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David Irving, Holocaust Denial, and his Connections to Right Wing Extremists and Neo-National Socialism (Neo-Nazism) in Germany: Electronic Edition, by Hajo Funke

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2.4 Features and peculiar... >>

2.2 Additional definitions from the political and social sciences.

2.2.1Although there is a debate as to what the definition of RWE legitimately encompasses,   there is wide academic consensus that RWE is essentially anti-democratic, in that it stands contrary to the tradition of human rights and the constitutional state. Ethnocentricity, often in the form of overt racism and nationalism, are at the core of an ideology that claims superiority over all other values. The values of universal human rights (of individual liberty, freedom, equality, respect of human dignity) are despised, rejected, or denied - as well as fundamental rights of freedom of speech, thought, conscience and religion. RWE is directed against parliamentary and pluralistic democratic political values and systems, against the sovereignty of the people and the division of power. RWE aims to achieve an authoritarian, totalitarian and centralized power system, often in the form of a hierarchical anti-democratic one-party movement, ruled by a strong leader.
2.2.2Uwe Backes and Eckhard Jesse, prominent academic experts on extremism in Germany, define RWE as a collective name for various anti-democratic beliefs and efforts. The core of this doctrine denies the basic claim of equality represented by equal rights8 . These extremists principally advocate inequality and an aggressive nationalism that breeds resentment against ethnically foreign groups; a phenomenon often leading to an advocacy of naked racism. They seek a strong state that will realize the 'objective' interest of nationalist values, even by military means.
2.2.3This ideological impulse to fight back is often not confined to mere political rhetoric. Within the framework of political culture and political psychology, the aggressive authoritarianism of RWE presents a specific view of perceiving the world as one surrounded by dangerous enemies, so that fighting back is essentially the only solution to survival (although the perceived enemies are merely scapegoats). As this tendency towards authoritarian aggression against weak scapegoats solves neither the social nor the personal problems of the aggressor, these aggressions have an addictive quality. Consequently right-wing extremists perceive themselves, as recognised by Adorno and Alport, in a paranoid way as 'persecuted persecutors'9 . RWE's ideology   of inequality and denial of human rights leads to advocating violence. RWE is often connected with an ideology and/or a practical tendency towards violence, militancy, and terror (see especially the neo-Nazi groups in eastern Germany).
2.2.4Thus the belief system inherent in RWE is the perception of dangerous enemies within and without that have to be defeated if their own world and values are to survive. These internal 'enemies' are often migrants, foreigners, or others of different opinion who are perceived as threatening their supposed homogenous society and state system. These foreigners are often the scapegoats for the existing social miseries in society, and as such the targets of political violence. Such racist perceptions of the outer world lead externally to ideas of containing or even conquering this outer world by expansion (a new Reich) or an aggressive foreign policy.
2.2.5In general RWE tendencies and groups can arise in many forms, not only in Germany, but in Great Britain (the National Front), France (Jean Marie LePen), Austria (Jörg Haider's Austrian Federal Party - FPÖ) or in Belgium (Vlaams bloc).
2.2.6However German RWE is particular in its ambivalent relationship to the most extreme form of nationalism in German history - National Socialism [henceforth NS]. Despite the de facto military and moral disaster of NS, the resulting destruction and self-destruction (the genocide of Jews, gypsies and Slavs), many right wing extremists see in NS a point of orientation. In many ways historical NS acts as a model for RWE within the FRG. NS, although tactically criticised, may be fully identified with, its characteristics applauded, and its symbols used as an efficient means of bringing out confrontational behaviour. To serve this purpose various tactics are used to 'save', 'rescue', or rehabilitate the NS ideology (sometimes in the Italian version of fascism) by:
  • relativising and playing down the its atrocities
  • denying some of these atrocities
  • in its most radical form, rehabilitating the system by a form of radical negation and denial, so   called 'revisionism' or 'denialism'10
2.2.7.These tactics are of interest when analyzing the shape and the format of post-war RWE in Germany. This ideological affinity with NS and the resulting attempts to free NS of the burden of its crimes is of pivotal importance for national and international 'networking' within the RWE scene, both in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and North America.. The revisionist campaign of Auschwitz denial since the late 1980s plays a key ideological and organisational role in this effort.
2.2.8.To summarize. RWE strives towards a hierarchical, anti-democratic, and even totalitarian state, based on cultural or racist subordination, the rejection of 'others', especially so-called inferior races, foreigners, and other scapegoats. Implementation of this ideology of subordination often takes the form of advocating and using physical violence.

Notes

8. Uwe Backes and Eckhard Jesse, Politischer Extremismus in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, vol. 2, Analyse, (Cologne, 1989), p. 33.
9. Hajo Funke, 'Rechtsextremismus-Zeitgeist, Politik und Gewalt. 'eine Zwischenbilanz', in Richard Faber, Hajo Funke, and Gerhard Schönberner (eds.), Rechtsextremismus: Ideologie und Gewalt (Berlin, 1995);Lars rensmann, Kritische Theorie über den Antisemitismus
10. Ibid
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2.4 Features and peculiar... >>