It is not surprising that the government and parliamentary opposition are taking part in the current corona policy. But the fact that it is so quiet in the (non-institutional) left is devastating. If one is good-natured, one could assume that quite a few leftists are in a quandary: After all, it is actually a matter of course for a left-wing policy to attack politics of domination that explicitly throws itself into the fray for a capital minority, that is, for location logic, for German world market positions, for the interests of large companies.
Is the black-red government suddenly doing something different with its corona policy? Although there are no real reasons for this exception, a vocal part of the left knows exactly why the criticism of the “lateral thinkers” of the corona measures is wrong, selfish and “right-wing”.
The three-movement of the" new " anti-fascism
You don’t have to have anything for “the lateral thinkers”, you can leave them on the left, you can think of their criticism of government policy as feigned, their advocacy of fundamental rights as hypocritical.
In that case, it would be precisely the task of the left to offer a better, more convincing critique of government policy, to shine with its own forms of action and interventions.
All this is largely absent – the few left-wing groups that criticize capitalist crisis management remain marginal, especially within left-wing milieus.
Those anti-fascist and anti-racist groups that call for the prevention of “lateral thinkers"demonstrations are being listened to loudly and by the media.
The reason is quickly explained: the “lateral thinkers” are open to the right. If they are not fascists themselves, they go"hand in hand with Nazis”. This proves that they share" conspiracy theories " and that they lead – sooner or later – to anti-Semitism. One was downright grateful to a speaker at a lateral thinker demonstration in Hanover 2020 who wanted to follow in the footsteps of Sophie Scholl with her criticism of the Corona measures. The fact that she is wrong is just as true as the fact that no anti-Semite has been exposed.
One could not stop treating “lateral thinkers” like Nazi marches. It is important to prevent them, at least to disturb them, because (in a slight modification): Lateral thinking is not an opinion, but a crime.
Solidarity … instead of conspiracy theories. No kidding?
Instead of its own analysis of capitalism, instead of a state analysis worthy of discussion, there is a word: solidarity. On their behalf, they are calling for counter-counter-demonstrations. With this it is completely clear and clarified that one is selfless and good, while on the other hand there are almost only social Darwinists and egoists.
Of course, slogans are shortening, but they must express the essence of the concern. And they must be visible in a share of their own actions.
So it is important to clarify what is meant by “solidarity”. Undoubtedly, this term in Corona times suggests that it means all those who now give everything (hospital nursing staff) or lose a lot (self-employed, cultural workers, wage-dependent, precarious employees), and that it must be fair among the victims of the pandemic measures.
Addressing the “social question” is therefore undoubtedly important. Because it makes it visible that Corona meets very different economic conditions and state corona aid does not eliminate these contrasts, but exacerbates them (which could very clearly work out a capitalism analysis).
If you take this slide as a basis, then you also know what you have to think of a federal government that also appeals to solidarity, supports large companies with billions and has warm words for the “heroes of the pandemic”.
And what is meant by the lived “solidarity” that is opposed to the lateral thinkers ' demonstrations? In fact, the same do not demonstrate in front of Amazon, in front of the meat giant Tönnies, in front of large factories, where everything continues as before. They also do not stand in front of the hospitals and retirement homes to force more than the free clapping of “heroes”. And there are also no demonstrations in front of the Federal Chancellery to fling the federal Government in the face that it has so far done everything to ensure that the wage employment relationships (especially in nursing services) are lousy to unbearable, and does everything to ensure that nothing changes. That would be tangible solidarity and it would certainly do good, instead of constantly staying at a distance from those who are so taken to heart as victims. In fairness, you have to add that even before Corona, it was not much different. The conditions of exploitation at the very bottom were sometimes at the very top of the leaflets, but remained very far away from everyday life, which has nothing to do with most leftists at the very bottom.
That the call for solidarity is above all a label, you could literally count in Leipzig on November 7, 2020. About 20,000" lateral thinkers " demonstrated there against the corona measures. On the same day, there were seven counter-counter demonstrations with several thousand participants-under the motto: “You are not the resistance – you run hand in hand with Nazis”.
