Taboo, or: The Persecution of Dissenters
Welcome to the strange netherworld of thought-control in Western societies
Prelim: Substack informs me that this ‘post [is] too long for email’. Act accordingly.
I’ve chosen this screen shot from German state broadcaster ARD to headline the post; it doesn’t really reflect all the issues discussed below, but it relates esp. to key arguments made by the long exposé translated below.
State of Emergency as New Normal [source]
Today, we shall address a thorny issue—how to ensure that dissenters’ lives are turned to hell through no fault of their own. As such, this piece relates to two other recent articles:
Today’s piece is an account of the travails of one Martin Sellner, an Austrian citizen whose ‘crime’ is to hold certain views (which I don’t necessarily subscribe to, but I’m pro-free speech). Mr. Sellner caused a little bit of a media sensation a few days ago as he was the alleged ‘mastermind’ behind what gov’t-and-NGO-sponsored outlet Correctiv alleged was a ‘Wannsee Conference 2.0’:
Martin Sellner to be Banned from Germany?
The media ‘hype’ was caused by reporting, among others in alt-media outlet NIUS, that Mr. Sellner would be ‘deported’ or ‘prevented from entering’ Germany as he was allegedly put on a kind of ‘watch list’ (here and in the following, translation and emphases mine):
The Bundespolizei [federal police] have imposed an entry ban on the head of the Austrian Identitarian Movement, Martin Sellner. This is based on internal email correspondence between the Federal Police and the Thuringia State Criminal Police Office, which NIUS has obtained exclusively. It states: ‘If SELLNER is found at the border, he is to be refused entry in accordance with 6 para. 1 sentence 2 of the Freedom of Movement Act/EU.’ Police sources from the Federal Police, with whom NIUS was able to speak, confirm the facts of the case.
The cited paragraph of the Freedom of Movement Act regulates the freedom of movement of EU citizens under the Schengen Agreement. It specifically defines when ‘the right of entry and residence’ is lost. The passage states that ‘there must be an actual and sufficiently serious threat’ that ‘affects a fundamental interest of society.’
At this juncture, it might well be interesting to note the content of §6 (1) sentence 2 of said legislation (source):
The fact of a criminal conviction is not in itself sufficient to justify the decisions or measures referred to in paragraph 1. Only criminal convictions not yet expunged [this is related to the statute of limitations] from the Federal Central Criminal Register may be taken into account, and only to the extent that the circumstances on which they are based indicate personal behaviour that constitutes a current threat to public order [further limitations are noted]. There must be an actual and sufficiently serious threat that affects a fundamental interest of society.
So, Mr. Sellner’s road trip—whose route he proudly announced on social media, by the way—is considered ‘an actual and sufficiently serious threat that affects a fundamental interest of society’. No need to be more precise, isn’t it?
Leaving aside the tempting comparisons to, say, hundreds of thousands of ‘migrants’ or ‘refugees’ that were granted permission to enter Western countries in and after 2015, we note that one man, the 35 year-old Martin Sellner, who also travelled to Germany numerous times before, is now considered ‘an actual and sufficiently serious threat’ whose mere presence ‘affects a fundamental interest of society’.
If you’re inclined to believe this nonsense, you might also believe that ‘January 6’ was an ‘insurrection’ that threatened to bring the mighty American Empire to its knees.
You can’t make this up.
Who is Martin Sellner?
At this juncture, it is well worth talking about Mr. Sellner. Here’s his Wikipedia profile, which describes him as ‘an Austrian far-right political activist, and leader of the Identitarian Movement of Austria’ who plays ‘an important role within the Neue Rechte [New Right] in Germany’. Mr. Sellner is no stranger to entry bans, as he was reportedly ‘denied entry’ to both the UK and the US in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
I note, in passing, that his German Wikipedia profile calls him a ‘right-wing extremist’ who ‘propagates racist, nativist [orig. völkisch], and anti-semitic positions’. It is also noted that for years he’s been banned or blocked from various social media outlets (YouTube, Instagram, Twitter), and he subsequently moved to Telegram.
