Germany announces wide-ranging plans to restrict the speech, travel and economic activity of political dissidents, in order to better control the “thought and speech patterns” of its own people

EUGYPPIUS | 14 Feb 2024

After Germany’s defeat in 1945, Walter Ulbricht returned from exile in Moscow to become one of the founding politicians of the DDR. The new state, he said, “must look democratic, but we must have everything under control.” It has been 80 years since Ulbricht spoke those words, and while the DDR has faded away, their spirit lives on in the political establishment of the Federal Republic. Our present rulers are doing everything in their power to re-establish pseudodemocracy in the West. This is not a mere eugyppius exaggeration, and it is not sensationalism for internet clicks. It is what our politicians themselves are saying.

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As in the DDR, we hear that these antidemocratic measures are necessary to protect us from the threat posed by the right. The truth is much more mundane: Germany has one of the oldest party systems in Europe. As has already happened in many other countries, this post-war establishment is coming apart. While our neighbours have endured the rise of new parties and political structures with some measure of equanimity, our cartel politicians in Germany are terrified of losing power, and they will use all the tools at their disposal to keep hold of it – up to and including the suspension of democracy itself.

Alternative für Deutschland find themselves in the targets of our nominally democratic priesthood not because they are extremely right-wing, or racist, or xenophobic or anything like that. Politically, they’re hardly different from the CDU of the 1980s. Their real crime is having achieved enough strength to threaten the establishment ecosystem. The stronger AfD become, the harder it will prove for the reigning parties to form anti-AfD coalitions. Some of these parties, like the FDP, seem destined to disappear entirely; others, like the SPD, fear a future of permanent irrelevance. The once-dominant centre-right CDU, meanwhile, will find itself unable to form workable governments with partners on the left, and thus without any excuse not to enact the mild nationalism that a clear majority of voters demand, and that is so deeply out of fashion with our globalist rulers.

This is the purpose of the unceasing, astroturfed agitation “against the right” that the establishment have visited upon Germany for over a month now. The protests have not worked to destroy support for the AfD, so now they are being repurposed as a license to take enforcement action against “right-wing extremism.” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) said at a press conference on Tuesday that the protests have given her both “encouragement” and a “mandate” to proceed against the right. “This really is a very positive signal,” she said, “because it is about defending our open society against its enemies. As a democracy on the defence, we must stand up to the extremists.”

Nancy Faeser

Faeser spoke these words in the course of announcing a range of measures via which she hopes to combat “right-wing extremism.” These are also outlined in a 16-page Interior Ministry paper on “Resolutely Combating Right-Wing Extremism: Using the Instruments of Defensive Democracy.” Here, it is important to note that Faeser is among the most unpopular politicians in all of Germany. Last year she suffered a humiliating defeat in her effort to become Minister President of Hessen, and 60% of Germans view her unfavourably. That is powerful motivation to bring German democracy back under control. Her “package of measures” to combat “the right” are some of the most openly antidemocratic, dictatorial policies I have ever seen any Western politician articulate. In other nations these kinds of things are surely said behind closed doors, but in Germany they are printed in all the major papers. You can only imagine what these people contemplate in secret.

Faeser and her fellow political enforcers have such a wide-ranging, fluid understanding of what “right-wing extremism” constitutes, that the label can be deployed against basically anybody. The Interior Ministry paper claims that “The aim of right-wing extremists is to abolish liberal democracy and reshape our society according to their nationalist, racist and anti-pluralist ideas.” You might think, “well, that’s okay then, I’m a pluralist liberal,” but that would be as naive as thinking you were safe from the Stasi because you were not a fascist. The same paper proceeds to complain that “the extremist … New Right … aims to discuss topics and use terms that give their inhuman plans a harmless appearance.” Translated from democratese: “There are people out there who are not saying anything illegal but they have made themselves inconvenient anyway.” The president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, likewise spoke at the press conference of the tendency of “right-wing extremists” to “dress up and camouflage themselves.” They must “be unmasked and exposed … [as] enemies of our democracy.”

