Germany could never shake itself from the trauma of the First World War. The year was 1930, and even though Jazz clubs and racy nightlife augmented in Berlin during the latter parts of the Twenties, the Great Depression steamrolled over all of the capitalist nations of Europe. Stories of children starving to death again reached German ears.
The ‘western’ propaganda machine still fulminated that Germany was responsible for all of the evils of the war. Why was there no mention of the French Empire or the British Empire that controlled almost a quarter of the world’s surface? All of this Allied war propaganda was untrue, and French troops still occupied the Ruhr region. The failed and twice failed, and even thrice failed, Weimar Republic coalition governments, still had to pay ‘reparations,’ or extortion monies to Britain, France and the United States. Germany won on the eastern front in WW I, and of course, there were no reparations towards Russia. The hypocrisy and lies never ceased.
The National Socialists, or the Nazis, could also see that the Socialists or really, the ‘Social Democrats-Leftists-Reformists’ in the Weimar government were pathetic, and most Germans had gotten quite sick of their cowardice and lack of direction. They were no different from the right-wing, militarist madmen that just wanted to wield power. The Nazis main rivals, the Communists, and at that time, the strongest Communist Party outside of Russia, were still split and battle-scarred from the defeated 1918 Spartacist Revolutions in both Berlin and in Munich. The other political opposition was the Center Party, or the ‘Zentrum,’ which represented German Catholicism.
The Nazi Party began to jump onto and embrace the most recent political changes. Instead of watching on the sidelines like a small splinter party within the fringes of political discussions, it began to make the strategic moves, stir its own news, and form its own political coalitions. From a radical fringe of southern German reactionaries that tried to create a Bavarian separatist-fascist state during the 1920s, the Nazi Party transformed itself into a German revolutionary party, while utilizing both street violence and secret party coalitions in order to construct its national transformation.
It successfully moved from the War of Position to the War of Maneuver. Or as a contemporary political scientist and Italian Communist under house arrest, Antonio Gramsci, had stated: the party successfully creates the counter hegemony to counterattack the state hegemony.
Hegemony is not about domination. I continue to read both Leftist and Libertarian writers that refer to hegemony as a type of political-imperial oppression over the weak and subjugated, with statements such as, ‘the weakness or power of American hegemony.’ These intellectuals forget that hegemony, as previously explained by Antonio Gramsci, is actually a cultural practice of understanding the world and doing something about it.
Within our modern existence, and where most of us command caged lives inside violent, industrialized cities, we ourselves form our own ideas about our environs, initiate discussions with like minded friends, join political or cultural associations, and even make our own political alliances or choices.
People construct their own worldviews, shape their own realities, and create their own cultures. Whether it is a particular religious worship, hanging out with a certain subculture of fashion and music, or even attending a political demonstration, people themselves make their own history. History is not just battles, presidents and laws; it also represents everyday humanity creating their own cultural expressions, temporary communities, or hegemonies, in order to comprehend the world around them.
Most humans are not dupes as some Leftists commentators like to rattle about incessantly. We are all philosophers in our very own individualistic ways. The Tea Party Conservatives were not the willing idiots of the Koch Brothers either, as some Democratic party hacks have ranted about recently. If there was no national anger already swelling about seeing their proud country decay into a Third World disaster, yet possessing the most violent empire in world history, then no amount of Koch brother money would have been able to set up their public protests.
For us Anarchists, this means that we also have to embrace the times and places that we both live in and suffer from. A few intelligent Americans are waking up to the American nightmare that fogs over people’s lives, bodies, minds and emotions. Most citizens are too scared to fight, and we should leave them alone. But other angry and confused citizens are struggling out there. They want to hear another story besides the trite and pathetic lies vomiting out of the corporate news media and crap American television. We Anarchists have that other story. We do not need to form a cohesive political party like our Communist sect enemies, nor do we need to seize power, like some military officer caste; instead, we must have the courage to speak the truth when people ask, or when they complain to us about the way things are going politically.
