Note: This was first posted as a “sticky” feature on December 23, and was on top for a couple of days. Scroll down for a reader’s rebuttal of V.K. Chatterjee and myself.
A long-time reader and commenter named doxRaven sent the original tip for and transcript of the speech below, which was given last June in Germany by Dr. Thor von Waldstein. JLH and Rembrandt Clancy collaborated on the translation of the German transcript, and Rembrandt Clancy subtitled the video and wrote the introduction to the video. The tip arrived in August, so this has been a four-month project. We owe a debt of gratitude to the three people who worked so hard on it for so long.
For readers who wish to understand the intellectual background to the pervasive political rot that is currently destroying Germany, Dr. Waldstein’s careful analysis provides invaluable assistance. He also touches upon the dissenting opinions that are now coming to the surface in the Federal Republic, as manifested in the AfD party and the PEGIDA movement. He is not sanguine about their chances of success, yet seems somehow to maintain a guarded optimism.
Metapolitics and Party Politics
“At the heart of the matter is cultural attraction, a new feeling of what it means to be alive beyond the false ways of our time…. At the heart of the matter is the re-establishment among Germans of something like a spiritual fellowship and a kinship rooted in the soul. Truly, this will be a painstaking labor given the life-alienating desolation which these ideologies have wrought, especially in our country. But it must be done.”
Thor von Waldstein
Metapolitik und Parteipolitik
2nd State Policy Congress of the Institut für Staatspolitik
Schnellroda, 13 and 14 June 2015
by Rembrandt Clancy
Dr. Thor von Waldstein gave his talk on Metapolitics and Party Politics in June of 2015 in the village of Schnellroda, Saxony-Anhalt, the home of the Institut für Staatspolitik (Institute for State Policy — (IfS)). Present at the talk was Götz Kubitschek, a co-founder of the Institute in the year 2000 (Cf. Götz Kubitschek: “A Call to Civil Disobedience” on Gates of Vienna).
Thor von Waldstein (bn. 1959) has been active since 1989 as a solicitor in Mannheim. He is also a publicist. He studied history, philosophy, political science and sociology in Munich, Mannheim and Heidelberg. He has his PhD in social science and also has a doctorate in law. As a young student, what “especially convinced [him], was the French Nouvelle Droite, [New Right]… which offered a concise explanation for the failures of the Right in France and Germany during the 1960s and 1970s” (Metapolitics and Party Politics).
The Nouvelle Droite is “not a political movement, but a school of thought”, whose
“…activities over the last thirty years (publication of books and magazines, holding of colloquia and conferences, organisation of seminars and summer schools etc.) have been conducted from the outset from a metapolitical perspective” [emphasis added] (Manifeste du GRECE).
Thus the Nouvelle Droite shares some commonalities with the Frankfurt School, with which it is in counter-revolutionary opposition, if we understand with Dr. Waldstein that the French school is “a cultural revolution from the Right”. Dr. Waldstein attributes to the initiators of the Nouvelle Droite, which was founded in 1968, a call for “a long march through the metapolitical desert”, which of course is an adaptation of the New Left’s slogan of a “long march through the institutions”, which in turn is a pithy formula expressing the Italian Communist, Antonio Gramsci’s concept of the establishment of a “cultural hegemony”.
Nouvelle Droite principles find direct expression in Germany’s Institute for State Policy (IfS), itself a school of the same type. The IfS “Internet portal” emphasises the necessity of a German national identity to counter the current “ideologically closed unity of state and society”, for without it “there is no future for Germany”. The building of a shared civil and ‘cultural’ nexus in the body politic is an expression of metapolitics, a theory which Antonio Gramsci formulated primarily in his Prison Notebooks while incarcerated under Mussolini.
Dr. Waldstein explains Metapolitics (Gk. meta, beyond, or behind) as the practice of establishing the cultural support behind contemporary party politics, or to “slightly Heideggerize” Gramsci, “metapolitics is the beyond of that which exists politically as an entity (das Jenseits des politisch Seiende)”. Examples of successful “metapolitical milestones” leading to Germany’s destruction range from the re-education of 1945 through the Frankfurt School to multiculturalism and gender ideology.
For Dr. Waldstein, if a “Rightist” political party is to “participate in the formation of the political will of the people” (Article 21 of Germany’s Basic Law) and seize the societal superstructure (the key social institutions) from the dominant Left Liberalism, the establishment of a metapolitical foundation is a precondition. In effect, this is to be done by using Gramsci against Gramsci, recalling that Gramsci’s thought bears a close affinity with the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School.
Metapolitics and Party Politics are therefore mutually interactive variables. Dr. Waldstein offers reasons why the almost three-year-old party, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), is an example of metapolitical failure. But given the change in its leadership, it may be worth while to follow the trajectory of the AfD for signs that it is “drifting as a ship of the dead on a sea of insignificance”, or whether it is establishing a metapolitical foundation.
The reason for this uncertainty is that two months prior to Dr. Waldstein’s speech, Gates of Vienna posted two translations and an introduction by JLH, which at the time appeared to suggest that the AfD was a ‘case study’ with symptoms Dr. Waldstein says are pathognomonic of metapolitical failure (cf. And Never the Twain Shall Meet?). For the party had been founded solely in response to single issue, Merkel’s euro policy, and was in the midst of very public, internecine quarrelling and was on the verge of splitting. However, the same ‘case study’ reports what promised to be the beginning of a change in course for the AfD. In March of 2015, the predominantly East German branch of the party published what amounted to a mini-metapolitical manifesto called the Erfurt Resolution, with Björn Höcke, state party chairman of Thuringian AfD, as a co-initiator. Gates of Vienna has reported on three of Mr. Höcke’s speeches, (Asylum Catastrophe, Munich: 22 October 2015) and speeches from two of the now famous Erfurt demonstrations (Germany is Not Negotiable, 18 November 2015 and A Betrayal of our People, 23 September 2015).
