Blogs Coffee House

Meeting the Nazi parents – my political book of 2013

31 December 2013

31 December 2013

Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany’s 1968 Generation and the Holocaust
By Hans Kundnani

The best political book I read in 2013 actually came out in 2009 – I am afraid my finger is a long way from the pulse of contemporary publishing. Hans Kudnani history of Germany’s 1968 generation tells an extraordinary story: the revolt of the children of the Nazi generation against a world where Hitler’s willing and unwilling executioners were all around them.

On first reading, the West German left of 1968 should have been anti-fascist. But it was not so simple. Although Kundnami has some sympathy with students confronting a brutal police force and unpunished war criminals, he rightly sees their belief that fascism grew out of capitalism as dangerously idiotic. The ideology had two consequences. First it downplayed the responsibility of the German people for Nazism and ignored the specifically German features of the European fascist movement – most notably anti-semitism and Auschwitz. Second, by seeing West Germany as a continuation of Hitler’s Germany, and all capitalist states as potentially fascist, it authorised violence.

Subscribe from £1 per week


One of the oddest things about reading today’s right-wing websites is the diabolical power conservatives who are – to put it politely – less than hinged ascribe to the quasi-Marxist ideas of the Frankfurt group. I doubt they have ever read Theodor Adorno. If they had, they would know that almost at once he saw “left-wing fascism” in the student movement – and was screamed down by juvenile revolutionaries for his prescience. So it proved at least with some. The German terrorist groups despised democracy, glorified murder and targeted Jews – just like their parents. (Although this time around they said they were fighting the “imperialist Zionist conspiracy” rather than the Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy.) Meanwhile Andreas Baader led a genuine cult of the personality. In true Hitlerian fashion, he persuaded his gang to commit suicide in their prison bunkers rather than submit.

Others broke away. The most notable was Joschka Fishcer, a hero of mine, who renounced the worst ideas of his youth, and came to see anti-fascism as mandating an absolute opposition to crimes against humanity in our own age. As a Green minister in power in the late 1990s, he took an enormous political risk in committing his party to supporting NATO air strikes against the Serb militias slaughtering Kosovo Albanians.

For most, however, 1968 produced a righteous indifference made up of pacifism and indolence in equal measure. The crimes of Germany’s past meant that it should do little or nothing beyond Germany’s borders. It may seem bizarre to see that thoroughly bourgeois conservative Angela Merkel as the successor to radical students of 40 years ago. But in her unwillingness to intervene decisively in the Euro crisis or to support French and British military action against dictators about to massacre their populations, she is their child. Maybe it will take a shock as great as the eruption of the violence of the 1968 generation to shake her and mainstream German opinion out of their complacency. One does not have to look at the Eurozone too hard or for too long to guess that another volcano is about to blow.

There are two other superb books on 1968 and Germany: The Baader-Meinhof Complex by Stefan Aust and Paul Berman’s Power and the Idealists. Kundnani stands out because of its coolness. He does not argue a polemical case but writes as if he is examining a revolt as remote as the Albigensian heresy. Detached, thorough and well written, Utopia or Auschwitz is a history of a left-wing generation that learned – or ought to have learned – that all alternatives to the slow and frustrating procedures of democracy are worse.


More Spectator for less. Subscribe and receive 12 issues delivered for just £12, with full web and app access. Join us.

Show comments
  • John Border

    Quite a few Nazis on the blogs here. Seems to be a haven for ex SS members to get in touch with each other.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      …you fit right in, then.

  • FrankieThompson

    “NATO air strikes against the Serb militias slaughtering Kosovo Albanians.”

    Is that what was happening Nick? How did that turn out , then?

  • allymax bruce

    Nick, I was going to use ‘this space’ to criticise your article as single-minded blinded bias. However, once read, this is a good article, of the upcoming troubles in Europe! Congratulations!

    • John Border

      Kiltlifter…

  • C. Gee

    The first, and best history of the Baader-Meinhof gang is “Hitler’s Children” by Jillian Becker. Whether or not acknowledged by subsequent historians of the Red Army Faction, hers is the seminal work on the subject.

