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Thread: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

  1. #31
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana XV View Post
    I don't think it's so much they've given up supporting the left, but that they're increasingly supporting laws that protect national identity. In all other aspects, left-wing Europeans still cling to their political ideals.
    Ideals?

    The problem here isn't clinging to ideals, but abandoning them based upon the situation.
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener View Post
    Ideals?

    The problem here isn't clinging to ideals, but abandoning them based upon the situation.
    Okay. Explain to me how you think socialists in Europe are abandoning their political ideals based upon the situation. Or did you mean liberals when you said left-wing? Liberals are not left wing here.
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    So the best way for me to grasp all the differences is to look at party ideology, leaning - and compare.
    Yes, don't go by the names "liberal" or "conservative" and equate them to the Americanized use of the word.
    Liberal in Europe is, generally, the equivalent to libertarian; while conservative is more similar to Democrat/Republican.
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  4. #34
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    Even more interesting - I have some reading to do on international politics before I form opinions.
    I'll try to do my best to explain a little more on the differences between the US and German political landscape, as I perceive it:

    First, Germany, like many other European countries, has a proportional representation system, which results in smaller parties entering the parliament and playing distinctive roles, unlike in the US, where the entire spectrum falls on two parties only. You have less bipolar left-right polarization, but a more nuanced political landscape: Currently, there are five parties in the German parliament, two large parties (center-right and center-left) and three small parties (one that calls itself "liberal" but would be considered libertarian by American standards, the center-left environmentalist Green Party and the socialist Left Party). Recently, there is a trend in favor of the smaller parties, on the cost of the two larger parties.

    The difference to the USA cannot appropriately described on a one-dimensional left-right axis, I believe. That's because many stances of the different parties are very nation-specific. Many things that are still hot topics in American debate, controversially debated, are settled in Germany already, and no longer divide the parties: For example, a compromise on abortion that was found in the 70s. Abortion is generally legal within the first trimester, after the woman has attended counseling sessions (often provided by churches), but strictly regulated in the second and third. Neither left nor right are attempting to change that, this issue is pretty much settled -- the left doesn't want too liberalize abortion further, and in return, the right doesn't want to restrict it further.

    Similarly the issue of homosexual civil unions: When they were introduced by the left in 2001, the conservatives still opposed it, but since then, they have accepted this compromise (civil unions yes, actual marriages no) and it's no longer a hot topic.

    Guns are no real topic anyway. There is no gun culture in Germany comparable to that in the US, so most people simply don't care. It's a non-issue.

    Distinctively different than the US is the topic of social safety nets and wealth redistribution via government (unemployment support, welfare, healthcare) in Germany: We have a consensus that at least some kind of redistribution is good and necessary, it's even written in our Constitution ("Germany has to be a social state"). Even the conservatives in Germany agree to this consensus in general. The only controversy is regarding the question how extensive this redistribution should be, and how the details should look like -- the German conservatives take positions that may resemble those of American Democrats, the center-left and especially far-left is in favor of much more encompassing social systems. The strongest opponents of extensive welfare are the German liberals (ironic, considering this term stands for the exact opposite in the US) -- the term "liberal" in Germany has never become synonymous with "left" as in America, but probably resembles what Americans call "libertarianism".

    Germany has no relevant successful far-right party, things like a religious right, gun-lobby or such are virtually non-existant in Germany. People who make the Tea Party in America simply don't exist in Germany. But in place of that, we have the same thing, algebraic signs reversed: A radical left. By that, I mean a far-left that is virtually non-existant in America. Genuine communists, nostalgics in favor of the old East German GDR Stalinism, anarchists, Marxists, revolutionaries. They are a heterogenous bunch, but I'd guess their share of the population is comparable to that of the more far-right Tea Party folks in America:

    The socialist Left Party has won 11.9% of the votes in the 2009 election. Now not all of them are radical leftists or even communists, but this party at least has a communist wing, and even the more moderate people in the Left Party make demands in favor of more extensive wealth redistribution via state and taxes, than anything that exists in America.

    When I debate politics in Germany, I can be sure when there is real craziness (but seemingly acceptable enough for many to be relevant), it's from the far left -- like some American righties have an almost paranoid opinion of "government", German lefties have a similarly paranoid opinion of "the capitalist system". But when I debate on a mostly American forum like this one, about American topics, I have to switch: Most of the lunacy, vile and radicalism in America seems to stem from the far-right. Often, it seems to me these two brands of lunacy, although diametrically opposed, have something odd in common: They are just as detached and aggressive, similar, just algebraic signs reversed.

    Then, far-right in Germany: So far, there is no successful party right of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) in Germany. But right-wing opinions exist. Usually, they focus on national identity and are racist in nature -- a mix of belief in authoritarian values and militaristic style of government, and all kinds of the old, old hatred against the alien and foreign, xenophobia and racism. But this far-right in Germany is more statist than their American counterparts too. It's not uncommon German racists believe in anti-capitalist slogans as well.

    There is one party running on a platform that very much resembles that of the Nazis (and indeed they have contact with neo-Nazi groups): The "National Democrats" (NPD). They are not successful on national level at all (in 2005, they won 1.6% of the votes only, in 2009, they won 1.5%), but they scored a success d'estime in two structurally weak East German states in 2007 and 2009: In Saxony, they entered the parliament with 5.6% of the votes in 2009, and in Mecklenburg, they won 7.3%. Except for these two states, they are not represented in any German parliament. But they are genuine Nazis, not just vague xenophobes. Think of "American History X" and you get an idea.

    I hope I could shed some light on German politics ... feel free to ask questions! =)
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Thanks for the information on Germany. It was interesting.

    I cannot say the same about your survey of American politics.

  6. #36
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    Re: Steep rise in German left-wing crime reported, but no terror wave

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Di Salvo View Post
    Thanks for the information on Germany. It was interesting.
    You're welcome.

    I cannot say the same about your survey of American politics.
    What's bothering you? That I don't like the Tea Party and that they're often too shrill for my taste?
    "Not learning from mistakes is worse than committing mistakes. When you don't allow yourself to make mistakes, it is hard to be tolerant of others and it does not allow even God to be merciful."

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