Executive Intelligence Review
This article appears in the March 9, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

`Antifa' Violence Protects Hedge Funds

by Roger Moore

[PDF version of this article]

The biggest global hedge funds and private equity funds are moving destructively on Germany, buying up its state- and municipality-owned apartments and selling them in IPOs on Wall Street; buying up state-owned savings banks in Berlin, Hesse, and other states, and merging them into international banks; buying up and cutting down auto and other industrial companies. Since long before then-Social Democratic Party chairman Franz Müntefering called them "the financial locusts" in 2005, the hedge funds have been defended against such criticism by printed or violent physical attacks by the Antifa-Autonomist Chaoten anarchist youth. The attacks have continued to the present, with December 2006 and January 2007 arson and low-level terror attacks against leading German and Swiss figures opposing hedge funds' predations.

The message of these attacks: There will be no fight against international financial speculation; no national defense of industry, economy, banking, and housing from the financial locusts; no calls for regulation or blocking of the buyout-and-looting firms. Anyone who moves in this direction will be branded a fascist, and subject to terrorist attacks. The anarchist Antifa—fascists in fact and deed—first attacked Lyndon LaRouche's Youth Movement (LYM) and political associates.

On July 9, 2002, a group of young, masked stormtroopers emerged out of buildings on Unter den Linden, the location of Berlin's Humboldt University, to attack a literature table set up by organizers of the LYM and the Civil Rights Solidarity Movement (BüSo). What an irony of history, that this university's "Antifa" group, calling themselves the Anti-Deutschen Antifa (anti-German anti-fascists), attacked the organization that has brought to international attention the importance of Berlin's leading Orthodox Jew of the 18th Century, Moses Mendelssohn (a philosopher who was known as the "Socrates of Berlin").

The so-called anti-fascists claimed to be attacking on behalf of the Jews of Israel, who are in fact the victims of the criminal policies of Dick Cheney's imperial war party and its allies in Israel. Humboldt University was founded by Wilhelm von Humboldt, who, along with his brother Alexander, were raised in that rich cultural tradition marked by Moses Mendelssohn's and Gotthold Lessing's 1755 defense of Leibniz and Plato. Mendelssohn and Lessing, as young men, having newly met in Berlin, perhaps only a few years older then today's Antifa stormtroopers, launched a cultural renaissance, and in the process secured a place in history for Jews in Germany, unparalleled since the days of Moses, Philo of Alexandria, and Maimonides in 12th-Century Egypt.

The bizarre Antifa-Autonomist political sect emerged to take leadership of the radical "scene" under the new, aggressive "Anti-Deutschen" label. They have become the street component to their high-level backers who are running protection for the hedge funds, private-equity takeover funds, and the banks that are out to eliminate sovereign governments' interference in their global power. With the Anti-Deutschen, resistance to the globalization onslaught is slandered as anti-American and anti-Semitic.

`Don't Let Anyone Go After Wall Street'

The website of the Humboldt University Anti-Deutschen Hummel Antifa carries an attack on the BüSo and LYM which makes this clear. The author, who calls himself Chaze, in effect ridicules the BüSo's exposure of the financial circles which brought fascism to power in Europe in the 1920s and '30s, known in France as the Synarchy, which controlled the Vichy collaborationist government. Today, with the city of Berlin under siege by predatory financial funds on all fronts, Chaze insists that the financial backers of Hitler's Nazi Party, such as Bank of England governor Montagu Norman and German Reichsbank president Hjalmar Schacht, were harmless or unimportant, a figment of Lyndon LaRouche's imagination. Chaze's article is titled, "Die Synarchistische Internationale des Lyndon LaRouche" ("The Synarchist International of Lyndon LaRouche").

Germany's diverse Antifa-Autonomist-Chaoten youth culture has been kept alive over the last two decades, despite the aging and mainlining of the broad "68er" counterculture, which also was the petri dish for creating the Red Army Faction/Baader-Meinhof terrorist gang.

Aging 68ers, steeped in the writings of the Frankfurt School icons Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Hannah Arendt, have been able to orchestrate circus-like confrontations between neo-fascists, recruited out of lumpen youth circles, and the often indistinguishable Antifa youth subculture, drawn from drug-consuming rock band cliques. Such violent confrontations go on every month, somewhere in Germany. But, with the emergence of the Bush-Cheney Administration's Iraq crusade and the intensification of the Israel-Palestine conflict, a change was added.

In Leipzig in September 2005, the Conne Island Youth Center, financed by the city, and in part by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, and run by ex-Communist League West (KBW) member Ralf Fücks, attacked the BüSo and LYM in their publication CEE. Conne Island is controlled by the Anti-Deutschen Antifa. Defending the Bush Administration and the neo-cons, the author demanded that "whoever seriously claims, that the prevailing form of government and its ideology is controlled by the influence of so-called independent central banks ... , should have no credibility making allegations of fascism." The June 2005 issue of CEE went further. An article claimed that the labelling of hedge funds as locusts, by Müntefering, was modelled on Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda. In May 2005, the "No Tears for Krauts" Antifa grouping in Halle organized a conference where the same charge was made against Müntefering.

When the "No Tears for Krauts" street anarchists attacked Müntefering, they had already been behind aggressive street attacks against the BüSo, including networking with the Leipzig and Dresden Anti-Deutschen in similar actions.

