Against the Illusion of the “Middle-Class Camp”

The following op-ed by Manfred Kleine-Hartlage provides some political context for the recent elections in Dresden, in which the PEGIDA candidate did surprisingly well, but declined to continue to the second round.

JLH, who translated the piece, includes this observation:

Here is a peroration by another voice on the right about the meaning and meaninglessness of political terminology, and a sameness of parties that sounds familiar (can you say RINO?).

The translated op-ed from Zuerst!:

Against the Illusion of the “Middle-Class Camp” — And for the Courage to Call Oneself “Right”

by Manfred Kleine-Hartlage
June 25, 2015

In the first round of the mayoral election in Dresden, Tatjana Festerling, as the PEGIDA candidate, ended with circa 10% of the votes. Yet, for the second round, to which she would have been entitled entry, she withdrew her candidacy and called for the election of the FDP-but-running-as-independent politician, Dirk Hilbert.

There may be good grounds for such a call, especially if seen as dependent on favorable political circumstances — of which, to be sure, nothing is known. Festerling’s motivation was different: So as not to split the “middle class/conservative camp, to which we [PEGIDA] also belong.” Here we have a sentence in which nothing — right down to the choice of words — makes any sense. But which, in its adherence to an — at best — anachronistic political system of alliances, is typical for large segments of the non-left spectrum and therefore worthy of special consideration.

That PEGIDA is just as out of place as any other rightist opposition party in a common “camp” with CDU or even FDP, has been made so clear by their politicians in their attack campaigns against PEGIDA and others, that not recognizing this fact borders on masochism. These parties are not the vanguard of the opposition to the destruction of our country, but the rearguard of the destroyers.

Numerous destructive programs — mass immigration, gender mainstreaming, supra-nationalization, to name a few — would not have the ghost of a chance of being realized, were it not for the neutralizing of opposition by ties to parties whose criticism from the start is merely rhetorical, and will thus be consistently and predictably abandoned at the opportune moment.

This process has to do with the “camps theory” — i.e., with the misperception of lines of conflict, as carefully maintained by the cartel of the elites. We are expected to perceive the conflict of Red/Green vs. CDU/FDP — which is at most a conflict of interests of careerists from different corporations with barely differentiable product lines — as a political conflict in a much narrower sense, and furthermore, one for which it is necessary to “make sacrifices” à la Mrs. Festerling. No wonder then, that the established party cartel, unheeding of the unpopularity of its policies, stays firmly in the saddle. With enemies like this, who needs friends?

Aside from that, the self-definition as “middle class” and “conservative” is a problem in itself. “Middle class” is not a political category, but a sociological one. A “middle class camp” does not include someone from the working class. If that is not the meaning, then the word should not be used, for it does not precisely apply to people of limited circumstances — and these people will detect the unconscious down-the-nose attitude, be it ever so politely controlled. A not inconsiderable number of them — faced with such “alternatives” — will prefer to stay faithful to the SPD (Socialist Party), following the axiom: Sure, they’re idiots, but at least they’re our idiots.

And today more than ever, the classic bourgeois virtues — especially loyalty to those in power, an orientation toward the opinion of the establishment elite — are those very virtues which invite abuse by unscrupulous power brokers. Under these conditions, is it possible to simply call oneself “middle-class” or “bourgeois”?

And what meaning is the term “conservative” — “preserving” — still supposed to have in a situation where the ruling cartel is destroying everything that is worth preserving? Where the only choice is between turning against your own people, its culture and its very survival, or against the power elite? Preserving both would mean being a servant of two masters. In such a situation, the word “conservative” also implies “revolutionary” and becomes a senseless, confusing phrase of use only to demagogues.

Would it not be a principle of rhetorical clarity, political hygiene and ideological decontamination to just call oneself “right”?