Will Munslow on Mon, 19 Oct 1998 19:23:48 +0200 (MET DST)

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<nettime> Babelfish takes on the German Question

[ http://babelfish.altavista.com ]


"the political activity separates a body from the workstation, which was
assigned to it, or modifies the determination of a place; she lets see,
what did not have a place, at which it could be seen, leaves something
as speech to hear, what was to be beforehand only heard as noise. ' '
(Jacques Ranciere) 

At the edge of a small village at the German-Polish boundary at the end
of July 1998 some hundred activists did not meet predominantly from
Germany to the first Sommercamp of the campaign "humans are illegal."
10 days long one of the best fastened boundaries of this world attacked
with Raves, autoconvoys, video demonstrations, spontaneous
demonstrations, night walks, occupations and bridgings, which opened at
least temporarily some new, uncontrolled border crossings. Numerous
discussions, information meetings and a newspaper, which were
distributed in an edition by 30,000 pieces in the region, should carry
clearing-up work out at the same time over the Barabarei of the border
regime at the external boundaries of the European union, which cost the
life alone in the last five years over 90 humans. Zigtausende of humans
cross each year the German east boundaries on the escape before pursuit,
torture, hunger or simply on the search for luck and a better life. And
the new European immigration policy leaves for some time no other
possibility than the illegal entry to most humans, who do not originate
from European Union states. 

In June 1997 did not use political groups, artist and medium activists
the HybridWorkspace on documenta the X in Kassel, in order the appeal
"humans are illegally" (http://www.contrast.org/borders) to be started.
This appeal calls explicitly for the support of illegal Migranten, which
are robbed by the dominant laws of all citizen and human rights. Beside
medical supply, accommodation, work and papers, the appeal requires also
the support with the in and far journey. 

In over 20 larger and smaller cities of Germany there is today local of
networks of the campaign "no humans is illegal." Discrete assistance,
country-wide networking, international information exchange and
offensive public relations indicate a new political organizational
model, which is first radically pragmatically aligned. In the electric
field between national repression threat and far spread resentment, in
addition, in the co-operation of humans with and without papers, of
German AktivistInnen and self organizations of MigrantInnen or the
different Communities result however unpredictable consequences, which
point the far beyond direct, non-standard support: Openly or is and
sincere response up-to-date and the effective to the mean bulkheading
policy of the post office-colonial centers interlaced underground
connected escape castles in relation to the remainder of the world.
Liberality grants the dominant world only to the movements of capital
and being, which are humans however again-formed control and monitoring
apparatuses confronted, which produce "legal ones" and "illegal ones," 
not to sort not least in order usable of extremely-hivable worker. 

But it not since at the latest 1989 had been called, boundaries were a
myth, which fades appreciably? 

Indeed, with the entry of most European Union member countries to the
Schengener border controls belong to agreements according to contract
text of the past. For course travelers and drivers the Binnengrenzen
that is mutated so far nine European signatory states to better district
boundaries; and if everything folds, are to fall into a few years also
to Poland, Tschechien, Hungary and Slovenia the impact trees. To the
turn of the century waiting periods seem punctual to be with the out or
entry identical anachronism like soon Duty Free Shops at airports with
the zoellnern, who root in dirty vacation laundry for liquor and

The new Millenium announces itself, by actually rejecting not only the
old fixing of the boundaries, but obviously also the idea of boundaries.
The "globalization" shears itself as well known a dirt around
nationalnational territories and protectionist blocks. The new
communication technologies let the whole world merge into a only one,
smooth space, in which political sets of rules, cultural distances and
geographical special features are short circuit within seconds. With
resigning the last and at the same time largest boundary, the "iron
curtain" between east west and, obviously became the erosion process of
the national states: Geographically, also politically were not only
these of their ends defined. The dream of the "One world" does not
know boundaries and therefore also no history. 

