A short time after the harshest German police law was passed in Bavaria since the Nazis ruled Germany, now NRW is about to follow. The new law is an expression of advancing militarization, the provision of state power with intelligence capabilities and a far-reaching dismantling of civil rights.
Originally pubilhed by NIKA NRW. Machine translation edited by Enough is Enough.
Note: Enough is Enough is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
Saturday, July 7, 2018, 1 pm: DGB Haus, Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 34-38, Düsseldorf
Come to the radical left bloc of the campaign Nationalism is not an alternative and the interventionist left against the shift to the right and repression.
Break the authoritarian formation!
Against security mania, state and capital
In NRW, the introduction of the new police law is imminent. It contains several tightenings of existing laws, as well as expansion of powers for the police. With this text, we want to place the law in the context of the shift to the right in society and call for a demonstration against its introduction.
Kingdom of fear
We live in safe times. Fear rules in society and aggressively asserts its legitimacy when questioned about its justification. Sometimes Boris Palmer, green mayor of Tübingen, can tell in the interview with Spiegel about his professor friend, who does not send his blond daughters to the streets any more. Because of the “refugees”, of course. Those opposing AfD and their allies, on the other hand, must be accused of not taking seriously the “fears” of the citizens who represent these professionals of fear. There is only one particular fear, the fear of the disappearance of the people, the fear of no longer being masters of one’s own national home. The fear of Muslims against attacks on the street, the fear of refugees from arson attacks, the fear of Jews against a new normalization of anti-Semitism is not spoken about when it comes to fear. When it comes to fear, it is clear who is afraid and for whom to be afraid.
This fear screams for security. The latest form of security is presented to the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in the form of a black and yellow gift package, which is to be decided in parliament in autumn: the new police law (Polg NRW). This law has its predecessor in the Bavarian police duty law, which was already decided in May. What this law should make possible for the state is brutally impressive.
These include, among other things, the ability of the police to detain people in the event of “imminent danger”, that is, without concrete suspicion. Such “perpetrators” may also get electronic tags that allow their location and they can be banned to contact police-determined groups of people. From now on, the police can also use so-called tasers, electric shock weapons, which in many cases are unintentionally lethal, to act against unpopular demonstrators.
About the comparable police law in Bavaria a commissioned expert by the opposition in the Bavarian state parliament wrote that cince 1945 no German authority had such a comprehensive power of intervention and control in the way of life and people’s privacy.
A journey of a thousand kilometers begins with the first step
That the police law in this form is now possible, is not a coincidence, but the result of a social development that has been prepared in many small steps, what is considered today as “unquestionable normality” an authoritarian formation of society, or in short: “right-wing”.This development was initially evident in the emergence of authoritarian and nationalist parties such as the AfD and street mob organizations such as Pegida. This was followed by a new old legibility of positive references to the German soldiers of two world wars (Alexander Gauland), the Nazi concept of nationalism (Frauke Petry) and the relativization of the Holocaust (Björn Höcke and Alexander Gauland). Whoever confront us now, that these statements were met with sharp and open criticism, will be answered that this criticism had no consequences for the AfD. Neither is the public statement of their fascist positions resolutely prevented, nor is it made clear that nationalistic racism, racism, anti-Semitism and sexism will never have legitimacy, no matter how many people they represent. Instead, the positions of AfD are taken over and repeated in different ways throughout the party landscape. Both in parliament and in civil society people are shouting “asylum crime”. The police law also fits into this series of authoritarian shifts. That conservative and central parties take over positions of the extrem right, however, can be explained by the attempt to retrieve migrant voters, the fear of the ballot of the next election, and thus, the fear of the mob, not sufficiently explain. The shift to the right of the parties and the state is not just an escape to the right. The right-wing approach to society does not put parties and government institutions under pressure to do something they otherwise hate. Rather, it creates for them a field of possibilities to live out authoritarian imprints that were already there.
As authoritarian character called by Theodor W. Adorno the set of qualities that favor the emergence of a fascist political position. The authoritarian personality balances their own weakly-developed ego with over-identification with the national collective. The anger that results from the suffering of dressing up in the cutthroat competition for the most common resources is left out of unprotected groups that have been targeted by social consensus. The authoritarian imprint consists in obedience and abandonment of one’s own reason in favor of the decisions of transferred persons and institutions. It does not fall from the sky, but is a result of socialization in capitalism and thus not an individual case, but a systemic phenomenon. In the daily competition against all the others the individual is forced to get rid of the most necessary. Before his personality has developed, his deepest needs and ideas are being shaped by state apparatuses and the ubiquitous culture industry and thereby unified with others. When a crisis shakes its world view, the authoritarian characters begin to act: on the whole social level, the phenomenon that we describe as authoritarian formation emerges. This can be an economic crisis that puts their livelihoods in real or apparent questioning. Or they are elements of societal transformation processes that contradict the authoritarian view of the world. The sudden appearance of escaped people for the authoritarian perception poses a threat to their closed world view. Whether the approaching wave, which rolls down the perfect world between the garden fence and corner bar, has nothing to do with the social reality, does not matter, because the fuel for Authoritarian aggression does not come from the social event of the arrival of fleeing people, but from the capitalist conditions that produces the authoritarian character of individuals.
