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April 03, 2008

Comments

Hattie

But can't these party members be indicted for criminal activities rather than banning the party?
Is there any group in Germany similar to the Southern Poverty Law Center that works on criminal activity in fringe groups?
http://www.splcenter.org/index.jsp
These people have been very effective at tracking neo Nazi and other racist groups and breaking them up.

Scott Kern

I can't help but agree that in the German context, banning the NPD would probably help marginalize the party. Driving them underground and towards more subversive tactics would likely help delegitimize them in the eyes of ordinary East Germans. After all, isn't it likely that banning the Communist party in the 50s did help destroy West German communism?

Still, such a ban remains offensive to democratic principles (on the face of it anyway). Is hostility to the constitutional order really sufficient basis to ban them? Where do you draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable forms of political activity? Who gets to draw it?

It's an unsavory precedent to be sure.

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