The right: race, nation, identity
Juan Grigera: Right-wing Social Movements? The Argentinean 'Development Model' in Question / Juliane Edler: Volk as 'Race': German Unification, Cultural Reservoir and the Law
Right-wing Social Movements? The Argentinean 'Development Model' in Questionby Juan Grigera
This paper traces both historically and theoretically the recent uprise of right wing social movements in Argentina. During the conflict over tax tariffs on grain and oilseed (specially soya) in 2008, patronal organizations made use of traditional actions such as lockout and lobbying. They also expanded their “protest repertoire” to the use of classic milestones of 2001 crisis: banging pots and pans in urban areas, public demonstrations, assemblies and even roadblocks.
This paper debates on the novelty of this right-wing activism, its extent (how generalized has it become besides the 34ssessing34a case). At the same time, two more general issues are dealt with: first the paradox of a neoliberal 34ssessing34ation of forms of anti-neoliberalism protest. To what extent can this be traced to contradictions in the construction of a ‘double-souled’ (liberal and conservative) neoliberalism under latin-american dictatorships? Then, the class components are traced, 34assessing how far ‘from below’ and ‘from above’ social movements can be effectively distinguished.
Volk as 'Race': German Unification, Cultural Reservoir and the Lawby Juliane Edler
German unification was largely legitimized as people in West and East Germany belonging to and being one Volk (a term that articulates the meaning of both nation and the people). In this paper I wish to argue that the cultural reservoir available to people in the early 1990s suggested not only who belonged together (i.e. ‘Germans’) but also who would continually be denied full membership in the nation (i.e. ‘foreigners’).
The term Volk carried with it a racialized idea of culture, which had crystallized at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. This meaning was sustained through the legal codification of who was (not) a German. The above-mentioned binary of Germans and foreigners is crucial in this regard. Central to the legal definition of Germanness in the early 1990s was the separation of belonging to the Volk and formal membership in the German state through citizenship. In combination with very restrictive rules for naturalization, becoming and un-becoming German seemed equally impossible. Being German and belonging to the Volk was a matter of ‘blood ties’.
Hobsbawm suggests that we should distinguish between a nationalist and a radically democratic conception of nation. Key to such delineation is the concrete relationship between the people, the nation and the state. In the German case, the nation was presupposed to exist (as Volk) rather than thought of as constituted through the active participation of the people (i.e. residents regardless of their descent). Unveiling the implicit meaning of Volk is crucial to understanding racism in post-unification Germany.