QAnon and Garnering Support

By Felix Nicol

A key part of the VICE interview that I felt was only briefly touched upon were the reasons behind the growth of QAnon in Germany in particular. If Germany hosts the second largest QAnon group, the feelings of isolation due to COVID seem insufficient in underlining this growth, as this was certainly not exclusive to Germany. A point made early in the documentary suggested that German disillusionment with the pandemic was especially present because Germany was relatively unaffected (keeping in mind that this documentary was made over two years ago, when the second wave had not yet occurred). Once again, this hardly seems exclusive to Germany, with some other countries having even fewer cases. Perhaps the most appealing suggestion is that QAnon is good at including their rhetoric into local causes, which leads to the understanding that somewhat similar movements were already booming in the country. Still, it is impressive (and scary) to consider the effectiveness of QAnon in co-opting local rhetoric to garner support.

In a similar sense, the examples of Indonesia and Turkey have shown examples of where the importing of racial biases from abroad have been effectively shifted for a local audience. Especially in Turkey, which took American racial terms and instead shifted them towards religion and culture. Similarly, the imported “real antisemitism” in Indonesia perhaps represented the effectiveness of European Nazis in propagating their ideology abroad. I feel both of these cases kind of bring further discussion to the assessment that while populist and fascist movements are inherently local, local ideas can be adapted abroad successfully.

2 Replies to “QAnon and Garnering Support”

  1. I agree that local adaptations of Qanon must have been key to its spread in Germany. I wish that the video had given examples of those.
    I’m certain that Orban/Fidesz customized the Soros Myth for evolving conditions in Hungary.
    And in Indonesia, imported antisemitism was re-targeted at the Chinese as an alternate Jew.
    Whatever it is that you hate, you can find (or create!) support for it in a Jewish-based conspiracy theory.

  2. I was very surprised watching the VICE clip learning that Germany is where most QAnon supporters essentially “migrated” to. It is impressive that they’ve been able to explode in popularity alongside the COVID-19 Pandemic, but as you said it is also equally terrifying. It really demonstrates how efficient the ultra-right-wing is at coopting seemingly innocent conspiracy theories into a full-blown political ideology. Like Mirko said (the man who divorced his wife because of her QAnon obsession), “the problem with conspiracy theories is that people are interested at first, maybe they even think its funny. But step by step, they get deeper into it and are infected.”

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