Martin Wagener is a German political scientist. In the following interview Dr. Wagener discusses the deconstruction of the German people, as implemented by the current leadership of the country.
Many thanks to Hellequin GB for translating this article from Junge Freiheit:
“Not all are the German people”
Professor Wagener, we are in a “culture war for the people”, according to the thesis of your book. In what way?
Martin Wagener: At the time of reunification it was still clear what was meant by “people”: The term referred to the members of the German cultural nation. Today, however, politics and the media are trying to redefine its content.
Wagener: For example, by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said during the 2017 election campaign: “The people are everyone who lives in this country.” Of course, that is nonsense, as foreigners cannot categorically belong to that group. In the Kulturkampf (Culture War) there is a struggle for the sovereignty to interpret what constitutes a people. The dominant forces in politics and the media agree: a specific German people no longer exists beyond citizenship. I challenge that: there is a German people in the cultural sense as a subset of the people of the German state.
Officially, there is always talk of “modernization” or a “more diverse society”. But is there actually much more to these terms?
Wagener: The government and the leading media want to rhetorically anticipate the desired model of society, in the hope that at some point there will be no more inquiries. Incidentally, if the Federal Republic of Germany becomes more and more culturally heterogeneous, that is a step backwards. Inner peace in Germany has been created over centuries through processes of balance between religions, social, economic and political groups. It took a very long time for those norms that the Basic Law reflects to gain majority support. This consensus is being called into question by immigration from Islamic and other non-cultural areas. The more “colorful” [bunte] we become, the more inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts there will be in the long term.
“The term ‘German people’ is associated with ‘right’”
Who are the actors in this dispute?
Wagener: There is fundamental dissent in society about who we are and what this means for Germany in the long term. The Union (CDU/CSU), FDP, SPD, Greens, the Left and the leading media advocate the multicultural nation of will in different ways. Only the AfD contradicts this in the Bundestag. In addition, there are some dissidents from other parties who used to campaign for the dominant German culture.
What strategy is used to conduct the Kulturkampf?
Wagener:The political forces on the Left have achieved a great feat over the decades. Frames were established through continuous repetition, through which terms such as “German people”, “German nation” or “Vaterland” are automatically associated with “right” by many. At the same time, in politics and the media, “right”, which actually expresses “conservative”, is almost consistently used as a synonym for “right-wing extremist”, i.e. anti-constitutional. This is how a mighty sword came into being. Anyone who, against the background of their own identity, believes that not everyone in the Federal Republic belongs to the culturally understood German people will be branded as a potential right-wing extremist. This strategy is successful: in 1996, 16 percent of those questioned said in a survey that fatherland and patriotism were sensitive topics of conversation.
Above all, your book criticizes the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Why?
Wagener: Its president, Thomas Haldenwang, is instrumental, and lobbies for the “fight against the right”. He often uses “right” and “right-wing extremist” synonymously. The terms “foreign infiltration” and “Islamization” are considered suspicious, and “Euroskepticism” is a typical topic of right-wing extremists. Here someone intervenes in the discourse, also on the basis of a crude popular term, in favor of the multicultural nation of the will. Haldenwang is thus exceeding his mandate. The most recent report on the protection of the Constitution from June 2021 also mentions an “alleged ‘Islamization’” and an “alleged uncontrolled mass immigration”. At the same time, the proportion of Muslims in Germany alone increased from 4.4 to 4.7 million at the end of 2015 to 5.3 to 5.6 million in 2019.
“Government does not consider German people worth preserving”
So does the Office for the Protection of the Constitution play politics and also undermine the Basic Law?
Wagener: The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is first and foremost concerned with protecting the Basic Law. In the “fight against the right”, Haldenwang tries far too aggressively to please politicians. Constitutional violations were found several times in court. Because the authority had not kept a standstill promise, the Cologne Administrative Court even spoke in March of a destroyed “basis of trust”. After that there should have been a resignation.
Our Basic Law defines the Federal Republic in terms of state authority, state territory and state people. So isn’t a fight against the people unconstitutional?
Wagener: A distinction must be made between people and state people. The Federal Government no longer regards the culturally understood German people as an actor or even as worthy of preservation. It only thinks from the perspective of citizenship. Constitutional lawyers such as Rupert Scholz consider it questionable, regarding the Basic Law, whether the identity of the people of the nation is changed by more and more immigration. I agree with this in my “Theory of the Primordial Sovereign”, which I formulated in the book.
What do you mean by that?
Wagener: The German people gave themselves their own state with the German Reich in 1871. In 1949 a part of this act was reorganized in the form of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, the bearer of the nation state was still the culturally understood German people, and it was always the task of the state to protect this group, which I call the primordial sovereign, with identity. The reason is simple: the German people existed in a prerogative; the state did not. The governments of Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel have pushed back the relevance of the primordial sovereign by restructuring the composition of the population. I very much doubt that this was and is constitutionally permissible from a teleological point of view.
“National pride and sympathy for Bismarck seem suspicious”
Can’t you then take legal action against it?
