Too Sexy for the Anti-Fascists - Left is Never Left Enough!

We publish below a text which the Gruppe Internationaler KommunistInnen, a German group which is relating positively to the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party, has produced on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, an event which is being commemorated in Germany by both a "Day for Democracy" and a Nazi march. Our comrades denounce both these manifestations of the bourgeoisie.

For us there is no minimal and no maximal program; socialism is one and the same thing: this is the minimum we have to realize today.

Rosa Luxemburg, at the founding Congress of the KPD

The 60th anniversary of the end of the war determines today's political confrontations. Everyone who considers themselves to be some kind of democrat is visibly striving to declare the end of the WWII as a triumph of freedom and democracy. In hypocritical claims to be affected, everyone is considered victims of war and destruction, the efforts to construct our democracy are praised and a national consciousness now cleansed of the mark of national socialism is propagated. By placing the responsibility for war and destruction exclusively in the fanaticism, terror and powers of seduction of the Nazis, the nation celebrates its reconciliation with itself. Germany has learnt from the mistakes of the past, the memory of national socialism is even an elementary part of the national identity (Federal President Köhler), the phrases ring out which, for all parties, summon the return to normality. On this basis the intervention of the Bundeswehr abroad can be legitimised by Germany's historical responsibility for peace and democracy. Questions about the real connections of commodity society, the capitalist causes of fascism and war, will be perceived as rather embarrassing. In a cynic fashion, democracy celebrates itself, the victims of the war and the holocaust are cannibalised, in order to sell us the free democratic basic order as the most pleasant form of capitalist socialisation.

The Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD) as the bugbear of the political scene

The electoral success of the NPD in Saxony [they won 9.2% of the vote in the 2004 Land election] has unleashed an excited debate over the correct way to relate to rightwing extremism. Experts on extremism, religious ministers and politicians excitedly discuss how the lost trust in democracy can be restored and how the citizens' responsibility and civil courage can be strengthened. Unceasingly, the community of all democrats is invoked, the extension of the right to demonstrate is demanded and the establishment of a healthy patriotism spoken about. In doing this, they are visibly striving to continually depict the Nazis as a phenomenon which lies outside of bourgeois society, as misguided individuals and provocateurs, who can either be integrated into civil society or banished by the concerted force of the legal state. With the provocative announcement by the NPD that they were going to march in Berlin on 8th May, this discourse focussed on public spirit and the glorification of the state, received an especially explosive jolt. In order to avoid the damage to our country's reputation, which should be understood as meaning there might be bad effects on the willingness of foreign companies to invest, the government, the parties, the unions and the non-governmental organisations called for a Day for Democracy around the Brandenburg Gate. The aim of this was, according to the Federal Chancellor's declared wish, to bring about a powerful demonstration of upright and decent people against the violence of the right. These circumstances unleashed a veritable stream of enthusiasm among certain self-proclaimed leftwingers. And so the Trotskyist Linksruck were there in large numbers, fantasising about new perspectives for the anti-Nazi struggle:

Schröder has called for a protest against the NPD. We salute this step and call on everyone to make their way to Berlin. A broad front of the Social Democrats, the Greens, Attac [anti-globalisation group], ASG [Arbeit und soziale Gerechtigkeit - Work and Social Justice (!) Party], the unions, immigrant organisations and anti-fascists can stop the NPD on this day.

But this is stupid. This spectacle was not about stopping the NDP, but about pledging faith in our democracy, which was expressly stressed by one of the stars of the show, the President of the Parliament, Thierse: "The Day for Democracy, which the Senate called for 8th May, is not a demonstration against the NPD.

We did not call for it to spread alarm; it is not a question of the last means for mobilising the masses. The Day for Democracy should rather show who this country belongs to and who determines what happens there.

Whoever has the cheek to work up enthusiasm for this event with the drum of anti-fascism, and many self-proclaimed left or socialist groups and organisations have, makes of themselves apprentices in the work for the completion of the deployment of bourgeois political forces. Once again it turns out that the supposedly so clever concept of the broad anti-fascist front in the final analysis leads to the defence of the status quo.

Against the Nazis, but not just against them

All this does not mean that the Nazis are nor a danger. They are a problem, but one of many. As we have already shown elsewhere when treating this question, we are not of the opinion that the Nazis are outside of the present authoritarian and nationalist deployment of forces. They do not embody either protest or opposition to current conditions, but they radicalise our rulers' daily disseminated ideologies and slogans in their own sense. Therefore, the Nazis are not to be fought as an extreme outside of democracy, but as radical protagonists of bourgeois ideologies and ways of seeing things. No matter how correct and important it is to fight the Nazis, it is idiotic to anti-fascistically place oneself in civil society, or to relate to democracy in any positive way. The struggle against the Nazis is, for us, part of the comprehensive anti-capitalist struggle to overcome all forms of bourgeois domination. In opposition to main body of the rest of the left, we would not even dream of thanking the Allied war partners for their missions, of glorifying the imperialist massacres of WWII as noble and disinterested warfare for freedom and democracy or of abstracting from the imperialist aims which determined the conduct of war by the Allies and were everything other than emancipatory.

No power to the state - Farewell to the anti-fascists!

The essence of anti-fascism is to resist fascism by defending democracy. The anti-fascist proposal runs like this: because of the fascist danger, the struggle against capitalism is to be suspended, the democratic state is to be defended as the lesser evil and civilised by applying sufficient pressure. Wanting to defend democracy implies the acceptance of, the promotion of and, in the end, succumbing to, the myth of the state as a class-neutral entity. It means strengthening the state, subjecting oneself to its violence and robbing oneself of any possibility of any self-activity against state power. It means chaining the proletariat to the state and leaving defenceless before the state's repression. Consequently, anti-fascism fails where it promises effectiveness - preventing the transformation of democracy into an open dictatorship through the widest possible alliance of all do-gooders. All attempts to dress anti-fascism up as revolutionary either lead to shameful compromises, with the state presenting itself as a democratic power for order and the best anti-fascist, or to catastrophe, with the revolution being renounced in the name of anti-fascist unity. As an ideology which glorifies the state and leads to the renunciation of the revolution in practice, anti-fascism is just as much directed against the proletariat as is fascism. Whoever really wants to defeat fascism must combat anti-fascism - and vice versa. The alternative facing humanity, given worldwide capitalism's developing potential for destruction, is not democracy or fascism, but now as before, socialism or barbarism. The only perspective leading out of this dilemma of the society of the commodity consists in the struggle for everything, of the declaration of war against the dictatorship of capital: with all means, on all levels and against all forms of bourgeois ideology!

For the classless society free of states!

Gruppe Internationaler SozialistInnen (April 2005)

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