New “othering” tactics

Kathleen McKinnon

In the 1989 transition period, many challenges came out of myth construction and trying to “other” people (Bull, 215). Not that these are new ideas but they lead to the eventual push from the right on the new more democratic governments. Using a national myth and “othering” tactics leads to the delegitimization of government, intending that a new illiberal type of political structure is needed to save the population from the “outsider”. For this to be done, there needs to be some common background established and this is where a myth being used is important. It is clear that this is a method used in the past, however, here this is more of a push back on acceptance of outsiders and liberalism that has been used in later decades. After the ‘80s there was a push to restore countries to the more “pure” way that had once been without so many outsiders being brought in as a result of liberalism. As Molner in his work points out in the case of Germany (Molner, 495), the Western German case saw that the bringing in of foreign workers to rebuild was met with hostility from the East in reunification. This points to the unique challenges of different histories and national myths coming together and clashing, a western liberal background with a less democratic east that has challenges accepting circumstances which they did not create. Although admittedly this anti-outsider attitude is not new, even before the ‘90’s asylum seekers were met with hostility, however, it increased in the ’90s with political discourse on the subject (Molner, 496).

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