Far from the AfD drifting like a “ship of the dead”, Mr. Höcke reported in a speech before an audience at the Institute for State Policy, at their Fall Congress which went under the name of “Onslaught on Europe (Ansturm auf Europa), that AfD is steering in the direction suggested in the mini-metapolitical Erfurt Resolution:
For me the AfD is the last peaceful chance for our country. With the Erfurt Resolution… the AfD, in my view, has received its second birth certificate. And it has truly retained the option to design the vision which this country needs and which it lacks; the option to design the antithesis, which gives strength and carries our Volk into a new unity on a common path into the future. (Speech to the Institute for State Policy in Schnellroda, 22 November 2015)
Unfortunately, whether the AfD will be issued a second birth certificate or a death certificate remains to be seen. The journal, Sezession im Netz, and therefore the Institute for State Policy, have apparently distanced themselves from Björn Höcke’s speech entitled “Asylum: A Political Stocktaking”. Sezession deleted the video of the speech from their Internet portal after widespread charges of racism against Björn Höcke were made in the established media. One media outlet, for example, emphatically characterised the speech as “racism stemming from National Socialism” (tagesschau.de).
Mr. Höcke had drawn attention to the fact that African migrants to Europe come from regions which have much higher reproductive rates than those in European countries, but without placing a value on these facts. However, he did suggest that “the discrepancy … is currently being exaggerated by the decadent Zeitgeist which has Europe tightly in its grip “. In short, he continued, “in the 21st century the life-affirming African expansion type meets the self-negating European placeholder type.” He applied the ecological model, known as r/K selection theory, to explain within-species differences; specifically, to account for differences between human populations. Presumably the accusations of racism arise primarily from the fact that this theory employs the Darwinian concept of natural selection, the mechanical driver of evolution, or evolutionism. But ironically enough, these same ideas are the cornerstone of progressivism. For the English language viewer’s evaluation, the pertinent four-minute portion of Mr. Höcke’s original hour-long speech is provided here with English subtitles and with its immediate context.
While the complete video has since surfaced again on another YouTube channel, the question arises as to whether those who removed the video jumped over the “little distancing stick” that was held out for them and are confirming, in the language of Dr. Waldstein, their “political inferiority to the one holding the stick”. And are they thereby acknowledging the politically correct “game rules” of the neo-Communist Zeitgeist to which they are opposed? Are we seeing Dr. Waldstein’s scenario of distancing, self-denunciation and failure to posit one’s own topics played out by some of the very people who attended Dr. Waldstein’s lecture? Here is a little of what Dr. Waldstein offers on the disease of distancing, or “distanceritis” as it pertains to this kind of event:
In a current analysis, Manfred Kleine-Hartlage rightly speaks of a culture of betrayal in the rightist camp: “The weakness of the Right has something to do with itself: most of its movements (PEGIDA), parties (AfD) and publications (Junge Freiheit) routinely distance themselves from ‘rightist’ and ‘racist’ ideational framework, without sparing a thought to the fact that concepts like ‘rightist’ or ‘racist’ are battle cries of their opponents intended to demonize the representation of the interests of one’s own people.”
Metapolitics and Party Politics
Thor von Waldstein
May 20, 2015
Original Source of Video: kanal schnellroda
Mr. Richard, Dr. Leonard, Mr. Kubitschek, Ladies and Gentlemen: May I extend my sincerest thanks for the invitation to deliver today’s keynote speech at the State Policy Congress.
“Metapolitics” is a cumbersome and quite abstract concept which means nothing — or nothing concrete — to most people. An additional difficulty is that this topos is almost completely bound up with a schema of thinking in political science, which is more detrimental than helpful to genuine political interest. This, however, is related to a political science bon mot by Arnold Bergsträsser about “the art of expressing what is of interest to everyone but understood by no one, and do so in such a way that it is understood by everyone but no longer of interest to anyone.”
In light of this difficult situation, it seems appropriate not to come too close to the rococo regularities of political science; and, if you will allow, I begin with a personal reminiscence. Among my earliest recollections of politics is the federal election of 1972 in West Germany. I was in my thirteenth year and had been attending the Lessing Gymnasium in Mannheim for three years. After the first electoral victory of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1969, we students soon noticed a swift disappearance of older teachers and their rapid replacement by younger, thoroughly progressive-seeming colleagues. The traces which the Cultural Revolution had left in the governmental structure of the Federal Republic could not be better observed than in that Willy Brandt election of 1972. The older among you surely remember one or another of the slogans shining forth from the posters and placards: “Elect Willy, elect Germany!”, “Citizens for Brandt!” and from today’s perspective, astonishingly patriotic: “Germans! We can be proud of our country. Elect Willy Brandt.”
At the time, I knew nothing of political theory and of course had also heard nothing about metapolitics. But it did occur to me that the governing SPD party had succeeded in the media, on the streets, and not least in our schools, in unleashing a campaign energized by countless voter “initiatives” which created the appearance that it must have involved more than getting the voter to make a check mark for the right party.
It was also striking that SPD adherents appeared quite openly in the press with badges or even specially labeled election ads, or frequently showed the flag for Brandt underlaid with an emotional timbre. Adherents of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) candidate Barzel, on the other hand, lacked the public courage of conviction and conducted instead an anonymous, almost completely sterile election campaign.
All in all, beyond the partisan tinged statements in press and broadcasting, there arose an atmosphere in which Brandt’s opponents could quickly be suspected of being up to no good. In the election itself, Brandt was confirmed as chancellor with just fewer than 46% SPD votes. While that was the best SPD election result of all time, there appeared to have been an even greater perceived approval of Willy Brandt in the air in the weeks and months before the election.
At any rate, and we now come to the theme, the election result was not based on a the voters’ rational conviction about a perceived, better political program of the SPD, but on a kind of cultural magnetic effect in favor of a leftist feeling for life embodied in Brandt. The Left had managed to portray their political opponents as ossified, antiquated and potentially dangerous, while they had successfully adorned themselves with plumes of “young, modern and ready for the future.” There could be no doubt: The idolized figure Brandt, who had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and who had been courted in the media by the intellectual set and arts establishment, had succeeded where continuing success in politics has mattered since the middle of the 1900s at the latest; — namely, he succeeded in imparting to the masses the irresistible feeling, the belief, that they themselves were on the side of things to come, while their political opponents’ coach had long since become uncoupled from the locomotive of historical progress. In essence, there was the additional appearance that the individual SPD adherent’s concrete vote on voting day came both temporally and causally only at the very end of a long campaign-chain which had been threaded together on the metapolitical plane months, and in part, even years before.