In the wonderland of the right
The Seehofers of this world come to themselves in the crisis of liberalism, they can pronounce now irresistibly what they think anyway. The societal headwind that has given them borders so far is now far enough away so they can set the sails in the direction that they always had in mind: the past. Whether this past will be the fifties or thirties is currently under negotiation between the different right groups. That for the protection of Christianity obligatory crosses should be hung, Markus Söder also thought before. Now there is a social climate in which his resentment can become a political program. Not the prophet came to the mountain, but the mountain to the prophet. AfD and co. With their hate rhetoric, they have paved the way for normality, which is now the responsibility of those who argue for humanity towards refugees and asylum seekers, and not those who oppose it. A parliament in which the AfD sits does not represent an AfD position, but this is the edge and thus the accepted framework. As a result, the center is a policy that does not openly represent nationalist programs, but always has to answer for its representatives. The Seehofers and Söders, the new right-wing center of society, do not flee from the rightward shift of society, they are not coerced, they legitimize the shift to the right and actively drive it forward. Likewise it is ordered around the general social situation. This is not just about a debate. The fire rhetoric all too often follows the fire in the refugee home, words have consequences.
It is not that it is fascism that the problem of the grim new normality that runs through all parties, through the media and opinionated social organizations. The problem is that it is an atmosphere in which it becomes possible.
The police are political
The police are no exception in this new normality. In any case, it is not the socially neutral institution that it pretends to be in times of neoliberal hegemony. If the police are seen as a cross-section of society in which all parties and political positions are represented, a closer look at the security organs in the conflicting society of capitalism shows that they are compelled towards authoritarianism because of their intrinsic logic. The police violently pacify the conflicts that are the result of the social structure of bourgeois society and are understood in bourgeois society as criminality, as a deviation from the norm. However, it remains unnoticed that it is the normality, poverty and lack of prospects, that inevitably entails criminal behavior. The police only punish the dissenters. These are identified as the culprits and not the system that shaped their behavior. A capitalist system can not function without such a security apparatus: if deviant behavior were not violently sanctioned, the already fragile bourgeois society would sink into chaos and an open struggle for the rights of the strongest would take place. This stronger one is the same in the developed state with its monopoly of force. The police always ensure the continuation of the bourgeois state and civil society by fighting the deviation. To the individual official, social violence always presents itself in the form of individuals, whose individual transgressions are met with punishment.
This shows the systemic logic of the security apparatus on an individual level and strengthens the officials on the one hand, the feeling of their own righteousness, on the other hand, a moral corruption of the world, which threatens security – which fits perfectly into an authoritarian world view. This authoritarian functioning screams for more attachment of violence, more police and stricter laws. The institutional logic of the bureaucratic apparatus plays into the cards: jobs and competences must be protected, preserved and broadened; this requires the social expansion of the ideology of the permanent threat to security by advertising for one’s own position. In the shift to the right, the authoritarian individuals feel threatened – the security apparatus answers their own question. Social climate and authoritarian logic of the security apparatus shake hands with the new police law.
Sky’s the limit
The police are political. It goes as far as it can go socially legitimated. In a society on which the shift to the right is heading, the police enjoy a much more unrestricted freedom of action than before. The object to which the aggravation is apparently related, to which it seems to be owed, is only the confirmation of the ideology that exists anyway. It has always stuck the label on. Authoritarians without statistics know that refugees are criminal and can only confirm their resentment and never refute it. That left-wing criminals and traitors are inside is irrespective of whether they exercise mass militancy at the G20 summit or sit-in at the AFD party congress. The object comes to interpretation, not the interpretation to the object.
Left-wing dissidents are persecuted with alarmist zeal, even if they do not pose a threat to the prevailing order. Rather, the more devoted one is to the weaker ones. A new means of this intervention is the police law, in which activists can be imposed with the strictest suspicion of police contact bans on their friends and comrades. The perpetrator awaits the electronic tag, the rebel demonstrator the Taser.
In a right-wing society, which shouts for security and thus security against “foreigners”, the police simply no longer have to justify their paranoid logic, since this is congruent with that of the majority of society. The police law is the proof of the extent to which the twilight is already advanced.
This train ends here
The Police Law is an institutional expression of the shift to the right. The shift to the right appears in the attempt of a right-wing hegemony, which alone can be put in the place of a leftist movement. The task is to gather the left forces. The left intervention is the only limit on which the authoritarian formation can fail. We want to invite everyone who does not want an authoritarian police state and its fans to stand up with us, take the streets and send the signal, “Here’s the end!” We do not want a normality of folkish nationalism or a police force. who can simply imprison people in asserting an “imminent danger”. Anyone who does not want to talk about the police law should be silent about the AfD. We descended the ladder back to the dark age of the German 20th century far enough. We want to put an end to the police law and right-wing social formation from which it emerged, as well as to the capitalist circumstances that spew such disgusting things in every crisis. You are all invited to join us when the party starts. The shift to the right ends with us.
Help us to maintain the Enough is Enough blog and keep us going. We also want to extend our from the ground coverage this year. But we need your support to finance it. Travel expenses etc. Here is how you can support our work: https://enoughisenough14.org/help-maintain-our-site-and-continue-our-work-donate-2/
We can also receive Bitcoin donations:
Support Enough is Enough! Donate!
Donation for our work in the Enough is Enough info-shop and our independent reporting on our blog and social media channels.