20 posts tagged with Germany and politics.
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The fate of Willkommenskultur

Looking back, the events of September 2015 seem strangely unreal. Hundreds of Germans gathered at Munich’s central station to applaud incoming refugees. A smiling Merkel posed for selfies with Syrians at asylum-seeker homes, and ordinary Germans opened their doors for “welcome dinners”. I remember feeling both excited and a little nervous. Something extraordinary was happening and we were there to witness it first-hand ... Germany is [now] bitterly divided on the refugee question. Neighbours and families are divided. The poisonous atmosphere has been fuelled by rightwing hatemongers. But the adherents of the Willkommenskultur, in my view, are also to blame. Where did it all go wrong?
Konstantin Richter writes in the Guardian on the fate of Germany's Willkommenskultur towards Syrian refugees. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on Apr 1, 2016 - 22 comments

"And when you let them in, you don't grimace"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who built a barbed wire fence around his country to keep out the migrants, was also [at a Brussels summit]. He saw, and enjoyed, seeing [Angela] Merkel in a fix. He took the floor and said: "It is only a matter of time before Germany builds a fence. Then I'll have the Europe that I believe is right." Merkel said nothing at first, a person present at the meeting relates. Only later, after a couple other heads of government had their say, did Merkel turn to Orbán and say: "I lived behind a fence for too long for me to now wish for those times to return."
-The Isolated Chancellor: What Is Driving Angela Merkel? by Markus Feldenkirchen and René Pfister of Der Spiegel.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 27, 2016 - 108 comments

Winning the residential race

When it comes to housing, Australia and Berlin are worlds apart. In Australia, as in much of the English-speaking world, housing is treated as primarily a vehicle for investment and wealth creation, a state of affairs which began with the privately-financed speculative building of colonial times, and is firmly entrenched in the culture; 70% of Australians own their own homes, and the “Australian Dream” is still widely held to be home ownership, though these days the home may well be a trendy inner-city apartment rather than the traditional bungalow on a quarter-acre block. In Berlin, however, the vast majority of residents are renters, and they have considerable political clout, as they have had for decades. [more inside]
posted by acb on Nov 23, 2015 - 22 comments

“Nature,” wrote Hitler, “knows no political boundaries.”

Hitler's World by Timothy Snyder [New York Review of Books]
In Hitler’s world, the law of the jungle was the only law. People were to suppress any inclination to be merciful and were to be as rapacious as they could. Hitler thus broke with the traditions of political thought that presented human beings as distinct from nature in their capacity to imagine and create new forms of association. Beginning from that assumption, political thinkers tried to describe not only the possible but the most just forms of society. For Hitler, however, nature was the singular, brutal, and overwhelming truth, and the whole history of attempting to think otherwise was an illusion. Carl Schmitt, a leading Nazi legal theorist, explained that politics arose not from history or concepts but from our sense of enmity. Our racial enemies were chosen by nature, and our task was to struggle and kill and die.
posted by Fizz on Sep 5, 2015 - 50 comments

“The Germans were not there; the Lithuanians did it themselves.”

Double Genocide: Lithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration - by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
"After Lithuanians got independence,” he told me, “we hoped that Lithuania would give us help.” But it was not to be. In one of its very first independent actions, before even fully breaking free of Moscow, Lithuania’s parliament formally exonerated several Lithuanian nationalists who had collaborated in the Holocaust and had been convicted by Soviet military courts after the war. The right-wing paramilitaries who had carried out the mass murder of Lithuania’s Jews were now hailed as national heroes on account of their anti-Soviet bona fides.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jul 30, 2015 - 52 comments

After Capitalism, Humanism

Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jul 2, 2015 - 7 comments

Die PARTEI hat immer recht

On the 25th of May, 2014, Martin Sonneborn of Die PARTEI became the first member of his party to enter the EU parliament.

