On January 6, 2021, violent protesters stormed the Capitol in Washington DC, fueled by the President’s implicit support. Among them were the familiar faces of “QAnon” believers, “Proud Boys”, and far-right militias. The attempted coup demonstrates the power conspiracy beliefs can wield in the real world. On that day, the Sente and the House of Representatives were both in session, with the Senate meeting for the official certification of the November 2020 election and Joe Biden’s victory, a meeting that served as a formality. However, President Trump is a sore loser. Since Election Day, Trump had claimed the election was illegitimate and the results were falsified and consequentially invalid. Trump himself called for his supporters to join a “Million MAGA March” and appeared in front of the demonstrators. The March and Trump’s speech led several hundred of his followers to gather before the Capitol and to eventually storm the building. Five people died.
“The hijacking of a totally peaceful action”
Jürgen Elsässer, editor-in-chief of the far-right conspiracy-peddling magazine COMPACT, presented in his article on the events five theses on how the situation in the USA really is. To him, Trump’s group of violent defenders were not a mob and did not attempt a coup, but rather the group instead saw their action as a failed last-chance attempt to thwart the actions of the “deep state”. Elsässer described the events as an unsuccessful “happening” that, had it been better organised and more thought-out, might have succeeded. He cited Mussolini’s “March on Rome” as a positive example. He accused the crowd in DC of “planlessness”, a charge he has also levelled against the German “Querdenker” movement. Instead, he called for a “struggle at the nation-state level” to successfully return the power to the people.
Philip Stein, head of the far-right campaign agency “Ein Prozent” seems to agree and retweeted the take that the “storm” was just an irrelevant and failed occurrence:
Marvin Neumann, state executive of the “Junge Alternative” in Brandenburg, the far-right AfD party’s youth organisation, was also disappointed by the Trump supporters’ end results:
Trump’s concession disappointed his former fans, who wished for more radicalism, especially since Trump had pledged to facilitate a peaceful transition of office.
Did “Antifa” do it?
In some corners of the “New Right”, the chatter centred around the claim that the leading individuals in the storm were members of “Antifa” and that the storming of the Capitol was staged. Remarkably, Martin Sellner of all people, head of the far-right “Identitären Bewegung” (Identarian Movement, also known in the English-speaking world as “Generation Identity”), pushed back on this belief. Martin Lichtmesz, another member of the IB bubble and part of the so-called “New Right”, came down on the other side of Sellner.
Lichtmesz’s “evidence” consisted mainly of unconfirmed hearsay from Twitter.
Or were government officials in on it after all?
“If the Leftists had done this, we’d be talking about an American Maidan.”
Martin Lichtmesz, a journalist and also a writer for the far-right Antaios publishing house and its magazine Sezession, wondered a few hours after the events why the “true democrats” – by which he meant the violent protestors – were facing condemnation and why parallels were being drawn with the “Storming of the Reichstag” when the elections in the USA had obviously been falsified and the people were just standing up for their rights. In effect, he condemned the mainstream media’s condemnation of the far right. He viewed the “globalist ruling class” alongside Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the cause of these riots and did not understand why the Black Lives Matter and antifa movement were not condemned, as they will ultimately cause more unrest, according to Lichtmesz at least.
“The USA is nothing more than a banana republic.”
Attempts to draw parallels to Thuringia
In several tweets from various users, a narrative of indignation with the “mainstream media” and politicians’ condemnations of the situation in Washington emerged, while users seemed unready to accept a legitimate election in the German federal state of Thuringia:
Parts of the AfD also jumped on the bandwagon and drew parallels to Thuringia:
It remains to be seen what the “new” right will agree on, or if they will ever agree on anything.
Storming of the Capitol – How is Germany’s Conspiracy Scene Reacting?
The article image was published under the licence CC BY-NC 2.0.
Translated by W.F. Thomas and originally published in German.