This construction of “right-wing extremism” as a cryptic, hidden quality that requires unveiling by the political police is unimaginably dangerous. You are never safe from a regime that thinks this way, because what you actually say, do or even believe doesn’t matter. You are guilty of “right-wing extremism” if Haldenwang’s office thinks you are. This flexibility is important, because the establishment are not actually interested in driving out zombie National Socialists. They want to neuter the political opposition, whatever its form or programme.

In what follows, therefore, you must remember that references to “right-wing extremism” are nothing but smears for political opponents. Likewise, resolutely uncharacterised and undefined references to “democracy” refer to nothing more than the establishment party system. When Faeser says that “we want to smash … right-wing extremist networks, we want to deprive them of their income, we want to take away their weapons,” she means that she wants to destroy and impoverish the people who disagree with her. When she says that “we want to use all the instruments of the rule of law to protect our democracy,” she means that she wants to use all the enforcement mechanisms available to the Interior Ministry to keep the opposition out of power.

Faeser, of course, was much more specific than that:

I would like to treat right-wing extremist networks in the same way as organised crimeThose who mock the state must have to deal with a strong state, which means consistently prosecuting and investigating every offence. This can be done not only by the police, but also by the regulatory authorities such as the catering or business supervisory authorities. Our approach must be to leave no stone unturned when it comes to right-wing extremists.

In the paper, too, there is much anger about the fact that “extremists … often mock the state and its institutions.” They must be taught to respect their betters, not only by police harassment, but by having their business and restaurant licenses revoked. The entire regulatory apparatus is to be repurposed for political enforcement.

The political police of the BfV must “intensify cooperation with state and local authorities,” which is another way of saying that they must more regularly inform local regulators of political misdeeds. Here it is not necessary that you be convicted of a specific crime to have your pub shut down. It is enough for the BfV simply to suspect you of “extremism.”

Faeser also wants to go after your bank account:

We must also uncover the financial links in right-wing extremist networks, in order to deprive them of their income. This is the principle of ‘follow the money.’ Operationally, we have significantly strengthened financial investigations at the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Banks are already being sensitised. Financial structures are being analysed in detail, but we are coming up against legal limitsAt present, financial investigations are limited to incitement to hatred and violenceThat is not enough. I therefore want to amend the law to ensure that the potential threat is taken into account. This involves other factors such as potential for action and social influence. We also need to make procedures faster and less bureaucratic. No one who donates to a right-wing extremist organisation should be able to rely on remaining undetected.

Faeser wants to change the law so that her Ministry can financially harass not only people who are suspected of “incitement to hatred and violence,” but also political opponents who merely exercise undue “social influence.” If you donate to an organisation that Faeser doesn’t like, she wants to publish your name and make you a target for state-affiliated paramilitary groups like Antifa. There is accordingly a great hue and cry from SPD and Green politicians to adopt their “Democracy Promotion Law,” which Renate Künast explicitly hopes will steer more funding to “Antifa groups” and other left-wing NGOs, many of which are heavily involved in ideological enforcement on behalf of the state.

Faeser is also angry that the political opposition can travel:

We are just as determined to restrict the international networking of right-wing extremists. Right-wing extremist hatred must neither be exported out of Germany nor imported into Germany. That is why we are working together with the relevant state authorities to prevent right-wing extremists from travelling in and out of the country as far as possible.

It’s great to know that one day I might find myself forbidden to leave Germany because of something I posted on the internet. This is just absolutely nuts.

Faeser also has big dreams of More Internet Censorship. To combat “hate crime,” she hopes to expand the “central reporting centre” of the Federal Police, so that they can intervene more actively on social media and “ensure the deletion of channels and content that are used to spread truly disgusting hate speech.” She is also establishing “an internal detection unit” to identify not only “disinformation,” but also internet “influence campaigns … so that we can put a stop to them”:

German right-wing extremists and foreign autocrats have something in common: they want to stir up anger and create divisions primarily through disinformation. This is done through lies, fake accounts and, in future, certainly even more so based on images or videos created using AI technology. … That is why we are setting up a new early detection unit in the Federal Ministry of the Interior. We need to recognise manipulation and influence campaigns at a very early stage so that we can stop them.

