Observations of East Germany in “Ostalgie”

Yesterday, I was replaying Ostalgie: The Berlin Wall after learning that the developer, Kremlingames, had added new endings for East Germany and Yugoslavia. This comes in the midst of an ongoing effort to complete the latest DLC for the next game in this series, China: Mao’s Legacy. I took some time yesterday to play it and I felt that I just need to offer them because they tie in with my conclusions about East Germany in The Third Place (1st Ed.) and on ARPLAN.

On ARPLAN, Bogumil and I are of the view that two opposing conceptions of German Nationalism emerged in West Germany and East Germany during the Cold War. The West German version presupposed that the German-speaking world must atone for the legacy of Hitlerism insofar as the Bonn Republic is in many respects a continuation of the Weimar Republic, albeit with new constitutional laws against the possibility of Hitlerism returning to power. The East German version, meanwhile, insisted that the Soviet Union had wiped the slate clean for the German-speaking world and that there is no need to atone for Hitlerism. If anything, the Soviets had given the German-speaking world a chance to begin anew and reevaluate its own Destiny, even if that means having to do so within the CMEA/Warsaw Pact.

These opposing conceptions of German Nationalism have fractured the German National Consciousness into two halves. Barring the Austrians, West Germans and East Germans continue to view each other as two separate nations, two separate Volksgemeinschaften (to borrow that term from Pan-Germanic Socialism). This fact alone actually confirms that, yes, Race is a social construct informed by the social relations between the Totality and their State, to which the Self is a member of both. Going by the original definitions of Race in Pan-Germanic Socialism, we can speak of a “West German Race” and an “East German Race,” and the German-speaking world itself is very open to that particular fact. These distinctions defy the collapse of the Berlin Wall, they defy the German-speaking world’s integration into the EU/NATO and the loss of its eastern territories, and they continue to inform the political-economic and social framework of the country we know as “Germany.”

In Ostalgie, these social relations are recreated and can be open to reinterpretation by playing the game as East Germany. As the only country in the Eastern Bloc adopting Automation and Information Technologies to replace the outdated, unsophisticated Soviet-Type Economic Planning (STEP) model, East Germany has the potential to overtake West Germany in adapting to Deindustrialization. One event involves the fostering of an East German Video Game Industry that coincides with the reevaluation of the German-speaking world past in the early 20th century.

Previously, East Germany can pursue the historical choice between reuniting with West Germany as an extension of Neoliberalism or through moderate Economic Liberalization and resisting reunification with West Germany. One of the choices associated with the latter involves redefining East German Nationalism to be more in line with National Bolshevism and the Conservative Revolution, officially affirming East Germany as the genuine successor to Prussia and giving the country more credibility over West Germany.

The latest update to the game now expands that particular route to include how the East German government should reevaluate itself in light of this. Should the ruling “Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED)” pursue the historical route of becoming the “Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS)” and eventually form “Die Linke” as East Germany begins reuniting with West Germany? Should the SED instead assume the mantle of the old KPD, the same KPD that is also the subject of ARPLAN in relation to National Bolshevism and the Conservative Revolution? Or should the SED leverage German Reunification on its own terms by abandoning Marxism-Leninism and rebranding itself as the East German branch of the “Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU)?”

That third option is actually the most entertaining one by far. In it, the SED launches an elaborate ploy to persuade the actual CDU/CSU into pursuing German Reunification on East German terms. By doing so, the nature of German Federalism in “Germany” changes to something more akin to what Bogumil and I discussed regarding Pan-Germanic Socialism’s interpretations of German Federalism. If, in a German-speaking world where Hitlerism did not exist and where the Second World War did not happen in the manner that it did, Pan-Germanic Socialism would have united the German-speaking world through the political process. Referendums would be held where the people must vote on the decision to form a new nation that encompasses the German-speaking world.

The justifications for such a proposal, both in-game and historically, have been articulated on Eurosceptic and Anti-Europeanist grounds. As I had argued on ARPLAN, Pan-Germanic Socialism is going to oppose the German-speaking world’s integration into the EU/NATO because the Pan-Europeanism espoused by the EU/NATO is antithetical to the idea of the German-speaking world becoming a single nation. After all, one of the goals of NATO is to specifically prevent the sort of scenario that Bogumil outlined on ARPLAN from ever repeating again after 1945: Russo-German Rapprochement tantamount to an economic and military alliance against Neoliberalism. This particular goal has recently become an overlooked and forgotten one in the English-speaking world. In fact, the game itself informs the player that any form of German Reunification will be opposed by UK, which at the time was governed by PM Margaret Thatcher. If the player intends East Germany to remain Marxist-Leninist, become National Bolshevik or Pan-Germanic Socialist, they can “support” Thatcher’s reelection campaign and ruin her reputation among the Tories. The Tories will accuse Thatcher of deviating from her Neoliberal principles and, through a Vote of No Confidence, side with John Major.

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