How to fight neo-Nazis is beer supply really so inelastic in the short run?

Residents in Ostritz, Germany, banned together recently to stick it to a group of neo-Nazis in the only way they know how — by buying up all the town’s beer before they do.

More than 200 crates were scooped up by locals as they prepared for the arrival of “Shield and Sword” (SS) festival attendees, who have a notorious reputation for being far-right activists obsessed with Nazi culture, the BBC reports

Residents began buying up all the booze because they were worried that festivalgoers would try to purchase some at local stores and supermarkets, according to the BBC, which cited interviews with the German newspaper Bild.

Here is the full article, via Ian Bremmer.

Comments

I've heard of the Mormon bishops doing the same in certain U.S. towns.

Well, they would say that wouldn't they? Actually, the bishops are going to drink the whole stash when nobody is looking.

Hell yeah they're drinking it all up!

Brilliant! When National Socialists come to your town, make sure they are sober and angry about it.

They're going to be angry no matter what. Better to be sober and angry than drunk and angry.

Really? I'd prefer drunks. Less coordinated, less capable of coordinated action, etc.

Good point. Also less cogent, so when they make their speeches it will be harder to understand them. Deplatforming by way of excessive intoxication.

'Also less cogent'

Much like soccer hooligans, the sort of neo.Nazis that care about alcohol are much more interested in beating people up than in making any speeches. Incoherent roars of triumphh as they kick someone on the ground is what they tend to consider sufficient - actions over words, basically.

'I'd prefer drunks'

German riot police generally don't - drunks require a lot more force to deal with.

'When National Socialists come to your town, make sure they are sober and angry about it.'

The sort of hooligans under discussion are much more a problem drunk than they will ever be sober. And the term hooligan is intentional, as the same would apply to soccer hooligans - they are a lot less of a problem when they are sober, regardless of how angry they are about it.

Neo-Nazi groups are just fraternal organizations or social clubs, who get together, blow off some steam, drink a few beers, vilify Jews and black and brown people, and then return to their inconsequential lives. It's like Fredo Corleone, who just wanted a little respect. If that meant selling out his family, well, what's more important to a real man than respect. If Neo-Nazis were creative, they would do something like the pie Barf-O-Rama in the film Stand By Me, that way they would earn our respect. Let them have all the beer they want, add lots of caster oil to their beer, let them drink until they have their fill, and then: Beer Barf-O-Rama!

I'm just fighting the Nazis! uuuuuuuuuuUUUURRRRRRP!

Next time the bad guys bring their own supply, or wily merchants lay in plenty of extra inventory and don't care if it's the good guys or bad guys who buy it up. So it only works once, unless there are regulatory restrictions on the transport and sale of alcohol.

'and don't care if it's the good guys or bad guys who buy it up'

You familiar with soccer hooligans? Pretty much the same thing here.

'unless there are regulatory restrictions on the transport and sale of alcohol'

In Germany? Nope - you don't even need a license to sell alcohol in any sort of U.S./UK sense.

Well, if their opponents are really this stupid, the Nazis will likely win anyway.

'if their opponents are really this stupid'

Think soccer hooligans - basically, everybody who is not a hooligan is a hooligan opponent.

IDK...There are presumably active (violent?) counter-protesters and local residents. I'm not sure those groups are precisely aligned.

You familiar with drunken soccer hooligans? Local residents are not fans of drunken hooligans. And the antifa types are just seen as more hooligans in the eyes of local residents. There is a reason that when talking about soccer hooligans, you really don't need to talk about whatever team they putatively support - the problem is hooliganism in general.

But don't worry that the antifa types will somehow not get lots and lots of police attention - as anyone with the least familiarity with German policing knows, there is a real factual basis to the German expression that justice tends to be blind in its right eye.

God, I have been following this blog and the comments for a long time. I have been hesitant to join this cesspool of a comments section, but comments like yours piss me off so goddamn much. To equate literal ‘neo-nazis’ with an imaginary group of ‘antifa-types’ is completely fucking absurd and you are an asshole, a troll, and an irresponsible idiot to do it

By the way ‘antifa’ is not a ‘type’ or even an organization that exists. There is no group called Antifa; there are violent Neo-nazis. You seem to have a (theoretical) view that a group which is literally Anti-Fascist is a bad thing, that theoretically undertaking radical action to stop the spread of Actual Fucking Nazism is bad. You’ve rolled over to Nazis, you fuckin dick.

