The Green movement in Germany advocates a contradictory socio-political agenda. On the one hand, they affirm an absolute individualism that celebrates self actualization for innumerable, biologically non-existent gender variants, and on the other hand, they push for a globalist policy of mandated tolerance. However, despite this contradiction, it is safe to say that it logically follows that the movement opposes all intermediary institutions, from the family to the nation-state, religion to Western culture.
This is why environmentalists, who were first and foremost anti-capitalists, fully came into their own in the fight against global climate change. They find the West’s traditional understanding of the balance between the individual and the community ‘disgusting’ because it stands in the way of both a radical unleashing of the individual and the enactment of globalist fantasies.
According to the Green movement, any policy oriented towards the survival of humanity, consumer interests, and even of the socially weak, is morally illegitimate if it harms the ecosphere. Instead, this ideology cultivates a megalomaniacal sense of responsibility towards humanity in the abstract; ironically this sentiment relieves globalists of any responsibility for local and concrete concerns.
The Green movement prefers to appeal to global moral imperatives, rather than undertaking the practical responsibilities of caring for Germany’s environment. For example, the Green minister for the environment had plenty of time to critique other nations’ environmental policies but showed no concern for retention basins and functioning warning systems during the Ahr Valley’s 2021 flood crisis.
As a result of this attitude, the political coordinates in Germany have become so extreme that any focus on local and regional interests is denounced as protectionism and any concern with national interests is condemned as nationalism. Self-assertion by a region or nation is now considered right-wing and therefore evil. This reflects the contempt for borders that is part of leftist cosmopolitanism. The fight against the region and the nation has become the Left-Green movement’s most urgent domestic political task.
Any discussion of the possible advantages of local protection over global openness is prevented, and punishment for dissent is being steadily increased. The Maoist principle of “punish one, educate a hundred” has proven so effective that anyone who hopes to advance professionally or academically runs a great risk in opposing the Left’s agenda.
This new ‘open society’ is defended, not against its external enemies, but against those who demand more protection for their own nation and community. National discourse has disappeared as openness to the world has increased. The pseudo-religious readiness for self-sacrifice is based on the belief in the universality of progress—a kind of profaned ‘providence.’ Instead of accepting self-responsibility, the Left believes that external responsibility prevails over all concerns, most especially those of their homeland.
The government and academia
As free speech is eroding under leftist pressure, society is falling prey to the rhetoric of the ‘terrible simplifiers.’ These are the politicians who, because they lack the competence necessary for their roles, simulate intelligence by adopting ideologies from the ivory tower. This adoption allows them to interpret almost all facts through a moralizing lens. As a result, issues that require in-depth conversation and compromise are reduced to black-and-white moral judgements.
Because the government is entangled with academia, it is only logical that the decline of one correlates to the decline of the other. The mutual protection of these oligarchies increasingly undermines the effective use of authority. Even in Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, the prevailing constitutional-law professors have been replaced by party soldiers.
Meanwhile, the academic class has advanced to the highest offices in government. Alexis de Tocqueville characterized democracy as the “rule of the mediocre,” which was not meant pejoratively. In the current intellectual oligarchy, however, solid mediocrity threatens to become the exception. Academics do not tolerate the presence of the ‘regular’ and the mediocre.
This retreat into ideology threatens the assumption upon which parliamentary democracy is based: that in dispute of opinions, fact takes precedence. Only with the primacy of the actual issue does parliamentary debate have fundamental value for the state. Frank discussion of concrete problems with the aim of solving them are the key elements in government decision-making. However, our oligarchs are looking for conflict-free and ideologically satisfying solutions. This is apparent in the government’s response to economic issues through artificial money multiplication. This choice is justified by the false idea that the state can save itself the trouble of creating capital through value creation. This is only one of many examples.
This oligarchic takeover has sparked a resurgence of so-called populism, in which people advocate for German interests. However, the Left seeks to paint this appeal to the primacy of the people as a renewal of ‘völkisch,’ the ethno-nationalist ideology associated with the Nazis. This slanderous accusation against populous movements has given the Left sufficient grounds to exclude them from national conversation.
