In recent months, there’s been a growing focus on the “hipster fascists” of Generation Identity. Middle class, far right, twenty-somethings with highly reactionary views who have turned up on various demonstrations including the Tommy Robinson led ‘Day for Freedom’ in May, 2018.
GI has been spotted on campuses across Europe pushing a form of millennial-friendly, victimhood-laced, reactionary politics that blames their parents’ or grandparents’ 1968 generation for all their woes. Such views have become mainstreamed as GI activists have popped up in the offices of elected far right politicians.
These middle class, well turned out activists are not crude white supremacists nor street-based thugs like the English Defence League or the National Front. But their politics, despite their protestations, is rooted in decades old far right ideology and their role – as the pseudo-intellectual vanguard of the new right – is history repeating.
We think of university students as normally liberal or left-ish because of the ’68 tradition but earlier in the 20th century, students were more than capable of playing an utterly reactionary role in politics and social upheavals. GI is tapping into that tradition. This is a blog where a far right student explains how a self-confessed reactionary operates at college to antagonise the Left and recruit supporters.
Markus Willinger is one of GI’s ideologues though a foreword to his pamphlet entitled Generation Identity insists it’s not an official manifesto for any identitarian group. The forty-one chapters are a prolonged moan against the perceived political sins of the Baby Boom generation.
You’ve thrown us into this world, uprooted and disoriented, without telling us where to go, or where our path lies. You’ve destroyed every means for us to orient ourselves.
There is a strong undercurrent of self-pity in GI propaganda. We are rootless, they moan, because all traditional institutions have been dismantled. No church. No state worth serving. No family ties. Instead, they continue, we wander through a meaningless, relativist hell with no idea who or what we are. And, so it goes on.
Mixed in with all of this is a very mild, passing critique of capitalist greed but GI is not taking the reader in that direction. The blame for everything that has gone wrong is not a globalised plutocracy but the liberal elite of 1968. And the solution isn’t equality or human rights or social advancement. No. The answer is a return to old values that GI imagines once governed everybody in some previous epoch best viewed through rose-tinted spectacles.
What’s happening today, Willinger states, is the equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire. Not so much barbarians at the gate but within the empire hollowing it out until the whole edifice collapses. This theme of civilisational collapse is common enough on the far right.
So, the solution is to reject all the values of ’68. For example, Willinger spurns feminism trotting out the usual tropes about men losing their masculinity. And brace yourselves for this gem of an insight into the female mind:
Women want to be conquered (sic!). The longing for the one who can win them over and make them his lies deep in them.
And then on to race. GI is adamant that it’s not racist nor is it influenced by Nazi or fascist ideology. Willinger engages in some tortuous logic to suggest that ‘68ers are more influenced by Hitler because of their fervent rejection of him. He then claims that while GI has nothing to do with Hitler, it nevertheless thinks that certain things Hitler believed in were wrongly scorned by the ’68ers such as strong families, strong states and ethnic/racial differences.
Then we get to the core of what GI is really about. Willinger argues in a short chapter on multi-culturalism that his generation are surrounded by “knife-mad Turks, drug dealing Africans and fanatical Muslims”. The solution is what he terms ‘ethnopluralism’ – not a new concept on the far right at all. What it means is the separation of ethnic groups into different geographical locations – preferably very far apart.
Does this quote from Willinger remind you of a mid-twentieth century point of view?
You’ve never grasped that humans need space in order to live out their identities. That they absolutely want and require such a space, and will make it for themselves if given no other choice.
He then claims that multi-culturalism is a sham and integration is a sort of cruel coercion imposed by ‘68ers on immigrants who want to retain their own culture. Willinger is all in favour of minorities not integrating and maintaining their differences because they’ll then be moved en masse to another part of the planet to carry on living as they wish. And everybody will be happy…
Muslims and Africans! Take down your tents (sic!) and leave this continent. Entire regions of the world already belong to you.
In reality, this is a policy of mass displacement, ethnic cleansing and the dumping of entire populations. It could lead to the creation of what were termed ‘Bantustans’ in apartheid South Africa – designated areas to drive people into. There is no way such a policy could be carried out without enforced deportation and worse.
Europe has seen this before….and we know how the story ended last time.
More to follow on Generation Identity…