Can a person self-diagnose with NPD

Right-wing extremism

Fabian Virchow

To person

Prof. Dr. Fabian Virchow (* 1960), professor for theories of society and theories of political action and head of the research focus right-wing extremism / neo-Nazism at the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences. He studied sociology, economics and social and economic history at the University of Hamburg and received his doctorate in political science from the Free University of Berlin.

She speaks of "people" and "communities of descent", calls for an "obligation to return" for all who she classifies as non-German: The NPD represents a national ideology that primarily propagates inequality among people. A look at the party program shows which misanthropic goals the NPD is pursuing.

A right-wing extremist at a neo-Nazi demonstration in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, on June 1, 2013. (& copy picture-alliance / dpa)

In the recent election campaigns, the NPD presented extensive state election programs. In it, current problems and developments in the respective state politics from the perspective of the NPD are discussed and proposals for action are presented along the lines of ethnic and nationalistic basic assumptions. Accordingly, in the state election program of the NPD Saxony, instead of a humanitarian solution for people seeking protection and refuge in Germany, an "anti-immigration protective shield over Saxony" [1] was called for. In Thuringia, the NPD proposed, among other things, a population policy aimed exclusively at "German children". [2]

In order to understand the NPD positions, it is helpful to turn to the party program that was decided at the beginning of June 2010 at the national party congress of the NPD in Bamberg. The preamble to this policy document already shows what is important to the party.

Construction of a "German national body"

Because the diagnosis of the social situation from the perspective of the NPD shows that the party sees "the German people" threatened with extinction. Declining birth rates, immigration, globalization and the increasing importance of international institutions are cited as reasons. The term "true to life image of man" used by the NPD includes the commitment to the "natural inequality of people" [3]. This does not mean that people differ in terms of their physical and mental constitution, their preferences for music, clothing and political opinions or their behavior. The NPD claims a biological inequality of "races" and "peoples", it speaks of "distinctive national characteristics" - and derives different rights for "different" people from this.

The NPD does not think about people as individuals, but as part of a community that they call "the German people". Its preservation should - if the NPD has it - serve all politics. With this fundamental programmatic statement, the NPD turns against the fundamentals of individual human rights and questions the free-democratic basic order and pluralistic form of society.

For the NPD, however, this "German people" is not composed of people who are citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. The term "population", which means all people who live within geographical borders, for example in the Federal Republic of Germany, has a negative connotation for the NPD. The NPD defines "people" by "descent, language, historical experience and values". Even this basic assumption of the NPD that there is a collective ("the German people") that can be clearly distinguished from "other peoples" is doubtful. In view of centuries of extensive migration movements, it is not possible to speak of a uniform “descent”, nor have the people who live in today's German-speaking countries - as suggested by the NPD [4] - understood themselves as a “German people”. For a long time, their primary points of reference were mostly social structures in the local and regional area, i.e. family, village or region, but not abstract constructions such as "people" or "nation". Even common history does not result in belonging to a "people" with common points of view and interests, as the NPD assumes, because historical experiences and events are experienced and interpreted very differently according to class, gender, age or the degree of direct participation.

Historical experiences do not produce a homogeneous group either, as these are experienced and interpreted very differently depending on class, gender, age or the degree of direct involvement.

The idea of ​​"communities of descent" ("races"), which are clearly identifiable and distinguishable from one another, has been scientifically refuted in many cases. For the NPD, however, this claim is still authoritative. Only through the view that "races" exist that are endowed with specific characteristics can it be asserted that migration leads to the mixing of incompatible group affiliations.

Everything for the good of the "people"

The conclusions drawn from such a point of view can be found not only in the party manifesto of the NPD, but also in election programs and in propaganda publications: Exclusion of "non-Germans" from the social security systems, their political disenfranchisement and an obligation to return to their supposed "homeland". These demands are also aimed at people who were born and raised in Germany, but who, in the opinion of the NPD, are not "Germans by origin". In election campaigns, demands such as "expel criminals from foreigners" are in the foreground, but the NPD is actually concerned with millions of people (having to) leave the country. Corresponding objectives are expressed in the NPD's demand for so-called "repatriation officers" [5], who are supposed to ensure that everyone who is classified as non-German according to "ethnic criteria" disappears from the country - be it by means of a bonus , be it under pressure.

The NPD wants to delete Article 16a of the Basic Law, which regulates the possibility of granting asylum, without replacement. A humanitarian refugee policy that grants people in need and persecution situations indiscriminately long-term safe refuge in Germany is out of the question for the NPD. [6]

The NPD's assignment of a prominent position to "peoples" instead of people, who are all endowed with universal and inalienable human rights by birth, has further consequences. According to the NPD, members of a "people" should align their actions with the well-being of "their people", since an "excessive representation of individual or group interests" [7] is incompatible with the model of the "national community", according to the NPD. Although the NPD leaves open what should be considered "exaggerated", in its publications this meant, among other things, union demands. [8] To think of the coexistence of a large number of people "as a national community" without differences of interests and conflicts is naive. And it is inadequate to the complexity of modern societies in which different points of view and interests are articulated and formed and compromises must always be found anew and often laboriously while safeguarding minority rights. As an action orientation, this goal is also dangerous because it includes the exclusion and discrimination of people who are marked as not belonging.

