Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nostalgia for the Socialist State

Our German correspondent maggieTh sends along his translation of a news article, and includes this introductory note.

ÖstaligieToday, the Financial Times Deutschland published the data of an Emnid poll, as given in the Bild-Zeitung.

As of today I know what I have to have fear in Germany. It looks like the Anglo-Saxon nations shouldn’t have left this inherently socialist nation in 1949, but rather remained for at least two generations and trained this country in a free economy.

Since the breakdown of the debt-ridden German (and EU) economy is going to occur even if it takes a few years, the road to serfdom is clear to see and seems inevitable.

Note: Emnid is a very reputable opinion research institute.

I’ve got bad news for maggieTh and anyone else in Germany who thinks the USA would have put a roadblock in Germany’s path to Socialism: we’re heading down the same road to serfdom ourselves. The United States got a later start than Europe, and that’s why we’re so far behind, but Obama has put the pedal to the metal to ensure that we catch up as soon as possible.

MaggieTh’s translation:

Majority of Germans want the socialist state

If work, security, and solidarity were provided, up to 80% of German citizens could reconcile themselves the Marxist form of government, according to a poll. It also says that one in twelve is willing to sell his vote.

A large majority of Germans, according to a poll, could imagine living in a socialist state, as long as jobs, solidarity and security were provided.
- - - - - - - - -
The Bild-Zeitung reported that in an Emnid-poll, 80% in eastern Germany and 72% in western Germany agree with this. The value of “freedom” is called an important political goal by only 28% of eastern Germans, but by 42% of western Germans.

The occasion of the survey was the broadcasting on Sat.1 of the two-part film “The Border” [Die Grenze]. One of the results was that one in four people would under certain circumstances support the rebuilding of the wall between West and East Germany. 23% of the East and 24% of West Germans found that “it is sometimes desirable that there the wall were still in place.” 15% (east) and 16% (west), according to the report even think: “Nothing better could happen at all.” According to Bild every seventh East German, and every twelfth West German would sell his vote for €5,000 to a party of any political affiliation.

22 comments:

Blog Master said...

I had to take that article with a pinch of salt.If everyone in America had a job, security etc, then would it matter what it was called, everyone would love it. If I said to 100 Americans "would you like good jobs, a safe society, and one where people are equal before the law, but its a monarchy", most would go for it.

The German economy is much more stable and productive that either the British or American models. Neither of these states make anything, and both have driven growth by reckless borrowing, no doubt that entreprenurial freedom is important, but a level playing field is more important. Business under the Anglo model is skewed towards the largest companies, the ones who corrupt actions have plagued Wall st for the last thirty years.

The small business owner is hung out to dry, if he complains he is told that it is the "free market". That phrase has become a defence code for corruption in Wall St. It is like calling someone a Racist, if you shout he is a commie, or anti "free market", it is a smear.

doom-and-gloom said...

Blog Master,

I doubt as many Americans would so easily agree to concede their freedom and democracy for the promise of a good job and security. Freedom is a fundamental, indeed a foundational, value in the US.

"The value of “freedom” is called an important political goal by only 28% of eastern Germans, but by 42% of western Germans."

I believe a solid majority of Americans would call freedom an important political goal. In Germany, it seems, even in west Germany, only a minority think freedom is important.

4Symbols said...

In hoc signo vinces

Companys in the U.K. such as BT (British Telecom) are nothing more than institutionally owned state protected monopolies, they are in effect cartels, a strange proposition that is more damaging to the economy than outright public ownership.

Maybe strong antitrust laws are the answer as monopolies kill competition, investment and innovation when they are aided and abetted by the state regulator.

Armance said...

Ostalgie is not as much a longing for the past as dissatisfaction, frustration and disappointment for the present. The reasons behind it are understandable, particularly concerning the Germans. Old-school Marxists were nuts, but the new EU-Marxists are doubly insane. Probably some Germans feel in their heart that old-school Marxists were preferable to millions of Turkish immigrants and paying huge taxes for the failed economies of Greece or Spain. Besides, if you compare Erich Honecker to Joshka Fischer, the latter seems more mentally deranged, including in his Bolshevik ideological loyalties.

I don't excuse the preferance for the old regime, since I lived in one and I hate Communism from the bottom of my heart. But people had huge expectations after the fall of the iron curtain, especially regarding their personal dignity only to find out the the old breed of activists was replaced by a new one, more sophisticated and insidious, but also surpassing the old ones in efficiency. As a proverb in my country says, "he avoided the lake and fell into the well".

Armance said...

Besides, during Communism, people still had hope. We knew that somewhere after the iron curtain there was something called "the free world" and it represented our dream and ideal of a better, dignified life. But now, particularly since Obama was elected the American president, the free world has ceased to exist. The old iron curtain was placed physically in the middle of Europe; the new iron curtain is everywhere, like a giant cloud above our heads.

Armance said...

