This article in Le Monde (in French) covers Emmanuel Macrons speech in Lyon yesterday. I must admit that I know little more about Macrons program than what the article reports. One of the most interesting parts being that Macron is decidedly pro European. What caught my eye though was his metaphor regarding the populist right wing spreading of fear and the method of speaking almost exclusively to the populations anger. Macron called this the leprosy of democracy.
I couldn’t agree more and must say that I marvel at the strength of this image. While he was speaking about the french Front National, the exact same argument applies to German AfD. As well as to the countries where egocentric white men have made voters believe they would act in public interest, like the US, Hungary, and Poland.
The attack yesterday afternoon took place at one of my favorite places In Berlin, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche located at Breitscheidplatz. The church is a most beautiful symbol of starting from scratch after a devastating war. The historic, destroyed tower still exists and was complemented by a modernist church in the 50s (snapshot above).
Three hours before the attack I bought presents at Breitscheidplatz. Now lets hope the police will find the terrorist.
Politics again! However, Erdogan is at work, so I feel the urge to comment on it even when NIPS rebuttals are pressing. As a reaction to my last post that was (marginally) about Erdogan, Xian already sent me news that the turkish president called birth control unislamic and that mothers have to ensure the continued growth of Turkeys population. This already reminded me strongly of Hitlers Mutterkreuz, basically a prize the Nazis gave to german women that where particularly successful in procreation.
Now the military coup reported by Turkey strongly reminds me of the Reichstagsbrand. Basically, Nazis used the fact that the parliament building was lit on fire and blamed their political opponents for the crime, starting to remove them from all important positions and parliament itself by claiming the communists where planning a coup. The parallels to Erdogans way of proceeding are striking, and like in the Nazi case, the sheer speed with which possibly opposing forces in all parts of society are losing their positions is at least dodgy. Hitler called the fire a sign from God, Erdogan the coup a gift from Allah. What can you say? History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes. Erdogan will continue to follow the script Hitler gave him, and the Turkish version of the 1933 enabling act has already been planned. Now while I completely understood Merkels way of proceeding in the refugee crisis, I think a test of maybe even bigger scope is coming her way: while she was collaborating with Erdogan to get rid of the refugee stream, will she be able to avoid the mistakes that where made in handling Nazi Germany? In particular, will she be able to leave the path of an appeasement policy?
Another statistician has more thoughts.
Alexander Gauland (AfD party; top right) said last week that Germans wouldn’t want Jerome Boateng, the superior defense in Germany’s national football team, as a neighbor. This of course is geared towards Boateng being black.
Had he been Jewish, Gauland would have had to resign the day after. But while Germans still react sensibly to antisemitism, it’s becoming possible more and more to be openly racist in every other way. Actually, German history is used in a perverted way by the radical right: the fact that antisemitism exists among Muslims is used as an argument that Muslims can’t be integrated. Homophobia of some Muslims is used in the same vein.
I predict, and this is a quite saw safe bet, that the current AfD party leader will step down in the next year and AfD will become way more radical.
Many people in Europe are having an affair with the extreme right at the moment. Especially Germany, Italy, Austria and Spain should know better (and the rest too, actually). But well, first of all we didn’t make that mistake yet, our grandparents did (or the grandparents of people in other countries). Second, these politicians are not anti-jewish. Just anti-black and anti-muslim. Incomparable obviously.