The interview was conducted by Flore Murard-Yovanovitch for the Italian Magazine “Left” http://www.left.it/
1. What is the origin of the Pegida movement, how was it born? What is the meaning of the fact it is developing in Dresden, a war-torn city that is socialist/stalinist. Continuity with History?
Pegida started around 13 Weeks ago with marches of several thousand people, but these marches grew very quickly. There are obviously fascist and right-wing extremists in this movement, but they managed to attract many “ordinary” people with right-wing tendencies from the middle class and even from the lower classes. It is actually a right-wing grass-roots movement, that was organized through the internet and social network sites – and it grew steadily by not only regional, but also countrywide mobilizations.
During the rallies in Dresden, there were many people from other cities of Germany as well. The new aspect is the insistence of non-violence” during the marches, which stands in stark contrast to the usual actions of the viciously brutal German fascist movement. Take the violent “anti-islam” demonstration of fascist hooligans in Cologne last October as an example, where the fascists started to hunt for immigrants. We should also not forget the German fascist terrorist organisation NSU (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund), that was uncovered just three years ago – and whose members are responsible for at least 8 killings of immigrants. Even now, there is a spike in attacks on immigrants and leftwingers, but this violence did not occur during the marches and demonstrations of Pegida.
5. What is the meaning of this racial movement, the return of racism in German/European societies? Can it be interpreted as neo-nazism? Or is it something new?
But there is more to it. The resurgence of identity-politics, from nationalism to separatism, is also rooted in this crisis-driven “extremism of the middle” and the accompanying “conformist rebellion”. When everything collapses around you, when the society is in turmoil, many people start to look for some foothold, some certainties. And they think to find it in their identity, that enables them to imagine a stable basis of the crumbling society – and the expulsion of all those foreign elements that are imagined as the culprits of the crisis. Hence the rise of Nationalism and Islamism in the past decades – these are both crisis-ideologies that enable the same irrational reaction. In the crisis-stricken Arab countries, there is the religion as the dominant ideological force in the “middle” of these societies. And the Islamic are driving this religious belief, that are the basis of identity, to its extreme ideological forms. The Islamic State is in effect a religious-fascist organisation that erected its regime of terror in the socio-economic wastelands of the Middle East. In Europe, the national identity is the breeding ground for fascist crisis-ideologies. So, European fascism and Arab Islamism are just two culturally different irrational crisis-ideologies.
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