What do conservatives call themselves now?

Conservative revolutionRevolutionary chant swelling (1/2)

Almost 99 years after Ernst Niekisch proclaimed the Munich Soviet Republic in 1919, the Bavarian politician Alexander Dobrindt wanted a new revolution. This time, however, one that comes from the Christian conservatives who have been pushed on the defensive, in other words a "conservative revolution" in the literal sense of the word.

In his essay, Thomas Meyer introduces old and new conservative revolutionaries and goes in search of the "spirit" to which old and young right-wingers pay homage.

Thomas Meyer studied philosophy and modern German literature in Munich, where he received his doctorate in 2003, and in 2009 he completed his habilitation in philosophy in Munich. After numerous fellowships and guest professorships, Thomas Meyer is now teaching in Kiel. He writes radio programs, books on 20th century philosophy and edited three volumes of texts by Hannah Arendt.

BR 2018

(Part 2 on September 30, 2018)



"The conservative describes itself from its Christian roots. This is part of the value program of a bourgeois-conservative politics, which is demanded and supported by the majority of the people in our country. The left story of the sixty-eight is told to an end and has become obsolete. What we Currently experiencing is a conservative revolution of the citizens - grown in the middle of our community, with a reflection on tradition and values. The greenhouse of this development are globalization and digitization, because in a world that is changing ever faster, people yearn for a firm hold - for home, security and freedom. "

We have actually known what Alexander Dobrindt wrote on March 2, 2018 in the daily newspaper "Die Welt" for many years. The conservative is a Christian, he does not live in a society - that is what the outdated leftists want - but in a community. But it is threatened by anonymous and powerful forces that hide behind the terms "globalization" and "digitization". Driven into a corner like this, the Christian conservative grabs what he knows. And that, according to Dobrindt, is "home, security and freedom".

Conservative revolution

But in the middle of the well-known, the former transport minister hid a verbal explosive device. Almost exactly 99 years to the day after Ernst Niekisch proclaimed the Munich "Soviet Republic" in 1919, Dobrindt saw another "revolution" spreading. This time, however, one that came from the defensive Christian conservatives, in other words a "conservative revolution" in the literal sense of the word. The reactions were not lacking.

Original sound from Luise Kinseher: "Bavaria is in a state of upheaval. Nothing is the same as it was before, but I always say, not everything is bad. For example, if you develop well, that's Alexander Dobrindt, so if you were a three-year-old you would say highly gifted. Conservative revolution So you have to come up with something like that first. Just the term, old boy, you shot something out of it. Alexander Dobrindt, the inventor of the sharp blank cartridge Conservative Revolution. "

For Luise Kinseher, alias "Mama Bavaria", Dobrindt's advance was nothing more than a momentary mental aberration. One of countless ones that she demonstrated to political celebrities and the television audience in the tradition of Nockherberg-Derbleckens: Sponge about it! Go on!

But Dobrindt's excitement didn't disappear that quickly. When asked about this, the shirt-sleeved and nationally liberal FDP leader Christian Lindner was amused by his friend's peculiar excursion into the world of ideological history - and was himself basically:

Original sound from Christian Lindner: "Well, I'm the chairman of a liberal party and Mr. Spahn and Mr. Dobrindt are ... well ... so Mr. Dobrindt is talking about a conservative revolution for our country. I will leave the historical note of this term uncommented, but the Free Democrats stand for nothing less available than for a conservative revolution in Germany. We are a liberal party, we want a modern, cosmopolitan social policy. "

Excursion into the depths of German myths

That was a politician's speech, in which one did not know whether Lindner would not have liked to land the coup himself. But what if Dobrindt's talk of the "conservative revolution" was not an accidental excursion into the depths of German myths? Rather, a possibly unconscious, yet precise reference to what has long been part of German reality? And why should a seemingly paradoxical term, of all things, which sums up the striving for preservation and continuation with the call for revolution and completely new not exactly describe this reality?

So let's go on a search for what was once understood by the colorful catchphrase of the "conservative revolution". This is the only way to get an idea of ​​why the intellectual right and the political representatives of right-wing populism cannot get enough of an impending "conservative revolution".

To do this, we first go to the auditorium maximum of the University of Munich. It is January 10, 1927, and the huge hall is overcrowded. The famous poet and librettist from Richard Strauss will appear: Hugo von Hofmannsthal. An intellectual aristocrat who, with his famous Chandos letter from 1902, described the cultural crisis of the turn of the century better and more precisely than anyone else.