    • Daniel Maris

      Thank you Jillian. :)

  • Terry Field

    `How has ANGELA FAILED TO INTERVENE DECISIVELY IN THE EURO CRISIS – I PRESUME BY NOT FLOODING THE EURO ARE WITH DEBT FUELLED LIQUIDITY TO ALLOW ANOTHER BLOODY GREAT DEBT FUELLED BOOM TO SUPPORT THE MILLIONS OF UNPRODUCTIVE SLOBS. (ALSO FOUND IN HUGE NUMBERS IN BRITOLAND)
    This is in caps because my finger slipped and it’s a waste of time to retpe – almost a s much a waste as the time taken reading this dumb article.

    • Tom Tom

      So what is TARGET2 at BUBA then ?

  • In2minds

    “Joschka Fishcer, a hero of mine” –

    What do you think of Gerry Adams, do you like him?

  • disqus_9I6C4azbIA

    The author wants us to believe that NATO interventions were obviously justified and maw, paw and weans were morally obliged to join in. Lets imagine Germany, Russia, China Indonesia etc had invaded Serbia because they had a moral duty to do so, there would not have been room to move.

    • Tom Tom

      In Cohen’s world view NATO exists to further Israel’s geopolitical goals. Germany was the last power to bomb a European capital before NATO bombed Belgrade in 1999.

      German troops and Polish troops did invade Czechoslovakia in 1968 just 30 years after Germany did so the previous time

      • Daniel Maris

        And British troops invaded Ireland in 1969…ten years after they’d invaded Iceland’s sovereign territory….we can all play this game….

  • the viceroy’s gin

    A confused and disjointed blogpost. It purports to be a book review, but after the most cursory of observations of said book (somewhat misguided observations, it would appear), it launches off into an acting out of the blogger’s own pathology.

    So let’s fisk this mess. First, the terrorist activity that went on in Germany in the “1968” era was duplicated in most countries of the West. No matter that the blogger’s pathology is driven to somehow attach it uniquely to Germany somehow, any cursory historical review will find the near equivalent of the B-M gang showing up about everywhere, dressed out a mite different perhaps, but nearly the same in purpose and method (and all ultimately of the commie persuasion). And all these groups bombed and murdered, it wasn’t unique to the children of Hitler walking around amongst the Boys-from-Brazil-ratline-Odessa-File refugees in Germany, lad. Whether it was France, Italy, Ireland, USA, Canada… all of them had their murderous bomber freaks on the loose . As I recall, Bill Ayers and his mob settled on the figure of 10,000,000 who they would likely have to slaughter, in order to righteously evangelize the US into the proper new order they envisioned. They were quite ambitious (among other of their attributes).

    Next, the blogger seems to need to protect and apologize for the venomous Frankfurt School, Fabian, Marcusean movements that have loooooong outlived the brief era of the B-M and Ayers bombers, and still today act out their wonderful works undermining Western civilization. Those who identify these continued malevolent influences and see them as a threat are ridiculed by our blogger. So in true Trot fashion, our pathological book reviewer has helpfully identified the dangerous transition from Hitler to contemporary liberal-conservative thought, just as any pink would be expected to do. Nicely done, lad.

    Oh, and fyi, and contrary to your claim, the Germans were not the only European culture, fascist or otherwise, that put down the Jews, lad. In fact, your beloved FrankFabMarc movements were sponsored by the same people that established and lived to the east of the Pale of Settlement, so long ago. Please make a note of this. It will keep you from blundering into ridicule whenever you act out your Trot pathology. Your pink chums were/are redolent of the anti-semitism you’re decrying, and that’s why the B-M folks fit so comfortably into that construct, as the harsher face of the movement, now masked today. But you pinks remain, and your other face will arise. It may be dormant today, but it will arise again, if we let it (and if we bow down and face toward Brussels, inshallah).

    Merkel is not part of or successor of the B-M gang, lad. Your slander is outrageous, and we must assume you’re a poorly educated PPE muppet, given how deftly you pitch that facile rot. In fact, lad, the B-M gang is actually of your genome. Like B-M, It is you progressive types who seek to do whatever is necessary to accomplish what you seek, including violence, openly state sponsored if possible, but by stealth if necessary. Just because someone doesn’t support your beloved authoritarian-driven EUSSR/euro project (while doing what you desire re the alleged “crisis” you speak of), or doesn’t support your zeal to go bombs away on whoever you progs think needs bombing today, that doesn’t turn that someone into Hitler’s successor, lad. If/when you grow up intellectually, you may be able to absorb that small bit of mature thinking.

    We get it, lad. You’re a neoconservative, and have temporarily allied with those who allow you to go bombs away, as you frequently enjoy doing. But you clearly long to take your bombs-away ideology back over to your leftist compadres, where it equally clearly belongs, remarry the 2, and you’ve made that cause your motivation.

