Prosperity chauvinism

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Prosperity chauvinism is a more recent term from politics and social science research. It denotes an over-identification with national economic interests as well as the argumentative defense of one's own or national prosperity against “foreigners” who, from this point of view, want to participate undeservedly. Prosperity chauvinism is seen as part of right-wing extremist attitudes.


In politics the term is used pejoratively for a national socialism , as it is used by new right thinkers.

Prosperity chauvinists can certainly be socially minded, but at the same time represent a location nationalism. They initially focus on their own business location and demand social services and prosperity primarily for their own ethnic group.

An example of a debate about prosperity chauvinism is the discussion on "foreign workers" initiated by Oskar Lafontaine .

Social science

The term prosperity chauvinism was used as early as 1980 in the SINUS study . Social scientists understand prosperity chauvinism as one characteristic of right-wing extremism among others. Right-wing extremists argue, comparable to Lafontaine, that foreign workers would destroy the social system. They also assume that asylum seekers and refugees only come into the country to benefit from the social benefits.

The thesis of "prosperity chauvinism" put forward by Josef Held and others says, among other things, that not only the "losers of modernization" vote for right-wing extremists, but also parts of the wealthier social class. At the same time, many people would think right-wing extremists who z. B. represent a prosperity chauvinism, but at the same time not vote for right-wing extremists.

Held's research group asked young people and young employees in the Tübingen area about their political orientations and divided them into disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged according to the factors of workplace, professional future, education, economic security and social inclusion. It turned out in this study that the disadvantaged were significantly less racist than the non-disadvantaged. Held attributes this to competitiveness and performance ideology, which are associated with rigid demands for exclusion towards immigrants. The economic superiority of the interviewees was combined with a political-cultural and personal claim to supremacy. There was an over-identification with "German economic interests". Held identified an instrumental use-based thinking among these young people: immigrants and refugees are judged solely on whether they are economically harmful or useful.

Based on open interviews with trainees, Michael Bommes and Albert Scherr (1992) show that their perceptions of migrants are based on the assumption that they are illegitimate competitors for housing and social benefits. The authors characterize the respondents' perspectives as a social parasite discourse that takes up offers from political and media discourse.

According to Christoph Butterwegge and Mathias Brodkorb , prosperity chauvinism is increasingly assuming the role that anti-Semitism played for Nazi agitators: "It is at the center of public right-wing discourse and represents the most important interface to the everyday thinking of the population."


  1. Jeannette Goddar: From the center of society - not from the edge  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . In: The Parliament , No. 45/2005@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  2. Josef Held, Hans-Werner Horn, Rudolf Leiprecht, Athanasios Marvakis: You have to act in such a way that you make a profit .... Empirical studies on the right-wing orientations of young workers . Düsseldorf 1991
  3. Christoph Butterwegge : The central challenges for anti-fascism: globalization, neoliberalism and right-wing extremism (PDF; 108 kB)
  4. ^ Mathias Brodkorb : Metamorphoses from the right. An introduction to the strategy and ideology of modern right-wing extremism . Westfälisches Dampfboot Verlag, Münster 2003, ISBN 3-89691-595-9 , p. 152


  • Christoph Butterwegge : Farewell to the welfare state. Location nationalism and prosperity chauvinism as intellectual-political points of contact for right-wing extremism . In: Wolfgang Gessenharter, Helmut Fröchling (Hrsg.): Right-wing extremism and new rights in Germany New measurement of a political-ideological space? . Leske et al. Budrich, Opladen 1998, pp. 147-161, ISBN 3-8100-2053-2
  • Hans-Werner Horn: Prosperity chauvinism among young workers . In: Arguments Against Hate. Work aids for political education . Volume II: Text Collection. Federal Agency for Civic Education, Bonn 1993
  • Michael Bommes , Albert Scherr: Right-wing extremism: an offer for ordinary young people. In: Mansel, Jürgen (ed.): Young people's reactions to social threats. Weinheim and Munich, pp. 210-227.