For the previous two centuries the division of Europe into the West and the East was the main order not only in the world of values and ideas, but also in practice. Today, through the migrant crisis and the conflict around the rule of law, the old system of the civilized West and modernizing East is trying to be recreated.
The logic behind Europe’s ideological war is created by the line of thought, that there are only two options: to be a liberal or a fascist. This is connected to the division between West and East, which was particularly apparent during the 80s and 90s when German unification was at stake. Back then, people in East Germany chanted “we are one people”. In Chemnitz, Saxony, people chanted “we are a nation, not Nazis”.
The logic behind Europe’s ideological war is created by the line of thought that there are only two options: to be a liberal or a fascist
Saxony has always had a problem with the far-right. That is why the German press described the protests in Chemnitz as resembling those from the 1930s. Frank Richter, the former head of the Federal Agency for Civic Education in Saxony remarked that: “Saxony was never a part of Western Europe, but the East, that is why it is following in Poland and Hungary’s footsteps.”
Central and Eastern Europe seem to have become the prisoner of the ideological struggle going on in America, Great Britain, France and Germany. It is being identified as the source of the threat of new fascism. Is that insane? Of course, it’s insane, but – as usual – when reason sleeps, demons awake.