What about his positions that render him persona non grata in Germany, the UK, and the US? Here’s a bit from the German Wikipedia profile:
According to Sellner in 2013, a ‘sick ideology of equity’ [orig. Gleichheit] is trying to ‘standardise’ [orig. vereinheitlichen] humanity. As regards gender, such an ‘ideology’ leads to ‘an androgynous, formless, typeless standardised human being’; ultimately, there are then ‘no more real men and no more women’.
For Sellner, a people [orig. Volk] is a community of descent demarcated from everything foreign, as well as a linguistic and cultural community [we note, in passing, that this is how, according to the Austrian legal scholar Georg Jellinek, a state is defined]. As he said in 2016/2017, every single person is in a ‘body whose smallest flaws and strengths have emerged and grown from the daily use of our ancestors in a linguistic and cultural world from the lifestyle of endless chains of ancestors’. These statements are based on the idea that people only exist as products of the ethnocultural collective [this is inferred, not Mr. Sellner’s wording]. Joining is therefore completely beyond free will and, according to Sellner, ‘cannot be accomplished with arbitrary decisions and mere legal determinations’.
I’m not getting into the weeds of saying that this is ‘right’ and that is ‘wrong’; it is worth pointing out that esp. the definition is extra-common and far from anything ‘radical’. I mentioned Georg Jellinek above, and I mention his definition of the three constituent elements of a state (as per Wikipedia) just to show how ‘uncontroversial’ this is:
According to Georg Jellinek's three-element theory (also known as the three-element theory), the state is a social entity whose constitutive features are characterised by a territory surrounded by borders (state territory), a group of people residing there as a core population (state people), and a state authority ruling on this territory.
I’ll also point out that the more ‘controversial’ aspects in the above relation are not by Mr. Sellner but from whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry.
Having established that, of course I shall note that Mr. Sellner has ‘ties’ to ‘far right-wing’ individuals and groups, including convicted Neonazi Gottfried Küssel and Götz Kubitschek. In 2006, Mr. Sellner and someone else attached stickers with the swastika to the synagogue in Baden near Vienna, which was done in reaction to David Irving’s conviction by an Austrian court. Mr. Sellner was not convicted of anything, as the prosecution was fine with ‘100 hours of community service’.
There’s ‘more’ of that kind of stuff—contacts with third parties, incl. the assassin of Christchurch, New Zealand—all of which coalesces in a brief paragraph entitled ‘Reception’, which is worth citing in full (do pay attention to the wording):
Expert authors on right-wing extremism Julian Bruns and Natascha Strobl, leading member of the ‘Offensive gegen Rechts’ [Offensive vs. The Right], consider Sellner's origins in the National Resistance milieu to be an exemplary rooting of the ‘Identitarians’ in neo-Nazism [two individuals, Mr. Bruns and Ms. Strobl, whose named group is a left-wing affiliate of, among others, the Communist Party and Antifa; Ms. Strobl is also said to be ‘in the inner circle’ of the current left-wing (pseudo) Marxian head of the Social-Democratic Party, Andreas Babler]. In 2009, [Sellner] attended the ceremony of honour at the grave of the Wehrmacht fighter pilot Walter Nowotny [about this one, see below], which is considered a meeting place for ‘like-minded people’ (Hans-Henning Scharsach [who, too, is of the same ideological mindset as the two other ‘experts’) of neo-Nazis. In this context, the journalist and publicist Nina Horaczek described him as a ‘right-wing extremist’ [here, too, we note that Ms. Horaczek is a Communist activist, too, and she appeared at-length in a recent exposé of mine on the unholy matrimony of the Roman Church and Communism]. According to the political scientist Hajo Funke, Sellner belonged ‘to the circle’ of the neo-Nazi website Alpen-Donau.info, which was active from 2009 to 2011 and centred around the Holocaust denier Gottfried Küssel, in whose circles he moved [Professor Funke is the only academic here, and while he did research right-wing extremism, we note Prof. Funke’s affiliation with the ‘New Left’ and his many ties to the Socialist Bureau (orig. Sozialistisches Büro), whose aim was to ‘unify the socialist forces in both the Federal Republic and the GDR’]. Sellner confirmed that he had previously belonged to Küssel's close circle. He had been in an ‘exuberant adolescent phase’ at the time [look, he did stupid shit as a teen]. After Alpen-Donau.info was shut down, he ‘found his new political home with his followers in the “Identitarians”’, according to Funke.
