Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Monday, May 07, 2012

On the Hans Gruber / Golden Dawn controversy

Richard Seymour has a fine analysis of the Greek elections, which together with the defeat of Sarkozy signify a large scale popular rejection of the politics of austerity across Europe (whether the electorates of France and Greece will now actually get any kind of end to such politics is another matter), but while I am here I may as well clear up one controversy that has emerged as a result of the class polarisation across Europe in the context of the crisis - the rise of the far right in France and Greece - and in particular the rise of the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn in Greece. Namely didn't Alan Rickman's character Hans Gruber mention the Golden Dawn group in the classic action film Die Hard?

Hans: The following people are to be released from their captors: In Northern Ireland, the seven members of the New Provo Front. In Canada, the five imprisoned leaders of Liberte de Quebec. In Greece, the nine members of the Golden Dawn movement...

John McClane: [listening on the radio] What the fuck?

Karl: [mouthing silently] Golden Dawn?

Hans: [covers the radio] I read about them in Time magazine...

In fact, despite rumours to the contrary and the imagined dialogue above, in fact Hans Gruber refers to a Sri Lankan group 'Asian Dawn' in Die Hard. It is important to clear stuff like this up. The more important question of course is how can the radical left in Greece and France now build on their recent successes to ensure that the politics of hope triumph over the Nazis' politics of despair. Here perhaps the anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigning taken in Britain by groups like Unite Against Fascism might serve as some sort of inspiration...

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At 9:34 pm, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

Considering that the efforts of Europe to rein in overspending appear to have failed, the Left is fighting a losing battle with fascism. When the economy collapses because all the money has been borrowed and spent, the fascist will, as usual, appear to have the answers to the failures of the Left, in CREATING this mess. Having sold the people "you can have your cake, eat it, too, and never ever have to pay for it" in order to get, and keep, power, they can hardly turn around NOW and say "Oh, but we must economize JUuuuust a Bit".

Those fascist answers are ugly and not very positive for the fate of the next generation, but that seems to fit in with the cycles of history, anyway. :-/

The children in their adolescence and teen years now will, in time, curse the American boomers and their European counterparts for destroying the richest civilization humanity has ever known, and dumping an enormous mess right into their laps.

At 1:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The line from the script is "Asian Dawn," not "Golden Dawn." Your entire argument is erroneous on the grounds that you mistook the dialogue.

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