At the time, I did not pursue this phenomenon further. I did not have the intellectual resources for that. When I began reading up on politics as a young student, I soon had occasion to recall the above-described events of 1972. It was especially the French Nouvelle Droite, from which new intellectual impulses emanated and which offered a concise explanation for the failures of the Right in France and Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, that convinced me. The standpoint of the Nouvelle Droite is this: Political domination seizes upon psychological support of the masses, upon a cultural power distributed among the masses. Whoever wants political change must first conquer this cultural citadel. Accordingly, Alain de Benoist, Pierre Krebs and Guillaume Faye called for a cultural revolution from the Right — for a long march through the metapolitical desert. Even today, 35 years later, that is not only an appealing task, but above all an indispensable one for achieving political success.
The following deliberations are intended, first, to briefly derive theoretically the concept of metapolitics. Following this, a metapolitical survey using the example of the Federal Republic will be undertaken. In the third section, the partisan political dead-end, in which many opposition movements end, will be closely illuminated. The deliberations will conclude with an examination of the opportunities and limits of rightist intellectual metapolitical work within the given parameters of the Federal Republic of Germany.
1. Theoretical Derivation
What is the concept “metapolitics” all about, generally? To answer this question, it appears necessary to fall back first on Max Weber’s classical definitions of power and domination. While in its most general sense power “means having the opportunity in a social relationship to impose one’s own will, even against resistance, and regardless of the basis for that opportunity”; domination constitutes only those forms of the exercise of power which those subject to power affirm and recognize. Thus domination is the “opportunity for a command with a particular content to achieve obedience or submissiveness among specifiable persons.” The motives for this submission, continues Weber, which extend from dull habituation to calculated consideration, do not matter. For there to be a genuine relationship of domination, “a specific minimum of the willingness to obey” is sufficient; that is, a self-interest in obedience on the part of those subject to power.
When these preconditions are satisfied, the one who exercises dominance is recognized as legitimate, along with the order represented by and through him. Accordingly, the “Gretchen Question”  for every regime is whether it succeeds in “inspiring and nurturing the belief in its legitimacy.” If we project these Weberian categories onto the plane of the state, it turns out in the final analysis, that continuing domination under the conditions of modernity is not grounded on authority alone, on the legal possibility of physical force against the citizen, and also not on today’s endlessly increasing technical power to monitor individuals electronically. The secret of genuine political dominance depends, rather, on influencing the citizen’s will to such an extent that he freely agrees to state domination.
On the basis of this analysis, the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci formulated his theory of metapolitics between 1926 and 1936. (To be sure, Mussolini had had him thrown into prison, but allowed him to write his books there.) According to Gramsci, metapolitics (meta (Gk.): “behind” [also in the sense of “beyond”]) includes that which is already in place behind real politics; or, slightly Heideggerized, metapolitics is the ‘beyond’ of that which exists politically as an entity [das Jenseits des politisch Seiende].
Analogous to the criminal figure of the perpetrator behind the perpetrator, we can also define metapolitics as the “politics behind the politics.” It recognizes the essential element of authority to be the cultural power of the state; that is, its capacity to support itself on intellectual, ethical and traditional values that are affirmed by the majority of citizens. The coercive possibilities inherent in the state’s monopoly on force are, according to Gramsci, subordinate to this metapolitical completeness of power. Because the repressive state is no more than a “trench deployed in a forward position, behind which are a robust chain of fortifications and casements.”
Conversely, a group that aspires to political power can only prevail if it first succeeds in taking hold of a society’s cultural superstructure. So, for example, before a political party can obtain lasting electoral success in parliament, the pre-political ground must be prepared. And nothing is more important for this purpose than gaining influence over the mindset and behavioral habits of civilian society. This cultural hegemony, virtually the broad consent of the heads and hearts of people, is always more important than a parliamentary majority as such. For when the cultural war is won, continues Gramsci, parliamentary success sooner or later occurs automatically. In the converse case, that of the ephemeral success of a political party lacking such a cultural metapolitical anchor in the electorate, the nominal position of power through a parliamentary mandate disappears as a rule just as swiftly as it arose.
Enough about Gramsci and enough about the theory of metapolitics.
2. Metapolitical Survey Using the Example of the Federal Republic
If we examine for its soundness the Gramsci axiom concerning the central significance of cultural hegemony in the attainment of political power, against the example of the history of the Federal Republic, we will see that Gramsci’s analyses are completely on target.
As milestones of metapolitical success, I identify the following for you, without claiming a full accounting: the re-education of 1945 and what followed; the Frankfurt School of 1950 and what followed; the machinery of 1960 in the struggle to overcome the past and what followed; the Marxist cultural revolution of 1968 and what followed; the Green-Alternative movement of 1980 and what followed; the multicultural conversion attempts from 1990 at the latest and what followed; and finally, the gender mainstreaming propaganda of 2000 and what followed.
All of these trends are distinguished by having undertaken the successful attempt to draw Germans voluntarily away from the lifestyle, basic convictions and the settled character posture of their fathers and forefathers, and to turn them toward a lifestyle in which once-acknowledged values such as country, people, family, faith, loyalty, humility and willingness to sacrifice, etc., are at best objects of ridicule, if not actually defamed as proto-fascist or the like.
This radical change in fundamental outlook, the change in these characteristics of Germans, was therefore not brought about through the use of state force from above, but by the likeness of a gradual grassroots growth from below. Naturally, with the knowledge of modern methods of mass-psychology, it is justified to put a question mark after the free will of the individual in the midst of such radical cultural change, for this putative free will is permanently under the pressure of public opinion.
