienced, like all other German cities and villages, a massive swing to the right shortly after the reunification. Asylum seekers were beaten up, Kameradschaften were created and so on. This place would've developed like so many other places all across the country. Thankfully this was prevented, not by the police btw.
The liberal climate helped the Antifa to receive widespread support from various political parties, from the unions and the churches. Within years racist and fascist activity was basically shut down.
This however doesn't mean that all the Nazis left or that they stopped all of their activity. A few years ago someone painted swastikas on gravestones on a jewish cemetary and the NPD tried for several times to stage a demonstration here ("Erklärtes Ziel von NPD und Neonazis war es daher, den "Kampf um die Straße" auch in die als Hochburg gewaltbereiter Linksextremisten geltende "rote Frontstadt" Göttingen hineinzutragen. Der militanten Antifa-Szene sollte verdeutlicht werden, dass sie "nationale" Demonstrationen in Göttingen auf Dauer nicht verhindern könne." http://fhh.hamburg.de/stadt/Aktuell/behoerden/inneres/landesamt-fuer-verfassungsschutz/archiv/archiv-2001/npd-und-freie-nationalisten-demo-goettingen-artikel,templateId=renderPrintversion,pDocumentFolderPath=_2FAktuell_2Fbehoerden_2Finneres_2Flandesamt-fuer-verfassungsschutz_2Farchiv_2Farchiv-2001.html

Successful antifascist activity is possible. Those who relativize the danger of right-wing extremism, simply ignore it or hope that it will just pass by are acting careless.

Sorry, the comment above was mine.

That typical National Socialism = Socialism thing.
He was a socialist because his party was called Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, that's hilarious.
Hitler, not having much of a concept about economics, adopted a few socialist or corporatist ideas. The NSDAP also used Keynes. They adopted conservative ideas, racism and nationalism. It was a potpuree, an huddle of all sorts of ideologies. Hitler doesn't really fit into a simple left-right scheme. His social policies were merely right-wing while his economic policies are somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum.

Just ask yourself this: who voted for him, who supported him and who is responsible for his takeover!

"Hitler did not step in through the Right door to the stage of history, but through the Left one." If that were true, Hitler wouldn't have been apointed as Chancellor by Hindenburg. The right-wing parties underestimated Hitler, the left-wing parties did that as well, and thought that by granting him the chancellorship, he'd become more moderate (he took care of all those evil leftists but things got a little bit out of control afterwards, didn't they?).

As for THE Left being anti-semitic. Sadly you're partly right. There are antisemites in all political or social groups. And what we've experienced in the last 30 years considering anti-semitism among leftists in Germany, not to speak of the antisemitism in the SU, is really worrying.

Maybe this helps:
http://de.indymedia.org/2003/01/39255.shtml
http://www.jungewelt.de/2002/08-12/001.php
http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/aam/2003/01_irakkrieg/index_tagx.htm
http://de.indymedia.org/2003/03/43102.shtml

http://www.puk.de/aka/hauptseite.php
http://www.puk.de/AundK/

http://www.antisemitismusstreit.tk/

To the people that wrote about the FDP:

1. The FDP has a History of links with Nazis.
Some might remember the "Naumann circle" (Werner Naumann was secretary of state in the Nazi Propagandaministerium), a group of ex Gauleiters and other Nazi staff. Ernst Achenbach wanted to give Nazis a new political home in the still young bundesrepublik and invited them to join the FDP. British officials disbanded the Naumann circle leaving the project unfinished.

Möllemans Projekt 18 was criticised as meaning the first and eight letter of the alphabet a and h standing for Adolf Hitler (not by crazed leftists but by members of his very own party)

The FDP got their 10% after the Projekt 18 campaign BECAUSE of Möllemanns antisemitism. He got 9.5% IIRC.

2. The FDP has a history of supporting anti semitic regimes
Before Klaus Kinkel Joined the FDP (but after he had already worked for Genscher) he was head of the BND. In 1978 he and Horst Herold (of the BKA) got together with Iraqi officials to discuss a tight cooperation of the secret service and the police. Saddams secret service officers got their training at Schloß Hirschberg near Weilheim. (The same is true for the racist regime of South Africa). In the early 80s Kinkel arranged a 10 million DM deal between Wenzel Hruby and Iraq regarding machine guns and training of special forces.
Theres more - even high ranking FDP members helped Saddam get chemical weapons, selling tanks to Arab countries,...

plus:
The Hartz reforms are NOT libertarian. Hartz IV helps to establish a state owned workforce. It's more of a "Reichsarbeitsdienst" than a reform for "free" markets.

