to grow Although the number of asylum seekers is falling, the Germans have the reservations against asylum seekers. The results of the current “mid-study”, a representative series of examination, every two years with the extreme right-wing and “group of related people show be measured and xenophobia”. At the same time, the scientists found that conspiracy myths in the population generally well received. 45 percent said that secret organizations would influence political decisions. Almost a quarter of respondents assume that the media and the politicians were under a blanket.

Nevertheless, conspiracy theories are not solely a phenomenon of the right of the spectrum, the expert says Michael Butter, University of Tübingen, Germany. The scientist has written in the last year, a book about conspiracy theories. The star spoke with the researchers about the origin of such theories, and the answers to them.

Mr Butter, what conspiracy theories are?

conspiracy theories are characterized by three characteristics. They usually assume that nothing happens by chance. According to this, everything was planned. There is a secret group that controls everything and all of Stripping moves. You go second, that everything is connected. And thirdly, you assume that nothing is as it seems and there is a group of conspirators, who keeps behind the Scenes, all the threads in Hand. To the extent that these factors come together again.

conspiracy theories exclusively a right-wing phenomenon, or they are also found in the left spectrum?

no. Is there a connection between conspiracy theories and extremism, and also a connection between conspiracy theories and populism. But it is pronounced on both sides of the political spectrum. So you are not exclusively a phenomenon of the right spectrum. There are various studies that show the. The connection is well established.

There are only extreme political positions?

conspiracy theories are not limited to extreme political positions. They are part of the mainstream of society, we find in all ages, in all income groups, genders and all Educational levels. Only in the case of some groups slightly more frequently than others.

Why is nevertheless made so often there is a connection between right-wing and conspiracy theories?

Because in the reporting of media rights conspiracy theories disturb more than the left. The to then seem as a kind of critique of capitalism, while the right-hand conspiracy theories of racism and anti-Semitism is even more explicit. Accordingly, we will be here even faster noisy.

study notes

More than half of the Germans have reservations against asylum seekers


45.7 percent of the study’s respondents believe, for example, to secret organizations, which have large influence on political decisions. Germany is an enlightened and democratic country. Why conspiracy theories still popular?

Earlier it was still to believe much more normal in conspiracy theories than in the present. You could have carried out this study in 1819 or 1919, you would have made 80 or 90 percent agreement on these questions. Because you thought that’s how the world works. The modern conspiracy theories have emerged already in the age of enlightenment. Since we find for the first Time, suspicions against the Illuminati, or the Freemasons, we are not got rid of until today. Because such theories do not fill a sense of deficit, if religious patterns of explanation access. Conspiracy theories go Hand-in-Hand with the enlightenment. What relates to the study, the Numbers are a bit of a problem. The term “conspiracy theories” is not defined and the questions are relatively made vague. The approval rate would be significantly lower if the questions would be something made of concrete. What we get is more of an indication of how receptive the company for such theories.

Nevertheless, such theories are not conducive to a democratic as the study notes. How you encountered them?

conspiracy theories are ultimately a sign for crises in the society. The study shows very well. Conspiracy theories thrive particularly well for people who feel lost, culturally, or economically. People have the feeling of the skins away, or the Land of swimming is going to the dogs. And this is a Reflection of the reality that there are such tendencies in the views of the people. These are topics to which the policy has to find answers. You should, however, write off in no way people who believe in such theories. Not all are receptive to the arguments, however, there is also a part that would respond to policy actions.

expert Michael Butter

Michael Butter is the English Department and conducts research at the University of Tübingen on the topic of conspiracy theories.

What the answers would be? It is often spoken of media literacy in this context.

media literacy is just as important to learn how societies are so complex that it is for a small group it is not possible to control this. With higher education, the receptivity to conspiracy theories decreases, because you can get alternative explanations of how companies work. Educational work is but only a part, because it reaches only the people who are educated or in school. For people who are not in education, it needs concrete policy offers A policy, the False and the Weak take care of, in turn, to the supposedly. This may contribute in part to the fact that the susceptibility for conspiracy goes back again.