The Expulsion of Horst Mahler

At this point, we have nothing more to say about Horst Mahler’s attempt to buy his freedom with denunciations of the raf (Baader liberation trial). The problem with Horst Mahler has always been that he is a filthy, bourgeois chauvinist, who has transferred the ruling class arrogance which he picked up as a lawyer within the imperialist system—an arrogance that he made his own—to the proletarian revolutionary movement, and this well before the raf. Already, in connection with the militant student movement in Berlin in 1967/68, he could only understand the political solidarity he received as a left-wing lawyer in terms of it being a cult of personality devoted to him.

He imagined that he could continue his previous bourgeois life in the guerilla—issuing orders, manipulating the weaknesses of others, and demanding privileges, much as the oppressor deals with the oppressed in a lawyer’s chambers. So—because he hadn’t learned anything and didn’t want to—he remained incapable of collective, protracted, patient work. He was not prepared to crawl out of the careerist slime. He never really understood the raf’s collective learning, working, and discussion process: the intensity of work in a fighting group, the unity of physical and intellectual labor, the abolition of the separation between private and professional life, the determination to act, to struggle—in a word, the way in which the guerilla works. For him, all that signified the loss of his privileges, which he found—because of his smug self-image; the caricature of the professional bourgeois politician—unacceptable.

Mahler never participated in the raf’s practice, in its concrete politics, in its tactical decisions, in its structure—nor did he participate in much else either. With his arrogant politics, he simply didn’t get it. In 1970, he was already little more than a bourgeois wreck, tolerated—because of his illegal status—by the raf’s nascent politico-military organization. Yet he remained a liability to our practice, in part because of his vanity, his ignorance, his class-specific subjectivity, and his carelessness.

He himself made his expulsion from the raf, which had been a long time coming, inevitable. He did this with his authoritarian and possessive claims to a leadership position over the other raf prisoners, with his elitist inability to understand criticism and self-criticism as anything but power tactics, and with his ongoing, revisionist, empty, private writings. With these writings he attempted to go behind the backs of the raf and the raf prisoners, and sought to acquire some prestige for himself in the eyes of the left, prestige that does not reflect his true role in the raf. His writings read like a legal argument with a confused structure, and do not reflect the politics, action, practice, experience, or tactical concepts of the raf.

The raf only found out about Mahler’s publication when it turned up on the market. He knew he could not speak for the raf. The guerilla expresses its theory, its strategy and its internationalism through its actions. Nothing but theoretical discussions that do not address concrete action will be marketed under the conditions enforced by imperialism. Given the existence of the political police, the Verfassungsschutz and the intelligence services, the theory and practice of armed struggle cannot be discussed in public. That would only provide the government’s counterinsurgency units with grist for the mill. And Mahler doesn’t deal with this issue—with armed struggle—except in the form of a parlor debate, as he himself has written often enough.

Mahler will continue to be unable to offer any information about the raf that is anything other than an example of his infantilism, his ambition, and his careerism. And he will doubtless exploit his association with the raf’s politics in his relationship with Red Aid e.v. and the Roter Fels[1] group, an e.v. branch in Tegel.

Our understanding of the raf prisoners’ relationship with these groups—kpd/ao, Red Aid e.v.—will remain unchanged as long as they restrict themselves to questions of solidarity. (Because their solidarity does not lie with the offensive politico-military strategy, but rather—and even this only rhetorically—with the fundamentally defensive position of the raf prisoners: the struggle against extermination in prison.) For instance, the kpd/ao denounced the 1970 liberation of Baader as cia-orchestrated and practically delivered us up during the manhunt of 1972. This situation will not change until this party understands that the urban guerilla constitutes a stage in the protracted people’s war.

The justice system and the media have associated Mahler with the raf, and Mahler is trying to use this association with the urban guerilla, and with the actions and practice of the raf, and the example it sets for these groups, in an effort to obstruct and prevent his expulsion. In a fit of pique, this consistent revisionist and opportunist is simply doing this to get back at us.

The fact of the matter is that, with his recent publication, he is trying to use his experiences with the raf in order to aid state security’s psychological warfare campaign within the legal left—just like Ruhland, Sturm, and Homann—and he is doing this with material provided by the cops—because he himself knows nothing about the raf and its discussions. He quotes from bka reports about the raids of raf prisoners’ cells, and in so doing he associates himself with the false allegations and lies found in the Bonn Security Group’s reports. What he provides as quotes from the raf are almost all quotes from himself. Like any filthy criminologist, he plays around with notes that offer no information about the raf’s politics—but which denounce, personalize, and falsify the raf’s politics, treating them as a psychological issue.

In his opening statement at the Baader liberation trial, he put his new persona on public display. He could not have come up with a more obvious method of using this trial to side with the justice system and to distance himself from armed politics, the guerilla in the metropole, and the raf, given that state security and the baw do not want this trial to focus on the evidence, but on destroying the raf politically, destroying the urban guerilla concept in the Federal Republic. That is to say, they want this trial to focus on psychological warfare.

He, who has found a way to get out of isolation, says that there is no extermination imprisonment, and this at a time when more than 40 political prisoners in West Germany and West Berlin have begun a hunger strike, with which we are determined to smash the imperialist states’ extermination strategy: the use of isolation against the prisoners of the raf and other anti-imperialist social revolutionary groups, as well as against all those prisoners who have begun to organize resistance and have therefore been placed in isolation. Because he doesn’t want to struggle, because he is afraid of this hunger strike, he attempts to liquidate it, making a political program out of his miserable egotism and attempting to stir up the legal left against the raf, all to serve his own interests. And he does this at a time when the raf’s prison struggle—against the extermination of political prisoners, for the right of prisoners to organize and to launch a revolutionary prisoners’ movement—requires solidarity from the legal movement. Not paternalism and not just words on paper, but solidarity through which they themselves might develop a genuine anti-imperialist practice.

Horst Mahler has consciously chosen to collaborate with the bka and the Berlin justice system, and to act as a puppet for the political police in Wiesbaden and Bonn. He remains what he has always been: a cynic, a chauvinist and a mandarin, now acting openly on behalf of state security—a politically inconsequential and essentially ridiculous figure.

[1] Red Rock.