A City of London-Wall Street hand in these attacks has become clear. On Feb. 14, 2007, the London Times' German edition published "Müntefering's Heritage," an attack on the Vice Chancellor as an anti-Semite, written by the paper's radical free-market commentator Wolfgang Münchau. "On Wall Street," Financial Times Deutschland wrote, "Müntefering's remarks were read as pure anti-Semitism, because many of the private equity firms on Müntefering's hit list had Jewish names." "Bankers were enraged" at Müntefering, the FTD added, claiming that Germany had been thrown into isolation from the other G8 countries by his inexcusable "locusts" comments.

One day earlier, "The Dealbreaker," a self-described "Wall Street tabloid") published a nasty "joke" piece on Müntefering, that claimed that Germany had approached this year's Davos World Economic Forum as "The Wannsee Conference for hedge funds," referring to the secret Nazi conference at which Hitler ordered "the Final Solution," elimination of all European Jews. The column ended with another vicious joke: "Müntefering later recommended a law forcing hedge fund managers to wear yellow, locust-shaped patches on their suit jackets."

"The Dealbreaker" is a blog run by young American and British financial journalists with backgrounds with City of London and Wall Street publications like The Economist and Forbes.

Müntefering hit back in an interview with the Financial Times on Feb. 15. He insisted that "financial locusts" was precisely the right description of hedge funds: "Locusts that move into a field, eat it to the ground, and move on to the next without looking back. I think it was quite apt." In its article reporting Müntefering's comments, the Times got nastier against German opponents of hedge funds: "Müntefering's views are mild compared to those of some of his compatriots [for whom] activist investors ... rank about level with child abusers on the public's list of hate figures."

Neo-Cons, Antifa Campaign Against IG Metall

The 2005 blasts against Müntefering were prepared earlier. A taskforce of neo-conservative, U.S.-based social democrats around Prof. Andrei Markovits (now at the University of Michigan), picked up signals that the German Social Democratic Party, and in particular, its trade union base, were fed up with the political influence in Berlin of the financial conglomerates dictating hedge fund sellouts, outsourcing, and other destructive "shareholder value" practices. The Fortress Equity, Cerberus, and Blackstone hedge funds were under attack for buying up the state savings banks and privatizing hundreds of thousands of municipal and state public-authority apartments. Trade unions were exposing the WL Ross & Co. hedge fund for buying up steel and auto supply firms, cutting benefits and jobs, and then reselling for big profits.

Markovits's grouping got the foundation of the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the Hans Böckler Foundation, to sponsor a November 2004 conference, "Anti-Semitism in the German Left." Out of this conference emerged a working group (the Leoperutz-liste), with Markovits's active participation, which later led an orchestrated in-house revolt against the IG Metall union's Metall magazine. What had Metall done? Run a June 2005 cover story and cartoon on the "financial locusts." Joining Markovits in the call, covered on the website of the Antifa Frankfurt, was Ver.di unionist Angelo Lucifero. Lucifero had already been stopped by the courts from making allegations of anti-Semitism against the BüSo.

In July 2006, as citizen groups in Freiburg mobilized a demonstration against the sell-off of the city's public housing to "locust" hedge fund Terra Firma, the Antifa Freiburg sabotaged the demonstration, claiming that the locust cartoon on the leaflet and banners were Nazi propaganda.

Violence Against Anti-Hedge Fund Leaders

By the end of 2006, the rest of the Antifa-autonomist scene was mobilized in low-level, but very personal arson and other attacks on homes or facilities of German political and business figures. The most prominent was the arson attack in Hamburg against a family car of the number two in the Federal Finance Ministry, Thomas Mirow.

Mirow is a prominent proponent of regulating hedge funds, coming up against British and Cheney-Bush opposition to his proposals for hedge-fund regulation by the G-8 countries. The Finance Ministry of Peer Steinbrück and Mirow has drafted a law drying out the tax and other advantages of hedge funds and private equity funds. This inspired a Danish government tax law proposal aimed at stopping the large debt financing used by such funds in their takeovers and looting of industrial firms and jobs.

Similar to the Hamburg attack on Mirow, a copper refinery and a shipping company in that city were also hit. So was Bank Sarasin in Basel, Switzerland, after its executives spoke out against the hedge funds' operations in their "Swiss franc carry trade." There have been 40 such attacks since December 2006, ranging from paintballs to arson of cars and homes.

This low-level anarchist-terrorist violence has serious parallels to the early 1970s attacks "on objects," which preceded the creation of the Red Army Faction (RAF) assassination teams; and to similar low-level attacks prior to the 1989 assassination of Deutsche Bank chairman Alfred Herrhausen.

The careers of such figures from that period as Rudi "the Red" Dutschke of the 1968 revolt in Berlin, are relevant to this violence. Dutschke counted France's Synarchist philosopher Alexandre Kojève among his comrades on the barricades of the lecture halls of the city's Free University. But when Kojève was leaving one of those encounters in 1968, he announced he would meet, on his way back to Paris, with "the most important political thinker in Germany," Carl Schmitt. Carl Schmitt, as EIR has documented his profile,[*] was Hitler's "crown jurist," who provided the theoretical underpinnings for the Nazi seizure of emergency powers in 1933; he was also the post-war éminence grise of the Conservative Revolution, with his pre-war protégé Leo Strauss, the neo-cons at Strauss's Chicago University, and today's anti-Islamic crusaders of Telos magazine and the Euston Manifesto.


[*] See for example, EIR, Jan. 19, 2001; May 23, 2003; Jan. 6, 2006.

Subscribe to EIW