During Communism, my parents were afraid to speak their minds in public and they often advised me "be careful what and whom you talk to at school, because we might get into trouble". And here I am now, in 2010, writing on Internet, but with a false name, because I am afraid. It's a big step forward and thank God for the Internet, but I would have liked to use my real name, because I am not ashamed of it. Impossible. I feel a deep fear only thinking that someone would discover my identity, and even in real life I am very careful what and whom I talk to. In my circle of friends, Geert Wilders is a far right extremist, and that's all. I tried to argue once that he doesn't fit the description, but everybody looked at me as if I was possessed by a demon. Useless to say, I didn't approach the subject again. So much about freedom of speech. I didn't imagine that my parents' advice would be still available after 20 years.

EscapeVelocity said...

Germans are more of a blood and soil type crowd.

Nothing like Americans, who hold higher ideals than tribalism combined with welfare statism. Although the US Left is filled with such creatures.

doom-and-gloom said...

EV,

It's not very fair. The US started as a brand new country based on novel ideas (though many would argue it also has particular cultural roots). European "tribes" have existed for centuries and more and have deep roots of shared history and culture. I think both models have a right to exist and there's no need to artificially impose one over the other.

I think it's quite sad to see an entire People with its unique culture, customs, language, music, literature, art, folk stories, myths, memes, particular sense of humor and general way of life just become extinct. Particularly when it happens against its will. I'm not sure all countries should become replicas of the US. What's wrong with a little diversity? ;-)

Armance said...

Germans are more of a blood and soil type crowd.
Nothing like Americans, who hold higher ideals than tribalism combined with welfare statism.


Glenn Beck, is that you?

kritisk_borger said...

Well, another question that one could ask is this one. Are you willing to sacrifice some of your freedoms in return for guaranteed protection against terrorism and crime?

Let’s say the US government agrees to introduce laws and legislations that will practically eliminate terrorist attacks and drastically reduce crime levels in the US, but in return the government insist on removing some of the freedoms that Americans take for granted.

Would you personally accept your freedom of speech being curtailed if the US government promised to deport all foreign born Muslims and illegal immigrants who currently resides in the US?

laine said...

What is the point of presenting a logically incoherent "choice" even for the purpose of an abstract level of discussion?

"Would you personally accept your freedom of speech being curtailed if the US government promised to deport all foreign born Muslims and illegal immigrants who currently resides in the US?"

It's the same crowd (Left)promoting both Muslim immigration and interests and curbs to freedom of speech.

To flip it around, conservatives want to conserve freedom of speech so they can among other concerns make the case for stopping Muslim immigration and are perfectly willing to let Muslims object (verbally). In the end, the best idea should win and Muslims simply cannot make a case that they are a net benefit to the USA or any western country for that matter. Any hardworking well educated individuals among them can easily be replaced by equally accomplished people from cultures that don't want to annihilate ours.

laine said...

As for Germans, they've now chosen two forms of socialism, nazism with an imperialistic dictator and presently the placid cud-chewing variety that prizes entitlements and order over messy freedom.

In addition, East Germans wore communist shackles for decades, long enough to miss them now as living under communism warps weaker characters permanently. The communist mentality is to be willing to eat sawdust as long as your neighbor can't have anything better (if he does, you snitch on him). Of course, the ruling class is always an exception. Willing peasants must have their kings.

The first spark the phlegmatic German workhorses of Europe has shown is recently when they rebelled mildly at subsidizing better entitlements for the prodigal Greeks than they have for themselves.

Meanwhile, the socialist plague reached America's shores through marxist rats deserting Europe's sinking ship and infesting academia, spreading outward from there to dominate public education and the media entertainment complex. With over 50 years of hard left indoctrination, they've managed to infect half the population (Obama voters). Much depends on whether the other half can keep the spark of freedom alive against great odds. If not, we are headed for another Dark Ages.

Armance's point is well taken. America's beacon gave hope to the oppressed under communism and other tyrannies. If she becomes just another socialist backwater, there is no out, no escape. She is/was? unique in the world.

Henrik R Clausen said...

If work, security, and solidarity were provided, up to 80% of German citizens could reconcile themselves the Marxist form of government, according to a poll.

Crap, as if Germans have not experimented sufficiently with Socialism already!

kritisk_borger said...

Laine

I don’t think the scenario is abstract at all, and it’s certainly not any more abstract than the scenario presented in the main article, nor is it any more unrealistic than what some GOV commenters have suggested on previous threads by advocating civil war in the western world as the answer to deal with Muslim minorities.

As time slowly passes and the situation in regards to illegal immigration becomes more unmanageable and radical Islamists gain ground, it’s not that unlikely that various political parties in the USA and Europe will suggest the introduction of laws which by today’s standards will seem undemocratic to try and deal with those issues. And my question was, will the majority of voters accept this or will they reject it and choose democracy as we know it today.

R. Hartman said...

A large majority of Germans, according to a poll, could imagine living in a socialist state, as long as jobs, solidarity and security were provided.

Isn't the major flaw of a socialist state that jobs, solidarity and security are NOT provided, at least not in any meaningful sense?

People in the former DDR lived in fear for the Stasi, they had no job, no money, no car, no food, no nothing. Having a job in socialism means slavery; 50% of the people digging ditches, the other 50% filling them up again. It keeps you occupied, but it amounts to nothing.

