Against the Right: Narcissism and Pseudo-Activism

Below is the latest op-ed from the German opinion writer Anabel Schunke. Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece from Roland Tichy’s blog:

Against the Right: Narcissism and Pseudo-Activism

by Anabel Schunke
June 18, 2016

Flyer: Hand-in-hand against racism

Hardly anything in this country is as little questioned as the phantom battle against the imaginary brown social majority. “Hand-In-Hand Against Racism — For Humanity and Diversity.” A title like that can do anything, because it says nothing.

And here we go again. Faced with the omnipresent racism in Germany — which has in the meantime even jumped to the “uninhibited middle,” as the Heinrich Böll Foundation recently discovered[1] — haste in going to battle against the “rightist rabble-rousing” is called for. A glance at the past months will suffice to create a picture of the increasing racism here. A racism which can be perceived in the many refugee assisters, the general willingness of the civilian population to provide aid and funds in recent months, as well as the many immigrating groups which see Germany as a completely non-racist country. So it is understandable that a clear signal must be given against xenophobia.

“Hand-In-Hand Against Racism — For Humanity and Diversity” is the name of the newly minted alliance against “rightist rabble-rousing,” which is calling for a nationwide human chain for June 18th and 19th. The alliance is supported, of course, by a Who’s Who of German asylum profiteers, organizations of the bleeding hearts and the indignant. Among them, leftist utopian groups like ProAsyl and Campact, as well as public profiteers like the DGB[2] and Diakonie[3] and diverse developmental aid organizations such as Bread for the World and Misereor.[4] And of course the association of experts on tolerance — the Central Council of Muslims, as well as the German Lesbian and Gay association and the Union of Progressive Jews. In this latter case, we might well ask, for exactly what “diverse pluralism” they will be hitting the streets with the others mentioned. Would it be for that diversity in France that provides impetus for the emigration in droves by Jews on account of the mass Arab immigration of recent decades, or perhaps the “multiplicity” that recently cost 50 people in Orlando Florida their lives, because Muslims (possibly suppressed gay Muslims) are not pleased to see gay men freely living out their sexuality?

Gegen Rechts (Against-the-Right) Always Does Well and Only Needs to Brag

The theme “racism” plus “battle against the Right” is and remains a lasting motif. You can’t go wrong with it. Hardly anything here is as little questioned as the phantom battle against the imaginary brown social majority. “Hand-In-Hand Against Racism — For Humanity and Diversity.” A title like that can do anything, because it says nothing. You can just see it, when the founders of the action are sitting around a table: “Hey, let’s start an action against the Right. What to call it? Yeah, something with human rights and multiplicity. That always works. Oh yeah, that’s good!”

Meaningless, unchanging phrases with which anyone can agree, and yet behind which there is so much misconception and so little consideration of consequences, that it gives you a migraine. But the meaninglessness is what makes its so successful. It is so noncommittal that anyone can agree with it at no risk of being wrong. Others can bear the direct consequences of this Political Correctness pose we in Germany are dealing with. It is important to be on the right side, unequivocally and with minimum protest. Useful initiatives? Real steps to solve what will be the result of this posture in the coming years? Who needs it?

So the inescapable consequence is that the absurdity of participation by certain organizations in such a movement is not questioned at all. Even in the case of a gay and lesbian organization or a Jewish union, critical comments about Islam based on evident and widespread Islamic anti-Semitism and hatred for homosexuals would require more justification than holding hands with Aiman Mayzek[5] in a lame-brained human chain against the specter of racism. Indeed, it is easy to be “good” in Germany, if you just do something against racism and for human rights.

But what does that mean in reverse? That anyone who does not want to hold hands with Aiman Mayzek is a racist? That Germany is still a deeply racist country and it has to be rubbed in how racist and evil its society is and what we should really think about that? What is this really about? Is it that we are staying aloof from foreigners, that we have something against people of color or our Jewish fellow human beings? Or perhaps it is really about the increasing criticism of the chancellor’s asylum policy, or of mass immigration from largely Islamic countries which is causing so many problems. Is it really that the German is racist, or rather that criticism of Islam is becoming louder and louder and the desire is to stifle it with politically correct human chains?

No question — in Germany as in every other country, there are rightist radical nut cases, but most of them are neither racist nor do we need any human chains in the Battle against the Right to suggest that to the social majority. Criticism of or skepticism about Islam, even though it has not yet appeared in some part-time moralists, is not racism. Religious critique is among the solid elements of an enlightened, modern society. And it is important that it exists and that the discussion about Islam and the mass immigration of Muslims is taking place. If it is not conducted now, then it will be later and more harshly.

