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By Roger Woods (auth.)

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Extra resources for Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics

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Culture is also a plural, non-universalist concept that provides the contents of an exclusive national identity. 50 Ex-Bundestag member and New Right author Alfred Mechtersheimer takes these arguments one step further by seeing culture as the shared foundation for a political position: National bezieht sich auf die Nation, das heißt auf eine Willensgemeinschaft von Menschen, die neben ihrem Recht auf Gemeinsamkeit ihr ‘Recht auf Unterschied’… politisch in Anspruch nehmen. 51 (National refers to the nation, that is to say to a community based on a political act of will by people who are laying claim not just to 38 Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics their right to a shared identity but also to their right to be different.

Hermann Glaser makes a similar case when he examines how the concept of ‘cultural authenticity’ acknowledges the fragility of one’s identity. This ‘authentic identity’ is at odds with dogmatism and ideological simplification. Culture is characterised by its lack of certainty and its tendency to find questions rather than answers: Kultur ist voller Fragwürdigkeiten und Verunsicherungen, voller Antinomien, Ambivalenzen und Aporien. Sie schafft nicht fixund-fertige Lösungen, sondern macht, dem Geschwindigkeitssog wie den Appellen zur Übereinstimmung sich entziehend, aus Lösungen immer wieder Probleme.

The dysfunctionality of modern culture is its functionality. The 22 Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics struggle of modern forces to create an artificial order requires culture to probe the limits and limitations of the powers of artificial creation. The struggle for order informs that probing, and is in turn informed by what the probing reveals. In this process the struggle loses its initial hybris: its urge to engage in conflict born of a blend of naı¨veté and ignorance. Instead, it learns to live with its own permanence, its own lack of results and its own futility).

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