Kategorie-Archiv: Culture

Leon Trotsky – Culture and Socialism – 1927

By Leon Trotsky
23 October 2008

This work concisely explains the fundamentals of a Marxist approach to culture and art, explaining the link between the growth of technological culture and mass acquisition of artistic and spiritual culture in the 1920s USSR. Trotsky begins by discussing the different components of culture: technology and material culture, philosophy, the natural sciences, and the arts and humanities. After polemicizing against views – then promoted by the growing Soviet bureaucracy under the name „proletarian culture“ – that art from previous epochs of mankind’s history should be disregarded due to their dangerous class influences, Trotsky explains the material realities of the early USSR with which the Marxist movement had to deal in order to raise the cultural level of the population. This text is a slightly edited version of the translation by Brian Pearce which originally appeared in Labour Review, New Park Publications, in Autumn 1962.

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I. Technology and Culture

Let us recall first of all that culture once signified a ploughed, cultivated field, as opposed to untouched forests and virgin lands. Culture was juxtaposed to nature, that is, what had been achieved by human effort was contrasted with the gifts of nature. This juxtaposition fundamentally retains its force even today.

Culture is all that has been created, built, assimilated and achieved by man throughout the course of his entire history, in contrast with what has been given by nature, including the natural history of man himself as an animal species. The science which studies man as a product of animal evolution is called anthropology. But from the very moment when man separated himself from the animal kingdom, – and this occurred approximately when he first took into his hands primitive tools such as stones or sticks and armed the organs of his body with them, – from that time the creation and accumulation of culture began, that is, of all kinds of knowledge and skill in the struggle with nature in order to pacify nature.

When we speak of the culture accumulated by past generations, we deliberately rest upon primarily its material acquisitions in the form of tools, machines, buildings, monuments and so forth. Is this culture? Undoubtedly it is culture, or its material deposits, – material culture. It creates, – on the foundations of nature – the basic setting for our life, our everyday existence, and our creativity. But the most valuable part of culture consists of its deposits in the consciousness of man himself – our devices, customs, skills, and acquired capabilities which grew out of all preceding material culture and, while resting upon it, continues to rebuild it. We will then, comrades, consider it firmly established: culture grows out of man’s struggle with nature for existence, for the improvements of living conditions, for the increase of his power. But it is on this basis that classes grow as well. In the process of adapting to nature, in the struggle with its hostile forces, human society develops into a complex class organization. It is the class structure of society which most decisively determines the content and form of human history, i.e., its material relations and their ideological reflections. By saying this, we are also saying that historical culture has a class character.

Slave society, feudal-serf and bourgeois society have engendered a corresponding culture: at various stages there is different culture, with a multitude of transitional forms. Historical society is the organization of the exploitation of man by man. Culture serves the class organization of society. An exploiting society gives birth to an exploitative culture. But does this then mean that we are against all culture of the past?

We have indeed come upon a profound contradiction. Everything that has been won, created and built through the efforts of man and which serves to elevate man’s powers – is culture. But since we are dealing with social rather than individual man; since culture is a socio-historical phenomenon by its very essence; since historical society was and continues to be class society, then culture unfolds as a fundamental instrument of class oppression. Marx said: „The dominant ideas of an epoch are the ideas of the ruling class of the given epoch.“ This statement also applies to culture as a whole. Yet we say to the working class: you must master all the culture of the past, otherwise you won’t build socialism. How can this be understood?

Many have stumbled over this contradiction, and they stumble so frequently because they approach the concept of class society superficially, semi-idealistically, forgetting that fundamentally this is the organization of production. Every class society developed according to definite means of struggling with nature, and these means have changed depending on the development of technology. What is more fundamental: the class organization of society or its productive forces? Undoubtedly, the productive forces. For it is on them, on a certain level of their development, that classes evolve and refashion themselves. In the productive forces is expressed man’s materialized economic skill, his historical ability to secure his own existence. Classes grow on this dynamic foundation, and their mutual relations determine the character of culture.

And hence, with regard to technology above all else, we must ask ourselves: is it only an instrument of class oppression? It is enough to ask such a question to be able to answer at once: no, technology is a basic conquest of mankind; although it has indeed served until now as an instrument of exploitation, it is at the same time the basic requirement for the liberation of the exploited. The machine strangles the wage-slave. But the wage-slave can only be freed through the machine. Herein lies the root of the whole question.

If we don’t forget that the driving force of the historical process is the growth of productive forces which liberate man from the power of nature, then we will understand that the proletariat must master the entire accumulation of knowledge and skill, developed by mankind over the course of its history, in order to raise itself up by rebuilding life on the principles of solidarity.

„Does culture drive technology, or technology culture?“ – asks one of the notes lying before me. This is the wrong way to pose the question. Technology cannot be counterposed to culture, for it is culture’s mainspring. Without technology there is no culture. The growth of technology drives culture forward. But the science and general culture which rise up on the basis of technology give a powerful impulse to the growth of technology. Here there is a dialectical interaction.

Comrades, if you need a simple but expressive example of the contradiction imbedded in technology itself, then you won’t find a better one than railways. If you examine European passenger trains, then you will see there wagons of „various classes.“ These classes remind us of the classes in capitalist society. First class is for the privileged elite, second for the middle bourgeoisie, third for the petty bourgeoisie and fourth – for the proletariat, which for good reason was formerly called the fourth estate. Taken by themselves, railways are a colossal cultural and technological conquest by mankind, which greatly changed the face of the earth in the course of a single century. But the class structure of society influences even the structure of the means of transport. And our Soviet railways are still a long ways from equality. That is not only because they use wagons inherited from the past, but also because the New Economic Policy only prepares equality, but does not create it.

Before the advent of railways, civilization crowded along the shores of the seas and banks of large rivers. Railways introduced whole continents to capitalist culture. One of the fundamental, if not the most fundamental reason for the backwardness and neglect of the Russian village is the lack of railways, highways and access roads. In this respect, the majority of our villages remain in pre-capitalist conditions. We must overcome what is our great ally and at the same time our greatest foe – distance. Socialist economy is planned economy. A plan assumes communication, most of all. The means of transportation are the most important mode of communication. Every new railway line is a road to culture, and in our conditions a road to socialism. Once again, with the raising of the technology of the means of transportation and the prosperity of the country, the social profile of the railways will change as well: the division into „classes“ will disappear, and everyone will travel in comfortable wagons… if, by that time people still ride in wagons, rather than preferring to travel on airplanes which are available to one and all.

Let’s take another example – the instruments of militarism, the means of destruction. In this sphere the class nature of society is expressed in particularly clear and repulsive forms. There is no destructive device, be it an explosive or a poisonous substance, the discovery of which would not be a valuable scientific or technological achievement in itself. Explosives or poisonous substances can also be used for creative, and not only destructive purposes, and they open up new possibilities in the area of discoveries and inventions.

The proletariat can seize state power only by shattering the old apparatus of class rule. We have performed this work more decisively than ever has been done in history. However, in building a new apparatus, we discovered that we were compelled to use elements of the old to a certain and rather significant degree. The further socialist reconstruction of the state apparatus is inextricably linked with political, economic and cultural work in general.

We don’t have to shatter technology. The proletariat takes possession of the factories outfitted by the bourgeoisie, and it does so in the form in which the revolutionary overthrow found them. The old equipment serves us to this very day. Such a circumstance reveals most clearly and directly the fact that we do not renounce this „heritage.“ How could it be otherwise? After all, the revolution was carried out precisely in order to seize this „heritage.“ However, in the form in which we took it, the old technology is completely unsuitable for socialism. It represents the crystallized anarchy of the capitalist economy. The competition between various enterprises, the drive for profits, the uneven development of separate branches, the backwardness of various regions, the small-scale nature of agriculture, the squandering of human resources, – in technology all this found its expression in iron and copper. But whereas the apparatus of class oppression can be shattered with a revolutionary blow, the productive apparatus of capitalist anarchy can only be reconstructed gradually. The completion of the restoration period, – on the basis of the old equipment – only leads us to the threshold of this grandiose task. We must complete it no matter what.

II. The Heritage of Spiritual Culture

Spiritual culture is just as contradictory as material culture. And just as from the arsenals and warehouses of material culture we put into circulation not the bow and arrow, not stone tools or bronze age tools, but we take the best possible tools of the latest technology, – we must approach spiritual culture in just the same way.

The main element in the culture of the old society was religion. It was the most important form of human knowledge and unity; but in this form was expressed most of all the weakness of man before nature and his powerlessness within society. We are thoroughly sweeping aside religion and all its surrogates.

The situation with philosophy is different. From the philosophy created by class society we must assimilate two invaluable elements: materialism and dialectics. It was precisely from the organic combination of materialism and dialectics that Marx’s method was born and his system arose. This method lies at the foundations of Leninism.

If we pass on to science in the true sense of the word, then here it becomes absolutely clear that we confront an enormous reservoir of knowledge and skill accumulated by mankind throughout its long life. One can, it is true, point out that in science, whose goal is the cognition of reality, there are many tendentious class adulterations. Absolutely correct! If even the railways show signs of the privileged position of some and the poverty of others, then the same applies even more so to science, whose material is much more flexible than the metal and wood used to build railway cars. But we must keep in mind that scientific creativity is fundamentally nourished by the need to understand nature, in order to master its forces. Although class interests have introduced and continue to introduce false tendencies even in the natural sciences, nevertheless this falsification is limited by the bounds beyond which it begins to directly obstruct technological progress. If you examine the natural sciences from the ground up, from the realm of accumulating elementary facts to the highest and most complex generalizations, then you will see that the more empirical the scientific investigation, the closer it is to its material and to the facts, the more indisputable are the results it gives. The wider the field of generalizations, the more closely natural science comes to problems of philosophy, the more susceptible it is to the influence of class suggestions.

Matters are more complicated and worse when it comes to the social sciences and the so-called „humanities“. Even here, of course, the desire to know what is was fundamentally at work. Due to this we have had, by the way, the brilliant school of classical bourgeois economists. But class interest, which is felt in the social sciences much more directly and imperatively than in natural science, soon brought to a halt the development of economic thought in bourgeois society. In this field we communists are better armed, however, than in any other. Basing themselves on bourgeois science and criticizing it, the socialist theoreticians who were awakened by the class struggle of the proletariat created, in the works of Marx and Engels, the powerful method of historical materialism and its unsurpassed application in Capital. This does not mean, of course, that we are insured against the influence of bourgeois ideas in the fields of economics and sociology as a whole. No, at every step the most vulgar professorial-socialistic and philistine-populist tendencies burst into our everyday practice from the old „treasure-houses“ of knowledge, seeking nourishment for themselves in the amorphous and contradictory relations of the transitional period. But even in this realm we have the irreplaceable criteria of Marxism which have been verified and enriched in Lenin’s works. And the less we restrict ourselves to the experience of today, the more widely we embrace world-wide economic development as a whole, separating its basic tendencies from conjunctural changes, the more decisive will be our victory over vulgar economists and sociologists.

In questions of law, morality and ideology in general, the situation of bourgeois science is even more lamentable, if this is possible, than in the realm of economics. One can find a tiny pearl of genuine knowledge in these fields only after rummaging through dozens of professorial dungheaps.

Dialectics and materialism comprise the basic elements of the Marxist cognition of the world. But this by no means implies that they can be applied in any field of knowledge like an ever-ready master-key. The dialectic cannot be imposed on facts, it must be derived from the facts, from their nature and their development. Only painstaking work on boundless material gave Marx the ability to erect the dialectical system of economics on the concept of value as realized labor. Marx’s historical works, and even his newspaper articles, are constructed in the same way. One can apply dialectical materialism to new fields of knowledge only while mastering them from within. Bourgeois science can be cleaned up only by mastering bourgeois science. You will achieve nothing here by wild criticism or naked command. Assimilation and application go hand in hand here with critical re-working. We have the method, but there is enough work to last generations.

The Marxist criticism of science must be not only vigilant, but cautious, otherwise it might degenerate into out-and-out sycophancy or Famusovism.[1] Let us take psychology as an example. Pavlov’s reflexology completely follows the lines of dialectical materialism. It destroys for all time the wall between physiology and psychology. The simplest reflex is physiological, and a system of reflexes gives us „consciousness.“ The accumulation of physiological quantity yields a new „psychological“ quality. The method of Pavlov’s school is experimental and painstaking. Generalizations are being won step by step: from a dog’s saliva to poetry, i.e., to its psychological mechanics (but not its social content). Of course, the paths leading to poetry are yet to be seen.

The school of the Viennese psychoanalyst Freud takes a different approach to the problem. It assumes in advance that the driving force behind the most complex and refined psychic processes is physiological need. In this general sense it is materialistic, if we leave aside the question of whether or not it places too much emphasis on the sexual element at the expense of others, for this is already a debate within the confines of materialism. But the psychoanalyst doesn’t approach the problem of consciousness experimentally, from lower phenomena to higher, or from simple reflex to complex; he tries to take all these intermediate steps with a single bound, going from the top down, from religious myth, lyrical poem or dream – straight to the physiological foundation of the psyche.

Idealists teach that the psyche is independent, and that the „soul“ is a bottomless well. Both Pavlov and Freud consider that physiology is the bottom of the „soul.“ But Pavlov, like a diver, descends to the bottom and painstakingly investigates the well from the bottom up. Freud, on the other hand, stands above the well, and with a penetrating stare tries to capture or guess the outlines of the bottom through the depths of the ever-changing and murky water. Pavlov’s method is the experiment. Freud’s method is conjecture, and sometimes fantastic. The attempt to declare psychoanalysis „incompatible“ with Marxism and to simply turn one’s back on Freudianism is too simple, or, to be more precise, simplistic. But in no case are we obliged to adopt Freudianism either. It is a working hypothesis which can give and undoubtedly does give conclusions and conjectures which go along the lines of materialist psychology. In time, the experimental path leads to verification. But we have neither the grounds nor the right to impose a ban on the other path, which, even if it is less reliable, still tries to anticipate the conclusions that will be reached by the experimental path, just much more slowly.[2]

With these examples I wanted, if only partially, to show the diversity of our scientific heritage and the complexity of the ways in which the proletariat can begin to master it. If in economic construction matters are not decided by decree and we must „learn to trade,“ then in science, naked command will yield nothing but harm and embarrassment. Here we have to „learn how to learn.“

Art is one of the forms through which man finds an orientation in the world; in this sense the heritage of art is no different from the heritage of science and technology, – and it is no less contradictory. However, unlike science, art is a form of cognizing the world not as a system of laws, but as a grouping of images and, at the same time, as a means of inspiring certain feelings and moods. The art of past centuries has made man more complex and flexible, raising his psyche to a higher level and enriching his mind in many ways. This enrichment is an invaluable conquest of culture. Mastery of the old art is therefore a necessary prerequisite not only for the creation of a new art, but for the construction of a new society, because for communism, people are needed with a highly developed psyche. Is the old art capable, however, of enriching us with the artistic cognition of the world? Yes, it is. And it is precisely for this reason that it is capable of nourishing our feelings and cultivating them. If we were to indiscriminately renounce the old art, then immediately we would become poorer in spirit.

Here and there we can observe among us today the tendency to advance the idea that art has as its goal only the inspiration of certain moods, but by no means the cognition of reality. Hence the conclusion: what kind of feelings can we be infected with by the art of the nobility or bourgeoisie? This is fundamentally wrong. The significance of art as a means of cognition – not only for the popular masses too, but for them in particular – is no less than its „sensual“ significance. Not only the heroic poem, but the fairy-tale, song, proverb and popular ditty give us cognition in images; they illuminate the past, generalize our experience, widen our horizons, and only in this connection are capable of inspiring certain „feelings.“ This applies to all literature in general, not only to the epos but to the lyrical poem as well. It applies to painting and sculpture, too. The only exception, in a certain sense, is music, the effect of which is powerful, but one-sided. Of course, even music is based on a particular cognition of nature, of its sound and rhythms. But here the cognition is so deeply concealed, and the results of nature’s inspirations so greatly refracted through the nerves of man, that music acts as a self-sufficient „revelation.“ Attempts to approximate all forms of art to music as the art of „infection“ have frequently been made, and they always have signified the reduction of the role of reason in art in favor of an amorphous sensuality; in this sense they were and are reactionary… Worst of all, of course, are such works of „art“ which give us neither cognition in images nor artistic „infection,“ but which advance the most outlandish pretensions. We publish no small number of such works, and unfortunately they appear not in student notebooks of work-studios, but in many thousands of copies…

Culture is a social phenomenon. For this very reason, language, as an instrument of communication between people, is its most important tool. The culture of language itself is the most important condition for the growth of all fields of culture, particularly science and art. Just as technology remains unsatisfied by the old measuring instruments and creates new ones: micrometers, voltmeters and so forth, aiming for and achieving ever greater accuracy, so, too, in the realm of language, the ability to choose the appropriate words and to combine them in the appropriate fashion, we need constant and systematic painstaking work on the achievement of the greatest precision, clarity and sharpness. The basis of this work must be the fight against illiteracy, semi-literacy or a low level of literacy. The next stage in this work is the mastery of classical Russian literature.

Yes, culture has been the main instrument of class oppression. But culture, and it alone, can become the instrument of socialist emancipation.

III. Our Cultural Contradictions

Town and Country

What is peculiar about our position is that we – at the crossroads of the capitalist West and the colonial-peasant East – were the first to carry out a socialist revolution. The regime of proletarian dictatorship was first established in a country with an enormous heritage of backwardness and barbarism, so that with us whole centuries of history lie between a Siberian nomad and a Moscow or Leningrad proletarian. Our social forms are transitional to socialism, therefore they are immeasurably higher than capitalist forms. In this sense we are justified in considering ourselves the most advanced country in the world. But our technology, which lies at the foundations of material or any other culture, is extraordinarily backward in comparison to the advanced capitalist countries. Herein lies the basic contradiction of our present reality. The historical task which flows from this contradiction consists in raising technology to the level of the social form. If we were unable to do this, then our social structure would inevitably fall to the level of our technological backwardness. Yes, in order to understand the full significance of technological progress for us, we must openly tell ourselves: if we were to be unable to supplement the Soviet form of our structure with the required productive technology, then we would preclude the possibility of making the transition to socialism and we would return back to capitalism, – and to what kind? To semi-serf, semi-colonial capitalism. The struggle for technology for us is the struggle for socialism, to which the entire future of our culture is inextricably linked.

