«There Will Come Ambitious Understudies…». The Evolution of Right Extremism in the German in the Late XX – Early XXI Centuries

Belinsky A.V.

Abstract

The present article explores the evolution of right extremism in the FRG in the late XX – early XXI centuries. It is noted that between the 1990s and the middle of the 2000s, the National-Democratic party of Germany had strong positions on the rightmost flank of the political spectrum along with the Nazi-skinheads and a number of other ultra-right organizations. The political success of the NDPG was attributable to the high unemployment rates in the «new» Federal Lands of the FRG and weakness of democratic parties (CDU, SDPG, FDP) combined with the popularity of nationalist ideas in Eastern Germany. However, by the middle of the 2000s it became absolutely clear that the mobilization potential of national-democrats had been depleted. This was primarily caused by the inability of the party leaders to implement a modernization program similar to that of the «National Front» or «Austrian Liberty Party», a number of inner scandals and the negative image of the party. Strengthening of «Alternative for Germany» led to the outflow of party members and electorate towards the new right-populist party and, finally, to the marginalization of NDPG. In the end, the «old» rights were urged to yield to new forms of right extremism, the most significant of which are the «Imperial Citizens», this being the identarist movement of autonomous nationalists. While the «Imperial Citizens» banked on the creation of parallel quasi-state formations and limitation of all contacts with the state authorities, autonomous nationalists and identarists were striving to undermine the political system of the FRG from within by means of propaganda or violence. The greatest danger for the public and state order of the country comes from autonomous nationalism, which is taking the form of political terrorism fueled by the migration crisis and social discord.

Keywords

NDPG; right extremism; imperial citizens; autonomous nationalism.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.01.06

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