On 5 February 2020, the CDU, the FDP and the AfD elected a “man of the Centre” on the far right as prime minister in Thuringia – for one day. Beyond the day and beyond Thuringia, a few basic thoughts.
Since this election, there has been talk of the “breaking of taboos and/or dams”, of the “whiff of Weimar”, depending on your preference. Others take to the streets and chant: all Democrats Together Against Fascism.
If one is still halfway consoled, the helpless understanding for any Protest (once) does not apply, then there is more wrong than helpful.
To find a” taboo and/or dam breach “now is quite a trivialization of what led to this” coalition of the willing”. What is really " new” is that something has become visible that has been approaching politically for years, which makes the CDU and FDP hardly distinguishable from the AfD:
Thus, in this unprompted right-wing coup against Ramelow, what the AfD (…) has always been was extremely public-spirited: namely, nothing more than the völkisch wing of the CDU and FDP. (Marc Britz, rational gallery of 9. February 2020)
Even the “whiff of Weimar” produces more fog than knowledge, if one does not say exactly what makes today’s conditions equal or similar to the “Weimar conditions”. It is tiresome to do everything in a history-conscious way without explaining exactly what is meant by it.
And also the struggle of “all Democrats” against fascism, which is now supposed to bring everyone together, is misleading and criminal in a double sense:
First, it is not fascism, against which one must now stand up. If it were, these calls would be helpless and much more than too late. If one does not precisely name the path, the precursors of fascism, one takes all possibilities to fight it before it comes to power. This presupposes not constantly ringing the death bells, which are supposed to drown out the fact that you can do a lot now, instead of warning of the worst for the umpteenth time. Much more credible would be to unite now to fight what precedes the very worst, which paves the way for him in party politics and ideology.
Then the pale and history-less call for “all Democrats"to prevent fascism together would finally be off the table. After all,” the Democrats " showed in the 1930s and show it again in 2020 what they are willing to do if they want to stay in power.
Why is there not a debate being held about the possibility of using this” revelation " in Thuringia to launch a major political Offensive? An opportunity that could hardly be better than now. Why is it so quiet on the left, with all the short-term noise on the street?
There would now be the political Chance to push the few percent Party FDP into the grave, so under the 5 percent hurdle! The same applies to the CDU, which participated in this Coup. You could beat their hypocritical struggle against “right-wing populism”, against “right-wing extremism” around the ears, you could chase them out of their imagined “middle”!
Instead, the parliamentary Left wants to discuss with the CDU that it must and may now support, “tolerate” and “tolerate” the Red-Red-Green State Government. After all, you now have the CDU a little in your hands, because it is above all afraid of losing even more in new elections. So now you want an Agreement with her and – without saying it openly-you have to let her get away politically.
And this is exactly what is indicated with all the oblivion of history: once again “all Democrats” are drummed together in order to pull the cart out of the dirt together. The calls are loud to immediately stop blaming each other. One must look forward (thus finally away-) and find a” reasonable " way. Now it can only be about blowing out at least the candles on the cake, on a cake that CDU, FDP and the AfD have baked together. In the course of this” sponge-over-mood”, the party” DIE LINKE " is admonished to be kind again, to simply forget the infidelity in order to come to an Agreement.
And what does the extra-parliamentary “Left” do? The Indivisible Alliance calls for a nationwide Demonstration 15 February 2020 in Erfurt:
February 5, 2020 marks a taboo break. Together with the extreme right – wing AfD, the CDU and the FDP have elected a prime minister in Thuringia-despite all previous promises. Even after Kemmerich’s rowing back, it is clear: the wall of fire against the fascists has a deep crack. Within the FDP and CDU there is a willingness to cooperate with the AfD.
We are deeply outraged. The consequence for all Democrats must be: there must be no cooperation with the AfD – not in the federal government, not in the Länder and not at the municipal level!
