OLD AND BUSTED: Lebensraum.

The New Hotness? Leidensneid! Neo explores the topic of “Victim Envy:”

Jillian Becker writes of a phenomenon she calls Leidensneid. It’s a word she made up, one of those composite German terms that combine two other words, in this case “leiden” (to suffer) and “Neid” (envy).

Leidensneid is a part of virtue signaling and is particularly rampant on the left these days. But it’s been around for much longer than that. Becker, who previously wrote a book about German leftist terrorists of the 1960s, writes that back then:

… [M]ost of the tens of thousands who marched with anti-West banners in West Berlin—or the hundreds of thousands in all the university cities of Western Europe—were not ideologically Marxist, nor wanting victory for the Communists in the Cold War. What those well-off, well-fed, well-educated sons and daughters of the free world wanted was to be seen as voluntary co-sufferers with the wretched of the earth; to qualify by their gestures for membership of an imagined community of underdogs.

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“To provoke the fascist out of the police” was one of the declared purposes of the West German protest movement; and though most of its members had been born after the Second World War, they were, they maintained, still having to combat Nazism. As evidence that the liberal democracy of the Federal Republic was not very different from the Third Reich, they pointed to the many persons in positions of authority who were erstwhile Nazis, and claimed that they, the young protestors of 1968, were “up against the generation of Auschwitz.” In crowded public meetings and in interviews with the press they would often say, “We are the Jews of to-day.”

And yet these German terrorists of the 60s had little use for the Jews either, foreshadowing our present union of left and Jew-hatred:

The notorious terrorist Ulrike Meinhof, when she herself was in custody and giving evidence at the trial of a comrade, declared that the Nazis had been right to kill the German Jews because they were capitalists (“were that which was maintained of them—Money-Jews”). She insisted, however, that she was anti-Nazi and had fellow-feeling for the Jews of the Warsaw ghetto. In sum, she considered it wrong to kill Jews genocidally as a “race enemy,” but not wrong to kill millions of them as “class enemies.”

When the German police recently arrested an alleged member of the Baader-Meinhof Group, now age 65, I was reminded of the stunt casting of the 2008 German film The Baader–Meinhof Complex, which co-starred Bruno Ganz, Heino Ferch, and Thomas Thieme, who had previously portrayed Hitler, Albert Speer, and Martin Bormann in 2004’s Downfall, as the German authorities doggedly pursuing the far left Baader–Meinhof Gang. I knew those terrorists had the desire, as Neo quoted Jillian Becker above, “to provoke the fascist out of the police,” but it’s good to see this warped ideology given a name. Or as Christopher Hitchens wrote in his 2009 review of the film:

It doesn’t take long for the sinister ramifications of the “complex” to become plain. Consumerism is equated with Fascism so that the firebombing of department stores can be justified. Ecstatic violence and “action” become ends in themselves. One can perhaps picture Ulrike Meinhof as a “Red” resister of Nazism in the 1930s, but if the analogy to that decade is allowed, then it is very much easier to envisage her brutally handsome pal Andreas Baader as an enthusiastic member of the Brownshirts. (The gang bought its first consignment of weapons from a member of Germany’s neo-Nazi underworld: no need to be choosy when you are so obviously in the right.) There is, as with all such movements, an uneasy relationship between sexuality and cruelty, and between casual or cynical attitudes to both. As if curtain-raising a drama of brutality that has long since eclipsed their own, the young but hedonistic West German toughs take themselves off to the Middle East in search of the real thing and the real training camps, and discover to their dismay that their Arab hosts are somewhat … puritanical.

Which brings us back to Neo’s post. Read the whole thing, which takes victim envy to its “unexpected” 2024 conclusion.