But there was also a call for the association “Not to back us”, which had not clung to government appeals with the call for solidarity, but which kicked “All against Corona” into the bin: “We are all in one boat – capitalists, bosses and managers in another”. This action also took place on the same day in Leipzig and brought it to a few dozen supporters.
Sometimes you are lucky enough to get an answer to the question of what solidarity really means in one day.
If you generalize this impression, then only the solidarity with the government and its corona management remains. Of course, you don’t see any Merkel or Spahn faces on the banners. But in contrast to the pretended solidarity with the subclasses, this holding together is very practical and very active: the government takes over the marking of the (democracy)enemies, the police is responsible for the repressive part and parts of the left flank this by contributing significantly to the delegitimization of the lateral thinker protest and are willing to go further than the state-of course just for fun: “vaccination obligation for aluminum hats”.
The question remains, which one actually has to ask oneself very seriously: why do one have to turn “lateral thinkers” into almost-half-three-quarter fascists, instead of straightening the cross in one’s own actions and thoughts?
As an introduction, one could say that the left has enough to do with the fight against fascism if one cites the examples NSU, NSU 2.0, KSK, combat 18 or Hammerskins as examples. In this very concrete confrontation, the left is as good as submerged.
In the next step, one would like to assume the best and assume that the accusation to the lateral thinkers that they are “as good as fascists” is less justified than easily said. This leads to a consideration that perhaps approaches the current dilemma:
Are the “lateral thinkers” annoying above all because they articulate a displeasure with state measures, a massive doubt that this state is acting for our benefit?
Are the lateral thinkers annoying because they do not want to accept something that many leftists – with many contortions and small humiliations – have come to terms with?
Do the lateral thinkers, referring to the (unacceptable restriction of) freedom, adopt a very essential maxim of the left, which they suddenly and senselessly try to neutralize with the reference to equality?
Do you need the “lateral thinkers” as fascists, so that you do not ask yourself these questions:
Would it not be fair and proper to argue publicly in the name of what freedom to fight for what?
Is it not part of freedom to go in opposition to the government or to question the noble goals for the restrictions on freedom?
What concept of freedom do the critics of lateral thinkers have? And how do you fight to ensure that the hard-won freedoms do not fall under the corona wheels?
Would it not be a reasonably fair starting point to find out who claims and wants to defend which freedom? And would it not be good for the left, for all of us, if we were to be measured against Rosa Luxemburg’s statement: “Freedom is always the freedom of those who think differently."(The Russian Revolution 1918).
If you let these questions come to you in peace, then you get a sense of why it is now itching in the fingers of many to quickly conjure the ace out of the sleeve: “Fascism is not an opinion, but a crime.”
If you know that the majority of lateral thinkers are a lot, least of all Nazis, then this ace is not a necessary demarcation, but an authoritarian gesture, behind which lies the inability to deal convincingly with Rosa Luxemburg’s statement.
Because there are good reasons to criticize the broad agreement from left circles to the corona measures-you do not have to be a lateral thinker.
So the fact that especially leftists hit the lateral thinkers in this way has little to do with their abstruse views, but with the fact that they scratch their self-image. That exactly this is offended, brought a transparent in Leipzig to the point, which should show the lateral thinkers, who is entitled to the original:
“You are not the Resistance.”
This becomes even more tangible when it comes to criticism of the corona measures. Many progressives and leftists accept the corona measures, the lockdown, also and especially in its absurd dichotomy. They comply, participate, occasionally even become auxiliary police officers, for example, when they call for a ban on the lateral thinkers ' demonstrations, since they do not comply with the AHA rules. The fact that they act in this way “more state than the state” does not require any mental distortion. The fact that the lateral thinkers refer to the fundamental rights and property rights that they see violated, that they want to defend, makes the left furious. Not because this is absurd, but because they hold up to the left the mirror in which it does not want to look: how can one, as a left, abandon the defence of protection and fundamental rights in such a way!
What are the reasons for using conspiracy theories to warn against conspiracy theories?