To recap: the four people who ‘consider’ and ‘describe’ Martin Sellner here are all situated more or less far to the left-of-centre, incl. ties to Antifa-affiliated groups (Bruns, Strobl), open Communists (Horaczek), or membership in the Cold War-era, pan-German Socialist Bureau (Funke). I thought you should know this.
As regards the grave of Walter Nowotny, well, he was a fighter pilot and, according to his English-language Wikipedia entry, shot down a total of 258 enemy planes; Nowotny died in a crash in November 1944. For his victories, he was decorated multiple times and, after his death, he was buried at the Vienna Central Cemetery and received a state funeral (this was 1944, after all). What is of note is that his status of honour, sponsored by the City of Vienna, was kept in place until twenty years ago:
Nowotny was buried at the Vienna Central Cemetery in a grave of honour sponsored by the city of Vienna [which was governed almost exclusively by the Socialist/Social Democratic Party since 1945]. Following an initiative by the Austrian Green Party and debates in the Vienna Landtag [state parliament], a resolution supported by Social Democrats and Greens was passed to remove the status of honour in 2003. Nowotny's grave remains a frequent target of both far-left vandalism and far-right memorial festivities.
Mind you, I’m not engaging in ‘whataboutism’ here, but I’m trying to provide context for this otherwise extremely one-sided, if not biased (distorted) coverage.
With this information, we may now finally turn to two pieces about Mr. Sellner that are very telling about the shape of things to come.
A Comedian ‘Follows’ Martin Sellner
The first piece of interest here is a piece written by comedian Florian Schroeder (Wikipedia profile) who frequently appears on state broadcasters, holds all the expectable positions on the Covid mandates, is anti-AfD, and, of course, staunchly critical of everything that reeks of peace efforts with respect to Russia; needless to say, he is also strongly pro-Israel. Needless to say, Mr. Schroeder has a weekly comedy (sic) show on state broadcaster ARD.
As an aside, I shall mention that Mr. Schroeder’s father was a convicted fraudster who spent many years in prison and ‘escaped from family life when [Mr. Schroeder] was 10 years old’. I’m bringing this up to indicate the glaring hypocrisy between the above-related coverage of Mr. Sellner whose Jugendsünden (stupid shit one does when young) are constantly invoked to indicate how bad a person he is decades later while, in the case of Mr. Schroeder, who mentioned this in the foreword to a book published in 2023, this is apparently never brought up in an even remotely comparable way. But I digress.
In the Tagesspiegel, Florian Schroeder recently (13 Jan. 2024) related his five year on-off conversations with Martin Sellner in the following way:
Extremely Right-Wing and Extremely Dangerous: The Sinister Mind of Martin Sellner
When right-wing extremists and AfD politicians plan the deportation [sic] of people with a migration background, Martin Sellner is there. Comedian Florian Schroeder accompanied him for five years.
Martin Sellner is in a good mood. He is sitting in Café Weimar in Vienna, it is the end of June 2023 and the summer is advertising the biggest promise it has: hot days. Sellner has just returned from the summer party at the ‘Institute for State Politics’ [Institute für Staatswissenschaft] in Schnellroda, which is run by his current mentor and publisher Götz Kubitschek—a kind of think tank for the New Right, a think tank for the völkisch AfD wing around Björn Höcke.
