Following a December 2020 raid on a nationalist group, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer stated that “there is no place in our country for a group that sows hate.” The group Wolf Brigade 44 were targeted by the German state during the early-morning raid, where police uncovered cross-bows, knives, and certain forbidden symbols from the homes of eleven members. The German government referenced Wolf Brigade 44’s suspected role in planning“terror attacks” – the classic, typically unfounded hysteria that justifies state repression (such as the recent Canadian move to shockingly label Proud Boys a “terrorist entity”). In a stroke of tremendous state power, Germany banned Wolf Brigade 44. Minister Seehofer justification read: “anyone who fights against the fundamental values of our liberal society will feel the determined reaction of the constitutional state.” A strange combination of words.
In 2021, many populist parties and organizations face the wrath of the state throughout Europe. The AfD, in Germany, was placed under state surveillance and is being treated as a terrorist group. The French government banned the nationalist group Generation Identitaire. In Portgual, the successful party Chega is under review for future illegalization. Isn’t it odd, that a professed liberal state would use the police to suppress people with different political opinions? Isn’t the point of democracy to accommodate contestation and disagreement, to see which ideologies are most worthy? Is liberal democracy an unprincipled power scheme? Following these questions, we will begin to unmask liberal democracy as yet another lever of elite power.
What is Militant Democracy?
The current purge of populist parties emerges from militant democracies. Militant democracy is a concept that provides the state with constitutional authority, curtailing rights and freedoms to protect democratic institutions from so-called domestic threats. This theory became popularized following the 1933 ascension of the National Socialists to power within republican Germany.
Certain thinkers, panicked by the rise of the National Socialists, sought ways to limit the ability of revolutionary governments to attain power via popular politics. Chief among them was the Jewish scholar Karl Loewenstein, who fled Germany upon the rise of the National Socialists and found shelter in America. In a 1937 series entitled “Militant Democracy and Fundamental Rights,” Loewenstein advocated for an activist form of democracy that could use forceful tactics against energetic fascist parties.
Loewenstein believed that democratic tolerance had been exploited by fascist parties, allowing anti-establishment powers to operate under the cover of legality. Calling democratic tolerance the “Trojan horse by which the enemy enters the city,” Loewenstein believed certain types of legal formalism had imprudently given equality to “anti-parliamentarian and anti-democratic parties.” The democratic successes of NSDAP, among other fascist parties across interwar
Europe, had been reached by “boring into the weakness of the democratic system.” Using emotional and sometimes militaristic strategies, fascist parties had invigorated populations against the exploitative elite. Loewenstein believed, correctly, that “democracy is utterly incapable of meeting an emotional attack by an emotional counter-attack… nowadays, people do not want to die for liberty.” Democracies must instead use legal wrangling and bare force against threats to the existing power structures.
Drawing on interwar antifascist legislation, Loewenstein outlined strategies that democracies could use against rising discontent. Read very closely. Such strategies are clearly embraced today, very often to the point of abuse. These strategies included: banning potentially revolutionary parties; banning “private paramilitary armies” and the use of fascist insignias; preventing “large-scale accumulation of arms in private hands”; excluding parties “who advocate alteration of the existing form of government by unlawful means” from representation in political bodies; hate speech legislation; restricting freedom of assembly for certain groups; curbing freedom of speech to check the use of “revolutionary and subversive propaganda”; restricting “vilifying campaigns against leading personalities of the existing regime”; banning certain political associations by members of the armed forces and public administration; the use of a “specially selected and trained political police” to control anti-establishment parties; and, finally, banning interstate associations between fascist parties.
These measures sound eerily familiar to current dissidents from Europe and, increasingly, the United States. Modern militant democracy is more far-reaching and intrusive than ever, given technological advances and the growth of privatized doxxing groups. Loewenstein could not have foreseen the technological panopticon that uses data-mining and hacking to intimidate dissidents. Methods of coercion such as the social myth of the Holocaust are new innovations used to attack nationalists. The 21st century revealed the most blatant form of repression since the interwar period.
Militant Democracy in Action
Militant democracy claimed many scalps across the nationalist European political community. In 2004, the Belgian supreme court effectively banned the largest political party in the country: the anti-immigration party Vlaams Blok. Convicted of “permanent incitement to segregation and racism,” the Belgian state eviscerated the party’s fundraising capability. The leaders of Vlaams Blok were allowed to revive the party: of course, only if the party stopped advocating for the “forcible expulsion of non-European immigrants.” Vlaams Blok rebranded as Vlaams Belang but suffered from decreased support as their message became more moderated and conciliatory.
Vlaams Belang, even after humiliating themselves as the behest of authorities, continues to be targeted by the media for being “neo-Nazis” . This case shows that the liberal state controls the limits of political expression.
In 2010, the Supreme Administrative Court in the Czech Republic banned the nationalist Workers Party for using “racist, xenophobic, homophobic, and anti-Semitic language.” The court found that the party was a “threat to Czech democracy.” The Workers Party previously engaged in mostly peaceful, anti-immigrant rallies in 2008. Following the 2008 demonstrations, the Czech state sought and failed to ban the party. By 2010, however, liberal democracy’s patience had reached its limit. Judge Vojtech Simicek stated that the ruling “[was] a preventive one, to maintain the constitutional and democratic order in the future.” In other words, liberal elites saw the outbreak of Czech nationalism as a threat to their power and quickly dismembered it.