Just as correct is the ascertainment that this manipulation plays a major role today in the domination of the masses; where manipulation, according to Arnold Gehlen, is the art of using someone for a purpose which is unknown to him. However, in our consideration of Gramsci’s theory that culture plays a key role in the struggle for political power, this manipulation plays only a subordinate role. Essential to our context is this: that the dominance structure in the Federal Republic of Germany, also in 2015, is based on the fact that the majority of citizens in West Germany, even more so than in East Germany, are in the main convinced that they are living in the right country. This basic consent of homo federalrepublicanensis to the conditions surrounding him — which are frequently financially comfortable or at any rate adequate — this comfortableness within the social skin of the Federal Republic is the decisive foundation on which this state rests. So it can be of no surprise that the leaders in politics and media will do everything to maintain this political feeling of wellbeing in the skin of the Federal Republic, which is regularly fueled with waves of indignation over irrelevant, artificial themes. This requires that the state decisively confront those tendencies which aim to convince the citizen that the prevailing conditions do not merit his affirmation.
Anyone who does not wish to be dominated by the wishful thinking of the political underdog, cannot avoid the distressing evidence that this metapolitically guided Federal Republic of Germany, which is economically underpinned with bread and circuses, has in any event not yet come to an end. To be sure, there is a mounting discomfort both with and within the Federal Republic. However, this discomfort, this sporadically occurring queasy feeling in the region of the stomach, so far as I can tell, has not yet reached the critical magnitude at which we could hope for an erosion of the full variant of Left Liberalism embodied in the ruling bloc party cartel.
You are all acquainted with Lenin’s famous definition of the “revolutionary situation”. This is achieved when “those on top are no longer capable and those on the bottom are no longer willing.” That we are still some distance from this point in time, is shown by a comparison between Leipzig in October 1989 and Dresden in January, 2015. The spark issuing from Leipzig spread more or less like wildfire throughout the entire German Democratic Republic, led to a complete de-legitimization of the political class and finally resulted in November 9. By comparison, after an initial hesitation and nervousness in the “Truth Press” which was enjoyable to watch, those now holding power in politics and the media succeeded in at least temporarily hindering the PEGIDA opposition movement, which is essentially confined to Dresden, with the old tried and tested techniques: phase 1, ignore; phase 2, defame; and phase 3, divide. This success can only be explained by the fact that the PEGIDA protest against the political class was not supported, or was only partially supported by the majority of citizens.
The PEGIDA demonstrator is not — at least not yet — swimming like a fish in water with the Germans, especially the corrupt, well-to-do West Germans. He is chagrined to find that Jaime Oestermier (sp.?), Joachim Gauck, Marietta Slomka, and the other “North Atlantic devotees”, have obviously not yet provoked the antipathies among the people which, at another time, led to the merited departure of Erich Mielke, Hans Modrow, Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler and the other heroes of socialism. This discovery, by the way, is not just chagrining, but astounding.
The Federal Republic harbors a much greater existential threat potential for Germans than did the German Democratic Republic. In particular, while the unjust state installed in Pankow by the Russians was restricted to robbing the East Germans of their freedom, walling them in and throwing many of them into prison, the Federal Republic of Germany is today in the process of accomplishing a population replacement on a grand scale, thus eliminating the democratic sovereign people, the constitutional repositories of fundamental and constitutional rights, namely, the German people. As historical developments after 1989 have shown, there was for the East Germans a life after the former Free German Youth functionary, Erich Honecker. Whether there will be a life for the Germans of the Federal Republic after the former Free German Youth functionary, Merkel, and her probable successors, is today an open question.
As an interim finding, which cannot be gratifying, it must be stressed that while the metapolitical base of the political class in the Federal Republic is crumbling in places, there can be no question of an imminent collapse of the dominant Left-Liberalism.
3. The Partisan Political Dead-End
Attempts by conservative nationalist forces to combat the aberrant development of Germany since 1949, using the instrument of a political party, have not been lacking in the past. If we review the history of these political parties with our mind’s eye, we can hardly avoid the conclusion that the tremendous effort expended is inversely proportional to the result. From the founding convention of the Sozialistische Reichspartei (SRP) on October 2, 1949 to the implosion of the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) in recent months, there extends a trail of political failures of more than 65 years, which cannot be spruced up by pointing to the possibility of achieving parliamentary mandates for individual windows of time.
The fact remains, to mention just the most important names, that neither the NPD, nor the Republikaner nor the AfD could develop the kind of noteworthy and sustainable strength to try and stop Germany’s fatal development over the period extending from her post-war statehood to the present-day oblivion of Being of post-German Germany (a concept of the Italian philosopher Angelo Bolaffi).
These two parties, NPD and Republikaner — together 83 years old from today — could only show worthwhile election results for 5 to 10 years. After this brief phase, the Republikaner have been drifting for a long time now as a ship of the dead on the sea of insignificance. On the other hand, the NPD, after the Federal Constitutional Court’s decision, was (and is) infiltrated at all levels by members of the federal intelligence services, especially at the management level up to the party executive, making the party a kind of political zombie today as regards any genuine electoral opportunity. To ban them would be unwise, because such a wonderfully harmless party, which operates, de facto, out of the netherworld, is always good to use as scrap so one can warn the good German “Michel” against the pariahs of the Right.
After two and one-half years of existence as a party, the AfD is facing a split, or at least crucial internal tests, which leaves little hope that the party can continue its electoral success to date with a distinctive, which is to say, undiluted program.
Enormous energies, often awe-inspiring idealism and finally huge sums of money — all that fizzles uselessly in this treadmill of partisan failure. The federal German caravan of misery has moved on, unaffected by these blazing Bengal lights.
In answering the question of why that is so, of why the instrument of the political party has failed thus far in changing the status quo, I see three points of view which come to the fore.
First, the political party proves from its own legal make-up to be structurally poorly suited as an opposition instrument, since all the paths to political power by way of parliamentary success are in the Federal Republic completely occupied by the dominant political cartel, from the Christian Social Union (in Bavaria) to the Greens. Contrary to the stately design of the constitution, according to which the political party shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people (Article 21 of the Constitution), there actually exists no possibility of genuine partisan competition, and therefore no possibility of also effectively attacking the ruling party oligopoly from the outside by means of a newly-founded party.