Here is a fresh and very expressive example of our cultural contradictions. A few days ago a note appeared in our newspapers that our Public Library in Leningrad has taken first place when it comes to the number of volumes: it now holds 4,250,000 books! Our first sensation is a legitimate feeling of Soviet pride: our library is the first in the world! To what do we owe this achievement? To the fact that we expropriated private libraries. By nationalizing private property we have created the richest cultural institution, which is accessible to all. This simple fact indisputably illustrates the great advantages of the Soviet structure. But at the same time our cultural backwardness is expressed in the fact that the percentage of illiteracy in our country is greater than in any other European nation. Our library is first in the world, but as yet the minority of our population reads books. That’s the way it is almost everywhere. Nationalized industry with gigantic but far from fantastic projects of the Dneprostroi, the Volga-Don Canal, etc., – yet the peasants still thresh with flails and rollers. Our marital legislation is permeated with a socialist spirit, but beatings still play no small role in family life. These and other contradictions flow from the entire structure of our culture, which is at the crossroads between West and East.

The basis of our backwardness is the monstrous domination of the village over the city, of agriculture over industry; moreover the village is dominated once again by the most backward tools and means of production. When we speak about historical serfdom, we primarily have in mind estate relations, the bondage of the peasant to the land-owner and Tsarist official. But, comrades, serfdom has a deeper foundation beneath it: the bondage of man to the earth, the full dependence of the peasant on the elements. Have you read Gleb Uspensky? I fear that the younger generation is not reading him. We must republish him, or at least his best works, and he has some superb ones. Uspensky was a populist. His political program was thoroughly utopian. But Uspensky – the chronicler of the village – is not only a superb artist, he is also a remarkable realist. He was able to understand the everyday life of the peasant and his psyche as derived phenomena which grow on an economic base and which are completely determined by it. He was able to understand the economic base of the village as the enslaved dependence of the peasant in the labor-process on the soil, and in general on the forces of nature. You should definitely read at least his Power of the Land. With Uspensky, artistic intuition replaces the Marxist method and, judging from its results, can in many respects compete with it. For precisely this reason, Uspensky the artist was always locked in mortal combat with Uspensky the populist. Even now we still must learn from the artist if we want to understand the powerful remnants of serfdom in peasant life, particularly in family relations, which often spill over into city life: it is enough to listen carefully to the different notes of the discussion now unfolding concerning problems of marital legislation!

In all parts of the world, capitalism has made extremely tense the contradiction between industry and agriculture, town and country. In our country, due to the belatedness of our historical development, this contradiction bears an absolutely monstrous character. No matter how strange it might seem, our industry has already tried to equal the European and American examples at a time when our countryside has kept receding into the depths of the seventeenth and even more distant centuries. Even in America capitalism is clearly unable to raise agriculture to the level of industry. This task completely passes over to socialism. In our conditions, with the colossal predominance of the village over the city, the industrialization of agriculture is the most important part of socialist construction.

By the industrialization of agriculture we understand two processes, which, only when taken in combination, can finally and decisively erase the boundary between town and country. Let us dwell a bit more on this crucial question.

The industrialization of agriculture consists, on the one hand, in the separation from the village domestic economy of a whole series of branches involved in the preliminary processing of industrial resources and raw foodstuffs. For all industry in general has come from the countryside, by way of handicrafts and primitive production, through the detachment of various branches from the closed system of household economy, through specialization, and the creation of the necessary training, technology, and then even machine production. Our Soviet industrialization will have to follow this path to a large degree, i.e., it must follow the path of socializing a whole series of productive processes which stand between village economy, in the true sense of the word, and industry. The example of the United States shows that unlimited possibilities lie before us.

But the question is not exhausted by what we have said. The overcoming of the contradictions between agriculture and industry assumes the industrialization of field-crop cultivation, animal husbandry, horticulture and so forth. This means that even these branches of productive activity must be based on scientific technology: the broad utilization of machines in the correct combination, tractorization and electrification, fertilization, proper crop rotation, laboratory and experimental testing of methods and results, the correct organization of the entire production process with the most rational use of labor power, etc. Of course, even highly organized field cultivation will differ in some ways from machine-building. But then even in industry, various branches profoundly differ from one another. If today we are justified in juxtaposing agriculture to industry as a whole, then this is because agriculture is conducted on a small scale and by primitive means, with a slavish dependence of the producer on the conditions of nature and with highly uncultured conditions of existence for the peasant-producer. It is not enough to socialize, i.e. to switch over to factory rails, separate branches of today’s village economy, such as butter-making, cheese-making, the production of starch or syrup, etc. We must socialize agriculture itself, that is, tear it away from its present state of fragmentation and replace today’s squalid digging around in the soil with scientifically organized grain and rye „factories,“ with cattle and sheep „processing plants,“ and so forth. That this is possible is shown in part by the capitalist experience already at hand, in particular in the agricultural experience of Denmark, where even hens have been subordinated to planning and standardization; they lay eggs according to schedule, in enormous quantities, and of the same size and color.

The industrialization of agriculture means the elimination of today’s fundamental contradiction between countryside and city, and consequently, between the peasant and worker: when it comes to their role in the nation’s economy, their living standards, or their cultural level, they must approximate each other to such a degree that the very boundary between them has disappeared. A society where the mechanized cultivation of the fields is an equal part of the planned economy, where the city adopts the advantages of the countryside (open spaces, greenery), and where the village enriches itself with the advantages of the city (paved roads, electric lights, piped water supply, sewer system), that is, where the very contradiction between town and country disappears, where the peasant and worker turn into participants of equal value and equal rights in a unified production process – such a society will be a genuine socialist society.

The road to this society is long and difficult. Mighty electro-power stations are the most important milestones along the way. They will bring to the village both light and transforming power: against the power of the soil – the power of electricity!

Not long ago we opened the Shatura power station, one of the best of our construction sites, built on a peat-bog. From Moscow to Shatura is a little more than one hundred kilometers. It would seem that they could shake hands. And yet what a difference in conditions! Moscow is the capital of the Communist International. But you go a few dozen kilometers and you find backwoods, snow and fir-trees, frozen swamps and wild beasts. Black, log-cabined hamlets lie dozing beneath the snow. Sometimes wolf tracks can be seen from the window of the railway car. Where the Shatura station now stands, a few years ago, when they started construction, elk could be found. Now the distance between Moscow and Shatura is covered by a sophisticated construction of metallic masts which support the cable for 115,000 volts of current. And beneath these masts, foxes and wolves will bring out their young. That’s the way it is with our entire culture – it is made from the most extreme contradictions, from the highest achievements of technology and generalizing thought on the one hand, and from the primordial taiga on the other.

Shatura lives on peat as if it were pasture. Indeed, all the miracles created by the childish imagination of religion, and even by the creative fantasy of poetry, pale before this simple fact: machines which occupy insignificant space are devouring the age-old swamp, transforming it into invisible energy, and returning it along slender cables to the same industry which created and set up these machines.

Shatura is a thing of beauty. It was made by builders who were gifted and devoted to their work. Its beauty is neither artificial nor superimposed, but growing from the inner characteristics and demands of technology itself. The highest, indeed the only, criterion of technology is expediency. The test of expediency is its ability to economize. And this assumes the greatest correspondence between the whole and its parts, between means and ends. The economic and technological criterion completely coincides with the aesthetic. We can say, and this is no paradox: Shatura is a thing of beauty because the kilowatt-hour of its energy is cheaper than the kilowatt-hour of other stations constructed in similar conditions.

Shatura stands on a swamp. We have many swamps in the Soviet Union, many more than power stations. And we have many more forms of fuel which are waiting to be transformed into mechanical power. In the south, the Dnieper flows through the wealthiest industrial region, expending the mighty forces of its current on nothing; it plays along the centuries-old rapids, and waits for us to harness its currents with a dam, forcing it to illumine, set in motion and enrich our cities, factories and fields. This we shall do!

In the United States of America, each inhabitant receives 500 kilowatt-hours of energy per year; here, the figure is only 20 kilowatt-hours, that is, twenty-five times less. In general we have fifty times less mechanical driving power per person than in the United States. The Soviet system outfitted with American technology – that would be socialism. Our social system would put American technology to other, incomparably more rational use. But then American technology would transform our social structure and liberate it from the heritage of backwardness, primitiveness and barbarism. The combination of the Soviet social structure with American technology fosters a new technology and new culture – a technology and culture for all, without favorites or outcasts.

The „Conveyor“ Principle of Socialist Economy

The principle of socialist economy is harmoniousness, that is, continuity based on inner coordination. Technologically, this principle finds its highest expression in the conveyor. What is the conveyor? An endless moving belt which brings to the worker or takes away from him anything that is required by the pace of his work. It is now widely known how Ford uses a combination of conveyors as a means of internal transport: of transfer and supply. But the conveyor is something more: it is a method of regulating the very production process, insofar as the worker is forced to coordinate his movements with the movement of an endless belt. Capitalism uses this for a higher and more thorough exploitation of the worker. But such a usage is connected with capitalism, not with the conveyor as such. Indeed, where is the development of the methods of regulating labor headed: in the direction of piecework payment or in the direction of the conveyor? Everything indicates that it is in the direction of the conveyor. Piecework payment, much like any other form of individual control over the worker, is characteristic of capitalism during the early epochs of its development. This way guarantees a full physiological workload for the individual worker, but it doesn’t guarantee the coordinated efforts of various workers. Both of these problems are solved automatically by the conveyor. Socialist organization of the economy must strive to lower the physiological burden of the individual workers in correspondence with the growth of technological power, at the same time maintaining the coordination of the efforts of different workers. And that precisely will be the significance of the socialist conveyor, as opposed to the capitalist one. Speaking more concretely, the main point here is the regulation of the belt’s movement given a certain number of workers‘ hours, or, on the contrary, in the regulation of the workers‘ time given a certain belt speed.

Under the capitalist system the conveyor is implemented within the framework of a single enterprise, as a method of internal transport. But the principle of the conveyor as such is much wider. Every separate enterprise receives from without raw materials, fuel, auxiliary materials, and supplemental labor power. The relations between separate enterprises, even the most gigantic, are regulated by laws of the market, although it is true that these laws are in many instances limited by various kinds of long-term agreements. But every factory taken separately, and even more so society as a whole, is interested in the fact that raw material is supplied on time, that it doesn’t lie about in warehouses or create hold-ups in production, that is, in other words, that it yields to the principle of the conveyor, in full correspondence to the rhythm of production. In this there is no need to always imagine the conveyor in the form of an endless moving belt. Its forms can be of limitless diversity. A railway, if it is working according to plan, i.e., without cross-hauling, without seasonal accumulation of loads, in short, without the elements of capitalist anarchy, – and under socialism a railway will work in precisely this way – is a powerful conveyor, guaranteeing the timely supply of factories with raw materials, fuel, materials and people. The same thing applies to steamships, trucks, and so forth. All forms of communication will become elements of transport for the inner system of production from the standpoint of the planned economy as a whole. Oil pipelines are a kind of conveyor for liquid substances. The more widespread the grid of oil pipelines, the less we need reservoirs, and the smaller is the portion of oil which turns into dead capital.

The conveyor system by no means assumes the crowding together of enterprises. On the contrary, modern technology allows their dispersion, not, of course, in a chaotic and random manner, but taking into strict account the most appropriate place (Standort) for each separate factory. The possibility of the wide distribution of industrial enterprises, without which it is impossible to dissolve the city into the village, and the village into the city, is largely guaranteed by electrical energy as a motive force. Metal cables are the most sophisticated conveyor of energy, making it possible to divide motive force into the smallest units, putting it to work or turning it off by simply pressing a button. It is precisely with these characteristics that the energy „conveyor“ comes into the most hostile collision with the limitations of private property. In its present development, electricity is the most „socialistic“ sector of technology. And it is no wonder, for it is its most advanced sector.

Gigantic land improvement systems – for proper irrigation or drainage – are, from this standpoint, the water conveyors of agriculture. The more that chemistry, machine-building and electrification liberate land cultivation from the action of the elements, thereby guaranteeing the highest level of planning, the more completely will today’s „village economy“ be integrated into the system of a socialist conveyor which regulates and coordinates all production, starting from the subsoil (the extraction of coal and ore) and the soil (plowing and sowing of the fields).

On the basis of his conveyor experience, old man Ford is trying to construct something of a social philosophy. In this attempt we see an extremely curious mixture of production and administrative experience on an exceptionally grand scale with the unbearable narrowness of a self-satisfied philistine who, while becoming a millionaire, has merely remained a petty-bourgeois with lots of money. Ford says: „If you want riches for yourself and well-being for your fellow citizens, act like I do.“ Kant demanded that every person act so that his behavior might become a norm for others. In the philosophical sense, Ford is a Kantian. But the practical „norm“ for Ford’s 200,000 workers is not Ford’s behavior, but the motion of his automated conveyor: it determines the rhythm of their lives, the movement of their hands, feet and thoughts. For the „well-being of fellow citizens,“ Fordism must be separated from Ford; it must be socialized and purified. And socialism will do this.

„But what about the monotony of labor, depersonalized and despiritualized by the conveyor?“ asks one of the notes from the audience. This concern is not serious. If you think it through to the end and talk it over, then it is mainly directed against the division of labor and against machinery in general. This is a reactionary path. Socialism and resistance to machinery have never had anything in common, nor will they ever. The fundamental, most crucial and most important task is the elimination of want. It is necessary that human labor gives as great a quantity of products as possible. Bread, boots, clothing, newspapers, – all that is necessary should be produced in such quantity that no one fears that he will go without. We must eliminate want, and along with it, greed. We must win prosperity, leisure, and along with them, the joy of living for all. A high productivity of labor is unattainable without mechanization and automation, the finished expression of which is the conveyor. The monotony of labor will be compensated by its shortening duration and by its growing ease. Society will always have branches of industry which demand individual creativity; that is where those will go who find their calling in production. We are talking, of course, about the most basic type of production in its most important branches, until, in any case, new chemical and energy revolutions in technology topple today’s forms of mechanization. But we will let the future worry about that. Travel in a rowboat demands great personal creativity. Travel on a steamship is „more monotonous,“ but more comfortable and reliable. Besides, you really won’t make it across the ocean in a rowboat. And we must cross the ocean of human want.

Everyone knows that physical needs are much more limited than spiritual ones. The excessive satisfaction of physical needs quickly leads to satiety. Spiritual needs know no boundaries. But for spiritual needs to flourish, the full satisfaction of physical needs is required. Of course, we cannot, nor do we, postpone the struggle for raising the spiritual level of the masses until the time when we have no unemployment, homelessness or poverty. Everything that can be done, must be done. But it would be a wretched and contemptible pipe-dream to think that we can create a genuinely new culture before we secure the prosperity, abundance and leisure of the popular masses. We can and will verify our progress as it is expressed in the everyday life of the worker and peasant.

The Cultural Revolution

I think that it is now clear to everyone that the creation of a new culture is not an independent task which is completed apart from our economic work and social or cultural construction as a whole. Is trade part of „proletarian culture?“ From an abstract point of view, we would have to answer this question negatively. But an abstract point of view won’t do here. In the transitional epoch, moreover in the initial stage in which we are located, products assume – and will long continue to do so – the social form of the commodity. But the commodity must be treated properly, that is, we must be able to sell and buy it. Without this, we will never move from the initial stage into the next. Lenin said that we must learn to trade, and he recommended that we learn from the European cultural examples. The culture of trading, as we now know quite well, is one of the most important components of the culture of the transitional period. Whether we will call the culture of trade associated with the workers state and cooperation „proletarian culture“ – I don’t know. But that it is a step toward socialist culture is beyond dispute.

When Lenin spoke of the cultural revolution, he saw its basic content as raising the cultural level of the masses. The metric system is a product of bourgeois science. But to teach one hundred million peasants this uncomplicated system of measures means to accomplish a great revolutionary and cultural task. It is almost beyond doubt that we will not achieve this without the tractor and without electric energy. The basis of culture is technology. The decisive instrument of the cultural revolution must be the revolution in technology.

With regard to capitalism, we say that the development of the productive forces is being held up by the social forms of the bourgeois state and bourgeois property. Having carried out the proletarian revolution, we say that the development of social forms is being held up by the development of productive forces, i.e., by technology. The great link in the chain, which, if we seize hold of can produce the cultural revolution, is the link of industrialization, – but by no means the link of literature or philosophy. I hope that these words will not be understood as an ill-meaning or disrespectful attitude toward philosophy and poetry. Without generalizing thought and without art, human life would be bare and poverty-stricken. But after all, that, to a large degree, is how life is now for millions of people. The cultural revolution must consist in opening up the possibility that they can truly gain access to culture, and not just its leftover stubs. But this is impossible without creating the greatest material preconditions. That is why a machine which automatically produces bottles is for us at the present moment a first-rate factor in the cultural revolution, while an heroic poem is only a tenth-rate factor.

Marx once said that philosophers had sufficiently interpreted the world, and that the task now was to turn it upside down. In these words there was by no means a lack of respect for philosophy. Marx was himself one of the most powerful philosophers of all time. His words simply meant that the further development of philosophy, and of culture as a whole, both material and spiritual, demands a revolution in social relations. And therefore Marx appealed from philosophy to the proletarian revolution, – not against philosophy, but for it. In the same sense, we can now say: it’s fine when poets sing of the revolution and proletariat; but it is even better when a powerful turbine does the singing. We have many songs of mediocre value which remain the property of small circles. We have terribly few turbines. By this I don’t want to say that mediocre poems hinder the appearance of turbines. No, such an assertion cannot be made. But the correct orientation of public opinion, i.e., an understanding of the true correlation of phenomena – the whys and wherefores – is absolutely necessary. We must understand the cultural revolution not in a superficial idealistic way nor in the spirit of small circles. We are talking about changing the conditions of life, the methods of work and the everyday habits of a great people, of a whole family of peoples. Only a powerful system of tractors which will for the first time in history allow the peasant to straighten his back; only a glass-blowing machine which produces hundreds of thousands of bottles and frees the lungs of the glassblower; only a turbine of tens and hundreds of thousands of horsepower; only an airplane accessible to all; – only all these things together will guarantee the cultural revolution – and not for the minority but for all. Only this kind of cultural revolution deserves the name. Only on its foundations will a new philosophy and a new art begin to flourish.

