We’re here to crash the Party.
On January 24th, when the Vienna Student Corps Ball or – as they call it now – Academics
Ball (WienerKorporationsRing-Ball, WKR ball) takes place, it certainly won’t be some kind of harmless
Austrian-German mountaineering carnival but a platform for the far right elites of Austria and
Europe. Chauvinists and nationalists of every shade will come together: fraternity students and
politicians, academics and managers, lawyers and entrepreneurs. Organised by the Liberal Party of
Austria (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs – FPÖ) and taking place against the imperial backdrop of the
Hofburg Castle, the party with its reactionary pomp will show their elitist pursuit for leadership over
“their” subjects to come – by putting on the Ritz and dancing waltz and polonaise. Faces, disfigured
by fencing scars, foreshadow what will be in store for us when these fancy ladies and gentlemen
become more influential. Nazis and Champagne, prom night for the ultra-right? More than enough
reasons to come to Vienna and crash their Party!
They have no answer to the social circumstances
Those who are flocking together at the WKR-ball have no answer to the inhumane circumstances we
live in. And by “those circumstances” we mean Capitalism. In the current crisis this means: bad living
conditions and everyday distress for most people not only in Greece. The wrong answer is: national
authority and higher fences, exacerbated competition and unbearable working conditions, blunt
racism and ever ongoing violence at every level of society. But the self-appointed right-wing elite,
who foster those ideas are not uninfluential. Many people are applauding them, people
who choose politics of the iron fist over solidarity in the face of the crisis. In times of fear they seek
authority and illusory simplicity that nation states promise to provide, their tiny share of warmth and
security included. Under the pressure of global competition employers and employees are eager to
form an objective “community of fate”, which has to stand and fight against other nations or
otherwise will face demise.
The stereotypes and populist arguments, the frenzy at the football game, the patriotism of
corps students or the march with torches performed by angry German mobs against their local
refugee accomodations are not merely acts of nationalism but rather the most obvious and
disgusting ingredients of an extensive “national project”. It depends on the political atmosphere
what kind of government takes on the task of forming national and racist unity. Be it the democrats
or the conservatives, all of them are at the mercy of a to them chaotic and unintelligible economy,
which they can try to manage, but will never control altogether. They come back to racist and
chauvinistic answers to substantiate their national meritocracy and together brave the storm of the
global free market. Along the arbitrary ethnic and national boarders created by history they decide
who can join in the fun and who can’t.
Cads’ fighting when ended is soon mended
Everybody is meeting at the WKR ball in January: Past attendants were Marine Le Pen (Front
National, France), Filip Dewinter (Vlaams Belang, Belgium) or Markus Beisicht
(ProDeutschland, Germany), among others. The frontrunner of the FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache will
certainly be there this year, because the Vienna faction of the FPÖ is hosting the event (yet again). An
apparent paradox becomes reality: nationalists meet on an international stage. Admittedly, party
umpire Strache’s patriotism is hardly compatible with the racial-nationalist ideology of most of the
student-corps members, and in other respects the political consistency of the different nationalists is
highly debatable, but this does not prevent them from showing unity between neoliberal patriots,
nationalist freaks, and conservatives from all over Europe.
Even if this is purportedly not an overtly political event, the solemn affirmation of “western
civilisation” speaks for itself: “occidental” values, identity and culture are nothing political to them,
but quasi-scientific facts. To them, nation and culture are not products of history and thus manmade,
they are rather given to us by ‘nature’ or God. This “innocent” celebration of Western identity
naturally does not prevent them from aiming for solid political agreements such as the formation of
an extreme right-wing faction in the 2014 European Parliament. The ball impressively demonstrates
how right-wing parties recruit their personel from the neo-nazi milieu and thus make it socially
acceptable. The information that Strache – the successor to the infamous Jörg Haider – used to move
in these circles himself is a piece of information that should at best be met with a friendly
indifference by the ball’s attendees.