It was a family reunion, says Sellner. The motto was: carnival [orig. Maskenball]. They put on masks of Thomas Haldenwang, the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and laughed a lot about it. [note that this is the same Mr. Haldenwang whose domestic spy agency allegedly wiretapped the Potsdam meeting in autumn 2023—and note that the above comments were said in June 2023, i.e., well before that meeting]
Sellner senses that time is in his favour. The pandemic is over and internationally, there is a shift to the right: ‘There are countries in Poland, Hungary, now also Italy, Saudi Arabia, but also in America, which are more patriotic than Germany, and Austria is also a developing country here’, is his analysis. A convincing left-wing populist movement that could provide competition is also nowhere to be seen. Everything that goes wrong now plays into right-wing hands. All he really has to do is wait and see.
The shift to the right in Germany at the beginning of the summer of 2023 is making many people nervous. It seems more worrying than ever. In Höcke's home region of Thuringia—where the AfD is considered to be securely on the far right—an AfD man has become a district administrator for the first time. The AfD could become the strongest party there in the next state elections.
In an [state broadcaster] MDR summer interview a few days later, Höcke will give a foretaste of what this could mean. He describes the inclusion of disabled people in mainstream schools as an ideological project that should be abolished. I have known Martin Sellner for five years these summer days. Back then, I had started working on my book Unter Wahnsinnigen [Among Insane People]: Why We Need Evil. One chapter was to deal with right-wing extremism.
With Sellner, I wanted to describe a person who was different: an activist, not a party cadre. He repeatedly said that he saw himself as a revolutionary against ‘our sham democracy’, as a ‘true dissenter in resistance’. He agreed, knowing where I stood. He knew, he once said, that he did not come off well in my book. Sellner didn't influence the text, he didn't even want to approve quotes. He gave me a completely free hand as the author.
When I met Sellner for the first time, in May 2018, we sat in the same café until he was suddenly in a hurry. He had to get a visa to visit his then girlfriend and now wife Brittany Pettibone, a US Trump supporter, in Russia. He raced across Vienna at the time, highly nervous, for fear that the authorities might refuse him the visa. [this can only come from someone who never applied for a work visa for the US; while I don’t know about Mr. Schroeder, my own experience is that one should be on time lest one’s application will be denied—and here we’re talking about Mr. Sellner wanting to visit his then-partner…]
Sellner On Trial
On that very day, it had become known that he and 16 other members of the Identitarian Movement would be put on trial. The indictment: formation of a criminal organisation. The Graz public prosecutor's office had charged them with incitement to hatred, damage to property, and coercion. Some Identitarian members had put up a banner with the words ‘Islamisation kills’ on the roof of the Styrian Green Party and doused it with theatrical blood.
When a handful of Identitarians disrupted a performance of the play ‘Die Schutzbefohlenen’ by Nobel Prize winner Elfriede Jelinek in the Audimax at the University of Vienna in 2016, former Austrian Vice-Chancellor Strache was thrilled. The FPÖ man shared the video, which shows the right-wingers storming the stage and spraying fake blood, on his Facebook page and praised the ‘young activists of a non-left-wing civil society’. The ideological proximity between right-wing extremists and parties such as the AfD and FPÖ is therefore nothing really new [what’s also nothing new is the mentioning of the indictment followed by snippets that have nothing to do with said indictment].
Sellner Presents Plans to Deport People
Now, in the winter days of 2024, in the country hotel in Brandenburg, they are only becoming more visible, more focussed and more undisguised. Sellner presents concrete plans to deport people, including those who have a German passport and live here peacefully. It is a milestone, a decisive shift. What could previously only be surmised is now official [note the entirely unambiguous wording here, although, to be fair, Mr. Schroeder penned these words before Correctiv began to backpedal earlier this week; note, further, that Mr. Schroeder omits the fact that Sellner wrote a book about it, which you could—for now, I suppose—buy on Amazon, which doesn’t really seem like an evil, secretive conspiracy…].
