Originally appeared at DWN, translated by John T. Sumner exclusively for SouthFront
If she could, Angela Merkel would like to turn the clock back a few years. But what would she like to change? The problem are not the refugees: The problem is a policy of permanent hubris and telling fairy tales about world and reality to the voters, afterwards. But people have become suspicious by now and fight back from inside the last refuge of democracy, the voting booth, with a simple check mark on the ballot.
On Monday, in her analysis of recent election defeats, Angela Merkel said, that regarding the refugee crisis, she would like to turn the clock back a few years in order to be better prepared for the supposedly surprising phenomenon of an uncontrolled mass exodus.
But Merkel is mistaken if she believes that the massive rejection of the policy of CDU and SPD was only due to the fact that the Germans were not adequately informed about their country having to change. Her assertion, always to respect the constitution, sounds like a blarney. After all, the Federal Government has not only bent the laws, but even broken them many times over, not just since the refugee policy.
The uneasiness started with the Euro crisis: Billions were spent to save banks, in order to keep a system alive, which is against all economic reason: A common currency is only possible in an environment where a common transfer union already exists. Revenue sharing works out in the United States as well as the inter-state fiscal adjustment in Germany. In the EU, there is no such system. Instead, there is the Maastricht Treaty, which has been broken already years ago by Germany and France. Instead of taking a powerful and intelligent stand for a European economic union, all governments have taken the line of least resistance, eventually – and continued to go into more debt, without any restraint. The ECB stepped into the breach by maintaining the fiction, that the problem could disappear just through gaining time. But there is hardly any time to gain on the markets – because confidence has waned there, as well as among the voters. Speculators have exploited the Euro zone almost to the breaking point. A lot more Germans, than the Chancellor wants to, have discerned this.
Law diffraction and law breaking necessarily always result in a loss of confidence. This has manifested itself in Europe by an unprecedented, new disunity: The Greeks, the Poles, the Hungarians, the British, the Turks – in the political perception they all have become loose cannons, to put it mildly. The next fundamental dispute, soon to be real, might be one with Italy, as recent attacks by Matteo Renzi against Bundesbank President Weidmann indicate.
In addition to the intra-European rivalries, the Federal Government has positioned itself against Russia – although the majority of Germans has clearly considered Russia to be a partner instead of a threat, until recently. The sanctions were pushed through and are constantly renewed, although the German economy has to bear the consequences. You can never inspire any confidence, this way!
Finally, regarding the refugees: Merkel said “we” would not be “world champions of integration”. What does that actually mean? Until recently, Germany has done without any far-right party, and has integrated millions of German Turks without any problem. Now we demand “loyalty” from these people and put them under pressure to justify themselves – although only a few years ago, the outstanding contributions of the “guest workers” to the economic miracle were still appreciated.
The greatest error of Merkel in her supposed “self-criticism” is, that she underestimates the enlightenment of Germans. In their overwhelming majority, the Germans are not xenophobic, but helpful and tolerant. However, they have a sure instinct for the reason of migration being the “curse of the evil deed”, as the journalist Peter Scholl-Latour has called his last book: The expulsion of millions of people from the Middle East is a direct consequence of a war for oil, gas and pipelines, instigated by the West.
The chaos in Iraq, Libya and Syria would not have arisen, if the West would have clung to its bearing, not to tolerate any wars of aggression against sovereign states or subversion against foreign governments. But today, Danish and British units, together with the US military, are bombarding the Syrian army amid of a ceasefire. And then there are complaints about the lack of “European solidarity” regarding the “distribution” of refugees and questions about possible reasons for the next wave of migration.
In addition, as Merkel has noted correctly, local “problems” are emerging: In Berlin, this manifested itself in an inconceivable Billion-Euro-disaster regarding the major airport, for which, up to this day, not a single politician has assumed responsibility – even though the controlling authority is controlled by those very politicians. Merkel did not mention this failure, which certainly did upset the citizens of Berlin more than the “refugee crisis”, which basically is no social problem in Berlin, because many volunteers still care for refugees and migrants – against all odds, in an exemplary manner.
If Merkel complains, that she could not argue objectively against “post facto” feelings, a reversal of the burden of proof is made, and yet with a subtle, moral arrogance. “Post facto” is the policy of the Federal Government, which repeatedly acted arrogant regarding many complex problems – whether by decrees, by factoids or by technocratic stubbornness, as in the energy transition.
This basic feeling is in fact nothing else than a fundamental loss of confidence. The problem created by Merkel with her slogan “We can do it!”, is not, that the civil society would be skeptical regarding its ability to successfully integrate a few hundred thousand migrants and refugees. A significant part of society is rather questioning the abilities of this Federal Government, which tends to break laws continuously, while permanently declaring the state of emergency in connection with the application of a more and more obtrusive propaganda machine. In fact, it was not “the Germans” who have abandoned their attitude. The Federal Government has lost its grip because it has fallen prey to an unrealistic overestimation of their own feasibilities. Instead of following new metaphysical impulses on every occasion, the Federal Government should proceed to a purely pragmatic policy. Ideologies, dominance of a single party and a permanent setting of various social groups against each other only deepens the divisions in society and do not solve even a single problem.
To showcase scapegoats and culprits is no way of misleading the voter any more. The new habit of offending the audience produces unpleasant feelings – and at the end the voters find their last refuge in the seclusion of the voting booth, where they can give full scope to their rational well-founded feelings, with a single check mark on a ballot.
We still have no real crisis in Germany. But it might erupt at any time – due to the many irredeemable promises! Merkel said, that in the face of future challenges, the whole society must surpass itself. It would be the objective of politics to create the corresponding framework with sobriety, honesty and regardless of party affiliation. Pathos should remain restricted to the church. Realism in the assessment of their own possibilities should be the order of the day for the Federal Government. This and nothing more is required of Merkel. This and nothing more she can achieve.