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How do I find a book? Can I borrow this item? Not any longer. Never since the end of the Nazi era has a right-wing party enjoyed such broad cultural support. How did this happen?
Scheidung in Ost- und Westdeutschland
The AfD was founded in by a group of perfectly respectable, deeply uncharismatic economics professors. The professors opposed the euro, since, in their eyes, it placed excessive financial burdens on the German taxpayer and sowed discord among European states. But they did not demand the dissolution of the European Union itself in the way right-wing populists elsewhere in Europe have done. Like other new parties, the AfD attracted all kinds of political adventurers. Since there was a mainstream conservative view opposing many of these decisions, the AfD could now occupy space to the right of the CDU without suspicion of being undemocratic or of harking back to the Nazi past.
With outward success came internal strife. And then the party was saved by Angela Merkel. Many fear that the German state is losing control of the situation, and blame Merkel for failing to negotiate a genuinely pan-European approach to the crisis. Others have gone further. A promoter of both free-market ideas and Christian fundamentalism she has gone on record as saying that border guards might have to use firearms against refugees trying illegally to cross the border—including women and children. After much criticism, she conceded that children might be exempted, but not women.
Such statements are meant to exploit what the AfD sees as a broadening fear among voters that the new arrivals pose a deep threat to German culture. The AfD will present a full-fledged political program after a conference at the very end of April, but early indications are that there will be a heavy emphasis on preventing what the party views as the Islamization of Germany.
It is here that the orientation of AfD and the far more strident, anti-Islam Pegida movement most clearly overlap. Pegida not only lives off diffuse fears there are hardly any Muslims in Dresden , but also questions the democratic system as such.
In fact, many far-right groups in Germany have appropriated this symbol to signal that they consider the current state illegitimate even though Josef Wirmer, the designer of the flag, was a Catholic democrat who was executed by the Nazis; his son has said the Wirmer family might sue Pegida demonstrators for using the banner. Here is where German intellectuals come into the story. Journalists and academics have had a hard time understanding why the Pegida movement emerged when it did and why it has attracted so many people in Germany; there are branches of the Pegida movement in other parts of Europe, but they have gathered only marginal support thus far.
Only the Japanese have even less of it—presumably because they also lived through postwar pacifism. It follows that the angry demonstrators are doing a damn good thing by helping to fire up thymos in German society. Sloterdijk regularly takes on controversial subjects such as genetic engineering and delights in provoking what he sees as an intellectual left lacking in humor and esprit.
Prof. Dr. Sighard Neckel
His books, which sell extremely well, are not so much driven by clear-cut arguments as suggestively offering philosophical, and often poetic, re-descriptions of recent history, or even the history of the West as a whole. In his volume Rage and Time , in which he also takes his cues from Nietzsche, Sloterdijk argued that in the West thymos had been largely forgotten because of the dominance of eros in consumer capitalism, with the result that envy and resentment dominate the inner lives of citizens.
As Schmitt saw it, the sovereign could, in order to save the polity in a situation of crisis, suspend the constitution by declaring a state of exception. He added that whoever decides whether there really is an existential threat to a state is revealed as the supreme power.
Wolfgang Zapf - Wikipedia
Today, Sloterdijk holds, it is not the state, the nominal sovereign, but the refugee who decides on the state of exception. Such rhetoric indicates a potentially profound shift in German political culture: it is now possible to be an outspoken nationalist without being associated with—or, for that matter, without having to say anything about—the Nazi past.
Kubitschek tells Pegida demonstrators that it is a pleasure lust to be angry. Invoking half-understood bits and pieces from the ecological theories of E. These ideas have been met with significant resistance. Nassehi and Kermani are among the most thoughtful intellectual voices in Germany today.
Both also happen to be second-generation immigrants whose parents came to Germany from Iran in the s. The AfD might yet fail to establish itself in the political system. But neither conservatives nor nationalists are likely to forgive her for her stance during the refugee crisis. Three-quarters of Germans now expect the AfD to enter parliament in the national elections in In the face of the migration crisis and populist shift within the EU, the outmoded and stale division between New and Old Europe is coming back into favor in European public debate.
Read more. The Reichstag fire shows how quickly a modern republic can be transformed into an authoritarian regime. There is nothing new, to be sure, in the politics of exception. The American Founding Fathers knew that the democracy they were creating was vulnerable to an aspiring tyrant who might seize upon some dramatic event as grounds for the suspension of our rights. To this day, we do not know who set the Reichstag fire: the lone anarchist executed by the Nazis or, as new scholarship by Benjamin Hett suggests, the Nazis themselves.
What we do know is that it created the occasion for a leader to eliminate all opposition. The Czech state has set out to fight for the truth and against disinformation using untrustworthy representatives, inspired by a controversial think tank that employs problematic methods. To oppose a disinformation campaign by Russia based on spreading fake news, we have the fake expertise of a think tank that exerts influence on the state administration. Under such circumstances it is not surprising that a center that was meant to confront Russian propaganda has thus far managed only to defend its own existence.
This short message, projected on a building near the Romanian government's headquarters, was the main message from hundreds of thousands of people to their politicians. A total of , people gathered in Romania that night, making it the largest protest movement in the country since Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism.
Behind the New German Right
Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.
Following the initial shock of Donald J. The same people who portrayed a Trump victory as apocalyptic will come to see it as business as usual. To whatever extent we may be tempted to call the current threat fascism, it must be acknowledged that we no longer live in the world of s Europe. This, instead, would be a fascism born of a bourgeois fantasy of enduring domination, given shape, for example, as the American dream - white, Christian, heteronormative, masculine.
Despite all the immoral and unlawful efforts of the government to influence the Hungarian voters, the majority of them did not cast votes, and made the referendum invalid. The presidential election situation that arose in Austria in May and will be repeated in October—a run-off between the Greens and the far right—has never occurred in Europe before.
But it starkly reveals a fundamental political conflict that can be found in many Western democracies today. Rather, on one side of the new conflict are those who advocate more openness: toward minorities at home and toward engagement with the world on the outside. Law and Justice may also face growing isolation on the European level, especially if it does not find an acceptable solution for the constitutional crisis and continues questionable practices in the media sphere.
Tr nsit Online Authors Bradley F. Abrams History, Stanford University Read more. Seit wirkt er freischaffend als Sozialwissenschaftler und Publizist. Seine Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind Diskurs- und Kulturgeschichte der deutschen Zweistaatlichkeit und der ostdeutschen Transformation sowie die Generationengeschichte der DDR und Ostdeutschlands. History, Oxford Read more. In he was awarded the Latsis Prize of the European Science Foundation for his work on immigration and social cohesion in modern societies.
Among his many publications are Immigration and Boundaries of Citizenship , Transnational Citizenship: Membership and … Read more.