'with an imaginary group of ‘antifa-types’ is completely fucking absurd and you are an asshole, a troll, and an irresponsible idiot to do it'

Do you actually live in Germany? Because Antifa is not imaginary at all here, as noted by this - 'One of the biggest antifascist campaigns in Germany in recent years was the, ultimately successful, effort to block the annual Nazi-rallies in the east German city of Dresden in Saxony, which had grown into "Europe's biggest gathering of Nazis".' You can read more here - One of the biggest antifascist campaigns in Germany in recent years was the, ultimately successful, effort to block the annual Nazi-rallies in the east German city of Dresden in Saxony, which had grown into "Europe's biggest gathering of Nazis". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifaschistische_Aktion

' To equate literal ‘neo-nazis’ with an imaginary group of ‘antifa-types’ is completely fucking absurd'

Clearly you have absolutely no idea of what goes on in Germany. And the name is officially Antifaschistische Aktion, and they are more a network than a single organization.

'You seem to have a (theoretical) view that a group which is literally Anti-Fascist is a bad thing'

You clearly have not been reading this comment section very long. Or you are doing one of the better jobs of trolling.

Though you clearly have no idea of who says German justice is blind in its right(wing) eye, or what that means (hint - Antifaschistische Aktion knows precisely what they are saying when using that expression.)

Let's not adress the underlying problems which cause an increase in neo-nazi thought, such as unfettered immigration and globalist corporations that have no sense of home loyalty. Instead, let's "solve the problem" by buying their beer.

Oh, lefties...you're so adorably inconsequential.

I think it is more than leftists who don't like neo-Nazis...

How did socialist, commie loving Nazis get rebranded and far right again? There was a post a few days earlier that mentioned the power of repetition. I guess that's it.

Paul the K gives it to you straight:

Great graphics. US Democrats have gone from being a center-right to a center-left party; the GOP from a right-wing party to an extreme right-wing party, closer to Germany's neo-Nazis than to the global center.

No, the left has moved leftward.

When was the last time Krugman was right about anything?

He has been a left wing cheerleader writing biased op-eds for decades now. My oh my how far he has fallen!

He didn't read the article.

And "Paulie the K" probably would have been funnier.

Again, your article shows the Dems veered far to the left while the Rs barely moved. More bad faith deception from you

Hey, the troll that can't (or won't) read.

PK: "US Democrats have gone from being a center-right to a center-left party"

EdR: "No, the left has moved leftward."

Note that EdR says "No" and then says the same thing as PK in different words, while claiming PK is wrong. Classic.

Then our boy Anonymous shows up, and claims I've somehow disagreed with PK, or EdR, or the underlying story at the NYT, or the even more underlying study from the Manifesto Project.

No, I haven't. But I've read as far down as:

https://manifesto-project.wzb.eu/

About
The Manifesto Project analyses parties’ election manifestos in order to study parties’ policy preferences. Since October 2009, the Manifesto Project has been financed by a long-term funding grant from the German Science Foundation (DFG) as MARPOR (Manifesto Research on Political Representation). MARPOR continues the work of the Manifesto Research Group (MRG 1979-1989) and the Comparative Manifestos Project (CMP 1989-2009). In 2003, the project received the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) award for the best dataset in comparative politics.

If you want a more serious take on this, Niskanen provides:

Temperamentally liberal individuals have self-selected into higher education and big cities. That has left a rural population that is relatively uniform in white ethnicity, conservative disposition, and lower economic productivity.

Economic growth (now centered in cities) tends to shift people toward more progressive, “self- expression” social values, whatever their native ideological temperaments.

Meanwhile, stagnant or declining material prospects (present in many rural areas) tend to generate a rising sense of anxiety and threat, leading people to adopt a zero-sum, “us or them” frame of mind.

Or so goes the Twitter thread.

Here's my similar analysis: People I don't like are big jerks and getting jerkier all the time! Says me!

Maybe look at which one don't think kids need toothpaste or soap.