For, all institutions which could be relevant to influencing the voting public, from broadcasting councils, mandatory-fee media, newspaper editorial boards, church congresses, judicial selection committees, ethics panels, institutional committees, NGO leaders, etc., etc., down to the last sewage-related posts in the Bavarian pampas, are occupied exclusively by representatives of the established political parties. And they have naturally no interest in breaking open the very incestuous encrustations of this economy of benefices by instituting a genuine partisan competition.
Such a fair partisan struggle for the best path to the common good was always (and is) only a pretense. It belongs to the fairy tales that can be served up to schoolchildren in social studies class with impunity. And that is how the widespread illusion is maintained, that this country can be renewed from within by new partisan blood.
As a matter of fact, in the 66 years of the Federal Republic’s national existence, there has been only one founding of a new party that has remained successful, namely, — you know it — the Greens. The Greens’ secret of success in no way contradicts the above analysis, because the Greens did not (and do not) oppose the “anything goes” of Federal Republic liberalism — quite the contrary:
They experience themselves, quite correctly, as the spearhead of progress in all fields in which this country and this people have been (and will be) destroyed. And borne along by a Zeitgeist, which has crumbled everything and which is unworthy of a cultured nation, they are driving, ideologically, the other political cartelists before them. This, too, is historic proof that a new political party, which lacks any noteworthy cultural foundation beyond parliament, is bound to fail as an opposition force.
Second, political parties usually [fail because] they are characterized by sociological structural defects at the level of personnel management which, with few exceptions proving the rule, prevent placing the right people in the right positions. I am referring to the adverse selection of character types for the filling of party leadership positions. Over 100 years ago, Robert Michels and Gustave le Bon precisely described what human types flush to the top in mass democracy. These types are rhetorically gifted men, endowed with a sonorous voice and an agreeable appearance, interpretable to the female electorate as maximally erotic; men in whom any thinking ability or statesman-like vision is lacking, but they bring with them sufficient vanity, callousness and competence in intrigue to take on a week-long marathon as a political nomad, which would be a horror for any inwardly calm person with a career, a family and a purpose: attending party conventions; sitting through council meetings; building networks of followers; toppling real or imagined competitors; uninterrupted mobile existence in airplanes, trains and cars; much noise and little fresh air.
In a letter he wrote in the year of his death in1920, Max Weber summed up the partisan confusion at the beginning of the Weimar Republic: “To restore Germany to its former glory, I would certainly ally myself with any power on earth and even with the devil incarnate, if I were still in politics; just not with the power of stupidity. As you know, the reason I no longer practice politics at all any more is primarily because the making of German policies is an impossibility for as long as the madmen of the Right and the Left are able to work their tricks.”
From Stefan Andres comes the rude assessment of politicians as bird brains and hyena hearts, and Ernst Juenger also noted in Strahungen in 1949: “The characters of the types who bear the coarse burden of the historical process are composed of the following recipe: technical intelligence, stupidity, good-naturedness, brutality, one-quarter each. Without being acquainted with this mixture, one cannot understand the contradiction of the times.”
To be sure, this was aimed at the National Socialist Golden Pheasants [high ranking Nazi Party members], but it also fits the current political party personnel. In fact, as Michael Klonovsky expressed it: “There is no stronger argument against this republic than the breed it reliably produces as so-called spokesmen.”
These observations apply not only to the ruling political class, but may be applied to opposition parties that have to conform to the same standard terms of reference for party rules; and the longer they do so, the more strongly they succumb to the same laws of sociology.
I see the third reason for the failure of parties on the Right in the fact that the founding of new parties is precipitated, as a rule, spontaneously out of a contemporary circumstance. With the Republikaner, it was Franz Josef Strauss’ arrangement of a billion DM credit for the German Democratic Republic; for AfD, it was Merkel’s euro-politics; therefore, out of a contemporary circumstance; so that metaphorically speaking, these parties sowed their seed by the wayside, with no metapolitical basis, and without the establishment of the necessary media and cultural networks. Devoid of any traction, without a clearly structured personnel and financial arrangement, and generally without a sufficiently precise program and without having done the metapolitical homework, they leap from one electoral adventure to another.
In this case, one profits at first from the new-broom-sweeps-clean effect and the desire of many a citizen for a fresh political force. But the early successes of the protest phase are hardly over, when a putative consolidation process begins, a follow-up task in which content is frequently diluted and a sharp contouring of the party suffers on the whole from arbitrary clichés.
Charismatic figures, who could counteract this erosive process by force of the inspiration and persuasiveness of their person, have been scarce on the Right. Meanwhile, there is no scarcity of mediocre functionaries with a compulsive drive for an allegedly improved establishment of their own party’s interface with the ruling system, while distancing themselves from everything they claim they are not, and from those by whom, thank you very much, they would not care to be greeted under the lindens [not wish to be seen with them in public].
This false wisdom encourages the gradual growth of the political caries, which gradually causes all the teeth that might have been dangerous to the establishment types to rot and fall out on their own. The end of the refrain is the destruction of the party’s own profile, personal quarrels, mass desertions from the party, splintering off and the plunge into political insignificance. Many an idealistically motivated citizen, especially young Germans, who had entered the party optimistically, and by doing so, often committed themselves to significant personal sacrifice, and who then experience such a disaster, have had enough for the rest of their lives, and are therefore permanently lost for the re-taking of German sovereignty and freedom.
From these results it can be established that the political party, as an instrument for attaining the goals of resistance, can under no circumstances constitute the first, and certainly not the only choice. This does not preclude the meaningfulness of an electoral entry, in an individual case, in the context of a sophisticated, metapolitical, overall concept. In this way, the relation of preparatory work to electoral participation on the one hand, corresponds to the relation of the plough and the sower to the harvester and loading wagon on the other hand. Only he can harvest who has prepared the ground and sowed. Everything else is wishful thinking and of no use in politics.
It is precisely the merit of the PEGIDA walks after the Dresden model, which clarifies what those who run things in this country fear more than the casting of ballots; namely, the rising tide of a protest which is silent or condensed into a few striking speeches and poster motifs; the courage of citizens growing week by week, and the trust in their own power; the fading of the media’s ability to defame; the bursting of politically correct speech bubbles and a Germanic appropriation of words in Lutheran tones; the refusal of dialogue with the semi-official political cartel; the final breaking of the axis of resonance between establishment politics and broad segments of the population; the emergence of the first Kerensky in the Federal Republic; and finally, the complete crumbling of their own façade of power.