On a May afternoon in 2022, Sellner orders a club soda, as he often does, I take an Einspänner—an espresso with lots of whipped cream on top. He has to go to a student corporation party later, so he doesn't have much time. It's a Pennalie, a student fraternity that his brother is also in.
[This is where the truly insane parts of the piece begin] Six months ago, in November 2021, he became a father—‘I'm now one of those annoying fathers who have to show lots of pictures’. He shows photos of his son, who is currently with his wife in the USA with his grandparents. He has also relocated, as the old flat had become too small for three. He lives with another of his brothers in his birthplace, Baden near Vienna, in a house with his wife and child. It has become difficult for him to find a flat with his name [because no-one wishes to rent a place to Mr. Sellner, apparently].
He is now blocked on all social networks. He has lost almost 100,000 subscribers on YouTube and 40,000 on Twitter. If a photo of him is posted on Instagram or just his name is highlighted in the captions, the algorithms delete the post immediately. He now only communicates via Telegram. Banks no longer give him an account—and if they do, they close it again after a few weeks. He has lost over 40 business accounts since 2017 [we note that Mr. Sellner has not been convicted of anything; he simply doesn’t get a bank account due to his personal-ideological views, it appears to be systematic, and he’s far from the only one: as reported even (!) by Reuters, ‘an internal review of the bank account obtained by Farage showed the private bank's wealth reputational risk committee had said his values did not align with the bank's own’. In other words: both Mr. Farage and Mr. Sellner have ‘committed’ what Orwell labelled ‘thought crimes’, and nothing else]
When he talks about it, he doesn't seem affected; instead, he carries the pride of a martyr in front of him. He, the last true member of the opposition, misunderstood, wrongly accused, takes the suffering of all the oppressed upon himself. This is part of the programme of the New Right: They are a community of victims. Only from this position will it later, one powerful day, be possible to take revenge on the mainstream.
People like Sellner [i.e., those who are labelled by left-wing activists as ‘problematic’] are particularly important for far-right parties like the AfD [of which, we note, Mr. Sellner isn’t a member]. They are supposed to prepare the ground for them by influencing people's thinking, changing the language, infiltrating the hated mainstream, and pulling them over to their side [talk about projection]. The target group is primarily those who are sceptical about the revolution from the right or simply indifferent. They call it metapolitics. The idea follows a left-wing concept with a right-wing twist: it is about cultural hegemony, a term coined by the Marxist philosopher Antonio Gramsci [told you so]. Whoever sets the topics and occupies the terms is in charge.
People like Sellner are more extreme, they have less to consider than politicians, they have less to tactic, indeed, they have nothing to lose. That's why they are a kind of inspirational force for party functionaries. In the five years that I accompanied him, Sellner was always where the AfD was, with a delay of around one to two years—always one step further to the far right [this sounds odd, here’s the original: ‘Sellner stand in den fünf Jahren, die ich ihn begleitete, immer dort, wo die AfD mit etwa ein- bis zweijähriger Verspätung auch stand – immer noch einen Schritt weiter rechts außen.’ It is either extra-clumsily written (which is true, but I doubt this to be the motivation) or as clear a case of pointing fingers; the meaning of this part would be something like ‘Sellner was always further to the right than the AfD, which endorsed his positions with a delay of 1-2 years’, but don’t ask me why this is written in such a confusing way (my guess is that it’s not as clear-cut as Mr. Schroeder makes it out to be, but if admitted, this hit piece wouldn’t work as well).
Early June in a Restaurant in Berlin
At the beginning of June 2023, he is standing in the ‘Grüne Lampe’ restaurant in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Some 40 people had come to listen to him. The location had been kept secret; even in the closed 'Telegram group that Sellner had used to organise this meeting in June 2023, there was only talk of a street crossing as the meeting point. From there, they headed over to the ‘Grüne Lampe’, a Russian restaurant. ‘We're still allowed to be here’, says Sellner [apparently, that Russian is among the few places that ‘permits’ Mr. Sellner to hold meetings, with the implication being that most other restaurants wouldn’t do so—for likely the same reasons that Mr. Sellner is unable to obtain a bank account].
