Beethoven Versus McDonalds
Attempts by fascist groups in American cities, and against American
soldiers and officers in the Frankfurt region during the second
half of 1982, were originally attributed to us by the State Security,
but even after the Hepp Group's arrest, also by left reformists
who considered us morally responsible.
A TAZ journalist was right in thanking the BKA for arresting these
fascists, thus allowing that armed groups from the left not be considered
for these actions, but by her attitude she insinuated that a doubt
could exist: according to her the guerrilla would have easily been
capable of these kinds of actions.
The journal Radikal, even if it has a completely different perspective,
uses the fascist bombs as a pretext to open a discussion on "border
cases" somewhere between RZ, cop and fascist, and criticizes
in the same breath "the mishandling and errors" committed
during actions which are part of our movement.
Even though a debate on the objectives and the organization of
armed politics from the left is particularly necessary now, anti-
American attempts by a fascist group are a bad starting point for
a discussion. The disorientation and lack of certainty regarding
these attempts cannot be explained by a "diffused actionism"
or a lack of depth of the militant and armed left politics which
would have provoked this. We couldn't discuss in the same manner
a few attempts, problematic because of the choice of target or technique,
which occurred partially during the expulsion of squatters in Berlin,
and the series of fascist plots. People who amalgamate them not
only negligently pass over the different political motivations of
these actions, but also prevent the discussion of the real reasons
of this disorientation: a latent anti-Americanism which also exists
in the heart of the German left, a lightness of analysis and lack
of interest which led to the ignorance of the developments in the
fascist spectre and real common moments between fascist actions
and secret service operations, and in spite of the 1980 Munich blood
bath, in spite of the murderous campaign against immigrant or Jewish
labourers. Outside any moral judgement of the Hepp Group's actions
it should have become obvious at the latest after the attempts which
were directed against isolated members of the American army, that
the group was moving towards an anti- Americanism wave which we
reject and will fight as a political conceptualization.
It shows a lack of good faith to insinuate that attempts directed
against the American army, against American installations, against
NATO's logistic, against communication networks and against American
multi-nationals, and claimed by the Revolutionary Cells, the RAF,
and a number of independent groups, could have originated from the
same anti-American political line or a comparable one, or even that
these groups would consider such a line favourably.
These actions were without exception anti-imperialist and contained
in themselves the possibility of deepening the failures and contradictions
which exist at the heart of the American army and of supporting
racial and national minorities' resistance. We attacked officers'
mess, not simple soldiers' and not supermarkets. We exploded bombs
against subsidiaries of American multi-nationals, ensuring that
no small German or American employee suffered the least amount of
injuries. The American Army general headquarters in Frankfurt were
often the target of attacks, actions were directed against military
fuel depots (storage facilities) but never against gas stations
which are situated in zones reserved for American housing. Finally,
it is not without reason that we chose Reagan's visit in Europe
and the NATO summit meeting as a pretext for a series of actions
- and not something like a Sammy Davis Jr. concert or the extension
of Dallas' airtime. The latest attempts against SEL in Dusseldorf
and against IBM in Reutlingen leave no doubt concerning the differences.
Those who have followed our practice and our political positions
know that we reject diffuse politics directed against segments of
the people, that we reject terrorism. Strategies of tension, of
blood baths, belong to the arena of fascist groups or secret services
for whom human beings are only pawns that can be sacrificed for
a small profit. They use the fear of the population to benefit their
politics which concerns itself with influencing or modifying institutions.
On the other hand, we consider ourselves as a part of a weak anti-imperialist
and social-revolutionary current in the FRG and West Berlin, the
extension and the political and military stabilization of which
we will continue to contribute to. Our long liberation struggle
originates from the base and does not play with either the life
of individuals or that of our own friends. We still find ourselves
in the first phase of this process, where the question is to essentially
lead the struggle to win "the heart and mind" of people
and not to lead a war.
That we use in our struggle the same armaments and explosives than
the right and cops must not lead to the conclusion that they are
used in the same manner!
Armaments or explosives, typewriters or printing machines, cameras
or musical instruments, all these can be used as instruments for
our struggles: it depends on how they are used and whom they are
The political responsibility of the anti-American attempts does
not fall on the armed left groups, but rather on a certain part
of the peace movement which practices a diffuse nationalism, which
disseminates the absurd idea that the FRG is an "occupied country",
which is awakening a German patriotism and is abandoning the left
politics while it equates the question of missile deployment with
a question of national identity. The frontier between anti-imperialism
and the mobilization of anti-American feelings has to melt when
the leaders of the peace movement support their protest against
over-armament and the Pershing missiles by appealing to the feelings
of honour of the German people against a quasi-colonial slavery.
