Why do some people hate conservatives

Right in the middle?

The mood in Germany in 2015 is tense: After the "walks" of the "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" (Pegida) since autumn 2014 in Dresden and other cities as well as the ongoing discussions about it, it seems to be in parts of society - namely expressly not only on their fringes - to have become increasingly socially acceptable, to openly represent xenophobic attitudes. In the Saxon town of Heidenau and elsewhere, under the protective cloak of freedom of expression, vicious slogans are now being used against the accommodation of refugees, while hatred is unbridled on the Internet.

Nevertheless, the classification is not easy: Because the corresponding ideas thrive not only on the streets of structurally weak regions or in relevant online forums, and it is by no means only disseminated by people who would describe themselves as right-wing radicals. But what are you dealing with then? The answer is to be sought in a movement that not only has different models, but also pursues different strategies than right-wing extremists with sympathy for Hitler and National Socialism. At the same time, however, it adheres to a set of ideas that is everything that the liberal society in which we live does not want to be: authoritarian, anti-democratic, anti-Western, xenophobic and homophobic. We are talking about the "New Right".

Classification and appearance

An important precursor movement emerged in France in the early 1970s under the name "Nouvelle Droite" and was largely shaped by the publicist Alain de Benoist. In the meantime, structures have emerged in Germany that enable their representatives to influence established organizations such as political parties and media houses. In order to be able to illuminate the entire phenomenon better and not to stop at the somewhat narrow scientific definition, I will consciously write down "new rights" in the further course of this text.

The thinking and work of several right-wing intellectuals from the Weimar period, who are subsumed under the term "conservative revolution" and who agitated against the young democracy in the 1920s, forms an important intellectual basis for the new right movements. Some of their most famous representatives were Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Oswald Spengler, Edgar Julius Jung and Carl Schmitt. One of her strengths was the ability to bring radical thinking and bourgeois appearance together. At that time the protagonists were anchored in the middle of society, moved in salons and reading circles, published in newspapers and magazines with high circulation, both in the extreme spectrum and in the conservative, sometimes even in the trade union milieu. Some of them later came into conflict with the Nazis, some even lost their lives in the process. Nevertheless, Arthur Moeller van den Bruck's book "The Third Reich" from 1923 to the present day is considered one of the most influential works for building up National Socialism.

Orientation towards the protagonists of the Conservative Revolution has a great advantage for today's imitators: Many claims and demands that are heard from the new right do not initially sound like right-wing or fascist ideology. This is of course intentional - anyone who professes Hitler's ideas or Goebbels’s demagogy today is outlawed tomorrow. Nonetheless, with a mixture of an analysis that dehumanizes the political, a cynicism towards minorities, a contempt for "effeminate" democracy and an enthusiasm for an aesthetic of strength, it appears both elitist and brutal. It acts up intellectually, renounces violence and yet spreads pure hatred of everything that makes our society worth living in today.

How toxic this cocktail can be is shown by two examples that have attracted a certain amount of media attention. In January 2015 Michael Miersch, one of the founders of the once liberal-conservative blog "Axis des Guten" announced that he would retire as the blog's author and editor. He justified his step with the changed character of the "axis". Largely unnoticed, the thoughts against which the blog was initially directed became the norm there. "The culturally pessimistic, anti-Western, national-conservative counterpoint to the axis was represented at the time by publicists such as Konrad Adam and Alexander Gauland," stated Miersch, referring to the early days of the blog. Although it was precisely these gentlemen who were part of the leadership of the AfD, those authors who understand AfD and Pegida are now "clearly in the majority" on the "Axis". Miersch based his observations on the "monocultural conceit" observed in the blog, on absurd claims such as "the EU is more and more similar to the USSR and the euro is the worst destruction since the Second World War" or other (new right) views such as, " that today's Germany is decadent "or" sexual or other deviations from the norm are signs of decline. "[1]

Another, formerly respected organization from the liberal-conservative spectrum also made the experience that new right ideas are gaining power in their own ranks. We're talking about the Hayek Society. Its chairman at the time, economic journalist Karen Horn, who, like Miersch, was completely unsuspected of cultivating a left-liberal concept of freedom, sounded the alarm in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" in May 2015 with clear words: "Accustomed to the attacks on freedom since the end of the Second World War especially from the left of the political spectrum, "many liberals would not have recognized the right-wing threat"; there is a threat of an infiltration of liberal circles. And she rightly asks: "Where does the brass come from on foreigners in their own ranks? The glossing over of discrimination? The abusive behavior towards equality, inclusion and integration? The taunts against homosexuals? The talk of the 'natural destiny of women'? The shrill calls for the 're-evangelization of the West' on which the survival of civilization depends? "[2] This was followed by a bitter struggle for direction within the Hayek Society, which with the resignation of Horn and numerous other members ultimately led to the division of the association .

It can already be heard in the examples: The agitators with whom Miersch and Horn are confronting stage themselves (not only in these cases) as victims. Strategically, this is a smart move. Even Arthur Moeller van den Bruck claimed in the 1920s that the Weimar democracy "tried to suppress any voice that was raised against this policy. It pursued the national and radical opposition instead of using it against the common enemy of the German nation ". [3] Today it is said that one is a victim of the "ruling caste", the "mainstream media", the "do-gooders" and overall the "system". Otherwise little has changed in the argumentation. The strategy is becoming more and more apparent: Anyone who warns of "dictating opinions", "bans on thinking and speaking" and "censorship" at first does not come under suspicion of trying to exclude other opinions themselves. If you take a closer look, however, it becomes clear that a staged defensive battle, an advanced self-defense situation, has long since become an attack.