Marx said: „The dominant ideas of an epoch are the ideas of the ruling class of the given epoch.“ This is also true with regard to the proletariat, but in quite a different way than with other classes. Having seized power, the bourgeoisie tried to perpetuate it. Its entire culture was adapted to this purpose. Having taken power, the proletariat must inevitably strive to shorten the period of its rule as much as possible, by drawing nigh the classless socialist society.

The Culture of Morals

To trade in a cultured way means, among other things, not to deceive, that is, to break with our national trading tradition: „If you don’t deceive, you won’t make a sale.“ Lying and deceiving is not just a personal flaw, but a function (or action) of the social order. Lying is a means of struggle, and consequently, it flows from contradiction of interests. The most basic contradictions flow from class relations. Of course, one could say that deception is older than class society. Even animals display „cunning“ and deception in the struggle for existence. Deception – military cunning – played no small role in the life of primitive tribes. Such deception still more or less flowed directly from the zoological struggle for existence. But from the moment when „civilized,“ i.e. class society arrived, the lie became horribly more complicated, turned into a social function, split along class lines and also became part of human „culture.“ But this is the part of culture which socialism will not accept. Relations in either socialist or communist society, i.e., in socialist society’s highest development, will be thoroughly transparent and will not require such auxiliary methods as deception, lies, falsification, forgery, treachery and perfidy.

However, we are still a long way from that. In our relations and morals there are still many lies rooted both in serfdom and the bourgeois order. The highest expression of serfdom’s ideology is religion. The relations in feudal-monarchal society were based on blind tradition and elevated to the level of religious myth. A myth is the imaginary and false interpretation of natural phenomena and social institutions in their interconnection. However, not only the deceived, that is, the oppressed masses, but also those in whose name the deception was carried out – the rulers, – for the most part believed in the myth and relied upon it in good conscience. An objectively false ideology, woven out of superstitions, does not necessarily signify subjective mendacity. Only to the extent that social relations become more complex, that is, to the extent that the bourgeois social order develops, with which religious myth comes into ever growing contradiction, religion becomes the source of ever greater cunning and more refined deception.

Developed bourgeois ideology is rationalistic and directed against mythology. The radical bourgeoisie tried to make do without religion and build a state based on reason rather than tradition. An expression of this was democracy with its principles of liberty, equality and fraternity. The capitalist economy, however, created a monstrous contradiction between everyday reality and democratic principles. A higher grade form of lying is required to fill up this contradiction. Nowhere do people lie more politically than in bourgeois democracies. And this is no longer the objective „lying“ of mythology, but the consciously organized deception of the people, using combined methods of extraordinary complexity. The technology of the lie is cultivated no less than the technology of electricity. The most „developed“ democracies, France and the United States, possess the most deceitful press.

But at the same time – and this we must openly acknowledge – in France they trade more honestly than we do, and, in any case, with incomparably more attention paid to the buyer. Having achieved a certain level of well-being, the bourgeoisie renounces the swindling methods of primary accumulation, not from any abstract moral considerations, but for material reasons: petty deception, forgery and avariciousness spoil the reputation of an enterprise and undermine its future. The principles of „honest“ trade, flowing from the interests of trade itself at a certain level of its development, enter into morals, become „moral“ rules and are controlled by public opinion. True, in this area, too, the imperialist war introduced colossal changes, throwing Europe way back. But the post-war „stabilization“ efforts of capitalism overcame the most malignant forms of savagery in trading. In any case, if we take our Soviet trading as a whole, that is, from the factory to the consumer in the distant village, then we must say that we trade in an immeasurably less cultured way than the advanced capitalist countries. This flows from our poverty, from the shortage of commodities, and from our economic and cultural backwardness.

The regime of proletarian dictatorship is irreconcilably hostile both to the objectively false mythology of the Middle Ages and to the conscious deceitfulness of capitalist democracy. The revolutionary regime is vitally interested in laying bare social relations rather than masking them over. This means that it is interested in political honesty, in saying what is. But we must not forget that the regime of revolutionary dictatorship is a transitional regime, and consequently, a contradictory one. The presence of powerful enemies forces us to use military cunning, and cunning is inseparable from lying. Our only need is that the cunning employed in the struggle against our enemies does not mislead our own people, that is, the laboring masses and their party. This is a basic demand of revolutionary politics which can be seen throughout all of Lenin’s work.

But while our new state and social forms are creating the possibility and necessity of a greater degree of honesty than has ever been achieved between rulers and ruled, the same cannot be said about our relations of common, everyday life; here our economic and cultural backwardness – and in general our entire heritage from the past – continues to exert enormous pressure. We live much better than in 1920. But the shortage of the most necessary among life’s blessings still leaves its mark on our life and on our morals, and will continue to do so for many years to come. From here flow the large and small contradictions, the large and small disproportions, the struggle tied to the contradictions, and the cunning, lies and deception all tied to the struggle. Here, too, there is only one escape: raising the level of our technology, both in production and in trade. A correct orientation along these lines should by itself contribute to the betterment of our „morals.“ The interaction between rising technology and morals will advance us along the way to a social structure of civilized cooperators, that is, to a socialist culture.


[1] Famusov is a main character in Griboedov’s play, Woe from Wit (1824). A highly placed Moscow bureaucrat and careerist, he is particularly ingratiating before his superiors and arrogant toward his subordinates. As an arch-conservative, he fears nothing more than innovation and „free-thinking.“ Lenin used the reference in an interesting passage: „Our party Famusovs are not against playing the role of sharp and ruthless fighters for Marxism, but when it comes to factional favoritism, they are not against camouflaging the most serious retreats from Marxism!“ (V. I. Lenin, „From the Editors,“ PSS, vol. 17, p.185) [Ashukin & Ashukina, Krylatye slova, M., 1986, p.657].

[2] Of course, the cultivation of a pseudo-Freudianism as erotic overindulgence or mischief has nothing in common with this question. Such wagging of the tongue bears no relation to science, and represents only decadent moods: the center of gravity is shifted from the brain to the spinal cord… L.T.

Youth counterculture in communist Poland


Warsaw 1967 © 2015 Julian S. Bielicki


Between political and apolitical
Youth counterculture in communist Poland
By 1950, Poland’s postwar Stalinist regime was already near the height of its powers. Not that this stopped the emergence of a youth subculture during the ensuing decades. Tom Junes explains how associated movements evolved and even became useful to the Polish government.

This article discusses the various youth subcultures that appeared in Poland under Communist rule. It presents on the one hand an overview of the different subcultures and their characteristics and, on the other, how the regime reacted and dealt with them. Despite the existence of the Iron Curtain, counter-cultural trends were just as much a part of life for Poland’s youth as elsewhere in Europe. In fact, the emergence of youth counter-culture in post-war Communist Poland was to a large extent inspired by trends blowing over from the West – in particular from across the Atlantic (Kosinski, 2006: 85-87). The emerging influence of American pop culture was a significant transnational phenomenon, and its endorsement by European youth in general was met with resistance on the other side of the Iron Curtain, in western Europe as well (Judt, 2005: 352-53). Yet the politicization of the Communist regime meant that American influence among the younger generation was seen as particularly dangerous in Poland. It was in fact the regime that was responsible for promoting what were essentially apolitical counter-cultural trends to the level of „hostile“ subcultures – even to the point of endowing them with an ideology and a political programme of sorts (Wierzbicki, 2006: 373). This in turn made these subcultures attractive to those young people who wished to give expression to their defiance. But while the regime’s propaganda tended to extrapolate the foreign roots and elements of these subcultures in an effort to depict them as a form of imperialist subversion of the country’s youth, the said subcultures nonetheless possessed some specific Polish characteristics. So they differed from their manifestations in the West, despite the strikingly similar appearances.

Notwithstanding the regime’s perception of youth counter-culture as a political threat, it did tolerate and even passively encourage elements of youth counter-culture – such as rock music and certain fashion trends – in a bid to distract the younger generation from political activity of a more profound nature. Thus, certain areas of youth counter-culture constituted something of a safety valve for the regime to channel rebellious youthful emotions. However, in allowing for such elements to exist within the Communist system, the regime provided the opportunity for countercultural elements to become part of a more mainstream youth culture and so potentially enhanced their subversive role. Therefore, it can be argued that youth counter-culture in Poland not only represented a mode of resistance to Communist rule by its adherents, but that its influence as a consciousness-raising phenomenon among respective generations of youth constituted an impediment for the regime when trying to win over the „hearts and minds“ of the said generations.

The first counter-cultural wave

The Communist regime that would emerge in post-war Poland was set on mirroring the Soviet experience. Somewhere between 1948 and 1950, the Stalinist Gleichschaltung was complete. This included a unification of the youth and student organizations into one uniform mass organization, the Zwiazek Mlodziezy Polskiej (ZMP – Union of Polish Youth). The totalitarian aspect of this organization entailed that it served not only as the Party’s „primary helper“ and an instrument for political control of the country’s youth, but it was also to imbue the younger generation with the spirit and values of socialism, implying that it would control all aspects of their lives (Wierzbicki, 2006: 30-45). The period of Polish Stalinism that reached its zenith by the 1950s would be characterized by a climate in which the regime aimed to indoctrinate and direct the country’s youth according to its own ideological choreography (Jarosz, 2000: 195-217).

Yet it was during the Stalinist era that the first Polish youth subculture emerged. The appearance of counter-cultural trends around this time among youth was by no means exclusive to Poland, other countries in the Soviet bloc saw similar phenomena such as the so-called Stilyagi (Edele, 2002: 37-61).[1] In Poland, the adherents of the corresponding subculture would generally become known as Bikiniarze (Bikini-boys). The trademarks of this subculture would be colourful clothes – inspired by the idealized vision of the attire of the inhabitants of the American Bikini Islands which stood in stark contrast with the grey, poor and uniform Stalinist reality – tight pants, high heel boots and of course a complementary characteristic hair style with the hair tightly combed backwards and dubbed a mandolina (mandoline cut). These self-styled American-inspired youths preferred to dance the boogie or the rumba than take part in the official and politicized recreational evenings where „traditional“ dancing was promoted. The Bikiniarze subculture peaked in popularity around 1952 hence some reference was made to a „generation 52“ phenomenon (Chlopek, 2005: 34-55). Apart from the Bikiniarze, a more straightforward form of defiant youth behaviour developed which was often linked with alcohol abuse. Such youths were dubbed by the regime and the ZMP quite self-explanatory as Chuligani (Hooligans) for their non-social behaviour. Again, this form of defiant youth culture was not exclusively typical for the Communist bloc, but it was nonetheless perceived as having blown over from the West for ideological reasons (Wierzbicki, 2006: 379-80). For despite the usual references to a vague and ubiquitous „class enemy“ in the Stalinist propaganda, youth subcultures formed a very concrete ideological scapegoat and were therefore targeted by the regime and, by proxy, the ZMP.[2] This ideological struggle at times resounded like a ritualized „witch hunt“, which was meticulously reported on in a most cynical of bureaucratic ways.[3] In its struggle against this supposed „imperialist subversion“ by the Bikiniarze and Chuligani, even physical violence was not eschewed by ZMP activists. Jacek Kuron, who as a student in Warsaw was a ZMP activist and later became one of Communist Poland’s most renowned dissidents, described the brutal way in which adherents of these subcultures were viewed through the official politically correct prism and then treated accordingly:

We struggled against chuliganstwo and bikiniarstwo in the beginning with persuasion at factory and school parties, in the dance halls that the culture department of the Metropolitan National Council set up back then in Warsaw. Through the loudspeakers music, slogans, poems, songs on current political subjects was broadcast. That was meant to form consciousness. They were frequented by Bikiniarze youth and when a properly fast piece was played, they started to boogie (drygac), as it was called back then. ZMP activists would then stop those couples and start to persuade them otherwise. In the summer of 1952 the secretary of the District Committee, comrade Plaska, summoned the district leadership and said the following: „If a son behaves badly, is insubordinate, and his father just keeps explaining to him, then at a certain point, when words are not enough, he has to lay down the law. He does that out of fatherly love, out of care. Regarding the fact that those Bikiniarze and Chuligani – comrade Plaska used those terms interchangeably – still do not amend their ways despite our persuasion, despite the press, the radio and despite all the caricatures hung on the wall gazettes, it’s time to lay down the law for them […].“ […] I don’t remember how I reacted then to comrade Plaska’s instructions. I certainly didn’t object loudly. It’s worth pointing out that back then the secretary of the District Committee was a big figure. […] One day I was returning home rather early in the evening. In the dance hall on Paris Commune square the loudspeakers were blasting music and slogans. That was our propaganda centre working. I went there and encountered the beginning of such a fatherly punishment. They played some fast piece and young people started to boogie (drygac). At that point a gang jumped forward and grabbed one of those youngsters and dragged him to the nearby office of the Warsaw Consumer Cooperative to the first floor where there was a pharmacy. I noticed Plaska […] and somebody from the presidium of the District Administration of the ZMP, probably its chairman. When I came in behind them into the office, they were beating the boy with their fists and shoes, they were all kicking together (Kuron, 1990: 45-6).

(Watch the movie above „Stilyagi / Bikiniarze“: That was our youth under communism, lively, playful, colorful, creative and cheerful, and not dark and terrible, as anti-communists want make you to believe! What we were not told, how stereotyped all under capitalism are, permanent  buying and selling only – how boring!)

Policies like arresting and beating young people because they liked to dance differently came to an end with the onset of destalinization which reached its zenith in 1956. The events of that year resulted in the implosion of the ZMP. Following a revolutionary period of youth activism from below, the Party would reassert its control and recreate a political youth organization to succeed the ZMP, the Zwiazek Mlodziezy Socjalistycznej (ZMS – Union of Socialist Youth), but it never again had the mass character nor the ideological penetration of the ZMP (Sadowska, 2010: 123-39). From that moment onwards, the Party ceased to exert control in the private sphere of life, thereby breaking with some of the totalitarian aspects of the Stalinist period. It was ultimately the combination of political and generational change though that made the Bikiniarze subculture go out of fashion and disappear.


The importance of rock music

Following destalinization, some new outside influence started to trickle through and manifest itself in various ways among the younger generation. Despite antagonizing „bourgeois decadent culture“, Wladyslaw Gomulka had opened Poland up to the West after 1956 albeit to a limited extent. This was in fact part of a broader trend that appeared in other Soviet bloc countries, most notably in the Soviet Union where opening up to western culture in a controlled way served to further the Communists‘ goal of achieving cultural superiority vis-à-vis the capitalist world (Yurchak, 2006: 158-211). In Poland, western radio stations ceased to be jammed, a certain amount of publications from the West were made available and western theatre and films were allowed to be shown to the public (Bethell, 1969: 237-38).

During the 1960s, an influential conveyor of western youth culture would be constituted by rock music, which had come to replace boogie and jazz as the favoured music style. The Polish regime did not prohibit Western music, but rather passively tolerated it since it was thought that it would serve as a distraction and keep the younger generation from engaging in political activity. Nevertheless, Polish youths had limited access to music from the West and would mainly listen to it via the emissions of Radio Luxemburg and Radio Free Europe. In spite of such limitations, the Beatlemania of the West provided inspiration for an indigenous bitel style to appear among the country’s youth. The Beatles‘ movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was also screened in Polish theaters and the Polish Czerwone Gitary („The red guitars“), influenced and inspired by the success of the Fab Four, would become one of the most successful bands in the history of Polish rock music (Ryback, 1990: 56-60).

Whereas the opening up to the West was part of a broader phenomenon across the Soviet bloc in the 1960s, Poland certainly presented a more liberal stance in this area than the other socialist countries. Western bands were even allowed to tour the country, which in every case came to constitute a spectacular event. In November 1965, the British band The Animals visited Poland for a two-week concert tour. This event in effect popularised beat music in Poland. Two years later, in April 1967, The Rolling Stones played a legendary concert in Warsaw, which even led to rioting outside the concert venue since demand exceeded the number of tickets available. Not only was the sheer fact that these provocative icons of Western youth culture visited and played in a ‚disciplined‘ socialist state near revolutionary, these bands‘ concerts would be of great influence on Polish bands (Zielinski, 2005: 54-58). It was around this time that an original Polish brand of rock and roll called ‚big beat‘ emerged which paves the way for rock music to become an important element of youth culture in the country and some of the musicians of the era such as Czeslaw Niemen, the lead singer of the band Niebiesko-Czarni (The Blues and Blacks), would even attain a significant amount of fame in Poland and beyond (Ryback, 1990: 23-24).

Although its actual influence on the younger generation is hard to measure, one cannot deny that such elements of contact with the world from other side of the Iron Curtain were of importance in forming that generation’s consciousness since they facilitated a feeling of transnational generational solidarity. The chance to see some rock icons and especially their extravagant behaviour was a confrontational experience. More so, Eric Burdon singing „We gotta get out of this place,“ or Mick Jagger flamboyantly articulating, „I can’t get no satisfaction,“ demonstrated the rebellious potential that Western rock music offered. However, the Communist regime had no wish to infuse youth with rebellion. The official fledgling Polish rock scene depicted the non-political and positive side of life and while the regime had not objected to The Rolling Stones‘ concert in Warsaw –for the lucrative reason of financial profit– it had not agreed to a longer tour. In fact, anxiety about mass hysteria had led the regime to oppose a visit to Poland by Beatles (Oseka, 2007). It was thus somewhat shocking when, in 1967, Czeslaw Niemen – formerly of Niebiesko-Czarni and well on his way to becoming a Polish rock icon in his own right – caused some controversy with his protest song Dziwny jest ten swiat („Strange is this world“) in which he lamented the darker side of people’s relations with each other, implying à la Bob Dylan that all was not well in socialist society (Zielinski, 2005: 86-87). This underlying message became utterly clear when the country’s students took to the streets in protest the following year leading to a regime crackdown that would also be aimed at curbing Western influence among the country’s youth (Fidelis, 2011, pp. 146-47).