More recently, Slovakia targeted the People’s Party. This information is brilliantly described by National Justice. Led by Marian Kotleba, the People’s Party is outwardly nationalist. The party surprisingly overperformed in the recent parliamentary election. During the 2019 election, the People’s Party placed fourth of sixteen parties, earning 10.39% of the vote and 17 seats in parliament. Later, the People’s Party achieved 12.07% of the vote during the European Parliamentary Elections. The People’s Party is among the rising stars of the Slovakian political scene and found a receptive audience for their nationalist message.
Such success did not shield the People’s Party from the militant democrats. Kotleba caught the ire of internationalist organizations such as the Soros-funded Open Society Foundation. Kotleba was arrested in 2019 for an “extremist hate crime”: giving poor Slovakian families checks for 1,488 Euros. The Slovakian police later raided the homes of nine People’s Party members for their role in creating and distributing nationalist rock albums. The party members now potentially face eight years in prison for creating badthink music. Kotleba and his associates were ostensibly guilty for helping support poor Slovak families and creating political music. But it is beyond clear that such prosecutions were conjured up by a cowardly yet powerful elite to attack dissidents.
Perhaps most famously, the Greek nationalist party Golden Dawn was declared a criminal organization in October 2020. Spurred on by a plethora of international organizations, Greek courts convicted eighteen elected Golden Dawn parliamentarians, among them the party leader, to a minimum of ten years in prison. The charges, levied in 2013, stemmed from various street brawls and the killing of Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas during a defensive reaction to violent leftist mobs. Interestingly, prosecution concerning the retaliative killing of two Golden Dawn members by a leftist group was not pursued by the Greek courts. Amnesty International triumphantly stated that “this verdict sends a clear message to political groups with aggressive anti-migrant and anti-human rights agendas in Greece and across Europe that violent and racist criminal activity – whether perpetrated by individuals on the street or members of parliament, will not go unpunished.” One can confidently assert partisan motivations for these legal attacks.
How did Golden Dawn reach this point? Prior to the arrest of party members, Golden Dawn was targeted by liberal and conservative parties within the Greek parliament. Such parties united in 2013 to strip Golden Dawn of legal immunity. Greek legal immunity, typically used by these liberal and conservative parties to protect themselves from corruption prosecutions, was not allowed for Golden Dawn. Remember: Golden Dawn, in the 2015 parliamentary elections, were the third most popular party in Greece. Such an exception is clear proof of the force employed by the globalist consensus against nationalist parties. Legal precedents and simple fairness are not bequeathed to nationalists in the preposterous system of militant democracy.
This is far from an exhaustive list of the political persecutions of nationalist parties in so-called “democracies.” It is clear, in these examples, that nationalist groups are targeted by authorities for their political views. The professed “plurality” of liberal democracy proves to be a sham once one advocates for nationalism. Such ideological offenders are pursued with the full legal and physical brutality of the state.
The Lie of Liberal Democracy
How can any honest person still cling to the notion of our enlightened, tolerant, pluralist, liberal yet militant democracy? Such adjectives are embarrassingly and utterly false. Instead, I propose a different framing of militant democracy: it is a tool of elite power to suppress genuine dissent against entrenched interests. We must return to our earlier quote by German Interior Minister Seehofer: “anyone who fights against the fundamental values of our liberal society will feel the determined reaction of the constitutional state.” In plainer, and far more honest language: anybody who does not conform to the interests of the powerful will be disenfranchised, barred from expressing their political views, and imprisoned. Doesn’t sound very democratic, does it?
Defenders of militant democracy will often charge nationalists with “antipluralism” and “anti- democratic” leanings. We must perform two analyses: firstly, what is pluralism? Pluralism is defined as the dispersion of power among various ideological groups, where power is not held by any single elite or group of elites. It appears, upon further inspection, that globalist elites are wholly in control of Western liberal democracies. Novel contestation by milquetoast right-wing parties is allowed, and novel appeals to nationalism are made. However, open and true nationalist parties are not allowed to reach power. Such parties are the victim of police persecution and the constant legal trickery of the state. Neoliberal, leftist, and neoconservative parties can operate freely, yet nationalists cannot. Therefore, we can firmly reject the idea that liberal democracy is pluralist. This removes the moral high ground of the militant democrats, revealing them to be shock troops for the interests of the elite.
Secondly, what is democracy? Democracy is often a vague term. Here, we define it as rule by the people. Nationalist voters are effectively disenfranchised when their favored party is made illegal by the state. The voters of Vlaams Blok were stripped of their right to representation when the party was declared illegal. Activists in Wolf Brigade 44 and the Workers Party are made pariahs by the state for their beliefs. After achieving electoral popularity, Golden Dawn encountered legal harassment. Nationalist parties are, plainly, not allowed to achieve power via elections in liberal democracies. This rips away the democratic rights of millions of nationalists. Therefore, we can firmly reject the idea that liberal democracy is democratic.
We arrive at a simple conclusion: liberal democracy, in tandem with vigorous militant democracy, is a mechanism of elite power. Nationalist parties are explicitly banned or hamstrung by legal challenges. The intended purpose is to remove and delegitimize nationalists from the public sphere. One must not consider liberal democracy to be any high-minded, morally benevolent idea. Dissident nationalists must realize that the current democratic system is, rather, a mode of plutocratic oligarchy. The plutocratic oligarchy purposefully excludes ideologies that undermine existing power structures. The goal of militant democracy is the abolition of nationalist power.