Global and local synthesis
However, the tides are turning against the idealism of the globalist oligarchs. China’s blatant challenge to the West and Russia’s nefarious war of aggression on Ukraine have dashed hopes for a rules-based and values-supported world order. Dangers that have long been merely abstract, are now a very present threat. This has caused panic, but it also presents us with an opportunity to cultivate bipartisan reflection and discussion.
We now must acknowledge that we face a transition from the decline of Western culture to the decline of Western civilization. Civilization as the sum of all functional systems can hold out for some time after its cultural preconditions have deteriorated. However, the West’s tradition is so weakened that it must be our focus. In order to fortify our civilization, we must revive our culture.
To achieve this, we need a new class of elites, formed through education and socialization. Ultimately, we need nothing less than a new cultural revolution sustained by a bourgeois that innovates through conservation. This will be accomplished by reclaiming the central elements of our culture: national identity, the family, our Christian roots, European heritage, cooperation with nature, and true human freedom.
In what Olaf Scholz calls a “turning point in time,” new forms of local and national self-assertion are appearing throughout Europe. Social Democrats in Denmark want to secure the welfare state by tightening asylum laws, and the Bundestag has approved “special funds” to strengthen Germany’s armed forces. This is all an indication of the shift that is taking place. In the face of Russian aggression, Green pacifists have become the most ardent supporters of arms deliveries. When former conscientious objectors in the German government, like the chancellor and vice-chancellor, advocate national self-determination for Ukrainians, it is no longer tenable for them to deny this to their own nation.
A similar shift is inevitable for globalists when the consequences of migration flows begin to overwhelm their aims of coexistence. They will have to ask themselves many difficult questions: Is the protection of the national welfare state left-wing or right-wing? Is gender equality versus Sharia liberal or conservative? The old terms no longer help us to understand the issues of the day. The most important distinction now runs between globalists and protectionists. The continuing reference to the old Left to Right coordinate system hinders us in our search for a middle ground between the local and the global.
But in the end, these opposites will also have to be synthesized, as has already happened in the conflict between capital and labor in the market economy. Once local and global perspectives are brought into dialogue, we will have the tools to properly address many issues facing our country. For example, our aging societies need both immigration and the welfare state; managed migration that will help address this issue requires controlled forms of openness and differentiated forms of protection. The comparative cost advantages in free trade are indispensable for the development of prosperity, but we should compromise on the limits of global competition in favor of local production.
The contradiction between national and universal interests in Europe, which divides the protectionists and the globalists, can also be resolved through self-assertion. Small nation-states can too easily become mere appendages of imperial power blocs. However, instead of withdrawing from alliances that have hitherto been too open to the world, the aim should be to transform them into alliances that limit themselves and protect each member. This not only serves the member states, but will also strengthen our union. Only a strong Germany contributes to what President Macron calls a “Europe that protects,” and conversely, only a strong Europe can protect Germany.
National fears over weakening sovereignty could be eased by adopting subsidiary structures. Again, this would strengthen the EU. The more support the EU needs for external issues, the more responsibility it should leave to the nation states internally.
Globalism and nationalism could balance each other out in a new structure defined by its capacity to deal with real-world problems. This would also allow us to fit into a multipolar world. Mutual containment, coexistence, and cooperation among the power poles would transition us from a failed global order to a functioning multipolarity.
European neighbors give Germany an example of what must be done in the face of failed globalism. Their willingness to protect their borders could save the Germans from themselves. But why are the Germans proving so particularly out of touch with reality?
In addition to the traditional German predisposition to romanticism, which is reflected today in a naive view of global utopian coexistence, there is also the fact that Germany has been economically prosperous for decades. Prosperity and security have atrophied the sense of necessity and self-assertion. The good life is now considered a natural right, without an awareness of our duty to preserve what has been painstakingly achieved by our ancestors.
Emerging hardships could bring more conflict, but also a new humility and gratitude. When we are confronted with our limits and our inability to build a utopia, concern for our own will again be recognized as a moral duty.
After all the deconstruction, the reconstruction and self-assertion of our order must begin.