Below we post a selection of recent letters on “German press turns anti-American“ (editorial of Gleichheit, published by the Socialist Equality Party of Germany).
Dear Mr. Schwarz:
Thanks for remembering the rest of us in the US (the anti-Bushies). I am neither religious nor a prude, although I have been known to be hard-working. However, I identify quite easily with saxophone playing. Europe and the rest of the world are right to be worried about the militaristic agenda of the Bush right-wingers. They came to power illegitimately (were installed by a right-wing Supreme Court) and they continue to do as they please, not only violating citizens’ constitutional rights, but throwing aside any treaties that do not fit in with their aims. Please let the people in Germany know that the majority of US citizens did NOT vote for Bush and do NOT support his high crimes and misdemeanors on the world stage. My friends and I are appalled at the current situation. And it is getting worse. Today we were shown on television a set of color codes that will be broadcast to let everyone know what “state of alert” the country is in. It is becoming like living in a science fiction film. But it is important to oppose what the Bush government is doing. And they are not doing it in MY name!
13 March 2002
Many thanks for setting the record straight. The America-bashing articles appearing even in the more enlightened German publications you mentioned could only have been penned by persons who don’t have a clue about Marxism and whose intellectual development stopped somewhere around puberty. The other possible explanation for such immature views is that the authors in question suffer from what might be called congenital nationalitis—a syndrome more common in Germany than in any other country I know.
Persons suffering from this condition are given to generalisations and categorisations. Unable to distinguish the fine nuances or to appreciate the infinite riches and diversity of individual variation, they will not hesitate a minute to put you in a box with a label on it (their favourites being skin colour, religion, place of birth). They will then generously bestow on you numerous additional attributes you never even suspected you had. And once they put you in that box they will keep you in it for the rest of your life. And so it is with the authors who enlighten us about “the Americans” and their “national character”.
It’s sad, but when real issues and the ideological struggle recede into the background, non-issues and trivialities move in to fill the vacuum. Let’s hope this atavistic trend will be stopped soon and we can address real problems again, which can and must be solved soon if humanity is not to be rejected by nature as a failed experiment.
13 March 2002