An Alternative for Germany

There was a time when the Greens were called the Alternatives in Germany. But now there is an alternative to the alternatives that, what a great stroke of imaginativeness, calls itself the “Alternative for Germany”, the AfD. So, unless it’s like two negatives making a positive, meaning that the new alternative is only the opposite of the green alternatives and therefore re-Establishment, and therefore nothing new, it bears trying to find out what the alternative is. To paint things in the right colors: The Greens were an alternative in left field. Remember, green = yellow and blue, the colors the German Liberals used to be made of. Well, the Liberals are of course now completely blue, as they have disappeared. Possibly, because they were so yellow and insisted on proclaiming the ‘fun society’ instead of politics). Leaving the parliamentary majority with the centrist Blacks (conservatives) and weak reds (Social Democrats). One might be forgiven guessing the alternative now must be on the right, to the right of the right – which, if one went full circle would be back on the Left. Yes, this being alternative thing can be quite confusing.

Why should Germany need an alternative, let alone an alternative to the alternatives? After all, the Black&Grand Coalition (grand as in large majority, grand as in pompous) is doing a great job in terms of steering the great central European state down the channel to further prosperity, piloted by manuals written by social market economists. The government has ensured it has set the lights on Green light for growth and stability, and that is what the majority of the population seems to want, otherwise they wouldn’t have voted so overwhelmingly for the Black&Red heavyweight tanker in the general elections.

Anti-European EMPs

Now, state elections are a different matter altogether, and are traditionally the place where people have a dig at the political establishment. Recently this fact has been borne out once again as there have been no less than three state elections, all of them in east German states, first in Saxony, and then a couple of Sundays later in both Brandenburg and Thuringia. In all three at least 10% of those who voted did so in favor of the Alternative for Germany. (Mind you, the turn-out was admittedly pitifully low, as evidently on Sundays people have other things to do in east Germany than recollect that since 1989 they’ve been allowed to vote any way they want.) And the pundits, the TV experts, the political journalists next day, they were all shocked, stunned, gob-smacked… the whole caboodle.

It is worth noting here that the AfD narrowly missed out on a few seats in the federal parliament, having run mainly on an anti-euro platform, but ironically bagged a few slots in the Strasbourg EU Parliament, complaining that it does not believe in the need for such a parliament. Something also worth remembering it that the AfD has not been around for much more than two years, and the man who founded it and spearheads it in Strasbourg is therefore indeed a lucky man. Which is hardly surprising, since that’s his name. Bernd Lucke.

Authoritarian Germans no doubt all sat up and noticed that yes at long last their wish had come true and a real-life prof was leading a political party. What is more, he had to be right, as he is an esteemed professor of macroeconomics and therefore the kind of guy you believed on TV. No, his name is not actually pronounced Burnt Lucky, just as Farage is not pronounced “far age” as in something from a very distant past. But they have certain things in common. And no doubt the two of them cavort in Strasbourg at politico-business lunches together comparing pass notes. Yes, the two rabid anti-EU-EMPs wasting our money on the expenses for being anti in the EU– that’s the price of democracy….

Like Farage, of course Lucke doesn’t say what the EU does for us, has done for us, could do for us. In fact, the party manifestos for all three afore-mentioned state elections fail to comment positively on the subject at all. No, Lucke is compelling (once-only) TV talk show viewing, when he rants in professorial manner about what the EU doesn’t do for us. How it’s all technocrats or bureaucrats and they are eating up our money. How the EMU robs Germany of its sovereignty and its ability to budget properly. How there are all these non-austere Southerners who evidently can’t get a handle on their debts. (He neglects to mention that Germany bust the Maastricht treaty first, and big time, and that the Southerners didn’t start Kraut-bashing.) And for all his cleverness on occasion I get the feeling he and his party conflate the EMU and the EU.

