This topic is a continuation of one on another forum topic.
It is being created here because the conversation on the other topic digressed greatly from the original topic (as it so often the case) - resulting in this new topic.
You can read the history of this conversation so far on the following post (the link below takes you to page 2, where this spin-off occurred.)
*Note: Benchmarks for recording crime statistics were changed in 2001.
Political Participation of rightist extremist parties in government: (incomplete list)
- 1968 - Baden-Württemberg: NPD** represented in state parliament with 9.8% of the vote (4,3% in national election)
- 1989 - Berlin: REPs** represented in state parliament with 7.5% of the vote.
- 1991 - Bremen: DVU** represented in state parliament with 6.2% of the vote.
- 1992 - Schleswig-Holstein: REPs** represented in state parliament with 6.3% of the vote.
- 1992 - Baden-Württemberg: REPs** represented in state parliament with 10.9% of the vote.
- 1996 - Baden-Württemberg: REPs** represented in state parliament with 9.1% of the vote.
- 2004 - Saxony: NPD** represented in state parliament with 9.2% of the vote.
- 2006 - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: NPD** represented in state parliament with 7.3% of the vote.
* State and national parliaments have a 5% barrier allowing only parties who gather sufficient votes to be reprented (plus those candidates winning a mandate in the direct election)
** DVU, NPD, REPs: Rightist extremist parties.
*** Not listed are a large number of local representatives and those entering parliaments on a direct mandate
Granted that statistics often do not necessarily convey sufficient information to gauge the impact or importance of a specific matter, the above list could be, up to a point, similar in other countries such as France, Italy or some of the Benelux countries. This comparison to other nations is a frequented passtime of politicians in Germany attempting to qualify and downplay the numbers. What these numbers do say in any case is that NS ideology is alive and well, and can in no way be attributed to some moronic right fringe that comes and goes. German democratic parties estimate that approximately 17% of voters can be counted on the extreme right (and some of these parties never fail to make attempts at addressing these potential voters).
(Zoom graph for sources/links)
Wow – this is shocking! I would never have guessed this. But as the old adage goes: “The proof is in the pudding.” By this I mean that I just recently spent some time in Germany (near Hamburg) and took a walk around the small town outside of Hamburg where I was staying. I was completely amazed at the number of Pro-Extremist graphiti and markings that were everywhere! I talked to my German friend about this, and he agreed that this is a growing concern for a lot of people. The way he talked about it, it sounded like there are not only now gangs in Germany that are acting this way (which as gangs are destructive forces anyway is not surprising) but that there are also adults and people in prominent positions who are fueling and not only allowing but supporting these extremist views (as your graph above indicates.)
This leads people (including the majority of Germans) to wonder what this will do for the future.
One optimistic view that my German friend had though is that the European Union, and the ‘coming together’ of the European nations for commerce is making too many people in Germany powerful and rich (in terms of available commerce) to risk ever doing anything ‘stupid’.
What do you think?
When speaking about the new flavors of national socialist thought in Germany, one always walks a fine line since the whole subject matter is, not surprisingly, still an extremely touchy one which tends to quickly polarize. I am unconvinced that rightist extremism in Germany is significantly larger or growing more quickly than in comparable European countries but that, for historical reasons, Nazism in Germany attracts more supporters than elsewhere.
Politicians such as Lepenne in France, Haider in Austria as well as a number of other extremist figure-heads very probably attract no less if not more sympathizers than extremist right parties here in Germany, but they are not considered national socialists, but rather right-wing nationalists. Nazi Parties in Germany have the significant “advantage” of being able to rely on the Third Reich Myths in addressing all those who are discontent for any number of reasons: either they are nationalists opposing the European Union or they are racists opposing liberal immigration laws, or they are unemployed and / or insufficiently educated and tend to fall for the first piper that comes along promising a better world. These very different groups would probably find it more difficult defining a common denominator in other countries.
People discussing Nazi ideology in Germany usually end up either (a) claiming that the threat is blown way out of proportion or (b) nothing or not enough is being done against a growing threat. Interestingly, they are both correct. Whenever a new crime which can be attributed to Neo-Nazis hits the front-page of a yellow-press newspaper, the outcry is huge and actionism demands that laws be passed, marches be organized, integration programs be financed. But when the frenzy subsides, people tend to go back to their very nonpolitical life until the next headline hits the newsstand.
One of the hopes in the 1990ies was that NS thought would die out with the war and post-war generations and that a new German citizen, brought up and educated in a (more or less) free society would ring in a time where Nazi ideology was something to be looked up in a school textbook. Regrettably, the exact opposite is true:
If one examines the last state elections in Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania, where the national socialist party received 7.3% or the vote, it is interesting to note, that they received 15% of all the votes of 18 to 24 year-olds (see embedded pie chart) but only 2% from senior citizens (60+). Granted, this eastern state, formerly part of the GDR (German Democratic Republic), has high unemployment rates (30%+ among youths) with ill educated young people who see no way out of their poverty.
