Marvin T. Neumann is a German right-wing intellectual and former head of the Alternative for Germany‘s youth organisation Young Alternative. His short-lived office time was marked by controversy sparked over his politically incorrect social media campaigns. While largely rejected and denounced by the establishment media, Marvin Neumann remains very popular amongst right-wing youth in Germany, many of whom regard him as a spearhead of the German New Right. Listen to our German language interview with Marvin here.
The demarcation between political camps is not static, but rather it is continually redrawn and fought over. Most recently, German socialist politician Sahra Wagenknecht stirred up a media storm with her attempts at getting the ‘woke left’ to return to its old core issues surrounding a fair distribution of wealth. At the same time, transatlantic-oriented market liberalism still dominates politics to the right from the center. In this article, Marvin Neumann draws the distinction between the contemporary New Right in its fundamental alignment on the one hand, and the (old) left and market-liberal ‘conservatism’ on the other hand. He goes on to show why the future belongs to the Right.
By Marvin T. Neumann (translated from German)
One basic assessment can be made upfront: Being right-wing means choosing the rocky road. Today, the right-winger is a pure dissident, a public enemy par excellence, rebelling against the liberal zeitgeist and its cult-like grip on the State. These traits define the right-winger as a heretic of the postmodern era – and, for those in power, as a caricature of evil and a scapegoat for social demise. In an era of whatever-ism, he asserts a claim to normative values. He dares to despise that which is disgusting, in stark contrast to the paradigm that anything goes. Put in the words of German 20th-century intellectual Armin Mohler, he breaks with the central dogma of our time: the “tabooization of reality”.
Therein precisely lies the potential of the Right: We are the revolutionaries of the 21st century. Meanwhile, Capitalist Realism (Mark Fisher) forces the abandonment of homeland, family, and tradition in favour of the freedom of choice of identities on the market of consumer goods. With no untouched markets to colonise, capitalist growth is only possible by transgressing all boundaries – transnational, transsexual, transhuman. The result is a globalist hegemony never seen before in history. It is this ostensibly inevitable rainbow-dystopia we revolt against. We are the anti-establishment force of our times.
The Right, therefore, is by all accounts that which the left once claimed to be and which today is nothing more than a farce they put on. As rocky as our road may be – the road to the left is as easy as it is futile. Their raison d’être has become to enforce the interests of globalists in the social and cultural domain. Leftists are now servants to the ruling class; the critical potential which once defined them has become entirely misdirected: “Against God, the nation-state, and patriarchy” is shouted in unison from the mouths of leftist activists and Wall Street bankers.
As we can see, the New Right has structural overlaps with the old myth of the left: rebellion, struggle against the establishment, building up a counter-elite. Regarding policy, however, the similarities end where the left has surrendered their supposed core demands: the improvement of the people’s material circumstances, scrutiny of bourgeois power structures, and the criticism of capitalist accumulation. All this once seemed to be the essence of what it meant to be on the left, but today we can observe with ease that left has no trouble existing after letting go of all of it. One could even say that the left’s metapolicital influence has grown stronger precisely to the degree that is has swapped such notions (which were grounded in reality) against postmodern nonsense.
The woke prison
A retro-leftist who still insists on concepts such as a people’s nation-state, distribution of wealth, and criticism of capitalism finds himself in a tragic and hopeless situation: His aspirations and myths – fighting for a better world – have long become a vehicle for bourgeois moralists who want to polish their CVs and for corporations wich seek to attach themselves to this new moralism in order to optimise their profits and public image. And even if the retro-leftist could forgive all this, every last bit of courage must leave him when he sees how global players and intelligence agencies use left-wing ideology as cultural weaponry to demoralise geopolitical adversaries. He can rest assured that nowadays, every progressive grassroots movement and colour revolution is backed by financiers from New York, London, and Davos. The leftist activists of today are infantrymen for investment banks and American imperialism.
If a retro-leftist wants to pick up old traditions and have a discussion about a fair and just economy, his voice will inevitably get drowned out by others shouting out transgender-ideology and ‘no borders’ insanity. If he formulates an analytical critique of capitalism, the narrative of the Evil White Man and oppressed BIPoC will be injected into it. If, at the very least, he wants to symbolically revitalise the traditions of the European workers’ movement and fly red flags, there will be pride flags hoisted up next to them. The progressive neoliberalism of the modern left ensnares him and coopts all of his ambitions.
Sahra Wagenknecht, one of the last prominent retro-leftists in German, finds herself trapped in this same dilemma. With her last book, she already put her head far above the parapet and pushed the boundaries of woke-left discourse: She criticises hegemonial left-liberalism, slams the obsession with minorities and the alienation of the German majority population, and demands a stronger focus on the classical economic and social topics of left-wing populism.