And yet the pale-faced nitwits in the cities with the most economic growth are crying the loudest about economic (and intersectional) inequality and demanding unabashedly redistributionist (i.e. zero-sum) policies.

You seem to agree that the "high productivity workers" are less sensitive to tax rate.

Urbanization is to blame for rising populism? What? That is preposterous. Urbanization happened in the UK in the 19th century, by 1910 about 80% of the population lived in towns and cities, roughly the same fraction as the US today. Why has Brexit happened in 2016 instead of the UK began to get itself isolated already in the late 19th century?

Modern Neo-Populism is the product of two factors:

1st - The collapse of the Left-Populism, that is, socialism, with the collapse of the USSR and its satellites in the late 1980s-early1990s meant that now the modern Left lacks any form of populist formula to "save the poor people of the world", instead, xenophobic politicians have captured this public, producing the modern "alt-right". The modern left is only about rich people advocating for the rights of pets, farm animals, and fighting plastic straws.

2nd- The slowdown in growth of wages for unskilled workers in the developed world since the 1980s has produced a higher degree of anxiety in the segments of the population with lower cognitive skills.

Were the Luddites not populists?

Note that one could do a counter argument about the fall of communism and it's impact:

1. The United States has long had a mixed economy with both public and private spending, but tilting toward our "modern mix" in the aftermath of the Great Depression and then World War Two. Both were great cohesive national efforts, driving a sense of common good.

2. That mixed economy produced great wealth and national power.

3. With the fall of communism, some took the simple view that "the free market wins" while forgetting 1 and especially 2.

4. The right split hard right (again, in a 1920s way) and attempted to roll back many of the things that (to borrow a phrase) made America great. All the time shouting "Socialism!"

5. This had the equal and opposite reaction of pushing those who were not quite ready for an economy "red in tooth and claw" left, to the point where many did take up that same slogan. "Socialism!"

It's all too bad, because the post-war ratio of government and private effort was really pretty good, and it now represents the "missing middle" in American politics.

1st - The Soviets weren't a beacon to the world-wide proletariat. The western leftists were hoping for socialism that wasn't run by gangsters.

2nd - How would you know?

'Let's not adress the underlying problems'

Um, think soccer hooligans - the underlying problem is drunken violence. And it is quite likely that many of the people involved in buying up the alcohol are AfD voters who have no interest in a bunch of drunk hooligans committing violence in their town. That the NY Post article is based on a BBC article based on a Bild article may give a hint of the in depth information being presented, particularly as it is likely that the NY Post article is actually longer than the original Bild article.

Sounds like someone is about to make a killing charging $25/beer to the neo-Nazis. Or maybe the neo-Nazis will find a nice substitute in wine?

Per Tyler’s question about the inelasticity of beer supply, I suppose the town is banking on the difference in willingness to a) sell Nazis beer you already have and b) order beer to sell specifically to Nazis.

The real story here is that judges can just ban alcohol and that the police can seize (and probably destroy) over 4,200 litres.

It is very questionable that judges prohibit adult alcohol consumption at a (basically private) festival on the grounds that something could happen.

Rights apply to everybody, even to Nazi scum.

A liberal state is liberal when it deals fairly with its enemies and grants them the same rights. One does not save the liberal state with illiberal thinking and hypocrisy.

In states like the modern Germany one has the impression: Against Nazis nearly everything is allowed, because it serves a “good cause”. Well, it's not a good cause.

The law -- German law in this case -- applies equally to everyone.

Germany does not allow those who advocate for the elimination of basic human rights to be able to have formal organizations.

In Germany, human rights apply to everyone, and such rights cannot be eliminated even through the legislative process.

It is not illiberal to say firmly that no one -- not even the government -- is permitted to eliminate human rights.

Rights of association are basic human rights. So clearly the German government is permitted to eliminate human rights.

"Rights of association are basic human rights. "

No.

For example, in the USA, criminals on probation are not permitted to associate with former prisoners.

In the USA, those who hold casino licenses are not permitted to associate with known or suspected criminals.

There is no unfettered right of association, neither in Germany or elsewhere.

In Germany, a neo-Nazi group is a criminal organization.

Criminal organizations are not permitted.

In the USA, criminal organizations are also not permitted.

Indeed, the USA regularly prosecutes those who participate in the activities of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.