Is it even more general, is it even more blurred? Why is every word, every thought missing about how to understand anti-fascism today beyond parliamentary arithmetic and power-political calculation and make it visible in practice?
Why not put the parliamentary coup that has just taken place in a series of events that are striking and formative for the last decades? This would mean talking about a CDU that, in the pogroms of the 1990s, could discover a lot of understandable anger against the self-imagined “flood of asylum seekers”, which literally led this racist mood to success when it campaigned at the forefront for the abolition of the right of asylum. Why is it not mentioned that the nationalization of the pogrom mood was enforced with all parties of the “middle” – with a two-thirds majority in Parliament? Why not remind us that it is precisely in this state-protected atmosphere that the “Thuringian Homeland Security” emerged, from which the neo-Nazi terror group NSU emerged? Why not confront the hypocrites with the fact that the Verfassungsschutz (especially in Thuringia) organized an escort service for neo-Nazis in the underground, with the “president” Helmut Roewer (from 1994 to 2000 head of the Verfassungsschutz in Thuringia) at the head, who rather deserves the name “godfather”? Why not show the anger that the “Verfassungsschutz” still exists today in Thuringia, even though its abolition was “promised” in the program of the party Die LINKE? So why is it surprising when the AfD grows out of all this, the more about all these “entanglements”, that is, connections, is kept silent?
Is that all you can make of this Situation? How many more times will you have such an opportunity?
The coalition of the willing
The” coalition of the Willing " of the CDU, FDP and AfD at the Prime Minister’s election in Thuringia offers yet another rich Chance to clean up with an unbearable “consensus of the Democrats”. For decades, the CSU/CDU and the SPD have been promoting a joint fight against"right - wing and left-wing extremism”. What changed over the decades was what one thought and considers to be “far-right” or “far-left”: in the 1960/70’s the NPD stood for “far-right” and as “far-left” was everything one wanted to associate with the revolt of 1968. In the 1980s, the extremism formula was filled with the party” the Republicans “and with"autonomists”. Today, these formulae are filled with the AfD (for” right-wing extremism”) and the party DIE LINKE (for"left-wing extremism”). Apart from the ridiculousness of this attribution, from the Container character of this terminology, one thing is not at all funny: this extremism formula suggests an equality of right and left extremism, without even establishing in the beginning how one can throw together what is irreconcilable in real life, nothing to me you nothing.
With this Comic knowledge, the CDU and the FDP met and understood each other in Thuringia, a Comic knowledge that Maximilian Fuhrmann, head of the Department for housing and consumer policy at the Federal Executive Board of the DGB, describes in this way:
Christian Democrats and liberals generated themselves as bourgeois forces, with incendiary walls against the edges of right and left. Behind one wall sits a fascist with ethnic social ideas, behind the other Wall a deposed prime minister who has pursued a pragmatic social democratic policy for five years. (We must stop equating leftists with Nazis, (tagesspiegel.de of 10 February 2020)
This extremism formula was used as a calculator for the “professional bans”. In the CSU / CDU there is a ban at federal and state level to cooperate with the AfD and the Left party. In the SPD, the resolution of incompatibility with the party DIE LINKE still applies at the federal level.
This extremism formula has another important function. This generates a” bourgeois, democratic centre " which must be defended against all hostilities and dangers from the right and the left. One could therefore say timelessly: the Democrats stand in the middle as the good ones and defend themselves equally steadfastly against fascism and communism/socialism, that is, the bad ones. Thus one generates an “equidistance” to both “extremes” and thereby turns the (Origin)history of German fascism, the role of the bourgeois parties of the “middle” upside down.
What is sold as a lesson from German history is above all a large-scale cover-up of all the bourgeois parties that paved the way for fascism in the Weimar Republic, helped the NSDAP to power and ultimately liquidated themselves with their approval of the Enabling Act 1933.