    Fair enough. No problem that you of the Left advocate what you want and believe, as unlike you and the Left, we are liberals. And lad, let’s be clear. You are not a liberal. Not even close. You may be a Cleggite, but you’re not a liberal. And the next time you want to pester the blogosphere with your Trot pathologies, I’d recommend you not use them to adorn any authors, or their books, or any sitting politicians or their countries. That’s dishonest and cheap, to seek profit off others’ work and good name. You should just let your prog freak flag fly, all on its own. It’s more honest.

    Oh, and based upon this “book review”, nobody would have a clue about this book, lad. That should be obvious to even you. It may be an “extraordinary story” as you claim, but nobody would ever know it from you .That’s what happens, lad, when it’s all about you… you… you.

    • Daniel Maris

      Perhaps you’d like to point to where in the article it was that Mr Cohen claimed that the Germans were the “only European culture, fascist or otherwise, that put down the Jews” – since YOU assert that was his claim.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …and perhaps I wouldn’t, laddie, particularly not to an ignorant and poorly educated nutter like you.

        • Daniel Maris

          Yep, you never like to have to justify your wild assertions do you?

          • the viceroy’s gin

            I never like to engage with ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutters, blathering constantly on the internet.

            • Daniel Maris

              Yep, as I said, you never like to have to justify your wild assertions.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                Yes, as I said, I never like to engage with ignorant and poorly educated socialist nutters, like you for example.

            • John Border

              Well why dont you fork off and read your Daily Mail?

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …wait, have you fascists banned it yet?

        • John Border

          It’s that word ‘laddie’. Are you 90 years old? you sound like it! LOL!

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …so are you fascists planning on liquidating the 90 year olds again, laddie?

      • terence patrick hewett

        The Grumpy Old bookman, Michael Allen in his very funny review of Prof. John Carey’s book The Intellectuals and the Masses tells us:

        ‘the tragedy of Mein Kampf is that it was not, in many respects, a deviant work but one firmly rooted in European intellectual orthodoxy.’

        http://grumpyoldbookman.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=carey

    • Tom Tom

      Look at the legislation passed in May 1968 in Germany at the behest of the United States Occupation Authority……………that is why Germany was different. The US had riots because Draft Deferment ended in 1968 for middle class whites and the Tet Offensive was taking place………

    • John Border

      Far too long and total bilge. Get a life.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, hopefully not a fascist life like yours, eh lad?

  • sarahsmith232

    ‘it downplayed the responsibility of the German people for Nazism and ignored the specifically German features of the European fascist movement – most notably anti-semitism and Auschwitz’
    I can’t help thinking there was zero, absolutely nothing that in any way related to their culture that the German people should feel queasy about. Watched the BBC’s laughable attempt to try and turn the centuries long history of Ottoman brutality in Europe into e.g’s of ahead of their time multicultural enlightenment societies. (How do they constantly manage it?) Anyway, this all only ended in the 19th century, so not that long before Hitler. There appeared to be really quite a lot of this about at the time, Germany surely wasn’t culturally any different from the rest.
    See now, I personally think this all is flawed thinking ’cause looking for a national explanation is only going to go and give a different set get out clauses. Maybe I don’t know what Nick Cohen means by responsibility. But it seems like it’s meaning German culture was uniquely flawed in a way that caused what happened, it was because of their German-ness. So they needed to recognise that and take responsibility for it.
    There’s too many non-whites in this country that have bought into the white English people are – insert description of the sub-human of your choosing, idiocy. It’s all coming from the same place, there are such things as uniquely fascist, brutal, racist etc cultures. . and each and every single one of them is white, therefore, that’s the reason for it. So if you’re non-white you fight them using whatever means necessary, no matter how repulsive.
    Maybe I got the wrong end of the stick but it just seems like the books author believed blaming capitalism would let the real cause off the hook, their nationality. I think he’d be getting upto the same thing if he thought the root was national, allowing too many other reasons to be ignored. It’s not been a healthy way of seeing things, if you me.

    • Chris

      It’s what I term neo nazism (neo nazis are just nazis). It’s the premise that whiteness is regresive and non whiteness is progressive- hence the push to force diversity and a “browning” of society. They switched the race on top, and apparently that makes it right. P.s. there was nothing wrong with German society – just socialism. Socialist/marxist despise jews and English due to their regresive materialism. Just see Engel’s ‘the magyar struggle’ – it’s praticaly a guide for Nazism.

