"Left-Libertarian": Wake up Call From Germany

Joschka Fischer runs into trouble: members of the Green Party have started a new cultural attack on worldwide war establishment

While at present the former German foreign minister (still member of the Green Party) is desperately trying to beckon a new war in the Middle East against Iran by most stupid flubdub, Robert Zion, the man who helped overruling Fischers pro-war position and ended his era in the German Green Party on September 15 2007 in Göttingen, has started a wake up call for the lost western war generation of our nameless, empty times.

It´s a new set-up of political standards, social parameters and moral issues in western societies. It´a new start to implement the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" from 1789 through political progress, by cultural means and on a constitutional basis, not by war, false flag politics and misleading hypocrisy.

Left-libertarian

We are no longer the Generation X that calls out to the party and business leaders: „Here we are now, entertain us“ (Nirvana). We’ve seen the Ärzte and are still in favour of visions. But the eternally unredeemed promise of full employment is no longer on offer.

For us, prosperity no longer consists in “working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need” (Fight Club); not in a welfare state that impoverishes, commands, hassles and controls; not in a guided democracy and policies that sell their lack of vision as a “communication problem”; not in supposedly “necessary cruelties”.

What we have to offer is freedom and solidarity. No, solidary individualism is not a contradiction, we are convinced that there can be a society “where the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” (Karl Marx, 1848). And that is why we still call a war a war and still consider poverty and marginalisation a scandal; that is why we are by conviction emancipatory and on the left, which is the same for us.

What we have to offer is social justice, what we want is access – to education, knowledge, social participation, culture, mobility, work –, what we demand is – for both genders – the possibility of free choice. We no longer believe that the rules and rhythms of the family, the old school, the barracks and the factory are the models for our life, love and work, we step out into the open field and out of industrial society. No one should have to earn a life of human dignity in the market place, a new social foundation therefore requires a new guarantee.

What we have to offer is not a society that gives away its future to the wealthy, what we want are therefore new forms of recognition and remuneration for work and a basic income for all. For without social rights, without a guarantee of participation and of a material basis, human, civil and women’s rights will continue to exist only on paper for too many. And therefore our goal is and remains the participation of all in political, economic, social and cultural power, we call this unrestricted democracy.

We don’t believe that talent is inborn, because every person has potentials. What we want, therefore, is a revolution of our education system. No more learning factories and fees, no more selection according to background, no more fast-track studies and fast-track Abitur! Let’s invest our wealth in the potentials of the people, in their education and development, in what we have in common and our culture, no longer in luxury mansions and luxury trips, no longer in luxury cars, no longer in all the private ersatz trappings.

We are not yet lost if we don’t forget “that the fruits belong to all and that the land belongs to no one” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1755). But the first environment of every human is the social world, it is the first climate that forms us. Thus, without an end to the exploitation of humans there can be no end to the exploitation of nature. Therefore, what we want is distributive justice, economic self-determination and decentralised structures, material cycles between humans and nature, the end of the fossil age and 100 percent renewable energy.

To accept or even to tolerate the use of force as a political means is to give up on a good future. Therefore we will never make our peace with war, never prepare, tolerate, accept or even understand it. We do not die or kill for God or country, not for our wealth and markets for corporations to sell to, not for resources and not for honour or the nation.

We will never come to terms with the “empire of shame” (Jean Ziegler), not with hunger in the world, oppression, racism and prejudice, not with disappointed ideals and easy answers, not with the inexorable logic of the path of least resistance. The march of one generation through and into the institutions is by far not enough for us. We therefore regard over a quarter of a century of history of our party as a challenge for us to permanently renew its platform, its identity and motivation.

We therefore also see ourselves as the keepers of our four basic pillars, as working on their foundations. Our basic convictions are ecological and social, our means is grassroots democracy, and nonviolence in personal, social, economic, cultural and international relations remains our goal.

So if not left, then what? Because we know that the ethos of a society is measured by how it treats its weakest and its basis in nature, we are value-conservative. Because we know that without a guaranteed material basis human and civil rights remain but empty ideals, we are human and civil rights liberals. And it is because we know that the vagaries of the market and the accident of birth create such inequalities and exclusions that we are leftists.

If not us, then who? A new time needs new actors, a new sensorium, a new language, a new political consciousness and new alliances. A solidary individualism requires a new basis common to all. Therefore we make a new offer to all who would join us in stepping out into the open field and out of industrial society, to the ecologists, the freelancers and self-employed, the peaceniks, the feminists and migrants, the precariously employed, the jobless, the creatives and the digital bohème.

If not now, then when? After the age of neoconservatism in foreign and domestic policy and of neoliberalism in economic, social and labour policy, we stand, together with the entire left, before a common new task: to again realise the structural left majority in the country that Willy Brandt once referred to.

Spring 2008

Declaration by members of the German Green Party

Translation by Felix Pahl

Sign the declaration: info (at) gruene-linke.de