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IMAGO / Jan Huebner


Die Alternative für Deutschland 

by Fabian Blumberg

On its environment, ideology and how it understands politics

Since its founding in 2013, the Alternative for Germany has undergone a transformation in its programmatic and strategic orientation. From the outset, a pronounced "anti-establishment attitude" was a unifying factor. Today, this is complemented by a positioning in the party system that is driven, in particular, by the AfD's forefront – the extreme New Right with its "friend-or-foe" thinking. This makes the party part of a milieu that relies on "cultural hegemony from the right" – a hegemony of ethnocultural unity, among other things. The party's positions in the fields of democracy, the concept of the people, and the image of history correspond with this thinking. This text presents strategies and ideologems in the milieu of the AfD as well as the AfD itself, its program and understanding of politics.

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Having started out as a party critical of the euro, the AfD has gone to the extremes since 2015. It is inspired by strategists and "masterminds" from the so-called extreme New Right. The AfD has thus become part of a milieu in which representative democracy, democratic institutions and representatives of democracy are criticized in extenso – and at the same time no contribution is made to a constructive debate on the future development of democratic processes, parties and institutions. Instead of understanding democracy also as a “worldview”; as a real democracy that respects the inalienable rights and the value of every single human being, AfD politicians use the triad of despise, denigrate, disparage and want to prepare the (at least) rhetorical ground for a “change of system”, a change away from democracy as stipulated in the German constitution when talking about “victor's tribunal”, “revolution”, “civil war”, “total revolution”, “block parties”, “ruling criminals”, etc. pp.. 

Individuals and groups of people are treated with contempt instead of respect when “rats,” or “traitors to the people” are spoken of. In the sense of “ethnopluralism,” a distinction is made between autochthonous Germans and those who are not – thus adopting a right-wing identitarian positioning. Against this backdrop, AfD speaks of a “Great Exchange” that would take place with the goal of dissolving the German nation; a “!demographic flood” and the “conquest of Europe by Africa” would take place. 

The language used here is both dramatising and simplifying, discriminating and slanderous. It is also used with regard to German history, for example, with a cultivation of historical revisionism and an image of Europe that could not be more critical: “The poison comes from Brussels.” Today's AfD uses terms and ideas such as globalists, great reset, remigration, great exchange: ciphers on which right-wing populists and modern right-wing extremists base themselves. This makes the AfD part of the extreme New Right; a stone of the so-called mosaic-right. An entity that does not rely on moderate positions, not on centre politics, not on compromise and a corrective function, but on being an alternative to the existing free democratic order. 

Read the entire Monitor: “The Alternative for Germany” here as a PDF

Please note, to date the paper is only available in german. 

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