Hofmannsthal takes up in his beloved Munich what he already said in the letter, namely that modernity has released us into permanent uncertainty. But this time Hofmannsthal brought some good news that he had placed at the very end of his speech:

"I'm talking about a process in which we stand in the middle, a synthesis that is so slow and grand - if you can see it from the outside - as dark and testing if you stand in it. Slow and grand, we are probably allowed to do the process If we consider that the long period of development from the convulsions of the Age of Enlightenment to us is only a span in it, that it actually begins as an inner counter-movement against that intellectual upheaval of the sixteenth century, which we Renaissance in its two aspects The process of which I am speaking is nothing more than a conservative revolution on a scale unprecedented in European history, whose goal is form, a new German reality in which the whole nation can participate . "

A complicated journey through intellectual history

So there it was, the keyword of the "conservative revolution". At Hofmannsthal, it is the result of a complicated journey through intellectual history, at the center of which is language as the glue of the nation. Because only language, the "game of conflicting tendencies - aristocratic as well as leveling, revolutionary as well as conservative," can merge into a unity, so Hofmannsthal. For him, the "conservative revolution" is ultimately nothing more than the possibility that a linguistic nation will become a political nation due to its special history.

Let us not forget that the speech was given in 1927. The "conservative revolution" à la Hofmannsthal is proclaimed in the middle of the supposedly golden years of the Weimar Republic. Despite its patriotic charge, it has nothing subversive about it; it wants to transport the German spirit organically from language to politics.

That changes fundamentally just five years later: the first German democracy is only a shadow of itself. For the present day diagnosticians, Hofmannsthal's idea of ​​a "conservative revolution" has a completely different appeal. Edgar Jung, for example, who caused a sensation in 1931 with the book "The rule of the inferior. Their disintegration and replacement by a new empire", wrote a year later in the article after "Germany and the Conservative Revolution":

"We call the conservative revolution the reinstatement of all those elementary laws and values, without which man loses his connection with nature and God and cannot build a true order. In place of equality comes inner value, and in place of social sentiment, just incorporation In the tiered society, in place of mechanical choice organic leadership growth, in place of bureaucratic constraint the internal responsibility of real self-administration, in place of mass happiness the right of people's personality Restoring what is most intrinsic first, that it puts it in a humble relationship to the whole, merging microcosmic value and macrocosmic priority, is a religious one. "

Jung, who was murdered by the National Socialists in 1934 in connection with the Röhm Putsch, is no longer alone in his stance. Rather, the talk of "organic leadership growth", the "tiered society" and the "right of people's personality" is common currency among right-wing intellectuals.

Big and detailed thinking in the magazine "Die Tat"

In particular, the magazine "Die Tat" had spoken of a "conservative revolution" in the sense of the right-wing national Edgar Jung since the journalist Hans Zehrer took over as the publisher in 1929. Precisely that Zehrer who in 1946 will be one of the founders of "Welt", that is, the newspaper in which Dobrindt's "conservative revolution" reminiscence was published.

Zehrer and his colleagues made a comprehensive offer for how the "conservative revolution" could be kicked off, organized and then institutionalized. And there was something else: What Jung and many other right-wing intellectuals lacked was economic knowledge. They were determined to do everything, but the road to practice was either dull actionist or just spiritualized. In fact, however, one could read how the economic instability after the stock market crash in 1929 could be used. One thought that was "indeed" at the same time large and in love with detail. Once a new system came into power, everything would change - from "space" to family happiness.

"The landscape is affirmed as a closed space with a very special life of its own, blood, soil and fate-like connected space."

This space will be filled with a new people who will live in a corporate state, in which organization and order will prevail, who will drive out bloodless liberalism and its changeling called atheism. At the end of 1931, it was the film critic and sociologist Siegfried Kracauer who summed up the ideology of the "conservative revolution" in the "Tat" group under the title "Aufruhr der Mittelschichten".