For optimists and notorious modernization winners disappearing the
boundaries is not only an inexorable, but quite pleasing development:
Neoliberale and alto Hippies, Techno elite and end of workday brokers,
transnational companies and organized criminality celebrate boundless
Amuesement, world-wide communication and unhindered profit maximization.
Those, which lose their old privileges during this process, seem to be
shifted on the Jammern and fit old out of resentment again: the world as
distorted image coined/shaped of uncontrolled wavewave waves,
internationally operating criminal organizations and Internet
criminality. Police experts and other attentive contemporaries goutieren
in proven manners "chances and risks," but the view of what really
occurs, is strangely adjusted. 

Disappearing the boundary is first a rather German problem. "boundary"
is one of the rare Polish foreign words in German. "Granica" became in
the course of the conquest campaigns and the Roman-catholic expansion to
Eastern Europe in 13. Century eingedeutscht. Characteristically it
describes rather the edge to an abyss, and not a situation, to which as
into "frontiere" (of latin "frons ") the forehead would be to be
offered. To the German "boundary" there is no synonym, "boron that"
in the anglo-saxon one knows at least "more frontier," those by
settlers constantly extended escape line of colonial appropriation.
Today the trailers of the "California ideology" speak approximately
around the computer magazine "Wired" logically also of the "electronics 
Frontier" inclusive citizen rights, which defend it even in
the electronic age to conquer and apply. 

In Germany against it two-dimensional thinking or "geo policy"
prevails forwards: The late birth national state becomes since that 19.
Century primarily with an organism compared. The boundary is imaginiert
as its outer skin and is indispensably for definition from the inside
and outside, friend and enemy. In the imperialistic region plans of prae
fascist ideologists such as Karl Haushofer had to be flexible the
boundary, in order to protect and retain with his natural increasing
against violations and other influences the expanding people body. How
this thinking even virulent today is, the grassierende Metaphernschwulst
occupies combat terms, which remain essentially faithful for the
organizistischen model by "veil search," over "asylum-seeker
oversupply" up to "Schleu sertum" - all together: the Phantasma of
the totalisierten people body, its purity or, as it is called so
beautiful today: "internal security" is threatened by intruders. 

Such rhetorical Kosmetik can over-emislead however only laboriously that
the boundary, which came old skin, into the years. It became cracked
faltig and, bloated and the new request simply any longer not grown.
Humans must at the same time learn and exercise today several
occupations, them must be mobile and in accordance with the interests of
company be as world-wide as possible available. The classical workers'
migration, which ended alternatively with assimilation or return
premium, belongs to the past: Ever more citizen are on it dependent,
their existence between several points of food, not rare on different
continents to organize. The neo imperialistic Krisenmanagment produces
finally nothing as itself always shifting centers of conflict, which
drive millions of humans into the escape. Most create it only over at
the most one boundary into the next neighbour state; some however arrive
at detours and very much to the AErger of the former colonial gentlemen
in the former "motherland." 

Boundaries were natural and already always a myth: over-determined,
always inseparably connected with UEberschreitung, UEberwindung and rear
itself leaving. But boundaries included, which in other manner not
producible or definable was. "here the national territory of the
Federal Republic of Germany" ends was called it and was clear that from
now on could come, which wanted: Vacation of the own State of, another
country with another currency and history, another language, other rules
and customs, which can bring one in extreme cases for things, which are
at home common, in the prison. 

It is reliably no coincidence that the liberality warranty of the civil
national state emerged at least in Germany at the same time with the
Fordistic accumulation model: tightens work discipline with simultaneous
stabilization of the being nominal oh question and certain
welfare-national warranties, those all together also a rigides regime of
the external boundaries required. This served clearly outlined purposes:
Recruitment of foreign workers, mass tourism as short recovery of the
Schufterei for auto and home of one's own or asylum politics as weapon
in the cold war. 

Today it is with all that far no longer ago: Already before the crisis
of the state borders the containment environments came within the
society appreciably into distress: School, military, University of,
factory, hospital, lunatic asylum, prison were the stations, which the
individual in the "Disziplinargesellschaften" (Michel Foucault) had to
pass through. Lifelong learning, home and time work, domestic nursing
for the sick, but above all new punishment forms such as work
prohibition, workstation reference, residence obligation and electronic
collar interpret in another direction. It concerns "forms of permanent
check in open environments that the hardest internments seem to belong
to us to a friendly and rosy past" (Gilles Deleuze). 

