BMW – Global Icon of Leftist Terror?

Documentary posits that Baader-Mainhoff helped make BMW cool.

Culture, Found / , , , , ,

14 January 2013


BMW Brand / Terror (Updated 2013) from Richard Huffman on Vimeo.

This well made 15 minute documentary tracks the identification of the Baader-Meinhoff (aka Red Faction) terrorist group from 1970’s Germany with the BMW automotive brand. Despite a sensationalist comparison* with present day Al Qaeda, the film does a good job at showing how the leftist terror organization was able to add some cool caché to the then regional German auto manufacturer.

Here’s a link to the film’s creator, Richard Huffman.

* Sensationalist Comparison
The film attempts to use a 1970’s poll which demonstrated a large (14%) population of then West Germans would support/house a member of Baader-Meinhoff and compares that to the expected results you’d have here in the U.S. should that question include Osama bin Laden. I feel the comparison to be a little on the spurious side for a couple reasons. A) The whole nature of ‘terror’ has evolved since the 1970’s. My sense is that ‘terror’ in most cases was associated with PLO type hijackings, kidnapping, and the occasional assassination of wealthy financier types. I Guess I’m just a little unsure that the label ‘terrorist’ carries the same weight that it does today in a time where hundreds if not thousands die at the hands of terror plots. B) The linkage between a largely socioeconomic revolution (Red Faction) and a relgio-cultural revolution (Al Qaeda) has some problems. Socioeconomic revolution feels more like it’s about turning the tables on the uber-rich and entrenched classes while a religious revolution feels more akin to the complete abolishment of the core cultural roots a society is based upon. Socioeconomic revolution feels more akin to socialist struggles and breaking pre-determined societal structures. I will grant you that both are examples of revolution and both are terrorists, but to me socioeconomic revolution remains a little more palatable – especially in 1970’s Europe as opposed to 2013 USA. A better comparison might be to present-day leaders of Occupy Wallstreet than Osama.


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