Liberals ever become conservatives
"What am I…?"
The newly sworn in Prime Minister of the conservative model state of Baden-Wüttemberg is a green man. Did the leisurely (I may say that, I myself am one) Baden and Swabians become a people of eco-tax overnight? Certainly not, because you can hardly imagine anything more conservative than Winfried Kretschmann. Otherwise my compatriots would hardly have chosen him.
So it is time to reflect once again on the meaning of historically evolved political terms today. What am i anyway? Am I left, am I right, am I conservative, am I progressive? I'm ecological and democratic anyway, but that's supposed to be all of them. And socially, of course. But do these terms still have any meaning? And if not, which ones?
On Wikipedia I can read about conservatism: "You only replace the old with the new when the possible new has proven to be better." That doesn't seem conservative to me, it just seems reasonable. In that sense, I'm definitely conservative. But I wonder how the new can even prove itself if you initially don't allow it until it has been proven - another paradox. So you also need a certain amount of progressive daring if you don't want to freeze in encrusted structures. So I am at best value conservative (like the Greens and especially Mr Kretschmann), but definitely not structurally conservative.
The paradigm that left equals progressive and right equals conservative sits deep in my subconscious. According to this, the SPD would be progressive and so would the Greens, because they tend to belong to the left-wing spectrum. What is progressive? Something more conservative (or better, more bourgeois) than an SPD meeting with a miners' band and "Glück auf!" one can hardly imagine. The Greens are also more likely to be skeptical of new things. The supposedly conservative CDU, on the other hand, prefers to see itself as the spearhead of technological progress (whether or not it will help mankind is another question). Erich Honecker was also a very conservative person because he certainly didn't want any changes.
So I don't get any further with these terms - right and left lost their meanings after the Cold War, conservatives would like to be progressive and the left and the Greens are progressive today because they are conservative. Or something like that.
So I have to unravel the whole thing from the bottom up, based on individual factual questions. Like with Wahl-O-Mat, which I played through before the state elections in April. I had the greatest agreement with the Pirate Party, closely followed by the left. Then came the Greens and the SPD. And what a shock - the NPD even before the CDU. Does that mean that I think more right-wing extremist than the CDU, or that the CDU is more right-wing than the NPD? Either way would be a terrible idea.
When looking at the list, I notice that one party has not even appeared in my considerations, although it is currently determining the day's events, namely the FDP. I go through my deepest core beliefs in my mind, starting with personal freedom rights. In this area I am downright libertarian, if not even anarchist - I react extremely sensitively when someone tries to tell me how I should live or even think. Above all, I wonder how any human being Not can be liberal, because everyone wants to claim the highest level of personal freedom: Liberté! In order for me to be granted this, I have to grant it to everyone else - unless I claim a special status for myself in the hope that it will always be granted to me. So: Égalité!
Liberal? Unfortunately, not least because of the unspeakable appearance of the FDP, this term has fallen into disrepute over the past 20 years. Of course, economic freedom is just as much a part of liberalism as all other forms of human action. But every freedom ends where the freedom of the other begins. And personal freedom includes a certain amount of economic independence - therefore there can be no economic activity at the expense of others: Fraternity! So I am also an absolute advocate of the idea of an unconditional basic income in order to ultimately secure the freedom of the individual, regardless of his social Darwinian assertiveness. This idea may seem socialist, but it is not: I consider it to be liberal in the deepest sense. Moreover, since this idea is fiercely opposed by both the left and the right, it cannot be so wrong either.
This leads me to the question of why people become politically active at all and invest their valuable time in tedious party work. In the CDU, I find only a few people from whom I would believe a deeply conservative conviction; potential candidates for this have long since defected to the Greens. Or to the ecological democratic party. Or to the party of Christians who are faithful to the Bible. In the CDU you can find slippery careerists wherever you look. How else would such a smooth (albeit ineffective) U-turn as in nuclear policy after the events in Fukushima be conceivable? In any case, this has nothing to do with principles and convictions. The prime minister, Stefan Mappus, who was voted out in April, is not conservative. Fortunately, it didn't help this time. I am sure that he would have made a good SED district leader and railed just as loudly against the class enemy. The main thing is that it helps your career within the system: you join “the party” in order to make a career and secure more rights for yourself than for others. In traditionally red regions, it is no different with the SPD.
But speaking of the CDU: For me, a decidedly Christian party is actually a case for the protection of the constitution, just as an Islamist party would be. After all, there is good reason why our state is committed to religious neutrality. The assertion that our community is based on Christian values can hardly be surpassed in infamy: it took centuries of struggle against the clergy and the nobility to enforce these values of freedom and democracy. Christianity, like all other religions (with the possible exception of Buddhism), is based on dogma, hierarchy and disenfranchisement. That little bit of charity, also known as social teaching, can by no means outweigh this. Here again I am completely with Marx as far as opium is concerned. I even believe the Pope that he loves people. But he does not respect them, at least not as equal thinking people whom you meet at eye level. That reminds me fatally of the departure of Erich Mielke, Minister for State Security of the GDR. So I'm slowly but surely coming to the conclusion that there are actually only two basic political currents: liberalism and fascism. By fascism, I do not necessarily mean the term historically coined by Mussolini, but a fascist mindset in the sense of a totalitarian collectivism that destroys the individual's rights of freedom.
Fascism is what left-wing alternative thinkers today call everything they consider politically dangerous and totalitarian. Structurally, however, I cannot see any differences between right-wing fascism and the allegedly communist or socialist systems. Most religions (and the nobility systems of "God's grace" derived from them) are based on nothing other than the hope of the individual to gain advancement in a hierarchical and dogmatic ideology through good behavior and, as a result, greater personal freedoms. Even if the CDU, SPD and the Greens are against it - in the end it is the same people with the same fascist mental attitude who hijack the political systems over and over again. Auschwitz and the Gulag archipelago are possible again and again, I'm afraid.
It would be all the more important to have a really strong and really liberal party that counteracts the tendency towards a cross-party eco-gender, health and safety dictatorship. But does it really make sense to hope for the FDP here? A party that has almost turned the honorable term liberalism into a dirty word? The normal man from the street (the woman too, by the way) sees in the FDP only a party of better-earning elbow owners with better relationships, for whom the CDU is too social. Only in the crisis, when the party smears once more in polls, do you bring out a few of the long-serving alibi liberals of the kind of Gerhart Baum or Burkhard Hirsch (whom I hold in high esteem by the way), who then proclaim that, in a mantra and unsuccessfully, that one not at all so be. A couple of weeks later someone says “The performance must be worth it again” and it goes on as usual.
I can hardly remember that the FDP as a whole would ever have taken seriously liberal positions. At a time when Willy Brandt was still elected or when no experiments were dared, it was the party of those who did not commit themselves ideologically, but nevertheless - one would like to have a career - wanted to belong to a party that conformed to the system. That corresponds one hundred percent to the social function that the block parties had in the GDR. The restriction to economic issues is a historical mistake with which the FDP inflicted damage to liberalism in Germany that could hardly be repaired: if the FDP did not exist, its enemies would have had to invent it. Because precisely the correctly understood liberalism is the politics of the little man, which protects him from the abuse of power by the "bigger ones". In this sense, a truly liberal party would also be the only and genuine possible people's party. I wonder: where is this party?
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