"People, state, myth - these coherently coherent terms mean a substantial reality. Because the 'deed' is oriented towards them, it is also capable of a substantial criticism of the prevailing conditions; indeed, it only turns from the existing around it because it is in essential ways unbearable. "

"Conservative Revolution" has been overrun by "National Revolution"

We shall see later how much the New Right of our day falls back on ideas from Jung and the "Tat" group. What should be pointed out now is a strategy that almost broke the neck of Zehrer and his people: there were only marginal similarities with the NSDAP. Above all, everything related to the anti-Semitism of the National Socialists was sharply rejected. In addition, the "Tat" people were in no way interested in mass action. They even believed they could split the NSDAP: So they chose the strategy of the "cross front", that is, they wanted to drive a wedge into the party. Namely between the so-called "left" wing of the Strasser brothers and Hitler and his supposedly more radical consorts. The aim of the strategy was ultimately to weaken both directions in favor of a greater influence of right-wing national associations. It is well known that one failed miserably. The desired "conservative revolution" was overrun by the so-called "national revolution" and remained at best a niche phenomenon.

But that did not harm the "Tat" group in the long term. Zehrer and the other editors not only survived the "Third Reich". They skilfully used the numerous opportunities during the twelve years to plan for the time thereafter. And so they got into important journalistic positions immediately after 1945. This made them extremely important advisors to the next generation of "conservative revolutionaries".

Not a direct student of the "Tat" group, but a precise reader of their writings, turned out to be a Swiss of all people. Through the closest contact to the constitutional lawyer Carl Schmitt as well as the writer and world war hero Ernst Jünger, he was able to give the "conservative revolution" a reputation that continues to this day - and fascinates many right-wing intellectuals. It was Armin Mohler, who was born in Basel in 1920 and died in Munich in 2003, who provided the decisive boost in our history. His dissertation, "The Conservative Revolution in Germany 1918-1932", completed in 1949, was twofold: At first glance, it was a handbook of people and their bibliographies who had criticized the Weimar Republic in any way from the "right". And secondly, it was a cleverly disguised appeal to mobilize again the ideals of the "conservative revolution" that were supposedly perverted under the National Socialists.

Handbook as a justification for anti-democratic thought

But one after the other. So that everyone knew from the start what they were getting into, Mohler immediately offered a definition of what is summarized under the term "conservative revolution":

"By this we mean the spiritual renewal movement that seeks to clear up the rubble left behind by the 19th century and to create a new order of life. If we only pick out the period from 1918 to 1932, the 'Conservative Revolution' already begins in the Goethe time, and it has not been interrupted by what has happened since then, but continues today in the most varied of ways. And even if we only represent the German part of it, we find it in most of the other European and even non-European ones Countries. It encompasses all areas of life, although we are only picking out its expression in a single area, that of political thought. "

It was precisely in the time of Goethe that Mohler began his story, which, as well-meaning Germans believed after 1945, was the real democratic nucleus of German history. From this perspective Hofmannsthal was just an aristocratic slip of the tongue, surrounded by unequivocal anti-democrats. But the "conservative revolution" was not just a German phenomenon: Russian authors published a paper entitled "Conservative Revolution" as early as 1875, which sparked a long debate. The term appeared in the French Charles Maurras as early as 1900. The list could be extended across the continent with prominent names.

In addition, Mohler's book was a justification of anti-democratic thought created through skilful omissions and manipulations. Because those who were presented in the "Handbook" had not even the idea of ​​crossing the borders of National Socialism, which Mohler had strictly guarded.

"Today there are two dark burdens on the German soul that do not allow them to breathe freely: the experience of National Socialism and the experience of the East. The experience of the East (or more precisely: the advance into the East and the counter-thrust of the East) has its valid form has not yet been found. Likewise, despite all the fruitful approaches, there is still no fundamental representation of National Socialism. This requires a greater distance than the five years that separate us from its collapse. "

National Socialism and the Cold War as a "sequence of events"

Mohler's main concern was to portray National Socialism and the Cold War as a series of events, as a great "world civil war", as they said in the fifties. In this constellation, National Socialism was already only the radical answer to communism's plans for conquest. The attack on Poland in September the preventive defense against an uncanny rearmament policy of the neighbor further east. The Holocaust just didn't happen. If only for that reason not to burden the entire history of the "conservative revolution" with something for which, according to Mohler, it was not responsible. And if it had to be, then the extermination of European Jews was part of the war.

A closer look revealed even more: For the Swiss, the conservative revolutionaries were not only anti-democrats with occasional loans from the extreme left, they were above all antichrists. Not only the liberalism of the Weimar Republic mobilized the opposing broadside.Christianity, which tends to compromise and forgive, also weakens the people's strengths and drives reconciliation, where friend and foe have to be clearly separated, argued Mohler.

