Mr Piketty is a significant improvement over recent heroes of the bookish left, eclipsing the likes of Negri, Hardt, and Graeber.
Patrioten gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes: looks like 1990-92 all over again. At that time, the targets were refugees from the Balkans. It was not safe for a “foreigner” to travel in the former DDR lands. Halle and Dresden were dangerous.
The DDR had pockets that were never fully de-Nazified. Traditions of xenophobia and revanchism were nursed over the decades in secret, breaking out into the streets after the Wende. in the early 1990s, Vietnamese and Angola workers were attacked in broad daylight throughout the former East Lander. Buildings housing asylum seekers from the Balkans War were torched. Helmut Kohl pandered to the tiny following of neo-Nazi Parties by blaming foreigners for high levels of unemployment in the post-reunification East.
Pegida is the political inheritor such Rechtsextremismus, which has always played the victim card — “stab in the backism” — to the hilt. It is better financed and more media savvy than its competitors on the right.
There is no “culture” that is not always already multicultural. The idea that cultures exist in some pristine state, hermetically sealed off from “external influences,” is risible.
The old Deutsches Historisches Museum in the former East Berlin had an exhibit which proclaimed that the Communist Party had defeated fascism. It also had an exhibit depicting class struggle in the Neolithic Age.
A few neo-fascist German historians tried to muster a positive view of Germany’s role in WWII by extolling the battle on the eastern front as a noble struggle against “Bolshevism.” This led to the Historikerstreit among right-wing and critical intellectuals in the late 1980s.
Connie Sachs: It was a good time back then.
George Smiley: It was a war, Connie.
Connie Sachs: A war we could be proud of.