      • Tom Tom

        Marxism is secular Judaism. The German SPD was Jewish founded by August Bebel. Its leadership was Jewish which is why the Republic proclaimed (without consultation) in 1919 was associated with Jews just as the negotiators at Versailles. The SPD held power in Weimar Germany 1919-1928 and never again until 1965.

        Socialism is dominated by Jewish thinkers as a way of breaking down national identity and religion. It is not Orthodox Judaism but liberal Jews that embrace ideology of Dialectical Materialism

        • Andy

          You mean Ralph Miliband ?

          • Tom Tom

            just one of many – try Eric Hobsbawm, Harold Laski,

            • Andy

              Rather not if you don’t mind.

            • Daniel Maris

              You’re confusing Judaism with Jews. Many Jews were attracted to socialism – why wouldn’t they be? What else was on offer in Europe? Answers: (a) Nationalism (not v. attractive for Jews) (b) Aryan racism (definitely not attractive for Jews) (c) Fascism (not v. attractive for Jews, and especially not so once Fascism got mixed in with anti-semitism). (d) Catholicism – er, no. (e) emigration to the USA …well, that’s always a big step and (f)

              Zionism – well a lot of Jews didn’t see the sense in heading off to Palestine to be murdered by Arabs.

              So, for lots of Jews social democracy seemed the way forward: it favoured them as an urban, cosmopolitan people….it seemed to oppose anti-semitism…and it offered the chance of a peaceful and prosperous future.

        • Chris

          Not sure if I would describe it as secular Judaism. It’s a new religion in its own right.
          You could say it sees the power of wealth, and seeks to create a new power structure around it whilst COMPLETELY misunderstanding the concept of wealth and wealth creation.
          Wealth is not some big pie which magically replenishes itself every year that can be disbursed…and it is not some ‘pot of gold’ which English people stole from some hut in the third world…but, that’s the problem, being religious it departs from practicality and applies spiritual fuzzyness to non spiritual matters.

          • Tom Tom

            It has so much drawn from Judaism that you might think Karl Marx was in revolt against his father’s Judaism

        • Chris

          many liberal Jews reject socialism and the resultant bollcks such as PC culture. See Peter Schiff’s current run in with the psycho liberals.

          • Tom Tom

            Many conservatives reject Conservatives

        • Daniel Maris

          LOL – what does “secular Judaism” mean? As soon as it’s secular it’s not Judaism. The only connection I can see between Marxism and Judaism is in argumentative method – otherwise Marxism has no connections with Judaism at all: it doesn’t believe in a deity, a chosen people, in holy scripture, in the prophets.

          You need to explain yourself.

      • sarahsmith232

        I’ve had a quick search for the Magyar struggle, wasn’t in Wiki so i’m afraid I gave up, a quick summary perhaps?
        Do you call it neo Nazism, personally I tend to go with – old fashioned, undiluted, old 1970s, unreconstructed Middle-class snobbery. Of an even more corrosive type ’cause at least the past lot were aware that when they branded people plebs and proles they were snobs but couldn’t have cared less. Now they’re so absolutely convinced of our Chavey prole and pleblike backwardness they’d be shocked and amazed if anyone responded with a ‘and do you think, maybe, that might only be ’cause you’re nothing but a snob’.

