Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Germany: before the autumn elections

By Aleš Valenta, Germanist, Václav Klaus Institute
Translated from CZ by LM

Events are constantly taking place in the land of our Western neighbors. Bavaria's prime minister Söder who, just recently, couldn't recall the name of the Green Party is hugging the trees in front of the photographers and in his desperate effort to be greener than the Greens, he is proposing to embed the climate goals to the constitution. A "perfectly integrated" black man from Eritrea has thrown a mother and her son to the tracks in front of the arriving train in Frankfurt. In front of the swimming pool in Düsseldorf where North African, apparently less perfectly integrated, migrants have repeatedly created quite some havoc, authorities will install camcorders and every visitor will have to place his or her ID in between the swimming suit and the detective novel, otherwise he won't be allowed to enter. The chairman of the board of Schalke O4, a soccer team, Mr Ferdinand Tönnies told the public that it's necessary to build power plants in Africa, otherwise the inhabitants won't stop cutting trees and at night, lacking enough light, they will "produce" children – which has sparked another episode of the neverending soap opera named "racism of the everyday life" in the media and in politics.

Antiracist campaigns, corresponding to the stage of a sharpened class struggle in the former communist countries, and having lost any relationship with the real meaning of the words "race" and "racism", are primarily serving as tools to periodically mobilize the public into its "struggle against the Right". A racist or a potential racist is everybody who is critiquing the government's policies from the right – policies related to the migration, environment, multiculturalism, or feminism. A potential or actual racist is also everybody who is embracing attitudes that are menschenfeindliche i.e. "hostile towards the people". And, according to the old new finding of the "researchers" from the University of Bielefeld, these attitudes are embraced by everybody who say that the foreigners differ from the majority society or who want the government to be more stringent while evaluating the asylum applications, or who think that the migrants have a higher crime rate than the naturally born Germans. In other words – the potentially or actually "racist" is a large majority of the German society that considers migrants, especially the Muslim ones, to be a threat for the German national identity or the German culture. But the stick of the racism accusations or accusations from the support of the "rightwinger" AfD was also immediately waving over the head of the CDU politician Carsten Linnemann who said that the knowledge of German has to be supported among the kids of migrants, and if that knowledge is insufficient, the entry to the elementary school should be postponed. As one of a small number of sensible German journalists Ulf Poschardt wrote in a response to the Linnemann case in Die Welt, the atmosphere in the country is "absurdly divided and poisoned".

The anxiety of the governing elites may be largely blamed on the coming regional elections in three East German lands which will take place on September 1st (Saxony and Brandenburg) and at the end of October (Thuringia). In all three cases, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) – which has 20-25 percent support in the lands according to the latest surveys – has a chance to win. In all cases, it's insufficient for AfD to enter the government because it's standing as the opposition against a closed cartel of the remaining parties, but there would be a significant symbolic importance of the potential victory of the "right-wing populists and extremists". Among other things, it would remind us about the lasting division of FRG to the "progressive" West and the "brownish" East which, even 30 years after the reunification, allegedly hasn't understood the essence of the Western democracy.

Meanwhile, the German establishment is increasing the intensity of its efforts to discredit and character assassinate the AfD. That should also be helped by the recent decision to impose the monitoring of the Identitary Movement (IB) by the intelligence agency. The IB is fighting to defend the Western democracy and to shield the culture from Islam. The reason is that this group, by its core principles, a non-violent group including a few hundred students and young men, is challenging the heart of the contemporary Western politics which is multiculturalism, and that's why the elites consider IB to be a fatal threat and – in the words of Mr Haldenwang, the boss of the German intelligence – they are the "spiritual arsonists". They have already been compared to the Hitlerjugend, too! AfD has officially declared a ban on any contacts with the IB but the proximity of the opinions of both is obvious and lots of AfD members are privately open about the sympathies for the IB. The supervision on the identitarians is therefore a clear "warning" for AfD, too.