It won't get you any money, and if you have money there's nothing you can buy (unless you're part of the ruling 'elite', that is, with access to foreign 'black markets').

So the whole poll is ridiculous from the outset; it's a major contradictio in terminis. If Emnid is a very reputable opinion research institute, it makes me wonder where its reputation came from. PC?

Henrik R Clausen said...

Isn't the major flaw of a socialist state that jobs, solidarity and security are NOT provided, at least not in any meaningful sense?

Yes.

Socialism is fraudelent.

It doesn't work, cannot be made to work, and any attempt to enforce it is doomed to end in despotism. The 20th century has much more than 100 million victims to show for that statement. Only Islam is worse - but that's over 1400 years of time.

The core of Socialisms failure is the denial of human values. If we are not free to value things and exchange goods & services based on our subjective values, everything of value is eventually drained from society. National socialists in Germany managed that in a mere 12 years, while Russians, with their skill in getting along in spite of the system, took 70 years to run their country down. But in the end, they did a more exhaustive job than the Germans, at least what concerns the environment.

Ludwig von Mises, in his 1925 classic Socialism (full book as free pdf here), analyzed socialism and related ideologies early on.

It's a wonderful book, large, but full of very interesting philosophical passages, like the chapter The Social Order and the Family. Mises was a philosopher as well as an economist.

In the current situation, we need to kill off the resurgent socialism in the US, as long as the long-dormant in Europe. Solid defense of private property is the key.

bartholomewscross said...

EV wrote,
"Germans are more of a blood and soil type crowd.

Nothing like Americans, who hold higher ideals than tribalism combined with welfare statism. Although the US Left is filled with such creatures."


So, if acknowledging the importance of tribes/nationality is "tribalism"...

then is acknowledging the importance of sex/gender "sexism"?

It's true that the Nazis took the truth of the historic German tribes and peoples and pushed it much too far. And that was evil.

But you and our generation take the truth of our common descent from Adam and Eve and push that too far. And that too is evil.

What is right and good is that we acknowledge each truth in its right and proper place, as is pleasing to God.

bartholomewscross said...

Mr. Clausen wrote,

"Crap, as if Germans have not experimented sufficiently with Socialism already!

I agree. I have a few German friends my age and younger who, if asked, sympathize with socialist principles. But if you ask them about a socialist state and particularly about the GDR, they are much less enthusiastic.

I will say, though, that the German socialists (the real ones) are no fools. They know they can't openly campaign as the GDR and they have carefully rebranded themselves. Of course they're pushing the same old tyranny, but much more gradually and, this is key, in step with the rest of the West. That way, there's nowhere left to run.

You don't need a Berlin Wall if there's no West Berlin.

And, EV, ponder for a moment if you will, just how much easier it might be for the socialists to accomplish this in a world without national sentiment or meaningful boundaries. You might disdain the nationalists, but they have this in their favor: they will never consent to a global world order.

sheik yer'mami said...

Socialism is the biggest fraud on humanity. Islam is the biggest lie in history. Global warming is the biggest scam in history.

Just how fraudulent can be seen in this essay here:


http://www.pi-news.org/2010/03/eurabia-the-planned-islamization-of-europe/

Well worth publishing, Baron!

Dave said...

My wife is from Russia, and her parents still live there. Her dad even showed me his Communist Party membership card, and he still thinks Lenin was a great man.

I get the impression that the Soviet Union was generally liked, or at least accepted as legitimate, by its Russian citizens. It was not so loved by non-Russians, but their grievances were more ethnic than economic.

Life in the Soviet Union was a free lunch. So what if you had to wait in line two hours to buy groceries? You could do your shopping during work hours and still get paid.

My father-in-law Igor recently got a call from an old friend who moved to Germany. The man boasts what great food he eats, how much beer he can drink, and it's all free! Igor's son also emigrated, after marrying a girl who was one-quarter German. Her whole family now lives comfortably without working or speaking German. The wonders of socialism never cease.

MarshallJukov said...

""""I’ve got bad news for maggieTh and anyone else in Germany who thinks the USA would have put a roadblock in Germany’s path to Socialism: we’re heading down the same road to serfdom ourselves.""""

Socialism is not a serfdom, actualy its a true freedom. When you have free medicine, education, vacation, housing. Low expenses and prices. High income and faith in decent future. No debt and central banking.

Germans is one of "western" nations who experienced Socialism and their opinion is solid.

USA however does NOT moving to Socialism - its a police state with 14 million arrests per year, TSA scanners and such. You moving towards advanced form of faschism - CORPORATISM.

Socialism is Socialism when its Socialism for everyone, NOT when there is socialism for RISH and capitalism for everyone else.

MarshallJukov said...

To Dave:
There is no free lunch in Socialism.

"free wonders" in Socialism paid by income made on MEANS OF PRODUCTION THAT BELONG TO SOCIETY. And benefits work for ENTIRE SOCIETY, NOT just for small group of megawealthy individuals. Thats the reason for example why there was no homeless or unemployed in USSR and DDR - home and work was guaranteed by Constitution.