Which appears, it is that ever more humans, instead of being simply
physically in or locked out regarding their behavior and place of
residence are subjected to dynamic and quite differentiated
restrictions: Evacuees, refugees, Migrantenkinder, unemployed person,
person on social security, former or potential prisoners are imposed
territorial limitations and chicaneries, whose UEberwachung requires
incessant and practically everywhere possible checks. Asylum-seekers may
not leave the district, in which they are accommodated, without
permission basically. They may not operate and become many of them since


September overall excluded from social security benefits. 

By the example of the asylum the crisis of the containment can be
outlined probably also most impressively. The asylum, once place, to
which quite ones and homeless ones fled themselves, became in 19.
Century to the metaphor for locking up and isolation. The actual
abolishment of the German right of asylum before five years became
assistance of the "airport regulation," which designs a
specially-territorial area in the middle in the country, above all
carried out and the "third state regulation," which makes the escape
route in place of the political motives the criterion of the asylum
asylverweigerung. In captivating logic Germany is exclusively surrounded
by safe third states, which besides for their part avail themselves of
such equivocations. Refugees must smear the border crossings thus as
well as possible, the entry are only more on illegal way possible, and
asylum-seekers are in most phases of their do not end wollenden escape 
"illegal one," threatened from denunziation, discovery and

The Schengener agreement of 1985 and the execution agreement of 1990,
originally praised as undertaking for the reduction of the border
controls, actually function as wegbereiter of a new control and
UEberwachungsapparates, which are substantially more flexible than the
conventional border regime. The old state border, now Schengener
Binnengrenze, which should actually be abolished according to paragraph
2 of the agreement, disappears not or does not smear not simply. The
boundary folds and multiplies, shifts forward and to the rear, in third
and Viertlaender, as well as in the interior. Suspicion-independent
checks since the entry into force of the new Federal Border Police law
start to this monthly not only in the 30-Kilometerzone behind the actual
boundary lines, but on all stations, airports, courses and even
rapid-transit railways are practiced. Supraregional traffic routes, even
side streets and city centers have the police regulations of many
zountries already enclosed into their definition by the border space.
New European Union plans divide entire Europe in zones of different
control densities, in order to bring migration movements promptly to
stopping, because these with the conventional equipment allegedly
gentleman is not to be become. 

And in such a way the end of the classical frontier control refers
particularly to a little pleasing advancement of the prevailing power
technique: The Disziplinargesellschaft was replaced from the control
company. In Los Angeles there is to be special movement alarm units,
which react in certain modelmodel models, because young people in
certain quarters are regarded already equivalently to criminality. In
this country one foresaw it the monitoring apparatus on nothing fewer
than the new capital offenses absolutely: Illegal immigration,
Schleppertum, organized criminality is called it in the
self-advertisement in a breath. Therefore since new and far behind the
boundary whole motorways are locked off, in order to execute rather
banal face checks. Therefore monstroese computer networks established
like the Schengen information system (SIS), which has to do only little
with conventional crime prevention, but to almost 90 per cent of data of
persons to consist, who are to be pushed away or the entry is
malfunctioned to who. Almost it is unnecessary to mention that two
thirds of these entries come from German authorities. 

The modern border regime carries the courses of a world-wide apartheid
system, meant Etienne Balibar recently. It is nevertheless certain that
- boundaries or ago - population politics are the last bastion of the
once so powerful state things. If they can align already otherwise
nothing more world-moving, they seem to want to insist as to the
defiance on determining which humans where auzuhalten themselves is
permitted and where not. 

"neither to the fear nor for hope reason exists, but only to looking
new weapons up" Gilles Deleuze in its Postskriptum summarized drying to
the Kontrolgesellschaften quite. In the summer 1999 again opportunity
exists in addition. Then "no humans are illegaly" not only at the
German east boundary, but also at the US-Mexican boundary and the
Italian Mittelmeekueste are at the same time three different
Aktionscamps planned under the slogan. 

Will Munslow anubis@deming.com
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