“Heil Hipster: The Young Neo-Nazis Trying to Put a Stylish Face on Hate” is a Rolling Stone piece, with the usual liberal histrionics, by Thomas Rogers.
Apparently, Germany is being infested with a scourge of ‘Neo-Nazi Hipsters’, which are nicknamed ‘nipsters’.
Over the past year, partly because of leaders like Schroeder and partly because of the unstoppable globalization of youth culture, the hipsterification of the German neo-Nazi scene has begun to gain steam. This winter, the German media came up with a new term, “nipster,” to describe the trend of people dressing like Brooklyn hipsters at Nazi events. Experts have noted that the German neo-Nazi presence on Tumblr and other social networking sites has become sleeker and more sophisticated. Neo-Nazi clothing has become more stylish and difficult to recognize. There’s even a vegan Nazi cooking show. “If the definition of the nipster is someone who can live in the mainstream,” Schroeder explains, “then I see it as the future of the movement.”
The evil neo-Nazis, Rogers writes, believe that:
[Y]oung neo-Nazis should be allowed to dress however they want, as long as they have the “right” anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic ideas. This newly relaxed approach allows neo-Nazi leaders to attract young people from different subcultures and makes neo-Nazis more difficult for their opponents to identify.
Rogers then draws parallels with the visually effective Generation Identitaire in France:
And then there are the Identitaeren, a two-year-old group with origins in France that has gotten widespread attention for its use of stylish viral videos to promote anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant sentiment. Although claiming to be anti-Nazi, they, like many members of the extreme right, espouse a concept called ethnopluralism, which argues that ethnic groups should only live in their respective home countries. Nils Altmieks, the movement’s boyish, 27-year-old current leader, argues that Europe should be for Europeans — and not, for example, Africans — and cites the United States as an example of the dangers of embracing heterogeneity. “Multiculturalism isn’t a contribution to cultural understanding, it’s a cornerstone for conflict,” he says, over Skype.
Finallym, Rogers ties the nipster movment with the larger trend taking place:
Coincidentally or not, the emergence of the nipster has taken place at the same time as the rise of a new far-right political scene in Europe: In this May’s European elections, the National Front — the anti-immigrant party headed by Marine Le Pen — won the biggest voting share of parties in the French elections, and the British United Kingdom Independence Party won 27.5 percent of the vote in the U.K. Many people link these parties’ success to their ability to package themselves as a friendlier, less-threatening far right. Dutch political scientist Cas Mudde has argued that these parties largely swept into power by linking the euro crisis “to their core ideological features: nativism, authoritarianism and populism.”
I was amused by this:
Over the past two years, Cynthia Miller-Idriss, an associate professor at American University in Washington, D.C., has been conducting research with young people in Berlin schools who are on the periphery of the extreme-right. She says that, if anything, the change in neo-Nazi fashion has made it more difficult to step in when young people are being embroiled in the scene. “If you were a teacher,” she says, “you used to be able to identify a skinhead in your class and you could think of ways to intervene. But now it’s harder to mainstream society to understand who these young people are and to engage with them.”…
With this in mind, Koehler thinks there is a need in Germany for a new, broader educational campaign on how to identify members of the extreme right. “A short while ago we did a study with judges and lawyers, who thought they weren’t encountering neo-Nazis because they weren’t seeing any skinheads,” he says, “but they have no idea anymore what a neo-Nazi looks like.”
The stakes in the fight against extremism, of course, are more than just semantic. Several weeks ago, after Dortmund’s local elections, a group of about 20 neo-Nazis appeared outside city hall to protest the recent banning of an extreme-right group. They yelled “Germany for the Germans” and “foreigners out”…
Singing “Germany for the Germans”… How awful.
The stakes will get higher, in places like Germany as well as here in the States, as the PC Juggernaut gains power and force in the coming years:
Back in Bavaria, Patrick Schroeder is driving around downtown Weiden with his former co-host, Martin, a clean-cut 27-year-old computer programmer. Martin is not his real name, but he’s already lost his job twice because of his politics, and is worried about jeopardizing his newest position. Both men are complaining about the repression they face on the job market as neo-Nazis — since finishing his training as a salesman, Schroeder has only worked for companies tied to the scene. “We’re the new Jews in Germany,” he says, “except we don’t wear stars.” …
Schroeder also seems aware that the concepts of Germany and Europe — and, for that matter, America — are becoming increasingly theoretical. In the background, a soccer game is playing on the bar’s big screens, and it helps launch him on a tortured metaphor explaining why Asian immigrants don’t qualify as Germans. “It’s like if the Chinese bought 22 Brazilians and gave them Chinese passports and used them to win the World Cup,” he mopes. “If everybody’s the same, then what’s the point?”