His book was a success, which was soon followed by a small study of the French offshoots of the "conservative revolution". One not only looked up the Swiss when looking for spiritual ancestors, but also felt that it laid the foundations for a different Germany. Not everyone was initially enthusiastic. Especially the old comrades like Hans Zehrer of the "Tat" warned according to the old Wehrmacht slogan "Cover is better than sight!": In a letter from 1950 to Mohler it is said that the book is "good and hardworking," but it will come early and too careless. "

Then Zehrer became more specific, because he too had not yet given up his plans for a "conservative revolution":

"Because I believe in the future of the conservative idea, I do not like it when it is written about. It should not be made conscious! Right now it enjoys the privilege of making all other positions conscious - and thus dead - and should do so make good use of it. But it shouldn't manifest itself. The others are just waiting for that. "

Networks like with Franz Josef Strauss

Mohler understood immediately: guard the Arcanum, secure the secret. He had learned that from Jünger and Schmitt. He took Zehrer seriously and took other paths: He served himself successfully in politics, namely Franz Josef Strauss. And he began to build networks that are stable and reliable to this day, warming up around the campfire of the "conservative revolution". So it says in 1995 in a commemorative publication on Mohler's 75th birthday, looking back as well as looking ahead:

"The 'Conservative Revolution' is Mohler's very own, original invention, one of his superhistorical punchlines."

If you bring the whole effort to one point, says Mohler's friend and sociology professor Robert Hepp with great enthusiasm, it would be about "pulling the cart of German history out of the dirt again."

But we anticipated. Mohler himself did not let himself be irritated by failed academic plans - and eventually became head of the Munich Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation. Here he was able to continue working on his intellectual and political "conservative revolution" in peace and with the best possible economic security. Networking in particular made headway. Let's take a short look at the essential person who will drive things forward with Mohler in the future: Caspar von Schrenck-Notzing. The wealthy aristocrat, who was born in Munich in 1927 and died there in 2009, found a partner in Mohler for further plans. Schrenck-Notzing had successfully approached the arcanum of the conservative revolution in 1965 with the writing "character wash", which sharply attacked the process of the alleged "manipulation" of the German people by means of "re-education" by the Allies. In 1970 he founded the magazine "Criticón" with Mohler. It became the actual successor to the "Tat", had a circulation of up to 8,000 and can be regarded as the breeding ground on which the weekly newspaper "Junge Freiheit" was founded in May 1986 in Freiburg.

With "Junge Freiheit" we have already arrived at the present. Because unlike Zehrer, Mohler, Schrenck-Notzing, to say nothing of "Criticón", the "Junge Freiheit" is very much alive in every respect, with over 30,000 copies sold weekly in the middle of media life.

And in the course of right-wing populism, which is successful across Europe, its editor-in-chief Dieter Stein has become an "expert" that is also popular in the so-called mainstream media. With this statement we have come to a very important point in the development of the "conservative revolution". And that doesn't just mean that we're dealing with the third and fourth generations of this movement.

For the first time, conservative revolutionaries have realistic hope of power

It is more important that for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic and parts of Europe there is a realistic hope for power on the part of the conservative revolutionaries. If you read their publications from the past few years and follow their political strategies, it will be difficult to reject a picture.

It is the image of the seed that is finally growing. Of course, the conservative revolutionaries know that countless historical coincidences contributed to this. However, from their perspective, the decadence of the West after the collapse of the Eastern bloc after 1989,

the complacency of democratic societies while at the same time unleashing globalized capitalism,

the associated emptying of the self-confidence of the German nation,

the resurgence of concepts of national identity and the need to make peace with one's own history

and finally the extreme carelessness of the political classes in dealing with the needs of their own people,

with simultaneous preference for migrants, asylum seekers and the stranger in general,

politically all of them were wanted. From the Hungarian-Jewish billionaire George Soros, from Angela Merkel, from unscrupulous socialists in France, Spain and especially Greece,

Through all of them, who also bundle their forces in the juggernaut called the "European Community", everything that the common man stands for disappears.

In Dobrindt's words:

"The conservative describes itself from its Christian roots. This is part of the value program of a bourgeois-conservative politics, which is demanded and supported by the majority of the people in our country. The left story of the sixty-eight is told to an end and has become obsolete. What we Currently experiencing is a conservative revolution of the citizens - grown in the middle of our community, with a reflection on tradition and values. The greenhouse of this development are globalization and digitization, because in a world that is changing ever faster, people yearn for a firm hold - for home, security and freedom. "

Indeed, against the background of the history of ideas of the "conservative revolution" and the Europe-wide active political agents of this movement, the words of the CSU politician take on another dimension.