Wagener:Constitutional lawyers can give a better answer to that. Under the conditions of the party state, however, it will certainly not be easy. Especially since state representatives regularly argue from a post-factual worldview. For example, the constitutional protectors from Lower Saxony published a study in 2016 in which national pride and sympathy for Otto von Bismarck were classified as suspicious. In terms of identity, double standards are also often used. For example, how would the Office for the Protection of the Constitution assess the following sentence: “The ethnically defined German people have an ancestral living space at their disposal.” As right-wing extremists, of course. In contrast, the federal government has publicly declared that it sees indigenous peoples as “ethnically defined population groups” who have “ancestral living space”.
“Population exchange” is considered a right-wing extremist conspiracy theory. But isn’t it then a reality?
Wagener:The term is nonsensical insofar as one people is not brought out of the country so that another can take its place. But we are of course experiencing a change in the composition of the population. This is not carried out by a commissioned authority. The federal government has simply set the social switches in such a way that the proportion of autochthons continues to decline. At the beginning of Angela Merkel’s era, 18.6 percent of people in Germany had a migration background in the broadest sense; in 2019 it was already 25.6 percent. Let me give you the figures for major German cities: Munich 45.7 percent, Offenbach 63.9 percent, both in 2020, and Frankfurt / Main 54.1 percent in 2019 (there children up to the age of five: 71.8 percent) . These are facts, not a conspiracy theory. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution only shoots blank cartridges here. But these pop violently and frighten many people.
How did this culture war actually begin?
Wagener: The time of National Socialism, especially the crime of the Holocaust, triggered trauma in our nation. On this basis, a primarily negatively charged narrative on the role of the German people was created. Activists of the ‘68 generation and philosophers such as Jürgen Habermas have intellectualized the approach. The bourgeois camp was simply too weak, often too cowardly, to hold back. Since the refugee and migration crisis in 2015 at the latest, there has been more contradiction — from the AfD to outraged citizens on the streets and in the internet forums. This has unsettled the political and media elite, which is why they intensified the culture war against the people. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is also used for this purpose.
“Day of German Unity is not the day of foreigners”
Where do we stand in this dispute?
Wagener: The mainstream is clearly on the offensive; the bourgeois camp is trotting — or better: idling — afterwards. In an affluent society such as Germany, questions of national identity play a subordinate role. That makes it easy for the advocates of the multicultural nation of will. Apron activists and radical politicians who speak in an aggressive and often anti-constitutional manner on the subject ultimately only support the mainstream narrative.
How does it all end?
Wagener: I suspect that the culture war for the people will gain momentum. This could above all be the case if the proportion of migrants in Germany continues to rise and an economic downturn occurs at the same time. From the perspective of the German elite, however, the question does not even arise. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at the unification celebration in Potsdam on October 3, 2020: “We are all the people.” Like Merkel, he reinterprets reunification and the sentence “We are one people”. In contrast to the facts: In 1990 a divided cultural nation was reunited. The day of German unity is not the day of foreigners. You may be shown respect on other occasions.
Why is there no public debate about such a fundamental process?
Wagener: There certainly is, but immigration is viewed far too one-sidedly as an opportunity. The dangers to inner peace, for example, are underestimated. The question of who we are should be discussed much more openly.
“If someone questions the status quo, then there is outrage”
Your new book has already been attacked and you are now accused of extremism.
Wagener: A colleague from my own department publicly classified my remarks on the Identitarian Movement in Germany as apologetic. In doing so, I only pointed to contradictions in the arguments of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution — for example, its refusal to take note of contradicting empirical evidence. If the Identitarians and their Austrian thought leader Martin Sellner repeatedly declare that they are not striving for an ethnically homogeneous people, the authorities cannot simply brush that off the table. But they do.
Are the attacks on you part of the Kulturkampf?
Wagener: Of course. Many German right-wing extremism researchers are very far left politically. They tend to regard terms such as “people”, “nation” and “fatherland” as problematic. If someone makes a plea for the preservation of the German cultural nation, he is suspect per se. It is then just a matter of somehow finding “evidence” to brand him and his position. In view of the lack of argumentative resistance, some colleagues also believe that they no longer have to substantively justify the rapid labeling of “right-wing extremists”. If someone questions the status quo, there is pure horror. If I had written Kulturkampf um das Volk before my tenure as civil servant, I would be unemployed today.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Prof. Dr. Martin Wagener teaches political science with a focus on international and security policy at the intelligence services department of the Federal University for Public Administration in Berlin. His new book Kulturkampf um das Volk. The protection of the constitution and the national identity of the Germans has now appeared. He has been running his own podcast on YouTube since July 2021. The political scientist was born in Lüneburg in 1970.
Afterword from then translator:
And this Culture War is not only being waged in Germany against the German people. It’s being waged all over the world against WHITE people, predominantly by WHITE people who are heavily infected with a certain — very contagious — academented retardation that has metamorphosed in recent decades into a full-blown pandemic that most people are afraid to contain or have the will to eradicate, up until the moment when the “contagion” kills them — and by then it will be too late.
You simply cannot continue the status quo when the other side is out for your blood.
“He who refuses to learn deserves extinction” — Hillel the Elder