Beheaded wax Hitler – a straw man

A German anti-fascist anti-policeman tore the head off a waxwork of Hitler, lightly assaulting a security guard in the process. Maybe you have to be German to understand why this should have met with such widespread approval in Germany.

From what is probably a distinctive perspective in Britain I found it highly symbolic, but not in the way it was meant.

It called to mind our local self-styled anti-fascists, the Socialist Worker Party, who are exeptionally badly conceived and even worse executed. They spent last year pursuing a special focus on Israel, a veneer of hand-wringing about the Palestinians disguising their own distinctive form of degenerate anti-Imperialism, using arguments flavoured with antisemitism (Jewish power, collective guilt, selective blame) and combining with people who were more openly antisemitic (some of their Islamist mates and other nutters who like singling out the Jewish state).

After Alex ‘Callinicos’ Mango told the SWP to back away because Jew-bashing wasn’t helping the cause on this occasion (always worth testing the water periodically though – hey, SWP? It’s bound to work one of these days) they decided that a better way to attract people – they are currently vying with Galloway for the non-pink vote – would be to be seen to fight the BNP, so they are currently bustling about this business including writing a lot of fairly good stuff on their site and, rather late and casting aspersion on their democratic credentials, demonstrating against the new BNP member of the London Assembly after he was democratically elected in May. Their transparent and self-serving ends are justified by their means, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a good idea to fight the BNP. More power to them on that count.

So my main thought when I heard that somebody had very publicly decapitated a wax-work of Hitler was that that would please a lot of New Stalinists. Thing is, the New Stalinists of the SWP (and every country has them to a greater or lesser extent) who are pretending to be the left, are the most urgent problem for the left, if only the left knew it.

Fight the neo-Nazis. Fight the neo-Stalinists.


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