The guests are student corporation members in their early 20s who look like they've just left the Hitler Youth [reeks of denigrating the victims of National Socialism, but, I suppose, if you use the Hitler bludgeon to attack ‘the right’, it’s a-o.k.]; people who may have made a mistake in the doorway on their way to the batik group; figures who have obviously long since fulfilled their life goal of a permanent position in a government-like environment [talk about specks and beams once more…]. I take a seat at a table at the far end, on the fringes of right-wing society [what a wonderful wordsmith Mr. Schroeder is].
Illustrations on the Downfall of the West
Sellner stands next to a loveless buffet of Russian delicacies. Before he throws graphics about the imminent demise of the West onto the wall, he briefly introduces me: ‘A representative of the lying press [orig. Lügenpresse] is here with us today.’ People can ask me questions or discuss my topic with me—or leave it at that. Someone shouts from the back: ‘Evil [alluding to Mr. Schroeder’s above-mentioned book]? Is that also about the public broadcasters?’
Sellner is wearing a black T-shirt and beige trousers. And hipster horn-rimmed glasses. The battle of the patriots has begun, he says at the start of his lecture. Sellner throws curves, diagrams, and statistics on the wall, organises a wild staccato tour from Calcutta to Europe and back again, from mass migration to remigration, and I find it difficult to understand exactly who is already here but has to leave quickly, who is not yet here and should not even come.
Stirring up Fears Works
What remains after just under half an hour is this: no matter what part of the world we let people come to us from, we bring poverty, stupidity, and terror into our homes, and in the end, our end. ‘It's about us as Germans and Austrians being able to stand proudly alongside other peoples and retain our identity’, says Sellner at the end. Long applause. Donations would be nice, there's a container over there.
In a foggy frenzy after this doomsday scenario, in which facts and figures are thrown around wildly, you end up with the feeling that doom is only a few metres away.
In Germany and Austria, where the Identitarians are being monitored by the domestic intelligence service, the AfD and the FPÖ have officially passed a resolution of incompatibility that rules out any cooperation [the fact that neither party has been convicted of any wrong-doing speaks for itself]. However, Sellner sees the Identitarian movement, the IB, as an extension of the parties. And so it is: in Saxony-Anhalt, it supported the AfD in the election campaign [aren’t free citizens free to support whoever they want?].
IB activists and AfD officials take part in demonstrations in Köthen and Chemnitz together [guilt-tripping by association; it’s the same smear used to denigrate the anti-mandate protests]. Mario Müller, a neo-Nazi with a criminal record and leading Identitarian from Halle, works for an AfD member of parliament. Understanding neo-right-wing thinking means first familiarising yourself with the language that people like Sellner administer in seemingly homeopathic doses, which is supposed to seep in unobtrusively and harmlessly.
Their Thinking is Grounded in Conspiracy Myths
This thinking is at home in conspiracy myths. Two are particularly popular at the moment. One is the ‘Great Replacement’: it is the key term. A word coined by the French right-wing intellectual Renaud Camus, to which he dedicated an entire book: ‘Revolt against the Great Exchange’. Sellner has written an epilogue for the German edition. The ‘Great Replacement’ is a myth that states that European peoples are being replaced by corporations and politicians through mass Muslim immigration in order to weaken Europe [bruahahahaha, and now read this UN Population Division study from 2001 on ‘replacement migration’; once you’re done, I’d also invite you to read this 2023 study from the Netherlands about the fiscal costs associated with mass immigration to Western welfare states].
This identifies the ‘true enemy’, as Sellner writes: the so-called exchangers. ‘These include national and international corporations that expect the absence of immigration borders to reduce labour costs and the dismantling of ethnocultural communities to facilitate their economic activities’, says Sellner. A thesis that has become socially acceptable in recent years.