They now sound to our ears like an attempt to run after a development that has already made a big head start. Because despite all the radicalism that Dobrindt rhetorically invokes, he is miles behind what the real representatives of the "conservative revolution" claim with similar terms. And that even make the "Young Freedom" look old.

Alexander Dobrindt and his "comfortable conditions"

Before we deal with those who claim the ideals of the "conservative revolution" actionistically and politically, one more clarification. This is necessary, above all, in order to be able to differentiate between an unpleasant and humiliating, but ultimately hardly relevant position, and the radical revolutionary forces themselves. Dobrindt ultimately stands for an understanding of "conservative revolution" that is comfortable with the situation. He emphasizes the "conservative", perhaps even, in the spirit of Hugo von Hofmannsthal: the intellectual aristocratic element. Ultimately, both trust that nobody wants to know exactly.

The writer and essayist Botho Strauss has been demonstrating in Germany for many years how one can generate added value from the aristocratic attitudes, since he published his "swelling Bocksgesang" in 1993 in the news magazine "DER SPIEGEL".

"We only fight internally for ours. We are not challenged to fight by enemy conquerors. We are challenged to show compassion and support to hosts of displaced people and those who have become homeless. We are legally bound to goodness. To this commandment up to To sink into the soul of the people (not just the voters), we would need a re-Christianization of our modern egotistical paganism. Since history has not ceased to meet its tragic dispositions, no one can foresee whether our non-violence will not just lead to war kidnapped on our children. "

Hosts of displaced people, re-Christianization, history that culminates in war ... Strauss' writing was therefore far more than just an elegant expression of dissatisfaction. The precise seismograph of German sensitivities was not just another renegade who had defected from Adorno to the "conservative revolution". Numerous others had done that

"Spiritual and moral change in this our country"

finally wanted to see realized, which the seemingly eternally ruling Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl had announced in a government declaration in 1983.

Botho Strauss laid a fuse for a conservative state

No, Strauss had clearly seen that there is no courage to establish a conservative state. Instead he put a clever fuse underlaid with the texts of the "conservative revolution". It was unclear who should light it. Strauss did not reveal exactly what explosives were in the powder keg. He's created some kind of new secret. The Arcanum, the secret of the "conservative revolution" lived on thanks to a German noble pen.

"The rumble that can now be heard, the negative sensitivity of the hostile reactions, which immediately become the madness of hatred, are seismic omens, anticipations of a greater distress announced by those who will feel it the hardest. The 'German' they mean , is just a code word encoded in it: the world-historical turbulence, the spherical pressure of powerlessness, the parricide-antiparricide upsurge in the second generation, taboo violation and emancipation in later succession and with the opposite sign, the uncertainty and deterioration of the immediate living conditions, the coming the 'dear time' in the sense of the biblical phrase; it is the terror of anticipation. "

Of course you had to know that "parricide" comes from the Latin "parricida", which means "treason" or even "murderer". But those who wanted to speak to Strauss knew that anyway. From his point of view, the true "conservative revolutionaries" are modern intellectual aristocrats who do not want to give up their present in favor of a dreamed-up past.

Even if some conservative revolutionaries nowadays see the expectations placed in Strauss' disappointed by the latest publication from the spring of 2018, "Der Fortführer" - the lonely forest walker still finds the tone:

"Before a war begins, we notice its turmoil early in our memory. There, a lot rises from ancient times that people only remember in a war. Even with the best of wealth, they can taste drought, gunfire, poverty, and although still safe and in freedom, they already demand a protective hiding place. All of a sudden, sneaking around in everyday things is over! Over with boasting speeches about things one cannot cope with: death, the hereafter, the Milky Way. "

Strauss still seems to know limits that the leading "conservative revolutionaries" have long disregarded. The writer struggles with himself and his need to be the last of his kind. So he gags himself and the language in order to be able to land in the non-binding.

