Alliance with the left for the stability of the party system

alliance with the left for the stability of the party system

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Liberal Democracy is Considered to Have No Alternatives Not Only at the Parliamentary Level, but also at the Upper-Parliamentary Level – A Commentary

It was only worth a small report that now in Bremen for the first time the Left Party also co-governs in a West German federal state. So far, only in North Rhine-Westphalia had it supported an SPD-led government in parliament. In Hesse in 2008, Andrea Ypsilanti’s coalition with the Left failed not because of the Left Party, but because of her own party’s pro-corporate members of the state parliament. In Saarland, the Greens have given priority to cooperation with the FDP and the CDU over a reform alliance with the SPD and Greens.

To sum up, the Left has never failed to form an alliance with the SPD and the Greens in West Germany, and it was not because of them that the West German premiere only took place now in Bremen.

Shift to the Left of the SPD?

In the SPD, there have been revisions in recent weeks by various top politicians who have described an alliance with the left as a key option. Immediately there was talk of a shift to the left and representatives of capital warned of the resurrection of a new socialism.

How absurd these classifications are can be seen for example with Gesine Schwan. Before 1989, she was considered an SPD right-winger, and even today she proudly professes to have always been an anti-communist, but this does not prevent her from being open to an alliance with the left. Which is not a contradiction, after all, the left is not a communist party by definition. Schwan does not want to talk about a break with the CDU/CSU and meets here with her competitor Ralf Stegner, who has changed from an opponent to a supporter of the current government alliance, but who is also open to an alliance with the left.

Several of the other candidates for the SPD presidency have made similar statements. But now, with Olaf Scholz, those who, as Noske’s heirs 100 years after his bloodbath against rebellious workers and rates, want to prevent the SPD from cooperating with the long-paid administrators of the estate of those who were defeated at the time have come out of hiding. Already other Noske heirs in the SPD are digging in their heels, including Lower Saxony’s Minister President Weil. But the supporters of an alliance with the left have in the meantime also the raison d’etat on their side. Political scientist Wolfgang Schroder put it this way in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio:

But perhaps we need to find a different perspective, because the German party system is in a state of perpetual grand coalition, and that is not only problematic for these two parties in terms of their own profile formation, but it is problematic above all for the voter, because the voter then has hardly any alternative left.

Wolfgang Schroder

But the political scientist also presents the bill that the left has to pay for this:

You can’t continue with the left-wing politics as it was in the past, and you can’t continue with the SPD politics by saying that these are the successors of the SED and we don’t want to have anything to do with them, but you have to think about building bridges.

Wolfgang Schroder

The SPD should no longer see in the left the heirs of the SED, the left should recognize NATO and the EU in its aubenpolitik, in order to be able to play along as a social wing of the crude capitalist unity party, as the political scientist Johannes Agnoli wrote in his well-known work "The Left" "Transformation of democracy" described the development towards depoliticization in the parliamentary-capitalist system. New actors can also be accepted into this unity party, if they agree with the central principles of capitalist democracy. In Germany, this now includes subordination to the markets, NATO and the EU. Schroder also leaves no doubt as to whom an opening to a domesticated left should benefit.

But if you also take the other possibilities into account, there are new, more far-reaching possibilities that could also have a positive effect overall in terms of revitalizing the German party system, because at present we have a party system that is very strongly characterized by the polarization of the AfD and the Greens. But if competition could be developed more strongly in the middle again, and that means between the Greens, the CDU and the SPD, then that would be very positive for the electorate and for the problem-solving ability of this country, in my opinion.

Wolfgang Schroder

One can hardly think of a better confirmation of Agnoli’s theses. A party is fought until it recognizes the essential mechanisms of the capitalist system and is then co-opted to revitalize the parliamentary system. Only a few years ago, the left was demonized as extremists and blamed for everything that went wrong in nominal socialism. This also served to make the party ripe for the center.

How the AfD is to be made fit for coalition

We are now experiencing a similar development in dealing with the AfD. Naturally, conservatives are already looking forward to the day when there will be the first coalition talks with the right-wing party in a German state. But it is still too garig and unpredictable, there are members who are not NATO and EU compliant, but they are all capital compliant, even if they tend to focus on national capitalism.

Currently, the focus is on demonization, and organizations such as the Antonio Amadeu Foundation participate in this when they describe the AfD as a modernized version of the NPD. She also accuses the AfD of being a right-wing party that asks parliamentary questions and is interested in what its opponents are up to, how they finance themselves and with whom they cooperate.

In addition, it also wants to weaken and paralyze its opponents. This is also unsurprising. It was also possible to speak of a confrontation between different factions of civic politics. But various civil society forces are now complaining that democracy and the Basic Law have been attacked.

It is not so long ago that a part of the civil society forces argued fiercely about whether they should kowtow to the Basic Law and distance themselves from groups and initiatives that allegedly do not stand on the ground of the Basic Law. There were even some groups that rejected prices because they were not prepared to do so. The Basic Law was not yet a litmus paper for whether someone was emancipative or left-wing. But now it says in the recommendations of the Amadeu Foundation.

Many institutions are thinking about how to position themselves now against the right-wing radicals and for liberal democracy.

Antonio Amadeu Foundation

Here, the fight against the right is being confused with the advocacy of liberal democracy, and one’s own history and historical experiences are being forgotten. 100 years ago, thousands of workers died in the struggle for a strategic society, and those who set the Freikorps on them hid behind the demands for parliamentary democracy.

If now also civil society groups give the impression that there is no alternative to liberal democracy, this also shows that the processes of integration and co-optation of once oppositional forces, described by Agnoli, applies not only to political parties, but also to civil society and opposition. The forces that are not willing to side with liberal democracy in the fight against the nationalist variant of capitalist rule are now on the defensive, both at the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary level.

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