Position on property and freedom: Analysis of the German party programs. Part III. The Greens

_ Prof. Dr. Gerd Habermann, executive director, Friedrich A. von Hayek Society, honorary professor, University of Potsdam. 8 September 2021.*

Germany. Everything is in there. (136 pages).

Overall impression

This party is a synthesis of messianic ecologism, just as radical egalitarianism, especially feminism, a belief in the state, and a constructivism that is only surpassed by the German LEFT party (DIE LINKE). As in the federal elections of 2017, the so-called climate question is declared to be the question of the existence of mankind and made the focus of all politics. People trust themselves to be able to control the global climate from Germany and thus save the world. Like the LEFT, the Greens are a party of anti-national universalism. The aim is to create a “diverse immigration society” that dissolves national homogeneities. In the meantime, people are still talking about Germany, not “human country”, and people still talk about “integration” – that is, the integration of immigrants into a dominant culture. (However, there were efforts to delete “Germany” from the main title of the program).

The last ideal is an egalitarian world welfare state. The term “socialism” is avoided, as is the case with DIE LINKE. One speaks veiled of “eco-social market economy”. In general, the terminology – in contrast to the “left” – is quite gentle. Noteworthy: the Greens have said goodbye to what used to be central direct democracy (“grassroots democracy”). There should only be “citizens’ councils”. The “Greens” do not have any more specific German interests.

The climate issue is the main issue: we allegedly face the apocalypse

The stated “climate crisis”, not just value-neutral “climate change”, is at the top of the program. It is described as a “true human crisis”. “Therefore, climate protection is not a task for the future, but climate protection is now”. All measures should lead to the “1.5-degree path” of the Paris climate agreement, all politics are in this service, including “foreign climate policy”. A “big change” in the entire economic structure is the order of the day, the goal is “climate-friendly prosperity”. In addition, there is traditional nature conservation, here too, not only a course correction, but a new course is required. “We make the planetary borders the guiding principle of our politics”. Incidentally, it is above all the rich nations or individuals with their large “ecological footprints” that are causing the problems. This is an approach to social-democratic “agitation”.

In detail, this means: an “energy revolution”, “green” digitization, “transformation fund for the regions”, “a CO2 brake for all laws”, retraining of employees, a PV system on every roof, photovoltaics in the country side, accelerated expansion of wind energy, hydrogen promotion programs, European Energy Union and a “Green New Deal” as the EU Commission is striving for.

The aim is to achieve these goals “through a clever mix of CO2 prices, incentives, subsidies and regulatory law”. In any case, this will be very expensive and endanger Germany as an industrial location, because which country will follow this example? (The Swiss have just rejected a special CO2 tax in a referendum.) As far as nature and species protection is concerned, the green program is less of a problem. This also applies to agricultural policy, apart from the arbitrariness of so-called fair prices. Now a “federal animal protection officer” has to be created!

Interim remark: The already great successes of environmental protection and nature protection in Germany are not recognized. Belief in the 1.5-degree line is apodictic, unshakable. Another view of things is of course not discussed. One speaks of “science”, where speculative model calculations are involved, which are also often questioned (but not by the Greens). A central role is assigned to the pricing (emission certificates), which is at least economically correct with the given assumptions as “internalization of external costs”, but collides with the rest of the party’s ban, coercive and subsidy policies (nuclear phase-out, ban on gas, oil and coal consumption) and has a destructive effect if the costs are drastically increased. The other side of alternative energies (the wind doesn’t always blow; the sun doesn’t always shine in Germany) is also not mentioned. The storage problems and the ecological and aesthetic follow-up costs, for example, of “sparging” the landscape, are kept secret. Likewise, the German contribution to saving the world is meaningless. At this point it becomes particularly clear that the positions are a radical utopia. Granted the basic premises of the “Greens” and applied the right measures, it is still a question of the right degree and speed of an ecological conversion.

Europeanism

For this historically uprooted lifestyle party, an EU model applies that is no less utopian than climate policy. Centralization, cartelization, denationalization – in other words, the opposite of a policy of subsidiarity and the institutional competition of nations that made the “miracle of Europe” possible. That there cannot be a “Nation Europe” and that such a supernation is also undesirable for liberals, that Europe only exists in its nations and that this is precisely what is European about Europe (“Diversity”!) – there is no trace of it. The term Europe is also misused – as it is with other parties: only the EU is meant.

Let’s start with the social cartel: the European Social Union in the form of common minimum social policy standards. Not only that: economic and financial policy must also be made European. “We complete the EMU!” This party also advocates a European industrial policy. The European Parliament should become a real parliament, that is, with the right to initiate legislation and the election of a European government (the Commission). Transnational European lists for the European Parliament. Also, they demand a European association law and a European criminal investigation office. Majority decisions in all questions should make this possible. The EU receives the power over defining its own competence limits – this is the dam breaking to the EU central state.

Feminist extremism

“Women at the top!”. “We are focusing on feminism, queer politics and gender equality.” This means equal quota for women in management levels in the state and the economy, i.e. the abolition of performance and replacement by the discriminatory gender principle “- that is, the decoupling of women’s work from market valuation. Women often choose a different career path than men. Women are to be preferred by state aid programs, state venture capital should only be available for female founders – and in the digital economy women are to be preferred as well. This also means abolishing the freedom of contract for companies. Women’s quotas also at all levels of science! A “Federal Equal Outcome Foundation” (not just “equal rights” – an important distinction) and more power for gender equality commissioners in the anti-discrimination authorities are demanded.

