I would like to join the Libertarian Party. I am German, however, and since I am not even, at the moment, a resident in the UK, I suspect that my circumstances disqualify me as a member and supporter of a British political party.
You may wonder why I turn to Britain in search for political allies. The trouble is that I am afraid liberty and democracy are irretrievably lost in continental Europe. These days I seriously doubt whether these principles have ever really been part of the so-called European tradition.
The ideals of socialism are so deeply ingrained in German political thought that politicians and citizens alike don’t actually accept the fundamental tenets of individual liberty which they consider a typical example of the pragmatic-primitive nature of Anglo-Saxon thought, a typical product of the greedy superficial merchant soul of Anglo-Saxon culture.
In Germany, the two most fundamental principles of a representative democracy, individual liberty and the nation-state, are viewed with deep suspicion. Since the defeat of World War II, the nation-state has lost all credibility in Germany as a desirable political entity. This is due to the incredibly stupid and very dangerous habit of blaming the catastrophe of the Third Reich on the national bits of the National Socialist ideas rather than the socialist bits.
The nation-state, and you can hear this everywhere on the continent, is responsible for all the wars waged since the Treaty of Westphalia. The nation-state has become the scape-goat, nationalism the enemy, whereas the main culprit, the undemocratic political structure based on socialist ideas, has >>got off scot-free<< [a slight amendment to the correct idiomatic phrase there—DK]. When one reminds Germans that the Nazis were not actually "right-wing" but, as the name suggests, national Socialists, they are either confused or outraged.
But no-one in Germany trusts the people. No-one trusts politicians either. But almost everybody is convinced of the inherently benevolent nature of the State. In Germany, laws are not considered a necessary evil but the only way to salvation. That is the reason why the Germans are always so keen to hand over legislative powers to their executive. That way things can be sorted out so much more efficiently. Now this, to Germans, is true liberty. The European Union is of course a perfect fit. It offers Germany the two things it most craves at the moment: the dissolution of the nation-state and the dissolution of democratic government.
Although I have always been interested in politics I have never been able to vote for any political party in Germany in the five years I have lived here. As seems increasingly the case in Britain, all German political parties really offer the same things: They all support the EU and they all believe in big government, and I refuse to cast a vote for anybody who believes it his supreme duty to regulate my life rather than to defend my freedom.
But nevertheless I went to see "my" MP to ask him about ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon and how much power would remain with the German parliament. The MP, a member of the Green Party and a veteran of the radical student movement of 1968, had not yet taken the time to read the treaty—frankly, he has very little knowledge of what is going on in the European Union. But he nevertheless freely admitted that already now the German parliament had almost no legislative powers left.
He even accepted my argument that the transfer of such legislative powers to the executive is nothing else than an Ermächtigungsgesetz (I know this term has been rather popular in the European Parliament lately). He did not really seem to approve of all this but he is so convinced of the beneficial effects of the European Union, regurgitating all the popular myths about the blessings of the European Union (fifty years of peace and stability, progress on the challenges of climate change and globalisation, great laws on consumer-protection, etc), that he considers the many structural defects as reformable and merely a temporary nuisance.
Talking to Germans about the EU, especially German politicians and intellectuals, is deeply worrying and deeply depressing because they do see the defects. They just don’t care. When I pointed out to my MP the many ways in which my democratic rights are circumvented so as to render them non-existent, he shrugged. They are so in thrall to the ideology of Europe that they would sacrifice almost anything to realise this dream, that they consider all means justified to reach their end.
I have lost all faith in the capability and the will of the German people to live in a democracy. There are pockets of resistance now, as there were before, but as before these are only a handful of individuals with virtually no presence in the public sphere. Germany is once again on the road to serfdom.
If, as I suspect is the case, I cannot become a member of your party, perhaps I may nevertheless be allowed on occasion to attend events organised by your party or even help in any way you consider appropriate.
Thank you for your time and thank you for devilskitchen.
Thank you for such an informative and well crafted email, frankly. It is always interesting to get reports of the prevailing attitudes from outside these isles of ours.
I am also happy to report that, according to the Electoral Commission (we checked), a foreign national may indeed join a UK political party—but they may not make any donations.
It is not just in Britain, it seems, that the people care not a jot for their freedom. As long as they can afford the next fad and their central heating—warm, safe and coddled, like the infants they so obviously are—they just don't give a stuff.
It is, as Nana says, profoundly fucking depressing. Welcome to the new tyranny.