@ Niko:
Despit it's name the NSDAP was not a leftist party, neither was it seen as one by it's voters. While it's true that they lent classic elemnts of social democratic and sometimes even socialist agitation they had close ties to other rightist organizations and groups (Stahlhelm, Kaisertreue,..) and recieved support and money by the big German Corporations like Krupp (as well as some international - Ford, IBM,..). Once in power they smashed the unions (how very socialist!) and killed thousands of communists.

Many Germans are essentialy anti-modern, nationalist, antisemitic, anticapitalist pricks.
I like "your" term anti-modernists - this helps to see a fundamental difference between communism and nationalsocialism: communism is a - maybe THE - modern ideology, while the Nazis Both want back to the future, eternal, romanticist, statist Umma.

@ ceeoneest
"communism is a - maybe THE - modern ideology, while the Nazis Both want back to the future, eternal, romanticist, statist Umma."
That's something many people seem to forget. Communism is seen as the final evolutionary phase of society, capitalism is just seen as a phase in history, not as the end of it. Therefore communists according to marxist theory aren't anti-modernists but the exact opposite - the most progressive force in today's societies.

@ Niko
"I guess you got me wrong. My point is that the whole 'left-wing/right-wing' classification is merely useless. Hitler rode on a 'this is what we're gonna do for the ordinary people' ticket. Free vacations, summer camps, work for everyone - Kraft durch Freude. If that's not a typical Socialist agenda, what is it then? Also, the NSDAP was not perceived as a right-wing party, i.e. a National Conservative party, but it was rooting for the same prospective voters as the Communists and Socialists. Remember, the AP stands for Arbeiter-Partei, while the other National Conservative parties had clear elitist origins and ambitions."
Is Bismarck a socialist? No, he simply introduced The Krankenversicherung to alienate the workers from socialist parties, while at the same time ruthlessly persecuting socialists. Hitler did the exact same thing. He smashed the unions and killed or arrested communists and socialists while at the same time creating things like KdF, etc. to please working class people. Those groups were considered the biggest threat for the success of Hitler's takeover. Therefore it was only logical that he tried to annihilate the 'red danger' first. After the consolidation of his power he could turn his attention to other groups of society.
It was rooting for the same voters as the SPD or the KPD? Well, that's completely wrong. The typical NSDAP voter, if you allow me to generalize a bit, was male, protestant, owner of a small shop, living in rural areas. Some elements within the NSDAP, in the 20s, like Strasser et al. tried to target industrial workers, but those socialist elements were fiercely fought by Hitler (I hope you know what happened to Strasser). Industrial workers remained relatively immune to Nazi propaganda, which explins the low percentage of NSDAP voters in places like the Ruhr Valley. (see http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1373/is_n10_v48/ai_21207858 )

"Furthermore, it does not really matter who appointed Hitler. They did not so because Hitler had scored any viable victory in an election, but because a significant proportion of German stakeholders wanted the system Hitler, i.e. an anti-Modernist society. It's exactly this part of the German population that regained its strength during the 80's and 90's. Both want back to the future, an utopian, eternal, romanticist, statist Umma."
It doesn't matter who appointed him? Hitler was appointed because he promised to get rid of the 'red scare'. The elite feared a socialist/communist takeover and Hitler was seen as 'the man' to get rid of those people. And he kept his promise. Those who appointed him were reactionary forces, they were staunch anti-communists and anti-modernists (if you prefer that term). They rejected the democratic, republican state and wanted back (not to some socialist utopia) to the past. Natinal Conservatives were Hitler's allies and they didn't hesitate as did the more moderate parties in the Reichstag to grant Hitler's Enabling Act, which established the dictatorial rule of the NSDAP and ended the Weimar Republic.

I agree with your assessment that the far-right and islamofascists have become some sort of allies. This is not a new development, as you already mentioned. Recently we've seen Irak and Palestine flags at demonstrations of right-wing extremists and there are ties between the NPD and Hamas for example. (see http://www.taz.de/pt/2000/12/09/a0136.nf/text)

Many people on the left are finally starting to realize the threat of religious fundamentalism (they criticized christian fundamentalism but ignored islamic fundamentalism so far). This changes, recently leftist, homosexuals have become targets of young muslims. Shopwindows were destroyed, people were beaten up...


To those observing the malaise in Germany, one must agree that the country is at a turning point in history. The obvious question is how will Germany navigate itself through a complicated minefield of atavistic history, needed reform and opportunity with the EU. Furthermore, will Germany be able to rise like a Phoenix from it piling economic ashes and apply itself in a new definition of globalisation?