Criminals are not permitted to freely associate with each other, either in Germany or in the USA.

Yes, the US curtails Rights of Association. I didn't claim otherwise.

You however made the obviously false claim that the German government isn't permitted to eliminate human rights. That's just a ridiculous claim. As your own post admits, Germany curtails various human rights of criminals.

@RPM

There’s an article in the Constitution of Germany which says that people can forfeit fundamental rights like freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and even property rights, if you “fight against the liberal democratic basic order”.

But this article has never been applied in the history of modern Germany so far, because even the German Constitutional Court judges basically say that the article is too extreme and too absurd.

However, there are always certain German politicians who seriously mention this article and demand that people lose their fundamental rights, if they use language that is "uninhibited" (whatever that is), because thoughts and words could lead to violence. I’m not joking here.

German courts have found that one can violate the criminal law -- Straftatbestand der Volksverhetzung i. S. v. § 130 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 des Strafgesetzbuches (StGB) -- if one engages in attacks orally or in writing against the "Menschenwürde" -- human dignity -- of others.

See that's one reason why Germany needs a First Amendment. Now you get it.

But you still don't get this specific law at all. The law, at its core, is about "disturbing the public peace", that's the key part of the law. Whatever "disturbing the public peace" is though. That party is really fishy and highly problematic. And not only this part, other parts as well. Another reason for a First Amendment.

'See that's one reason why Germany needs a First Amendment.'

Um, you do know that Volksverhetzung covers advocating for the extermination of a group, right? And that in Germany, this is not a theoretical framework, it was actual state policy over a number of years, involving the intentional death of millions of people.

Germany is not a slippery slope case when it comes to people calling themselves Nazis wanting to have the German state resume mass murder.

'is about "disturbing the public peace"'

Um, sort of? A public event can disturb the public peace, for whatever reason. However, advocating for a return to genocidal policies is not disturbing the peace, it is Volksverhetzung. Again, do keep in mind (hard to imagine one needs to write this) that the Nazis killed millions of people as part of their explicitly stated political program. No one wants to return to mass murder being a policy tool of the German state - well, except for those that call for a return of Nazi policies.

Dude,

You copy-paste your slippery slope bull under every comment, never on topic, like a bot. One time not being on topic is more than enough. No need to yell and spam it under every comment, it doesn't make your statements more true.

I will assume you are bot from now on, any other possibility would be even more disturbing.

'One time not being on topic is more than enough'

I like how talking about Germany's history regarding its current treatment of Nazi ideology advocating individuals and associations is not on topic to you, in comments regarding a post titled 'How to fight neo-Nazis is beer supply really so inelastic in the short run?'.

'it doesn't make your statements more true'

Well, hard as this might be imagine, the German state actually did intentionally murder millions of people, only stopping after the destruction of the Nazis through the Allies. I am surprised you were unaware of that fact.

'I will assume you are bot from now on'

Well, that is still less disturbing than what I assume you are at this point, with your vigorous concern for a bunch of Germans interested in having the German state return to committing mass murder as state policy.

None of the Germans I know (after living in Germany for a quarter of a century) have any sympathy for the free speech rights of anyone advocating a resumption of genocide.

"forfeit fundamental rights like freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and even property rights, if you “fight against the liberal democratic basic order”."

Well, this means any parties with "socialism" in their title should be classified as criminal organizations by the German constitution and not just the "national socialist" ones. Otherwise, it is just hypocrisy to forbid a neo-nazi party and allow for a Marxist party.

In my opinion, I think we should allow people to organize around associations that advocate for the destruction of the liberal democratic order. That is, we can allow people to form an association of "socialist writers". Although we should not allow people from these associations to run for public office. That is, you can create an association that advocates for socialism, but your socialist association cannot become a political party since socialism and democracy are incompatible. That applies to national socialists (e.g. Nazis, National Bolsheviks) as well as international socialists (e.g. Lenin, AOC, Bernie, etc).

The article that I mentioned is for individuals only. It's called Article 18, and as I said: It was never used before and hopefully never will be.

But you are not far off, there is an extra article for banning political parties. It's part of Article 21. The criteria in both articles are indeed comparable:

Political parties (and individuals, see Article 18) can be banned if they try to abolish the liberal democratic basic order. But there is a second criteria for both articles: The party (or the individual) must be a realistic threat. They must have a realistic chance to succeed.