The reasons for governments and pro-government apparatuses who use conspiracy theories to warn against them are quite obvious: if the US government had said that we would invade Vietnam and kill two million people there, because that is simply the price of geopolitical interests, then this would not have been so well received. So they said that they had been attacked, that they had to defend themselves and that they had to save the people there – from themselves and communism.
Consequently, the US government did everything possible to denounce the criticism of it as a conspiracy against the great and good America, branding the critics as henchmen and sympathizers of communism. This happened at the same time in Germany – following the same pattern. The German government denounced the Vietnam protests as” anti-American activities " and did everything from its side to conceal the true reasons for this intervention policy. The Vietnam War, the assassination of J. F. Kennedy (1963) and the CIA dispatch, which had developed the Brandeisen “conspiracy theory” to denounce all those who did not want to believe in the government’s single-perpetrator thesis, may be understood as a connection.
But why are so many left-wing or left-wing arguments willing to use the conspiracy narrative as well? Why do so many “leftists” demonstrate against" lateral thinkers " instead of against the government? And why do especially leftists behave in this particularly aggressive and self-sacrificing way?
I fear that they will have to eradicate and fight their own history, their own “critical consciousness”. They must denounce exactly what was essential and constitutive for the emergence of a left in Germany: mistrust, questioning, naming interests that are incompatible with the alleged motives.
It is part of the history of the left that they no longer believed what the rulers gave them as the reasons for their government action. They did not believe the rulers that they had broken with fascism, although they always affirmed this and did not omit a memorial day to show themselves there. The government was not (any more) taken away from the fact that it wants to override fundamental rights for our protection as with the “emergency laws” in 1968. They were no longer believed when the leaders asserted that they were against dictatorships, while at the same time they supported dictatorships – mostly covertly-and even ensured the overthrow of democratically elected governments (as in Chile in 1973). And they did not believe a word when they sold nuclear power for a blessing of the people and the radioactivity released in the process for absolutely harmless to “vital”.
In order not to follow these government policies, it was necessary to illuminate backgrounds, search for connections, work out contradictions and disclose interests. And of course one had to take a risk in the analysis: if all relevant media spread the claim that the US had to defend itself in Vietnam (because it was attacked), if all pro-government media spread that Saddam Hussein had to be overthrown in Iraq in order to prevent a “second Holocaust”, then one had to trust the very few voices and testimonies that contradicted this. Because no one gave us the secret documents at the time, no one provided us with secret protocols that could have revealed the true intentions.
Distrusting the rulers first and foremost was the birth of the left. The risk of getting right much later had and must be taken by a leftist.
This is as true of the 1970s as it is of the present. I do not believe that the rulers lie to us more today than they did 50 years ago. Something else has changed enormously-the left.
If, in the 1970s, the government had told us that it wanted to protect us from a deadly virus by restricting our fundamental rights, imposing a curfew and prohibiting us from sitting on a bench in the open, this government would have been laughed at!
To do this, one did not have to be a virologist, an epidemiologist, but simply to invoke the experiences that one had with this government: whoever enforced nuclear power with all brutality, it is not about the health of people, but about something completely different.
If today leftists demonstrate against “lateral thinkers”, even demand a ban on demonstrations for them, then it is not about weird, strange and hardly tenable criticisms from the lateral thinkers spectrum. If it were only a question of that, it would be the task of a left to simply make a better critique of government policy.
The anger at the" lateral thinkers " comes from elsewhere. What drives many, too many leftists so crazy is the fact that they want exactly what the devil should be: to question knowledge of rule, to question motives and to make visible hidden interests and connections that expose the given motives.
The fact that this search is difficult and cannot be based on secret documents that have been brought into possession should be known to the left if it still wants to move in its history.
That there is a hidden truth behind the statements, the government statements, that these assumptions were very often true, the left has made strong.
Now part of the left in Germany is in the situation where it is annoyed by this questioning, because this questioning massively interferes with coming to terms with what is.
Because it has long been no longer about a vision that points beyond the existing. This part of the left wants instead of Trump, Bolsonaro and Orban … a Merkel version.
She does not want to let this very limited horizon be taken away and she certainly does not want to be presented with it.