      • sarahsmith232

        I’ve had a quick search for the Magyar struggle, wasn’t in Wiki so i’m afraid I gave up, a quick summary perhaps?
        Do you call it neo Nazism, personally I tend to go with – old fashioned, undiluted, old 1970s, unreconstructed Middle-class snobbery. Of an even more corrosive type ’cause at least the past lot were aware that when they branded people plebs and proles they were snobs but couldn’t have cared less. Now they’re so absolutely convinced of our Chavey prole and pleblike backwardness they’d be shocked and amazed if anyone responded with a ‘and do you think, maybe, that might only be ’cause you’re nothing but a snob’.
        Read some typical of the Labour Oxbridge lot quote from the early 90s by Jack Straw about ‘the English’. Something like ‘policy has to take into account the fact that the English are a very violent race’ or some such typical idiot speak from that lot. For me, I always think, has it really still not occurred to them that when they’re doing all of this they’re not describing white England they’re describing themselves, as in ‘you need to be aware of how separate I am from ‘them’ and so, by extension, so very much the superior of all of these backward/violent/xenophobic/racist/fascist blah, etc, blah, blah, etc, etc, masses’.
        For me, read a good e.g of this recently with that Aussie that nearly got deported ’cause of that boat race stuff. Said that he couldn’t go back to Oz ’cause his wife is not white and ‘Australia is a particularly racist country.’ Never been there but I’m going to guess that Australia is going to be no different from anywhere else with all of this, some places good, some bad, most average, just like any other part of the world. In that moment he imagined that he was going to be understood as so very separate from this ‘particularly racist’ backwardness, in his mind he was giving people the proof by marking himself out as separate from, in a way that is superior to, his fellow countrymen masses. They have no idea that in actual fact, all that they are doing is ‘othering’, seeking out reasons to hate people which they don’t want to be around, investing in it via their middle-class media, which then leads onto legitimising it.
        Oh, so much to say and not enough space, oh well, I’ll give up now. But I agree with you wholeheartedly, when is the penny ever going to drop for any of them? I’m not planning on holding my breath. Enjoy the new year dear.

        • Tom Tom

          Jack Straw went to Leeds University with his good friend Alan Yentob

        • Chris

          Seems like the Spectator didn’t like my post in response to you. Will cut it to the bare bones –
          see this link for the ‘Magyar struggle’ (note the anti slavisim and anti semitisim of Engels) –
          http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1849/01/13.htm

          see this link for William Hague and Jack Straw –
          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/596703.stm

          See John redwoods interesting post from yesterday –
          http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2013/12/31/unsettling-the-constitution-in-2014/

          Vote UKIP.

          • sarahsmith232

            sorry, the Marxism thing was too long, gonna have to skip it. Oh well, maybe I’ll find out one day. Thanks for the other stuff, espec’ on Straw.
            I certainly do intend to be voting Ukip, I/’m half of a mind to offer to do a bit of leaflet stuffing and the like for them. Have you thought of getting into a bit of activism work for them yourself? Only slight prob’ is though, I can be a bit of an aggressively opinionated feminist sort, really can’t see that going over too well with what i’m guessing will be an overwhelming old world male lot. So it might not exactly work out too well. But i’m just praying they’re going to give Cameron a good kicking come May.
            Enjoy the rest of the evening.

            • Chris

              Don’t see how feminism conflicts with Libertarianism.
              And as for Engel’s article. It is an article about the 1848 revolution in the Austro-Hungarian empire in which the Magyar (Hungarian) uprising against the Hapsburg monarchy was put down by a Slav army. It is one long communist/ Marxist racist ramble against Slavs and Jews (and other reactionary races).

              These are two interest exerts, among many, which are interesting –

              1) “There is no country in Europe which does not have in some corner or other one or several ruined fragments of peoples (ethnic minorities whom Engels considered reactionary)…and remain so until their complete extirpation or loss of their national character, just as their whole existence in general is itself a protest against a great historical revolution”

              and

              2) “The next world war will result in the disappearance from the face of the earth not only of reactionary classes and dynasties, but also of entire reactionary peoples. And that, too, is a step forward.”

              This is a call for genocide.

              The whole thing might as well have been written by Hitler. As could most of the rubbish spouted by the Left wing progressives of pre war England. (and modern day pro immigration progressives if you switch racial purity for non racial purity, they have merely switched which races they consider progressive.)
              And if I’m still in the country, I will be leafleting.

            • John Border

              sorry, the Marxism thing was too long, gonna have to skip it. ‘

              Reading your posts the length of an essay we all understand.. If they were interesting, fine,But …

        • John Border

          I’ve had a quick search for the Magyar struggle, wasn’t in Wiki so i’m afraid I gave up, a quick summary perhaps?’

          Quick, oh yes please.Shorter too. Ta!

      • John Border

        ‘It’s what I term neo nazism (neo nazis are just nazis)’ . Really? Amazing analysis there…

    • Tom Tom

      Sanacja, the Polish regime pre-war was Anti-Semitic BEFORE Germany and Stalin was anti-Semitic purging Jews from the CPSU. France was anti-Semitic long before Hitler was a soldier in WW1.

      • serialluncher

        Good comment. It’s a wonder Hitler wasn’t French.

      • Bonkim

        and Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, you name it the Catholic nations and Czarist Russia were all anti-Semitic. Germany had a concordat with the Pope – only the Nazis went one better than all the rest combined over history. Even Britain has its history of massacre and persecution of Jews particularly after the Norman Conquest and Papist- Christianisation.

