Nick Cohen on Left Fascism
In his review of Hans Kundnani's Utopia or Auschwitz: Germany's 1968 Generation and the Holocaust, Nick Cohen ("Meeting the Nazi parents -- my political book of 2013," The Spectator, December 31, 2013) offers some intriguing remarks on the German leftists of 1968:
On first reading, the West German left of 1968 should have been anti-fascist. But it was not so simple. Although Kundnani has some sympathy with students confronting a brutal police force and unpunished war criminals, he rightly sees their belief that fascism grew out of capitalism as dangerously idiotic. The ideology had two consequences. First it downplayed the responsibility of the German people for Nazism and ignored the specifically German features of the European fascist movement -- most notably anti-semitism and Auschwitz. Second, by seeing West Germany as a continuation of Hitler's Germany, and all capitalist states as potentially fascist, it authorised violence . . . . [Despite] the quasi-Marxist ideas of the Frankfurt group . . . . Theodor Adorno . . . . saw "left-wing fascism" in the student movement -- and was screamed down by juvenile revolutionaries for his prescience. So it proved at least with some. The German terrorist groups despised democracy, glorified murder and targeted Jews -- just like their parents. (Although this time around they said they were fighting the "imperialist Zionist conspiracy" rather than the Jewish Bolshevik conspiracy.) Meanwhile Andreas Baader led a genuine cult of the personality. In true Hitlerian fashion, he persuaded his gang to commit suicide in their prison bunkers rather than submit.Cohen's words on the terrorism of the sixty-eighters help illuminate the sympathy that too much of the current-day left seem to have for Islamists and the terrorism that the Islamists inspire. Mervyn Bendle would likely find Cohen's column (and Kundnani's book) worth reading.
As for Cohen, he has been labeled an "Islamophobe" . . .