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Be a role model for once

The Chinese Foreign Minister urged Germany to respect human rights. Children, families and the elderly are systematically pushed into poverty and disadvantaged by government measures. This limits their economic, social and cultural rights, which are essential for their dignity and the free development of their personality, the Minister cited Article 22 of Human Rights. At the same time, he announced economic sanctions against the EU: through a militarized border regime against refugees from poor, war-torn countries, it had violated international law and violated Article 14 of human rights; the measures had already cost tens of thousands of lives.

The report is of course fake – with a critical tip: Unjust social conditions are not considered a violation of fundamental and human rights in this country. And exhortations, sanctions and military interventions are only for us, the good, with our moral superiority.

German politics has successfully worked to make class society appear as something normal and self-evident: people are gradually getting used to the fact that growing poverty and inequality are poisoning conditions. The social place of birth largely determines the path of life – an expression of feudal relations. The federal governments of the CDU / CSU, SPD, FDP and Greens have not even treated the social divide as in need of change – on the contrary. The poverty of families, children and elderly people was created politically, while numerous ministers, scientists, media and lobby organizations pleaded with the public and those affected that they themselves were to blame for their fate. Democracy was transformed into a market-compliant event to legitimize and maintain undemocratic power and ownership. Large sections of the media helped the population to accept these conditions as having no alternative and unalterable.

The facts are known. We know that child poverty, which has been growing for decades, means that about a quarter of the young generation is deprived of their basic and human rights, because for them many of these rights, which are taken for granted for others, apply only on paper. We know that laws are being made to ensure that a growing army of families and single parents live in fear of not being able to afford even essential goods. The people affected feel the contempt: they are not treated as equals. Laws provide wealth and power for a few, poverty and powerlessness for many.

The Hartz laws have increased poverty by leaps and bounds. Labor market laws ensure that low wages are not enough to survive, especially in old age. Several times, the responsible ministry has answered questions from the Left Party in the sense that someone who works fully for 45 years must earn just under 13 euros per hour to get basic income in old age. However, the minimum wage is 9.60 euros. (And also the announced gradual increase to 10,45 Euro from the 1. July 2022 is far from the 13 euros. So it is not the growing poverty in old age that is surprising, but the hypocritical dismay at this development. But poor old people die eight to ten years earlier than the well-off; they experience the retirement phase only briefly. Even an affordable apartment that meets the needs is a matter of course for fewer and fewer people, rather a rare stroke of luck. A service of general interest that meets basic human needs? Everyone knows that government policy sets opposite priorities: it gives away basic services to powerful investors in order to maximize profits. Hundreds of thousands of homes owned by speculators, health a commodity, retirement homes in the hands of listed companies; a tax policy that allocates huge billions to the rich; banks that don’t care about laws. The power elite treats democracy and laws as an annoying evil.

Although poverty and wealth are officially accounted for by the government, they are defused and glossed over. For decades, interested parties have followed the statistics on child poverty, including resulting injustices and damages. Everyone knows the plight of refugees and workers in meat companies or in the asparagus fields. But the few media and parties that analyze and name the causes of poverty and inequality, destruction of nature and militarization that promotes war are often observed by the Verfassungsschutz. Because their actions allegedly endanger the state. If anything, a poverty researcher like Christoph Butterwegge or an association chairman like Ulrich Schneider of the Joint Association occasionally gets a place in one of the state-supporting talk shows.

Of course, the federal government knows the central demands for social justice – keywords: property tax, inheritance tax, living wage, abolition of the Hartz laws, combating asocial tax evasion and avoidance, strengthening the state pension. None of this could be enforced in decades of fighting, or only in homeopathic doses, to prevent revolts like those in France or helpless protests at the ballot box. Instead of the welfare state, we are experiencing a policy that is tearing society apart; the number of people who feel abandoned, marginalized and despised is growing.

Anyone who had trusted that the Federal Constitutional Court would encourage the government to implement the social rule of law, i.e. to ensure appropriate social compensation and the factual validity of fundamental rights for all, would look at the fundamental judgment on Hartz IV of 2010. For those affected, it did not bring any improvements. When the author asked a professor at the Bundeswehr University how the social rule of law could be sued, the sobering answer came: “Do you really think that global capitalism would even allow itself to be irritated by the normativity of a national constitution? ( … ) No, against this opponent a constitution will not be able to be a particularly helpful ally.“The anger about all the rip-offs of the power elite corresponds with the powerlessness of people to change these conditions.

The federal government is burdensome with child and old - age poverty at best, because it scratches its image as a representation of the interests of the population. The state, as an “ideal total capitalist”, takes care of its own – and these are not precariously employed-and tries to suppress the question: for whom should it actually be there? The” natural law " of capitalism is clearly visible: the ruling class accumulates power and wealth without regard to losses, but becomes blind to dangerous consequences for the system, i.e. the self-caused crises, catastrophes and wars. The class of the dispossessed always suffers from these.

Conclusion: Systematic discrimination and injustice burden people, tear society apart and promote developments towards brutalization and authoritarian national radicalism. Hope comes above all from those who do not convert their anger into resignation or right-wing resentment, but become active for their human rights, according to which the “ideal of a free man living free from fear and hardship can only be realized if conditions are created in which everyone can enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights as well as their civil and political rights”, as stated in the preamble to economic, social and cultural human rights. They do not trust that the “state of capital” (Johannes Agnoli) can be convinced by arguments and makes policy for the general population.

Poverty and inequality cannot be solved by charity, but only politically. Why not demand concrete results and set deadlines? Like this:

The measure of inequality, the Gini coefficient, must be reduced to half by 2030!

The percentage of poor children must be halved in the next parliamentary term, as must the rate of old-age poverty.

A non-governmental commission ensures that Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is implemented: all laws and regulations must then give priority to the well-being of children.

Social associations are given the right to sue in order to enforce the real validity of fundamental rights for all people, regardless of their social origin.

Independent experts decide on compensation for the generations of children who have been systematically disadvantaged because of their social background and have not been able to realize their fundamental rights to health, education and development of their personality.

That’s unrealistic? Corporations are granted the right to sue states for lost profits - at the expense of the population! So: System change, not symptom change.

Dream on, many will say. Yes, let us continue to dream of the realization of fundamental and Human rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, not only in other parts of the world, in which it hypocritically propagates Germany - and let us do something for it. Poor Lives Matter!