4. Chance and the Limits of Successful Metapolitical Work
One of our greatest poets, Friedrich Hölderlin, said of the Germans that they are poor in deeds and rich in thought. More concretely, the expert in constitutional law, Rudolf Smend, described in the face of the Weimar Chaos of 1928, the two major failings of Germans to be “an apolitical aloofness from the state and an equally apolitical worship of power. They are two sides of the same coin: It is the inner uncertainty toward the state, which vacillates so much between underestimating and overestimating the state.” In the light of these sober descriptions of the political characteristics of the Germans, it may be important to clarify first what metapolitics should not be. It is not about aversion to the rigor of political controversy, it is not a form of withdrawal to a zone of comfort and irrelevance, and it is not about a flight from the public arena to the ivory tower, nor is metapolitics an aloof glass bead game or a chronic case of seminaritis with no reference to reality. In fact, as everyone who has been active on the mine-strewn metapolitical landscape for a while can confirm, sometimes the fighting occurs there with no holds barred more so than at demonstrations; that today, even if it is only by electronics, there is frequently more of a ruckus on the desktop than on the street.
As for both these methods, the open declamation by way of placards and the sharp pen, which attempts to conquer intellectual territory, I have never considered them otherwise to be opposites; quite the contrary, both methods can support each other splendidly; provided that on the street not only action prevails, but also reason; and on the desktop, not only intelligence prevails, but also zest for action.
One danger which I do consider rather more justified, and which must be confronted effectively, is an often over-emphasized intellectualism on the metapolitical plane, which neglects the efficacy and value of the unconscious every bit as much as the emotional power and the will power of the reader and listener. Such cerebral-centeredness and trust in science fail to recognize what Ernst Nolte once classically formulated, that “man, at his core, is not a calculating creature. He is fearful about his existence, he fears the future, he feels hatred for his enemies and he is prepared to sacrifice his life if it is about something important to him. In the everyday course of events, politics may be a calculation of interests and of the balancing of interests, but the moment something unusual and threatening intervenes, emotions are far more important for many people than interests, even in the rare cases when these emotions are opposed to imagined or conceivable interests: outrage, fury, grief, hatred, contempt, fear; but also enthusiasm, hope, faith in a great task.”
Alongside the doubtless important communication of knowledge and directed formation of political judgment, it remains therefore a central task of metapolitical work to focus the emotions and subjectivisms, which are ever-present in the public atmosphere, and supply them a meaningful sphere of activity. Being aware of these natural boundaries allows opportunities for successful metapolitical cultivation to open up virtually on their own.
Allow me to highlight, by way of clarification, the following five points which seem to me especially important:
|1.||The courage to posit one’s own topics|
|2.||Battle for the language|
|3.||Battle for minds|
|4.||Courage for provocation|
|5.||Ending the Distanzeritis [disease of distancing]
And now in detail, first: Courage for positing one’s own topics
An intellectual Right, which wishes to be taken seriously, must develop the power to place the topics that matter at the center of its political work. And in so doing, the foggy veil of information over the republic must first be ventilated.
It is not a question of the avian flu or the integrity of Sepp Blatter or whether a train station will be built in Stuttgart or when an airport will be built in Berlin. It is definitely not about the tiny light bulb themes of the media concerns. It is about the question, which is never asked by the media and the politicians in our dictatorship of trivialities; namely, the question of whether the German as well as the European peoples, who brought this continent to a unique cultural flowering, will or will not escape their intended fate of becoming a minority in their own countries by the middle of the 21st century at the latest, and ultimately avoid, or not avoid, disappearing by the end of the century.
In terms of foreign policy, this means the reclamation of German and European sovereignty and the ending of the American occupation. Domestically, nothing is more important than that the democratic sovereign people, who have been infantilized for decades by the priesthood of the intellectuals, decide again for themselves whether they really want to follow the path to ethnic Nirvana foreseen for the Germans by Claudia Roth, Herbert Prantl and the other figures who are stricken by a pathological hatred for their own people.
The conditions for such reclamation of democratic sovereignty are better than ever today, for the chasm between reality and what the media are reporting about it is gaping ever wider. The presently highly accelerated shift, from the mass media’s frontally applied indoctrination by way of television, radio and newspaper to a micro-media capillary system of internet sites, internet television, blogs and the other modern, electronic methods of communicating, opens up new possibilities for a successful metapolitical positing of topics, preparation of a positive climate of opinion and also the initiation of far-reaching campaigns.
2. Battle for the Language
Confucius says, ‘a people who lose their language soon lose their freedom as well’; and from Schopenhauer comes the wonderful phrase ‘style is the physiognomy of the mind.’
If both of these maxims are true, then Germans today are as unfree and intellectually deformed as never before in their history: the established Newspeak, the blather carried unrelentingly over all channels and leading media about the “diverse” and “alternative-less” republic, about multiplicity instead of simplicity, about cosmopolitanism and tolerance and about multicultural enrichment all the way to the “welcoming culture”, and however all the other old-maidish speech bubbles go. This Orwellian Newspeak has by now achieved a truly surreal distance from reality, from the world in which citizens live.
As Manfred Kleine-Hartlage has worked out in his inestimable pioneering work, The Language of the BRD, this language exudes a polemical character, in which it is immediately recognizable, that there is no attempt to factually refute the dissenter’s argument, but rather to block him as a person from the possibility of speaking: “One does not wish to be right, but to be shown to be right. In this way one is confined to explaining in an intellectually sterile and censorious manner, the incompatibility of nonconforming positions with the prevailing ideology. But this is done not in the form of a sober analysis and critique, but in a language whose function is to accuse the dissident of intellectual, psychic or moral defects and mark him as a public enemy, thus justifying his exclusion from public discourse.”
