German territory: The German state is producing one new law after the other. One cannot keep up any longer: People who warn others against deportations should be punished for it. There should be coercive detention for people who refuse to give away their passwords of their digital identity if the police suspect them. And that is by no means the end of current developments. These are now conditions that few people would have expected 5 years ago. The laws are coming faster and faster, and the outcry against them is no longer able to keep up.
Originally published by Autonomie Magazin. Translated by Enough 14.
Tightening the law was always happening, one might argue. That’s true. The constitution (GG) of 1949 has been attacked and dismantled from the right since it was decided, so that today only a stunted version of it is left. In the GG, due to the weakness of the right directly after the 2nd World War and the Holocaust, even communists were allowed to write. Their handwriting is clearly recognizable. But less than 10 years later the old elites were back in the saddle and began to eradicate the communist influences: Re-arming in 1955, ban of the communist party KPD in 1956 and so on. The history of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is continuously marked by restrictions on freedom. For the rulers in the FRG this constitution has never applied and was only used by them if it was in their interest. The basic right to asylum in the event of political persecution was a weapon against the Eastern Bloc states (during the cold war, Enough 14). It was abolished after these states collapsed. The right to expropriation is still only used today if it serves corporations like RWE for deforestation. Every oh so democratic constitution in capitalist states has this role: This only applies as long as it does not affect the interests of the ruling class. If so, it will be ignored or modified.
To this day, all bourgeois parties regularly participate in this process. The Left Party (Linkspartei) has also passed a police law in the German state Thuringia, modelled on the Bavarian PAG. Even if the AfD plays a role, they are not directly responsible for the last messes. They will probably be responsible for the next ones. In recent years, the CSU in Bavaria has played the role of an avant-garde in matters of fascization. They enforced the worst laws here (Integration Act 2016, Police Task Act 2018, etc.) and are still far from finished. One of them has been taking a tighter course in Berlin (Horst Seehofer, CSU member and interior minister in the federal government, Enough 14) for quite some time now and regularly overtrumps himself with his proposed laws. Horst Seehofer as Minister of the Interior is a hardly to be underestimated danger for the last remaining freedoms that this bourgeois state still allows us. Their approach has been the same for years: every new legislative proposal is introduced so drastically that a still blatant version of it really becomes law, while only the peaks are removed. It comes in a row, so that even the part of the population that would do anything about it will not be able to keep up.
At the moment, many people are probably asking themselves how long this will go well for us as radical leftists and when we will have to start thinking about clandestine work or emigration. No question about it, the situation is alarming. And if one thinks of the fascists working clandestine and the “black Bundeswehr” revelations of the Taz (German daily newspaper, Enough 14), one easily catches oneself expecting a new 1933 and starting to pack suitcases in one’s mind. But is that realistic? What’s clear is that we don’t live in the 1930s and that there are quite a few differences to the situation back then. One actually starts from the thesis that fascism in power only comes into question if capital considers it necessary in order to save its rule. But if we look at the situation today, we have to admit that the radical left in the FRG would not be able to seize power or to mobilize great resistance against the projects of the ruling class. One could therefore conclude that we are not really dangerous enough for them to need to play the fascist card. Moreover, today’s fascism would of course be different. History never repeats itself one to one.
But what we are currently experiencing is a gentle gliding in conditions (without much resistance) that rob us of any freedom. The rulers are preparing themselves for possible future conflicts, which are quite realistic. The parliamentary system is in crisis, the class differences are becoming more obvious again. The consequences of digitalization are just around the corner and capital is developing strategies to deal with them. This also explains the new interest of employers’ associations in the subject of unconditional basic income. Moreover, at the moment it looks as if the next economic crisis is imminent. The coming events can, if we succeed, already provide for an upswing of the left. When the time comes, the rulers will have laws in place that make it very easy for them to keep any oppositional movement small and eliminate it in a relatively early stage. Especially in Germany they approach this very clever and, how could it be otherwise, work very effectively.
It is all hard to take as a political person who fights for a classless future. The shift into right-wing discourse makes it difficult, because it is distancing people more and more from us. You feel powerless in the face of this development and would like to despair. But how must the comrades have felt in the 30s? They had to hide, couldn’t speak an open word on the street anymore. Nevertheless, many of them were not impressed and continued. Precisely because that is the aim of such a policy: to nip any opposition to the “normal state” in the bud. Of course, one regularly wants to get desperate about everyday reality. But this desperation is only a sign that we are still noticing something. We are probably not as alone as we think.
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