Appeals instead of change, slogans instead of substance, distraction instead of responsibility: the Foreign Minister’s “Marshall Plan” is not only “embarrassing”, as many media now say for partly false reasons. It is the continuation of what the current conditions have done: ignorance of social factors.
With his proposal to work out a “Marshall Plan for democracy” with the US, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has already picked up a lot of trouble. He deserved it. But because the criticism of Maas ' advance is partly for wrong reasons, the process is to be dealt with here again.
Purely verbal and without consequences “democratic awakening”
Maas ‘talk of the" Marshall Plan “protects what it officially pretends to want to break up: a"keep it up”. So, while at the “political-philosophical” level a “democratic awakening” is simulated, in economic, tax and Social Policy everything should remain the same? Should the inequalities and divisions created by the politics of the past decades (also and above all material) be stuffed and covered up with fine phrases? Then this “Marshall Plan”, like Maas’ talk of a “New Deal”, would be the opposite of the “restart” that is to be suggested by the chosen cocky vocabulary and its references to the 30s and 40s: it would be an attempt to prolong the existing tendencies towards social reduction and privatization in the shadow of a purely verbal “democratic awakening”. The Minister does not say this directly, but by not mentioning social factors as a precondition for today’s problems, his advance in this direction must work. In this respect, phrases such as Maas ' do not remain without consequences: for they conceal the fact that democracy requires not only diligent Phrasemongers but also a degree of material equality.
The rise of Donald Trump did not come out of nowhere. The foundations for the success of a politician of this type have also been laid by his predecessors and opponents through their policies. For example, the influential politician Joe Biden, who has been influential for decades, has more share in today’s US reality than Trump, who is above all the result and not (first) Origin of this reality prepared by long-term politics. Now the responsible politicians point to Trump and shout “stop the thief”.
“Then it also becomes apparent that the still-in-office President Trump has not fallen from the sky. It is a sign of the disaster in which the celebrated World of the so-called West finds itself. Now, however, there is a danger that it will be overturned, because the victory celebrations of President Biden, to be sworn in in 9 days, will superimpose the underlying disaster.”
Trump is Symptom of " World’s oldest democracy"
In the criticism of Maas by politicians and large media, however, these points are partially lost, namely the attempt to simulate an “Engagement” by slogans and to cover up with phrases an irresponsible inaction in many social and economic policy areas. Instead, it is emphasized how little Germany is in a position to give advice to the “oldest democracy in the world”. This view is questionable, but the " taz " writes:“the USA does not need a German senior teacher”. “Cicero” means:“we do not have to explain democracy to the Americans”. And “Bild” finds it" embarrassing “that Maas wants to” teach the USA a lesson".
As I said, Trump has not built today’s world alone – it is also the result of the belligerent and liberal economic policies of the last decades. This does not mean that Trump would have been the cure for this development, even if he symbolizes a counter-movement for many people in a certain way. The reference to the responsibility also of Trump’s predecessors does not mean that the politician Donald Trump is relieved of the misconduct committed during his term of office. Niklas Maak has described the" background “to Trump in the” FAS", he goes back to Ronald Reagan:
“Reagan’s presidency also marks the beginning of an economic development, at the end of which Trump had to come: under Reagan, social inequality grew dramatically, wealth was distributed more and more unevenly (…): the winners of a deregulated economy were confronted with a disastrous education policy, the impoverishment of broad strata, especially the black population. The destruction of the social structures of rural America. The elimination of fair competition that can be observed in SiliconValley.”
The best Marshall plan would be social-democratic policy
The inequalities and divisions described in this article are not altered by phrasing. To continue to cover them with melodious slogans is incendiary, because it must lead to an evil awakening – and to the success of questionable personnel who fill the gaps that the responsible politicians and editors tear. The best construction"Plan" for democracy in Germany would be if Social Democrats such as Heiko Maas would return to the economic and social policies that were noticeable in everyday life, which could previously be called “Social Democratic”.
In addition to all this, a comparison of the USA Today with the Germany of 1948 is very questionable. In addition, the purely positive Aura of the original Marshall Plan of 1948 is a myth, such as the Arte documentary “Marshall Plan. The US saving itself " describes:
“The general view is that the Marshall Plan has freed Europe from war-related Chaos and misery. In fact, the American aid money strengthened the national recovery plans of the post-war period initiated by European governments. But behind the motive of philanthropy there were also other, less noble, but very important reasons for economic aid. The Marshall Plan was not a selfless act, but the result of a well-calculated political strategy. The United States wanted to promote the internationalization of the economy in its favor and propagate the American dream as a universal model. Against the backdrop of the Cold War, the Marshall Plan proved to be the appropriate counterpart to Truman’s policy of curbing communism and weakening the Soviet Union. A medal with two sides that could not be more different.”