Swans Commentary » swans.com April 10, 2006  



Herrenvolk And Untermenschen Now And Then


by Seth Sandronsky





(Swans - April 10, 2006)  Who is Ben Griffin? He was an elite UK soldier in occupied Iraq. Griffin nailed the racial structure of the US occupation of that battered nation. As broadcast by Democracy Now! on March 13, 2006, he left the UK armed forces and ceased combat with US armed forces due to its members' regard of the Iraqi people as "untermenschen," a term used by the German Nazis to define so-called inferior races of human beings. Yes, that "N" word, dear reader.

What is the other side of untermenschen? It is herrenvolk, the so-called race of masters. This race stands over untermenschen.

In US history, herrenvolk is the status associated with white skin. Some whites (such as poor Irish, Italians, and Jews) who arrived on US shores from abroad were not welcome, initially, into the status of whiteness. In time that changed for them, as the category of whiteness correlates to one's place (high, mid or low) in the market for labor.

In the formation of the U.S., conquered natives and enslaved Africans had the status of untermenschen. Democracy as defined then was a cruel hoax for these black and red (wo)men. For centuries, they lived the brutality of the pre-Nazi ideology of herrenvolk and untermenschen, U.S.-style, experiencing daily what Marx called primitive accumulation; that is, the brutal theft of people's labor, land, and resources. This bloody process paved the path for the wages system as the nation expanded westward.

Cut to Iraq in 2006, occupied by US and UK troops. Iraq's primary resource is its mammoth reserves of oil, the essential energy upon which the modern world economy needs to expand as it must or decline. From Mr. Griffin, we see light shed on the racially-structured nature of US imperialism towards Iraqis. The repellent ideology of inferior and superior races remains a force to be reckoned with, and is being resisted, as it must be always.


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About the Author

Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action, California, and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento's progressive paper.



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This Edition's Internal Links

Paris: Center Of Anti-Corporate Globalization Today - Raymond Garcia

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Published April 10, 2006