Regarding the Alleged Dissolution of the 2nd of June Movement

That’s right, the faction that has been trying for three years to shift the 2nd of June Movement to the RAF line has now joined the RAF. In the heat of the moment, these comrades have also dissolved the entire 2nd of June Movement—in an ocean of words.

To the comrades who have spoken with us and asked who wrote this politically empty nonsense, we have to say that that is not entirely correct. If it were only “nonsense,” we wouldn’t have to worry about this “nonsense” expressing itself through idiotic actions, such as airline hijackings, etc. In this instance, we are taking the advice of Comrade Mao tse Tung seriously: one cannot leave unaddressed the subjective bullshit that some comrades present as an appraisal of the political situation. There are always inexperienced comrades who follow such theories and hurt not only themselves, but also the rest of us—the entire left movement.

This “dissolution paper” contains no material analysis, only a series of sentences following one after the other.

An initial comment regarding the claim that now the roots of the “perversion of the fun guerilla of Reinders, Teufel, etc.” have finally been exposed. To this we say: following a critique from steadfast “combatants,” the fun guerilla as a source of “leadership” and strategy is at long last disbanded by the dissolution. “Reinders, Teufel, etc.” have confirmed it by affixing their thumbprints: the fun guerilla is dissolved! That’s it! For years we’ve made our own perversion a mainstay of the resistance. Down with it! Fun is perverse! And fun during the struggle is perverse fun! For weeks now we’ve been in a state of elated self-flagellation.

Smack… aaahh… smack… aaahh…

However, not everything in this “dissolution paper” is so funny. For instance, the assertion that the 2nd of June Movement “was founded in contradiction to the RAF.” The 2nd of June Movement resulted from the fusion of three West Berlin groups that wanted to develop and organize the armed struggle.

The largest group was the “Tupamaros West Berlin,” which since 1968 had been carrying out various actions in Berlin. Imperialist and Zionist facilities and symbols were attacked. Factories where workers were being laid off were attacked. And, above all, in the context of the APO’s 1969 Justice Campaign, courthouses, judges, and state prosecutors were attacked.

The 2nd of June Movement was able to learn from this practice. The broad range of targets and forms of struggle came out of the experiences of the youth revolt at the time.

The 2nd of June Movement was certainly correct to not develop an Urban Guerilla Concept theory like the RAF. That was completely unrealistic. This was a country where after twelve years of Nazi terror and a twenty-year anticommunist campaign, a youth movement was just beginning to consider socialist ideas; a country where after a few years of grappling with the fact that they had no unbroken tradition to fall back on, a mass of proletarian youth began to tentatively and self-consciously take up the struggle against antisocial policies and oppression, against apathy in the face of genocide and imperialism, against the absurd capitalist machinery of consumption, which hideously deforms human needs into alien sources of profit. Their resistance developed out of their own distress, and they drew their strategic and tactical understanding from the experiences this led to, an ever-deepening analysis of the overall social situation. This dialectical development, based on theory and practice, is the process that Marx recognized as the precondition for revolutionary politics to succeed.

At the time, there was no satisfactory practical experience from which to develop such a definitive Concept. The fact that at the time the RAF couldn’t put their Urban Guerilla Concept into practice proves this.

The contradiction between the RAF and the 2nd of June at that time was the result of the different ways the groups had evolved: the 2nd of June Movement out of their members’ social scene and the RAF on the basis of their theoretical revolutionary model. And, equally, as a result of the RAF’s centralized organizational model on the one hand, and our autonomous, decentralized structures on the other. Another point of conflict was to be found in the question of cadre going underground, which the RAF insisted on as a point of principle.

As such, the immediate forerunners to the 2nd of June Movement were always open to a practical—proletarian—alternative; an alternative that had nothing to do with competition, but more with different visions of the revolutionary struggle.