"The task is as easy to outline as it is difficult to master: the drawing of the last German as a phenotype. He is neither a chauvinist nor a nationalist. He is only a slave to his mother tongue. He is also not so ultimately because of immigrants and strangers. But because next to him, among his compatriots, no one lives similarly attached and ancestral. And because he never wanted to get out of German, but rather more and more deeply. It is harder to pause for it since it is powered by the engine of another language the linguafranca, like everything else, opens up from below and obscures the peaks. The mountain of language is valued just as highly as one can speak for oneself. "

Way out of political perplexity

One might even feel pity for Botho Strauss for a moment, because the author of the "Swelling Bocksgesang" and would-be "conservative revolutionary" is at best met with pity. For example in Schnellroda, the seat of the Antaios publishing house and the magazine "Sezession", or in fine Berlin-Charlottenburg, where the weekly newspaper "Junge Freiheit" appears in addition to the magazine "Cato" and where numerous wealthy supporters also live. Or in Munich ... Or in Hamburg ... Or, or, or ... So wherever there are those who do not invoke the "conservative revolution" as maintaining tradition. Because they hope it will provide a way out of political perplexity.

"This fact is basically not new and not specific to the Strauss position. Because the dilemma was already indicated for the conservative intelligentsia of the first half of the 20th century and even more so for the post-fascist right, who defended the 'tragic attitude towards life' has, against the 'deception of all deceptions'. According to Miguel de Unamuno, the hope for great progress, the humanization of the human, the inner-worldly redemption. That was behind the 'brave pessimism' or the 'Apolitia'. Julius Evola understood by Apolitia a possibility of existence, equidistant from retreating into the spiritual world of tradition or the attempt to 'ride the tiger': radical distance to the present combined with the possibility of symbolic action that sets an example without considering a fundamental improvement possible . "

Now we are right in the middle of the current "conservative revolution". A group that reads carefully and is very familiar with the strategies and tactics from Maurras to Zehrer and Mohler, Schrenck-Notzing and Strauss. For which the formation of transverse fronts, i.e. the de-solidarization of groups through targeted attempts at division, is just as natural as reading the "prison notebooks of Gramsci" and the communist agitation techniques contained therein. Or, or, or ... people who, like the just quoted Karlheinz Weißmann in the magazine "Sezession", smell the morning air of a heroic age - and encounter surprisingly little resistance.

Original sound from Alice Weidel: "Since 1972, fewer children have been born in Germany than people die every year. This is a problem for the survival of an efficient state. What have you done about it? Nothing. Well, at least nothing effective, because you only rely on compensatory immigration. That is what you say You all the time. With Muslim immigrants, the birthrate looks completely different. Even the increase in population by immigrant criminals with multiple identities doesn't seem to bother you at all. But I can tell you, burqas, headscarf girls and alimented knife men and others Good-for-nothing will not secure our prosperity, economic growth and, above all, the welfare state. "

The "conservative revolutionaries" of the AfD in state parliaments and the Bundestag

Since the AfD has been in almost all state parliaments and in considerable strength in the Bundestag, these "conservative revolutionaries" have been able to decide: do they work for the party and, if so, for which degree of severity of the various right wing. Prepare the party to deliver your material in the fight against "headscarf girls", "Umvolkung", "gender mainstreaming" or the allegedly innumerable betrayals of the German people.

Or do they seem to be working against the party by formulating ever higher goals, acting ever more sharply, confronting theorists and practitioners of resistance to the Basic Law and the legal system. Or ignore the party, ultimately increasing its attractiveness by showing completely new paths and discovering potential.

How that sounds then is anything but a secret:

Original sound Björn Höcke: "The bombing of Dresden and the subsequent firestorm destroyed the Florence on the Elbe and the people who lived in it. The bombing of Dresden was a war crime. With the bombing of Dreden and the other German cities, nothing else than to rob us of our collective identity. our state of mind is still that of a totally defeated people. We Germans - and I'm not talking about you patriots who have gathered here today - we Germans, that is, our people, are the only people in the world who are a monument of shame planted the heart of his capital. "

Björn Höcke is one of those who test what has been worked out in the think tanks of the "conservative revolutionaries". And that is a remarkable case insofar as he embodies all the forms of cooperation, distance, criticism and independence within the AfD that his ideological helpers have practiced over decades.

Björn Höcke loudest member of the AfD

AfD member Björn Höcke is only one, albeit perhaps the loudest, of those politicians with national recognition who want a completely different Germany. As a result, he sees himself as a revolutionary and wants to replace the false consensus of a false politics of the past and a false present.

