A Brutal New Germany: What’s Happening to My Country?

Published on Spiegel Online International, a Commentary by Markus Feldenkirchen, Nov 12, 2015.

Germany could approach the refugee crisis without surrendering its civility. But instead, the basest of anti-foreigner sentiment is taking hold in many places. If it continues, we could soon witness an atmosphere of brutality not seen in decades.

Recently, I just returned to Germany after spending a couple of years in the United States as a foreign correspondent. In that time that I’ve been back, I’ve become concerned, wrought with worry that my own country is losing its civility … //

… Base Sentiment:

What has happened to Germany? Does the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees justify forgetting almost everything that used to be important to us? The refugee crisis is, of course, a challenge. Solving it will take time, money and energy. But Germany has all the resources it needs to manage this crisis without surrendering its civility. Instead the mood in the country is akin to a drunken rage of the kind last seen in the beer halls of the 1920s Weimar Republic — that period of crude, uncivilized behavior that paved the way for Hitler’s rise and the most brutal decade in world history.

Then, too, criticism and anxiety wasn’t put forth in the form of discourse. It was expressed in the form of fist fights on the streets. We know today that this culture of brutality played a considerable role in the failure of Germany’s first attempt at democracy. Ultimately, the loud and the brutal severed society’s vulnerable ties. We are obviously not anywhere close to that point today. Those threatening our society today are not in the majority, but there is still a large number of them. The Federal Republic of Germany established a functioning democracy in the decades after Hitler and its people had good reasons to be proud of the country’s political culture. But no one should take it as a certainty that this achievement is safe forever.
It’s also, incidentally, highly paradoxical that many of the people who are expressing this anti-social behavior today have adopted terms like “the cultural nation Germany” or “the land of poets and thinkers” to justify their actions, because nothing would be more shameful to the dead poets and thinkers than the gentlemen who are fueling xenophobic sentiment, issuing orders to fire at refugees or calling for Angela Merkel to be drowned or hanged.

In his “Winter Tale,” the great German poet and thinker Heinrich Heine once wrote: “O how I detest the trumpery set, Who, to stir men’s passion heated, Of patriotism make a show, With all its ulcers fetid.”

(full text).

(Markus Feldenkirchen is a political reporter for SPIEGEL in Berlin and heads the Opinion Desk).

Refugee denying related Links:

Schäuble warns of refugee ‘avalanche’ in dig at Merkel, on Financial Times FT, by Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin, Nov 12, 2015;

Australia Denies Urgent Medical Care to Offshore Refugees, on teleSUR english, by Abby Martin, Nov 11, 2015: Health workers say Australia is denying refugees medical care fearing they would seek legal action against offshore detentions once in the country;

Neoliberal Australia: Reflections from Down Under, on teleSUR english, by Abby Martin, Oct 21, 2015: Neoliberal economic policies, xenophobia, militarism and climate change dominate the modern Australian political context;

WHEN SOLIDARITY FAILS, on IRR, by Liz Fekete *, Aug 27, 2015; In observations made at a side-meeting of the 87th session of the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD),[1] the IRR’s director warned that Europe’s mishandling of the refugee crisis is fuelling racism;

BURGENLAND’S ‘RED-BLUE’ COALITION OF SHAME, on IRR, by Liz Fekete *, July 29, 2015;

* Liz Fekete:

  • on Institute of Race Relations/about IRR.org.uk;
  • on en.wikipedia: Counterjihad resp.  /Counter-jihad ideology … * Executive director of the Institute of Race Relations IRR .., Liz Fekete, has argued that although most of the counter-jihad movement “stops short of advocating violence to achieve their goals”, the most extreme parts share much of Breivik’s discursive frameworks and vocabulary. She counterposits this with more mainstream counterjihadists, that warn of Islamisation as a result of naïvety or indecisiveness, whom she identifies as a source of legitimacy for the former.[20].

(my comment: hardliners of any idea may reflect in a 100% modus: a military reaction, or a love and flower way. Both are immature.
But if both sides of an ideological battle use the military way, only destruction can be the result.
The most difficult way is re-thinking a problem day-by-day.
Forgetting the adversaries fears, thus denying there humanity, transforming them into monsters … the most childish way of all … for both sides

- Heidi);

Other Links:

The Last of His Kind: What Helmut Schmidt Meant to Germany and the World, on Spiegel Online International, by Hartmut Palmer and Gerhard Spörl, Nov 12, 2015 (Photo Gallery): He was respected as chancellor, and adored as elder statesman. Helmut Schmidt’s long and full life made him a historical figure — one who transformed Germany with his deeds and words;

UK: Crickhowell and the tax rebellion, the mouse that roared? on tax justice network, Nov 12, 2015;
[remember: Black tie activists crash HMRC boss’ retirement do HD, 3.38 min, uploaded by Rhetoric Routes, Sept 25, 2012 … HMRC boss Dave Hartnett is the man responsible for cutting dodgy deals with Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and other large corporations that have cost the taxpayer billions in lost revenue.

UK: How Ireland became an offshore financial centre, on tax justice network, Nov 11, 2015;

Acts of Collective Imagination – Notes From the Chief Policy Wonk at America’s Department of Arts and Culture, on yes magazine, by Arlene Goldbard, Nov 11, 2015;

What will people do if they don’t have to work for a living? – Sophie Weiner, on Basic Income Earth Network BIEN, by Toru Yamamori, Nov 11, 2015;

US: Even Big Banks Think Robot Automation Will Lead to Further Income Inequality, on Tech.Mic, by Jack Smith IV, Nov 11;

Un combattant revenu de Syrie demande 100.000 euros à la Belgique, dans HDnet.be, le 6 nov 2015;

Jusqu’à 10.000 euros par jeton de présence – les petits pourboires de nos politiques, dans Blog Estaimpuis, le 6 nov 2015;

(Régime social des indépendants en France) RSI - le point 10 mois après les marches des Pendus, dans l’Essor, par Aline Vincent, le 6 nov 2015: en février 2015, les indépendants descendaient dans le rue pour manifester contre le régime du RSI jugé abusif et opaque. Depuis, le dialogue a été noué et les premiers effets ressentis;

The Celtic Tiger, the Irish banking inquiry and a tale of two booms, on Fools’ Gold blog, by Nick, May 5, 2015;

… und noch dies – Auswandern nach Russland:

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