There is also an enormous difference between considering McDonalds
as an American food cartel which imposed intensive work organizational
norms as well as extreme salary degradations and put in place around
the world an agro-food business, and to consider it an expression
of "Yankee" culture. Those who make Coca-Cola a synonym
of genocide and consider it the principle form of cultural imperialism,
and place it on the same level as the American government support
of all military dictators, remove from themselves the possibility
of understanding the fascist origin of nationalist or anti-American
The political scandal is not the fact that the fascists transformed
these positions which are also present in the peace movement into
military actions to their advantage. The scandal is that these positions
can exist and that they could have imposed themselves in a process
of delineation and in the struggle of social-revolutionary and anti-imperialist
positions led by left reformists of all tendencies, in the cartels
which call for the signature of petitions going through TAZ and
including the Greens. And this is the way in which the will of the
peace movement alliances led in part consciously, in part with naivety,
to nationalist or fascist positions. The occurrence of fascist groups,
of anti-semitic actions, is not surprising at first. In the first
place they operate on only one line: racism and hatred of foreigners.
Hitler's phrase: "There is more culture in one of Beethoven's
symphonies than in all of what America has produced so far"
summarizes well all the feelings and the obscure aversions against
American culture, and contains the same notion which we find today
in the campaign against American-isms in the German language. Fascist
groups identify themselves with this tradition. Michael Kühnen
says regarding the meaning of right-wing anti- Americanism: "Historically,
it is an old current, because we had to fight the Second World War,
it is known, as much with the U.S. as with the U.S.S.R. It is the
same old story of middle Europe (!) which turns itself against both
Eastern and Western foreign powers. For us, the problem of the imperialism
of the West is more important than that of the East. Today, beyond
this historical aspect, there is the point of view of the decadence
of our culture, of our language, of the music imported here by America
- and we categorically reject this. We must also remember the problem
of drugs. The fact is that everything we fight can be totally identified
by the term Americanism."
It is important to further discuss here the goals of the right
- it's problematic: the creation of a European bloc under German
hegemony - it is manifest and warns of an extension of anti- American
actions according to the same principle in the future than that
of the model already experienced. Hatred of the immigrant, repulsion
against everything that is foreign, designation and persecution
of everything which is different are now as before in the FRG the
profoundly anchored motives that the fascists include in their calculations.
For example, in the Rhine-Main region, in the cities and communities
where American troops are stationed, there are racist feelings similar
to those found elsewhere against the Turks and Arabs, directed against
American soldiers and particularly Black ones.
"Never since the Thirty-Year War, has the city known such
insecurity: robberies, murders, rapes, day and night... The old
city of Freiburg is a civilian practice field for our American protectors
who get drunk, and fight and rape each other..." This deaf
feeling of fear with its racist component - numerous cafes are closed
to Black American soldiers - is the basis of anti-American actions.
It is even sadder that we have taken this quote from the April 8,
1982, TAZ under the title: "Yes to anti-Americanism".
This development in the fascist camp is occurring parallel to modifications
in the state apparatus confirmed by the March 6th elections. In
this situation, massacres such as the one that occurred at the 1980
beer-fest, and which were the culminating point of a campaign led
by several secret services who wanted to demonstrate the inability
of the coalition to control the state apparatus and to favour the
election of Strauss as Chancellor, are no longer the order of the
day (see Revolutionary Rage No. 6).
Rather, today, the efforts are intensified to discredit both legal
and illegal resistance with diffuse actions, to contribute to the
disorientation and the drowning of the aims of armed politics by
confusing anti-American and anti-imperialist actions, and to build
terrorist groups who are controlled by the police and who operate
under our name or under another or even without claim. This is how
propagandists of the police apparatus tried to attribute fascist
attempts to us, even though the State Security services knew since
the beginning that we had nothing to do with it. Even stranger is
the fact that Odfried Hepp who allegedly stayed in Beirut in Phalangist
and PLO camps, who was brought back into the FRG through a difficult
operation by the BND, who is a key witness against Hoffman, who
came out of the trial with a pitiful sentence half of which he did
not have to serve, would be the main instigator of this group. He
was also the only one who was able to evade arrest.
The interest that the State Security find with fascist groups and
their actions as well as the protection that they enjoy from a portion
of the state apparatus does not mean, far from it, that the State
Security has directed these attempts. We consider as absurd this
proposition of this so-called RZ, as though behind "the counterinsurgency
actions" (in any case too professional for RZ's) there would
necessarily be Parquet and that it would be under his orders that
the BND and the BKA would have hit American cities.
- We see nothing professional in a switch and a mixture of herbicide...
- Such a construction denies the existence of fascist groups
and thus allows that debates on their positions, such as after
Munich, be transferred to the left.
- Such a statement assumes the transformation of an institutional
domination and of a legalized power into a terrorism directed
by the state - a development which we do not exclude in isolated
cases and which we consider possible - but for which there actually
is no element. To explain such a development, by the danger of
the RZ, or of the diffused guerrilla is the expression of overestimation.
The CDU-FDP government will not miss an opportunity to undermine
the credibility of the legal and illegal resistance and to clamp
on it even more by increasing repressive measures. The length
of the proceeding against the Hepp group are a typical example,
the attacks by the police against Radikal or the Atom Express
are the other side of the leaf: where it is proclaimed that there
is disorientation there is an effort to obstruct the channels
that attempt clarification.
We cannot stop fascist actions. But we can make an effort to
make our political positions precise and to render our practice
clearer. But this implies the willingness and ability by other
factions of the left, to lead the debate on our politics and theirs.
In this meaning: Happy Easter!