democracy on the brink

Post photo: Abyss | © Shutterstock

Looking back, I have to admit that democracy has never been as popular here in Germany as we are always so nicely told it is. When I was young, I was already able to ascertain that our two people's parties define themselves in this way simply because each has always offered at least one very strong anti-democratic minority a home. And even today far too many, without remorse, call themselves socialists, although it is clearly clarified that democracy and socialism are pure opposites.

In the other people's party, these people are probably solely due to our history, they are a little more cautious and tend to describe themselves as "national conservatives." But even in the small parties, you always met former and new National Socialists, Fascists, Monarchists, Communists or even Socialists from the very beginning who were looking for a political home for themselves or who had no chance against their own like-minded people in the established parties.

It is true that democratic states saved us Germans in 1945, although far too many fellow citizens still call this event the downfall of Germany and our greatest defeat without any pangs of conscience. However, since democracy not only made us socially acceptable again in the international community, but also brought us economic success and unprecedented prosperity for most of us, it was declared a reason of state.

But democracy always has its downsides, namely personal responsibility, the need for participation, sufficient transparency of one's own actions, the acceptance of other opinions and probably worst of all the duty of solidarity with all "co-rulers".

This was also known to everyone, and so from the very beginning of our republic it was important that everyone was (politically) educated and not only did we create educational institutions of all kinds and also subsidized other private educational efforts and offers, but we also valued them to public broadcasting and gave culture itself a very high priority. And just to be on the safe side, even our churches were brought on board again - contrary to better knowledge - although they still charge very well for their supposed "loyalty" today!

To top it all off, our democracies in Europe were even given their own idea with a very specific goal, namely the gradual unification of democratic Europe towards a future democratic world union: humanism and the rule of law became generally recognized principles.

And everyone involved knew right from the start that the alternatives to this are less rosy and that the countries concerned are also accusing totalitarianism of being fed up with them. Totalitarianism summarizes those political models that oppose the democratic alternatives, whereby it ultimately makes no difference whether an anti-democrat calls himself a socialist, Nazi, fascist or oligarch - the result for us citizens is always the same! And even if political scientists are increasingly arguing about it, the victims so far really don't care whether they were murdered by socialists or fascists.

Nevertheless, from the very beginning, and this also in the German party headquarters, work was done against our democracy. Jean Monnet First we had to get the SPD enthusiastic about Europe as the goal of all our democratic efforts, although the cash donations from the USA certainly did no harm to individual politicians from all parties. The Union parties, on the other hand, created the myth of the German nation state with its economic miracle as the engine of our success from the start and thus undermined Europe as a whole.

Over the decades, both people's parties together turned the goal of all our democratic efforts, namely a European federal state, into a diffuse construct of a Europe under which everyone could imagine exactly what they themselves thought to be chic and appropriate. Europe was talked down all alone because it would have manifested democracy in our countries!

Democracy is most strenuous for those who want to make the greatest profits from it, because taking advantage of entire population groups is extremely difficult in a functioning democracy, which aims to balance all population groups.

And so it is understandable that many of our fellow citizens are using all means to defend themselves against a successful democracy - which, by the way, can also be observed again and again in most other democracies and therefore cannot be regarded as a German unique selling point.

While democracy helps the population as a whole to be more prosperous, it also makes it very difficult for individual groups to become “super rich”.

And in addition, it demands more commitment from many people than they would like to spend on themselves and, above all, on others. From the very beginning there are people in every democracy who do everything to ensure that a democracy does not become a long-term model for success. Because, as already mentioned, a functioning democracy prevents people from their "self-realization" as soon as this is at the expense of others - this affects the bums as well as the "super-rich".

For these people, once democracy has established itself, it is quite difficult to get rid of such popular rule. That's why they undermine one from the start, here the Weimar Republic can serve as a good example. And these people also pulled out all the stops in our Federal Republic - albeit less successfully than the first time.

And so it is quite understandable that anti-democratic forces established themselves precisely in those institutions that organize and administer democracy - our parties. "The march through the courts" is not a unique left selling point, but a vehicle to destabilize any democracy from within.

And therefore it is also understandable that, once these forces have established themselves in the parties, they will do everything possible to prevent effective non-party or free democratic organizations.

They then garnish the whole thing with a deliberately caused frustration with politics, which keeps voters more and more away from the ballot boxes - which the initiators are very happy to criticize themselves.

And to top it all off, they ensure that most of our fellow human beings are occupied with all sorts of things so that they can no longer deal with politics themselves. They throw the population more and more into crises, one worse than the last, and really do everything in their power to ensure that no solutions are found. In this way, they slowly but surely drive every democracy against the wall and convince people that their own political commitment no longer makes sense and that there are no alternatives (keyword: no alternative) to the current political decisions!

They then counter this development with supposedly successful models in other countries, where strong men or women are said to be able to get the crises under control simply through their omnipotence, and in doing so openly promote less democratic political models. And so every German people's party always has its "own favorite dictators", such as Orban or Putin recently, who they like to celebrate, show off and support. And that's why the personality cult is so important in these parties.

Perhaps I see the whole thing far too blackly, and none of our politicians want to turn Germany into a dictatorship again, but it is quite sufficient if some of our politicians believe in an oligarchy, at least sympathize with one or even think that as professional politicians one to belong to their own class.

After all, it all depends on what our majority of the population believes, and the way it looks right now, very, very many voters have already lost faith in our democracy and in a democratic future for Germany.

But what weighs even more heavily is the fact that the majority of people in Europe have already lost faith in a common democracy, and so a democratic future will hardly be possible for all of us - a democratic nation state was and continues to be purely imaginary, no matter what country.

She half pulled him, half he sank down,
And wasn't seen again.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Fisherman (1779)

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