July 5, 2005

How left can “mainstream” Germans sound? Way left.

Posted in Germany, The Left at 9:50 pm by billdawson

[editor’s note: this post was “pasted” in — it appeared originally at the old Dawson’s Danube site, which is archived here.]


An entry by Ch.Arm at Brushfires of Freedom (German) brought the latest issue of IG Metall’s periodical to my attention. IG Metall is the German union whose earlier edition of metall featured the now infamous Americans-as-Bloodsuckers cover.

The newest issue instructs us on the evils of the much-hated neoliberalismus (neoliberalism), the term used generally here for a political economics that favors the free market, privatization and less emphasis on the social state. Living here I can tell you that those on the Left love to throw around the word neoliberalismus — it’s the official bogeyman, much in the same way that anglo-american lefties expect the term “neo-conservative” to instill fear and loathing in all of us.

In the timeline of the growth of evil that is printed alongside their lecture, the Metall Meanies show once again how the origins of this evil that disrupts what otherwise would be the splendid life of the german proletariat comes from outside Germany, just as their Americans-as-Bloodsuckers issue explicitly argued and just as their great teachers in the art of propaganda — Joseph Goebbels, Alfred Rosenberg, et al. — argued before them.

This time around it is that great “social-darwinist”, Margaret Thatcher, who is to blame, presumably because she was the first European “neoliberal” in power. The very beginning of the timeline is actually 1947. It reads: “Economist Friedrich Hayek founds the ‘Mont Pelerin Society’, the cradle of neoliberalism. His student: Margaret Thatcher.” (queue scary music here.)

Next we jump to 1979, when the now grown-up social darwinist becomes prime minister of England:

Die Sozialdarwinistin Thatcher hat keinen Skrupel, immer mehr Wettbewerb zu fordern und in Großbritannien durchzusetzen. Sie kämpft gegen Gewerkschaften und betreibt massiven Sozialabbau. Außerdem privatisiert die Eiserne Lady alles was zu privatisieren ist. Thatchers Lieblingskommentar dazu: ‘Es gibt keine Alternativen.’ Die Bilanz ihrer Politik: In England ist heute jede vierte Person und jedes dritte Kind arm.Der Neoliberalismus wird mit Thatcher sowie auch US-Präsident Ronald Reagan salonfähig und breitet sich weltweit aus. Der Glaube an die neoliberale Politik, die den Märkten alle Macht geben will, wird auch als Allheimmittel für Entwicklungsländer gepriesen. Erstes Opfer: Chile. Der Versuch endet im Chaos. The social-darwinist Thatcher does not hesitate to continuously press for increased competition [i.e., free market] throughout Britain. She fights against unions and carries out a massive dismantling of social services. Additionally, the Iron Lady privatizes whatever there is to privatize. Thatcher’s favorite saying: ‘There is no alternative.’ The result of her policies: in today’s England, every fourth person and every third child is poor.Through Thatcher as well as U.S. President Ronald Reagan, neoliberalism becomes fashionable and is spread throughout the world. The belief in the neoliberal politics, which give all power to the market, is even touted as a cure-all for the developing countries. First victim: Chile. The attempt ends in chaos.

As they move on to complain about Germany’s miserable condition, they highlight the economic malaise there by showing how poorly German average income has fared versus other countries. They list several countries from best to worst. Guess who places second in the race for the highest increase in wages over the ten year period beginning in 1995: those darned darwinists in England, who had a whopping 25.2% increase, versus a 0.9% decrease in German wages. (Yet every fourth Englishman is poor, right?)

Though they have nothing but bile to spit at the likes of Thatcher and Reagan, see how the former eastern bloc fares in their timeline entry for 1989:

Die 80er Jahre stehen im Zeichen des politischen Wandels. Mit Glasnost kommt die Widervereinigung Deutschlands und der Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion. Zu spät entdecken die Politiker, dass nicht alles aus der ehemaligen DDR schlecht war. Doch für Kinderkrippen und die meisten ostdeutschen Produkte ist es bereits zu spät. The 80s herald political change. With Glasnost comes the reunification of Germany and the collapse of the Soviet Union. But politicians realize too late that not everything about the former DDR [East German Communist Dictatorship] was bad. For the daycare centers and most products from the east it is too late.

I would, of course, have a lot to say about that, but to me it’s more appropriate to let a German do the talking on this subject. So here is Ch.Arm’s response to Metall’s complaint that politicians failed to see that not everything about the DDR was bad:

Genau! Sozialismus, Totalitarismus, unfreie Wahlen, Stasi, Berliner Mauer, fehlende Reisefreiheit, enormes Wohlstandsgefälle zum Westen, etc. etc.
Und genau in ein solches System gehören diese verbohrten Gewerkschaftsdeppen hin. Hoffen wir nur, dass nicht all zu viele Leser diesen Schwachsinn ernst nehmen und sich selbst ein eigenes, richtiges Meinungsbild ausarbeiten.
Exactly! Socialism, totalitarianism, no free elections, Stasi, Berlin Wall, the absence of the freedom to travel, enormous differences in the standard of living vis-a-vis the west, etc., etc.
And in exactly such a system do these pig-headed union idiots belong. We can only hope that not too many of the readers of this nonsense take it seriously and that they instead form their own opinions.

The article itself ends with a call to lift the tax exemptions on the profits of “the locusts” — yes, they used the favorite lefty catchword “Heuschrecken” — and this ominous remark: “We won’t accept just criticisms of capitalism that are not backed-up with actions.”

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