Polish hippies

The transnational influence and counter-cultural appeal of rock music also played a role in the emergence of the first groups of hippies in Poland around 1967. The hippy movement was de facto the first youth subculture to manifest itself since the Bikiniarze in the 1950s. Like the Bikiniarze it was part of a broader trend that was manifesting itself in the Soviet bloc (Risch, 2005: 566). The hippies predominantly differentiated themselves by their looks – long hair, necklaces, bell-bottom trousers and clothes often fashioned by private tailors since such items could not be purchased in the official state retail stores. The colourful hippie look not only stood out, but moreover contrasted with the grey and dull fashion lines offered by the latter – a characteristic which the hippies had in common with the Bikiniarze. Although the Polish hippie movement was in no way an original phenomenon –it was directly inspired by the analogous movement in the West and showed some remarkable resemblances– its adherents did manifest some significant differences with their Western peers. First of all, the Polish hippie movement never broke through on a similar large scale as in the West, but was adhered to by a subgroup of young people who were attracted to it since they already thought of themselves as outsiders living on the periphery of socialist society. Secondly, their non-conformism was neither a rebellion against the evils of consumer society, for the simple reason that Poland in the 1960s was far from an affluent society in which consumer goods were widely available. Finally, their ‚rebellion‘ was not directed at the ideals of the socialist system as such, for much of what the hippies stood for was in fact similar to the goals of the Communist utopia. The Polish hippies were apolitical and bent on detaching themselves from the reality around them and it is in this sense that their rebellion must be understood. They rebelled against the reality of socialist society as it existed in which authoritarian power had been substituted for the Communist ideals and where youth was not allowed to enjoy the freedoms of life as they saw fit (Sipowicz, 2008, 90-101).

Initially, the regime – and by proxy the ZMS – took a keen interest in the hippie movement for its supposedly leftist anti-Western credentials.[4] However, the movement rapidly came to be seen as a threat since its rebellious nature was perceived to have a potentially wider appeal among the country’s youth. In the eyes of the regime the ‚hippie programme‘ denounced the state, its borders and laws as well as private property. The pacifism of the hippie movement entailed not only nonviolence, but the outright refusal of military service. The hippie movement preached complete freedom – morally, culturally and sexually.[5] These elements stood in stark contrast with the official youth policy. Moreover, a nationwide network was suspected to exist since personal links connected groups of hippies in different cities and it was known that occasional nationwide gatherings took place. Hippies were perceived as young individuals – often with psychological problems and with intelligentsia family backgrounds – who did not work or study and were therefore regarded as hostile elements. This negative image of the hippie movement was exacerbated by its supposed promotion of drug abuse – as marijuana or LSD were not available Polish hippies improvised and experimented with pharmaceutical drugs that were acquired illegally.[6] The rationale for the supposed threat of the hippies was based upon their non-conformist or rather anti-social behaviour, as was reported on in an overtly meticulous manner by the security apparatus:

Part of the „hippie“ rites include collective meditation accompanied by big beat, or at times classical, music. As they themselves state, the ideal accompaniment to consider would be a single continuous sound which would last for at least 20 minutes. During their contemplations they use narcotic substances (tri)[7] and alcohol. At these meetings it is often the case that both boys, as well as girls, are in the nude.[8]

The authorities strived to counter-act the hippie movement through repression and persecution by the security apparatus thus treating them as de facto enemies of the state. While some Polish hippies were individually subjected to certain forms of repression, the regime preferred other means than the brutal violence embraced during the Stalinist era. The Polish hippie movement became the subject of a negative propaganda campaign in which the student journal ITD took a leading role and served as an example for other publications. The articles that appeared concerning the hippie movement – often inspired by material supplied by the security apparatus – portrayed it as a group of junkies, prostitutes or diseased individuals (Sipowicz, 2008: 111- 20). However, it is interesting to note that prior to this antagonistic campaign ITD had served as a tribune of sorts by publishing readers‘ letters concerning the hippie movement. These letters revealed a different picture of how the hippie movement was perceived among students. The younger generation could identify with the feeling of „possible apocalypse“ due to the nuclear arms race and a certain pessimistic outlook on the world. More so, the readers‘ letters confirmed the wish of being able to enjoy life to the fullest, which was not possible in the grey and dull world of their elders (ITD, 1969a: 6; ITD, 1969b: 6). The inclination to rebel was in fact perceived as a desire to find happiness – a happiness that could not be provided by the socialist state and for that reason the hippies represented a challenge to the regime.

Modernization and youth culture

The hippie movement as such may have represented an apolitical contestation of the regime, its roots for rebellion –a society in which young people were becoming more and more alienated– was a more widely shared experience. Moreover, towards the end of the 1960s the regime would be rocked by a wave of contestation, which was de facto generational in nature and, ironically, the generation that rebelled was the first one to have come of age in the Communist era. The first moment of this generational rebellion occurred in March 1968, when Poland saw the emergence of a nationwide student protest movement. Although, the protest movement shook the regime, it failed to destabilize it and a crackdown followed. However, the regime simultaneously faced another predicament since the country’s economy was showing signs of a downturn while it was coming to feel the strain of the post-war demographic boom. When the deteriorating situation forced the government to raise subsidized prices on basic foodstuffs worker protest broke out in December 1970. The regime sent in the army in to quell the strikes leading to the deaths of several tens of workers. This violent escalation led to the downfall of Gomulka and his replacement by Edward Gierek as Party leader. The latter promised to tackle the country’s economic problems and introduce a new era of prosperity (Junes, 2015: 144-46).[9]

Indeed, the 1970s and particularly the initial years of the decade had a semblance of rising prosperity. The population – and especially the younger generation – was tired of the austerity of the Gomulka era and longed for an increase in both the availability and quality of consumer commodities. To a significant degree this was due to influence from the West, compared to which the Soviet bloc states increasingly lagged behind in fulfilling their citizens‘ material needs and desires. Such comparison was possible because of certain „windows to the West“ like television programmes and movies in which the material affluence and higher living standard on the other side of the Iron Curtain were clearly demonstrated (Kotkin, 2001: 41-42). This, above all, gave rise to a particular fantasy and myth about the West, with which the Communist regimes would have to struggle with. Therefore, the new leadership under Gierek made a strong point of raising living standards and closing the gap with the West with which it aimed to buy the allegiance of the nation (Rolicki, 2002: 191-92). The aim was to build a „Second Poland“, one that would be better and based upon the „achievements of the scientific-technological“ revolution and, above all, would be the work of the younger generation. This „Second Poland“ would of course be a socialist society under the leadership of the Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza (PZPR – Polish United Worker’s Party) and with strong ties to the Soviet Union. Promising a higher living standard, the new leadership wished to promote a higher „socialist morality“ that would counter the „bourgeois notion of gathering riches“.[10] However, despite the socialist rhetoric it was clear that the West and its affluence served as the reference for this ‚Second Poland‘. Moreover, the comparison with the capitalist world would be facilitated by the fact that from the 1970s it also became easier for Poles to travel to the West and see the difference with their own eyes (Kanet, 1981: 383).

Thus the pull-factor of the West’s affluence was evident in serving as an example for the material desires of Polish consumers, especially among the younger generation who had not experienced the hardships of the War or the harshness of Stalinism. This desire for consumer products from the West would also bring with itself certain non-material side effects that could be interpreted as having an underlying political meaning. In particular the emergence of a distinct youth fashion culture would have a rebellious effect. In the post-war years young people were still expected to emulate grown-up dress, which was quite conservative, while even – especially during the Stalinist period – being compelled to wear uniform-like attire in a variety of circumstances. After 1956, fashion trends emanating from the West encouraged a break with this etiquette and more colourful clothes and sportswear became part of the dress code for young people. The hippie movement gave further impetus towards a specific youth fashion style that stood in contrast to the bleak and conservative model propagated by the regime and society at large. The 1960s produced a certain veneration of youthfulness and good looks, spawning the introduction of the mini-skirt and more sexually explicit ways of dressing (Wierzbicki, 2009: 166).

By the end of the decade, western fashion trends and products had become a standard credo of the younger generation de facto becoming status statements. Such was the case with fashion products like blue jeans. Jeans in the West had been an element of youth counter-cultural fashion in the 1950s and 1960s, but by the 1970s they had become a mainstream and commercial fashion product. Not so in Poland, where on the one hand jeans became a widely worn material among the younger generation, but on the other hand stood apart as they remained an item hard to obtain and therefore not void of a ’status statement‘. Above all, the Polish-produced substitute Teksas jeans were no match for real American denim. Although the price of a pair of Levi’s, Wrangler or Rifle jeans –which could only be bought abroad or in the Pewex hard-currency shops– was more than ten times that of a Teksas –themselves not cheap by then Polish standards– they were preferred for their superior quality and comfort (Pelka, 2007: 185-90). Thus, even in such a trivial thing as the wearing of a pair of denim pants did young people in Poland show their preference for ‚Western culture‘ to the envisioned socialist society. This of course stood in cynical contrast with the projections of the official ‚propaganda of success‘ of the Gierek era. Although the upper inner-party circles were aware of such manifestation of ‚petit-bourgeois consciousness‘ among the younger generation and the population at large, little could be done to counteract it except to keep spinning more ideological projections in the media (Taras, 1984: 145). By the end of the decade the image of Polish society portrayed in the official media was becoming ever more detached from the day-to-day reality.

The counter-cultural rebellion of the 1980s

This slumbering malaise exploded into a full-blown crisis in 1980. As a result of new price hikes, a wave of worker strikes erupted during the summer engulfing the whole country and subsequently led to the foundation of Solidarnosc. In the months that followed Polish society was galvanised to a hitherto unseen extent with Solidarnosc becoming a mass social movement encompassing a third of the country’s population. It was also a time of freedom and hope, during which the Party’s control was dealt a decisive blow, but this process was abruptly halted with the imposition of martial law in December 1981. In the wake of martial law, while the military took control of the country, the regime introduced a period of normalization in an attempt to regain the initiative. The normalization period was one of gloom and desperation for the younger generation, which was bereft of any real positive perspectives for its future. Although youth political activity –both oppositional as well as official– was at a low, this was not entirely explained by a depoliticisation caused by the effect of the normalisation and the economic crisis. In a sense, the ‚anti-politics‘ of the Solidarnosc era was also responsible for depoliticising the younger generation (See Ost, 1990, p. 2; Garton Ash, 1985; De Weydenthal et al., 1983).

However, this did not mean that there was no spirit of rebellion amidst Poland’s youth of the 1980s. That decade in fact saw youth rebellion in Poland on a larger and more enduring scale than at any previous time in the post-war era. The beginning of the decade, especially with the rise of Solidarnosc, saw widespread youth politicisation, as the 1980-1981 crisis had an inherent generational aspect. Solidarnosc was a young people’s movement (Wertenstein-Zulawski, 1993: 36). Not only was the largest single age group under 29 years of age, but it also constituted 44.5 per cent of the movement as a whole. The emergence of Solidarity furthermore depleted the official youth organizations of more than a significant percentage of their nominal membership, with an exodus of the rank-and-file leaving primarily those activists who were card-carrying party members (Adamski, 1996: 160-61; Oschlies, 1982: 104-06; Wankel, 1992: 153). The mass mobilisation of 1980- 1981 abruptly ended with the imposition of martial law. In the post-martial law years, during so-called normalisation, new social movements arose that were carried mostly by the younger generation. Movements like the Ruch Spoleczenstwa Alternatywnego [RSA, „Movement for an alternative society“], the Ruch Wolnosc i Pokój [WiP, „Freedom and peace movement“], the Pomaranczowa Alternatywa [„Orange alternative“], the Federacja Mlodziezy Walczacej [FMW, „Federation of fighting youth“], or the re-activated Niezalezne Zrzeszenie Studentów [„Independent students‘ association“] posed a new political challenge to the regime. These movements focused on more concrete issues such as the military draft and introduced new forms of political action like happenings that differed from those of the elder opposition (Kenney, 2003: 57-164; Fydrych and Misztal, 2008; Junes, 2015; Kozlowski, 2010; Smólka-Gnauck, 2012; Wierzbicki, 2010).

This youth rebellion was nevertheless not strictly politically defined. It was broader, and it was reflected by the youth counter-cultures of the time, which in turn were directly influenced by the music of the era. The decade witnessed a multitude of youth subcultures appear that manifested defiant attitudes towards society. The most obvious new youth subculture to emerge in the 1980s was punk, and it was closely linked to the rise of punk rock in Poland.[11] Punk had originated in the West in the late 1970s. The slogan „no future“ – most memorably pronounced by the Sex Pistols‘ Johnny Rotten in their cult track God Save the Queen – was highly recognizable for Polish youths, who confronted economic hardships in the 1980s that were far greater than those in the West underlining the dwindling prospects for their future lives (Ramet, 1991: 219). Moreover, by the 1980s English-language lyrics were widely understood as a result of the greater openness Poles had enjoyed vis-à-vis the West. Youth magazines, even those published by the official youth organizations, published the lyrics of Western bands‘ songs while the use of „anglicisms“ (anglicyzmy) became more prolific in youthful slang in general. Above all, the latter was filled with allusions to lyrics from Polish rock songs in the 1980s (Kosinski, 2006: 340-42). Polish punks, with their provocative look consisting of torn or cut-up jeans, leather or military-style jackets with a complementary provocative haircut, preferably a mohawk – referred to as an irokez, the term derived from Native American nation, the Iroquois – emphasised their rebellion against society in a direct visual way. Bands such as Brygada Kryzys, Dezerter, KSU, and Siekiera could usually count on a significant punk following among their audiences engaging in the obligatory „pogo“ – a dance style in which one jumps up and down in the same place while holding the body stiff. More importantly, the young punks could indeed see themselves as a Poroniona generacja [stillborn generation] as voiced by the classic song by Dezerter.

Another subculture to emerge from the late 1970s onwards were the Rastafarians, who dressed in colourful wear – usually with the typical green-yellow-red combinations of the Ethiopian flag – and the characteristic dreadlock hairstyle in imitation of the movement’s global icon, Bob Marley. Moreover, the Rastafarian religion provided much of the symbolism for the slang of the subculture, as noted above with the use of the term „Babylon“ for the detested social reality. The Rastafarian subculture promoted ideas of freedom, equality, and drug use in a way that was similar to the hippie movement a decade earlier. The latter conversely saw a revival in the 1980s, and the Polish neo-hippies would often be seen mingling with their Rasta peers. Musically, the Rastafarians preferred reggae, the main proponents of which were bands like Izrael, Daab, or Kultura.

In contrast to the laid-back groove of the reggae beat stood the raw and rhythmic rock sound of heavy metal and its various offspring such as black metal or thrash metal, which simultaneously emerged with the above styles on the Polish rock scene. Here, Western contacts in this genre were even more direct, as the then-famous British heavy metal band Iron Maiden kicked off its „World Slavery Tour“ in 1984 in Warsaw, with further concerts in Lódz and Poznan, a feat reminiscent of The Rolling Stones‘ visit in 1967 (Ryback, 1990: 180). The adherents and fans of heavy metal rock were known in Poland as Metalowcy. They were recognisable by their long hair and standard wardrobe of tight jeans or leather attire adorned with badges or inscriptions of their favorite bands. Whereas the music’s raw volume was like that of punk rock, heavy metal was more rhythmic and technical compared to the raw straightforward sound of the former. This trait of heavy metal incited ritualistic behavior among its fans, at times even inspiring occult practices. Some sub-streams of Metalowcy identified themselves as Satanists, which provoked negative reactions not only from the authorities, but from Poland’s Catholic clergy as well. Major bands in the Polish heavy metal circuit were TSA, Turbo, and Kat.

Some subcultures that appeared during the decade stood in opposition to others. Thus, the so-called Poppersi (Poppers), who adhered to disco rather than rock and were characterized by a glamorous and commercial style of bright clothing, merged into a well-groomed and elegant look with recognizable highlighted forelocks. This style was dubbed in the youth slang of time as szpan (swank), denoting the need to impress and show off. Poppersi also adhered to mainstream rock groups that held sway in the early 1980s such as Lady Pank or Republika. This subculture was despised, among others, by punks, which led to neighbourhood rivalries and even violence between adherents of the two subcultures. Similar tensions surrounded the subculture of skinheads, which also appeared among the younger generation of Poles in the 1980s. This subculture – characterized by bomber-type jackets, tight jeans, army boots, and the distinctive shaved head – was closely related to the grassroots phenomenon of hooliganism – not to be confused with the Stalinist era Chuligani – that existed in less well-off urban areas. Polish skinheads most often contrasted themselves with the punk milieu, despite some striking outward similarities such as the type of music they listened to (Ryback, 1990: 185).

The politics of counter-culture

This variety of subcultures emerging during the decade suggested the existence of a certain political pluralism among this generation of youth. For example, the punk milieu was close to the milieu of anarchists active within the RSA, while the skinhead movement created a nationalist, working-class oriented ideology. Such ideological differences at times even escalated into violent confrontations between adherents of different subcultures, with rumors of the state security apparatus being involved in exploiting such rivalries. Some subcultures seemingly possessed political features– some of which were even deemed a threat to the regime. Despite these political assumptions, no smear campaigns like those against the Bikiniarze or the hippie movement emerged. Still, certain fanzines like the popular punkzine Azotox, Gangrena („Gangrene“), Manipulator („Manipulator“), Obled („Delirium“), Obok („Close by“), QQRyQ, Rewolter („Rebel“) and Zabili Mnie („They killed me“), not only dealt with music in Poland and abroad, but ran also more politicized articles concerned with problems affecting the younger generation like alcohol abuse. They criticized the regime’s plans to build a nuclear reactor, resembling anti-nuclear campaigns of movements like WiP in the wake of the Chernobyl catastrophe in Soviet Ukraine.[12] Certain issues thus created common ground between, music, subcultures, and social movements in the 1980s.

