The news about the violent escalation in Hamburg at the time of the G20 summit went aroung the world. I wrote in solidarity about the wounded police officers and I am outraged about the media lying against them. Yet, there is, of course, the other side of the story, too.
By and large the police may have behaved less violent and more noble than the protesters, but there were also such scenes as the one you can see in this video.
Following the summit, talkshow Sandra Maischberger discussed the events. The panel included, among other guests, Wolfgang Bosbach of Merkel’s party CDU, a tepid Paul Ryan type (big, big C) Conservative described by the media as a rebel to manufacture consent, and disaffected co-founder of the German Green party Jutta Ditfurth (she left the Greens since to found her own party Ökolinx).
I must apologise at this point that I really, really can’t sit through a German talkshow. It is too dull. The whole ludicrous concept of having half a dozen people sitting around for over an hour with only 10 minutes speaking time each, scattered across a pre-orchestrated conversation that leaves no room for surprising statements is worth an extra post (if not a book). But apparently Wolfgang Bosbach left the studio during the show complaining about Ditfurth. The host even tried to boot her off.
A slew of media articles came up online denouncing Ditfurth, but as much as I researched I couldn’t figure out why. She did not insult, not screech, become physical or anything of that sort. Her ‘arguments’ were said to have been the problem.
Now, here is my problem. The German word ‘Argument’ is very specific. It does not mean a fight as such but is rather a proposition that you state to make your case. Giving an account on what happened is not an ‘Argument’ for or against a policy. The talkshow was not about such arguments and I doubt that, in a free society, one could have given the reason for the said discomfort.
You may think that a media onslaught on one talkshow guest guilty of calmly presenting an ‘argument’ demonstrates a lack of democratic values, and that is true of course, but the problem runs deeper. Germans by and large have become unable to tolerate any views other than their own. Turkish-German citizens may want to talk about the death penalty, conservatives about immigration, libertarians about dismantling government services, and leftists about the Verfassungsschutz. All of it is culturally verboten at this point.
The mentioned articles are, of course, the reaction of the authoritarian ‘centrist’ media which represents the mindset of the DNC and by extention of most Germans as they hold an intellectual oligopoly. (There is nothing like FOX News, Democracy Now, The Intercept, talk radio, The Washington Times etc and the need for the antitrust authority to step in is, of course, not discussed). What is surprising, though, is that those few (low-budget) conservative blogs that exist on the fringe (achgut, Tichy, pp) did not jump to Ditfurth’s defence despite the fact that they get their own share of flak from government cheerleeders (if they are not punished with ignorance).
The Romans called the phenomenon ‘divide et conquere’, divide and conquer. Instead of safeguarding those who dissent from power, people see the powerful as part of the other group and consequently can’t muster an iota of solidarity.
Jutta Ditfurth is the author of many non-fictional books, most notably of a biography on RAF terrorist Ulrike Meinhof.
She is currently in a legal battle to protect her free speech. Journalist Jürgen Elsasser took her categorisation of his person as an ‘anti-Semite’ to the courts (apparently it passes for slander – she had better called him an islamophobe). You can support her:
note to payee: „Elsässer-Prozess“
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