Taking Action to Preserve the Future of Austrian Identity
We want to be a movement that represents the interests of the majority of the population in Austria and the interests of ethnic Austrians. On a Europe-wide scale, we also seek to represent the interests of all Europeans. I think it’s very important that today, in the 21st century, there are organisations like ours defending the ethno-cultural identity of one’s country. Aside from us, no one else is doing that.
This interview was conducted with Alexander Markovics in September.
Q: Give us some background on the Generation Identity movement and your history with it.
AM: My name is Alexander Markovics. I am 24 years old, and I am a student of politics and history at the University of Vienna. I founded the identitarian movement in Austria in 2012. Our group was the first in the German-speaking world, in fact in the whole of Germany and Austria. Generation Identity is about the defence of our cultural identity, which means ethnicity on the one hand and culture on the other. We believe that our ethno-cultural identity is endangered by the politics of the so-called ‘great replacement’, which means that Europeans become fewer every year while immigrants grow in numbers every year. In the end there will be no Austrians in Austria, and no Europeans in Europe. It’s our aim to stop this development and to do something to oppose it. Our means is civil disobedience, by which we organise demonstrations. We are also carrying out actions, such as our occupation of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in Vienna, or our blockade of the A4 highway in Austria in order to stop the mass migration via the asylum system. We are defining the identitarian movement as a resistance movement; a peaceful resistance movement against the policies of mass migration.
Q: Is Generation Identity a group for social awareness or for active social change, and what steps do you think are required to cause Europeans to take action against the current multicultural ideal?
AM: I don’t think you can separate social awareness and social change . You first have to become aware in order to change something. Our first aim as a political group is to make people aware of the ‘great replacement’, aware of the disadvantages of multiculturalism, of the current asylum system, and also of Islamisation. We want to draw attention toward our aims and our policy proposals. We conduct our actions and statements in order to make people aware of certain issues. Recently, we have started a campaign called ‘secure borders, secure future’. The core of this campaign is to instil patriotic solidarity among Austrians to counter the development of asylum camps in little villages of 200 inhabitants, some of whom are beginning to see the Austrian government sending 300 asylum seekers to them. We try to connect people in order to resist these policies of the Austrian government in these small towns, and to connect people from all over Austria. It is our aim to teach people that they can actually do something about it, because most Austrians nowadays are just inertia-bound. They think that things are already so bad that they can’t do anything about it. We tell them that they can do something. One can start carrying out acts of civil disobedience, stop the erecting of asylum camps, block highways leading to asylum camps, or even block the asylum camp itself. You can also erect border defences when the Austrian government is unwilling to protect its own borders. What we are really starting is a patriotic civil society to counter this anti-patriotic government.
Q: You want tighter controls on immigration or even an absolute end to immigration altogether. What do you think about minority groups which are already living in European countries?
AM: Are you referring to historical minorities in Europe? We identitarians believe in ethnopluralism, which means every people belongs to their own country, and when you have certain minorities like, for example, the Slovaks and Croats in Burgenland, or the Slovenes in Carinthia, we think it’s our duty as the majority population to also preserve their identity, since for example the Croats have always been part of our state and the old Austrian Empire. So they are a part of Austria and therefore it’s not about making them more Austrian. It’s more about letting them preserve their unique identity as both Croats and Slovenes within Austria.
Q: A lot of people believe we should be blind to colour, blind to gender, blind to sexual orientation. How would you persuade them to think differently?
AM: Like I did when I talked to a high-ranking member of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) who actually supports mass migration. I said to him, ‘come with me to the 10th district in Vienna (Favoriten),’ where there’s a street called Quellenstraße that has a 70% immigrant population living on it. I said to him, ‘Let’s go there in the late evening and take a walk, and afterwards you will think completely differently about the situation in Austria.’ He was not actually able to say that I’m wrong or to put a counter-argument to me because he knew that when he goes there in his suit, he would perhaps be robbed or attacked. I think this is the best argument to persuade Left-wing people or liberals in the UK or all around Europe. Just take them to the immigrant district or force them to go to the no-go areas, and I think afterwards they will have a completely different view on immigration policies. If they do not change their minds after that, you can be completely sure they hate their own origins and hate their own country, and you won’t be able to persuade them.
Q: Western societies do seem to have a greater tolerance for the political organisation of non-White groups, such as a Muslim group in Austria or something like that. It’s common to find movements that represent various religious or ethnic minority groups. Is that what you are trying to be? In America they have the NAACP, for example. Do you want to become this sort of rights advocacy group for White Europeans?