Like every revolutionary, Höcke is conservative.Because he has a clear idea of ​​what this country needs - a return to the correct, i.e. German, sources. Because what is actually German is still there, it just has to be exposed. This takes courage, because after 1945 the stories and explanations of the so-called "mainstream", with the help of the "victorious powers", have been laid meters thick above the actual German truths. And the countless profiteers from this self-slander will do everything to keep it that way.

Björn Höcke and his intellectual colleagues know that Dobrindt's blank cartridge called "conservative revolution" does not even scratch the current consensus, which is weakening but still prevailing. The term "conservative revolution" is put aside in the spirit of Hans Zehrer so that it is not damaged. The obvious obstacles must first be removed before a "revolution" can be dreamed of.

And so the secret conservative revolutionaries are just picking up a term that has long slumbered in the evidence room of the intellectual right. And which was constantly played around by Höcke in his cited speech. We are talking about "national masochism":

"The unmistakable resonance in this name means that in our upside-down world the German sense of mission is no longer embodied by National Socialism, but by something treacherously of the same style. For example, by those young people who fiercely try to prove that their own German nation is a kind from expectoration and real human existence belongs to other peoples. "

The quote comes from Armin Mohler, who, as is well known, did not invent the talk of the "conservative revolution", but gave it a powerful idea. Let's take a closer look at this "national masochism".

The renaissance of "national masochism"

The person who unearthed Mohler's speech about "national masochism" is Martin Lichtmesz, one of the brightest minds of the new "conservative revolution". The publicist and translator, not unlike the AfD politician Höcke, unites all possible attitudes that a right-wing intellectual can have towards the efforts of the political right-wing populists. He drives them along, ironicizes their weaknesses, shows them possibilities and provides alternatives to the criticized strategies. For example, he has published a volume with the PhD philosopher Caroline Sommerfeld, who lives in Vienna, entitled "Living with Leftists", asks about the "hierarchy of victims" and can serve all moods between "apocalyptic" and "angry". Of course the writings appear in the Antaios Verlag, but other houses are also served if it serves to establish the truth. Lichtmesz is always concerned with a different republic, which, as we already know, is only known to the initiated in terms of form and form.

Sommerfeld offers a different model for this. Your "conservative revolution" is reflected in the smallest as well as in the largest. She is married to the Germanist Helmut Lethen, who is 36 years older than the left. Just recently they made it, sitting back to back in the kitchen, with an extensive home story in the venerable "New York Times". Right and left united separately - a profitable business model.

One may recognize it as a naive form of "national masochism", but Lichtmesz clearly wants more here. And therefore he calls for a radicalization of his environment:

"This front seems to me to be comparatively orphaned, today criticism of Islam, genderism, refugee policy, overall the 'Germany abolishes itself' genre inaugurated by Thilo Sarrazin dominate. That may have something to do with the fact that the Second World War was another decade has moved into the distance, and the contemporary witnesses are practically extinct or are of biblical age. However, it seems to me that a certain fatigue has also set in on the other side of the front, in the superstructure of the FRG. The great German gestures and rituals of submission from the past are playing out in the Merkel government is no longer an all-too-important role, while at the same time it has ingrained and internalized its meaning. "

That is why the spiritual twin sister of "national masochism" is mobilized: namely, "coming to terms with the past". That is, the attempt by the Germans after 1945 to look only and exclusively for "guilt" in the Second World War, until this "guilt" finally became the basis of German politics. For the intellectual right, the extermination of European Jews is just one event among many others.

Original sound from Alexander Gauland: "We have a glorious history and that, dear friends, lasted longer than the damned twelve years. Hitler and the Nazis are just one bird shit in over 1,000 years of successful German history."

That then "naturally" relativizes itself in the context of a "world civil war" that was waged from 1914 to 1945. Anyone who opposes this form of "coming to terms with the past" is exposed to a particularly perfidious conviction that the defendants in the main war crimes trial once had to endure:

"A kind of Nuremberg in permanence", says Lichtmesz.

Fight against Germany's "coming to terms with the past"

With this position of the struggle against "national masochism" and "coming to terms with the past" the understanding of the right-wing intellectual as a "conservative revolutionary" is filled. He wants to put the ax to the self-image of the Federal Republic, destroy its supposedly "negative" founding myth called "Auschwitz" - and thus delegitimize the structure as a whole.

One can characterize this attitude with a formulation of the historian Dan Diner, who wrote clairvoyantly as early as 1987:

"It is narcissistically insulting to be exposed to an event that eludes human imagination and comprehension. Such a negation is difficult to endure. So it is not surprising that there is a rebellion against the dimension of such an event with a hidden teleological intention: Understanding is called for - also at the price of relativization and trivialization.