For a long time now, the ruling intellectual establishment has no longer based its power on better arguments, but on quasi-mafiosi methods and scheming in the management of politics, the media, science and culture. So, from my point of view, nothing is more important than exposing this electronic and paper propaganda for what it is, namely, fighting words of the rulers, who talk a great deal about dialogue, but with good reason do not dialogue with the political opposition, but instead they have created taboo zones where pressing political problems disappear in a chorus of silence. In my estimation, one of the central stratagems for reclamation of a capacity for political action is eloquent appropriation of words, which names names, and which specifically undermines those taboo zones and speech bans such as: “Just don’t talk about the Autobahn in Germany!”
3. Battle for Minds
Should such a fitting appropriation of words succeed, it could before long decisively advance the intellectual attraction of our own mode of thought and life-style. Then the intellectual unrest would ensue, which is a prerequisite for every fruitful new beginning, something that has for decades been terribly lacking in this land characterized by pseudo-debates. Intellectual attraction, in turn, is the essential prerequisite for winning the battle for minds. In this regard, I am thoroughly optimistic, because never in the past half-century have the young people of the Left been so stupid, so illiterate and so hedonistic as they are today. On the Right, on the other hand, a notable number of young Germans may be found, who have purposefully withdrawn from the stereotyping and progressively shallower seductions of the consumer industry, who are working hard on themselves and whose values and intellectual power will increase commensurately as external conditions come to a head. In fact, this country needs nothing more urgently than such a new generation, which eludes the modernist claim to power; a generation which thinks, ab origine, freely and independently; a generation which maintains its self-consciousness, its skepticism and its capability of resistance in the face of the ideological arrogance of the times; a generation, which then acts according to its principles, cautiously, unrelentingly and with a healthy lack of willingness to compromise.
4. Courage for Provocation
In a republic in which everything is talked to death and weaseling room has assumed indescribable proportions, only those can achieve metapolitical success, who swim against the current and avoid those places where the verbal demolition industry is at work. “Discussion is the visiting card, with which death travels, when he wants to be unrecognized and remain incognito”, said Donoso Cortés. And no one can compel us to participate in one of the many hollow debates in this land and thereby open ourselves to the suspicion that the national conservative world of ideas, the German Idea, is adapting to some arbitrary synthesis of the prevailing system, which includes and therefore relativizes all contradictions.
Anyone who disregards this and voluntarily seeks out those realms where Pavlovian bipeds are conditioned to the new semi-official Newspeak, must not be surprised if there he becomes spun in a cocoon from the spider’s web of a rigged discourse, and then ultimately marginalized. That recently became clear on January 18, 2015, when the valiant PEGIDA front woman Kathrin Oertel allowed herself to be fobbed off in virtually textbook fashion by Günter Jauch on his talk show. Anyone who allows herself to be dismantled in this way has not yet comprehended that talk shows are one of the most important methods of dominance in pragmatic liberalism. These shows exist to prevent genuine and free conversations between independently thinking people, and as Klonovsky expressed it so well, to make an outward demonstration to the viewer, that “in crossing the red line, the local discussion linesman will excitedly wave the little red flag”.
A talkshow has as much to do with the magic of a conversation among independent thinkers as a porno film has to do with a genuine love relationship. In fact, as Botho Strauss rendered it in his legendary Goat’s Song: “The regime of telecratic publicity is the unbloodiest of tyrannies and simultaneously the most comprehensive totalitarianism in history. It need not make heads roll — it makes them superfluous. It knows no subjects and no enemies. It knows only contributors and system conformists. Consequently, no one notices anymore that the power of consent is abusing him, plundering him, mutilating him to the point that he is unrecognizable as a human being.”
To avoid this power of consent, this integration into the smug discourse, it seems to me, the purposeful breach of the rules, planned provocation is, in many cases, the only promising method of gaining attention and then winning a hearing for the rightist intellectual position, at least among bright minds.
According to Götz Kubitschek, provocation is “often the only means available to the weak. Whoever presides over the instruments of power simply pushes through whatever he likes, says what he likes on all available media. The one with no power prepares himself at length and thoroughly, studies the reflexes of the media age and compels public awareness with a coup. Our goal is not participation in the discourse, but its end as consensus form; not joining in the talk, but another conversation; not a place to stand in the salon, but an end to the party.”
It is precisely the privilege of youth — above all a youth that has been deprived of any ideals and whose homeland is now to be taken away as well — to step up defiantly and provocatively in opposition to the protagonists of liberal mendacity. What we definitely do not need is respect for the snow-white hair of the 68er generation.
In the Kafkaesque waiting room where the hesitant Germans are being numbed by semi-official megaphones, considerable significance attaches instead to the role of the troublemaker, the spoilsport, the one who doesn’t go along. Only through spectacular action and memorable pictures, as demonstrated by Konservative-Subversive Aktion or the Identitarian movement, can the ground be prepared for metapolitical sowing and political harvesting.
5. End of Distanceritis
Nothing typifies the lack of intellectual freedom in this land more than the citizen’s fear of isolating himself by expressing his opinions. This fear of self-isolation is only exceeded by the primal fear that approval to speak may come from the wrong quarter. To keep this primal fear on the boil, whole hosts of state-supported exposé-lawyers work to construct an alleged close relationship between critical opinions about the realities in this country on the one hand, and on the other hand a Potemkin valley of lepers painted brown on a brown background.
Since, naturally, no one who has any standing in the world and has anything to lose wants to be found in the proximity of such a corrupt, surreptitious terror, there is a mental early-warning system in most citizens which suppresses beforehand any interest in subjects which could bring one into connection with the wrong people and cause one to be socially despised. This tip-toeing, this regime of denunciation, meanwhile electronically accelerated and worsened by criminal liability, has finally turned the Federal Republic into a land where, after the classic formula of Günter Maschke: “anyone can become someone else’s enemy of the constitution.”
If these thought-police meta-regulations, which are already being applied to ordinary citizens, are undemocratic, unconstitutional and unworthy of a free country, so the rightist opposition groups, afflicted by such an eagerness for distancing and dissociation, deprive themselves at the outset of that clout, which is indispensable in a confrontation with the Leftist-Liberal ruling agglomerate. In this respect, unforgivable mistakes have been made (and will be made) on the Right, who are mainly responsible for their own weakness. While a culture of solidarity prevails on the Left, despite many contradictions, the Right is frequently characterized by a culture of self-denunciation.
