Some Often Omitted Aspects of the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit)

Today is the day of doom … erm, I mean, the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). But while the mass media and many history books declare this historical event and those events that led to it a development solely for the better, the truth is, as always, somewhat different.
First of all, the former two parts of Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland, short: BRD), on the one hand, and the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, short: DDR), on the other, both founded four years after the Second World War, in 1949, were not united as equals on October 3rd, 1990. Instead, the DDR was annexed to the BRD. Public property was, without asking the populace, converted into private property and distributed among Western companies.
Second, the ‘blooming landscapes’ (‘blühende Landschaften’) Helmut Kohl promised never came to be. Up to this very day, living conditions in the so-called newly-formed German states (neue Bundesländer) are still far behind those in the west. Within twenty-two years, nothing has actually been achieved, and it looks as though this were never going to happen.
Third, the newly gained freedom for the populace was only a by-product of the annexation. Yet the territory was not annexed because of the people who lived and suffered there, not in order to help them, but for the sake of the Western Capital and its economic interests. Doubtless, Helmut Kohl’s political career also profited immensely from it. As we witness these days, hard work seldom pays off, whereas a life of crime such as Kohl’s evidently does. Thus, he was recently honoured with his very own stamp bearing his face upon it.
We are left with a day off work, espcially useful for propaganda and keeping alive the delusion of a democracy we have never had. On the contrary, even those democratic elements we used to have have been slowly but continuously dismantled; and the process continues as I write this. The populace of the former DDR was freed from the burden of a misbegotten socialism just so as to fall into the hands of likewise scrupulous capitalists. Our modern societies slolwly but continuously revert to the state they used to be in at the end of the nineteenth and at the beginning of the twentieth century, when capitalists could do whatsoever pleased them to do. The only difference is that nowadays, corporations instead of single capitalists rule the world.

3 thoughts on “Some Often Omitted Aspects of the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit)

  1. A life of crime such as Kohl’s. While I might even agree as a matter of principle (because, from my point of view, any government is, in and of itself, criminal), I dare call it an exaggeration in this context.
    Furthermore, I of course do not share your implied opinion that democracy is something good.
    The point I disagree with most is the idea that corporations rule the world and that the world is becoming more capitalist. That I find patently absurd.

    • In a sense, it certainly is an exaggeration. The article is, needless to say, a pamphlet, that is to say, it aims to provoke.

      Besides, I did not mean to imply that democracy is per se something good. Indeed, if we trace the term back to its Aristotelian roots, it was originally considered bad. δημοκρατία (demokratía), the rule of the masses, is contrasted with πολιτεία (politeía), the rule of citizens. The problem with this distinction lies, of course, in our modern societies’ being very different from the ancient Greek πόλεις (póleis), even if we set aside how much they differed among one another.
      In modern use, the term democracy is mostly positively associated, especially because it appears to come closest to an ideal equality. That this kind of equality is neither achieved nor achievable in principle, is a different matter again.
      Important for my article is above all that certain normative aspects of social life are associated with the term democracy: freedom of press, freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, and so forth. Although these aspects can be conceived of as co-existing with other governmental forms, they are usually associated with democracy.
      Finally, I do not think that corporations rule the world directly but indirectly. Political practice is mostly determained by capitalist – particularly corporatist – interests. That you consider this patently absurd does not mean that it necessarily is thus. To be sure, I do not have a conspiracy theory in mind. Instead, what happens around the world today is a mixture of certain applications of both direct and indirect powers as well as unpredictable events.
      It is my view, at any rate, that in the end we should arrive at a state of society where any form of government will have become superfluous. By what means this long-term goal be achieved is an intricate question of which I think that it cannot be solved by one person or any small group of people alone.

    • Thank you for your detailed answer.
      I did not want to imply that you propagated conspiracy theories. I imagined something along the lines of what you explained, but I think that’s still very simplistic. You’re right that some corporations have too much influence, but I also think that there are lots and lots of stupid legislation which is not at all in the interest of any corporation and is still passed, like compulsive public health insurance, the pending German circumcision law, or minimum wage. While I’m quite certain that you would not consider all of those bad laws, I hope we can at least agree that they are examples of legisation which is probably not driven by private capitalist interests.

      It is my view, at any rate, that in the end we should arrive at a state of society where any form of government will have become superfluous.

      That’s something we can certainly agree on.

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