Misconception of the EU

Now Lucke came good first up by campaigning against the EU outlawing the good old tungsten filament light bulb. And lucky we are that he ran a campaign against it after stockpiling countless thousands of them in the cellar. (Yepp, those professorial cellars are damn large). For, a highly modern man, through the Web he offered to sell them to us poor EU-tormented individuals who simply could not adapt to their successors. Enabling us to protest against the EU’s incursion on our civil liberties, those technocrats who imposed energy-saving lamps and then LEDs on us.

The AfD did not discuss whether we should save energy or not, as it’s heavily into burning fossil fuel, and equally heavily into exploiting the hankering for the past instead of talking about the future. So the light bulb was an easy one. Selling crooked cucumbers stockpiled in a cellar might have made less of an impression on your average German citizen and left him in more of a pickle. After all, the cucumber shows how silly all such arguments are. Of course everyone complains about having to buy EU-norm-straight cucumbers, but actually none of us law-abiding citizens are crooked enough to actually like the bent variety – it’s a matter of having the civil liberty to have a boomerang cucumber if we so wish – that’s what makes the West free.

The Alternative for Germany – yes, they’re far age. Things were better in the past. And not just did we have better light bulbs. We decided everything ourselves without Brussels or a Euro note. We did without foreigners, aliens, and refugees. There was little theft. Values were Christian, gays did not marry (assuming they even existed), and abortion was something only practiced in Holland or by illegal Roma immigrants using clothes hangers, one assumed. Well, I’m exaggerating a wee bit, but only just. As the AfD manifestos for the three states do contain a lot of this sort of stuff.

It must be said that Prof. Lucky, if I may call him that, for all his hyper-intelligence, never seems to have read any of them as when challenged on such issues he invariably denies their existence. Instead he welcomes his state election wins with a truly smug self-satisfied smile. Lucke’s look is that of the class wimp who no one ever wanted to pick for the ½-a-class-against-½-a-class soccer match, when even the severely weight-challenged girls got chosen ahead of him – the rationale being at least you could fill the goal mouth with a couple of them, whereas weedy wimp L would invariably own-goal things. No, while Prof. Lucky has not grown significantly since in stature (he still boasts a complete lack of shoulders irrespective of the bespoke suits he wears when preaching evangelism from the pulpit to kids on Sundays which his other penchant), but he has real spine, that we know. He stands up tall for ideas that are RIGHT.

The same stance is adopted by his side-kick, his National no. 2, who is actually a was-been-come-good from the 1980s CDU in Hessen, a man who Walter Wallmann used as his front desk officer until deciding Johnny Walker would do the trick instead. I am talking about the AfD’s chief candidate in Brandenburg. The man in question goes by the honest name of Alexander Gauland. Now, we all know the Nazis called the federal states gaus, and we all know that the rural countryside is called the land in German, but no, his name has nothing to do with that His name, if one checks out his manifesto, goes with the nuclear variant. Gauland couldn’t stop the “I-told-you-so” grin on his face when he won his 10%+. He simply thought he was super. And, yes that is apposite, as actually he is, and should be called Mr. Super-GAU-Land. Nomen est omen, or rather omin-ous. Just what sort of a super-GAU he is as in greatest atomic accident possible can be gleaned from a glance at the manifesto he championed shows – don’t worry, you only need look at the first page to get the gist of where is Gau is coming from.

Free Brandenburg!

The manifesto calls in its headline for the courage to champion a bodenständige free Brandenburg: that’s the earth, that’s back to the earth, that’s back to the past, to the farmers’ life. And it comes pretty much close to revitalizing the Blut-and-Boden mythology they managed to cobble together here after Fontane had finished writing tiringly long novels about the Brandenburg Marches and before the 1945 defeat. The manifesto that Gauland touted started by saying “The politics of recent decades has taken the western world and our country to the limits of what they can endure and to the verge of no longer being able to function.” Hark, ye citizens of Brandenburg, your state has almost ceased to function. The same paragraph goes on to talk about the economic over-exploitation of the natural habitat, the fact that many people are over-strained by having to perform under pressure. Oh, and lest it be forgotten, the constant involvement of Western states in military conflicts, another bugbear, and that despite the lack of funding and the fact that almost all European states are really cash-strapped, European institutions are constantly being expanded and we keep on taking in new member states and discharging international duties.