Most worrying is the parity requirement for parliaments – that is, a state parliament should now be structured according to sexual characteristics instead of universal equal suffrage. Why not different quotas according to the respective groups (disabled, occupations, religion, origin, region, sexual orientation)? International politics should also be shaped in a feminist way…

The triumph of state economy, welfare state, fiscal socialism

The Greens advocate a corporate form of “responsible ownership” – as if there could be irresponsible corporate ownership (liability principle, adherence to law and morality). The failed supply chain law is welcomed, they even want to “Europeanize” it. Work bans on the labour market (minimum wage 12 euros). Banks: Every actor and every product must be regulated! In the future, get the master craftsman’s certificate free of charge.

A favourite object of green economic intervention is the housing market. There should be a “right to housing” in the Basic Law, which probably means: a legal right to an apartment by the state. Rent regulation (“fair rent”), prohibition of free trade in building land, yes, even a “strategic public land policy”. As a result, this boils down to the nationalization of housing construction – in the interest of “social housing”.

The energy industry is to be nationalized: a federal network company instead of the four private transmission system operators.

Transport industry: Motorized individual transport (i.e., the car) is the opponent par excellence for the collectivist Greens. In contrast, the state railways and local public transport are seen as exemplary “public social goods” that need to be expanded. Germany is to become a cycling country, and a complete network of cycle paths is to cover Germany. From 2030, only emission-free cars should be allowed. The utopianism of this party is also revealed in “Vision Zero”: “No more dead and seriously injured people on the road”. There should only be climate-neutral air traffic. Short-haul flights are to be replaced by the train. Goods belong on the train!

Finances and taxes: Abolition of the “debt brake” – a license for unrestricted debt. Tax policy: “Moderate” increase in the top tax rate 45 percent for single persons with an annual income of 100,000 euros or more, for couples from 200,000 euros, then from 250,000 or 500,000 euros 48 percent. Manager salaries above 500,000 should no longer be deductible. Investment income must also be taxed progressively again. Excessive: a wealth tax at the state level: 1 percent annually above 2 million per person (after all: benefits for business assets). Fight against tax competition: At EU level, a minimum tax rate for companies: 25 percent. Appropriate digital group taxes (Facebook, Google and Co.). Fight no longer against “tax havens”, as they were previously called, but against “tax swamps” (the oasis sounds too positive). A “special unit”, i.e. a special fiscal police, against tax evasion at the federal level! A German should be able to be taxed regardless of his place of residence. Germany is becoming fiscally inescapable.

Against the family

The traditional private family as a small, difficult to control entity is gutted by the following measures: The expansion of this term. Wherever people take responsibility for one another, there is family that must be covered by the state. Not just where there are children. Reimbursement of costs for artificial insemination should also be granted to lesbian couples. In general, the whole LGBTQI program: These forms of life should be placed on an equal footing with traditional family forms and the heterosexuality associated with them, especially in terms of social appreciation. There is also a federal foundation for equity. The abolition of spouse splitting must be implemented to weaken the traditional family. Socialization of the traditional care functions of the family: day-care, right to all-day place for every elementary school child, basic child security through the state!

Otherwise, expansion of the welfare state: A guarantee of existence security instead of Hartz IV (with the humiliating means test) – that comes very close to an unconditional basic income, since there are no social sanctions. Instead of unemployment insurance: Employment insurance, which also includes a legal right to further training. Instead of competition in health insurance: general citizens’ insurance, i.e., at least partial socialization of private health insurance. The self-employed, civil servants and entrepreneurs should also be included in state health insurance. The “Riester pension” is to be transferred to a state-administered, capital-funded citizen fund. BAFÖG as basic security for all “students” and trainees.

Aliens Policy and the Question of Migration

The ideal is a “diverse immigration society”, thus also a correspondingly generous refugee policy, combined with the possibility of multiple statehood and facilitating naturalization. The “tolerance principle” is to be abolished, as is the European Frontex organization: Anyone who has immigrated, legal or illegal, is and will remain here. In practice, the principle of open borders applies. It is astonishing that the utopian universalism of the Greens adheres to the goal of “integration”, that is to say to a culturally German-oriented model, not to a model of arbitrary pluralistic parallel societies. Of course, the Greens are against anti-Semitism, but they don’t want to see it in connection with immigrant Islam. On the contrary: it is important to “protect and strengthen Muslims against discriminatory attacks”. This is strong stuff that mocks the many victims of Islamist terror.

International

The Greens oppose free trade, instead only “fair” trade should be allowed, that is, to their own environmental, social and moral-egalitarian standards. The party calls for a “foreign climate policy” with feminist features, a cancellation of the debts of the developing countries, a “fair world economic order”. The Greens are transatlantic and sceptical of China and Russia. And they are calling for a reform of the Security Council.

Final remarks

Let’s stop here. It can be seen that this party, which competes against right-wing extremism and only against this type of extremism (or whatever it thinks it is), is itself an extremist party – a party of economic hostility, the dissolution of private life, and restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of contract, the crudest egalitarianism and collectivism, the state economy and the welfare state. It presents itself as a supporter of a “liberal democracy”. But their demand for a “democracy promotion law” does not bode well. In any case, it does not mean the introduction of direct democracy. It presents itself as a self-appointed lobby group for minority sexual deviances. Even if it is forced to make compromises in a coalition for the sake of holding power – these too will be detrimental to Germany, its economy, and its prosperity. The program closes with the words: “Elections are a moment of freedom. Use it – for freedom”. The voter should be clear about the fact that the Greens are not in the tradition of freedom, but rather offer the “road to serfdom”. In this program, “everything is included”, including serfdom.

*Translated from the original German publication on Achgut.com.

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