The Great Replacement is complemented by the myth of the ‘Great Reset’, according to which a Jewish [note that so far there’s nothing in Mr. Schroeder’s account that revolved around this trope] elite wants to install a supranational world government at the expense of so-called normal citizens [it’s literally the title of Klaus Schwab’s book, which calls into question the labelling as ‘conspiracy myth’]. The suspects include: philanthropist George Soros, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Apocalyptic paranoia is now part of pop culture. You can see it in the success of ‘Walking Dead’ and every other Netflix series.
As the New Right emerges as the last generation that can prevent the Great Replacement, literally everything must be done to prevent the fall of Europe. The moment the New Right invokes mass immigration, a storm or even a flood, we find ourselves in an apocalyptic situation in which anything goes—which is why Sellner writes of struggle and war.
At the mercy of the enemy, the personified evil, defenceless, and helpless, the aim is to save our own country, nation, and continent, whatever the cost. This puts us in a state of emergency. Self-defence becomes the rule [ah, a state of emergency, by which is definitely not meant the WHO-declared, so-called ‘Pandemic™’, eh? Please read Giorgio Agamben’s thoughts—from Feb. 2020].
Remigration Equals Deportation
This mixed situation forms the backdrop for the idea of so-called remigration—one of Sellner's favourite terms for years. It means: deportation. Björn Höcke said that this could only succeed with ‘well-tempered cruelty’ [orig. wohltemperierte Grausamkeit], which would also claim victims in their own ranks, namely among those ‘who are too weak or unwilling to resist the ongoing Africanisation, Orientalisation and Islamisation’.
This means that Germans who resist being racist will also become victims of right-wing rule. That seems to me to be a crucial point. Even as a German or European, no one would be safe anymore—unless they made themselves henchmen of fascism. Because that is what the AfD wants [and Mr. Schroeder knows this because…strange, no evidence is offered].
Taboos are extremely powerful markers of social cohesion that work by including certain people, aspects, opinions while excluding others. This is done either by normative prescriptions (i.e., laws banning certain things, such as, e.g., National Socialist ideology, polygamy, etc.) or via ‘unwritten rules’.
One of the latter is at-play here, as exemplified by the fact that Mr. Sellner can’t open a bank account despite never having been convicted by a court of law (sic). He also finds it hard to rent an apartment, presumably for the same reasons.
This is wrong, if only because it punishes opinions and convictions vs. that for which the ‘rule of law’ putatively exists.
Does that mean I share Mr. Sellner’s points of view? I’d be honest here and state that I don’t, for the most part, but I do share his critical stance on mass migration (full disclaimer: I’ve been living outside Austria since 2010). So do many other people.
Moving on, let’s discuss the obvious left-wing, if not Communist, bias apparent in esp. mainstream sources, such as the Wikipedia pieces. Why wouldn’t Wikipedia note these ideological dispositions of the cited ‘experts’? (My ‘guess’ is because it would reveal at-once the clear bias among these ‘experts’.)
Mr. Schroeder’s own blindspots—again, we should talk about specks and beams here—deserve notice, too. Apart from the seemingly innocent non-reflections about the loss of Mr. Sellner’s bank accounts or his inability to rent a place (presumably because of all the negative coverage in legacy media), the blind spots about the inferred aims of parties such as the AfD or the FPÖ are telling enough; moreover, the guilt-by-association of Mr. Sellner’s participation in the anti-Covid mandate protests—whose appearances were, in turn, used by legacy media to discredit the substance of the protest itself—is equally appalling, because doing so is both intellectually dishonest and factually problematic.
The absurdity of this all is revealed at-once in a piece in the Austrian left-wing daily (rag) Der Standard, whose editors wrote the following on 29 Jan. 2024:
The list of accusations that criminal prosecutors have levelled at Martin Sellner in recent years is long: he has been charged with assault, incitement to hatred and forming a criminal organisation and has been a defendant in proceedings relating to supporting terrorism, fraud and embezzlement. So far, however, the prosecutors have had their work cut out for them. Criminal behaviour could not be proven against him, at least in his adult years.