I will continue my story on how the ultra-nationalist and reactionary Nazis became a national-revolutionary German party. When the Weimar state cowards and liars tried to push a bogus national referendum on making partial reparation payments, the Nazis rejected the vote fraud completely. Modern Germans did not like bullshit, and still do not like such games. Continue with your previous work or fight. The Nazis understood completely. Meanwhile, the National Socialists continued to incite even bloodier street fights against Communists and supposed collaborators with foreign occupying troops on German soil. They also began to move into other directions, such as fomenting the necessary political alliances, and often-contradictory ones.
Soon, the Nazis made overtures to particular German business owners and small business owners, or good capitalists that they liked. They successfully sloganeered that the problems of reparations and war guilt on Germany had destroyed business and opportunities in their own land. Meanwhile, the party press kept blabbering the anti-Semitic cant about manipulative Jewish stock jobbers turning the world capitalist economy upside down. The Nazis also played down their nationalist-class conflict patter.
Then, the National Socialists made overtures to the Prussian military caste, or the German military. This political alliance was not hard because the Nazis had the same desire for a continuation of war hostilities like the German high command. The Nazis even won some political positions inside a few regional governments.
With all of the street gang methods and political maneuvers towards the other gravitational pulls of power, the Nazis were still another right-wing political party moving on the national front. Their main base was Bavaria, which was the center of the German reaction and a very Catholic region. Finally, the Nazis made the right openings to the Catholic Church, and to its political appendage in Germany, the Zentrum.
Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazi party and not the most observant Catholic, arranged a meeting with the papal nuncio in Berlin, a man by the name of Eugenio Pacelli, who would later become Pope Pius XII during World War II. Right before the elections of 1933, the two parties, both the Zentrum and the Nazis united to form the strongest coalition party in Germany. The Nazi Party started ranting about the ‘destruction of the German family and defending real family values.’ The same year, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as his chancellor. The rest is history.
Hegemony also works repeatedly in the United States. The Republican-Democrat deception is a perfect case to analyze. The two parties simply pick and choose their new ‘political alliances’ depending on what gets the election results. First, there is the Democratic ‘base,’ which tries to include both large, and small business owners, both labor union bosses and workers with union seniority. Meanwhile, it makes overtures to middle class African-Americans and to certain Latino populations, such as second generation Mexican Americans. The Dems do not stop there, but also seek alliances with certain socio-economic ethnic groups, such as urban Asian Americans that despise lazy state spongers, wealthy Jewish-American, Israel First supporters living in large urban cities, and college educated, yuppie hipsters. This contradictory hodge-podge also hopes to attract Conservative farm and rust belt workers and senior citizens feeling insecure about Social Security, and next, urban Gay and Lesbian populations.
The Republicans also have their absurd political concoctions. They have attempted to organize Christian Evangelicals that want a Christian Republic, and yet the Repubs attract freethinking Libertarians in the western states wanting the government out of their lives. This political assemblage has the support of the ‘Don’t tread on me’ gun-Bible belt in the South, Mormons in the West, and large farmers in parts of New England. The party also contains a bunch of law and order followers calling for tougher laws, more prisons and more police, including staunch militarists, all of whom believe that the government has the sole right to bear arms – and to use them when it damn well feels like it. The party aims for the support of both business owners that live in gated communities and a few racist rednecks that live in trailer parks, and it hits on certain ethnic groups, such as Cuban Americans. If a historian were to examine the hegemonic alliances of both parties a hundred years earlier, in 1912, he or she would find very different and contradictory political bases on both aisles.
As long as there exists human civilization and urbanization, hegemony lives around us. We create our own culture, our own histories, and so therefore, we make up hegemonies, or our own political frameworks, even with all of their internal inconsistencies and absurdities.
We Anarchists have the easiest work load, unlike the other political party hacks and slaves out there hustling their weird ideologies and crap literature. Our destiny, or ‘Fortuna,’ takes some courage to act upon. Just bravely speak up or write the truth to power.