Translating Pegida, pt. 2

…Where were we?

pegida 3
The creation and strict implementation of an Immigration Act according to demographic, economic, and cultural considerations. Qualitative immigration (instead of current qualitative mass immigration) after the Swiss or Canadian model.

Pegida is calling for the strict implementation of an Immigration Act that would not assess applications by ‘qualitative’ standards, but by ‘quantitative’ ones, i.e. it would not matter who you are (refugee, economic migrant, asylum seeker, etc.), entry into Germany would depend on some kind of numeric quota. Calls to follow the example of countries like Switzerland and Canada is another way to ‘legitimise’ their campaigns.

pegoda 4

The decentralised placement of war refugees and political or religious followers [?] appropriate to local options and the social outlook of asylum seekers. A shortening of the processing times for asylum applications after the Dutch model and the immediate deportation of rejected asylum seekers. Inclusion in common law of a right and obligation [for refugees etc.] to integrate.

Germany’s ‘open-door’ refugee policy has met with resistance, despite Angela Merkel’s pledge that Germany can cope (“wir schaffen das”) and the positive reaction of many Germans to newly-arrived refugees. Resistance intensified following a series of attacks in Germany and failed asylum seekers have been blamed for a rise in crime, leading to tensions with local communities. Some German cities have gone as far as to enact a temporary ban on new refugees in order to stem violence. Naturally, Pegida do not mention the rising tide of violent FR extremism and subsequent record number of attacks against refugees and asylum seekers. BBC’s Panorama programme ‘Germany’s New Nazis’ (available to watch online) is a sobering insight into the violence facing those seeking sanctuary in Germany.

pegida 5
The reformation of family policies as well as the education, pension, and tax systems. In particular, the promotion of sustainable family policies must be given priority in order to stop, or even reverse, demographic change. The desire to have children should not be suppressed by economic anxieties.

The inherent pro-natalism of many FR groups is often wrapped up in discourses purporting the need for wider systemic change; in this instance, in order to put a stop to demographic change (i.e. migration), the government should reform current policy to favour would-be (German) parents. This article notes the provocative use of pro-natalist rhetoric in AfD’s 2017 campaign posters alongside its usual barrage of Islamophobic and sexist messages. Naturally, parallels to Nazi-era Kinder, Küche, Kirche policies can be drawn.

pegida 6

The introduction of people’s choices [referendums?] at the federal level following the Swiss model in order to install a second pillar of democracy parallel to the party system.

I am a little unclear about the meaning of this part of the manifesto (any help would be appreciated – comment below!) but I read it as saying that there needs to be more input from the ‘People’ in decision-making processes at the federal level, making it all more ‘democratic’ than it was before.

pegida 7
Consistent application of the law without regard to the political, ethnic, cultural or religious beliefs of the person concerned.

Pegida are calling for authorities to be “consistent” in their application of the law, presumably in regards to refugees and asylum seekers. It makes you wonder what Pegida’s response to the prosecution of their fellow ‘patriots’ would be.

pegida 8
Increase the resources of the police, and end cuts to jobs.

A standard nationalist line: increasing the resources (i.e. powers) of the police makes everyone more safe…

pegida 9
The immediate normalisation of relations with the Russian Federation, and the end of warmongering.

Considering Russia’s actions of late (including, but not limited to, annexation of Crimea, tensions with the Ukraine, interference in the US presidential election, and nerve-agent attack in the UK), I think Pegida may have to reassess their conception of who is doing the ‘warmongering’.

pegida 10
Striving for a peaceful European alliance of strong sovereign national states in free political and economic self-determination.

Sounds idyllic, right? However, this links nicely to what we discussed in ‘Translating Pegida, pt.1’, particularly with Pegida’s continued emphasis on sovereign nation states, and economic freedom (given its Eurosceptic stance more generally).

pegida 11
The rejection of TTIP, CETA, and TISA and similar free trade agreements which could have a lasting impact on European self-determination and the European economy.

This call isn’t entirely irrational: TTIP, for example, could mean the loss of jobs and privatisation of vital services across Europe. But in this particular context, I would venture to say that it ties into larger discourses surrounding ‘foreign’ threats to national identity, and what a deal like TTIP would mean for the future socio-economic stability of the German nation state.

The week in FR news (a selection):

-Britain First have hit the headlines this week with leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen jailed last week for hate crimes, more specifically, religiously aggravated harassment. Today it was reported that the BF website, and the personal profiles of Fransen and Golding, were removed from Facebook for violating community standards.

-Three men accused of being members of proscribed far right group National Action are currently standing trial at Birmingham Crown Court. One of the men, L/Cpl. Mikko Vehvilanen, stands accused of possessing a copy of a manual written by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.

-Marine Le Pen proposes re-branding the Front National as Rassemblement National (National Rally) in order to ‘detoxify’ the FN’s public image.

Well, there you have it. I hope you found my analysis/translation of Pegida’s manifesto illuminating or helpful to your own research or general interests in some way. What to investigate next? I would appreciate any thoughts/comments/suggestions/translation tips so don’t hesitate to drop me a line through the usual channels. I am stricken with the lurgy at the moment, so I have been plodding on with work, listening to Dimmu Borgir, and watching Altered Carbon on Netflix.

Until next time!


Author: kfrou

ESRC-funded PhD candidate researching women's motivations behind joining far right groups.

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