Prague Twin

Friday, November 09, 2007

Bad Idea

I know, I know, bad, bad, bad. But seriously, this is bad.

Today and tomorrow mark the 69th anniversary of the Kristallnacht which was a precursor of the horror the Jews of Europe would face over the next 7 years.

To "celebrate" this anniversary, the Czech Young National Democrats plan to march through Prague's Jewish Quarter (Josefov) tomorrow. They will be accompanied by their colleagues from Slovakia and Germany.

Now, this march has been official banned, but they are going to march anyway. The pretext for the ban is simply that the Young National Democrats announced the march internationally before they got the permit. The permit originally was granted until the city could find a technicality to ban the march.

When I first moved to Prague, the Nazis used to march at least once per year. The Communists and Anarchists would organize counter-demonstrations and there would be fireworks (not the kind you light with a match, the metaphorical kind). Afterwards, the Anarchists would smash the windows of the local McDonalds and of some public buildings. Few people got hurt and I always found it kind of fun to watch.

But it has been quite a long time since such an event has taken place, and I fear the worst for this one. This will be a real test for the Prague riot crews.

In any case, I just want to point out that contrary to what some people say, Nazis are (ultra) right-wingers. That is why the Communists hate them. So let's just stop trying to connect us civilized people with these animals (i.e. me with Stalin because we "lean the same way"). No one wins that argument.

Update: Luckily there were only minor clashes, and the police prevented the Neo-Nazis from marching through the Jewish quarter. Have a look at the photogallery if you like.

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  • I don't know where to put the Neo Nazis on the right/left continuum. Where do you put anarchists or libertarians? I plan to talk to the skinheads we have in America next time they have a meeting here in Denver, and I'll report. The major questions I have is how many of them are there? Are they anti-immigrant or just anti-Semetic? Is there any hint that the government in any way supports them?
    Left on Left violence has existed all through the 20th Century. That Hitler hated the Communists (and vice versa) doesn't turn him into a right winger, unless you think the Socialist in his party's name was disinformation, a theory I have not yet heard anyone say. Kristallnacht is an important milestone towards the utter madness of the European genocides and it is good to remember it. Well done.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 7:31 PM  

  • Well I think the right/left continuum is an over simplification.

    Anarchists don't fit at all because they are apolitical. I have always considered libertarians right wing because they are individualistic.

    However, the Nazis are an enigma if you think about it. You can't really place them on a continuum either. If we are using the French Revolution terms of right and left, I'd say the Nazis were pretty far away from the throne-and altar reactionaries.

    I'll be interested to hear what you learn from them. Ask them if they consider themselves right wing or left wing or what.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:12 PM  

  • Gentlemen, very interesting post and comments. Roger I'll be most interested to hear what you learn from the skinheads. I am a proponent of free speech no matter how repugnant I find the message, but I cannot abide an action designed to intimidate, infuriate and instigate ill will and violence.
    My most burning question for Nazis is what is it about Jews that fosters such hate and madness that they want to eliminate them from the earth? I just don't get it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:39 PM  

  • All the skinheads I prosecuted two decades ago (and it wasn't that many of them) were anti-black. I still believe that is the locus of hatred in the US, that is, the skinhead movement is the neo KKK, but I'll see. I just don't want to have to lie to them to get access but then again I don't want to be beaten up either. Could be tricky.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 9:54 PM  

  • rockynyc, I don't think it has anything to do with jews or blacks or gays or any other target group. These nutjobs just need someone to target, for whatever sick need they're trying to fulfill.

    Roger, I don't know if I'd engage these people. You can't reason with anyone as irrational and hate-driven as these.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 AM  

  • shower of pathetic morons

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:30 AM  

  • I see in the news that they accomplished what they set out to do; cause mayhem and garner media attention.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:42 PM  

  • Yeah, that and some of them got their butts kicked by anarchists. I can't say I feel sorry for them.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:16 PM  

  • We had an excellent news coverage in Aust on our multicultural channel. It was a fairly sensational presentation, which belies your minor clashes update, but great to actually see footage of events.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 5:44 AM  

  • I guess it is all perspective: what is minor.

    Compared to the clashes of a few years back, this was definitely minor.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:12 PM  

  • libertarians were typically left-wing until the American right stole the term. Many European libertarians were anti-capitalists.

    By Blogger Graeme, at 10:53 PM  

  • Graeme, I expect they were called Anarchists.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 11:03 PM  

  • right, Cartledge. I suppose that would have been easier to say. Many early anarchists were called libertarians.

    as far as the difference between right and left- theoretically the left is for destroying the state while the right is for enhancing it.

    By Blogger Graeme, at 11:10 PM  

  • "as far as the difference between right and left" Well perhaps I should start getting into simplistic representations. But in essence I really don't see the left/right divide as clearly as most seem to.
    The issues should be based on economic persuasions - which Maxist theory was of course, even if I reject it personally.
    Reganism was economic (or perhaps monetarist) theory which I also reject.
    There are combinations and permutations that cast a totally different light on the aims of serious political activists.
    But simple is easy to comprehend.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 11:17 PM  

  • I think we should just throw out the whole left/right-liberal/conservative spectrum analysis. It has lost all meaning.

    Time for something new.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 11:49 PM  

  • Mike, I second that motion!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:12 AM  

  • PT, both of us have the advantage of living outside the narrow 'lowest common denominator' marketing culture which has developed in the US.
    I'd like to develop these thoughts, but first I need to deal with a conservative (Australian) government who just pledged $64 billion into an overheated economy.
    I guess self preservation comes into the equation somewhere...

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 12:13 AM  

  • I just had an discussion with a friend who told me Hillary Clinton was as left as it gets. I agree Mike, labels mean little.

    By Blogger Graeme, at 12:26 AM  

  • C,

    I figure self-preservation is at the root of nearly all motivations. The question is who you identify with: individuals, representatives, monarchy....


    If Hilary is a leftist, I'm Osama bin Laden. I'll bet that guy thinks George Bush is a fiscal conservative.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:27 PM  

  • That's a sticky situation -- whether to allow extremely obnoxious viewpoints to be expressed. It's like when the Nazis march through Skokie, IL, where lots of Holocaust survivors live; or Fred Phelps demonstrating at the funerals of fallen soldiers.

    I personally think these demonstrations should be permitted, but without any police protection whatsoever. Free Speech doesn't guarantee that you won't get your ass kicked when you've purposely offended a large group of people.

    It's a tough call. I'm glad this march didn't have any major flare-ups.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:40 AM  

  • "I personally think these demonstrations should be permitted, but without any police protection whatsoever. Free Speech doesn't guarantee that you won't get your ass kicked when you've purposely offended a large group of people."

    LOL, good point, Tom.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:50 PM  

  • Tom,

    Yeah, I agree too. The thing is, they usually get a lot of protection.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:59 AM  

  • Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:56 PM  

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