Despite some politicized trends within the counter-cultural sphere and their connections with grassroots politics of the era, the Polish rock scene of the 1980s as such was formally apolitical. However, as the decade’s youthful defiant spirit went beyond the strictly political sphere, the music fed and in turn fed off these rebellious emotions (Wertenstein-Zulawski, 1993: 36-38). Poland’s youth not only rebelled against the regime, but also against the Catholic Church and the opposition. The new social movements introduced new forms of action or mobilized around concrete issues, but the majority of youth was imbued with a sentiment of rejecting the existing reality altogether. It was this latter trait that fed the evolution of the music and the counter-cultures of the era. In fact, the rock scene of the 1980s constituted a so-called „third circuit“ (trzeci obieg) – a circuit of alternative youth culture. The idea of this third circuit stood in opposition and contrast to the first circuit which was the official popular culture promoted by the state as well as the second circuit which was the illegal oppositional cultural domain represented mostly by the underground press. As a metaphor, the third circuit denoted an independent youth sphere, void of interference from the world of the elders in which youth was able to express itself freely. Polish rock and in particular its alternative segment became the primary mode through which this sphere took form. The rebellious appeal of the music and the various counter-cultural lifestyles were propagated by radio emissions, circulated cassette recordings, a variety of fanzines, and, most importantly, live concerts where the younger generation could come together and give expression to their feeling of community (Idzikowska-Czubaj, 2011: 285).

The foremost example of the latter was the rock festival in the central Polish town of Jarocin. Organized annually throughout the decade, it became a legend on its own. Thousands of youths would flock to the provincial town, live in tents for a few days and enjoy the music of bands that barely got any radio time or other possibilities to present themselves. Although the festival managed to maintain its apolitical nature it nevertheless represented an oasis of freedom for those who attended it. Above all, it was the only event of its nature in the whole Soviet bloc. By the late 1980s though, the festival began to lose some of its aura of uniting Poland’s youth in defiance as the event came to be more and more ritualized. However, it was in Jarocin, during those annually recurring summer days of the martial law and normalization years, that the noncompliance of Poland’s youth during the 1980s became visible – both for the regime as well as for many a member of the younger generation itself (Lesiakowski et al., 2004: 14-63). It is difficult to gauge to what extent the regime treated rock concerts and the festival in Jarocin as a safety valve of sorts (Junes, 2014b, 246-50). It is clear though that the regime had changed its course on youth subcultures significantly by the 1980s. No longer were they presented in smear campaigns as enemies of the state, though the security apparatus was still monitoring them. However, the latter’s interest was focused more on their mutual relations and interactions, as is demonstrated by a report on the 1987 Jarocin festival:

The Rock Festival in Jarocin constitutes a permanent element of youth culture with a nationwide outreach. The experience form the previous years as well as from this year’s event shows that it is reasonable to have it continue, though with recurring attention for the changes that take place among the subcultural groups at every next edition. The conclusions from their observation in 1986 allowed to correctly prepare security measures, anticipate changes and improve the effectiveness of the operational work in this area. The importance of this problem is illustrated albeit by the amount of groups – where with a near constant number of participants the balance of power between the subcultural factions increased from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.[13]

One of the reasons hereof were the emerging rivalries and sometimes violent confrontations between different subcultures, most often between punks and skinheads. Since the security apparatus was interested in such aspects, it is quite probable that the regime preferred the country’s youth to be contained within the sphere of counter-culture – distracted by its own little conflicts – rather than have it venture into overt political opposition. The young generation’s political contestation nevertheless constituted an increasing problem with which it would have to deal at the end of the decade (Junes, 2014a: 341-45).


The cases of youth subcultures discussed in this article emerged and subsequently disappeared during specific historical circumstances. What they had in common was that they gave expression to a feeling of discontent and rebellion among certain groups of youth and were inspired by trends emanating from the West. The rebellious nature of the adherents of these subcultures was not political nor were these subcultures themselves large or widespread phenomena, but they were nonetheless perceived by the regime as a political threat that had to be countered, neutralized or contained. Initially, these subcultures were used instrumentally by the regime as ideological scapegoats and were targeted for their symbolic role of Western subversive influence. During the 1980s, however, the regime though on the one hand still wary of them, tolerated them as it saw what most likely constituted a safety valve of sorts, distracting the younger generation from any oppositional political activity. Moreover, from the 1960s onwards, the regime had already started to tolerate certain spin-offs or related phenomena from counter-cultural trends in the sphere of music and fashion in order to channel potential youth resentment. These aspects of youth counter-culture nonetheless had a far-reaching influence and appeal among respective younger generations undermining the regime’s efforts to win their allegiance. Despite the youth subcultures being apolitical, the regime initially saw them as a political threat. This stance changed once it became clear that counter-cultural trends constituted a lesser evil compared to outright political contestation and it was thus more instrumental not to impart political content upon them. Though at the crux of the phenomenon of youth counter-culture in Communist Poland lay the fact that Poland’s youths preferred to think for themselves instead of listening to out-of-touch party dictates and in their minds western pop culture came to be perceived as superior to the boring, ritualized and unnatural youth culture promoted by the socialist state.References

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Yurchak, A. (2006) Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. Princeton University Press.

Zielinski, P. (2005) Scena Rockowa w PRL: Historia, Organizacja, Znaczenie. Wydawnictwo Trio.

  • [1] See also Gleb Tsipursky, „Hunters of overseas rags and foreign currency“: Stiliagi in the Cold War Soviet Union, 1945-1964″, Critique & Humanism 43 (2015)
  • [2] Archiwum Akt Nowych (AAN), KC PZPR, 237/XVI-15, Analiza sytuacji na odcinku mlodziezy akademickiej, 13-16.
  • [3] Archiwum Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego (AUJ), O/194-XII, Meldunek sytuacyjny na U.J. z dnia 24.X.1952r.,oraz 25.X., 1; O/194-XIII, Meldunek sytuacyjny 26.X.1952r., 1.
  • [4] Interview with Ryszard Terlecki. Kraków: conducted and recorded by the author, 2007.
  • [5] APG, 2384/2999, Informacja o dzialalnosci „ruchu hippies“ na terenie Wybrzeza, 32-35.
  • [6] AIPN, 0365/105.t1, Notatka dot. grup mlodziezowych tzw. hippies, 131-38.
  • [7] „Tri“ was based on a solvent often used to clean fabrics. Its fumes would be inhaled in order to achieve hallucinations.
  • [8] AIPN, 0365/105.t1, Notatka dot. grup mlodziezowych tzw. hippies, 136-37.
  • [9] For a full account of the events of 1968-1970 see Eisler (2000; 2006).
  • [10] „O aktywny udzial mlodego pokolenia w budowie socjalistycznej Polski – zadania partii, panstwa i narodu w wychowaniu mlodziezy. Tezy programowe KC PZPR pryjete przez VII Plenum 28 listopada 1972r.“ (Partia. Mlodziez, 1973: 67-80).
  • [11] The following paragraphs on subcultures are mainly based on Idzikowska-Czubaj, (2011: 270-75) and Kosinski (2006: 387-88).
  • [12] Open Society Archives (OSA), Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute, HU OSA 300-55-9-3-2, Polish Independent Press Review, no. 7 (1987): 14-15; QQryQ (1987a: 2; 1987b: 17).
  • [13] „Nr 15 – 1987, Kalisz – Sprawozdanie z XVIII Festiwalu Rockowego Jarocin ’87“ (Lesiakowski et al., 2004: 179).
Published 2015-06-18
Original in English
First published in Criticism & Humanism 43 (2015; Bulgarian version); Eurozine (English version)Contributed by Critique & Humanism
© Tom Junes
© Eurozine


Remember: Do X! Don´t do Y!

Protect innocent, respect life, defend art, preserve creativity!

What´s Left? Antisemitism!


Psychoanalytische Arbeitsstation

DJ Psycho Diver Sant – too small to fail
Tonttu Korvatunturilta Kuunsilta JSB
Tip tap tip tap tipetipe tip tap heija!

They want 1984, we want 1776

They are on the run, we are on the march!
I think for food

molon labe

Dummheit ist, wenn jemand nicht weiß, was er wissen könnte.

Dummheit äußert sich heute als empörter Moralismus.

Werte ohne Einfühlungsvermögen sind nichts wert.

Manche Menschen fühlen physischen Schmerz, wenn sie ihre gewohnten Vorstellungen zugunsten der Realität korrigieren sollen, sie wenden ihre gesamte Intelligenz mit Unterstützung ihrer Agressivität auf, um die Realität nicht zu erkennen und ihr Selbstbild unverändert beizubehalten.

Immer mehr fühlen, immer weniger denken – Der Mensch unterscheidet sich vom Tier nicht durch Gefühle, denn Säugetiere haben die gleichen Gefühle, wie der Mensch: Trauer, Angst, Wut, Liebe, sondern durch sein Denken. Wenn er denkt, falls er denkt.

Political correctness ist, wenn man aus Feigheit lügt, um Dumme nicht zu verärgern, die die Wahrheit nicht hören wollen.

Wer „ich will frei sein“ sagt, und es sagen viele, der ist ein Idiot. Denn das höchste was der Mensch als Freiheit haben kann, ist die Freiheit, seine Pflicht frei zu wählen.

“Im Streit um moralische Probleme, ist der Relativismus die erste Zuflucht der Schurken.“ Roger Scruton

Es sind dieselben, die behaupten, das Geschlecht wäre nicht biologisch angeboren, sondern nur ein sozialer Konstrukt, und zugleich daß die Homosexualität kein sozialer Konstrukt wäre, sondern biologisch angeboren.

Antisemitismus ist, wenn man Juden, Israel übelnimmt, was man anderen nicht übelnimmt.

„Es gibt zwei Dinge“, so wußte Hitler schon 1923, „die die Menschen vereinigen können: gemeinsame Ideale und gemeinsame Kriminalität“ .

Nach der gewaltsamen Beendigung des Mordens durch die Alliierten waren die Deutschen (und sind es bis heute geblieben) noch deutscher als zuvor.

„Der Staat sind wir“: Dies Credo der Sozialdemokratie Ferdinand Lassalles war die Wahrheit der Volksgemeinschaft, und der Nazismus war die vermittlungslose Basisdemokratie der Deutschen.

Die Demokratie der Bürger ist die interessierte Demutsadresse an den autoritären Staat.

„Die deutsche Nation ist das Apriori dieser seltsamen Wissenschaft, die

vorgibt, nichts zu kennen als Quellen, Quellen und nochmals Quellen, nichts als das

lautere Plätschern der Tatsachen und das ungetrübte Sprudeln der Empirie. Die

Quelle aber ist der Historie, was der Jurisprudenz das Indiz: Spielmaterial, bloße

Illustration des Systemzwangs zum Rechtsfrieden, d.h. empirische Legitimation der

vorab existenten letzten Instanz, an der jede Berufung aufhört und jede Revision

endet. Egal, wer Recht hat, solange nur Recht ist; was immer die Quellen sagen,

ein Beweis gegen die Nation wird sich daraus nie und nimmer folgern lassen.“ (…)

„Historische Wahrheit wird nach dem Modell von Meinungsumfragen vorgestellt;

kein Sample jedoch wird je repräsentativ genug sein,

um der deutschen Nation als solcher die Taten der Nazis zuzurechnen.

Die juristische Methode dieser seltsamen Wissenschaft, die sich die Behandlung der

Geschichte anmaßt, weiß so überaus sorgfältig zwischen Intention und Resultat zu

scheiden, daß der einzig noch mögliche Weg historischer Wahrheitsgewinnung, der

allerdings leider ausgeschlossen ist, Psychoanalyse wäre.“ – Joachim Bruhn

Da die Psychoanalyse heute auch nur noch ein korruptes Racket ist, würde sie nicht helfen.


Je verkommener eine menschliche Kreatur, desto eher fühlt sie sich beleidigt, respektlos behandelt, in ihrer Ehre verletzt.

Der Nicht-Antisemit ist ein Antisemit, der nach der derzeitigen deutschen Rechtsprechung, Israel, Juden diffamiert, diskriminiert, delegitimiert, jedoch nicht expressis verbis das Ziel der dritten Reichs, den Holocaust, die Judenvernichtung, befürwortet.

Aus Deutschland erreicht mich „tiefe Sorge um den Friedensprozess“. Vorsicht: Wo ist es im Nahen und Mittleren Osten derzeit so friedlich und vergleichsweise gewaltarm wie in Israel? Wo leben Araber derzeit sicherer als in Israel? Wo haben sie besseren Zugang zu Bildung, Arbeit, Konsum und medizinischer Versorgung? – Götz Aly

Islam ist weniger eine Religion und mehr eine totalitäre Gesellschaftsordnung, eine Ideologie, die absoluten Gehorsam verlangt und keinen Widerspruch, keinerlei Kritik duldet und das Denken und Erkenntnis verbietet. Der wahre Islam ist ganz anders, wer ihn findet wird eine hohe Belohnung erhalten.

Der religiöse Rassismus der Islamisten, der den völkischen Rassismus der Nazis ersetzt hat, erklärt Allah zum Führer und die Jihadisten zu seiner privilegierten Kampftruppe: Wenn man so will, zu Allahs SS. Der Zusammenhalt dieser Kampftruppe wird über die Jenseitserwartung von Hölle und Paradies, also über das Instrument der religiösen Angst, sichergestellt. Diese Selbstbildfantasie der Islamisten ist mit ihrer (zumeist antijüdischen) Feindbildfantasie untrennbar verknüpft. – Matthias Küntzel

Wahnsinn bedeute, immer wieder das gleiche zu tun, aber dabei stets ein anderes Resultat zu erwarten.

Gutmenschen sind Menschen, die gut erscheinen wollen, die gewissenlos das Gewissen anderer Menschen zu eigenen Zwecken mit Hilfe selbst inszenierter Empörungen instrumentalisieren.

Irritationen verhelfen zu weiteren Erkenntnissen, Selbstzufriedenheit führt zur Verblödung,

Wenn ein Affe denkt, „ich bin ein Affe“, dann ist es bereits ein Mensch.

Ein Mensch mit Wurzeln soll zur Pediküre gehen.

Wenn jemand etwas zu sagen hat, der kann es immer sehr einfach sagen. Wenn jemand nichts zu sagen hat, der sagt es dann sehr kompliziert.

Sucht ist, wenn jemand etwas macht, was er machen will und sucht jemand, der es macht, daß er es nicht macht und es nicht machen will.

Sollen die Klugen immer nachgeben, dann wird die Welt von Dummen regiert. Zu viel „Klugheit“ macht dumm.

Wenn man nur das Schlechte bekämpft, um das Leben zu schützen, bringt man gar nichts Gutes hervor und ein solches Leben ist dann nicht mehr lebenswert und braucht nicht beschützt zu werden, denn es ist dann durch ein solches totales Beschützen sowieso schon tot. Man kann so viel Geld für Versicherungen ausgeben, daß man gar nichts mehr zum Versichern hat. Mit Sicherheit ist es eben so.

Zufriedene Sklaven sind die schlimmsten Feinde der Freiheit.

Kreativität ist eine Intelligenz, die Spaß hat.

Wen die Arbeit krank macht, der soll kündigen!

Wenn Deutsche über Moral reden, meinen sie das Geld.

Ein Mensch ohne Erkenntnis ist dann  lediglich ein ängstlicher, aggressiver, unglücklicher Affe.

Denken ist immer grenzüberschreitend.

Der Mob, der sich das Volk nennt, diskutiert nicht, sondern diffamiert.

Legal ist nicht immer legitim.

Wer nicht verzichten kann, lebt unglücklich.

Sogenannte Sozial-, Kultur-, Geisteswissenschaften, Soziologie, Psychologie, Psychotherapie, Psychoanalyse, sind keine Wissenschaften mehr, sondern immanent religiöse Kultpropheten, organisiert wie Sekten. Es sind Sozio-, Pädago- und Psychokratien, Rackets, die Erkenntnis nicht fördern, sondern verhindern.

Ohne eine starke Opposition atrophiert jede scheinbare Demokratie zur Tyrannei, und ebenso eine Wissenschaft, zur Gesinnung einer Sekte.

Man kann alles nur aus gewisser Distanz erkennen, wer sich ereifert, empört, wer mit seiner Nase an etwas klebt, der hat die Perspektive verloren, der erkennt nichts mehr, der hat nur noch seine Phantasie von der Welt im Kopf. So entsteht Paranoia, die sich Religion, und Religion als Politik, sogar als Wissenschaft nennt.

Islamisten sind eine Gefahr, deswegen werden sie als solche nicht gesehen. Juden sind keine Gefahr, deswegen werden sie als solche gesehen. So funktioniert die Wahrnehmung von  Feiglingen.

Humorlose Menschen könner nur fürchten oder hassen und werden Mönche oder Terroristen.

Menschen sind nicht gleich, jeder einzelne Mensch ist ein Unikat.

Erkenntnis gilt für alle, auch für Muslime, Albaner, Frauen und Homosexuelle.

Islam gehört zu Deutschland, Judentum gehört zu Israel.

Der Konsensterror (Totalitarismus) ist in Deutschland allgegenwärtig.

Es wird nicht mehr diskutiert, sondern nur noch diffamiert.

Es ist eine Kultur des Mobs. Wie es bereits gewesen ist.

Harmonie ist nur, wenn man nicht kommuniziert.

Man soll niemals mit jemand ins Bett gehen, der mehr Probleme hat, als man selbst.

>>Evelyn Waugh, sicherlich der witzigste Erzähler des vergangenen Jahrhunderts, im Zweiten Weltkrieg, herauskommend aus einem Bunker während einer deutschen Bombardierung Jugoslawiens, blickte zum Himmel, von dem es feindliche Bomben regnete und bemerkte: “Wie alles Deutsche, stark übertrieben.“<< Joseph Epstein

Man muß Mut haben, um witzig zu sein.

Dumm und blöd geht meistens zusammen.

Charlie Hebdo: solche Morde an Juden sind euch egal, mal sehen wie”angemessen”  ihr reagiert, wenn (wenn, nicht falls) eure Städte von Islamisten mit Kasam-Raketen beschossen werden.

Christopher Hitchens großartig: „In einer freien Gesellschaft hat niemand das Recht, nicht beleidigt zu werden.“

Je mehr sich jemand narzisstisch aufbläht, desto mehr fühlt er sich beleidigt und provoziert.

