Frank Bertemes: let there be light!

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What good does all sunrise do if we don’t get up?

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Thirty years of the fall of the Berlin Wall – thirty years of total failure. From the perspective of the ruled. How many of them feel today. A whole people who believed to see the light at the end of the tunnel, mostly and enthusiastically! A people who, after years of dictatorship on November 9, 1989 – an event of the century, the day the Berlin Wall came down – actually thought they were experiencing a historic opportunity. An East German people who, in the collective naivety of the good people, assumed that after the Wall came down, the remaining Cold War concrete that had passed would have become liquid. Suddenly, after years of state repression, a failing “socialist” model of a (supposed) “worker and peasant state”, whose political leadership was the name Karl Marx with total misinterpretation through a state-organized abuse of Marxist ideology and the real implementation of a totalitarian regime raped – everything seems possible …

All of this was thanks to the people of the “German Democratic Republic”, which had in fact been settled since 1989. A man who, as a convinced communist, came with the best of intentions with an outstretched hand: the then general secretary of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev. The man who coined the historical terms of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (remodeling), which, as is well known, should describe the direction of Mikhail Gorbachev’s intended reforms. Glasnost – this meant an openness of the state’s leadership towards the population, real freedom of the press and an end to censorship. Glasnost also meant freedom of speech and expression for everyone. For the first time, the public learned about the true, catastrophic economic situation in the country. Detained critics of the regime were released. The oppression of the churches has ended and demonstrations have been allowed. Perestroika – translates remodeling or remodeling. The social, political and economic system was rebuilt. The Soviet Union should become a democratic state. It should be released from its deadlocked structures in order to ultimately bring the country’s economy forward again. First, the planned economy was relaxed by giving the companies more participation. A comprehensive perestroika program was announced in January 1987. The Soviet reforms also gave people in the GDR hope for change. However, the SED regime, an incorrigible Stalinist cadre party led by its general secretary Erich Honecker, rejected Glasnost and Perestroika and stuck to the party’s course. The SED saw its claim to leadership at risk and feared opposition, but above all free elections.

Gorbachev only had no idea that some Western strategists, whom he trusted in something, only shook his hand so that he could turn his arm on his back. And, as some “Wessis” concede self-critically today, they thought like the naive Ossis: Now everything will be fine! But once again the calculation was made without the forces that were already at work, namely the capitalist power elites, who guaranteed never believed in social romanticism and who, like the “hot brides” after the “victory” in the Cold War, make fat prey as well as the liquid cement mentioned after the fall of the wall, in a new, solely and capitalistically predefined form. And that in a unipolar world in which only the United States would rule, an economically equivalent globe that should experience the thousand-year-old empire of neoliberalism in all its negative forms and with all its consequences (and continue to do so) – and that has been avoided to this day nothing changed, on the contrary! We all experience this “unity regime”, which is not new to us, and which has even been able to stabilize to this day. To make further efforts to use Lichtenberg’s introductory quote as a metaphor: the (supposed) sunrise, which was supposed to open up the view of “blossoming landscapes” to East German people, who had had to experience so much darkness by then, a sun that these, however, with their own Just blinded the sun’s rays. So that not only them, but actually all of us, we citizens of the EU, in addition to the German Ossis and Wessis, getting up should be as difficult as possible.

Which means nothing else than that we all have to submit to the neoliberal dictation! These neo-liberal or ultra-liberal forces of the various elites of capitalism ‘started implementing their plans long before the fall of the Berlin Wall, while the (supposedly) liberated, even redeemed, East German people were still partying. In any case, more and more East German intellectuals are now counting on the “bought revolution” (not only from their point of view) and rightly demand that something completely new could have emerged from the ruins of the former “GDR”, a “third way”, a true democratic one Socialism, yes a social-ecological course correction, which many Europeans would actually like to see, too, and thus the exit from the neoliberal wrong-way path into which jungle capitalism has ultimately led us. And this concerted opposition as a united citizens’ movement is in itself only a collective human reaction to what industrialization and western capitalism have brought with it. A fatal mistake that is increasingly recognized and commented on accordingly. For the people concerned, the much-quoted “turning point” has made sold-out East Germany the conquered part of the republic of the Federal Republic of Germany that is now united, a country that fully corresponds to the defined political pattern of the raw capitalist West. What did the people of East Germany actually experience? The smooth transition from a right-wing dictatorship to a left-wing dictatorship, from National Socialism to Stalinism – it couldn’t be worse! But – what are they experiencing now in the real-existing next “-ism”, namely neoliberalism?

A traumatized people. “The snow of yesterday is the deluge of today”, a work by the German author Daniela Dahn, is one of the recommended books in the logic of a settlement with the then completed, but never in real German “unity”, a book , which describes the history of reunification as a sad story of ever narrowing options for action, betrayed dreams and stifled impulses to start. If you read other authors, they agree on one point in particular: the “Wessi” is still a much more present enemy image in eastern Germany than the “refugee”. The ruling political class is responsible for this, above all the “Wessis” of their guild and this because of their (market) historically grown and educated capitalist attitude – which is unfortunately still depicted as “without alternative”. If they were honest, they would inevitably have to admit that their antisocial values ​​were indeed very successfully “conveyed” and unfortunately still are, while the East German values, such as solidarity and society, were only tiredly ridiculed in a healthy way as a basic Marxist virtue , And this is exactly where the approach to a real “turn” would have been. Instead of orienting itself towards this (it was not all about and bad in the “GDR”!), The capitalist economy has achieved its goal because of the neoliberal political concepts of market-conforming “democracy” that actually exist in the market. And where does Germany stand today – from a socio-political perspective? In front of a shamble that is shamelessly and completely value-free exploited by a right-wing dangerous AfD, a nationally oriented collective movement of all right, Nazis or quite simply all dissatisfied or outraged (to understand in the negative understanding of the word), which the people’s parties have so demonstrated, that this year they find themselves in the deepest crisis of their partisan existence – and who are in danger of extinction! And yet the ruling (people’s) parties of all of Germany continue to act as if they have nothing to do with it. As if they were not only politically responsible with their policies of the neoliberal wrong way from trust through Agenda 2010 or bank rescue, and also for what is going on in society, namely increasing selfishness, social coldness and brutalization, in short for everything in Germany today the wide range of topics of everyday debate determines.

A tragedy of capitalist-neoliberal politics, which, however, is not limited to Germany as a matter of fact, as can unfortunately be ascertained today because of the state of the EU as a critical, mature citizen.

Learn from Germany? As a deterrent example in the context envisaged here?

In fact, we should draw the political and social conclusions that emerge and finally take the step towards the third way of a socially and ecologically oriented economy in a real people’s democracy … the time has come!

Let us endeavor in the sense of the title of this contribution John 19:17:


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