At first glance, it is illogical. Fear of an overbearing government, a secret world conspiracy of all politicians and business bosses, a celebrity drinking children’s blood… How can someone believe this stuff? However, if you analyze the thoughts of far-right extremists, you can conclude that this way of thinking is more comprehensible than thought.
First of all, it should be clarified that not all Corona deniers and conspiracy theorists are neo-Nazis. However, that they are susceptible to the messages of this group is something that can be considered. Often conspiracy theories have to do with a superstition or generally with a light faith. One’s own gut feeling is often cited here.
Spiritual experiences are preferred to scientific knowledge.
And of course, prejudices play a role. Especially those of the upper class, the elite, the rich. In short: the Jews. Anti-Semitism is making a comeback in the Corona crisis. Well poisonings allegedly caused by Jews already gave rise to theories in the Middle Ages that seemed logical and comprehensible to many religiously motivated people. However, while in the Middle Ages, as well as during the Nazi era in Europe, the guilt of the Jews for the misery of the rest of the population was clearly addressed, today this is obscured. #savethecildren and similar movements on social media show pure anti-Semitism under the supposed cloak of saving beings in need of special protection because, after all, the Jewish population (code name: The Elite) is supposedly responsible for the kidnapping and abuse.
All this shows why people convinced of right-wing politics believe the Corona lies and many more are carried away without taking a closer look at the background. But there is much more.
If you put assumptions into the room that you yourself classify as legitimate, possible or very realistic, then this body of thought must have its origin somewhere. What do you believe in people? In the good? In the bad? Mostly, people start thinking from their own position and expectation. This is supplemented by media reports, films, series, social media and other influences.
And this overall picture, which is a mixture of fact, fiction, skepticism, fear and one’s own way of thinking, makes people respond to Fake News.
But how does this fit with far-right extremists? Right-wingers consume media that propagate this mindset. In Austria, for example, there is the platform “unzensuriert.at,” which claims to report independently, but in reality, is financed by right-wing parties. This fact is also not questioned. Furthermore, people live in the filter bubble in social media, where they only get to read the messages they want to read and hear. In addition, there is a multitude of Telegram groups in which obvious fake news is shared and used as argumentation for their theses. Add to that action and science fiction movies, most of which are about extremely corrupt politicians, super-rich entrepreneurs who want to eliminate humanity, or hackers who want to harm humanity and so on.
But all this information together does not yet provide a fundamental explanation as to why right-wing extremists actually believe all this.
The last, decisive component is missing:
The personal worldview and moral concepts of people.
What do you assume when you see politicians, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders acting? Maybe how one would act oneself. So you can assume that most of the world’s governments have the goal of defeating the pandemic, leaving Corona behind, and returning to economic strength — because you assume that the “elite” thinks similarly to you.
But if you now hold a world view that a state can only function through order, discipline and with the suppression of the masses (as in dictatorships or the Nazis’ Third Reich), that foreigners have no place in your country, that migrants belong to be deported and that a strong man should be at the top, then you naturally assume that those currently in power hold similar views.
Right-wing extremists usually have the wishful thinking of an authoritarian state, but quite deliberately exploit the current situation to stir up fear of their own idea. However, this tactic, which seems very confusing at first glance, has a very clear mission: to inspire more people to support far-right positions, even if they have had no previous contact with them. And before it is overlooked, and the right-wing parties have taken over, it may well be that these nightmares of the people, what they take to the streets against, has been implemented by their former comrades-in-arms, the neo-Nazis. Through the back door.
And this movement must be prevented in any case. For the sake of democracy.