    • John Border

      Too long and too daft this post.

  • Chris

    The Nazi’s were not right wing. They were left wing. The idea Nazism was capitalistic is a joke. The German embrace of industry was pragmatic, not ideological.see Germa Bells article- http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103×234902
    Once this is resolved, we can now move on to the alleged “hierachys” which denote the Nazis as being right wing – this is an abuse of the political terminology of inequality. Inequality does not denote racism, and hierachy is inherent in left wing ideology. So this is bunk. Just look at left wing politics – they see the English and Jews as regressive, and therefore inferior = hierarchy. (see Engel’s “the Magyar struggle” for the genocidal predilection of the left. – http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1849/01/13.htm)
    And when is someone going to draw the line between the progressives of the early 20th century (such as the guardian beloved G B Shaw and the Fabians) and Nazism. The Fabians were practically Hitler’s think tank.
    Hitler was left wing. Nazism is left wing. they merely added nationalism to their marxism/ socialism. And I don’t care if Hitler was anti communist, this again is due to geopoltical necessity and his concentration on nationalism and not internationalism, and I don’t care if he cracked down on the (communist) unions.
    If we are define movements by their enemies then who would be right wing in the spat between Stalin and Mao in the 50’s?

    • Andy

      Exactly. Hitler was a Socialist. There are different forms of Socialism, just as there are different forms of Islam, but they have common roots.

      • Tom Tom

        Hitler was a nationalist which is why he chose black in his flag. He wanted Communist voters so he chose red in the flag. It is clearly explained in Mein Kampf and names the man who designed the flag

        • Chris

          The red was for socialism, and the swastika was used as it contained to crossed Ss; for socialism.

          • Tom Tom

            No it was not. You really must read what Hitler himself had to say rather than feed your prejudices. He was far more sophisticated than you and explained it very well

          • Tom Tom

            Total rubbish

    • John Border

      Apart from the crap punctuation, this comment will go down the pan of idiocy.

  • Daniel Maris

    One of the original B-M gang – Horst Mahler – has actually become a neo-Na zi!

    Yep, they were pretty weird. But the silence about Na zi guilt certainly helped breed such abberant groups.

    • Tom Tom

      So the Greens emerged from the strands that fed into Nazism and some Greens have returned to Neo-Nazism. Baader-Meinhof emerged from the 1965-69 Government of Germany which had no Opposition and was introducing anti-democratic laws. Really Daniel, do some reading before spouting counterfactual history

  • Pootles

    An interesting take on the Baader-Meinhof/Hitler’s Children business. However, I’m not sure that Nick Cohen’s side swipe at Merkel is entirely justified. Firstly, she was, of course, brought up in the GDR, with its view that the founders of the GDR, and its people, were absolved of guilt because they represented the ‘resistance’. But, more importantly, it doesn’t take much imagination to understand why most Germans are very wary of involvement, military or otherwise, outside Germany. Not only do they have at least a century’s worth of ‘guilt’ to deal with, but also (re the Greeks reaction to German/EU strictures) people are very quick off the mark to see any overt exercise of German influence through some sort of neo-Nazi lens. Perhaps Nick Cohen’s view is more a result of his own enthusiasm for ‘intervention’. Understandable, but not necessarily the best way to see Merkel et al.

    • dalai guevara

      The chaps and lasses on the poster lost, the Swabian housewife won.
      Merkel fits in well down South. That is the only reason why she is in her third term – she has the support of those who call the shots.

      • Tom Tom

        Merkel’s party lost control of Baden-Wuerttemberg the heart of conservative Germany producing 25% German GDP

        • dalai guevara

          That’s too much intelligence for occasional flaneurs of the streets of Stuttgart. The Swabian Hausfrau personifies all virtues RSPCA-rattled Britain fears most: Green Conservativism. This fact is only slowly beginning to sink in.

          • Cornelius Bonkers

            What? “Green Conservatism”? I think not. Surely, A truly green conservative (lower case) would not have freaked out and dumped the nuclear response as soon as the Japanese melt down happened? Nor would she have littered Germany with windmills

            • dalai guevara

              Dear Cornelius, another day passes when British windmills generate 15% of total demand (as I type this). A mere few hundred of them.

