- Weiter unten ein Text auf Deutsch dazu -

From: On repression pattern in Europe 

Extremist and terrorist laws as tools to criminalize social struggle
extremism – a tendency to go to the extremes or an instance of going to extremes, esp. in politics

The development of the extremism theory evolved from the totalitarian theory discussion, which appeared as a result of the cruelties of national socialism and Stalinism, occurring in the middle of the 20th century. Even though the theory is not new, it has gained exposure in the recent years due to the repression against any kind of opposition to government. All around the globe, anti-extremist and anti-terrorist laws are introduced or further developed. Although anti-terrorist laws were already in the 19th century as a reaction to activities of the anarchist movement, there is an obvious push towards the extremist theory in terms of law enforcement and political propaganda.

But what does it mean and why is it so dangerous for society for it to be possible to express opposition against existing systems and politics?

According to anti-extremist theory, the core of society is constructed as a democratic union, continuously endangered by all kind of extremisms. This leads to the criminalization of all criticisms of the state, capitalism and the authorities. In that sense, whatever political opposition: social movements, fascist, terrorist, anarchist, anti-fascist, are put in one box. It lumps poplar movements that fight oppression and supremacy with those that reinforce it.

But this also implies that any ideas outside the core are not legitimate, and narrows the boundaries of public political debates. The core of society wants to keep the status quo, and maintain this situation by following conservative and right wing movements. Daily racism or homophobia for example are not seen as problems. The structural oppression, carried out by state and society in our days, mostly connected with colonialism, history of brutality and genocide, is denied. The oppression of the state itself as an authoritarian institution is not discussed.

A lot of states developed anti-terrorist laws due to particular developments of different political movements, like the activities of the Basques independence groups in Spain or the RAF in the 70s in Germany. The national state saw the need to protect its institutions and authorities and react with laws which legitimize interference with personal rights, and allow repression tactics, for example total isolation in prison. Since 9/11 and the declaration of war on terror the upgrade of anti-terrorist laws has been happening all around. Unlimited surveillance or the fact that people can stay in prison for months without clear accusation or trail, are just some effects of these laws.

This kind of politics is not only connected with the liberal world. Whether under Liberalism or a dictatorship, with terms like extremism or terrorism it is easy to stigmatize the enemy. And the terms are used vaguely, just like the laws they are connected with, and applied to any kind of activism.

Aus: Ramba Zamba

Die Extremismustheorie – Ursprünge, Inhalt und Auswirkungen

Der politische Diskurs in Deutschland wird seit Jahrzehnten von der Extremismustheorie bestimmt. Aufbauend auf die Totalitarismustheorie wurde mit ihr der Kampfbegriff „Extremismus“ geschaffen, später politikwissenschaftlich legitimiert und ist bis heute Basis für Behörden und Geheimdienste in Deutschland. Die Extremismutheorie beruht ausschließlich auf formalen, nicht auf inhaltlichen Kategorien und ist seit ihrer Entstehungszeit massiven Konjunkturen unterworfen. Ihr Einfluss ist in sämtlichen Medien nachzuvollziehen und wirkt sich massiv auf die Betrachtung politischer Thematiken aus. Im Folgenden soll dargelegt werden, wie die Extremismustheorie entstanden ist, welche Zielsetzungen damit einhergehen und wie sie auf das politische Geschehen einwirkt...

Abschließend bleibt festzuhalten, dass die Verwendung der Extremismustheorie aus sehr vielen sehr guten Gründen zu vermeiden ist. Wann immer Personen dies tun, liegt vermutlich fehlendes Grundwissen politischer Ideologien vor. Von der Seite staatlicher Behörden stellt dies kein Problem dar, denn so werden unliebsame gesellschaftliche Strömungen gleichermaßen diskreditiert. Also was tun? Nennt die Kinder doch einfach beim Namen. Nationalismus, Faschismus, Antifeminismus und so weiter und so fort. Je präziser die Begriffsverwendung ist, desto schwieriger ist es auch, gegen diese argumentativ vorzugehen. Der Extremismusbegriff auf der anderen Seite ist wiederum sehr einfach auszuhebeln.