Germany has been recently swept by a wave of anti-immigrant violence. Over 173 arsons have taken place, most of them targeting buildings intended to house asylum seekers. The German government has officially condemned the violence, and voiced concern about the rise of far-right political movements. Though the pro-Hitler “National Democratic Party” is not officially involved, individuals historically associated and involved with it have been leading a wave of anti-immigrant protests across the country.
It should be no surprise that the average German is boiling with rage. Germany is one of the primary victims of the fledgling global economic order called neoliberalism. Germany had nothing to do with the financial crash of 2008-2009, but in its aftermath the German economy shrunk a whopping five percent, more than any other industrialized country, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Germany’s port city of Hamburg is facing huge economic setbacks. Exports have declined very significantly in the last two years. The German press is attempting to blame China for this “slowdown,” but no one can deny that another huge factor exists: the US-EU campaign against Russia. In 2014, German exports to Russia decreased by 18%. This was a direct result of the sanctions imposed on Russia, after the US-funded “Euromaidan” forces deposed Ukraine’s elected government.
NATO Wars: Bad for All Germans
At the same time that Germany’s economy is shrinking, a wave of immigrants is pouring into the country. Where are these immigrants coming from? According to studies, significant percentages are coming from Syria and Libya.
In Libya, a US-NATO bombing campaign overthrew the popular government. The country with the highest life expectancy on the African continent was ripped apart. Libya, once the top oil exporter on the African continent, is in a state of complete ruin and chaos as rival factions among the NATO-backed “rebels” battle each other for control.
Libyans, who once had the highest standard of living of any African population, are now fleeing their homes, packing onto ships, and crossing the Mediterranean. Thousands of Libyans have died attempting to get to Europe. Many more have successfully reached the European continent.
Conditions have also become unlivable in many parts of the Syrian Arab Republic. This Russian-aligned government has faced half a decade of civil war. The US and NATO powers have poured money and funding into a campaign of terrorist violence intended to overthrow the Syrian government. As a result, over 3 million Syrians have become refugees, and more than 250,000 are dead. Many Syrians are fleeing to Europe as well. The Hungarian government is escalating its border enforcement, as Syrians pour through the country on their way to western Europe.
The rage and violence that Germans are turning against the immigrant communities is criminal and misdirected. Germany’s economy is being ruined by the same forces that have destroyed Libya and are waging a relentless war against Syria.
As Germany’s government cooperates with the US and the European Union, it is increasingly not representative of the interests of the German people, even the wealthiest among them. The profits of German capitalists are in decline, as German workers lose their jobs and see a decline in their incomes. Policies intended to secure the position of Wall Street and London, and beat down rising competitors like Russia and China, are driving Germany into ruin.
Conditions Ripen for “Far Right” Ultra-Nationalism
The United States is currently increasing its military presence in Europe. Germans have had US troops on their soil since 1945, and now the US military bases in Germany are playing a central role in the military buildup designed to threaten and intimidate Russia. Germany is being forced to enable its own economic destitution, housing the foreign troops that are threatening their major trading partner.
While Germany has long been considered a US ally, it’s not treated with any dignity or respect. The US National Security Agency has tapped the phones of Angela Merkel and many other German officials.
Germany is being ruined by Wall Street and British bankers. The international financial order called neoliberalism has made Germany into a semi-colony of Britain and the United States. The US and Britain have attacked Libya and Syria, and continue to escalate tensions with Russia. Despite these attacks having horrendous effects on the German economy, the German government is going along with it. German capitalism is forcibly subservient to international capitalism, with foreign troops on its soil, foreign governments tapping its phones, and international banking institutions setting economic policy.
Most of the so-called “left” in Germany and Europe has supported the campaign against Russia, as well as the destabilization of Syria and Libya. The “socialists,” “communists,” “Trotskyists,” and “anarchists” of Germany have mostly echoed the mainstream press, with rhetoric about “Russian imperialism” and the “Syrian revolution.”
As frightening as it is, given Germany’s ugly history, the rise of the “far right” and “ultra-nationalist” element there makes a lot of sense. Germans, from the poorest dock workers in Hamburg to the wealthiest Frankfurt financiers, are being ruined by international capitalism. In these circumstances, with any notion of leftist anti-imperialism notably absent, the world should expect nothing less than a rise of “National Socialism.” The wave of anti-immigrant bigotry and terrorism should not be shocking to anyone.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.