              We even hear that most were shut down over the last couple of weeks as they produced too much energy – the grid simply could not cope. So windmills don’t work?
              You are mistaken – what you and your ilk need to do is get your head round the fact that our grid and storage solutions are totally lacking und underdeveloped.

              A Swabian Hausfrau would not tinker. She would get on with what she does best, keeping control of household finances whilst making dinner for her world-class engineering offspring. deeply conservative green engineers.

              • Cornelius Bonkers

                Hi Dalai, Yes, I’d be more in favour of windmills too if the storage problem could be solved; but it seems that it can’t – although never say never. But there are also the problems of their energy consumption during build (use of concrete) and transportation, their aesthetics, and their destructive rotational speed (5-600 mph at their blade tips I’m told). they also detract and divert resources from more problematic but potentially reliable and aesthetically sensible tidal solutions. Yes, and I’d go along with your remarks about AM. Although the relationship you propose between conservatism (lower case) and green politics in the German instance is I think a bit wobbly – can you say more? Regards

                • dalai guevara

                  No problems whatsoever accommodating 20% renewables production without addressing storage. Now those markets that have long outperformed that ratio have addressed the storage issue and I am happy to confirm without arrogance that there are at least five fully working storage solutions/concepts out there that will further validate the increase in renewables generation.

                  Perhaps it is time you looked to Austria, Germany or Denmark to see what they are? As always, a problem presents itself, then the issue is resolved by the engineers. Are you saying you are no longer willing to think and act in the spirit of Isambard Kingdom Brunel as Gordon Gekko’s line of ‘greed is good’ was just too compelling to resist?

                  Nations and people that never trusted the latter never embarked on that diversion. They stuck with Brunel. They love it. They know it got them to where they are now, without a shockingly high annual deficit, accummulating a current account surplus.
                  Why would they ever (even want to) change?

                • Cornelius Bonkers

                  Well I’m pleased to hear that the storage problem has been solved for a 20% ratio. And of course technological/engineering solutions (renewables and carbon capture for example) are fundamental to most human dilemmas and must be welcomed. But I don’t see “Gekkoism” as the polar opposite to saving the planet – this is a very crude and unworthy distinction to make. After all, the planet will save itself whereas human entropy is a certainty. The problem of the environment seems to me to be one which will be solved by human responsibility and accountability in local everyday life, rather than by the imposition of impossible to meet targets imposed on states BY STATES who have no means or will to achieve them. Regards.

                • dalai guevara

                  We can be very crude indeed, to keep it simple.

                  Energy needs to be clean, safe, affordable, locally produced to save on transport cost and protect against political instability elsewhere.

                  We never put a value on the latter, yet miraculously you (not you personnally) are prepared to spend billions on Trident or Armed Forces without question.
                  I am prepared to spend on technology that addresses to above crude list of obstacles, I am no longer prepared to go to the moon and come back with only a Teflon frying pan.

                  So the entire issue is not about ‘saving’ anything, that always was and is a politically conflated affair. At the end of the day it’s all about quality of life and… money. Enter Gordon Gekko.

                • Cornelius Bonkers

                  Well yes, things are about money; but also about spending it wisely where it will make a difference. I really think that all the money wasted on internationalist conferences, roadmaps, carbon trading schemes, subsidies, etc etc., could be better spent on schemes which are localised and thereby less vulnerable to the “laws” of unintended consequences i.e., the future unknown. And surely the rhetoric IS about saving something – us; or at least delaying our demise?

                • dalai guevara

                  Mankind will always tackle the next issues it faces but also create new issues by developing and progressing technology. When all forms of modern communication are now interceptable, that will have consequences with regards to privacy. Stem-cell research will have an impact on how we define autonomy and life.
                  With regards to advances in all energy-based activity, conventional fuel sources will lose their appeal as generation is diversified. Is that a bad thing? Why?

                • Cornelius Bonkers

                  Maybe a return to face-to-face communication might be a reasonable way for folk to resist interception. And getting off facebook might be a good place to start conserving energy.
                  You’re right, I don’t think the general public cares about fuel sources when all they want is to be able to switch their kettles and cars on and have a cuppa and go to the shops. The question is whether they will be willing to pay the COST which I think will be beyond anything we have considered so far. I see the future as one which will see the re-opening of the coal mines when the question of clean coal and carbon capture has been solved by our ingenuity. Nuclear is no answer because of the waste; and PRICE will always be a dominant issue in a free market capitalist society like ours and Germany’s. As a side issue, opening the coal mines will provide the wherewithal to reconstruct all the mining and allied communities which were destroyed by the more vicious aspects of Thatcherism. regards

                • dalai guevara

                  Coal remains ludicrously cheap.
                  That is one reason why taxes are added, to a) level the playing field for local providers and b) to drive innovation which will rid ourselves from import dependency long-term.
                  If this leads to mines opening again (on a grander scale) in Britain one day, so be it. My hunch is we will want to delay that for as long as possible.

