20% of Germans want revolution, majority say democracy 'isn't real' - study

Protesters take part in the 'Revolutionary' May Day demonstration on May 1, 2014 in Berlin. (AFP Photo / Odd Andersen)
Twenty percent of Germans believe that their current living conditions won't be improved by reforms and only a revolution can reshape society. That's according to a study released by the Free University of Berlin.

The study, titled "Against the state and capital - to revolution" focused on opposition to capitalism, fascism and racism, and concluded that Germans are more left-wing in their attitudes than previously thought. The challenge for the researchers was to analyze the core structural similarities between right and left-wing extremism.

Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ideological divide between the former East and West Germany is still marked, with left-wing ideas getting more support in eastern Germany. According to the study, 60 percent of Germans living in the east considered socialism to be a good idea, compared to only 37 percent of residents in the west. Almost 50 percent said they had recently noticed increased surveillance of left-wing dissidents by police and the state, while nearly one-third of Germans fear that by spying on its citizens the country may be sliding toward a dictatorship.

The multi-year research project was conducted under the federal program "Democracy initiative strengths." For the representative survey, almost 1,400 people were surveyed by polling firm Infratest Dimap.

READ MORE: ‘Ostalgia’: Politics meets playfulness to put 2 sides to Berlin’s Wall legacy

Twenty percent of respondents said they saw the rise of neo-fascism in Germany as a real danger, while 48 percent said they believe a deep-rooted xenophobia currently exists in Germany.

Members of the movement of Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) hold flags and banners during a PEGIDA demonstration march in Dresden, January 25, 2015. (Reuters / Hannibal Hanschke)

And a majority of Germans – 62 percent – said that German democracy isn't real democracy, because it's economy-driven.

READ MORE: ‘Anti-Islamization’ & ‘pro-tolerance’ activists march in Berlin (VIDEO)

Another claim in the study, led by Professor Klaus Schroeder, was that there had been a clear spike in “left-wing violence” in recent years, with police and right-wing extremists being the most common targets.

An attack on a Leipzig police station in January may have been an example of this far-left violent protest, Schroeder said. The incident saw 50 hooded people attacking a neighborhood police station, setting fire to a patrol car, throwing rocks, bottles and paint bombs against the security glass. According to police, the attack lasted just less than a minute, before the group dispersed into the darkness.

Earlier this month, left-wing activists also appeared to be the main suspects behind the vandalizing of posters for the Hamburg local elections belonging to right-wing party AfD (Alternative for Germany). AfD slogans included: "Stop Islamists" and "Immigration needs strict regulation," the Local reported.