The attacks against AfD have been promoted to a new and truly terrifying level in the wake of the murder of the Hessen regional politician Mr Walter Lübcke who was shot dead in his house in early June by a right-wing radical (who was already arrested). In recent years, Lübcke received numerous death threats related to his statement during the culminating migration catastrophe in Fall 2015. On October 15th, he said the following to the fellow citizens who protested against the migration policies of the government: "Here the values are at stake. And who doesn't accept these values, may always leave the country, if he disagrees with them... It's the right of every German." This was the most outrageous statement about his own citizens that is unthinkable everywhere outside Merkel's Germany. By these values, Lübcke has meant the Christian values. If we overlook the fact that these values have been dead in that party since Merkel took over the CDU, Lübcke dared to constrain the German citizens by other values than the secular ones that the German constitutional laws are built upon.

But a far worse is the reality that a German politician who is opening the door for a mass illegal Islamic migration is expelling his own fellow citizens from the country who dare to have a different opinion than the government. His unbelievable statement wasn't met with any sanction by the CDU whatsoever so we may hypothesize that the party has endorsed it and still endorses it. Out of the tens of thousands of Germans who are moving away from Germany annually, many belong to those who think that the country led by the contemporary leftwing-liberal elites has been lost.

The despicable murder of Mr Lübcke has provided the elites with the opportunity to frontally attack AfD which has been unisono labeled the spiritual cause of the murder by the media. Mr Peter Tauber, a fanatical sycophant of Merkel's, went further than all others when he labeled a former CDU lawmaker Ms Erika Steinbach, once a harsh critic of Lübcke, as the "fellow culprit" in his death. On top of that, he recommended to apply Article 18 of the German constitutional law that describes the removal of the basic rights from all those who threaten the democratic order in Germany – which would mean from everyone who refuses the current policies of the government. There have been many similar statements. For example, the FAZ daily has urged people "not to tolerate" AfD and to act against the party through the courts. So far, Germany hasn't seen this acceleration of the psychological terror against everybody who critically thinks about the government's migration and multicultural policies. It may be expected that the citizenry which has already been scared will shrink even deeper to its internal migration, especially in the Western lands, and the next surveys will bring us even more shocking numbers than the latest poll by the Institute for Demoscopy in Allensbach which reported that up to 3/4 of Germans are afraid of publicly speaking about a whole spectrum of topics...

Another cannon ball against AfD that came from the politico-media cartel was the attempt of the Saxon election committee to invalidate a significant part of the AfD candidate list before the election in the land. The pretext for that was the fact that the party failed to build the whole list during a single meeting. All competitors of AfD therefore voted that AfD may only nominate 18 out of 61 candidates. However, the Saxon constitutional court has decided about the issue before the election – against the expectation of the chairwoman of the election committee who is from CDU – and partially backed the arguments of AfD so right now, it can list 31 candidates. The steps of the election committee was at least imperfect, perhaps completely defective. No one in Germany doubts about the political causes of these steps and, after years of harassment and unfair behavior towards AfD, no one is surprised.

However, AfD itself is providing its foes with quite an amount of ammunition for additional waves of shooting, namely by its internal split to the liberal and nationally conservative wings. Much of this split may be explained by the substantially different mentality of Western and Eastern Germans although the nationalist wing of Björn Höcke has many fans in the West, too. The conflict with the poles defined in this way has been taking place in AfD since the beginning of its existence and has led to the departure of the group of the founders who were liberal economists. Lots of AfD members from Saxony or Thuringia seem to think that their colleagues from Bavaria or North Rhine are surrendering to the "Terror of Honor" (T. Sarrazin) in which already the second generation of West Germans is growing up. Especially the Eastern organizations of AfD have seen some resistence in the early 2019 when a group of co-chairmen appointed a commission – feeling the pressure from the intelligence – whose task was to write down a list of concepts that the members of AfD should avoid so that they don't give the media opportunities to scandalize AfD.

