Bloodthirsty communist superhero



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Agreed, but …

The author had me up to the four last paragraphs: The tragedy of brave souls ensnared in the contradictions and ambivalences of the 20th Century. But then the author’s rush for the finish.

It would seem self-evident that authoritarian official art feels anachronistic once the power under whose contract it was created has waned. Seen by the light of day the Christian Daniel Rauch equestrian statue of Frederick II on Unter-den-Linden is similarly "un-relatable" in a contemporary context as the “Spanienkämpferdenkmal”. I would discourage fetishizing either sculpture - or any other work of art. But that is not what I wish to quibble with.

The author’s attributes his*/her*/their* uneasiness with the Fritz Cremer sculpture to its being “ideological” and “propaganistic”. Which of course it is. The author’s take away then is this should be a warning not to allow “extremism into your hearts and politics.” Here the author seems to be stumbling over what I think is common misconception (or perhaps a pious wish) that goes something like; having overcome Nazism and Communism, history has arrived at a post- / non-ideological juncture which merely need be defended from “ideology” and or “extremism”.
I would argue on the contrary that the current moment is anything but non-ideological, but rather that the dominant ideology of the present has become naturalized and depoliticized over the course of the last several decades. This was a very active, and quite conscious process for which enormous resources were mobilized. This process was as much a movement as it was a trend, and was far from inevitable or a force of nature. The process has a history that dates back to before the Cold War, and has actors who lead this set of ideas to their political breakthrough can be seen and named in people like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and many others. (A thinker who described the process whereby this particular political project was/is naturalized and depoliticized was Mark Fisher in his book “Capitalist Realism”.)

It would seem to me we make it a bit easy on ourselves if we decide a priori what is “ideological” and what is not, to then use this as the basis for what we deem politically desirable or not. It is especially careless if we have preordained that the socio-political “Istzustand” is that which is ostensibly not “ideologically” based. Any more or less contiguous set of political theories and opinions is de facto an “ideology”. The presumption that there is political and social thought the exist quasi “outside of” the domain of ideology may in deed be an expression of an adherence to that ideology that would make any rival propagandist green with envy.

Babewyn more than 1 year ago


Thanks for your comment. Fair point. Of course, we've not reached a post-ideological point in history. Neoliberal ideology is pretty nasty and is backed up by American firepower as well as propaganda. By 'extremism' I guess I mean an uncompromising, doctrinaire ideology that dehumanizes huge swathes of people, and is overly eager to get all "good-versus-evil" revolutionary and then be all heroic about it - and we know where this all leads to: locking up and murdering lots of people. Trumpism/Stalinism/Nationalism et. al, it's all pretty disgusting. This sculpture reminds me that we can easily fall back into civil wars i.e. Antifa fighting the Reichsbürger in our streets. If we have communism again I hope it's the kind with raves and good cake and not giant sculptures of dudes with swords.

Maurice more than 1 year ago

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