The Left party is diverse, but the behavior of the co-leader Katja Kipping in the corona crisis irritates once again. Through benevolent media, they and their supporters currently dominate the public image of the left. And they damage it with a particularly rigid attitude to the corona Lockdown.
Questionable Corona-Data – Silent Opposition
The fact of the inadequate number base would actually be a point that a Democratic Opposition would have to put in the foreground again and again: because it is the most central of all questions: by answering many of the exhaustive and moral follow-up discussions would become unnecessary. But for weeks now, citizens have been confronted with these figures without there being any clearly perceptible voices from the Bundestag questioning this. Not even from the left. On The Contrary. Party leader Katja Kipping takes over in a contribution for a continued and rigid Lockdown the official figures for her Argumentation, without naming the dubious character of this data base:
“This wave of loosening threatens to lead us into only a second, particularly violent wave of infection. And this poses great dangers for all of our health, as well as for the economy. ( … ) Relying on contamination is therefore economically questionable and also has a high human cost: hundreds of thousands to more than a Million deaths and possibly serious consequential damages in case of convalescence.”
In order to “stop” the Virus in the medium term, the number of reproductions had to be reduced to below 0.5: “around 1 will not be enough”. There is no reliable database for Kipping’s horror scenarios, the figures do not give rise to apocalyptic prophecies. But Kipping does not mention this in the post. Instead, it is argued in a highly moral way: “the question of how much human life is worth to boost the economy” is ignored. This sentence is doubly outrageous: on the one hand, because it denies the social component of the lockdown critique: it is only intended to boost “the economy”. On the other hand, because the lockdown critics are accused of deliberately and recklessly endangering human lives.
In summary, Kipping suggests in the paper that politics supposedly works on the basis of relevant figures. And that the critics of the Lockdown policy have strong moral deficits. It is no better to shield the federal government from criticism. Is this the task of the Opposition? Unfortunately, this emotionally and not scientifically justified attitude also obscures the good opposition demands of the left for a wealth Levy and a social protection umbrella. The positions of the left on Corona and an emotional counter-speech to the position of the party leadership should not be concealed.
Media help for Katja Kipping
One side effect of Corona – also due to the failure of large parts of the left – is the final silencing of the Opposition. The Greens and the FDP had already given up this role. But now also the attitude of the Left party leadership ensures a new shake of the head. One could appease: fortunately, the left is heterogeneous: there is Andrej Hunko or Sevim Dagdelen or Fabio DeMasi as a counterweight to Kipping. These left-wing politicians also repeatedly provide constructive political interventions. But the party leader can cover this up and dominate the debate, and surprisingly with media help.
Very current examples of this media assistance are in addition to the current reporting also in a FAZ article about the appointment of Gregor Gysis as foreign policy spokesman, in which it is claimed:
“This applied, for example, to the absolute rejection of any foreign missions, the uncritical consideration of Putin’s rule in Russia or the praises of authoritarian socialist Regimes such as in Venezuela or Cuba. Thus, he (Stefan Liebich) was an exception in the group’s Foreign Policy Working Group. Only politicians from the extreme left wing are active there – for example Sevim Dagdelen or Heike Hänsel. With the establishment of Gysi, against which no opposing candidacy could move, Group Leader Bartsch has prevented a Hardliner from representing foreign policy in a prominent Position.”
Due to this media dominance of the kipping supporters, the left currently appears as one of the most rabid advocates of the lockdown “for health”. In addition, large parts of the party doggedly distance themselves from the anti-Lockdown protests and defame party comrades who see it differently. This includes Andrej Hunko, who recently spoke at a demonstration for fundamental rights in Aachen, and thus drew the wrath of the kipping supporters. In the speech he asks urgent and justified questions:
“Why did the RKI recommend that the deceased should not be autopsied, even though exact knowledge of the cause of death is of paramount importance for the sufferers? Why does the RKI stop its regular press conferences, even though the interest is outstanding? Why do shopping malls first open while kindergartens remain closed, even though research confirms that children pose no or only a small risk as carriers? ( … ) Why did the reproduction rate fall below 1 before the Lockdown on March 23? Why is an internationally controversial mask requirement introduced at the end of the current pandemic wave? ( … ) Did not some of the measures, in particular the measures relating to Fundamental Rights, lead to greater harm than good?”
And he notes that even asking questions has dire consequences for the skeptics:
“A relevant and important minority of experts, but also parts of the population that have a different view of the dangers of Covid-19 and the corresponding measures, have been aggressively excluded from public discourse or vilely defamed.”