After Faeser finished this long diatribe, the political-policeman-in-chief Haldenwang got to speak, and his words were just as disturbing. He demanded that we “rethink our approach” to “right-wing extremism,” because the “phenomenon” is experiencing a “change”:

The boundaries between previously ideologically defined camps … are becoming blurred, making it difficult to localise them precisely.

The only thing that has changed is Haldenwang’s perspective. He has adopted an entirely new understanding of “right-wing extremism,” namely one that embraces all non-establishment politics. When you begin to suspect one-fifth of your nation’s population of political crime, the boundaries indeed shift and it becomes quite hard to “localise” ideological malfeasance.

Thomas Haldenwang

Halendwang is thus very worried about what people are thinking. The project, as he sees it, is not only combatting “the willingness to use violence,” but also addressing “shifting verbal and mental boundaries.” Yes, this man has indeed assumed responsibility for policing what people think:

Right-wing extremists make use of the fears and experiences of crisis among the population in order to radicalise the political fringes and spread their agenda to the middle classes. We must be careful not to allow such thought and speech patterns to become part of our language.

He’s also very disturbed that people on the “New Right” go to conferences and give speeches:

In the spectrum of the New Right, we see networking endeavours that extend beyond the small circle of right-wing extremist intellectuals and also radiate into the parliamentary sphere. From there, there are established links at various levels to actors and organisations of other right-wing extremists. These are structural connections within a strategically operating network. This network is characterised by reciprocal invitations to events, interviews and guest contributions for online formats and meetings in the real world. …

To summarise: “Right-wing extremists” are a nebulous and difficult-to-identify population of political subverters, who must be unmasked by the political police. This is necessary to control prevailing “thought and speech patterns” in Germany. Once these extremists have been identified by our guardians of orthodoxy, they are to be punished for their mockery of the state, and the regulatory apparatus is to be repurposed to deprive them of everything from income to bank accounts. Their names are to be published so that they can be more easily intimidated and harassed by state-adjacent organisations for their political views, and they are to be prevented from crossing borders and from associating with each other. This is a direct summary of things that a sitting German Interior Minister and one of her top bureaucrats actually said at a national press conference four days ago.

If the establishment succeeds via these measures in quashing the opposition, the Federal Republic of Germany will develop a politics not unlike the bloc party system of the old DDR. The bloc parties were mere satellites that governed in nominal partnership with the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED), generally approving all SED proposals. While Germany would not have a clear ruling party like the SED, the freezing of the political ecosystem would formalise the present role of the Green Party as king-makers, and Green policies would become effectively impossible to vote against. This is clearly what our ruling establishment and the Green-adjacent state media hope to achieve.

To maintain such a system – and to make it resilient to undesirable electoral outcomes – it will prove necessary to insulate the political police from political oversight. Powerful people are already thinking about this, especially in the east, where AfD are so strong they have a serious chance of entering government after the September elections:

In view of the AfD’s possible electoral victory, [Stephan Kramer, head of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution], warned that the security interests of the Federal Republic could be affected in the Bundestag and state parliaments. Precautions are therefore required to protect secret information.

“For example, it would be worth considering whether we should subject elected officials who want to work in particularly sensitive areas to a security check,” Kramer said …”This must be regulated by law and, in my opinion, is more than appropriate given the security interests of the Federal Republic of Germany that are worth protecting.”

If the constitutional protectors are allowed to screen their own elected overseers, the transformation of Germany into a pseudodemocracy will be very nearly complete. The political police will select minders who are amenable to their enforcement programme, and thereby come to operate as semi-autonomous secret police. Establishment politicians, who depend upon the political police to keep the opposition at bay, will be inclined to expand their prerogatives to enforce the politics also of elected officials. The result will be a quiet coup that nobody quite notices until it is far too late to do anything about it.

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