There was strong mutual support and joint actions in the early period of both groups, for example the expropriation actions at the three West Berlin bank branches in September 1970. At the time, both groups proceeded with the idea that the future would determine which political vision would prove effective in the long run.

In this obscure Dissolution Paper, Lorenz’s capture by the 2nd of June Movement and the freeing of a number of prisoners is heavily attacked. It is argued that “all the errors that we’ve made over the past ten years are to be found in it.”

Obviously, in the years leading up to 1975, and even in the Lorenz action, mistakes were made—the setback of September 1975 proves that all too clearly. But what is passed off here as “self”-criticism reveals a hilarious ignorance that would be hard to beat.

Apparently, “The Stammheim comrades’ struggle had given rise to a national and international mobilization, which the widespread hunger strike had brought to a highly developed point with which Schmidt was having difficulty coping.” (And because of this he was on the point of collapse?) And this was barely four weeks after they broke off the hunger strike, because the demand for association in Stammheim could not be achieved at that time.

What “highly developed point” could this be referring to?—perhaps the hunger strike? Or maybe the Berlin election campaign? Or is the struggle in Wyhl part of the political situation? Mass unemployment? Inflation? and and and…

And Schmidt? Now he has a little more to deal with (a shame).

So, this Dissolution Paper reads as if the hunger strike nearly led to the downfall of the Western Zones, which, however, didn’t happen because the 2nd of June—those bastards of historic proportions—through the “choice of prisoners, politically shifted” the almost hopeless situation that Schmidt faced in his favor.

The 2nd of June, saviors of the nation and Schmidt’s aides. (Helmut, where are our Federal Crosses of Merit?!) And all of that just before the RAF was going to tip the balance of power in their favor. That simply can’t be true.

To be blunt: whoever today looks at the Lorenz action, the single biggest victory in twelve years of armed struggle, and spreads this sort of shit, is in fact truly brainless, absolutely and totally!

How can these comrades arrive at such ivory tower “appraisals”? The answer can be found in the paper itself.

In this way, revolutionary politics are sold to us as “the attack” that pushes the rupture between society and the state to the breaking point.

Yeah, whatever!

Apparently, we should help to widen the rupture between capitalist society and the form in which it is expressed, the bourgeois state. Sounds like: free the leaders from their roots and then we’ll have free leaders.

At least you can’t go downhill from there.

This paper is an example of bloated prose, flippancy, hubris, arrogance, contempt for the masses, and resignation.

What is expressed by these contradictory statements is a mirror image of bourgeois society, where, on the one hand, capitalist interests dictate social conditions, and, on the other, armed struggle is an end in itself. In any event, nothing is asked of the people. They are reintegrated into a state of alienation.

Debray described this process correctly in A Critique of Arms: the question of what organizational form the revolutionary struggle will take cannot be answered, without other questions also being answered: which class interests does the guerilla serve? Posing the technical problems of the method divorced from its relationship to the goals and aspirations of the masses, whom this method is meant to serve, or tackling the organizational problems of the vanguard independent of the class or the class relationship, of which the vanguard is an instrument, means confusing the means with the ends, and, thereby, losing one’s footing. The painfully real decline can be analyzed step by step as follows: initially the military instrument is separated from the social class and the violent method from its economic and social point of application; thereafter, it follows logically that the instrument sets itself above the class and the method above its real point of application, so that these become the governing and determining factors (“the key aspect of the dialectically unified dichotomy”): eventually the instrument—the army or party—takes the place of the class and the method—armed struggle—the place of its objective purpose; in this way the instrument eventually begins to act in its own interests and the revolutionary armed struggle becomes “left-wing terrorism.”

What kind of guerilla is this, the purpose of which is never to be “favorably representing the people so as to gain their approval”? For what and, more importantly, with whom can such a guerilla hope to struggle?

The construction of the dichotomy “populist line vs. political orientation” makes no sense. The problem of an “incorrect populist strategy” isn’t the issue—it is a question of the guerilla lagging behind the interests of the people and their willingness to struggle.

