The alternative media are celebrating the imminent -demise of Angela Merkel's chancellorship almost as exuberantly as she and her claquers celebrated their election victory in 2013. On days like these – when the CDU’s parliamentary group leader Volker Kauder was overthrown, in place of the hated witch from the Uckermark. The bitter end for her is really only a question of time, too, because the opportunists are now betting on new magicians. Merkel, like so many politicians before her, missed the opportunity to resign at the right time. Now the political incentive systems are grinding against her.
Journalists of the alternative media are practically singing in tune: “After she leaves, things can only get better”, and even in the mainstream, which yesterday was still faithful to Merkel, people hum along quietly in agreement. Oh happy days.
What a pity then, that so far, things have only gotten worse every time, just as institutional analysis precisely predicts about ageing coerced monopolies like the Federal Republic of Germany.
I can remember the chancellorship of Helmut Schmidt (1974-82). At that time many of us teenagers only knew this tobacco snuffling Hanseatic in the Chancellery. He was very popular, his party at that time already less so. Thus things could only improve with the new chancellor Helmut Kohl, who had promised no less than a ‘spiritual and moral about-turn’ during his election campaign. However, after Kohl's election this didn’t happen. Instead, Heiner Geißler, Norbert Blüm and Rita Süssmuth determined the new government's spiritual-moral policy of continuation, except that the decline of values had now accelerated. Snafu.
After 16 years of Kohl, almost a whole generation had again only known one Chancellor, this time the freak from Oggersheim who loved eating the Palatinate speciality, stuffed pig’s stomach or ‘Saumagen.’ Many people then thought things could only get better under Gerhard Schröder and a Red (SPD)-Green government. Those who had elected him hoped for a more leftist economic policy. We, who had not elected him, saw the lesser evil in his new government, at least in foreign policy terms, thanks to the Green pacifists as coalition partners. Then, immediately after taking office, Chancellor and Foreign Minister had Belgrade bombed and drew the country into the first war since Hitler. Meanwhile, the SPD betrayed its voters in terms of economic policy.
Seven years later Red-Green was finally voted out of office, and once again everything was to be much better, thanks to the new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was being bandied about as ‘the German Maggie Thatcher.’ Before her election. The rest is known.
But now, after the eternal Angela Merkel, should everything finally get better? Because it really can’t get any worse, can it? Will compulsory schooling of our children be dropped? The socialist money monopoly? Will taxes and levies be lowered, and state expenditure and tasks miraculously cut by those who profit from them? Will the German press suddenly no longer hound ‘the right’ domestically and Russians abroad? Will state radio be switched off? Will the gender madness be ended in our universities, will free and open debate be allowed there again? The money tap for ‘refugees’ turned off? Will at least the Antifa be disempowered?
By whom? By party general secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer? By Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen? And even if Health Minister and supposedly conservative Jens Spahn becomes chancellor and AfD co-leader Alice Weidel vice chancellor (or vice versa) – what is more promising about them than was about Angela Merkel and supposedly libertarian FDP-leader Guido Westerwelle before their election in 2009?
Anyone who believes that by changing round leadership representatives, the apparatus of an aging coercing monopoly, with millions of people and billions of euros behind it, will suddenly, as if by miracle, create brilliant results like a young startup in harsh competition, has unfortunately not been paying much attention. As a reminder: the central state, by its very nature as a prison and monopolist, can't help but become more oppressive and totalitarian over the years due to a lack of competition, and at the same time still more expensive and inefficient – these are the psycho-moral effects of the dispensation of omnipotence and the economic effects of monopoly laws. If you don't believe it, go and do sports politics in the AfD.
Nevertheless, despite all political realism, there is a role for the AfD to play, as there was for the New Forum in East Germany in 1989: as a way to create and measure increasing pluralism and freedom of speech. A real improvement in the state, however, as in the economy, only takes place through the creative destruction of independent structures, never through a renaming in management or the election of a new supervisory board. Ludwig Erhard, post-war West Germany’s first Minister for Economic Affairs, was not elected before his bold act, to which Germany still owes a great deal of prosperity today, when he ended price fixing in a daring action of disobedience. Against the will of the apparatus. Against the will of his superiors. And probably also against the will of the population.
Later, as a government politician, even the great Ludwig Erhard achieved nothing good. However, to end on a constructive note: creative destruction of obese state apparatuses is feasible. As long as civil disobedience in the spirit of Erhard is lacking, it could, for example, be fanned by secessions before or during economic collapses. Bavaria, for example, can go it alone. Or Saxony. A dream? Yes, perhaps, but not quite as childish as the one in which a new Chancellor or a new government coalition makes everything all right again.
Translated from eigentümlich frei, where the original article was published on 27th September 2018.