‹ Zurück zur Übersicht
Depositphotos.com | IgorVetushko | Demokratie

© Depositphotos.com | IgorVetushko

Defending democracy

Once again, hundreds of thousands are taking to the streets against xenophobia, deportation, right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism. The protest against the dangers to the democratic order posed by the AfD continues. The resilience of democracy is showing its best side.

The message of today’s civil uprising:

  • Resistance now. Even in the 20th century, dictatorship did not emerge overnight, but gradually. The Nazis did not suddenly appear.
  • Back then, the political fringes became stronger and stronger because the middle classes were asleep.
  • Now, however, a broad centre is turning away from the neo-Nazis in disgust.
  • We are building the firewall against the AfD together, across party lines.

540 social associations and organisations have called for a timely red card to be shown to the enemies of democracy, the sham democrats and the indifferent: From the CDU/CSU to the Left Party, non-partisans and the Greens, trade unions, churches, more and more entrepreneurs who see AfD policies as a threat to our prosperity, grandpas and grandmas against the right, Greenpeace, refugee associations and almost everywhere the Fridys for Future movement, which is contributing its extensive knowledge of protest organisation. However, this civil uprising is also a challenge for politicians. The AfD is reacting in a recognisably nervous, insecure and contradictory manner, ranting about “fake demonstration photos”.

The creeping radicalisation of the AfD shows that anti-constitutional and far-right views are still and once again deeply rooted in society. So far, the former mainstream parties have blamed each other for the rise of the AfD and largely avoided political debate.

The German constitution provides for a possible ban on an anti-constitutional party. However, such a ban has – so far at least – not been seriously considered by the majority of the ruling class. The main argument was that proceedings before the Supreme Court would “take several years”. But constitutional lawyer Christoph Möllers disagrees in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and estimates that such a ban procedure would take about a year. Möllers has just successfully fought before the Federal Constitutional Court for the NPD ( now “Heimat”) to have its state funding cancelled.

In the three eastern German states of Thuringia, Saxony and Brandenburg, the AfD could receive a third or more of the vote in the elections in the second half of the year, according to today’s polls. This would give the far-right populists a blocking minority and could, for example, ensure that judgeships are no longer filled and institutions are permanently shut down. This was the tactic used in Orban’s Hungary, in Poland by the right-wing PIS party and in Israel under Natanyahu.

Anyone who abuses their fundamental rights “to fight against the free democratic basic order”, according to Article 18 of the Basic Law, loses these fundamental rights. The constitutional state can and should therefore protect itself from its enemies.

Democracy must use legal means to defend itself against an increasingly radicalised AfD. This is the only way Germany can remain multicultural and multi-religious. And protect millions of people with a migration background from deportation. The philosopher and former Minister of State for Culture Julian Nida-Rümelin rightly said in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (26 January 2024): “The argument that an extremist party is either too insignificant or too big to be banned can never be the last word.” And Erich Kästner warned: “You have to crush the rolling snowball. No one can stop the avalanche.”

Should the Bundestag, Bundesrat and Federal Government use the tools provided by the constitution to ban an anti-constitutional party because the mothers and fathers of the Basic Law have learnt from the history of National Socialism? The answer is yes.

If civil society now has the staying power to preserve democracy and the protests continue, then politicians will also have the courage to apply to the Federal Constitutional Court to stop state funding of the enemies of democracy. The state institutions should finally seriously consider a ban procedure. Even the Nazis made fun of the helplessness, despondency and disunity of the Weimar parties. And that is exactly what many AfD politicians are already doing.

Today’s party crisis needs a defensive democracy. The fight against the right needs politicians who are just as courageous as the fight against climate change. Because neo-fascists not only want to abolish democracy, they also deny man-made climate change and the findings of climate science. It is no coincidence that the AfD thinks these two survival issues together. Democrats should do the same. This joined-up thinking will decide the future of us all. It is important that the Fridays for Future movement is at the forefront of the current protests. Björn Höcke, AfD leader in Thuringia, talks about “climate fuss”. The man wants to become Minister President of Thuringia and is planning an “epochal change”.

We should also heed the lesson of Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel: “The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.” It is helpful that millions of people are now overcoming their indifference. Weimar failed because of the indifference of the democrats. “Never again” is now.

During my student days in Heidelberg in the sixties of the last century, I learnt that “Bonn is not Weimar”. Today we know: Berlin is not Weimar, but remains susceptible to Weimar. But the indifferent, sedate centre now seems to be turning into a committed centre.


Franz Alt 2024 | Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Diese Meldung teilen

‹ Zurück zur Übersicht

Das könnte Sie auch interessieren