Migration and the climate remain the key topics of the domestic political discussion in Germany. In both cases, the ruling elites, under the pressure of the green extremists, are getting dramatically radicalized, as the example of the Bavarian PM Söder shows. The worshiping of the deluded Swede, proposals for a carbon tax and a higher tax for meat are new examples of this neverending story of the hysterization of the German elites, so skillful merchants of fear in front of whom the Germans love to surrender so much. The government has rejected the meat tax, it's true, but it seems to be the old ritual from the recent years in German politics: the Greens propose something, the CDU seemingly rejects it, but it simultaneously starts to prepare changes that enable the codification of these proposals a little bit later.

In the far left German press – in whose opinion not even the Greens are sufficiently fanatical – we may read about even more horrifying proposals, e.g. the "radical restriction of freedoms" or "the establishing of the ecological Gulag". It is obvious that, abusing the comfort of the many-years-long fight against the Right and partially shielded by the SPD, Greens, and the Left (Linke), new forces emerged and started to thrive in Germany, forces that are no longer hiding their desire to liquidate democracy in Germany and to establish a hardcore green terror instead.

All these crimson-green lunatics are simultaneously staunch supporters of the import of blacks and Muslims to the Federal Republic of Germany. In this Kampf of theirs, the "captainess" Ms Rackete has become their role model. Her story has at least two levels: 1) The feminist one: look, a woman is commanding a ship, another masculine stronghold has been defeated! And it's the women and girls that must show the way out of the world that was destroyed by the masculine pride and aggressiveness! 2) Political level because the German elites from the far left rags up to the President Steinmeier have agreed once again that the "morality" stands above the law. The fanatical defense of the irresponsible "captainess" who, in a risky maneuver, has almost killed several Italian cops is a fundamental testimony about the hopeless demise of the German politics. A specifically religious dimension is then carried by the statements by several German bishops who have argued that Ms Rackete is walking in the footsteps of Jesus Christ because she is claimed to have saved human lives [not the first such church LOL, LM]. Of course, there's no point in asking why this "salvation" doesn't include the readjusting of the steering wheel towards the African beaches. After 15 years of Merkel's devastating policies and almost 4 years from the peak of the migration crisis, we may responsibly say that the German elites have been devoured by an incurable suicidal amok. The only relevant question is therefore: Will they be capable of bringing this kind of politics to the bitter end, while a majority of the German voters passively observes the events or even nods in agreement?

In the East of Germany, the dissatisfaction is getting stronger although the AfD's results are so far insufficient for a material U-turn. When it comes to the much wealthier and more numerous West, a huge skepticism is warranted. Not even the shocking story in Frankfurt, not even the terrible murder of a German a few days later – who was cut to pieces by a sword of a migrant-crook from "Syria" in front of the victim's son – managed to bring the Germans to the streets. By appearing in the streets, you know, they would emerge on the wrong side of the barricade in the "fight against the Right" which is taking place literally everywhere and whose victims – who are visibly hyped in the media – are getting more numerous every day. For the membership, direct support, or even indirect support or a public expression of sympathies for AfD, people are being fired from jobs, removed from the leadership of sport clubs, robbed of their research grants, or prevented from organizing an exhibition with their paintings. The backlash against these totalitarian methods is negligible or zero.

For centuries, Germans have been a petty nation of serfs who like when the state fully takes care of them. That is why they are running towards the powerful like a child was running towards the pied piper (rat-catcher) of Hamelin. And even though many Germans act as if they were anarchists, they still love and worship their leaders (maybe I should keep the German word here, LM). In many German brains, the short-circuited cult of personality – from Mao to Merkel – is thriving more than anything else. And everyone who is bringing dissonance to this game is being insulted and muscled out by this moralizing majority. That is how Germany has always worked. (Dirk Schümer, die Welt, 2018)

Aleš Valenta, IVK

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