Article 21 was successfully applied only two times in the history of modern Germany: The first time in 1952 against the Socialist Reich Party, which tried to copy the NSDAP. And the second time in 1956 against the KPD, the infamous Communist Party of Germany, a reestablishment from the Weimar Republic.

Today, party bans have become very unlikely, because the German Republic is so stable that modern Nazi parties (like the NPD) are not a realistic threat anymore.

'I think we should allow people to organize around associations that advocate for the destruction of the liberal democratic order'

Well, you see, that actually happened in Germany, followed by the intentional mass murder of millions of people by the German state. There is no slippery slope argument in the case of Germany.

After that genocidal German government was destroyed, it was agreed to on a fundamental level that Germany would not allow itself to again become a genocidal state, using any means at its disposal to prevent that from recurring.

'Otherwise, it is just hypocrisy to forbid a neo-nazi party and allow for a Marxist party.'

You do know that the German Communist Party was banned in West Germany in 1956, right?

There is no slippery slope argument in Germany - people who follow or advocate Nazi ideology have already made abundantly clear that they are people who wish to have the German state resume genocide. Surprisingly enough, no one in Germany has the right to associate while believing in, and advocating for a resumption of, mass murder.

Deal with it - Germans advocating any style of Nazism lost their 'we are only theorizing about killing millions, not actually doing it' excuse in 1945. Which, of course, is why so many Nazis are so desperate to deny that a genocidal ideology actually killed millions of people - it clearly places Nazism outside of any possible consideration as anything but an ideology used to justify mass extermination as state policy.

And the German state has made clear that it will not only not engage in mass murder, it will do everything in its power to prevent a resumption of mass murder by those claiming to be Nazis.

@C (and others)

You have not addressed any of my points. Not a single one. That's quite hard to do. And don't teach me about German laws. I know them quite well. I talked mostly about banning alcohol consumption on private festivals, not much else.

“In Germany, a neo-Nazi group is a criminal organization.”

That’s just not true. Organizations like NPD are obvious neo-Nazis. Forbidding them is not that easy, not even in Germany.

But more and more Germany tries to ban thoughts and opinions, and of course such a development is always really problematic. Germany needs a clear First Amendment as in the US. Unfortunately, this huge opportunity for real liberalism was missed after WW2.

So now here we are, sliding more and more into an illiberal state.

If things keep going wrong in similar ways, this development will ultimately help illiberal figures (such as Nazis) the most.

"“In Germany, a neo-Nazi group is a criminal organization.”

That’s just not true. "

The German legal system, through its courts based on the German constitution and statutes, defines what organisations are proscribed.

It is not based on the opinions of passers-by.

I see no basis for the statement:

"Germany needs a clear First Amendment as in the US."

I do see why some outside wish for that, yet I see no such need within Germany.

Germany has a full panoply of democratic activity, with parties that oppose and vigorously the German government in the national and state capitals.

No deficit of democracy is apparent.

“No deficit of democracy is apparent.”

I talked about a deficit of freedom of speech apparently. It’s always good to have a First Amendment for reasons of freedom in itself. No need to talk about anything else. You constantly distract from the topic.

“The German legal system, through its courts based on the German constitution and statutes, defines what organisations are proscribed.”

Of course. Trivial non-sense sentences, nothing else. But that’s not all at what you claimed in the beginning. Again: Nazi groups, Nazi festivals, Nazi assemblies, and so on, are not illegal per se in Germany. How could they be? It would be against fundamental rights, obviously. Nazi scum has fundamental rights, too. You cannot take those rights away, at least not easily and per se.

'It’s always good to have a First Amendment for reasons of freedom in itself. '

After a previous German state intentionally killed millions of people as part of its explicit policy, there was a broad consensus that the succeeding German state would do everything in its power to prevent a resumption of mass murder.

You seem to think that the 1st Amendment is intended to ignore the results of speech (which has never been the case, by the way - the 1st Amendment does not protect a credible direct threat to murder someone, for example). In the case of Germany, those advocating a resumption of previously implemented genocidal policies are not considered to be merely people saying something abstract, but are instead advocating for a return of a mass murdering totalitarian state. Having already experienced that state, Germany has no desire to let it return to power.