Writers observations on the recent parties victories for the NPD, SPD and DVU are as divergent as about possible: from : "not to worry", "it is concerning" to "bush is Hitler." Outside of this web Blog, personally, I observe a great sense of hypocrisy about the Germans per se. They, their media, their government and any Tom-Dick-and-Harry certainly like to ridicule the world's oldest continuously running democracy (USA) while not even slightly showing even a mild concern about voters return to the extreme left and right.

@JustinSane. I agree with your assessment as to the power-base of Hitler. Additionally, I think that we also need to pay attention to societal institutions that were in existence prior to the rise of Hitler. You made mention of this that the economist Keynes' teachings were exploited by the NSDAP. This is correct, coupled with Bismarck’s projects of starting a socialist state, which were compromises, to avert a Marxist take-over. By the time the NSDAP had taken power, many of the institutions and control mechanisms were already in place and operating. FA Hayek, member of the Austrian School of Economics and Nobel Laureate, is one of the few who has made notice of this. He along with fellow Austrian Edward von Mises, author of Omnipotent government, felt that essentially a liberal democracy can thrive when the intervention of the government is limited.

So, conclusively, whether the left or the right was different, is not really the issue of extreme consequence. In Germany, at least, in the 20s both parties use violence to further their political agenda. However for posterity, the difference was that the Nazi's believed cult-like in an ethically pure society where the industrial resources would be controlled by aristocrats and the party. The communists (soviets), believed that the resources of the country would be controlled by the party.

Both horrible systems had ultimate control over the resources of the state and over it's people.

The NDP today is just adopting proven successful slogans like (kein Blut für Ol) to gain votes (the Green party originally did this with don't be a clone and showed pictures of Bush). Voters should be concerned with the NDP's other, more subtle, slogans like the recapture of those German lands taken/awarded to Poland following the end of WWII.

Additionally, Eastern Germans per se, don't desire opportunities they desire equality. Wessis desire freedom before equality. Hopefully a reasonable coalition in Germany can be established that returns the need for work, not the necessity for work, and slowly reverse the 100 years of continuous attempts of the State to place sugar sweet solutions in voters mouths for their own exploitation. In my own country, I can only hope that Bush's reckless spending on programs will be brought back down, so that this opiate will not corrupt voters minds. I am, after all, a Libertarian and an Austrian Free Market economist.


@JustinSane
"communism is a - maybe THE - modern ideology, while the Nazis Both want back to the future, eternal, romanticist, statist Umma." That's something many people seem to forget. Communism is seen as the final evolutionary phase of society, capitalism is just seen as a phase in history, not as the end of it. Therefore communists according to marxist theory aren't anti-modernists but the exact opposite - the most progressive force in today's societies.

Well, this is disputable. People often think that as communism was (recently) invented as a philosophy by Marx and it was last "falsely" implemented, that it is the end of history. I think that Francis Fukuyama in his book the end of history and the last name argued, quite well, that liberal democracy was, in fact, the end of history.

Pre-emptively, any attempt to corner in describing the USA as a "capitalist" society is really a foolish stretch. The country is irreversibly inundated with programs like Medicare, Medicaid, social security, unemployment compensation, etc. Many of these projects were started/enhanced under LBJ's foolish notion of the grand society. Ironically, GW Bush comes in at number 2 in, historically speaking, presidents who have increased federal public spending on such notions. So, I like many Germans, do disagree with George Bush, but for far different reasons.


De re: JustinSame

If you are talking about Goettingen, I would have you know that the graffitti desecrating the Jewish Cemetary that I saw in February 2000 lasted uncleaned until August 2000. When queried, locals said that they could not be bothered to repair the Jewish cemetary everytime it was desecrated. So forgive me if I seem a little skeptical about the student anti-fascist groups in Goettingen, they did not clean the tombstones. And I would expect that allowing swastikas and the pithy aphorisms would not be in the first line of their attack. They didnt do shit. It would take a day or two to clean them and no one did. So when the subject of student activism is brought up as eradicating far right behaviour by slogans and marches, I find it somewhat distinguished from what happens concretely.

@ bob
Sorry bob, but what you've written is false. Don't know where you got your information from (first hand?) but far-right graffitties are usually removed within days either by the authorities or by political groups. This time 43 gravestones were besmeared and as far as I've seen all of them were removed within days. I was there late February 2000 and at that time I couldn't see any graffittis on any of those gravestones. So, this is my personal experience. If you know something I don't, please tell me.
Also, as a response to the attack the following happened as well: http://www.nadir.org/nadir/periodika/einsatz/43/r1.html
http://www.goest.de/dgb.htm

Thankfully those incidents don't happen as often as you said. It was the first of such incidents since 1995 when 11 gravestones were demolished. Although it must be said that one of such attacks is one too many.

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