Yeah, obviously the 2nd of June Movement’s actions were meant to be populist—in the most obvious sense of the word: popular. They were meant to politically win people over to our side, not to push them into the arms of the state. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about shitting all over the sympathies of the people.

And approval, that is to say, gaining affirmation for an action or for the politics of the guerilla, obviously involves breaking through the rigidity of standard bourgeois consciousness, and that in turn creates the initial support for revolutionary politics. “Approval” creates a situation which allows the guerilla to grow, to remain mobile, to develop its logistics, and to develop options for action.

Ten years ago, we all acted on the basis of the slogan “Serve the People.” In Mogadishu, were the people served? In a single stroke all of our efforts to counter the cops’ propaganda about how it could also happen to the “lady selling flowers on the corner” lost all credibility.

The difference between terrorism, which can affect anyone equally, and the revolutionary struggle is that a revolutionary action, both in its intended impact as well as in the way it is conducted—targeting class enemies and their henchmen—does not provide the cops with easy arguments. Otherwise, the action rebounds against those who carry it out. And this is not a question of tactics, but of principles!

Revolutionary politics can only be developed in connection with the potentially revolutionary class—and not against it. Those who constantly complain about the “campaign to break solidarity” should take a moment to consider that they themselves made the basic errors that facilitated this.

It is a key error to fetishize the armed struggle—struggling in order to struggle: “The political attack—made material through armed means—is always a victory, even in cases where the operation is militarily defeated, because it anticipates this process and sets it in motion.” This sentence is a masterpiece of dialectical thinking! Or more plainly: of mental acrobatics. The punch always lands because it initiates and anticipates this process (augurs), even when it misses its mark…

We judge a political attack on the basis of whether it serves a purpose, whether it is advantageous to us and weakens the enemy. And that is the case regardless of the form of the attack—armed/legal/illegal. The political content determines the form of struggle, and not the other way around!

In any event, all of the “classics,” from von Clausewitz, through Mao and Che, slam the idea of the guerilla separating the political from the military!

Continuous military defeat is always the result of political errors.

Not paying attention to one’s base, losing any connection to the daily struggle of the people, incorrectly analyzing the political and concrete national/regional conditions of struggle—these are cardinal errors!

Any sober appraisal also shows that this has nothing to do with the much-touted “continuity of the guerilla strategy.” The consistent use of the same strategy over a ten-year period while ignoring ongoing developments and changes has not produced a particularly glorious chapter of political activity.

Debating the overall position presented in this Dissolution Paper is almost impossible. For example, “Schmidt has given Western Europe—under the leadership of the FRG—its political definition: the project and model for imperialism in the crisis created by the liberation struggles in the Third World and in the West European metropole.” Making political sense of this sentence would require an effort akin to emptying the North Sea with a sieve.

The “unconditional integration of Western Europe into U.S. military strategy” is simply a fabrication, and this should be obvious to everyone given that France has effectively withdrawn from NATO. NATO expresses the common interest of its member states to maintain and extend the “Free West” in opposition to the Soviet Union.

Competition between the different countries in the metropole is a dominant feature within the context of these common strategic interests. From the EC-USA steel war to the Japan-USA-EC automobile war. From the EC’s Iran boycott, which really isn’t a boycott, to Japan’s economic advances in China against the USA/EC. The imperialist states are sometimes appropriately described as “rival siblings,” united by a common enemy, the Soviet Union.

That the countries of the metropole are arming themselves for internal reasons is a characteristic of every capitalist state, now as in the past; they must do so in order to suppress their own “citizens” in times of crisis—not because there is an “increasing unity of revolutionary struggles worldwide.” This mindset can only lead one to disregard all of the specific conditions of particular struggles, the basis for these struggles, their fundamental nature, etc. so as to suggest an “objective” connection between the uprising in Southeast Asia and the recent ÖTV collective agreement. The masses, who make history, make it wherever it is that they find themselves. Those who live here, but set their watches by the time in Tehran or Hanoi, are deluding themselves, are falling into a form of lunacy that has nothing to do with proletarian internationalism.

