Love, nothingness, Weimar and Greece

30Oct12

An interesting critique of Paul Mason’s reports on Greek fascism, by Benedict Seymour at Metamute, drawing on Alfred Sohn-Rethel.

The following is a commentary on Paul Mason’s important but flawed article on the situation in Greece:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-20105881

Paul Mason’s recent reports on the rise of the Golden Dawn have been very interesting. The latest ends by proposing that a hopeless and resigned Greece now faces a choice between ‘love or nothing’ – and he takes this piece of graffiti, daubed on a wall in Athens, as summing up both the retreat into the self currently taking place in a Weimar-like Greece, and the possibility for a return to resistance against rising reactionary forces.

But for all its power, there seems to be something wrong with this article. Mason maintains the illusion that a centrist response to the crisis – some deferral and/or role back of austerity – would arrest the process of social contraction and fragmentation he describes. This seems to precisely miss the lesson of Weimar and – like the protagonist of ‘Death in Samarkand’ whose attempts to evade mortality lead him straight to his fate – Mason’s analysis, if influential, would hasten the repetition of a Weimar-like denouement in Greece.

The reason the Nazis came to power wasn’t simply the conscious complicity of factions of the ruling class (eg trying to keep down the left or hold on to power, trying to use the Nazis but keep them in check etc) but rather lies in the larger economic contradiction that made ordinary political and market forms of exchange impossible for capital at that point in time – and again today. READ THE REST



One Response to “Love, nothingness, Weimar and Greece”


  1. 1 Greek Neo-Nazi punks « Anti-National Translation

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