Radical and extreme right wing parties and the working class in Germany.

Titelblatt-Dikussionbeitrag_PartidosAuthor: Karsten Krüger
Year: 2019
This article is only available in Spanish.

Abstract: The countries of the European Union show a clear trend towards the acceptance of radical or extreme right options such as the. In Germany, as in Spain, this political phenomenon has appeared later than in other European countries. However, a series of German studies shows that the positions and attitudes typified as belonging to the extreme right have been present in society still for a long time. These attitudes are not limited to the political spectrum of the radical and extreme right, but also standing at the centre of the society.
Consequently, the working class and the trade unions are also sensitive to this political option. In the analysis of the phenomenon of the radical and extreme right, the theory of the losers and winners of modernization has special relevance not only referring to the objective socio-economic or cultural situation, but also to the subjective perceptions of individuals (such as pessimism respect to their personal situation or the fear of loss of control).
However, in relation to socio-economic changes, this theory shows itself limited. In the best of cases, it explains why the social strata identified as the “losers” have a greater tendency towards these parties, but not why persons form other social strata chose this option. Another point that should be criticized of the winners-losers theory is that they do not sufficiently emphasize that this is a long-term phenomenon, which at least in the Federal Republic of Germany dates back to the 1950s. The irrelevance of the extreme-right political parties in parliamentary life in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s did not signify that the respective attitudes had disappeared from West German society, but were simply camouflaged as a tendency within the dominant conservative parties or remained a very minority position in the extra-parliamentary opposition. This article, which is not an empirical study but is based on a review of specialised literature, documents of the radical right party AfD and analysis of the votes of the AfD in the recent elections, speaks about this and more.

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