Defamation of critics - also by leftists
According to media reports, politicians of the left have also participated in this defamation in recent days:
“The trivialization of Corona is not a Protest against the authorities, but ruthless towards socially weak and vulnerable sections of the population,” declared Kipping to Hunko’s address. In addition, the group chairmen Dietmar Bartsch and Amira Mohamed Ali had emphatically warned against participation in demonstrations by “Corona rebels”. The North Rhine-Westphalian left-wing executive board had unanimously decided “neither to call for Hygiene Demos nor to participate in them in any Form”. The MP Niema Movassat calls on under the Hashtag #COVIDIOTS the police to crackdown against the “corona deniers”.
On the other hand, Hunko stressed that he found it “completely wrong” if the left “positions itself as the most consistent Lockdown party”, as party leader Kipping demanded. The member of the Bundestag Lorenz Gösta Beutin polters against it: “leftists do not demonstrate with conspiracy supporters, neo-Nazis and enemies of democracy, but against them.“The isolated participation of leftists in” Hygiene Demos “is not a party line and only"irrelevant individual opinion”.
With this aggressive demarcation, Kipping and Co indirectly place themselves in a series of defamatory media contributions.
Beutin also claims for his group:
“As with climate protection, the left is on the side of Science in the fight against Corona.”
In other words,” the demonstrators “are not on the side of science – but” we " are. Both findings are wrong, as one must emphasize again and again: the Lockdown is not based on science, since the data base does not have adequate significance.
The right becomes strong because the left is weak
Even if the Left party is heterogeneous, as I said, some dominant voices overlap others, also because they are preferred by the media. The impression created by the dominance of Kipping and its perimeter that the left is not adequately perceiving pressing problems caused by the Lockdown has once again the potential to make the right strong.
This impression can promote the view that the political categories on the right and on the left are unnecessary. This view leads to a constant search for new groups and parties that could inherit the role of the Opposition. Currently, “resistance 2020” is in discussion, a party that rejects the categories of right and left. Both words were robbed of their meaning by aggressive reinterpretations. But this does not change the finding that there are still conflicting political concepts.
Leftists as moral Supermothers of " Health Protection”
The Corona Episode and the Lockdown is now slowly coming to an end. But damage to the Left has already been done. All the more reason to pay close attention to possible harassment against citizens, such as the development of immunity certificates and other control mechanisms. With regard to the issue of immunity, some leftists have already successfully mobilized, even if the issue will come again.
So should the Left continue to present itself as the moral Mother Superior of “Health Protection”? And is this actually” protection for the weakest in society”, as the Lockdown is always called? Should the Left party not instead demand the immediate lifting of the Lockdown, because cause and effect are now in an absurd disproportion? Wouldn’t this discrepancy have to be noticed by now, if one shares the official version to Corona extensively?
Does the government really protect the “weakest in society"through the Lockdown? What the Lockdown means for children and single mothers, for example, you can read in various media.
In a current statement, the German society for hospital hygiene, the German society for paediatric infectiology, the German Academy for paediatric and Adolescent Medicine and the Professional Association of paediatric and adolescent physicians in Germany write: “Kitas, kindergartens and primary schools should be reopened as soon as possible”, and that “without restrictions”. Is this not a “left” demand? Or is this just part of the easing lobby campaign for Kipping?
real production of the lockdown with “consent”
The Lockdown is also justified with the great “consent"of the citizens – but this consent is no wonder after media and political fear campaigns. But shouldn’t the left better help to alleviate the built-up fears, rather than fomenting them? In addition to the phrase of protection for “the weakest of society…”, the current dominant phrase is that “we” should not “jeopardize what has been achieved together”. This is to suggest that the (apparent) decrease in the “Corona numbers” is due to the successful measures of the lockdown. Doubts are expressed about this view. And at a time when the left urgently needs to insist on a return to rationality, parts of the party do the opposite.
You don’t have to work everything up at once. Now it should first be established that the medical Situation does not (anymore) justify the measures. In order to clearly establish the inconsistencies of the present, one does not need to develop a theory about the motivations in the past or about powerful backers. This, however, is put into your mouth at the moment: anyone who asks questions about certain facts is assumed to be responsible for a conspiracy for these facts. This is not the case. The vast majority of the sceptical part of the citizens have pressing questions. The contemporaries who immediately provide the explanation are in the minority. This minority is radically overemphasized in the media in order to color legitimate questions with the reputation of conspiracy.
Time for a Review
Morale is not at all unequivocally distributed in the two positions. The protection of “the weakest” can also be claimed by the lockdown critics-on an international scale there can hardly be any doubt about this when one considers the social consequences in poor countries. The hope for knowledge and change through Corona is great. The danger of great disappointments in the face of these hopes also. That is why lockdown critics can easily be portrayed as neoliberal spoilers who” only “want their old lives back: finally, the economy “forces itself” to a standstill – how can one demonstrate against it?! This (supposedly naive) description is currently difficult to come up against.
In the fervor of the battle and in view of the force of the Propaganda, hard positions at the beginning of the Corona development were very understandable. But shouldn’t a radical review of these positions be carried out – also and especially in the left?