AM: I think the reason why you have so many minority rights movements in European states or in the US is not a consequence of being open-minded or tolerant, but rather a consequence of a decades-long indoctrination of self-hate. This is the case in the United States and in Europe, and this is the reason why you have so many activists welcoming refugees in Germany and Austria. But yes, we actually want to be a movement that represents the interests of the majority of the population in Austria and the interests of ethnic Austrians. On a Europe-wide scale, we also seek to represent the interests of all Europeans. I think it’s very important that today, in the 21st century, there are organisations like ours defending the ethno-cultural identity of one’s country. Aside from us, no one else is doing that.
Q: A lot of far right movements talk about ‘White genocide’, or as you said, ‘the great replacement’, blaming immigration for the decline of the populations of the native European peoples. Isn’t the real problem low fertility rates in European countries and the fact that Europeans aren’t having enough babies? Do you think Japan’s idea of increasing automation, rather than immigration, is a practical economic alternative to mass migration? What do you think is the solution to the economic argument in favour of it?
AM: I think you are exactly right. I think it’s wrong to talk about genocide, because those policies which are enacted in Austria or other European countries are tolerated, or even welcomed, by Austrian or German or French politicians. So it’s not a sort of genocide being carried out by a foreign power on another population, but more like mass suicide by the population itself. This is a consequence of this indoctrination of self-hate we are currently witnessing. I think you can have a population which is declining as in Japan, China, and various other places. I think a decline in population is not a problem in itself. It can be a problem when it leads to the complete disappearance of a population in a country, but when you think about the immigration crisis in Europe and its ideological roots, you also have to think about the paradigm of growth and this religion of continuous economic growth which is rooted in capitalism .The development of this idea of limitless growth is closely connected to the politics of the great replacement. When you want to stop the great replacement, you also have to stop thinking in terms of continuous growth.
You have to think about a different type of economy, and I think this is the next step after closing the borders of Europe. Only then can you initiate policies that will lead to more children for Europeans and to a more patriotic consciousness. You also have to stop this religious vision of continuous growth because you have to keep in mind that our planet has limited resources, our continent of Europe has limited resources, and when you have limited resources, you can’t have endless growth. So you must manage your resources and acknowledge the limits of growth. When you know society is consuming more goods and resources than it can produce in the long run, you have to think about replacing this socioeconomic system. I think this is one of Europe’s biggest problems in that our current situation, unlimited growth will lead in the long run to the destruction of our economies, environmental disaster, and overpopulation.
Q: Alexander Dugin is a Russian philosopher and a former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin who is cited as an influence on the identitarian movement. Both for yourself and the movement as a whole, what thinkers and books have inspired you?
AM: As you’ve already mentioned, Alexander Dugin has inspired us with his book, The Fourth Political Theory, which is very important for us as he has written books criticising the idea of human rights, and has written about the philosophical concepts of ‘we’ and the ‘other’. When you are talking about identitarian thinkers, or thinkers who have inspired the identitarian movement, the first thinker I would mention is Alain de Benoist, who is the mastermind of the New Right across Europe. But I think that today, one of the most important thinkers of our time is Alexander Dugin. After those two I would mention Guillaume Faye, who is also from the French New Right, and I would also recommend German thinkers from the newspaper Sezession like Götz Kubitschek and Martin Lichtmesz, who are likewise very important to us. When you are talking about the past, you must look at the German Conservative Revolution, which is also very important when you are looking for a political ideology, or rather the roots of a political ideology that is beyond liberalism, beyond Communism, and beyond fascism for the future of European countries.
Q: Last question. What does a traditional Austria or Austrian mean to you personally?
AM: To me, Austria is a country which always tries to preserve its roots, but on the other hand it has always had close ties to its central European neighbours, and of course to Germany. I don’t think you can make a list and say that these are the traits of a traditional Austrian, because I think the important thing about identity is to preserve a certain core, which can change, but it should change in a natural way. So I wouldn’t say a traditional Austrian man wears lederhosen or that a traditional Austrian girl wears a dirndl. I think that those things are related to traditional Austrians, but what is important about being a traditional Austrian is preserving our culture and to think about all of our traditions. For us as Viennese, it would be things such as the Viennese songs that date back to the 15th or 16th century. I also think our dialect is important to us. When you look at Austria, you have a great variety of regional differences and dialects, and every region has certain traits, so you can’t talk about a single traditional Austria but many traditions that make up Austria. On the whole, a traditional Austrian is a person defending his country, defending his identity, and also looking toward the future by caring for their identity and not leaving it behind.