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Endgames [Part 4]

Sebastian Lotzer writes a monthly column for Non Copyriot: Endgames. Here is Part 4. Endgames is a series of contributions, mainly (but not only) to Corona related issues, mainly (but not only) in Germany.

Originally published by Non Copyriot. Written by Sebastian Lotzer. Translated by Riot Turtle.

See also Endgames 1, 2 & 3, on Non Copyriot (in German).

While Merkel speaks to the audience of Anne Will [1] about “necessary ” curfews, in order to promptly correct herself, “exit restrictions”, the social war comes masked, the taz, which was once founded as a reaction to the totality of the state during the “German autumn” [2], i.e. as a reaction to the confrontation between urban guerrillas and the FRG in 1977, the deaths of Stammheim, Minister of the Interior de Meziere, headlines in its local section in Hamburg deliberately trivializing: “Sleepover parties forbidden”. And while in Hamburg ZeroCovid still demonstrates against itself, the former Federal Minister of the Interior de Maizière is already further, he demands a change of the constitution, in order to be able to “react” fast in “future crises” “. In “such crises”, a “crisis team” with “new rights of intervention” and “rights to issue instructions to the (federal) states” is supposed to be activated. The army, too, is to be deployed as an extended police force under their command, e.g. “to secure buildings and areas”.

No more talk about the countless deaths in retirement and nursing homes, the completely failed propagated protection of “vulnerable groups”. No demos against those politically responsible, who despite half a year have not taken appropriate measures to protect people in these institutions, no actions against the operators of such institutions, while every third-rate AfD figure on one of the numerous cross-front [3] demos gets full attention from the anti-fascist left.

And the elderly, who have survived and are languishing in the residential and nursing homes, freshly vaccinated, must continue to wear masks and go about their shitty daily lives, even though all the staff have also been vaccinated. All social encounters continue to be banned, restrictions on visits continue to be imposed. But who is interested in the suffering in the homes for the elderly, who asks questions about the conditions under which human beings have to “live” in these institutions, who asks the fundamental question in what kind of society we live in, in which millions of people are kept in such hostile institutions. All this talk of “solidarity” debunks itself, what appears here as the real thing is the deeper-seated social motivation for dealing with the Corona pandemic, the splitting off of illness and death, which is particularly widespread among the left, who for decades no longer have any existential access to life, for whom even the prospect of a few years in jail is an imposition, which is why one is happy to be part of various events such as noG20, but then ignominiously abandons the prisoners from these struggles.

Corona is perceived primarily as an affront to one’s own ego, as the questioning of the possibility, taken for granted, of being able to shape one’s “life in a self-determined way”. A privileged middle-class left willingly submits to the state’s claims to omnipotence for the promise of “getting the problem solved”; dissent only arises when the state cannot fulfill its promise fast enough, which is why one then becomes part of the outbidding competition for the “right” repressive measures and pathetic initiatives like ZeroCovid are not embarrassed to celebrate pre-fascist approaches like in China and elevate the whore enemy Lauterbach [4], of all people, who has wanted to criminalize sex work for years, to the status of an icon.

Death and illness are externalized, the promise of the “good life” that the left has taken up at some point in the decline of antagonistic approaches to politics and struggle requires a high degree of splitting off, in the corona pandemic the defensive capacity of the atomized individual collapses, the social hysteria precisely reflects these inner conflicts. No longer able to establish an appropriate relationship to the risks and imponderables of life, trapped in a permanent regressive loop, panic breaks out. Healthy people in their mid-twenties hunker down in their apartments in panic mode, on nightly forays through the city one encounters people in good health who take walks in deserted streets wearing FFP2 masks, sad figures at public transport stations crouch down, their faces covered, although there is no possible germ carrier anywhere in sight. One’s own fear is no longer realized, acknowledged and classified, but projected in neurotic delusion onto third parties who would endanger “society” with “undiscerning” and “dangerous” behavior, when in reality only one’s own well-being is meant.

And of course, the decrees of the various evening curfews, some of which are disguised as “contact restrictions” like in Berlin, are no coincidence at precisely this moment. After 5 months of stifling social life, especially in the evening hours and with increasing outside temperatures, the public space should and must be brought under preventive control. The first skirmishes of young people in Berlin and Hamburg with the cops could be just the harbingers of a revolt, which already broke out last year in Stuttgart and Frankfurt and of which it is to be assumed that it could find considerably more supporters this time after being locked up for almost half a year. The serious riots in a park in Brussels this week also make clear how fast the whole thing can explode.