“Das Problem mit der Welt ist, daß die Dummen felsenfest überzeugt sind und die Klugen voller Zweifel.” – Bertrand Russel

Das Problem mit den Islamisten in Europa soll man genauso lösen, wie es Europa für den Nahen Osten verlangt: jeweils eine Zweistaatenlösung, die Hälfte für Muslime, die andere Hälfte für Nicht-Muslime, mit einer gemeinsamen Hauptstadt.

Was darf Satire? Alles! Nur nicht vom Dummkopf verstanden werden, weil es dann keine Satire war.

Islamimus ist Islam, der Gewalt predigt.

Islam ist eine Religion der Liebe,und wer es anzweifelt, ist tot.

Krieg ist Frieden. Freiheit ist Sklaverei. Unwissenheit ist Stärke. Der Islam ist die friedliche Religion der Liebe George Orwell 2015

Islam ist verantwortlich für gar nichts, Juden sind schuld an allem.

Islamisten sind Satanisten. Islamismus ist eine Religion von Idioten.

Leute fühlen sich immer furchtbar beleidigt, wenn man ihre Lügen nicht glaubt.

Jeder ist selbst verantwortlich für seine Gefühle.

Die Psychoanalyse geht niemanden außer den Psychoanalytiker und seinen Patienten etwas an, und alle anderen sollen sich verpissen.

“Zeit ist das Echo einer Axt
im Wald.
Philip Larkin, Gesammelte Gedichte

Wenn jemand wie Islamisten sein Ego endlos aufbläht, dann verletzt er seine eigenen Gefühle schon morgens beim Scheißen.

„Die sieben Todsünden der modernen Gesellschaft: Reichtum ohne Arbeit Genuß ohne Gewissen Wissen ohne Charakter Geschäft ohne Moral Wissenschaft ohne Menschlichkeit Religion ohne Opfer Politik ohne Prinzipien.“
―Mahatma Gandhi

„Wo man nur die Wahl hat zwischen Feigheit und Gewalt, würde ich zur Gewalt raten.“
―Mahatma Gandhi

Warum zeigt sich Allah nicht? Weil er mit solchen Arschlöchern nichts zu tun haben will.

„Wenn der Faschismus wiederkehrt, wird er nicht sagen: ‚Ich bin der Faschismus’. Nein, er wird sagen: ‚Ich bin der Antifaschismus’.”  – Ignazio Silone

Politische Korrektheit verlangt eine Sprache für ein Poesiealbum.

Psychoanalyse ist frivol, oder es ist keine Psychoanalyse.

Bunte Vielfalt, früher: Scheiße

Was der Mensch nicht mehr verändern, nicht mehr reformieren kann, ist nicht mehr lebendig, sondern sehr tot. Was tot ist, das soll man, das muß man begraben: Religion, Ehe, Romantizismus, etc.

Romantik ist scheiße.

Die Realität ist immer stärker als Illusionen.

Deutschland gestern: der Wille zur Macht.
Deutschland heute: der Wille zur Verblendung.
Deutschland morgen: 德國

Deutsche Psychoanalyse? Großartig, wie deutscher Charme, deutscher Humor und deutscher Esprit.

Der Widerstand fängt mit einer eigenen, anderen Sprache als die der Diktatur.

Smart phones for stupid people.

Ein Linker kann, muß aber nicht dumm sein.

Wenn man ganzen Staaten nicht übel nimmt, wenn sie mit Millionen Opfern Selbstmord begehen, warum dann einem Co-Piloten mit 149 Toten?

Nur die Reinheit der Mittel heiligt den Zweck.

Ein extremer Narzißt ist ein potentieller Terrorist, und jeder Terrorist ist ein extremer Narzißt.

Islamisierung bedeutet Verblödung.

…der hiesige Autoritarismus (ist) einer ohne Autorität und der hiesige Konventionalismus einer ohne Konventionen. Schon bei den Nazis war nicht das Wort des Führers Befehl, sondern sein Wille, den der kongeniale Volksgenosse erahnte. Nie hätte der Nationalsozialismus funktioniert, hätte den Deutschen jede ihrer Missetaten bei Strafandrohung befohlen werden müssen. Anders, als es das Wort vom „Befehlsnotstand“, von der „Gleichschaltung“ oder vom „Führer“ selber glauben machen will, herrschte das NS-System durch Gehorsam ohne Befehl. (W. Pohrt, Der Weg zur inneren Einheit)

Der faschistische Sozialpakt existiert im bundesdeutschen Postfaschismus weiter als eine im Resultat aufgehobene Voraussetzung, die unmittelbar keine Spur ihrer gewaltförmigen Durchsetzung mehr an sich trägt: umso besser kann diese Tatsache verleugnet und der Nationalsozialismus als das Verbrechen einiger Irrer, als „Unrechtsstaat“, als „das Schlimmste, das Menschen einander je angetan haben“ exorziert werden. Diese Lebenslüge der BRD ist das Fundament aller demokratischen „Vergangenheitsbewältigung“, jenes kollektiven Beschweigens des Nationalsozialismus, das durchaus auch die Form enervierender Redseligkeit annehmen kann. Weil das postfaschistische Deutschland in institutioneller wie personeller Hinsicht in Kontinuität zu seinem Vorgänger steht, muß ausnahmslos jeder Versuch einer Vergangenheitsbewältigung innerhalb des sich weiterschleppenden Systems zur symbolischen Distanzierung, zum substanzlosen Gestus geraten. Im Laufe der Jahrzehnte haben sich die Deutschen einen schier unerschöpflichen Vorrat an größeren und kleineren Entlastungslügen angelegt, aus dem sie sich je nach Gelegenheit und Bedarf bedienen. Danach war das nationalsozialistische System wahlweise das Werk von Hitler höchstpersönlich, einer kleinen Verbrecherclique und ein paar Helfershelfern oder des Monopolkapitals und seiner Schergen. Otto Normalvergaser jedenfalls hat „von alledem nichts gewußt“, war „im Grunde auch dagegen“ oder „konnte gar nicht anders handeln“, weil „Befehlsnotstand“ herrschte und man im Falle des Zuwiderhandelns sofort „ins KZ gekommen“ wäre. “ (…) „Heute haben die Verbreitung des Gerüchts und die Verbreitung der Neidbeißerei neue, technische Möglichkeiten. Sie können sich über das Internet und diverse Subnetzwerke und Blogs rasend verbreiten und auch auf die Politik einen Druck erzeugen, sich ihnen zu beugen. Die gesellschaftliche Mobilmachung wirkt so wieder auf die Politik zurück. Sie muss sich den entsprechenden Stimmungen beugen, weil sonst die Wiederwahl gefährdet würde. Die Devise »Ich bin ihr Führer, also muss ich ihnen folgen«, bleibt auch im zerfallenen Postnazismus das prinzipienlose Grundprinzip von Herrschaft.“ (…) Spezialisierung und Diversifikation sind die zeitgemäße Erscheinungsform von Vermassung und Uniformität. (…) 1 x 1 materialistischer Kritik: es  muss darum gehen, Erscheinungen in eine Konstellation zu bringen, in der sie lesbar werden. (…) Je antirassistischer und weltoffener sich die Deutschen aufführen, desto mehr ähneln sie wieder einer gegen ihre Todfeinde verschworenen Horde, die nicht mehr auf Exklusivität pocht, sondern die Anforderungen zum Mitmachen wieder flexibilisiert hat und sich ihr Jagdrevier mit anderen teilt, sofern sie sich bewähren. Und weil gerade die Entfernung vom Nazismus die Nähe zu ihm verbürgt, waren und sind das diejenigen, die in Personensache am wenigstens mit Nazifaschistischem in Verbindung zu bringen sind, die Linksradikalen, die Linksliberalen, die Linken, die Antifaschisten, die entschiedensten Schrittmacher dafür, dass der anfangs noch gar nicht wirklich übergreifende postnazistische Fundamentalkonsens tatsächlich totalisiert und auf die Höhe der Zeit gebracht werden konnte. Die Nazis und die Rechten hingegen waren für diesen Vorgang nur von unterordnetem Belang. Sie standen immer schon für eine in ihrer konkreten Ausprägung gestrige Gesellschaftsformation und deshalb ging von ihnen auch nie eine ernsthafte Gefahr eines neuen Faschismus aus. Diese Totalisierung der Gemeinschaft der Demokraten, die hauptsächlich die Linke mit herbeigeführt hat, ist allerdings identisch und das zeigt sich heute mit ihrem Zerfall. Dieser wiederum ist im Selbstwiderspruch der postnazistischen Vergesellschaftung angelegt, in der der bereits erwähnte nazistische Kurzschluss von Staaten Subjekt im Modus permanenter Mobilmachung in den politökonomischen Formen im Doppelsinne aufgehoben ist. Seiner Substanz nach anerkannt und aufbewahrt, wie vorerst suspendiert und seiner Verlaufsform nachgezügelt. Also statt den Blockwarten gab es Aktenzeichen XY, da durfte sich jeder dann auch telefonisch dran beteiligen, aber richtige Jagdszenen gab es in der alten Bundesrepublik nicht oder nur in Ausnahmefällen. Taxiert selbst zu Zeiten der Prosperität jeder insgeheim seinen Erwerb als verkappte Arbeitslosenunterstützung, so mobilisiert die Krise der postnazistischen Vergesellschaftung erst Recht die Sehnsucht nach der alten Staatsunmittelbarkeit. Johannes Agnoli schrieb dazu schon in der Transformation der Demokratie 1966: „Der präfaschistisch liberale Ruf nach dem starken Staat wiederholt sich postfaschistisch neoliberal“. Und damit gerät das ganze System des autoritären Etatismus und geraten letzten Endes die politökonomischen Vermittlungen als solche wieder ins Visier des Volkszorns und es war wiederum die Linke, die noch zu Zeiten, wo keine Krise in Sicht war, im sinistren Tram nach Liquidation der Vermittlungen die Zunge gelöst und ihm neue fantasievolle und kreative, wie es so schön heißt, Äußerungsformen zur Verfügung gestellt hat. Sie war das Laboratorium, in dem die allgemeine Mobilmachung eingeübt und jener darauf zugeschnittenen neue und zugleich sehr alte Sozialcharakter herangebildet wurde, indem sich mittlerweile eine Mehrheit spontan wieder erkennt. Derjenige Sozialcharakter, der nach dem Motto „Ich leide, also bin ich“ sich einerseits unter Berufung auf die höchst unverwechselbare Diskriminierung, die ihm angeblich wiederfährt, zur kleinsten existierenden Minderheit erklärt, sich gleichsam nach dem Muster verfolgter und in ihrer Kultur bedrohter Völker begreift und andererseits als Gegensouverän seine private, warnhafte Feinderklärung allen anderen oktroyieren möchte und diesem Zweck entweder vorhandene gesellschaftliche Organisationen zu Rackets umfunktioniert, neue Rackets gründet oder andere Rackets mit ins Boot holt. Der einstige demokratische Fundamentalkonsens wird dadurch einerseits ins einzelne Subjekt zurückverlagert und andererseits vermittlungslos verallgemeinert. Aus der formell kollektiven Feinderklärung der Mitte gegen die Extreme, das war der Normalfall in der Bundesrepublik bis weit in die 80er Jahre, Terroristenhasse, einige werden sich noch daran erinnern. Aus dieser kollektiven Feinderklärung der gesellschaftlichen Mitte gegen die Extreme wird also die pluralisierte Feinderklärung alle gegen alle, die getrennt vereint sich zusammenrotten und auf diese Weise zerfällt die Gemeinschaft der wehrhaften Demokraten und reorganisiert sich zugleich hin zu zerfallen. Ein Zitat von Wolfgang Port in einem anderen Zusammenhang macht es sehr schön deutlich: „Wie durch höhere Gewalt sondern sich die Langen von den Kurzen, die Weiblichen von den Männlichen, die Alten von den Jungen, die Dicken von den Dünnen ab“ und das Resultat ist eine Segregation und Ghettoisierung durch welche die Metropolen, einem riesigen Freiluftgefängnis mit seinen Unterabteilungen für Männer und Frauen, Jugendliche, Kranke, Alte, Port schreibt etc., man könnte noch Schwule und Lesben und Migranten und was weiß ich noch alles ergänzen, Protestanten, Katholiken, Ossis, Wessis, immer ähnlicher werden. Neu ist, dass dieses Freiluftgefängnis als eine kulturelle Einrichtung und seine Insassen als Kulturbotschafter begriffen werden und es ist diese nahezu flächendeckende Selbstkulturalisierung der gesellschaftlichen Mehrheit und der einzelnen Individuen in ihr, die in der Postmoderne ihr bewusstloses Selbstbewusstsein und ihre Legitimation erfährt und im antirassistischen PC-Sprech sich ihren Ehrenkodex schafft, ihre Omertà, die sich an ihresgleichen und die verbliebenen Kritiker draußen richtet, Islamophobie ist ihr derzeit aktuellstes Schlagwort. Dieser Vorgang, diese Selbstkulturalisierung der gesellschaftlichen Mitte und ihr Zerfall ist also die Bedingung der neuen Haltung Ausländern und Migranten gegenüber, an denen die Deutschen projektiv ihre ersehnte Regression auf den Stamm illustrieren. Was ihnen umso leichter gelingt, als manch ihrer Repräsentanten und Lobbyisten sich anschicken, genau dem Bilde zu gleichen, das die Deutschen sich seit jeher von ihnen machten und wofür sie von ihnen jetzt nach kollektiv und offiziell ins Herz geschlossen werden. Der mittlerweile zur Dauereinrichtung erklärte Karneval der Kulturen ist nichts anderes als ein Zerfallsprodukt der postfaschistischen Demokratie, mehr noch, er ist diese Gemeinschaft in einer zugleich flexibilisierten und pluralisierten und kollektivierten Gestalt. In dieser Völkerfamilie, die die Deutschen gerne auf der ganzen Welt hätten, wären da nicht Israel und die USA als Störenfriede und die sie aus Mangel an Realisierungschancen deshalb erstmal bei sich zuhause einrichten, geht es dabei zu, wie in jeder guten Familie: Die einzelnen Mitglieder sind einander spinnefeind und die Widersprüche und Konflikte, die daraus resultieren, gehören auch voll und ganz dieser Vergesellschaftung an, sind von ihr konstituiert und dazu gehört ein fein dosiertes Spiel mit Fremdheit und Nähe, das von allen Beteiligten auch weiterhin gepflegt wird, weil damit ein moralisches Plus bei der Gefolgschaft eingefahren werden kann. (…) Der zweite Weltkrieg war ein kulturindustrielles Massenevent. (…) Eine neue Barbarei sei stets zu befürchten, wird sich nicht aus dem Geist Nationalsozialismus unmittelbar speisen, sondern im Gewande von demokratischem Antifaschismus von Lernen aus der Geschichte und political correctness daher kommen.(…) Abwehr des offenen Faschismus durch dessen demokratische Entnazifizierung und Eingemeindung. (…) Je antirassistischer und weltoffener sich die Deutschen aufführen, desto mehr ähneln sie wieder einer gegen ihre Todfeinde verschworenen Horde, die nicht mehr auf Exklusivität pocht, sondern die Anforderungen zum Mitmachen wieder flexibilisiert hat und sich ihr Jagdrevier mit anderen teilt, sofern sie sich bewähren. (…) Die postnazistische Demokratie hat  die nationalsozialistische Mobilmachung des „gesunden Volksempfindens“ zwar nicht abgeschafft, sondern nur sistiert – sie hat es aber andererseits auch in die Latenz abgedrängt und damit gebremst, indem sie es in die mediatisierende Form des bürgerlichen Repräsentationsprinzips zwängte.  (…) „Rassismus“ ist ein ideologisches Stichwort eines anti-rassistischen Rackets, das jeden Realitätsbezugs entbehrt, das seine Mitglieder vielmehr nur als Ausweis von Gesinnungsfestigkeit und Ehrbarkeit vor sich hertragen und das ihnen als probates Mittel dient, um nach Willkür und freiem Ermessen festzulegen, wer gerade als „Rassist“ zu gelten hat. Und dieses „anti-rassistische“ Racket, das sind heutzutage fast alle: längst ist die Gegnerschaft zum Rassismus keine Domäne der Linken mehr, sondern offizielle Staatsraison und common sense aller Ehrbaren und Wohlmeinenden, und das ist die erdrückende Mehrheit.  (…) Von der moralisierenden Aufdringlichkeit und der enervierenden Verlogenheit einmal abgesehen, ist die Ehrfurcht, die „anderen Kulturen“ entgegengebracht wird und die Unterwürfigkeit, mit der ihre Träger geradezu als Heilsbringer verehrt werden, keine Gegenposition zum Rassismus, sondern dessen logische wie historische Voraussetzung, die im Rassismus und allen naturalisierenden Ideologien als ein Moment überlebt: deren Grundmuster ist die projektive Bekämpfung dessen, was man selbst gern möchte, aber nicht erreichen kann, und deshalb gehört zur Diskriminierung der Neger wegen ihrer „Faulheit“ die Bewunderung für den „Rhythmus, den sie im Blut haben“ und die Achtung vor ihrer „sagenhaften Potenz“; somit ist der „Anti-Rassismus“ nichts weiter als die notwendige Kehrseite des Rassismus selbst, die sich von diesem abgespalten hat und gegen ihre eigene Grundlage wendet. Historisch jedenfalls geht die Wertschätzung fremder Kulturen ihrer späteren, „rassisch“ legitimierten Abqualifizierung voran und sie ist auch logisch deren Voraussetzung: Christoph Columbus etwa beschreibt in seinen Tagebüchern die Eingeborenen, die er 1492 auf den Bahamas, Cuba und schliesslich Haiti angetroffen hat, folgendermaßen: sie sind „ängstlich und feige“, „sehr sanftmütig und kennen das Böse nicht, sie können sich nicht gegenseitig umbringen“, „sie begehren die Güter anderer nicht,“ und er resümiert: „Ich glaube nicht, dass es auf dieser Welt bessere Menschen oder ein besseres Land gibt.“ (7)  (…) Protestantische Innerlichkeit: gemäß der Devise, dass vor der schlechten Tat der schlechte Gedanke und das schlechte Wort kommen, die man demzufolge austreiben muss, damit alles besser wird. (…) So kommt es, dass es heute der Anti-Rassismus ist, der, unter dem Vorwand, heldenhaft gegen einen in Wahrheit nicht existenten „Rassismus“ zu kämpfen, Respekt und Toleranz noch für die rückständigsten und unmenschlichsten Sitten und Gebräuche einfordert und damit selbst als Protagonist und Fürsprecher einer Verrassung der restbürgerlichen Gesellschaft fungiert.  (..) Die unterschiedliche Pigmentierung der menschlichen Haut ist eine objektive Gegebenheit, keine bloße Erfindung. (…) Rasse heute ist die Selbstbehauptung des bürgerlichen Individuums, integriert im barbarischen Kollektiv. (…) Der nervige Sozialcharakter des Gutmenschen ist offenbar eine fast zeitlose Erscheinung und in den verschiedensten Lebensbereichen anzutreffen, die Wahrscheinlichkeit, ihm in fortschrittlichen sogenannten „politischen Zusammenhängen“ zu begegnen, ist besonders hoch: werden doch hier traditionell die altruistischen Tugenden – das Mitgefühl, die Solidarität, Selbstlosigkeit etc. – besonders hoch angeschrieben und deshalb sind sie das geeignete Betätigungsfeld für Sozialcharaktere, die sich als Ersatz für ihr eigenes ungelebtes Leben vorzugsweise mit dem Leiden anderer als Fetisch verbinden. (…) Es sind aber gerade die höchsten Tugenden, die die niedersten Instinkte decken, wie schon Marx wusste: „Bis jetzt hat der Mensch sein Mitgefühl noch kaum ausgeprägt. Er empfindet es bloß mit dem Leiden, und dies ist gewiss nicht die höchste Form des Mitgefühls. Jedes Mitgefühl ist edel, aber das Mitgefühl mit dem Leiden ist die am wenigsten edle Form. Es ist mit Egoismus gemischt. Es neigt zum Morbiden […] Außerdem ist das Mitgefühl seltsam beschränkt […] Jeder kann für die Leiden eines Freundes Mitgefühl empfinden, aber es erfordert […] das Wesen eines wahren Individualisten, um auch am Erfolg eines Freundes teilhaben zu können. (…) Und da jeder demonstrative Altruismus nicht nur einen kleinlichen Egoismus bemäntelt, sondern auch mit dem Anspruch des Idealisten einhergeht, erzieherisch auf das Objekt seiner Zuwendung einzuwirken, ist er die adäquate Ideologie von Rackets, und auch das ist Wilde nicht entgangen: Barmherzigkeit, so schreibt er, sei die „lächerlich unzulängliche Art der teilweisen Rückerstattung oder ein sentimentales Almosen, gewöhnlich verknüpft mit dem skandalösen Versuch des rührseligen Spenders, auf (das) Privatleben (der Armen) Einfluss zu nehmen. (…) Im totalisierten Zugriff auf die ihr Unterworfenen ist die sozialistische Bewegung bis auf den heutigen Tag ebenfalls als ein Racket des Tugendterrors anzusprechen, betrachtet sie es doch als ihre Aufgabe, das Proletariat oder das gerade angesagte Subjekt seiner „wahren Bestimmung“ zuzuführen und d.h. es im Sinne der von ihm zu realisierenden Ideale zu erziehen – und das bedeutet stets noch: ihm die Untugenden und Laster auszutreiben, die der Vorhut als Male der individualistischen Bürgerwelt erscheinen: etwa Alkoholabusus, Faulenzerei, „zerrüttete“, „unsittliche“ Verhältnisse zwischen den Geschlechtern etc. Und um dieser Aufgabe gerecht zu werden, müssen die selbsternannten Vertreter der Klasse die von ihnen verfochtenen Tugenden in eigener Person glaubwürdig verkörpern und deshalb in einer noch rigideren Weise als der gemeine Bürger sich als Subjekte zurichten, d.h. ihre Individualität dem Allgemeinen (dem Kollektiv, der Klasse, dem Frieden etc.) opfern, um totale Identität mit ihm zu erlangen. Wenn Identität letzten Endes den Tod bedeutet, dann hat die Bemühung um sie vorzeitige Erstarrung und prämortale Leblosigkeit zur Folge – von daher die bis in die Gegenwart zu beobachtenden verhockten, verkniffenen und lauernden Mienen aller professionellen Menschheitsbeglücker, ihre rigide Zwangsmoral und durchgängige Humorresistenz, die immergleichen offiziösen Phrasen, die sie dreschen, die tödliche Langeweile, die von ihnen und ihrem penetranten Sendungsbewusstsein ausgeht, und ihr chronisches Beleidigtsein, wenn sie beim Gegenüber auch nur den Hauch eines Zweifels an ihrer aufgetragenen Gutartigkeit zu erspüren glauben. Und zu alldem glauben diese Leute sich auch noch ermächtigt, diese ihre trostlose Existenz zur verbindlichen Richtschnur für alle anderen zu erklären.“ – Clemens Nachtmann