Currently using the slogan, "Inhalte überwunden" or "Overcome substance", the Partei für Arbeit, Rechtstaat, Tierschutz, Elitenförderung und basisdemokratische Initiative (Party for Labour, Rule of Law, Animal Protection, Promotion of Elites and Grassroots Initiatives) was founded in 2004 by the staff of Titanic, a satire magizine. [more inside]
posted by frimble on Jul 31, 2014 - 11 comments

Germany in 2013, a political sketch

"[Peer Steinbrück, the chancellor-candidate] is a good man, with quite a bold programme for ‘social justice’. Tax increases for the better-off, a proper minimum wage, dual citizenship for immigrants, less elbowing individualism and more solidarity in a society where das Wir entscheidet – ‘it’s the we that counts.’ The German public, surprisingly, mostly agree that increasing taxes is a sound idea. What they resent is that the idea comes from the SPD. In the same way, the Augsburg programme is widely thought to make sense, but the voters don’t fancy Peer Steinbrück. They are pissed off with Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, but reluctant to let go of Mutti’s hand. In short, the public are in one of those sullen, unreasonable moods which make politicians despair." The LRB reports from Germany. [via]
posted by rollick on May 31, 2013 - 20 comments

Conservative politics, German-style

Jens Spahn is a parliamentarian in Germany's centre-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and a committed Catholic. He is also gay, and has been openly so throughout his 11-year political career. While he does not focus specifically on gay issues, he advocates equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (including gay marriage, tax parity and adoption rights) from a conservative position. He does not regard this to be a contradiction.
posted by acb on Nov 24, 2012 - 32 comments

Paris, London, Berlin, Brussels

The Big Three of EU Foreign Policy: Stefan Lehne on the contrasting roles of Germany, France and the UK.
posted by rollick on Aug 3, 2012 - 4 comments

The Pantone Merkel Chart

A Pantone chart of German chancellor Angela Merkel's many coloured jackets
posted by 0bvious on Jul 17, 2012 - 43 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

Dr. zu Googleberg

In February, a political and academic scandal broke in Germany when it turned out that the defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation, defended in 2006 and published as a book in 2009. Guttenberg, who had initially denied the allegations and maintained his popularity despite the scandal, resigned on 1 March. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms on Mar 7, 2011 - 28 comments

The NRW timeline

NRW 1946—2006. Short articles chronicling North Rhine-Westphalia. The site has one rather large shortcoming though, the video clips cannot be accessed (only available on VHS within the State!).
posted by tellurian on May 12, 2009 - 10 comments

I will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall.

Fire, brimstone & pee. (SLYT)
posted by felix betachat on Oct 8, 2008 - 38 comments

so far left they're...neocon?

Strange Bedfellows: Radical Leftists for Bush Among the German far-left, one subgroup called the anti-Germans holds some contradictory views. Most call themselves communists, yet loudly proclaim their support for Israel and George W. Bush.
posted by telstar on Aug 25, 2006 - 29 comments

Tactical Alert?

Trekkies for Kerry
posted by boost ventilator on Oct 23, 2004 - 12 comments

Where is this country headed?

Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?
posted by Rastafari on Jun 12, 2004 - 139 comments

Is Germany next on the list?

Is Germany next on the list? Well, no, but the way the Bush administration approaches diplomacy needs some work. Is a war in Iraq worth "poisoning" America's relationship with the international community?
posted by elwoodwiles on Sep 23, 2002 - 30 comments

Europe's left makes Dubya's tax cut look small:

Europe's left makes Dubya's tax cut look small: Based on Congressional Budget Office projections, Mr. Bush's tax proposal would provide American taxpayers with an accumulated relief of about 3.6% of gross domestic product between 2002 and 2006. Compare this with the plan from Germany's coalition of Social Democrats and Greens: Finance Minister Hans Eichel will hand back 4.1% of GDP of the world's third-largest economy between 2001 and 2005.
posted by frednorman on Apr 22, 2001 - 2 comments

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