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Wages of Populism
German Right Picks Up Pegida’s Pieces

Germany’s right-wing Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD) party has tilted starboard in a ploy to snatch up Pegida’s freshly leaderless voters. The Local (Germany) reports:

“We should no longer support immigration by people who are totally foreign to our cultural tradition, in fact we ought to block it,” Alexander Gauland told Berlin’s Tagesspiegel newspaper […]

He added that there was a danger of “parallel societies” developing in Germany “with which we won’t be able to cope with in the end.”

And he continued his push to bring AfD closer to anti-Islam movement Pegida by describing it as a “people’s movement” comparable with the early anti-nuclear demonstrations that helped launch the Green party.

Gauland’s remarks depart from AfD’s party line, ending months of internal debate on the question of immigration within the party. The shift comes at the close (or perhaps only the beginning) of a recent spat that has fractured Pegida’s leadership. Original leader Lutz Bachmann resigned a week ago once the media found a picture where Bachmann posed as Hitler. His successor also resigned after a week on the job, taking along four other leaders who complained of (BBC) “Mr Bachmann’s continuing influence and the role of a separate, sister movement in Leipzig known as Legida.”

While the European project had positive momentum and was generally seen as a success by its constituent people, it may have seemed like a good idea to continue with the mostly top-down approach of building out the Union favored by Eurocrats since the 1990s. Now, as the EU faces increasingly stiff headwinds (both geopolitical and economic), we are starting to see some of the costs of that approach. While the AfD is unlikely come to prominence in Germany the same way that Syriza did in Greece, it can nevertheless exert important influence at the margins of parliamentary politics, and is therefore as important to watch as, say, Podemos in Spain.

As WRM noted in an essay earlier this week, “the post-1990 European order has taken much more damage than much of U.S. elite opinion has fully understood, and that damage poses much greater dangers to vital U.S. interests than most people think.”

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  • Pete

    “We should no longer support immigration by people who are totally foreign to our cultural tradition, in fact we ought to block it,”

    Common sense

    • Tom

      The problem isn’t people who are foreign to our cultural tradition.
      The problem is people who want us to change to their traditions, despite the fact that the reason they are here and not in their homes was because their cultural traditions left their homelands mired in poverty and tyranny.

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