Our society currently finds itself embroiled in a debate over words on the internet. A common supposition states that allowing hateful language then leads to violence, but the data from Germany refutes that notion. In fact, the opposite is true: giving the far-Right political representation leads to reduced violent acts.
Events in parallel in Europe demonstrate this. First, the far-Right AfD party is rising after being suppressed for years:
An opinion poll published on behalf of German tabloid Bild shows that the right-wing, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), is more popular than the center-left Social Democrats (SPD).
The AfD has only recently overtaken the SPD, and that is a bit of an upset in Germany, where far-Right ideas are taboo and legally punished, leading to many cases where people spend years in jail for having the wrong opinion on a political topic.
In theory, the rise of the AfD would lead to a spate of hate crimes and violence against immigrants, but instead, the exact opposite has happened:
The German government counted 2,219 attacks on refugees and refugee homes in 2017, new figures Interior Ministry leaked to the Funke Media Group on Wednesday have shown. This is a third fewer than in the previous year, when the authorities counted more than 3,500 attacks.
What the Left refuse to understand is that the far-Right becomes a responsible citizen once you get it up out of the underground. When you demonize it, it becomes an outsider movement, and attracts people who are outsiders for the sake of being outsiders and being able to get away with antisocial behavior, so there is more antisocial behavior.
Instead, when the feelings of people that are against stupid government policies are given an outlet, they stop engaging in the ineffectual process of venting their anger in drunken attacks against other tribes, and instead target policies like diversity, immigrant, anti-discrimination, and the entitlements state.
By engaging in politics, they gain a greater sense of efficacy at the same time they lose a pervasive despair. It turns out that the experts were wrong again, and censoring or suppressing the Right leads to violence, where tolerating their speech and political activity leads to peaceful political change.
Or is that what the other side feared, all along?
Tags: afd, germany, hate crimes, political representation, violence