Within the nationalist scene these days most are well known with the concept of "autonomous nationalists". But what does the concept of "autonomy" really mean? In a series of articles we will try to explain this by getting a better insight in the origin, theory, practice and future of autonomism and its meaning for revolutionary nationalism. This third article will go into the phenomena autonomous nationalism and its German origin.
Around 1988 it seemed that the concept of autonomy also got following within the nationalist movement in Germany with the publishing of the magazine "Schwarze Fahne" (Black Flag) in 1988, which mentioned the term autonomous nationalists for the first time. In 1990 the "Autonom-Nationalistischen Zelle" (Autnomous-Nationalist Cell) published the "autonomous-nationalist manifest". This was the first attempt to introduce certain elements of the autonomous movement into the nationalist movement. During the '90's strong repression against nationalists from the German government resulted in organisational prohibitions and long jail sentences for leading figures. In 1994 certain nationalists groups in Germany came to the conclusion that autonomous organisation forms and the strategy of a mass-vanguard offered a solution against the ever increasing repression. Although at first this took the form of copying the strategy and tactics of the autonomous movement and it was not so much about a ideological elaboration, the basis of an autonomous nationalism was layed.
However outside the appearance and strategical characteristics of autonomy, this also led to a re-orientation of the nationalist ideology. Anti-capitalist, anti-globalist and anti-imperialist themes became increasingly in the foreground within the autonomous nationalist movement. This ideological re-orientation soon led to several heated discussions within the nationalist movement. In most cases national-socialism remained the reference point and the discussion limited itself within the content of several tendencies (represented by the left- and rightwing of the NSDAP) within this historical movement. One of the precursors within this ideological discussion was the then nationalist Holger Hansen from Dortmund, who pleaded for the introduction of autonomy as a full concept. He proposed a current of sharp anti-capitalist criticism, complete decentralization and a consistent class struggle. This led to great outrage within the more traditional nationalist circles, which was the reason that Hansen was compelled to break with the nationalist movement to join the anti-imperialist movement "Zusammen Kämpfen" in Berlin. In the national-revolutionary segment of the nationalist movement, that mainly grouped itself around the "Netzwerk Sozialistische Nation" (NWSN), "Fahneträger" and "Sache des Volkes" they were more consistent. The national-revolutionary groups already based themselves on the foundation of class struggle and proposed revolutionary anti-capitalist politics. Here the concept of autonomy as it once developed within the proletarian movement could find an easier access.
Mid 2012 after a prohibition on several autonomous structures it seemed autonomous nationalism in Germany had lost its momentum. Although autonomous nationalism gave a new revolutionary impulse to the nationalist movement and the German youth, it seems that at the moment it is torn apart by internal rivalry, ideological conflict and State-repression. With the loss of her autonomous structures an essential part of the autonomous nationalists seem to be trapped inside subculture and a course of party politics. With this the autonomous concept of clear and independent anti-system politics seem to play a less significant role within the German nationalist movement. After the ban on some of these important autonomous nationalist structures the nationalist movement declared; "Resistance is like the Hydra*". Therefore we are sure that the autonomous forms of action will undoubtedly resurface in Germany.
* Hydra - The many-headed dragon which stands symbol for chaos and resistance.