zondag 16 juni 2013

Clément and Esteban: The tragedy of Idealism

On the 5th of June a young man, age 18, died in Paris. His life was taken by another young French man, age 20, - although other sources claim that he was not the main cause of the victim's dead. Clément Méric, a young man who was active for a social ideal in the circles of the Action Antifasciste became the victim of Esteban M. , a youngman who was also active within circles of social idealism, the Jeunesse Nationaliste Revolutionaire.

Should we consider this matter as a classical fight between the far "right" and the far "left"? A confrontation of nationalists against socialists, the nation against social politics?

Ninety years ago another viewing point was chosen in the matter of "the nation against social politics". This happened on the "Erweiterten Exekutive der Kommunistische Internationale" on the 20th of June 1923. Better said, from the position of Karl Radek on Leo Schlageter. A tradegy of a national activist, who was active in the Freikorps. Schlageter was a young man of only 29 years old, who gave his life at the hands of the reaction in the struggle for the nation and the liberation from French imperialism.

"When in circles of German fascists, who only want to serve the German people, they cannot understand the meaning of the faith of Schlageter, that would mean Schlageter fell for nothing and they should write on his grave: The wanderer into nowhere." Thus a citation from the Schlageter speech from Radek. Later on in this speech, he would illiustrate how Schlageter in his naive period of 1920 helped to knock down German mineworkers in the Ruhr area, because according to his believes at that time they were the main enemy. An enemy who stood in the way of national liberation. From 11 january 1923 - the invasion of the Ruhr area by French and Belgian imperialists, by the Entente in the name of the French capital - Schlageter was forced to reconsider about his enemy and his idealism. His enemy turned out to be the same as the enemy of the workingclass he hated earlier on; the enemy was capitalism. Therefore Radek forgave his earlier judgment; "Schlageter, the brave soldier of the contra-revolution, deserves to be honored manly and reputable by us, soldiers of the revolution."    

The death of SA-man Horst Wessel, a young man, 23 years of age, is also an example that runs parallel with the tradegy in Paris. The idealist Wessel found his death in his struggle for national and social liberation of the German workingclass. For this struggle he gave up his study together with his ensured bourgeois future. He moved to the neighbourhoods of the lumpenproletariat in Berlin and wanted to marry with a prostitute. A unprecedented act for the, by the bourgeoisie dominated, nationalism of that time. Wessel's struggle was ended in 1930 by a co-warrior for the proletariat, the communist Ali Höhler. Again the reason of this was a conflict between two idealists, who had the same vision, but did not understand each other.  

The nation and socialism do not out-rule each other, on the contrary they fullfill each other. The nation needs socialism as the only security for an equal and sincere society and economy for her people - the working producers and the working class. The ideal of socialism needs the nation for her sense of community as wel as an answer to globalism.

Where the nations of socialism, like the Sovjet Union and the Peoples Republic of China, were held in high regard by the "left", in Southern Europe the working masses, general strike and social care are held in high regard among the far "right". A fight between two idealists - who both stood for the interests of the working masses - let a third party prevail: the bourgeoisie and capitalism. There is nothing that they rather see more than these two parties fighting each other. However when they would both open their eyes - and get the insight that the State is the true enemy - the rule of capitalism and the bourgeois State would soon be dealt with.    

Another important lesson for idealists is that of misuse by their own movements. This is embodied by bureaucracy. The tradegy of the Dutchman Marinus van der Lubbe is probably the most noteworthy if it comes to this. As an idealist and soldier of the workingclass he wanted to make a a real difference for the German proletariat. In the Netherlands he was mocked on many occasions because of his idealism - this because of severe fights with the police and his radical tone in combination with his confused appearence. Many perceived him as a dreamer. When in 1933 in Germany Hitler arose to power, van der Lubbe thought that the working class in Germany would finally come into resistance against the upcoming fascism. Using his last bit of money he travelled towards Berlin; his class fought there, so he had to be there! This however wasn't true, the working class did nothing. Almost defeated by disappointment he tried to go home, but not before he set the Reichstag ablaze, the symbol of parliamentarism. The action succeeded, but he got arrested. His initiative didn't get any support or following from his own movement. Their own ideals were betrayed by their own bureaucrats - even by radical council-communists such as Anton Pannekoek. And so this young "dreamer" who believed in the pretty revolutionary words of his own circles, became outcasted because he wanted to put his words to action for a higher cause then himself: an ideal.

And so it seems Clément and Esteban appear not to be each others opposites. They both belonged to a political movement for revolutionary change. Both were young, belonged to a subculture and were fascinated by violence, driven by myth as a social force. For social justice and equality for people and nation. The hate for the system was important for both, but they - just as Schlageter in the beginning - looked the wrong way. They saw the enemy in each other instead of fighting together against the real enemy: State and capital. A misjudgment and so their respective quests for the right direction was prematurely terminated.  

Let us not limit Clément and Esteban to being martyrs and POW's in their own respective movements. Let this again be an example of how it shouldn't go on. Let the socialist thesis and the nationalist antithesis become a synthesis for a higher goal: the national and socialist liberation of globalisation, wageslavery and an end to the exploitation of one man by another. This in the context of the struggle against bureacracy, the bourgeoisie and capitalism worldwide. Let them not become wanderers into nowhere.

Thus: The  remarkable tradegy of idealism

With thanks to the comrades of the National&Socialist Action

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