„Die rebellische Haltung, vor einem Jahrzehnt noch das Privileg von Einzelgängern, ist heute Ausdruck des Konformismus. Man will dazugehören, nicht als Schlappschwanz gelten“ – Horkheimer

„Die Demokratie ist nichts weiter als die Herrschaft des Knüppels über das Volk durch das Volk für das Volk. (…) Es gibt drei Arten von Despoten: den Despoten, der den Leib knechtet, den Despoten, der die Seele knechtet und den Despoten, der Leib und Seele zugleich knechtet. Der erste heißt Fürst. Der zweite heißt Papst. Der dritte heißt das Volk. (..) Wer das Volk führen will, ist gezwungen, dem Pöbel zu folgen“ (…) „Man hört immer wieder, der Schulmeister sterbe aus. Ich wünschte beileibe, dem wäre so. Aber der Menschentypus, von dem er nur ein und gewiss noch der harmloseste Vertreter ist, scheint mir wahrhaftig unser Leben zu beherrschen; und wie auf ethischem Gebiet der Philanthrop die größte Plage ist, so ist es im Bereich des Geistes derjenige, der so sehr damit beschäftigt ist, andere zu erziehen, dass er nie Zeit gehabt hat, an seine eigene Erziehung zu denken […] Wie schlimm aber, Ernest, ist es, neben einem Menschen zu sitzen, der sein Leben lang versucht hat, andere zu erziehen! Welch eine grausame Tortur! Was für eine entsetzliche Borniertheit, die unvermeidlich aus der fatalen Gewohnheit resultiert, anderen seine persönlichen Überzeugungen mitteilen zu wollen! Wie sehr dieser Mensch durch seine geistige Beschränktheit auffällt! Wie sehr er uns und fraglos auch sich selbst anödet mit seinen endlosen Wiederholungen und seiner krankhaften Besserwisserei! Wie sehr er jedes Anzeichen geistigen Wachstums vermissen lässt! Wie verhängnisvoll ist der Kreis, in dem er sich unablässig bewegt.“ – Oscar Wilde
„Was die Menschheitsbeglücker in Wahrheit bewirken, ist ihr eigener moralischer Selbstgenuss in der angemaßten oder tatsächlichen Herrschaft über andere, aber gerade nicht die praktische Lösung der Dinge, um die es ihnen vorgeblich so selbstlos zu tun ist: „In den Augen des Denkers allerdings liegt der wahre Schaden, den das moralische Mitgefühl anrichtet, darin, dass es unser Wissen begrenzt und so verhindert, dass wir auch nur eines unserer sozialen Probleme lösen.“ (Wilde) Das Selbstopfer fürs Kollektiv erweist sich nicht nur als die wahre Selbstsucht, sondern auch als gegen die Gattung gerichtet: „Denn die Entwicklung der Gattung hängt von der Entwicklung des Individuums ab, und wo die Ausbildung der eigenen Persönlichkeit als Ideal abgedankt hat, ist das Absinken des intellektuellen Niveaus, wenn nicht gar dessen gänzliches Verschwinden die unmittelbare Folge.“ (Wilde) Und das vorgeblich so praktische und zielorientierte Tun erweist sich als in Wahrheit konfus und unpraktisch: denn es verlässt den Bannkreis des Notwendigen und Zwanghaften nicht, ja, es bestärkt dessen Macht umso mehr, je auftrumpfender und verblendeter es sich in seiner moralischen Selbstgerechtigkeit verhärtet und alle Selbstaufklärung abwehrt. Solange die Gesellschaft den Individuen als fremde äußere Macht entgegentritt, verkehrt sich die gute Intention regelmäßig in ihr Gegenteil und ist menschliches Handeln „nur blindes Tun, abhängig von äußeren Einflüssen und angetrieben von einem dunklen Impuls, von dem es selbst nichts weiß. Es ist seinem Wesen nach unvollkommen, weil es vom Zufall begrenzt wird, und unwissend über seine eigentliche Richtung, befindet es sich zu seinem Ziel stets im Widerspruch […] Jede unserer Taten speist die große Maschine des Lebens, die unsere Tugenden zu wertlosem Staub zermahlen oder aber unsere Sünden in Bausteine einer neuen Kultur verwandeln kann.“ (…) Die Misere des Sozialismus von seinen Anfängen bis heute war und ist stets zuverlässig abzulesen an seiner Verachtung aller autonomen, zweckfreien, in sich begründeten und eben darin gesellschaftlich bestimmten Kunst, weil sie die – prekäre und unvollständige – Emanzipation des Individuums von Blut, Scholle, Rasse, Kollektiv vorausträumt und ihr Ausdruck verleiht. Die Kunst, die sozialistische Bewegungen oder Regimes dann hervorbringen und fördern, eine Kunst, die „Partei ergreifen“, „Stellung beziehen“ und „gesellschaftliche Verantwortung“ dokumentieren soll, zerstört jedoch sich selbst und ihre Voraussetzungen. (…) „Kunst ist Individualismus und der Individualismus ist eine verstörende und zersetzende Kraft. Gerade darin liegt sein unermesslicher Wert. Denn was er aufzubrechen versucht, ist die Einförmigkeit des Typischen, die Sklaverei der Konvention, die Tyrannei der Gewohnheit und die Erniedrigung des Menschen auf das Niveau einer Maschine. (…) alle Künste sind amoralisch, ausgenommen die niederen Formen der sinnlichen oder belehrenden Kunst, die uns zu guten oder schlechten Taten anstiften wollen“ (…) Selbstsucht strebt immer danach, der gesamten Umwelt ein Einheitsmaß aufzuzwingen“ „Selbstlosigkeit bedeutet, andere Leute in Ruhe zu lassen, sich nicht in ihr Leben einzumischen […] Die Selbstlosigkeit weiß die unendliche Vielfalt als etwas Kostbares zu schätzen, sie akzeptiert sie, lässt sie gewähren und erfreut sich an ihr.“ (…) „Die erste Pflicht im Leben ist, so künstlich wie möglich zu sein. Die zweite Pflicht ist noch unbekannt.“(Wilde)
Antizionismus und Antiamerikanismus, ihr Philo-Islamismus nichts anderes sind als moderne Varianten des urdeutschen Antisemitismus.  (…) Massen laufen zur Deutschen Ideologie über, wenn Politik und Staat ihnen diesen Weg nicht versperren (…) Der Vernünftige braucht keinen Dialog mit Leuten zu führen, die sich nicht von Grund auf von denjenigen distanzieren, die Juden oder, was dasselbe ist, den Zionismus für ihr und anderer Leute Unglück verantwortlich machen. Er denunziert desgleichen jede Verhandlungsbereitschaft denen gegenüber, die, bevor sie sich als Staatsbürger und Marktsubjekte definiert haben, als Angehörige einer Religions- oder Volksgemeinschaft anerkannt werden wollen. (…) Antizionismus und Antiamerikanismus, ihr Philo-Islamismus nichts anderes sind als moderne Varianten des urdeutschen Antisemitismus. (…) Antideutsch denken und handeln heißt demzufolge, die politischen Vermittlungs- und Repräsentationsformen in Gesellschaft und Staat, die auf der Trennung von freien und gleichen Warenbesitzern einerseits und am Allgemeinwohl orientierten Staatsbürgern andererseits beruht, gegen die zu verteidigen, die diese Teilung zugunsten eines autoritären Volksstaates überwinden wollen, dessen Subjekte von nichts anderem als von seinen Wohlfahrtsleistungen abhängig sind. Wer in diesem Sinne das Etikett „antideutsch“ nicht auch auf sich bezieht, mißachtet zumindest die Gefährlichkeit der – selbstredend nicht auf Deutschland und deutsche Staatsbürger beschränkte, sondern immer schon weltweit grassierende – Deutschen Ideologie, deren historischer Kern darin besteht, daß auf ihr Konto nicht nur „normale“ kapitalbedingte Ausbeutung und Herrschaft, nicht nur die dem Kapital aus Prinzip immanenten Kriege und nicht nur der ihm in seinen Grund eingeschriebene Antisemitismus gehen, sondern fördert das Überleben einer Ideologie, der zudem noch die historisch und empirisch nicht zu leugnende Tatsache eingeschrieben ist, daß die deutsche Fassung der Beziehung von Staat und Gesellschaft die Auslöschung der Menschheit in zwei Weltkriegen im allgemeinen und den eliminatorischen Antisemitismus im besonderen beinahe total verwirklicht hätte. In der Existenz des Staates Israel manifestiert sich der Einspruch gegen den historisch bewiesenen Vernichtungswahn Deutscher Ideologie praktisch und empirisch. – Manfred Dahlmann

„Wird Freiheit mit Zügellosigkeit verwechselt, entsteht Rücksichtslosigkeit.
Am Schluss Gleichmacherei.
Ihr seid aber nicht alle gleich.
Noch nie wart ihr alle gleich.
Ihr lasst es euch aber einreden.
So werdet ihr immer respektloser, ungenießbarer gegeneinander.
Vergeudet in Kleinkriegen eure Zeit, als hättet ihr ein zweites Leben.
Weil ihr tatsächlich alles verwechselt.
Behauptungen mit Beweisen.
Gerechtigkeit mit Maß.
Religion mit Moral.
Desinteresse mit Toleranz.
Satire mit Häme.
Reform mit Veränderung.
Nachrichten mit Wirklichkeit.
Kulturunterschiede haltet ihr für Softwarefragen und ihre Analyse ersetzt ihr mit Anpassung.
Ihr habt die Maßstäbe verloren.
Der Gordische Knoten ist ein Keks gegen eure selbstverschuldete Wirrsal.

Man geht immer fehl, sucht man den Ursprung menschlicher Handlungen außerhalb der Leidenschaft des menschlichen Herzens …

Der Separatismus gendert sich in die Köpfe, sitzt in Regierungen.
Männer sind keine Männer mehr. Frauen keine Frauen, sondern ‚Menschen mit Menstruationshintergrund’, Quote ist Trumpf.
Auf gar keinen Fall sollen Mann und Frau sich noch als zwei Teile eines Ganzen begreifen. Damit die Geschlechter noch mehr aneinander verzweifeln.
Bis alle in destruktiver Selbstbezogenheit stecken.
Am Ende: Mann ohne Eier. Frau ohne Welt.

Auf die Erschöpfung des Mannes wird aber nur die Erschöpfung der Frau folgen, das sage ich euch.
Auf die Verstörung der Kinder folgt die Zerstörung der menschlichen Schöpfung.“– Hans Dieter Hüsch

Es gibt zweierlei Ethik: die moralische, der die Realität egal ist und die der Verantwortung, die reale Folgen der ethischen Forderungen berücksichtigt. Die erste ist gut gemeint, die zweite ist gut gemacht.

Was dem einen seine Souveränität, ist dem anderen seine Eigenmächtigkeit.

Das Schöne am Euro war, dass die Gewinner immerzu gewinnen konnten, ohne dass ihnen gleich die Quittung präsentiert wurde. Denn sie verdienen ja am Ausland, was heißt, eigentlich ein im Maße des Verdienens zunehmend schlechtes Geld – das ist durch den Euro aufgehoben worden: Man konnte ständig an einer anderen Nation verdienen, ohne dass das Geld dieser Nation darunter gelitten hat, weil sie gar kein eigenes hat. Der Wert dieses Geldes repräsentiert nicht die Leistungsfähigkeit dieser Nation. So hat der Euro von dem innereuropäischen Verdienen aneinander sogar noch gelebt; er hat vor der Krise absurderweise nur den Konkurrenzerfolg der Gewinner repräsentiert.

— Das ist ja mit der Idylle charakterisiert. Dass zunächst mal alle Seiten Gewinner des neu eingeführten Euro waren. Auch die, die ihre vergleichsweise Weichwährung gegen den Euro getauscht haben und damit auf einen Schlag Kredit zu ganz anderen Konditionen und Möglichkeiten hatten. Insofern waren die späteren Verlierer erst mal auch Gewinner.

