Friday, February 04, 2005

Banning the Nazis: Action vs Actionism

Chancellor Schroeder is throwing his weight behind efforts to ban the neo-Nazi NPD party (which has MPs in the Saxony Parliament).

Paul Spiegel, head of Germany´s Central Jewish Committee, warns against "actionism", saying such measures will neither address the ignorance of many Germans about the Holocaust - nor remove the appeal of neo-Nazis to voters. Only the voters themselves can do this, he remarks in this article in today´s Tagesspiegel.

-Tagesspiegel Online : Politik#art

Spiegel is right. Political actionism is the equivalent of empty rhetoric - it makes the people doing it feel better, but does nothing to further the cause it purports to defend.

In the case of banning the NPD, it is indeed more likely to harm the cause, and allow the NPD to pose as the oppressed champion of democratic capitalism´s downtrodden victims. In a country with more than 5 million unemployed, that isn´t a good idea.

No comments: