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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 attached to.

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 actions.

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.

  1. We see nothing professional in a switch and a mixture of herbicide...
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Revolutionary Cells
April 1983

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