Put differently, the presumption of innocence is not a valid proposition for people like Mr. Sellner. This doesn’t stop the editors from following-up with these lines:
This fact [of Mr. Sellner not having been convicted of any crime] severely restricts the options available to the Austrian security authorities. For example, it is not possible to revoke passports, as is the case with convicted jihadists or neo-Nazis [hi, Ed Snowden]. Authorities abroad have an easier time of it, as the German deliberations on an entry ban and the covert manhunt against Sellner show. More is legally possible against foreign citizens [like, deport them?].
The Standard piece also briefly brings up the guilt-by-association of Mr. Sellner with the later Christchurch massacre, but it does so in a particularly revelatory way:
Things got particularly tricky for Sellner a year later: on 15 March 2019, a right-wing extremist Australian killed more than fifty people in two mosques in New Zealand. It was quickly revealed that the terrorist had donated money to Sellner in January 2018. As a result, the two were also in written contact with each other, inviting each other to meetings, for example [note the chronology: in Jan. 2018, donations were made to Sellner; in March 2019, the attack occurred].
‘There is still a long way to go until victory, but every day our people are getting stronger’, the later terrorist wrote to Sellner [when? the piece is mum about it, but presumably in 2018]. ‘If you ever come to Vienna, we have to go for a coffee or a beer’, he replied. Investigations after the terrorist attack revealed that the terrorist had reserved a hire car in Austria online just one day after this email.
The Australian later actually travelled to Vienna, where he visited the Museum of Military History, for example. Sellner vehemently denied having met with the right-wing terrorist; the proceedings for supporting a terrorist organisation were dropped in January 2021. The investigations into suspected embezzlement and fraud in connection with donations received by the Identitarian Movement and Sellner were also concluded shortly afterwards [no charges stuck, that’s the key information here]…
Sellner, who at least formally withdrew from the leadership of the Identitarian Movement in spring 2023, was last brought to court in May 2023. The Vienna public prosecutor's office had charged him with incitement to hatred in connection with a post on Telegram. Sellner had written there, among other things, that ‘every asylum centre currently poses more danger to our children than the Reichsbürger’. The judge saw no incitement to hatred and no specific group against which Sellner had agitated—hence: acquittal. The Identitarian mastermind is therefore without a criminal record.
Nevertheless, the 35-year-old is still being targeted by the constitution protection authorities in Austria and Germany. The Identitarians are categorised as an extreme right-wing group and are monitored as part of the so-called extended threat assessment.
In any case, the many scandals surrounding Sellner have had consequences beyond criminal law: the symbols of the Identitarian movement have been banned since July 2021; in addition, a number of banks have cancelled the accounts of the Identitarian movement and its many associations.
At the end of this long piece, I shall point to the main consequence of these shenanigans: state security services, working hand-in-glove with legacy media, are conducting a sting-and-psyop by labelling everything and everyone as ‘extremist’ or at least by guilt-tripping any association with, by now, virtually everything and anything as a social opprobrium.
If history is any guide, the logical consequence is the widening of the methods used against Mr. Sellner to more and more contexts (e.g., ‘antivaxxers’, Covid or Climate ‘deniers’, you name it). The fact that there’s no criminal convictions involved is irrelevant as long as other institutions, such as banks closing or denying accounts, and individuals (e.g., landlords denying anyone renting a place) are doing this based on, well, personal convictions or institutional frameworks, such as a code of conduct or ‘community standards’.
In so doing, the number of taboos grows every day, and so does the number of enforcers (required).
Whatever is left of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms—esp. the presumption of innocence—increasingly resembles collateral damage.
It’s almost as if the powers-that-be desire to replace the current system with a ‘new world order’ with everyone and anyone who is presumed to stand in the way destined to be ‘fair game’ (vogelfrei).