Well, Mr. Gauland, sorry, you’ve nuked us with so much in that first paragraph that I’m left breathless. But I must admit, on collecting a few thoughts: I haven’t noticed much of this massive EU-expansion. I have admittedly noticed Germany standing up and taking its rightful place on the international stage, and, as an export-driven economy, now also participating in stabilizing the international order. And the state around me seems to be functioning, collecting my taxes, providing me with water and electricity, etc. Indeed, looking through your manifesto, Mr. Gauland, I don’t find any list of the expansion in question.

What I do find, and this really shocks me, is that two sentences later, and still on the first page of your manifesto, you are busy stating in big words that the root of all this evil is that “the economy is geared to the needs of global corporation who monopolize economic power” instead of being nice to us. Well I hate to say it, Mr. Gauland, but some of that I’ve read before, back around 1933, when the global corporations also got lambasted for conspiring against us all, and, dare I say it, being Jewish, too. Back then the claims were also all that the majority of the population was having to bear an awful strain as well…

In case you haven’t noticed it according to the Gaulands of this world that “awful strain” is truly diabolical in the ancient forests of Thuringia. There, the election manifesto found out that wind turbines were trashing the beauty of the countryside and making poor Thuringians pay for national policy fuckups, where a few profit and the “predominant part of the population pays”. The AfD knows why. “The Old Parties claim it is necessary to change our form of energy because of ‘anthropogenic climate change’.” Wait for it, here comes the double-Thuringia-whammy: “The AfD discerns considerable scientific uncertainty as regards the linkage of a long-term forecast climate trend and manmade greenhouse gas emission. The scientific status does not justify…” Like everywhere else, no evidence is given for this statement, no sources cited for such spurious claims. In fact the paragraph closes by saying grandly “a global problem cannot be solved by national or European go-it-alones.“ Of course it can’t, which is why Europe should persuade everyone else how serious the problem is. Or we should bundle Prof. Lucky and Super-GAU onto a plane and send them to somewhere already hard hit by climate change in the Sahel zone. They could do some real help there digging wells.

In the EU but no obligations please

All of this pretty much comes together in the general thinking by the AfD that we should batten down our borders, keep our fossil fuels from oozing out, no doubt, stop the Poles from coming in. Because, hey, the AfD knows that there are masses of criminals out there, lurking, waiting to be nasty. As the Brandenburg manifesto makes very clear. Well, OK, the statistics for crime are actually down, bar a few small towns, and there it is unclear whether the figures for the criminals caught are not because of the fenced traffic going through from elsewhere. But the fears are not. And fears are an easy way of getting votes, and can be stoked and stoked. Like saying there’s no climate change and we can gladly burn coal whenever we so like. Just like Gauland thinks speed traps should be abolished – hey, one of our civil liberties is also to speed as we like. Waste fuel. Burn rubber. Spend our money rather than pay taxes so others spend it. We’re fed up with politicians ‘up’ there who don’t know what the common man wants. We’re common men. We’re here in the beer halls, with our fingers on the pulse of what ordinary Germany wants. (It’s hardly beating for the booze, mind.)

Speaking of beer halls brings us back to colors, the AfD’s campaigning colors: Insipid blue and white – the nationalist colors of Bavaria, Land of the Free, well State of the Free, and Super-Land of the beer halls. Especially in October. But the AfD have hone one better. They’ve added the blood of the earth. The blue-and-white-and-red (Faraga would love those British colors). Maybe, on balance, the dash of red is added for the votes they pinch form the far Leftists who hate international capital, or for the blood of the brains of those who thought they might be an alternative.