Propaganda is marching

by Christian Fischer

For some time now it has been noticeable that the party Bündnis 90/Die Grünen is clearly more loved by the media than the other parties. For the CDU, a Merkel-twilight is being conjured up – although the Chancellor does more or less what she has always done. The CSU is often portrayed as an unpredictable, if not insane, power bloc. The SPD does not need to be further picked to pieces by the media – it does that itself. The FDP is mainly too small to be the object of loud praise or blame. The Left also tends to remain unnoticed, but sometimes it is commentated in a partly derogatory, partly supportive way, depending on how its various statements fit into the mainstream. The AfD is the welcome Beelzebub, against whom democratic reason has to stand up in disgust.
Now the Greens have clearly become the second strongest force in Bavaria – but they will probably not come to government responsibility, as in Baden-Württemberg, because there is another conservative force specific to Bavaria: the “Freie Wähler” (free voters). You need not be a great prophet to predict that they will not get a good press in the future.
For the mainstream is increasingly turning out to be coloured green. Here we find the allegedly unspent and credible political personnel, being able to show the citizen the path mapped out well in advance to a borderless European Union as the only acceptable way out of its fascist past. The other parties will gradually have to gather behind this flag if they want to survive. The extra-parliamentary auxiliary troops are already marching in this direction.
In many cities, over and over, demonstrations “against the right extremists” are being initiated to show that there are still yet “good Germans”. In Chemnitz, these good Germans revolt against “right-wing hunts” which, according to police reports, never took place – and remain silent about the manslaughter by a foreigner who should have been expelled long ago. The German cabaret is largely forced into line with the singing of “anti-fascist” contributions and government-friendly indignations at the opposition – criticism is at best voiced about the fact that the government does not tear down all borders (and thus all rule of law) quickly and consistently enough. On the other hand, a truly critical petition to the German Bundestag “Declaration 2018”,1 launched by Vera Lengsfeld, which deals with the government’s legal violations in connection with the opening of the border in 2015, is not reported – although 165,000 signatories had supported this petition in a short time and despite all kinds of harassment.
On 13 October 2018, an event with around 200,000 participants took place in Berlin under the motto “For an open society – solidarity instead of exclusion”. Solidarity with the victims of right-wing violence was expressly demonstrated. Newspaper articles report on the sidelines2 that the CDU was not one of the organisers. Reason: One organiser supported also left-wing extremist criminals, and various dubious organisations ranked among the organisers. The message of the media: the CDU is excluding itself from the march of the good.
The same weekend also saw simultaneously identical demonstrations in Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, Cologne, etc., in which the participation of television, cultural and cabaret personalities from Ranga Yogeshwar to Jan Böhmermann were a must.3 It is interesting to note that organisations such as Pulse of Europe, Mehr Demokratie e.V. (More democracy) and (so far) little-known activists under the names of We are Europe, Start with a friend, Demokratie in Bewegung (Democracy on the move), Volt Europa, Junge Europäische Föderalisten (Young European Federalists) are becoming increasingly active here, what we should indeed observe in the future.
The main thread in the current “narrative” is the propaganda against everything national, sometimes even explicitly against the national rule of law (thus suspected of fascism), and for a stronger European Union – in fact in the name of democracy! What a mockery. Nobody will seriously claim that the EU is a more democratic organisation than the German constitutional state, some of the propagandists even shamefacedly confirm a European “democracy deficit”. Who of these anti-fascists is interested in that? Who still knows that popular rule does not already exist when everyone takes to the streets and sings the right songs? Have we not had this already a few times in the 20th century?
However, we must take note of the fact that the content of the party landscape is currently reshaping in accordance with this narrative: EU or fascism. France set an example last year; we are imitating it with German thoroughness. We must observe this closely and defend our institutionally still existing democracy against this propaganda. There are counter-movements and counter-publics, even if practical and propagandistic obstacles are obstructing their way. In the future, being a democrat will probably mean being the child who exclaimed in Andersen’s fairy tale: “But he’s got nothing on!” – when the emperor strutted past in his new but non-existent clothes. “The EU has really nothing democratic on!”    •

2    “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” from 15 October 2018
3    ibid