Whilst most people, especially German voters essentially draw a kind of ideological satisfaction from
a “Germanized” Europe, the first to profit from this atmosphere of insecurity will be parties like the
FPÖ, the German AfD or the French Front National. Their business with fear is booming and so it’s
easy for them to advance their common project of a society of hierarchy and without solidarity, be it
inside or outside of parliament. By declaring the average middle class square the essence of a nation,
while at the same time making doom-and-gloom prophecies about the demise of Western
civilisation, they manage to position themselves as the sole defenders of a White European culture,
as the sole saviours of nation, family and a fictitious Western culture of consent. Because they are
not able to solve the crisis of Capitalism, they instead proclaim a battle of nations and cultures. It is
not by accident that they see the “enemies” of White European lifestyles everywhere: be it Feminism
or Islam. Everything that is not straight, Christian and white qualifies to show how Western societies
are systematically undermined by “corrosive” forces not “native” to it. Their programme is a society
that is stratified according to authoritarian lines and homogenised by force. Strength, honour and
endurance- values of a long lost and because of that all the more appealing era are everything to
them. The shared good life, however, means nothing.
Manliness as usual
The division of the world into public and private is put into practice everyday in the acting out of
traditional gender roles. Making it seem like a fact of nature becomes – ironically enough – itself apolitical project of the political far-right. It is no surprise, then, that the FPÖ is openly trying to
collaborate with fathers’ rights activists and so-called “masculinists”. Consequently, and despite all
the gallantry and tact displayed at public events like this, the ball’s attendees don’t see women as
autonomous subjects, but instead primarily as appendages and decorations to their own societal
persona. If the dictate of the moment doesn’t just happen to be defending their honour against
either “Islam” or “Feminism”, then it will likely be showing them their “proper place” – hearth and
home, that is – or alternatively to push them about a ballroom to Waltz for the sake of
representation. The very fact that the WKR ball displays this anachronistic relationship between
women and men as an example to be followed makes it, among other things, an ideological event.
Even though the violent implementation of the right-wing ideology of family happens systematically
and in reality at the expense of the majority of women, their share in promoting this ideology is not
to be underestimated. Celebrating traditional roles as well as agitating against everything that
deviates from this norm is not, as one might think, a specifically “male” thing to do. This becomes all
the more obvious when one considers the Vienna sorority “Freya”, somewhat like a female version of
the WKR. Although they don’t engage in fencing in order to prevent their petite faces from being
spoilt by scars, behind the genteel facade one can find the same dull cruelty.
Reactionary things don’t fall by themselves, they need some pushing
On Friday, January 24, the Hofburg Palace will house celebrations and fraternisations of those who
call themselves “the pillars of society”, but whose social prestige and economic prosperity is really
founded on exclusion and repression, chauvinism, racism and sexism. They see themselves as the
elite and avantgarde of right-wing politics in Austria and Europe. Above all, their solution to the crisis
is one thing: The hard hand, a rule that will close ranks, tighten the belt and divide society further
into those “up there” and the rest left to themselves. Because of this the WKR ball marks the perfect
opportunity to trip up reactionary solutions to the crisis and to spoil the fun for all those strapping
boys and dainty girls.
We say: WKR? WTF! Let’s teach right-wing ideologies and their political and cultural ambassadors a
lesson – together and across all borders. The WKR ball isn’t merely a harmless expression of a
distasteful culture and attitude. It is rather part of a reactionary, right-wing offensive in face of the
crisis. The right-wing elites’ blabber of nation, Christian values, lack of alternatives and tradition only
serve to mask that there are in fact better forms of organising a society. And those are worth fighting
for in the current crisis. They can only be won and defended against nation and patriarchy, state and
capital. It is because of this that the battle against reaction is always a battle for the good life of all:
for solidarity and free association, free from ostracisms through class and racism, sexism and social
chauvinism, and without the false necessities imposed on us by capital.
Be it competition, “Western Civilisation”, the nation, family or any other nonsense – spill their
champagne on January 24th, 2014! The last (and best!) party will be ours! The only solution to the
current crisis is Communism!
Friday, January 24th, 2014
17 o’clock, Landstraße, Vienna
Day of anti-national workshops
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
12 o’clock, Vienna (Location TBA)
Busses leaving a.o. from Milan, Prague, Berlin, Bremen, Frankfurt, Cologne and Leipzig.
For all, who come with us from Leipzig: please keep your sleeping bags and sleeping mat in mind!
Für alle, die mit uns aus Leipzig fahren: Bitte denkt an Schlafsäcke und Isomatten!