Genocide light. Only when the annihilation of the European Jews loses its status as a unique event can a new Germany emerge. Lichtmesz and his spiritual and politically active companions want to go beyond this one chapter of history. With the historian and AfD politician Stefan Scheil, for example, who wrote a kind of counter-narrative and refutation to the generally accepted history of the "Third Reich" and the Second World War in several extensive volumes published in renowned publishing houses. Scheil's often impressive knowledge of sources is accompanied by a no less impressive one-sidedness of the interpretations. This is neither manically apologetically nor naively revisionistically written. Rather, there is simply no room for "alternatives" in Scheil's books. Or what 99% of other historians simply call "truth". Rather, Scheil uses every opportunity to turn every non-German into an enemy. Hitler, who wanted to preserve the German Arcanum also in the "Third Reich", was defeated. And the Germans are still fighting against him, that is, against themselves.

"A central characteristic of the Germans is their fundamental social democracy, which extends across the entire political spectrum. Its core is that differences of all kinds are simply unbearable. The political formula for this is: 'equalization of living conditions'. It appears to be taken for granted that life in all parts of the country should be basically the same. Zones of greater difference must therefore be leveled. It is simply a scandal if the average 'standard of living' in a certain area differs significantly from that in other areas. "

The little man and society

This is how another "conservative revolutionary" sees it, the highly respected environmental historian Rolf Peter Sieferle, who died in 2016, in his essay "Finis Germania", which was written in the mid-1990s but only published after his death. If one leaves aside the ultimately ridiculous little scandals and, for a certain media public, extremely embarrassing actions that wanted to push the book away, then with Sieferle another and final facet of the new "conservative revolutionaries" becomes clear.

"The modern, civilized society is indeed democratic, that is, the little man rules in it and he puts his stamp on it. This distinguishes it from earlier high cultures in which aristocracies have always ruled, which usually took on a patina of cultural refinement Mass civilization is so uncultivated (and does not even notice it) because it contains a vulgar type of rulership: the mass man for whom fast food and entertainment culture are created and whose needs they exactly meet. "

Sieferle, without a doubt the most sovereign and, in his seriousness, also the most truthful "conservative revolutionary", is of course at the side of Lichtmesz, Sommerfeld, Scheil and others. What they lack - the view from the beginning to the possible future - falls to Sieferle.

Original sound Martin Wuttke as Faust: "My friend, the times of the past are a book with seven seals to us. What you call the spirit of the times is fundamentally the spirit of the gentlemen."

What Martin Wuttke says here as "Faust" was useful for a long time after 1945 as a means of unmasking everything that the ladies and gentlemen "conservative revolutionaries" and what they say in books, articles, on the street and in the media generally accessible so spread. Egomaniacs interested only in themselves and their positions, who ultimately only dream, who will already fail because of their ideal heights.

The system, the free democratic basic order, so the consensus, which was put forward more and more shyly, will survive that too. Once all the problems with Russia, the USA, Trump's, the EU, the refugees, the euro and the age pyramid have been resolved, they will disappear.

But how long do we have to live with them? On March 23, 2018, the AfD MP Dr. Alexander Gauland intervened after a motion from his parliamentary group was rejected:

"It's so nice that we're here! We'll hunt you down!"

Know the enemy well

The owner of the Antaios publishing house; Götz Kubitschek; summed up the efforts of the "conservative revolutionaries" during the discussion between the writers Durs Grünbein and Uwe Tellkamp in Dresden on March 8, 2018, with painful precision:

Original sound from Götz Kubitschek: "[I] I am sure that freedom of expression is not defended in the middle of society, but always on its fringes. In other words, wherever people claim to say something that no one has said before . "

The end of the journey through the worlds of thought and ideas of the "conservative revolutionaries" cannot be "And now?" be. The question must be answered in concrete situations with concrete, credible answers. It will be important to

no, to know the enemy as well as he thinks he knows those who, despite its considerable flaws, consider this republic to be the best thing that could have happened to the Germans after 1945. So after all of this one shouldn't fall into resignation. On the contrary: who knows what they want to fight for and against whom, is always better equipped. It will be difficult, very difficult in fact, that much should have become clear. One should not be under any illusions: The test of democratic Germany is yet to come!