The conflicts will become ever more obvious and nothing can be suppressed forever with political correctness and an inculcated bad conscience. Even today, the Left will not be able to thoroughly train people in its philosophy. It is and remains a human need to speak about continued coexistence. If that is passed up in favor of creating a couple of human chains for “diversity” (which no one really cares about anymore) then, sooner or later, things will get really uncomfortable. The Germans will put up with a lot — just not everything.

Nobody is Evil — Only the German

And that explains who is actually demonstrating against whom. What is being demonstrated against here is not a few Nazis from the east or even intolerant, racist Muslims, of whom there are enough. Rather, it is the self-described anti-racist German demonstrating against the non-racist other German who is just not Gutmensch enough, because he criticizes Islam and the chancellor’s asylum policy. Forget targeting those on whom a little tolerance would sit well. Nor the above-mentioned multitude of Muslims on Islamic Facebook, who routinely call Jews dogs, Germans kuffar and gays perverts. No, the target is and remains the evil German and his racist attitude. Fundamentalist Muslims are to be protected under the mantle of empty phrases like “human rights and diversity.” And, in seclusion, they can propagate their intolerant opinions on all possible www platforms.

Beyond that, it would be seriously risky to suddenly oppose those who are actually against human rights and tolerance for all. A phantom battle against the many “rightist” Germans is much simpler. They, you see, do not defend themselves. Nobody wants to be Pegida. And so the apologists for political correctness continue to have a hold on us. The sense or absurdity of such actions is, as always, unquestioned.

And that exposes the bankruptcy of the free society. The fact that we do not question the ideologues and their commitment, while we attempt to silence their critics by use of the ever-present political correctness. That we just swallow empty, meaningless phrases, and do not dare to expose our own, real opinion. That we allow ourselves to be manipulated into a largely imaginary battle against the Right; that we hold hands with Aiman Mazyek instead of at last withdrawing our hand. That we allow guilt to be heaped on us once again and allow ourselves to be called racists, while the actual guilty parties — the racists, the gay-haters and the generally intolerant people are sitting at home in front of the TV and laughing at our human chains.

It is these faux debates, this pseudo-activism that skirts the actual problems which will ultimately strike us full force. Whether there will be a human chain for us then is questionable.


1.   Since 2002, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has funded and published studies on the “enthemmte Mitte” — the “uninhibited middle/center.” (Its 2016 study is also sponsored by, among others, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation!!!)

From the 2016 study: “Classic right extremist attitudes have barely changed in recent years in Germany. At the same time the denigration of asylum seekers, Muslims and gypsies is growing. How can this development be explained?”

2.   German Federation of Trade Unions
3.   Welfare outreach of Evangelical churches in Germany.
4.   Catholic welfare organization.
5.   Media consultant and chair of the Central Council of Muslims.

8 thoughts on “Against the Right: Narcissism and Pseudo-Activism

  1. Menschenrechte means “human rights”, not “humanity”, which would be Menschheit

  2. The translation of “Vielfalt” as both “diversity” and “multiplicity” invites us to ponder how these concepts differ. Namely,
    diversity = many different things
    multiplicity = many copies of the same thing

    And the reference to “Muslims … who routinely call Jews dogs” reminds us of the flag of the Islamic State, which shows, in left-to-right roman letters in its round emblem,
    “alll JewS Dog”:
    How was it arranged that a right-to-left slogan in Arabic would also be left-to-right slogan in English? It’s a miracle of Allah!

  3. Malcom Smith–Yes, thank you. My inner editor overrode the visual evidence.

    Mark Spahn–Also thank you. As always a creative view of the uses of language.

  4. I just wonder how bad it has to get before Germans throw the chains of guilt off and declare that they don’t want to live this way.
    I don’t know the circulation of this essay in Germany. I suspect it is rather small.

  5. the jews have always been big advocates of multiculturalism. Except in their own country

    • Your opinion is so obviously out of touch with everyday reality that I let it in despite our usual policy regarding “Jew” comments.

      If Israel is so un-multicultural, how come it is the ONLY country in the Middle East to permit The Other to live there and to vote and work. The Arab population in Israel could easily move if it wanted to. But life in Israel is better than it is anywhere else in MENA. So while they may complain, Arabs continue to remain citizens in Israel where they can vote and work and where educational opportunities for their children are better than anywhere else in the region.

      And Israel allows this despite the risk of the crazies who blow themselves up, taking with them as many Jews as possible.

      Your point of view is far removed from the facts on the ground, but that is often the sad case for those with an axe to grind.

      NOTE TO READERS: FYI – Over time we have learned that whenever we allow in comments like this one from “LordLemur”, numerous Jew-haters pop up here like mushrooms after a rain. Just to let you know, this is the only flight of fancy that will be permitted into an otherwise lucid conversation. The tedious predictability of these folks quickly drags the dialogue into perfervid swamps. Any other responses of this sort – to me here or to his Lordship – will be deleted to prevent skewing an otherwise normal thread. Just step over this and keep going.

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