Paul Simon

Paul Simon is pursuing a master's degree in North American Studies at the University of Leipzig. He thinks America is the most entertaining country on earth, and that's a compliment. He tries to write about the German right while taking inspiration from the American left.


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Normalizing Hate Politics

Normalizing Hate Politics

In six months, federal elections will be held in Germany. The right-wing AfD, party which in recent months has been polling consistently well above 10%, will almost certainly enter federal parliament. Barring any unforeseeable catastrophic event, Merkel will remain in power, but the rise of the far-right has already shaken Germany’s politics. More»

Jewish Politics in the Age of Trump

Jewish Politics in the Age of Trump

The 2016 presidential race left America more polarized than ever. Also affected were US Jews, not least by an unnerving resurgence of anti-Semitism in the wake of the Trump campaign, which was stoked, many claim, by senior advisor Steve Bannon and the extremist right-wing ideologues of his alt-right base. More»

21st Century Anti-Semitism

21st Century Anti-Semitism

It is (currently) illegal in Germany to call Jürgen Elsässer an anti-Semite, and by all accounts, he has very good lawyers. This article merely suggests that articles published in his magazine utilize components of anti-Semitic rhetoric. About what he is or isn’t, the reader is invited to make up her own mind. More»

Do-It-Yourself Refugee Aid

Do-It-Yourself Refugee Aid

When hundreds of thousands of refugees began traveling through the Balkans last summer, established humanitarian organizations were slow to react. Concerned citizens stepped in to fill the void. Enter Refugee Aid Serbia. More»

Religion of Paranoia

Religion of Paranoia

The object of most conspiratorial fantasies in America is the federal government. This is no coincidence. Ever since the New Deal, and the Civil Rights Movement, the executive has been the most prominent guarantor of democratic change. In growing federal power, racists, evangelicals, and the business class found a common enemy to unite against. More»

The Poor Rich

The Poor Rich

Liberalism has always retained its own authoritarian option, the right to defend itself, if necessary with violence, both against outside enemies and the enemy within. It has also always been tinged with fear of instability and paranoia. As soon as the strict boundaries protecting the “sphere of property” from government intrusion are understood to have been transgressed, property owners have become victims of oppression. More»

Vigilante Liberalism

Vigilante Liberalism

If there’s there’s one thing about Donald Trump that everybody agrees on, it’s that he’s gone too far. After all, even taboo breaking has its limits. But to what end? A recent article in Jacobin contends that the billionaire made the jump from liberalism to fascism. It’s an interesting hypothesis, but oversimplifies the problem. More»

Post-Nazi Fascism

Post-Nazi Fascism

The intellectual foundations contemporary German fascism like increasingly in the long-forgotten writers and ideologues of the so-called “Conservative Revolution” of the Weimar era, which much better serve their needs than Hitler’s speeches ever could. More»

Fascism in the Era of European Decline

Fascism in the Era of European Decline

Ambivalence towards reactionary thinking in Germany today – on the one hand, strongly rejected in official, polite discourse, while at the same time very popular – is best exemplified by the immense success of the writer and former Social Democrat, Thilo Sarrazin. More»

The New Nazism

The New Nazism

Last week, I was standing behind a police barricade in Leipzig. Only yards away, but impossible to hear over the deafening noise of the counter-demonstration, hundreds of fascists were holding a rally. For an hour, we had been staring at the faceless mass of people on the other side, when suddenly a figure emerged and waved in our direction, taunting us. More»

Return of the Repressed

Return of the Repressed

The right is on the rise in Germany. On October 19th, 20,000 people gathered in Dresden under the banner of the far-right, anti-immigration group “PEGIDA”. They were marking a special occasion: Only one year earlier, several dozen self-proclaimed “patriots” had first met to protest the coming “Islamization of the Occident.” More»

The Hungarian Conspiracy

The Hungarian Conspiracy

In May, the European Commission first proposed a quota system for distributing refugees in the EU. Despite the difficulty the executive has had in obtaining approval for it, countries hit hardest by the crisis, such as Italy, Greece and Malta enthusiastically support the plan, as do EU heavyweights France Germany. Ideally, their buy-in would make the difference. More»

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