Kein Nazifaschist hat je wirklich geglaubt, er bezöge die Ermächtigung seiner Ansprüche aus dem Teutoburger Wald; keiner seiner demokratischen Erben hat jemals tatsächlich gedacht, ihnen erwüchse Legitimität im Resultat des “Lernens aus der Geschichte”; niemals war ein Sozialist der Ansicht, es sei die famose “Befreiung der Arbeit” und nicht vielmehr das Recht auf Beute, was seine Politik im Interesse der Arbeiterklasse motivierte. Und keinesfalls erwächst den Palästinensern irgendein Recht aus der Tatsache, daß sie zuerst da waren. Einer Gesellschaft, der Hunger kein Grund ist zur Produktion, kann auch das Leiden kein Grund sein zur Solidarität. Es ist die Ideologie, die mit der Unmittelbarkeit des Leidens agitiert, die aus dessen fragloser Evidenz Sinn zu schlagen sucht, sei es im Sinne von Caritas oder Amnesty International, sei es im Sinne der Freunde des palästinensischen Volkes für den Israelhaß der Antisemiten wie für den Islamfaschismus dieses Volkes. Ariel Scharon jedenfalls, der Zionist und praktische Antifaschist, ist dem aufgelösten Rätsel der Geschichte näher als die deutsche Linke, deren “Antifaschismus” sich als Aufstand der Anständigen à la Gerhard Schröder oder als Solidarität mit dem palästinensischen Volk ausagiert. (…) Im Wesen Israels als des ungleichzeitigen Staates der Juden liegt es aber nicht nur, Reaktion auf den Verrat an Aufklärung und Weltrevolution, nicht nur, Notwehrversuch gegen den Nazifaschismus und Asyl zu sein. Sondern eben auch, daß die üblichen Muster der bürgerlichen Rollenverteilung – hier das Gewaltmonopol des bürgerlichen Staates im allgemeinen und dort die Personen, die die Regierungsausübung im besondern besorgen – für den israelischen Staates aufgrund seiner Konstitutionsbedingungen keine Geltung mehr hat. Was sich unter anderem darin zeigt, daß diese “Kritiker” der israelischen Regierungspolitik für den faschistischen Mob und die Behörden, die Selbstmordattentäter belohnen, Verständnis aufbringen (Folge von Besatzung und Ausbeutung), dagegen für den Versuch, die militärische Infrastruktur der Gegner Israels zu zerschlagen, am liebsten die Begriffe Auslöschung oder Ausrottung der palästinensischen Bevölkerung im Munde führen. Wie hinter der treudoofen Frage, ob es nicht möglich sein müsse, Spekulanten als das zu bezeichnen, was sie sind, ohne gleich als antisemitisch zu gelten, so verbirgt sich hinter der treulinken Frage, ob nicht auch in Israel, weil es sich auch dort um eine bürgerliche Gesellschaft handele, Faschismus möglich sei, die Erkenntnis dieser Fusion in verquerer und verschrobener Gestalt. Verquer, weil ja gerade erklärt werden sollte, wie Israel, dieser Fusion zum Trotz, eine parlamentarische Demokratie ist und bleibt; verschroben, weil diese Einheit von Staat und Regierung im Übergang von einem unerträglichen Alten (die Vernichtungsdrohung) zum noch nicht erreichten Neuen (die herrschaftslose Gesellschaft) ja doch den Inbegriff dessen ausmacht, was einmal als “Diktatur des Proletariats”, als Emanzipationsgewalt und organisierte politische Macht der Revolution, auch und gerade auf den roten Fahnen stand. In Anbetracht der Grundidee des Staates Israel, vor dem Hintergrund der linken Staatsmythen, betreffend die “Diktatur des Proletariats”, muß jede Beurteilung der Handlungen der Regierungsvertreter auch die völlig andere Qualität dieses Staates, verglichen mit allen anderen, deutlich werden lassen. (…)

Wenn diese Linke über Israel schwadroniert, dann hört sich das nicht minder grausig an. Dabei liegt der Zusammenhang zwischen dem Antisemitismus und dem Vernichtungswillen gegen die zum Staat gewordene bürgerliche Gesellschaft der Juden, gegen Israel, eigentlich auf der Hand: Der sogenannte Antizionismus stellt nichts anderes dar als die geopolitische, globalisierte Reproduktion des Antisemitismus, das heißt die Erscheinungsform, die er in Weltmarkt und Weltpolitik nach Auschwitz annehmen muß. Der Antizionismus ist der aus den kapitalisierten Gesellschaften in die Welt herausgekehrte Antisemitismus. So ist Israel der Jude unter den Staaten; die Verdammung des Zionismus als eines “Rassismus” durch die UNO gibt es zu Protokoll. Das macht: die moralische Verurteilung der menschlichen Unkosten der Konstitution bürgerlicher Staatlichkeit allein am Beispiel Israels führt vor Augen, was die Welt der Volksstaaten vergessen machen will – daß die Zentralisation der politischen Gewalt über Leben und Tod keineswegs die natürliche Organisationsform der Gattung Mensch darstellt, sondern Ausdruck eben von Herrschaft und Ausbeutung. Dabei ist Israel – und das macht die Kritik an diesem Staat so perfide und muß deshalb immer wieder gesagt werden – der einzige Staat dieser Welt, der für sich eine nicht zu bezweifelnde Legitimität beanspruchen kann. Israel, das ist der ungleichzeitige Staat, der entstanden ist sowohl als Reaktion auf das Dementi aller Versprechungen der bürgerlichen Nationalrevolution, sowohl als Antwort auf den stalinistischen Verrat an der kommunistischen Weltrevolution als auch als zu spät gekommene Notwehr gegen den Massenmord an den europäischen Juden. (…) Israel ist das Schibboleth jener doch so naheliegenden Revolution; es ist der unbegriffene Schatten ihres Scheiterns. Israel ist das Menetekel, das zum einen (und ganz unfreiwillig) die kategorischen Minimalbedingungen des Kommunismus illustriert, und das zum anderen sämtliche Bestialitäten zu demonstrieren scheint, zu denen der bürgerlich-kapitalistische Nationalstaat fähig ist. Wer Israel nicht begriffen hat, wer den Haß auf diesen Staat, den Antizionismus, und wer den Antisemitismus, das heißt den Vernichtungswillen sowohl gegen die in diesem Staat lebenden als auch gegen die kosmopolitisch verstreuten Juden, nicht begriffen hat als das, was Antisemitismus wesentlich darstellt: den bedingungslosen Haß auf die Idee einer in freier Assoziation lebenden Gattung, der hat den Kommunismus nicht als das “aufgelöste Rätsel der Geschichte” begriffen. –

 Der ostentative Muslimeifer aber, der sich im Alltag mancher ‚Allahu-Akbar‘-Brüller vielleicht doch sehr in Grenzen hält, findet im blanken Judenhass unverhoffte Nahrung, wo ihnen unter unendlich öden Koranrezitationen und geistlosen, absurden Vorschriften längst das bisschen ungeglaubten Glaubens zwischen den Fingern zerrann und ihr Muslimsein kaum je mehr ist als das typisch dauerbeleidigte, immer schon jeder Verantwortung ledige Gruppengefühl. Überhaupt will jeder Eifer – insbesondere der aktuelle, rasende Eifer des weltweit angreifenden Islam – den Stachel eines weniger drohenden als hinterrücks längst geschehenen Glaubensverlustes kompensieren.“ Mit anderen Worten: Muslime wurden nicht für ihr abstraktes Muslimsein kritisiert, sondern dafür, was – global betrachtet – die Mehrheit konkret darunter versteht: Die von Gott gegebene Ermächtigung zu Terror, Entrechtung, Antisemitismus. Wer differenziert, sollte nicht unerwähnt lassen, dass Osama bin Laden, Hassan Nasrallah und wie all die schrecklichen Figuren so heißen, in der muslimischen Welt als Helden gefeiert werden – und zwar nicht von einer minoritären Sekte, sondern von Millionen Muslimen, auch in Deutschland. (,,) Der unfreiwillige und verborgene Essentialismus der Postmoderne macht das Begreifen unmöglich, weil er die Beziehung zwischen Allgemeinem, Besonderem und Einzelnem nicht mehr zu thematisieren vermag. Wenn nur noch Vielfalt herrscht und Einzelnes und Allgemeines gewaltsam auseinandergerissen werden, bleibt die Verstandesleistung des begreifenden Subjekts auf der Strecke und die scheinbar ursprüngliche Differenz wird zum Mythos. Nicht nur dem Begriff des Allgemeinen, das ja ein noch einzulösendes ist, wird Gewalt angetan, auch dem Besonderen, dessen Unglück darin besteht, nur ein Besonderes zu sein, und das sich, weil es kein versöhnendes Ganzes gibt, dem schlecht-Allgemeinen, dem Racket nämlich, anschließen muss. – JAN HUISKENS

„Vernunft und Rationalität sind in dieser durchmedialisierten Welt chancenloser denn je. Ein unangenehmer Typ „Heckenschütze“ terrorisiert die Gesellschaft. Seine aktuelle Waffe: Der Phobienvorwurf.“ – Bettina Röhl

„Man wähnt, wenn man nach wissenschaftlichen Regeln sich richtet, dem wissenschaftlichen Ritual gehorcht, mit Wissenschaft sich umgibt, gerettet zu sein. Wissenschaftliche Approbation wird zum Ersatz der geistigen Reflexion des Tatsächlichen, in der Wissenschaft erst bestünde. […] Je tiefer man ahnt, daß man das Beste vergessen hat, desto mehr tröstet man sich damit, daß man über die Apparatur verfügt.“ (Theodor W. Adorno, Philosophie und Lehrer, AGS 10.2, 491)

„Vieles, was im Sinne von Foucaults »Mikrophysik der Macht« populär werden sollte; also die Erkenntnis, daß Macht nicht pyramidal hierarchisch, sondern durch sämtliche gesellschaftliche Bereiche hindurch wirkt, findet sich bereits in der Medizinkritik der Kritischen Theorie. Daß diese Thesen häufig übersehen wurden, mag daran liegen, daß sich Horkheimers entscheidende Äußerungen über Medizin und Psychiatrie nicht in den breit rezipierten Hauptwerken finden, sondern über die Gesamtausgabe verstreut sind. Wiemer suchte sie zusammen und zeigt, wie Horkheimer anhand der Medizin einen wesentlichen Charakterzug des modernen Kapitalismus ausmachte. Mediziner funktionieren laut Horkheimer wie fast jede wirtschaftliche Gruppe im Sinne eines Rackets. »Ein Racket«, erklärt er, »ist eine unter sich verschworene Gruppe, die ihre kollektiven Interessen zum Nachteil des Ganzen durchsetzt.« Allgemein betrachtet heißt das, daß sich die Klassengesellschaft in eine »neofeudale« Struktur verwandelt hat, innerhalb der Interessenverbände »nach dem Prinzip der Selbsterhaltung und der Machtakkumulation« funktionieren. Diesen Wandel macht Horkheimer an den Medizinern fest; und alles, was Horkheimer in seiner Kritik aussparte, von den Krankenversicherungen bis zum Pfusch in Krankenhäusern, wird von Carl Wiemer polemisch auf den neuesten Stand gebracht“  – Max Horkheimer


„Ein Shitstorm hat auch seine positive Seite. Da politisch korrekte Gülle meist in Richtung Originalität, Kreativität und Intelligenz geworfen wird, fliegt sie oft genug auf Leute, die zu lesen wirklich lohnt.“ – Evidenz-basierte Ansichten

Eine Frau wird als Frau geboren. ein Mann muß erst ein Mann werden.
Keine Paternalisierung, sondern fortschreitende Maternalisierung. Die Feminisierung und Genderisierug marginalisiert und zerstört die Vaterposition in den modernen »Gesellschaften«, die Vaterrolle erlitt allgemeine Degradierung, die Kanonisierung der Homosexulität im Speziellen und der sexuellen Diversität im Allgemeinen tilgt die noch übriggebliebenen Spuren einer Männlichkeit restlos aus, die nur noch als Schimpfwort der angeblichen „Paternalisierung“ im Jargon der Medien herumgeistert.

„Es kommt in der Psychotherapie darauf an – mit temporärer Unterstützung – sein eigenes Schicksal in die Hand zu nehmen. Wer mit einem Selbstbild lebt, für das die temporär klärende Rolle des Therapeuten eine unerträgliche Kränkung ist, der muß eben versuchen, alleine zurechtzukommen.“ – Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Post-Pop-Epoche: der Sieg der Mode über die Sitten.

„Wir brauchen schadhafte Gebäude, durch deren geborstene Wände man hindurch­ sehen kann, um wenigstens einen Anfang zum Denken zu gewinnen.“ – Victor Tausk

„Was man in römischer Zeit das »Abendland« und später »Europa« nennen wird, ist die politische Konsequenz des individualistischen Martyriums, das ein gesprächsfreudiger Stadtstreicher auf sich nahm, um die Legitimität des im universalistischen Dialekt vorgebrachten Neuen gegen die entkräfteten lokalen Sitten zu demonstrieren.“ – Peter Sloterdijk

„Was nützt einem die Gesundheit wenn man ansonsten ein Idiot ist.“ – Theodor Adorno


Stupidity is demonstrated by people lacking the knowledge they could achieve

Stupidity manifests itself as outraged moralism

Values without empathy are worth nothing

Some people feel physical pain when they should correct their accustomed ideas in favor of reality, they turn all their intelligence with the support of their aggression, for not to recognize the reality and maintain their self-image

More and more feel, think less and less Man does not differ from animals by feelings, because mammals have the same feelings, like man, sadness, fear, anger, love, but by his thought. When he thinks, if he thinks.

Political correctness can be defined as the telling of a lie out of the cowardice in an attempt to avoid upsetting fools not willing to face up to the truth

“In arguments about moral problems, relativism is the first refuge of the scoundrel.” Roger Scruton

They are the same who claim the sex/gender would not be biologically innate, but only a social construct, and at the same time that homosexuality was not a social construct, but biologically innate.

Antisemitism is when one blames the Jews or Israel for issues, he does not blame others

„There are two things,“ said Hitler in 1923, „which can unite people: common ideals and common crime“

After the violent termination of Murder by the Allies were the German (and have remained so to this day) more german than before.

The depraved human creature, the more she feels insulted, disrespected, offended in their honor.

Islam is less a religion and more a totalitarian society, an ideology that demands absolute obedience and tolerates no dissent, no criticism, and prohibits the thinking, knowledge and recognition. True Islam is totally different, the one who will find it will receive a very high reward.

Craziness is, when one always does the same but expects a different outcome

If a monkey thinks “I am a monkey”, then it is already a human

A man with roots should go for a pedicure

Self smugness leads to idiocy, being pissed off leads to enlightenment

If someone has something to say, he can tell it always very easily. If someone has nothing to say, he says it in a very complicated way

Addiction is, when somebody does something he wants to do, yet seeks someone who can make it so he won’t do it and doesn’t want to, either.

If the clever people always gave in, the world would be reigned by idiots. Too much “cleverness” makes you stupid.

If one only fights evil to protect life, one produces nothing good at all and such a life then becomes no longer worth living and thus requires no protection, for it is already unlived due to such a total protection. One can spend so much money on insurance, that one has nothing left to insure. Safety works in the same way.

Happy slaves are the worst enemies of freedom.

Creativity is an intelligence having fun.

If working makes you sick, fuck off, leave the work!

If Germans talk about morality, they mean money.

A man without an insight is just an anxious, aggressive, unhappy monkey.

Thinking is always trespassing.

The mob, who calls himself the people, does not discuss, just defames.

Legal is not always legitimate.

Who can not do without, lives unhappy.

So called social, culture sciences, sociology, psychology psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, are not anymore scientific, but immanent religious cult-prophets, organized as sects.

Without a strong opposition any apparent democracy atrophies to a tyranny, and as well a science , to an attitude of a religious sect.

You can recognize everything from a certain distance only, who is zealous, outraged, who sticks his nose in something, this one has lost the perspective, he recognizes anything more, he has only his imagination of the world in his head. This creates paranoia, which is called religion, and a religion as politics, even as a science.

Islamists are a real danger, therefore they will not be seen as such. Jews are not a danger, therefore they are seen as such. It is how the perception by cowards functions.

People without a sense of humor are able only to fear or to hate and become monks or terrorists.

People are not equal, each single person is unique.

Insight applies to everyone, including Muslims, Albanians, women and homosexuals.

Islam belongs to Germany, Judaism belongs to Israel.

The totalitarian Terror of consensus is ubiquitous in Germany.
There are no discussions anymore, but defamations only.
It is a culture of the mob. As it has already been.
Harmony is only if you do not communicate.

One should never go to bed with someone who has more problems than you already have.

>>Evelyn Waugh, surely the wittiest novelist of the past century, in World War II, coming out of a bunker during a German bombing of Yugoslavia, looked up at the sky raining enemy bombs and remarked, “Like everything German, vastly overdone.”<< Joseph Epstein

One has to be brave, to have a wit.

Stupid and dull belong mostly together.

Charlie Hebdo: you don´t care if such murders are comitted to Jews, we will see how “adequate” you will react when (when, not if), Islamists will begin to bombard your cities with Kasam missiles.

Christopher Hitchens: In a free society, no one has the right not to be offended.

The more someone narcissistic inflates , the more he feels insulted and provoked.

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” – Bertrand Russell

 The problem with the Islamists in Europe should be solved exactly as Europe requires to the Middle East: a two-state solution, a half for muslims and the another half for not-muslims , with a common capital.

What may satire? Everything! Except be understood by the fool, because then it was not a satire.

Islamimus is Islam preaching violence.

Islam is a religion of love, and he who doubts is dead.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Islam is a peaceful religion of love – George Orwell 2015

Islam is not responsible for anything, Jews are guilty of everything.

Islamists are satanists. Islamism is a religion of idiots.

If someone inflates endless his ego, as Islamists do, then he hurts his own feelings already in his morning own shit.

The seven deadly sins of modern society. Wealth without work pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character business without morality Science without humanity, worship without sacrifice Politics without principles
-Mahatma Gandhi

“Where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Heroes of today know nothing, can not and do not want anything. They just look like heroes, that’s all.

It may be that early fathers ate their children. Today, the mothers will eat anything, fathers, children and the rest. Everything Mommy, anyway!

Germany yesterday: the will to power.
Germany today: the will to blindness.
Germany tomorrow:

German psychoanalysis? Great, like German charm, German humor and German wit.

The resistance starts with its own language other than that of the dictatorship.

Smart phones for stupid people.

A leftist can, but do not have to be stupid.

If you do not blame states, when they commit suicide with millions victims , so why to blame a co-pilot with 149 dead?

Only the purity of the means justify the end.

A German is a person who can speak no lie, without actually believe Adorno

„Reason and rationality are chance-less than ever in this totally mediatised world. An unpleasant type Sniperterrorized society. His current weapon: The phobia accusation.“ – Bettina Röhl
„A Shitstorm has also its positive side. As politically correct manure it is usually thrown in the direction of originality, creativity and intelligence, she flies often to people who are really worth to read.“ – Evidenz-basierte Ansichten
A woman is born as a woman. a man has to become a man.
No paternalization but advancing maternalization. The feminization and genderization marginalized and destroyed the father position in the modern „societies,“ the father role suffered general degradation, the canonization of homosexuality in particular and the sexual diversity generally wipes out the still remaining traces of masculinity completely out,  only as an insult haunts the alleged „paternalization“ in the jargon of mass media.
PostPop era: the triumph of fashion over the morals.
„We need damaged buildings, so you can see through their cracked walls to win at least one viewpoint to start to begin to think. Victor Tausk
„What good is health if you are an idiot then?“ – Theodor Adorno