                • John Border

                  Very amusing the pompous twaddle by these two, ole Dalai and corny Bonkers. I’ve learned so much.

                • Cornelius Bonkers

                  Well JB, that’s what an exchange of views risks. Twaddle? Well of course! Now let’s hear some of yours eh! Surely you can do better than twitter length commentary. Given your rather dismissive mockery (fully justified I’m sure) I’d really like to hear what you have to say…go on, give it a whirl just this once…join us; indulge our foolishness…
                  Yo and Regards

                • John Border

                  ‘We can be very crude indeed, to keep it simple. Most things in life are.’

                  And you are living proof of that. Ta!

                • John Border

                  Well I’m pleased to hear that the storage problem has been solved for a 20% ratio sez Corny.

                  Aren’t we all?

                • John Border

                  ‘and green politics in the German instance is I think a bit wobbly – can you say more?’

                  NO! Please, NO!

              • John Border

                ‘(as I type this),’ sez Dolly. Hot off the presses eh?

            • John Border

              Ooooh! the bitch!

          • Chris

            Green conservatism would be someone who actually cares about the environment (e.g those who want Badgers to be culled etc). As they would not being using the environment to push socialism by proxy. e.g windmills.

            • Tom Tom

              Much to do with a railway station in Stuttgart and destruction of a forest…….bit of the HS2

            • dalai guevara

              Green Conservatism is huge. We underestimate the power and influence of Green Conservatism.

              • John Border

                Huge isn’t the word.

          • John Border

            Wise words as always from Dolly. Such wisdom in one person is amazing. No flaneur ole Dolly.

            Give her a +…!!

    • Tom Tom

      Funnily enough as a CDU/CSU/SPD Coalition with the SPD holding power for
      the first time since the 1920s, this 1965-69 Government had the
      two-thirds majority to change the Constitution which now Merkel has too.

      First proposal in 2013 is to extend the life of parliament from 4 to 5
      years; and people await the EU-friendly changes to the German
      Constitution to facilitate EU One Government progress

    • marksl

      This comment is surely correct. Nick Cohen’s ‘linkage’ from the 1968 events and the terrorist groups in West Germany of that period to Angela Merkel is wholly unconvincing. Merkel is a very clever, ambitious politician working in a Parliamentary system. She comes in a sense ‘clean’ in that the 68 events and Baader-Meinhof took place in a different political entity from where she grew up. Non-intervention by Germany in international conflcts would be happening whether or not the there had ever been the late 60s/70s terrorist problem in the then West Germany.
      A good way of viewing Merkel is to see her as one who treats politics not as ideology or faction but as a ‘métier’ – a trade. That is how Francois Mitterrand described what he practiced. And Merkel practices politics as métier better than Mitterrand (or Helmut Kohl) did.

  • dalai guevara

    Now now, the particularly virulent form of Germanic tree hugging, the rinsing of yoghurt pots ready for recycling and so on would not have been possible without the people in the above poster. We must acknowledge that no one, no matter how radical, will never ever succeed in exterminating the values of good housekeeping and love for greenery.

    • John Border

      You’ve lost the plot again….and again…

      • dalai guevara

        unfriended

        • John Border

          You use stupid Facebook talk. Of all the idiotic things you;ve done, this is the worst, the thickest.

          The tragedy is you wont even get the point I’m making.

          You are lost to humanity as you have the awareness of a chimpanzee. Oh God…..

          • the viceroy’s gin

            …well, you’re both fascists, so yeah, chimpanzee may be the appropriate descriptor here.

  • anyfool

    Is university education now so bad that graduates of them have to spout hysterical nonsense like an ardent teenager spouts nonsensical poetry trying to get into some girls knickers, what have Cathars to do with the post war guilt of German youth looking for a way to excuse themselves from their nations innate cruelty by being cruel.. .Albigensian heresy indeed.

    • Daniel Maris

      It’s an interesting article – don’t know what your beef is.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here