Germany has never tried liberty and discovered it led to totalitarianism; they have always feared liberty and thus have never allowed it to be tried.

@Lunatic
Great comment. Exactly.

'Organizations like NPD are obvious neo-Nazis'

Not according to their lawyers.

Shouldn't it be banded together?

Could be word play, though of a pretty poor grade. Particularly as the actual event was a 'music festival'.

What's a Neo-Nazi? A Nazi is a Nazi. The Neo doesn't fool me.

It is a generation shift that probably is no longer relevant. In 1980, there were plenty of actual Nazis still around, while someone born in 1960 could not be a real Nazi in the sense of having actually sworn an oath to Hitler while Hitler was still alive.

At this point, the neo can probably be dropped, unless one wishes to emphasize that these people are just playing at being real Nazis, compared to their grandfathers.

The facts here are that a court in Dresden has banned an illegal group from having a large gathering with alcohol.

The police enforced the court's order.

Villagers, who suspected that the illegal may seek to violate the court's order, also bought up beer at local supermarkets.

The supermarket cannot lawfully seek to sell such beer to the illegal group.

To do so would be a crime, and any such seller would itself be subject to prosecution.

The question posed:

"is beer supply really so inelastic in the short run?"

is not apt.

The question could be: is the supply of criminal contraband so inelastic in the short run?

Likely they'd be selling to individuals, not the group.

Also, now that everyone knows, can't they bring their own?

If a German supermarket or other entity has a reasonable basis to conclude that the person purchasing the beer would be doing so as a part of his activities within a criminal organization, then such sales would be illegal.

In Germany, one cannot knowingly sell goods or services to criminal organizations or to their members who are participating in such criminal organizations.

In the USA, one can lawfully sell rat poison.

Yet one cannot lawfully sell rat poison to a person or group if one reasonably knows that the rat poison will be used to kill humans because such homicide is a crime.

In Germany, advocating for the elimination of basic human rights is a crime.

Thank God I don't live in that Prussian anthill.

@C

"The supermarket cannot lawfully seek to sell such beer to the illegal group."

Omg, everything you write is wrong. The group is not illegal. The festival is not illegal. The courts banned alcohol at the festival. Of course those Nazis can walk to the next supermarket and buy as much as beer as they want to and drink it. They just cannot drink it directly at the festival. But they can drink it everywhere else. Just not at the festival. Don’t write things you don’t know anything about. That’s why the villagers tried to buy all the beer. You act like these villagers are stupid. They are not.

I believe that the villagers acted rationally.

You are incorrect as to the liability that a German supermarket would face.

What liability??? That you can't sell beer to Nazis??? That the courts said you can't sell beer to Nazis? They never said that. On what basis would they say that? You are just extremely ignorant, that's all. Switching topics all the time.

I believe it is pointless to debate whether one could face liability for abetting the violation of Article 130.

You clearly believe that one cannot.

Article 130 has nothing to do with selling alcohol to Nazis at all. Nothing at all. You have no clue, that's the basic problem here.

Yes, it seems to be real. They are coming in all sorts of no- de-guerres, they are on their way to the world, they are so close to the world, so to say! Who or what will keep them out of their way. People, yes, the so-called people are welcoming them back to rule the roost all over the world. Who have rooted for and voted for more than ignoble peoples like Donald Trump in USA, Narendra Modi in India! The list is endless. The so-called people themselves are no less ignoble, They are morally degraded, they have no ethical rectitude, they don't give a damn care to human values. Their human characters have been going downhill insistently and devastatingly since the 2nd. World War. Technology and Super-Technology, Capital and Super-Capital, Market and Super-Market, Knowledge and Super-Knowledge have got them bogged down, and led their conscience and intuition to the infernal world. So-called Blue Boy philosophers have done nothing but to confuse them led them astray. And this way, the history has come to a full circle. We now urgently need a Marx, not Lenin or Stalin, nor a Mao. Do anybody have the daring capacity of being a Marx, and from being a Marx to becoming a new Marx (I do agree that Marx too has his spatio-temporal limitations and reservations) - only a Marx-like people can turn around this upturned world. Otherwise it is true Fascism that his way ahead.

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