Der lange langsame Marsch durch die Institutionen

“The long slow march through institutions.”

In an Australian radio discussion about democracy, Francis Fukuyama said that is how Antonio Gramsci might have described the history of the “1968” generation of German students who did things like created the Green party in 1980 and then gradually got elected into local, state and federal office, cogoverning the country from 1998 to 2005.

The 1968 students also insisted on discussing previously taboo topics that shouldn’t have been taboo, especially aspects of World War II and its aftermath which some of their parents had demonstrated by their behavior they would have preferred to continue hiding and abetting.

(Dare   LONG eh   LONG zom eh   mahsh   doer chh   dee   in stee toot Y’OWN en.)

Volkszählungsurteil

“People-counting judgment,” the census decision made by the German constitutional court in the 1980’s. An online article I found on the history of Germany’s strongest interest in Datenschutz und Datensicherheit (data protection and data security) explained that country’s aversion to census-taking from a historical perspective. The Nazis took an infamous census of “greater German” territories in the 1930’s that collected data used to kill people later, supposedly with the aid of early computing machines. Later generations of Germans, especially the authority-questioning “1968 generation,” were early adopters of fears about the way a fact that is harmless in one context may become dangerous in another, meaning there is no longer such a thing as a harmless datum. It was and is the combination of mandatory registration with the local government of your residence and contact data, which all German residents still have to do, and a proposed resumption of census taking that set off the large protests against a census in Germany. Eventually the German constitutional court issued its decision reaffirming the first sentence of the German Civil Code, the right to human dignity, and saying control and protection of one’s information was protected by that right.

My source said the logic and humanity of the court’s granting of this protection, and seeing that the state obeyed the court’s decision and canceled the census, calmed the fears of the 1968 generation of antifaschist protesters and did a great deal to integrate them into civil society, which they now control.

(Folks TSAY loongs oor tile.)

MFGBND, Mitteilungen der Forschung- und Arbeitsgruppe ‚Geschichte der BND’

In 2010 a committee of four history professors from the universities of Cologne, Marburg, the Technical University of Dresden and Humboldt University of Berlin was commissioned to spend four years studying the history of Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst foreign intelligence service, originally assembled under the head of the post-Nazi German army Reinhard Gehlen by the Allies in 1945 in a hurry for Cold War purposes. This committee’s results will be published under “Reports by the Research and Work Group ‘History of the BND’” (MFGBND).

There are probably other issues, but the initial haste that led to many former Nazis and worse being hired and given new identities by the Gehlen organization that became the BND ultimately became a security weakness when at least one former SS officer was blackmailed for his nazi past into turning into a double agent by the KGB. A CIA report, fwiw, from the early 1950’s estimated that the BND contained around 25% former Nazis, and it said a similar percentage had been voted into the second Bundestag. Good thing the former Nazis’ children started posing hard questions in ~1968.

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