Saturday, April 09, 2005
Don't Mention the War
I guess this is a rambling response to some of the confusions arising ni camparisons between the concentration camps in Australia and those in Nazi germany. The German Nazi camps were designed specifically to kill and dispose of the largest numberof people possible in the shortest amount of time. forthis reason they are more accuratley compared with aclosely planned version of Cambodias killing fields,Yugoslavia in the 1990's, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda or what happened in Indonesia in 1963. However, as I wrote on my blog, there IS a usefulpoint of comparison with the NAZi's and for more thansheer hysterical opportunism.I'd say that what is happening now IS terrifinglyclose to what I have read about Germany in the 1930's,before Hitler became Chancellor. Bascially the initialarrests and deprotations led to a situation ofdictatorship, which was something much more liikeArgentina in the 1970's. With absolute power,uncontested, the Nazi's were able to devote the entireresources of a nation to committing the unthinkable ina monstrously organised fashion.It was the absolute power of the NAZI's in the 1940'sthat enabled the concentration camps to becomegenocidal machines, whereas before, like they weremore like instruments of state sponsored terorrism,designed to isolate, terorrise people into a state ofpassivity and acceptance of discatorship.The concentraion camps that we do have in australiaand I can't think of a beter word for them, are verysimilar to the concentration camps that existed inEastern Europe and the russian gulags.What they do is firstly perpetuate a deliberate policyof social exclusion. this has an easy follow on effect(as those of us who went to Baxter saw) onto othermarginalised populations like Aboriginies and evenactivists.I don't believe that most germans were either silent,submissive or supportive of the NAZI exterminationcamps. I believe that most of them were terrified.Most of those initially incarcerated in theconcentration camps were Activists, communists andquyeers. The camps actually killed more non gewishgermans than jews, and this is little mentioned.What happens when a dictatorship takes control is thatEVERYONE you know who isn't a boring arsed silentpassive fuck, suddenly vanishes. Can you imagine whatthat does to people? also history does get written bythe winners anyway - most of the german NAZIresistance was underground.What I think is happening now is that Democracy isbeng contested, and the terrain on which ordniarypeople can fuck, scream, play or protest creatively isbeing challenged by the fascist forces of bush & co.the only ethical resonse to this contestation is toactively take our place in asserting and protectingthe democratic rights we do have.This response of asserting and protecting our ownrights (to be queer) MUST also extend to defending therights of others and being really damn clear about thefact that society consists of different people withdiffernet intersts actively defending each othersrights to exist.the refugee camps, mandatory detentions, increasedpolice harrassment of koories, raids on activistshomes are a QUEER issue. Not because all or any ofthese people are queer or even un homophobic. but onceany section of poeple are excluded from society, thensociety itself ceases to exist - and then you getdictatorship.Its hard to imagine a single state ideology havingabsolute power over poeple now in an affluent society like Australia. after all, Capitalism is actually FUN.But the scary minds of bush and co aren't somehtingI'm about to put much faith in. If we let howard havehis way, we could end up not only bored out of our minds but maybe even dead!Anyway on that note, I'll end my rant.