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pixabay.com | m5tef

© pixabay.com | m5tef

Please don’t hate the AfD

At some demonstrations against right-wing extremism, you can also see posters calling for hatred against the AfD. One large demonstration in Berlin, for example, read “All of Berlin hates the AfD”. Another poster – very close by – read “Hate is not an argument”. That’s right!
What is hate?

Hate is an uncanny power – often stronger than the opposing power of love. Hate is perhaps the strongest of all emotions. We sense that hatred is currently being stirred up all over the world. Hateful people are also on the move in Germany, ready to deny human dignity to those who think differently, those born elsewhere or people with a different skin colour or religion.

However, millions of people from the centre of society are finally rising up in opposition to these hateful people. Millions of people are demonstrating for human dignity and drawing attention to the fact that Article 1 of the Basic Law states “Human dignity is inviolable” and not “The dignity of the German person is inviolable”.

“If they have decided to kill me, it means we are incredibly strong.” Alexei Navalny

Once hatred has taken hold of us, it never rests. This applies from the Hamas terrorists to the Putin government in Russia, which has just “eliminated” the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in the most disgraceful way, but also to other dictatorships and religious fundamentalists around the world. Hate slogans should have no place at demonstrations that are primarily about human dignity and democracy. They fundamentally contradict the purpose of these demonstrations.

I heard a German supporter of Ukraine say these days: “All Russians should be killed.” He is not doing himself or any Ukrainians any favours with such hatred.

Hatred has an almost irresistible pull. It is also an easily contagious group feeling among people who do not feel understood or valued. According to TAZ journalist Peter Unfried, hatred is unacceptable as an “attitude” and wrong and fatal as a strategy. Because hate always backfires on the hater. In a hateful group or even nation, the personal, freedom-loving individual is completely lost. Above all, hatred needs a projected external enemy and enemy images. For communists, this is the capitalists and for capitalists it is: the communists.

For National Socialists it was the Jews or the French or the English, Poles, Russians or the Americans, just as today the Jews are the hereditary enemies of the Islamists. In the age of populism, hatred is a central political emotion. On 7 October, Hamas organised an orgy of hatred that was not thought possible. Of course, UN Secretary-General Guterres is also right when he points to the prehistory of 7 October.

Haters are always people who blame others for their fate. But haters do themselves no good.
But how can hatred be tamed or even overcome?

The French and Germans showed how this can be done after the Second World War. Empathy, solidarity and justice are just as important as the ability to compromise. The ability to compromise is a private and political uncompromising ability. Only in this way can self-esteem, tolerance and love develop.

As the Dalai Lama puts it: “We need a world revolution of compassion.” And the ability to mourn our own feelings of hatred is also important. What is needed now is democratic rationalism. This means not running after misanthropic forces, but opposing them. Then demonstrating for democracy can become our new and successful hobby.

Alexei Navalny left us this message: “The triumph of evil requires nothing more than that the good remain inactive. So don’t be passive.”

And very importantly: learn to differentiate and remain adaptive. This means that not every East German is an AfD voter. And not every AfD voter is a Nazi. Hatred against people simply must not become normal. We should not offer the Putins and Trumps of this world and all other authoritarians a ladder on which they can climb.


Franz Alt 2024 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) |

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