The Red-Green Instruments of Discursive Dominance

The following essay was published last Sunday in Die Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung. It begins with a report on left-wing outrage about PEGIDA, and then segues to the latest news on the Greek debt crisis.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Let’s Stick With Our Own Kind

March 15, 2015

Why the CDU must not meet with PEGIDA, how painstaking Green co-option was, and why the Greeks are cursing us out —

The week in review with Hans Heckel

This will not do! Saxony’s Greens are outraged — the CDU, it came out a few days ago, is talking with that bunch from PEGIDA. Can the CDU do that? Of course not!

“Dialogue” requires respect for other opinions, but “many PEGIDA followers cannot tolerate contradiction of their own opinion,” is the word in a Greens proclamation in the Dresden legislature. Well, the Greens are right about that — the PEGIDAs avoid any dialogue with their opponents. Here is an example from the Frankfurter Rundschau on the leftist attempts to open a dialogue at the most recent demonstration of PEGIDA followers on the Main River: “Leftist activists blocked the route, dragged waste containers and construction barricades into the street. Police and PEGIDA sympathizers were bombarded with bottles and stones. A PEGIDA marcher was hit in the face and [she] left with a freely bleeding wound.”

And there you have it. The PEGIDA follower “left” with a heavily bleeding wound. She just left, instead of waiting for a skull fracture or a broken arm. She just exudes intolerance from every vein.

And that is not all that the Greens have to say about the dark doings of the CDU. A “one-sided dialogue with PEGIDA members” is a blow in the face for those who have for years been doing great service to the community in initiatives, organizations, churches and parties and in helping refugees. “A blow in the face” — nice image to go with the incident in Frankfurt.

“One-sided dialogue” isn’t bad either. As the first syllable, “di,” denotes, two sides are necessary for” a “dialogue” or it is a monologue. The Greens have come up with something revolutionary with “one-sided dialogue” — or pure nonsense.

But that’s not really the crux of the matter. The danger the Greens in Saxony have caught wind of is not nonsense; it is very real. In the organizations, initiatives and churches, the people who have the say are almost exclusively those whose ideas are in sync with the Greens. So it is clear in advance how a “dialogue” will go. Presumably that is where the party got the idea of a “one-sided dialogue.”

And at the end, you can maintain that you had a “broad dialogue with civil society,” and see yourself as practicing a funky kind of direct democracy, even though you have been palavering with your own kind of folks. But if a dissident thinker lets out a peep, all the others are solidly against the villain. And if he doesn’t shut his yap, there will be hell to pay, as countless reports of such “dialogues with citizens” testify.

But this omnipotence didn’t come cheap. The conquest of the organizations and churches, the building up of initiatives, took decades. And here come these PEGIDAs, insolently marching right past the carefully erected Red-Green instruments of discursive dominance, and the CDU actually talks with them. This is how a whole network of leftist power projection gets shaky. That is the cause of the sincere outrage of the Greens. That is why the sanctified hatred directed at PEGIDA. If citizen initiatives can (again) bypass the Green-dominated organizations, was not all that work for nothing?

How painstaking the co-option was is visible in the “German Islam Conference.” At first, quite a few contrarians were active here, like the author Necla Kelek — a Muslim of Turkish ancestry, secular, worldly and liberal.

She really irritated the orthodox Islamic societies and their German friends. She demands integration, genuine religious tolerance (i.e., also from Muslims toward non-Muslims) and does not have much time for the head-scarf. In other words, she is an uneducable provocateur who disturbs dialogue.

Meanwhile, fortunately, people of Kelek’s ilk have mostly been purged from the panel. In contrast, groups like “The Association of Islamic Culture Centers” (VIKZ) are still at the table, where they are concerned with the lack of open-mindedness in the majority population.

As nowadays in Neu-Ulm, where it occurs to Muslim students to claim that “You Christian” is a really bad insult, or to say “Jews are at the same level as pigs.” Or the dear young things say that “Christians must be killed” and that the victims of Islamist attacks deserved their deaths.

Where do the little nippers get that? According to reports by school interns, the nastiest comments come from the children who attend VIKZ facilities. Uh oh! Shouldn’t that be a subject for the “Islam Conference”? No, nothing to see here. Better to shine a light on the background of the Islam-hostile accusations against VKZ. After all, a spokesman for the VKZ mosque in Neu-Ulm has said in the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper that he could not understand how the children came to make such dubious statements.

There you have it! Now the Islam Conference can in good conscience devote itself to the far more urgent subject of “Open-mindedness and Tolerance” and at last discuss measures to overcome the baseless mistrust confronting Islamic organizations in Germany.

There must be greater efforts to promote trust. Trust, after all, is the basis for a better, more diverse world, in which people live together in solidarity. It is only on trust that our common house “Europe” is built.

And that is how we trusted that our Hellenic friends only applied for as much in EU subsidies as they were entitled to. A young Greek-German is surprised, in an essay that is flitting through the internet, that the farmers of Crete have declared so many olive trees for subsidy from EU funds, that “they could plant half the Mediterranean.”

Was our trust abused? Didn’t anyone think of that? Are they really that stupid there in the EU? Take it easy. Certainly someone thought of that. But accusing the Greeks of deceit would have offended against the basis of trust; and cutting back the deviously obtained subsidies would have made public a shocking lack of solidarity. That is not in harmony with the “European spirit.”

We’ve gotten used to the insanity. But now something we didn’t expect is blowing up in our faces. Instead of humbly begging forgiveness for deceiving us about the olives, as they deceived us upon entering the EU, the Greeks are showering us with accusations. Because we allowed them to deceive us, we are now the origin of their misery! It takes a while to understand that.

Let’s make this personal. Someone has been ripping you off for years, borrowing huge sums from you that he can’t repay, and is living it up at your expense, until — unavoidably — he ends in a financial fiasco. Now he comes by and denounces you bitterly for letting him deceive you, which, of course, is why he did not learn how to do business properly. Then this weasel demands more money. And now comes the most absurd thing of all. You give it to him and promise more help, while he goes on snarling at you. That’s how it feels to be Germany.

For links to previous articles about PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) and related movements, see the PEGIDA Archives.

6 thoughts on “The Red-Green Instruments of Discursive Dominance

  1. “Trust, after all, is the basis for a better, more diverse world, in which people live together in solidarity.”

  2. Hmm… Prior to the Euro, the strength of the Deutschmark made German goods (and very good they were) too expensive for the corrupt, non-taxpaying peasants of the South.

    So the Germans pushed the Euro, and the Greeks bought SUVs which they now can’t afford to run. Remarkably short-sighted for such a deep, thoughtful, responsible nation as the Germans. Plus they still owe Greece for their gold reserves, stolen by the Nazis.

    Yes, it’s an over-simplification, and the Greeks and others should pay their taxes, and I love the Germans and their culture, but they really should take some responsibility for the situation.

    • I never did understand why the industrial powerhouses of Europe wanted Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal to use the Euro…
      It didn’t make any sense and it makes less sense now.

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