Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics by Roger Woods (auth.)

By Roger Woods (auth.)

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75 Rohrmoser is at once preoccupied with the mental unease that comes with Modernity and unable to provide a solution that has not already been discredited. As we shall see, this tension is at the heart of New Right thinking. A further ambiguity of the feelgood culture is illustrated by Marcel Reding in his discussion of tradition. He can start his reflections on the subject with an endorsement of the beneficial interaction between tradition and culture: ‘Just as personal disposition and habits shape the lives and destiny of individuals, so too do institutions and traditions shape the life and culture of society.

It is clear that culture can be a source of certainty for the New Right. Stefan Ulbrich expresses the reassuring version of culture 36 Germany’s New Right as Culture and Politics when he describes it in the pages of Junge Freiheit as one means by which the individual establishes roots and becomes at one with oneself and with others: Kultur ist vor allem das komplizierte Netz aus Verhaltensmustern, welches dem Menschen erlaubt, sich in dieser Welt zu orientieren und gestaltend einzugreifen. Kulturelle Identität beinhaltet Verhaltensmaßregeln genauso wie Ziele des gemeinsamen Lebens.

Sie schafft nicht fixund-fertige Lösungen, sondern macht, dem Geschwindigkeitssog wie den Appellen zur Übereinstimmung sich entziehend, aus Lösungen immer wieder Probleme. 67 (Culture is full of doubts and challenges to certainty, full of antinomies, ambivalence, and aporias. ) These general propositions about the nature of modern culture can be applied to the New Right. The search for absolute values through culture is without a doubt one of the deeper structures of New Right thinking. As we shall see, however, New Right culture does not provide a simple and reassuring message.

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