But it is also true, that right-wing parties and organizations have, for the past 10 years, concentrated on this age group and are now reaping the rewards. Youth camps for underprivileged children, free youth centers, concerts (with right-wing rock bands of which there is by now a subculture), free CDs and pamphlets distributed near schools and a much more seemingly liberal, anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment appearance. Gone are the combat boots and bomber jackets as well as the old slogans from the 1930ies, replaced with much subtler dress and content.
|corridor_writers wrote: |
|One optimistic view that my German friend had though is that the European Union, and the "coming together" of the European nations for commerce is making too many people in Germany powerful and rich (in terms of available commerce) to risk ever doing anything "stupid". |
I certainly share his/her hopes but am convinced that we are not even halfway there yet and it is a road which we will not master by simply coasting. We will need to do some smart driving in order to get where we want.
I would tend to believe that the problem with the youth (not only for extremist views but in general in our society) is that these extremist views are “new” to the youth because they don’t understand their history, and as such these “new” ideas (which as you and I both know are actually very old ideas) are intriguing to them. They also tend to relate these views to current events only, without taking the time to understand the history and facts behind these views that more educated people take.
The fact that there ARE educated adults out there who “feed the fire” (so to speak) only make this worse, as they serve to add legitimacy to the youths narrow views.
The discussion on the rise of NS Ideologies has been created and moved to a seperate forum
Having spent some time in Austria, I am rather well acquainted with Jörg Haider, one of the more typical neo-populist, rightist European politicians of the past 20 years. He managed to make a name for himself with the more or less typical antisemitic and xenophobic slogans and making the usual "working-class" promises of job-security, lower taxes, higher social security benefits and the like. Your supplied link "Joerg Haider: The Rise of an Austrian Extreme Rightist" is a rather good description of Mr. Haider, but for a few details:
Although a number of members (about 15?) called for any number of sanctions, including revoking EU membership) and some of them did impose sanctions on their own, I don't believe the EU did sanction Austria.
Although the FPÖ was and is opposed to the EU, Mr. Haider himself did advocate EU-Membership for a number of years, most probably because it seemed both opportune and that this was a quasi replacement for the historic "pro-Anschluss" stand of the FPÖ (advocating a unification with Germany).
The above article is from 2004 so it lacks the latest installments of Mr. Haiders political career:
In 2005, after Mr. Haider's ill-fated attempt at regaining control of the party on a national level and molding it into something similar to Guido Westerwelle's FDP in Germany, he resigned his membership and founded the BZÖ (Alliance for the Future of Austria, Bündnis Zukunft Österreich). This split, with quite a few FPÖ representatives switching over to the BZÖ, also terminated a number of coalitions and divided the votes of these parties in upcoming elections, therefore both parties were no longer represented in a number of state parliaments. After internal strife, he resigned as head of this party although he still has quite some influence, both within the party and in hist home state Carinthia. Generally, he seems to have gone the way of so many similar characters, whose initial fame and fortune get caught up with reality and these persons' inability to secure a lasting political base among the far-right / national socialists, who, thankfully, are simply to egocentric and delusional to manage a political party.
Mr. Haider is, in many ways, comparable to Jürgen Möllemann of the German FDP: a man who (also) came to fame spouting antisemitic nonsense and generally catering to the biases of the uneducated and malinformed. His steep career as head of the FDP party, member of parliament and of the ruling coalition with the CDU/CSU under Helmut Kohl, he even managed to become Vice-chancellor of Germany (1992-1993), only to get caught up in his own antisemitic propaganda and accusations of arms dealings. His final exit was a bit more sensational, as he decided to refrain from opening his parachute while skydiving. It remains unclear if this is to be filed as accident, murder or suicide, but it does add to the myth.
Personally, I find it interesting that both the liberal parties in Germany and Austria (although the FPÖ does have a differing history), managed to produce these politicians. All parties have the odd member who will veer right, but seldom do these people manage to gain control of their parties as was the case here.
[URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jörg_Haider]Biography: Jörg Haider[/url]
BZÖ - Bündnis Zukunft Österreich (Alliance for the Future of Austria)
FPÖ - Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (Freedom Party of Austria)
[URL=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Möllemann]Biography: Jürgen Möllemann[/URL]
Biography: Guido Westerwelle
[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Democratic_Party_(Germany)]FDP - Freie Demokratische Partei (Free Democratic Party)[/url]
* NOTE: Some links are not accepted in URL bb-Code at FriHost as they contain characters such as ä,ö or ü. You will have to copy/paste these to the browser's address-bar. Appologies, can't think of a work-around for this problem at the moment.
WOW! That is a lot of detailed information. I am amazed at the level of research and interest you have taken in this subject. I am further amazed at the level to which this corruption seems to be present in our world.