Can A Social Movement Be Fundamentally Flawed?

1535 Words Dec 12th, 2016 7 Pages
Can a social movement be fundamentally flawed? Most people would answer “yes,” pointing to National Socialism or the Ku Klux Klan. However, few would consider the German New Left to epitomize a flawed social movement. According to history professor Dagmar Herzog, they should. Throughout her publication Sex After Fascism, Herzog disputes this central argument of the New Left: “Numerous New Leftists argued directly that sexuality and politics were causally linked; convinced that sexual repression produced racism and fascism, they proposed that sexual emancipation would further social and justice” (2). Although the baby boomers equated sex with anti-fascism, presuming that the Nazis had created the sexually repressive environment, Herzog argues that the repressive environment was actually established in reaction to National Socialism. The most homicidal regime in history was more sexually liberal than the New Left conceived (3). What Herzog overlooks, however, is that not all baby boomers succumbed to this fundamental misconception, as evidenced by the 1974 feature film Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. Written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the film depicts a romance between Emmy—who’s an elderly German widow—and the title character—who’s a Moroccan guest worker. Throughout Ali, Emmy faces prejudice for being in an interracial relationship, but as film theorist Thomas Wartenberg argues, the film is far from sympathetic to the elderly widow. In fact, Fassbinder’s film…
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