In a current analysis, Manfred Kleine-Hartlage rightly speaks of a culture of betrayal in the rightist camp: “The weakness of the Right has something to do with itself: most of its movements (PEGIDA), parties (AfD) and publications (Junge Freiheit) routinely distance themselves from ‘rightist’ and ‘racist’ ideational framework, without sparing a thought to the fact that concepts like ‘rightist’ or ‘racist’ are battle cries of their opponents intended to demonize the representation of the interests of one’s own people. They virtually compete in the fruitless endeavor to rid themselves of the aforementioned labels by affixing them to their ideologically related kindred spirits — although these are further to the right only by nuances — naturally without ever reaping the hoped-for Judas reward, namely, admission to the opinion-shaping elites. Here it is a question of the word ‘appeasement’ in its most disparaging sense: feeding the crocodile in the hope of being the last to be eaten. And each time one is surprised anew that even this shabby, minimal hope is disappointed.”
Whoever continues to work for entry tickets to the ruling political cartel and in this effort succumbs to the illusion that he will of necessity also be allowed to sit at the children’s table and share in the power, misconstrues the incrustations of this state, which is no longer reformable from within under any circumstances. Anyone who arrogantly speaks of a real or even of an imaginary lunatic fringe is himself a lunatic who is contributing to the salami tactics of our political opponents. Whoever jumps over every little distancing stick that is held out, only confirms thereby his political inferiority to the one holding the stick. He acknowledges its game rules and therefore voluntarily enters the playing field which the stick holder has laid out in advance so as to rule out a win, or even a small territorial gain.
Anyone who is incapable of recognizing the archenemy, the Liberalism which is subverting the European peoples; anyone who is incapable of doing everything to weaken it, should stay out of the political sphere and instead have his grandmother read him the fable of the two mice: Once upon a time, there were two mice living together in bitter enmity, and did all sorts of bad things to each other. One day, the cat ate one of the two mice. The other one was overjoyed and felt obliged to pay a personal thank-you visit to the cat, on which occasion it too was eaten up.
If those who feel committed to the German nation, and if those who believe in a future for Germans in their own homeland wish to achieve political success, then this distanceritis, this denunciation — Kleine-Hartlage speaks of this hierarchy of spitting and being spat upon — must come to an end immediately, although “not because there are no differences, but because the wrong people are demanding it; and besides, one does not do that within hearing range of the common enemy,” as Günter Maschke phrased it 15 years ago,
Metapolitics is not a magical cure. It is an indispensable instrument for a political climate change. This is a question of creating a flying mood in this land. As Konrad Lorenz found in his research on migratory birds, the instant of takeoff for the entire flock of perhaps 300 thousand birds is prepared by individual birds taking off a few meters from the ground, while emitting certain quacking sounds and then landing immediately. In the following repetitions of the same process, the birds standing next to the pioneering birds also take off and then return to earth. This process of creating a flying mood gradually widens its circle, in the truest sense of the word, and is repeated up to ten times, until the fascinating moment when suddenly no bird returns to the earth, but the whole flock flies up and begins the journey. Translated to the metapolitical plane, this means that for those who wish to win their countrymen over to their nation, being a model traveling companion is more important than being right. At the heart of the matter is cultural attraction, a new feeling for what it means to be alive beyond the false ways of our time. To stay with the bird analogy: It is useless, as an activist, to ascend alone and fly away without taking along those hesitating on the ground. Above all, political aptitude is shown in the capacity to recognize where mentalities differ, and by what power of persuasion, empathy, emotional strength existing resistance can be broken down.
At the heart of the matter is the re-establishment among Germans of something like a spiritual fellowship and a kinship rooted in the soul. Truly, this will be a painstaking labor given the life-alienating desolation which these ideologies have wrought, especially in our country. But it must be done. For the metapolitical ground is prepared successfully in this manner; sometimes all that is needed are certain triggering moments. Economic and/or foreign policy crisis scenarios emerging on the horizon could swiftly present the establishment with challenges to which they are not equal. Such moments, such leaps into history cannot be forced. But we must be prepared for this moment. The virtue of foreign-controlled peoples is patience, until the day when there is only one virtue left, and that is losing patience. Many thanks.
|1.||German political scientist, 1896-1946, taught at University of Chicago, at Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, etc. (Note from Rembrandt Clancy — Quote probably should be attributed to Hans-Joachim Schoeps.)|
|2.||Referring to the question put to the title character of Goethe’s Faust by his lover Gretchen, who asks him a pressing question on his attitude to religion, so this is a potentially uncomfortable and/or probing question.|
|3.||Fall of the Berlin Wall.|
|4.||Present-day Federal Republic of Germany: Joachim Gauck (president), Marietta Slomka (journalist and TV hostess), Josef Ostermayer [Austrian minister of Culture?] (I have no clue), 1989 German Democratic Republic: Erich Mielke (Minister of State Security — STASI), Hans Modrow (chair of ministerial council), Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler (chief TV commentator, propagandist).|
|5.||auf der grünen Wiese lit., “on the green meadow”: Idiom adapted from city planning = theoretically pure, with no consideration of existing conditions. Here expressed with the English “to sow by the wayside”.|
|6.||Translation of “Die Mühen der Ebenen” — From Brecht’s poem on the beginnings of the GDR state after the fall of the Nazis:
Die Mühen der Gebirge liegen hinter uns;
That is, we have done the work of scaling the mountains, now we have the prosaic but difficult task of crossing the plains.
|7.||State and religious law expert: 1882-1975.|
|8.||The eponymous game in Herman Hesse’s complex final novel — a representation of human learning, combining various themes like philosophy, musical statement, etc. Although play is described, the overall rules are never clear.|
|9.||Embattled president of world soccer league.|
|10.||Reference to the notorious ejection of the journalist and author Eva Herman by the host of a ZDF talk show. Herman had been accused of defending Nazi ideology because, at least in part, of her espousal of certain traditional roles for women, etc., and at one point in the program replied to a reference to Nazism that “highways were built then too, and we are still driving on them.”|
|11.||Juan Donoso Cortès, 1809-1853, Spanish author, diplomat, conservative, Catholic political theorist