Those who constantly work themselves up into an almost Teutonic sense of cataclysm, claiming that imperialism is facing defeat in the Third World and will depart the world stage with sound and fury, are throwing sand into their own eyes and the eyes of others! The “chain of defeats from Angola to Kampuchea” they refer to is only impressive if you overlook imperialism’s victories: Egypt, Somalia, China, and Iraq, and the ongoing situation in South Korea.

The everyday realities of imperialism and the way it develops are persistently mistaken for its death struggle. That, however, will occur in the metropole; here where its wealth is produced by working people and where it draws the strength to rule other countries. This is why it is not the case that the national liberation of Third World countries creates a problem that imperialism cannot solve.

“Imperialist politics now seeks a military solution that cannot be achieved and this leads to the development of total annihilation as a naked concept.” This sentence has the quality of a funhouse mirror.

Seeks, doesn’t find, annihilation as a naked concept. What does it mean? Does it perhaps have something to do with the concept of the naked? Who knows what any of this means?

The authors proceed from the assumption that a nuclear war is being prepared in Europe—in order to prevent a “final strategic defeat in the Third World.”

The imperialists would be out of their fucking minds if they attempted to secure their assets in the Third World by destroying Europe, where they have so much more invested. If a “limited nuclear war” were to become possible, it would be because of the U.S. interest in containing the Soviet Union. Were it actually to come to a “limited nuclear war” in Europe—which is unlikely—it would be because U.S. imperialism calculated that a cunning competitor—the European Community—and a strategic opponent—the Soviet Union—could both be decisively weakened without the U.S. itself being directly attacked.

Where the “dissolvers” occupy themselves with problems like “limited nuclear war” and the like, it’s as if the solutions will appear out of thin air. Of course, nothing can come of that!

And that, despite the fact that the paper correctly notes that the “decisive stage will, in the final analysis, occur in the metropole.”

Those who want to struggle in the “belly of the beast”—as Che called it—must be familiar with the problems confronting the struggle here and must be able to integrate themselves into that struggle.

In this regard, the Dissolution Paper is also the paper illustration of the political crisis the guerilla has drifted into. While reams of paper have been churned out about the international situation, NATO committees, etc., most of the actions in recent years have had nothing to do with the left-wing struggle and even less to do with the people’s everyday resistance. Even the exceptions—actions by the RZ and Autonomen—have been unable to prevent the guerilla’s subsequent isolation. Admittedly, some comrades have recognized this crisis, and have grasped the fact that the only way to avoid total defeat at the hands of the counterrevolution is to stop conducting politics in a way that is completely divorced from everyday struggle.

Breaking out of this isolation means not only winning the approval of those who already support our politics, but also winning over the people who are not yet on our side.

In this phase of the struggle, that means that we have a lot to learn and a lot to forget, too. We need to look in the dusty corners where we will find the comrades and groups we have long ignored—“they don’t want a guerilla movement,” “they’re nonviolent,” “they’re revisionists,” “they’re Green Party,” and so on. We need to clear the table and search out the things that really separate us, the things we disagree about, and the things that connect us.

Nobody—regardless of the state of the broad left in the FRG—can deny the need for political cooperation. Political cooperation doesn’t mean betraying one’s own position, but rather establishing the solidarity necessary for the given stage of the struggle. Only in this way can we get closer to our goal of winning a real majority of the people over to the side of social revolution.

We are responsible for developing social revolutionary politics—a socialist alternative to social democratic crisis management.

