[OPE-L] New ideologies of "white trash" in Germany...

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Wed Nov 08 2006 - 15:53:38 EST

October 26, 2006 WHITE TRASH, FAST FOOD
How Globalization Is Creating a New European Underclass
By Gabor Steingart

Editor's Note: The following essay has been excerpted from the German
best-seller "World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity"
by SPIEGEL editor Gabor Steingart. SPIEGEL ONLINE is publishing a series of
daily excerpts from the book.

In the West, gradual de-industrialization has created a new underclass of
the unproductive and intellectually depraved. The spiritual cousin of the
American phenomenon of "white trash," these strangers in their own land have
become a serious threat to democracy. The modern-day member of the
underclass is not hungry. He has a roof over his head, he is not
disproportionately vulnerable to illness and he even has a bit of cash in
his pocketbook. In every Western European country, he is both a citizen and
a beneficiary of the welfare state, even if the state's services are no
longer as generous as they once were.

Such luxuries, bare bones though they may be, are relatively new for the
Western proletariat. The best lodging his pauper predecessor could have
hoped for was a homeless shelter or a men's hostel. Food for the poor was
meager and it was often delivered only after long waits in bread lines or in
soup kitchens. The ill were neither insured nor could they afford to pay for
doctors, let alone medication. Old men were, for better or for worse, turned
over to the care of the younger generation, or put in the hands of church
aid programs.

Still, even if the modern-day proletariat is materially much better off, he
is actually in worse shape. The destitute laborer of old had something that
today's poor no longer have: He knew who the enemy was; he had a class
identity; he often even had a well-developed culture. He sang songs, fought
his political fights, founded associations and idolized social
theoreticians, even if he didn't fully understand them.

Complete: http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,442649,00.html

Far-Right Views Established Across German Society

Far-right views are not just the domain of skinheads and neo-Nazis but are
firmly anchored throughout German society, regardless of social class or
age, according to a study of attitudes towards foreigners, Jewish people and
the Nazi period.

A new survey has found that right-extremist attitudes are firmly anchored in
German society. A study based on a survey of 5,000 people found that 9
percent of respondents agreed with the statement that a dictatorship can in
certain circumstances be a preferable form of government, and 15.1 percent
agreed with this: "We should have one leader to rule Germany with a strong
hand for the good of everyone."

"The term 'right-wing extremism' is misleading because it describes the
problem as a peripheral phenomenon. But right-wing extremism is a political
problem at the center of society," says the report commissioned by the
Friedrich Ebert Foundation, a think-tank linked to the center-left Social
Democrat party.

The survey, conducted in May and June, found that more than a quarter of
respondents agreed with certain xenophobic statements. The rate in eastern
Germany was even higher at about a third. The report said the number was
significant as xenophobia was a "gateway drug" leading to right-wing
extremism. A total of 11.6 percent agreed with the statement "If Hitler
hadn't exterminated Jews he would be seen as a great statesman today."

Complete: http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,447255,00.html

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Nov 30 2006 - 00:00:06 EST