In doing so, Sahra Wagenknecht has far exhausted what is allowed to be said in contemporary left discourse. This is very telling about the nature of the left: Someone who wants to pick a position today that aligns with the core ideas of yesterday’s leftism will inevitably find themselves far outside of the left’s current operating frame. Focussing on criticising capitalism and on pushing pro-social policies already means going out on a limb. At the same time, this is as far as Sahra Wagenknecht can go: Taken any further, her realist assessment of such topics would unavoidably lead her to explicitly right-wing positions: Identity, homeland, the pursuit of higher values. An escape from the woke prison, therefore, is either a road to the Right or a road to nowhere.
Liberals and Libertarians
What we can therefore conclude: Currently, the capitalist system can only be truly criticised from the Right. However, there are also some on the Right who would immediately reject such criticism. This leads us to a third characterisation of the New Right: Alongside its formal and substantial distinctions to the left, it must also be distinguished from right-wing Libertarianism.
Some right-wingers are decidedly conservative when it comes to social and cultural questions, but when it comes to questions of power and economic relationships, they will defend the primacy of markets and profits over the fate of a nation. These self-declared Marktliberale (‘market-liberals’ – socially conservative but fiscally neoliberal current within the AfD) regard any and all criticism of capitalism as an exclusively left-wing idea and therefore reject it. After all, they don’t identify the dominant Western system with capitalism – as evidence, they cite the public spending ratio, EU regulations, the rampant restrictions of civil liberties due to lockdowns, cancel culture, and the left-wing dominance in academics and the media. Since capitalist realism looks very different from what John Locke or Friedrich Hayek had imagined, the combined power of the World Economic Forum, mega-corporations, globalists banks & lobbyists cannot be the result of the market economy – not the rule of a capitalist elite, but an esoteric form of “socialism”.
On the extreme end of this spectrum, there are the self-proclaimed libertarians who imagine themselves living in some kind of GDR 2.0 or “EUSSR”. This tendency, whose most prominent figure in Germany may be the manager and gold-merchant Markus Krall, believes that only total privatisation and economic atomisation can save society from “fiat currency communism” and the Great Reset. For such dogmatics, a right-wing critique of capitalism cannot even exist – they regard it as ‘pseudo-intellectual drivel’ and malignant collectivism by definition, oblivious to the long-standing tradition of right-wing anticapitalism. In a technical sense, these Libertarians can be seen as the bourgeois antipode to actual Marxists: Much like them, they pursue a utopia derived from an image of humanity rooted exclusively in Enlightenment philosophy, and in much the same way, they promote a form of class struggle in order to achieve this utopia, but a class struggle from the top down – a dictatorship of net tax contributors.
Here, it is important for the right-wing perspective to tread lightly and to differentiate: A discussion can be had over terms, causes, and problems – the New Right can relate very well to the kind of ‘national liberalism’ that roots in the 19th century German nationalism of the Kaiserreich, and much common ground can be made out. But at the same time, we must remember Carl Schmitt’s insight that liberalism is always, to some degree, anti-political. For this reason, liberal theory provides few tools for a congruent analysis and classification of informal, ‘soft’ power. It holds on to an individualistic notion of humanity and tends to seek affirmation from the ruling elites.
The central question when dealing with liberal positions is always this: How strongly are they influenced by this anti-political tendency? When Libertarians ramble about “fiat currency communism” and claim that Bill Gates is a communist, they can safely be disregarded. But in strong contrast to this, we must view those on the Right who tend towards liberalism only to some degree, or purely on explicitly economic issues, as allies to our movement. Even if, often enough, they have not quite overcome their desire to join the ranks of the establishment elites, these same elites regard them as foes and push them towards the oppositions. This objectively makes them dissidents, albeit, at times, passive ones.
The leftist who shares the values of every transatlantic think tank, university, mega-corporation, TV activist, and the PR-Division of NATO, is decidedly not a dissident. His worldview is identical to the overarching ideology of the globalist order, and his denial of that fact will not change it. Today, leftist ideology serves primarily as legitimisation for economic imperialism and for wars fought in the name of human rights. The Sahra Wagenknechts of this world are nothing but solitary islands in the woke ocean.
However, the progressive wave will either wash them away or drag them along sooner or later. There is no future for anti-woke leftists – unless they dare take the decisive step and take a stand for what are the objective prerequisites for social equity: The natural solidarity of family structures and the bordered nation-state, within which the interests of the working class can be balanced with those of the bourgeoisie – with a shared ethnocultural identity as their unifying umbrella. But no one on the left will ever venture to do so, for if he does that would objectively make him a right-winger in today’s world, and therefore an outcast from society – a true rebel, at last.
Hence, the ball is in our own court. The New Right may face public defamation, exclusion from services, and the threatened annihilation of our professional and digital life. But at the same time, it is we who represent a true alternative to the increasingly aggressive, totalitarian, and detestable status quo in the West. We have no backing corporations, globalist billionaires, media tycoons, or geopolitical power blocs. Yet, we alone stand for the principles of reality, without which both life and civilisation are unthinkable.
Big Tech globalism may simulate a semi-functional One World for a while, feigning an enlightened end of history for the global elites – but it has no real future, just as the rainbow-left has no future beyond an increasingly performative make-believe opposition.
The real future is ours.