An Anti-German’s Guide to Germany III

Currently, Germans (especially but not only left-wing Germans) fight against bugs. They line up mass movements, produce mass media cover stories, and devote entire political parties to what appears to be nothing more than insecticide.

The species they’re after is the locust.

Der SPIEGEL cover, December 2006: “The Greed of Big Money: Finance-Investors Grasp at German Businesses.”

The obsession with equating a sort of businessmen with vermins repudiates everything Germans continuously say about their enormous sensitivity towards any form of Nazi propaganda. As this phenomenon hardly had any time out ever since then though previously it wasn’t about locusts but more about more typical blood-sucking insects like the ones depicted here on the cover Germany’s most important labor union magazine in 2005:

“US-Firms in Germany: The (Blood-) Suckers”

First to identify hedge-fonds with locusts in Germany was Franz Müntefering in 2005, at that time serving as party chairman of the ruling Social Democrats.

Even though his thoughts haven’t become official politics so far they are a media topic running wild. The term “Heuschrecke” isn’t even used with quotation marks anymore but is rather a common word by now.

Most disturbing is the fact that Germany’s Left Party engages in leading the fight. While there are quite some different voices in the party, the by far most popular representative, former SPD leader Oskar Lafontaine appears on stages together with former Anti-German semi-celebrity Jürgen Elsässer and calls for direct democracy, disobedience to the global US dictatorship, and battle against the “locusts” which means closing the German labor market and nationalizing the economy.

Lafontaine, Seltsam, Elsässer

Just one week ago, Elsässer and Lafontaine joined the notorious traditional leftist cabaret of Dr. Seltsam close to Left Party’s headquarters in Berlin Mitte to deliver a flood of populism suited to win the traditionalist audience. Elsässer asked Lafontaine when he will fly to Teheran and meet with Ahmadinejad and Lafontaine answered that he would love to but so far the Iranians weren’t able to organize it. 9/11 conspiracy colportage “Loose Change” was advertised as well as Elsässer’s new book which actually is called “Attack of the Locusts”, subtitle: “The Destruction of Nations and Global War.”

In this book, Elsässer writes a program for Lafontaine and performs an exorcism on his own previous Anti-German attitudes. He accuses anti-nationalism which he used to propagate as a tool to destroy national states. He downplays the role of nationalism in Germany today and the importance of fighting Nazis. He directly links Anti-Germans to be allies of Neocon fascism therefore the real target of antifascist activity.

Almost if trying to fit my definition of conspirationism, Elsässer depicts social reality of the 70s and 80s as relatively harmonic and socialist while today things have changed because of the “alien invasion”. People “still believe they lead the life of good old times, as members of a verein or a congregation or a nation, integrated into families or a circle of friends. In reality they only vegetate as domesticated animals and labor rats in a planetary game of billions – distributors of fresh meat and blood for the total market and everlasting war.”

Regarding locusts, Elsässer writes:

>>Since the 70s, aliens started colonizing Earth. Other than traditional capitalists the extraterrestials do not live on skimming the surplus but on destroying the production of surplus. Swarms of locusts are devouring industrial enterprises all across the globe, spit out the human labor force in them and divest the disemboweled sceleton to the highest bidder – that is the source of their profit.<< Bernhard Schmid comments:

>>Actors are merely the “multinational financial marktes and the global financial marktes” or the “locusts” as Elsässer loves to call them. They deprive the “ordinary” capital that so far had preserved the fundaments of labor force reproduction – which is only true for some metropolitan areas and hardly for the Third World – of its material basis.

Elsässer thus dematerialises criticism on capitalism, he separates the object of his criticism from any social context. The attack of the “aliens” appears as the advance of a destructive force from outside into a previously working system. Such criticism on capitalism without reference to concrete social power relations would have seemed very strange to Marx whom Elsässer refers to all the time.<< In an interview with Jungle World, Elsässer said that it’s wrong to call his “locusts” metaphor close to Nazi propaganda as the Nazis never talked about locusts at all. This answer is an outrage even if they would have only gone on about rats and spiders, but it’s also wrong.

Besides many different examples, locusts appear in the most influential piece of Nazi propaganda there was, and at a crucial point. In the movie “Jud Süß” which 22 million Germans watched in cinema alone the Jewish main character is sentenced to death with the words: “Like locusts they come over our country.”

(first published at the Trots’)