In the last couple of days, the eyes of the international left have been on Frankfurt and the massive Blockupy protest against the new, billion-euro European Central Bank headquarters in the German finance metropolis. And what images the protests gave us! From the beautiful – such as a massive banner spelling ‘capitalism kills’ unfurled across one of the central bank’s towers – to the surreal, such as clowns waving placards in front of burning police cars: David Lynch meets Dead Kennedys.
Politically, the emphasis was very much on the austerity policies meted out to Greece. Signs of opposition to the Greek anti-austerity party, Syriza, were manifest, too: a graffiti declaring ‘the left is dead’ and ‘fuck Syriza’ adorned the wall of a deglassed bank. But then, autonomists would say that, wouldn’t they? As an interesting piece from the left communist milieu recently argued, Syriza is by no means the continuation of the Greek social movements against austerity – rather, its election victory was preceded by the failure of these movements.
Hence, it strikes us that a return to anti-‘electoralist’ movementism, which in the last instance will always be sucked behind forces that are prepared to rule, is hardly the answer. How about a governmental project that fights in all spheres for one goal only: the pan-European rule of the working class through its own semi-state?
While many welcome our customary grumpiness as a much-needed antidote to the left’s breathless excitement over every political – and indeed, anti-political – fad, today we want to express nothing but sympathy for the Blockupy mobilisations. Why? Because context is everything. In Germany, every elemental resistance against capitalism – including the Blockupy movement – is viciously slandered as antisemitic by the ‘anti-Germans’, who have advanced from their humble beginnings as a scurrilous sect – the ‘German or True Socialists’ of their time – to being powerful ‘left’ outliers of the bourgeois establishment (more on this in next week’s edition of the Weekly Worker). In light of this, it is good to see that not all is lost in Germany: I salute the many thousands, including various communist groups, who marched in Frankfurt last Wednesday.