For a dumbed-down left, the cheap game with the grubby children of the Malle [5] vacationers may be sufficient, but for a youthful surplus proletariat the prospect of a second year in a state of emergency seems unbearable. The upcoming May Day demos could be a place of social conflictuality, could offer possibilities to come together at eye level with people who are no longer reachable by the system, but if one sees, for example, the orientation in Berlin towards a “broad, colorful, peaceful demo” and listens to the usual phrases of the organizers, justified doubts arise whether this is even wanted, or whether a general counterrevolutionary line emerges here, in which the future front lines are already depicted.

That the permanence of the state of emergency will represent future governance is no longer questionable, in the background the new power alliances are already warming up, in the face of the “climate catastrophe” the longest possible endurance of the empire must be secured during the endgame. It will amount to a deal between the privileged strata of the metropolitan islands of wealth and the ruling class and political elites, totalitarian governance will be scientifically accompanied and legitimized, the current pandemic state of emergency is the social laboratory of such future power maintenance operations. But just like the German left’s genuflection in 1914, its approval of the war credits and thus the slaughter of the first imperialist world war, led a few years later to council-communist uprisings and movements, to a (short) flourishing of “workers’ and soldiers’ councils,” perhaps the current development will lead as a catalyst to the overdue absolute break with all left milieus of which the Invisible Committee once wrote: “Flee all milieus. Each and every milieu is orientated towards the neutralization of some truth.“In the conflict zones where the left is no longer present, but which nevertheless or precisely because of this persist, agents of the Imaginary Party could join forces with the sisters and brothers of the surplus proletariat to map and explore the conditions and terrains of the inevitable future clashes, to familiarize themselves with them. Events like the Mini Riot on New Year’s Eve in Berlin give an idea of what such first steps of a new strategic alliance could look like, joining the youth in the parks would be a current possibility to go a step further:

“Get out where the youth homes are and the child-rich families and the sub-proletariat and the proletarian women who are just waiting to punch the right people in the face. They will take the lead. And don’t get caught, and learn from them how not to get caught – they know more about it than you do.”

Ulrike Meinhof et al.: “Building the Red Army,” in Agit 883; June 1970


[1] Anne Will is a talk show on German public TV.

[2] The “German Autumn” (German: “Deutscher Herbst“) was a series of events in Germany in late 1977 associated with the kidnapping and murder of industrialist and businessman Hanns Martin Schleyer, president of the Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI), by the Red Army Faction (RAF), a far-left urban guerilla group, and the hijacking of Lufthansa Flight 181 (known in Germany by the aircraft’s name, Landshut) by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). They demanded the release of ten RAF members detained at the Stammheim Prison plus two Palestinian compatriots held in Turkey and US$15 million in exchange for the hostages. The assassination of Siegfried Buback, the attorney-general of West Germany on 7 April 1977, and the failed kidnapping and murder of the banker Jürgen Ponto on 30 July 1977, marked the beginning of the German Autumn. It ended on October 18, 1977, with the liberation of the Landshut, the death of the leading figures of the first generation of the RAF in their prison cells, and the death of Schleyer.

[3] Querfront (“cross-front”) was the cooperation between conservative revolutionaries in Germany with the far-left during the Weimar Republic of the 1920s. The term is also used today for mutual entryism or cooperation between left and right-wing groups.

[4] Karl Lauterbach (born 21 February 1963) is a German scientist and politician of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). He is professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne. Since the 2005 federal elections, he has been a Member of the Bundestag. Last year, 16 members of the Bundestag from the CDU/CSU and SPD (including Karl Lauterbach) demanded in a letter to the German states that prostitution not only be exempted from the gradual relaxation of Corona measures in Spring 2020, but that sex for sale should be banned indefinitely. Lauterbach also said that Germany has to do more against climate change, because measures like curfews would be inevitable. In Germany Lauterbach is daily in German media. He is demanding to sharpen state Corona measures on a daily basis.

[5] In Germany Mallorca is often called Malle when people speak about the island as a tourist destination for holidays.

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