Father, mother, many, many children - the family picture of the NPD

The ideology of inequality represented by the NPD is continued in the programmatic statements on the subject of "family". In the party program, gender mainstreaming, i.e. the conscious consideration of gender-relevant aspects in political decision-making and design processes and the enabling of diverse life plans for all genders, is rejected as "contrary to nature". The NPD speech of the "difference and equality of men and women" [9] signals that the two genders named here are only viewed as "equal" by the NPD, provided that they are ascribed to them and are supposedly necessarily derived from biology Tasks contribute to the "existence of the people". By emphasizing a family model consisting of man, woman and (as many) children as "natural", other forms of (family) coexistence that have developed particularly in the last thirty years are marked as "unnatural". Accordingly, the NPD takes a stand against the recognition of homosexual ways of life, for example. The NPD sees the "natural" place of women particularly in the rearing of children, but not in the equal participation of women in professional life, which also includes the pursuit of a career and self-fulfillment in so-called "male professions".

One result of the family model demanded by the NPD should be "socially capable" and "high-performing children". The first term refers to the fact that children and adolescents should learn a folkish behavior directed towards the opposite sex in their upbringing and education. Behind the demand for "high performance" lies the thinking of the NPD in hierarchies, which goes hand in hand with their notions of inequality. The party therefore advocates a tripartite education system and rejects the common learning of children with and without disabilities as "Gleichschaltung" [10].

Ethnic thinking can also be found in the ideas of the NPD on the subject of "democracy". If it says in the program that the "rule of the people" presupposes the national community, this position includes the exclusion of millions of people living in Germany from the political co-determination processes in view of the "principle of descent" represented by the NPD. In the recent election campaign for the Thuringian state parliament, the NPD once again propagated the model of a "plebiscitary presidential system" [11] for those who it regards as "German". In this there should be an "identity of governed and governing" with reference to Carl Schmitt, the "crown lawyer of the Third Reich". In the NPD, this national community perspective is based on two elements: a state president who is endowed with special means of power and the introduction of referendums. Thus, according to the NPD, the political system will be freed from the "stranglehold of the bloc parties". This model is directed against parliamentary democracy and the central role that parties in the Federal Republic of Germany have in the political decision-making process. [12] Parliament and parties as an important basis of the democratic system of today's Federal Republic of Germany would de facto be meaningless.

Enemy USA

If the party program of the NPD states that "all socially relevant organizations" should be guaranteed "adequate access to the mass media" [13], it is not just completely unclear what is "appropriate". Rather, voices can also be heard according to which the "mass media (...) are to be placed under state supervision" [14].

The nationalist considerations of the NPD are also decisive in foreign policy. Its goal of uniting all Germans in one nation state and reestablishing a German Empire calls into question the European borders that arose as a result of the National Socialist war, in particular the Oder-Neisse border.

The US is seen as the enemy in foreign policy, as it played a key role in preventing German imperialism from attempting world power in two world wars. In order to thwart this in the attempted new edition of a "German Reich", the NPD advocates nuclear weapons in "German hands" [15]. In accordance with the guideline of "national sovereignty" propagated by the NPD, international institutions and treaties that provide for a restriction of sovereignty rights in order to avert violent conflicts are rejected.

In terms of economic policy, the NPD advocates a state-regulated market economy and particularly wants to promote medium-sized businesses; the individual demands of currency, tax and financial policy are subject to the proviso that they have to serve the "preservation of our people" [16]. According to the NPD, this would be achieved, among other things, by returning to the Deutsche Mark and leaving the European Union.

In its program, the NPD describes a policy of "outsourcing foreigners from the social security system" [17] as "national solidarity". This also includes the suggestion that people with a migration background should pay the costs of their eviction from Germany themselves.

Racist, misanthropic and unconstitutional

The party program of the NPD outlines the goal of a folkish form of coexistence based on the fundamental idea of ​​inequality between people. It contains numerous far-reaching violations of human dignity and of the constitutional social system of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the party's publications and in the speeches of its officials, there are regular racist and anti-human rights statements that go beyond this. In a brochure published by the NPD party executive, which is intended as an argumentation aid for the party functionaries, it says, for example, "Members of other races remain ... physically, mentally and psychologically always foreign bodies, no matter how long they live in Germany, and mutate through the award Papiers not to Germans of Germanic origin. "[18] As a member of the state parliament in Saxony, Jürgen Gansel expressed his contempt for human rights by calling them a" fetish term ". [19]

Compared to the 1960s, when the NPD was represented by MPs in several state parliaments, the party program has been tightened significantly; Compared to the party program of 1997 and other programmatic documents of the early 2000s, some formulations that exposed the racist and anti-democratic character of the party are somewhat withdrawn and less visible. This is not least a consequence of the ongoing social discussion about a ban on the party. But the program and practice of the NPD still stand for an anti-humanitarian goal overall.