The attempt to make the left, then in the form of the KPD, responsible for the victory march of the NSDAP, has today found its little brother in Thuringia. There they tried to blame the left for this parliamentary coup. After all, they would not have offered enough to “earn"the neutrality of the CDU and FDP in the third ballot.
In fact, this debacle only revealed what has been the basic consensus of the “Centre” for decades: when it comes down to it, one chooses the “extreme right”, in any case against the left.
This contributed significantly to the rise of the NSDAP in the 1930s and the same attitude led to the Coup with the AfD. Fascism did not come to power against the “middle class”, but with its help. This shows the history of the NSDAP and this will also play a decisive role in the rise of the AfD.
This also includes a theory of extremism, in which an image of history is welded, which makes the conditions for a rise, for a victory of fascism disappear. To beat them today around the ears of those who have just given a foretaste of what constitutes the Melange of middle-class and fascism is most high time.
In the article already mentioned: we must stop equating the left with the Nazis Maximilian Fuhrmann comes to the conclusion:
In the talk of the good center and the evil edges remains completely under-illuminated, what makes the center good and what makes the edges evil. It is an empty formula, independent of context and content. And with this formula, the CDU and the FDP in Thuringia came to the conclusion that it was the lesser evil to make a pact with a fascist than to help a Social-Democratic Left politician into the Prime Minister’s office by abstaining from voting. (tagesspiegel.de 10. February 2020)
If one were to agree on this, then an offensive handling of this parliamentary coup would be a truly liberating answer. This would not only rob the AfD of the Nimbus of an Anti-Establishment party. One would finally make visible a left-wing Alternative that takes up the questions associated with this Coup, rather than erasing the whole thing in exploratory talks.
AKK throws in the towel – in which direction?
CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer announced her retirement a few days after the resignation of the one-day President Thomas Kemmerich (FDP). She no longer wants to be a candidate for Chancellor of the CSU/CDU and also give up the party chairmanship. One can certainly assume it farsightedness: the CDU is stuck in the self-made extremism trap. Especially with regard to the state of the eastern CDU, the CDU has only two options under the given power relations: the first is to adhere to the extremism decision and thus to default on government business for the foreseeable future. This is not at all attractive and also the reason for this “mini rebellion” of the CDU in Thuringia. The second option is obvious in terms of power politics: one no longer excludes cooperation with the AfD … and thus puts oneself off the place of the “Democrats”.
The opposite of the very popular win-win Situation, i.e. a real Dilemma: How do you approach the (voter)Potential of the AfD without coalescing with it? How do you get a child without getting pregnant?
If one can follow clever analysts, the following scenario is quite likely: one approaches the CDU ideologically very close to the AfD, makes AfD-Light politics and thus hopes to win back votes and moods. The best man for this would therefore be Friedrich Merz: an arrogant power-obsessed reactionary who ideologically covers what the” Union of values " demands without belonging to it itself. He already has his “home” as a Board member of the “Atlantik-Brücke” and (former) BlackRock Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Not only the history of the AfD, but also that of all (post-)fascist parties, proves that the takeover of reactionary, racist positions “right of one self” does not dissolve them, but rather encourages them to show even more “Höcke”.
Is the Verfassungsschutz sleeping in Thuringia open eyes?
And one more question should be asked at the end. The constitutional protection was not abolished by the Red-Red-Green government. The staff is the same that was led by CDU governments for years. If so, the exciting question arises: What does the constitutional protection in Thuringia know about the AfD party, whose leader is a fascist? Does the domestic intelligence service monitor the AfD or does it advise it like the then head of the Federal Office for the protection of the Constitution (BfV) Hans-Georg Maaßen? Do the breakdowns simply continue in terms of personnel and ideology or did the Verfassungsschutz know (nothing) of the meeting of the coalition of the willing in a restaurant in Erfurt, a joint meeting of CDU and AfD representatives, of the Bodo Ramelow at “Maischberger. The week” on February 12, 2020 spoke?