We can anticipate widespread unemployment and high levels of inflation in Western Europe in the eighties, higher than almost anyone imagines. As a result of the development of new technologies—computers, for example—rationalization and increased job insecurity will be spurred on in ways that are not yet clear. The intense competition in a relatively crowded world market will expedite currency devaluation in the imperialist states and lead to a decline in real wages. Because, in pursuing capitalist interests, the state must use more and more social wealth for subsidies and arms expenditures, the “social safety net”—which, in any event, is paid for out of the pockets of all those who might require it—will become ever more threadbare. Broad layers of the population will be declassed/proletarianized and will find themselves slipping below the poverty line.

The ruling class is preparing for the coming conflict—it knows full well that all of this will deepen the contradictions between itself and the people. They are once again refining and upgrading their repressive apparatus, in the time-honored tradition. The social democrats and the technocrats also hope to confuse the people with their reformist slogans and “dialogue.” This is the way they’ve used Baum. They want to prevent the discontented, the aggrieved, and the oppressed from acting in unity with the left opposition in a way that would be mutually radicalizing. They want to neutralize and buy off the left, so as to head off any movement that might question the legitimacy of this state.

In the final analysis, how successful they will be depends on whether we succeed in intervening in the already developing conflict on the issues which the state cannot resolve or defuse with reforms, forcing them to make direct use of their violent potential. And this is true in regard to every single-issue struggle—be it the antinuclear movement, the housing struggle, the women’s movement, antimilitarism, the struggle against unemployment, or the struggle in the factories.

In the final analysis, the fundamental problems that lie behind the facade of the “social state” can only be resolved with violence. For example, a capitalist factory will always remain a source of exploitation and inhumane working conditions—co-management, collective agreements, and factory councils notwithstanding. In this state, profit is still, after all, the point of the exercise.

To this end and for this very reason a few thousand cops will be deployed. Just as Gorleben was violently cleared because it was standing in the way of the entire atomic energy program, which the monopolies in the FRG could not allow, because they intend to use their know-how to remain competitive on the world market.

Wherever the economic or political interests of the ruling class have been met with massive opposition, the state has responded with violence—from Grohnde to Brokdorf, from Westend to Dreisameck, from the swearing-in ceremony in Bremen to the occupation of America House in West Berlin, from the legal rubber-stamping of the lockouts to the clubbing of striking printers.

In all these struggles the state is attempting to protect its monopoly of violence, a precondition for the smooth functioning of exploitation and capitalist production. As a result, they are attempting to eliminate any doubts about the legitimacy of this monopoly of violence.

If we want to break through this monopoly of violence—both practically as well as in the popular consciousness—we must intervene in the people’s struggles with militant actions. We must carry out exemplary actions that can be understood and imitated by many people, and which will also make it clear that illegal actions are necessary.

An atomic power plant that couldn’t be prevented despite construction site occupations and demonstrations can still be neutralized if the power pylons are knocked over.

A crane is only a useful tool for a real estate speculator until it is torched.

A slumlord that lets a living space be destroyed gets a sense of what it’s like when his own digs are “renovated.”

A Municipal Planning and Building Control Office encounters certain difficulties with further deforestation if its offices burn down.

A prison warden learns less about daily life in prison from petitions and protest letters than from a couple of bullets in the leg.

All the small and large enemies of the people can no longer bask in their glory if they are made to fear being held accountable for their scummy behavior!

No aspect of everyday struggle can be overlooked when pursuing the long-term goal of uniting all of the resistance groups. Only in this way can a broad, militant, revolutionary movement develop, and through a protracted process of disruption of all of the ruling structures—economic, political, and military—carry through the social revolution in the metropole.

We can never lose sight of this goal—the social revolution—which today seems so utopian, otherwise we will lose ourselves in sects, transcendental theories, and political irrelevance.

Now a final comment regarding the Dissolution Paper:

Social revolutionary politics—which are represented by the 2nd of June Movement, among others—cannot be “dissolved” like some petit bourgeois gardening group.

Reinders, Viehmann, Fritzsch
June 1980