“You see, we should talk more with each other”

The conversation between Sahra Wagenknecht and Frauke Petry: misunderstandings outweigh

In the Weimar Republic, the Communists and the Nazis were not only enemies. Again and again there were physical confrontations. But there was a practice that is hardly imaginable today. Communists and Nazis argued against each other in meetings, each side had its powerful members and sympathizers with them, and after the battle of the arguments, there was often a battle in the hall.

Frauke Petry ; Sahra Wagenknecht . License: CC-BY-SA-3.0

This is what you need to know if there is a dispute today about whether the leader of the parliamentary group of the Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, is allowed to have an argument with the leader of the AfD, Frauke Petry. It was published in the last ie of the FAS and is documented on Wagenknecht’s homepage.

The assessment is very different and probably depends on how you judge Wagenknecht’s attempts to win back AfD voters who once voted for the Left or the PDS. Das kann man fur eine kluge Politik oder eine Anbiederung an die Rechten halten. The reactions could not be more opposite.

The Suddeutsche Zeitung brings out the totalitarianism club

For the Suddeutsche Zeitung, the discussion is an occasion to once again take the totalitarianism club out of the drawer:

A double interview with right-wing populist Petry and left-wing faction leader Wagenknecht shows how closely the left and right fringes have converged. The similarities are rough – and dangerous.

Constanze von Bullion

The journalist draws a very rough bow over alleged intersections between communists and Nazis in the Weimar period up to the alleged "Nazi" regime "ultra-left Labour leader" Corbyn, who is said to be partly responsible for the Brexit because of his EU skepticism. The author writes that Petry and Wagenknecht acted like an old married couple in the argument.

Man makelt zwar aneinander herum, aber im Kern, na ja, man kann miteinander leben.

The SZ had to be satisfied, because the fact that politicians from different parties should be able to live together is part of the basics of civic politics. Taz economics editor Ulrike Hermann also writes of consensus talks between Wagenknecht and Petry.

The "Young world", who was politically very close to Wagenknecht for a long time and whom she still largely supports today, justifies the dispute with the argument: "Election campaign also means to bring oneself into the discussion" and even sees the left-wing party politician as an enlightener.

There is no fraternization there; Wagenknecht exposes Petry as a slippery opportunist. Against the insistent demand for social answers, the AfD woman can only set the ignorance of her own party program. And since in the long run nobody gets fed up with agitation against even poorer people, the right occasionally has to agree with leftist positions. It wasn’t as ‘strangely close’ as Ms. Bullion is making it out to be.

Young world

If one reads the interview, one finds sufficient places, where Wagenknecht clearly names the dissent to Petry not only in the social, but also in the economic policy. That’s what it says right at the beginning of the argument:

There is no overlap, Mrs. Petry. They had agreed in contrast to me each tightening of the asylum right. According to its program, the AfD wants Germany to model its immigration policy on Canada and the United States of America. So you want to specifically poach highly qualified people from poorer countries. That is the exact opposite of help. That you want to help the people in their countries of origin, I have so far not perceived as an AfD position. Nor that you want to improve conditions in refugee camps. Instead, I read that your party colleague Alexander Gauland’s "HUMAN FLOOD" wants to condemn us. I find such words inhumane.

Sahra Wagenknecht

However, Wagenknecht relegates the demand for open borders, which is in the party program of the Left Party, to a distant future, so she considers it not up to date. Thus she contradicts many people who also realize that the demand will not be implemented here and now. For them, however, this demand is a guideline for their support and solidarity with migrants.

Wagenknecht also clearly stated the AfD’s basic economic-liberal orientation at several points in the debate, but got caught up in contradictions herself when she later invoked an economic-liberal mastermind:

The main argument against the corporations can be read in Walter Eucken’s book, one of the fathers of the social market economy: It is their economic power.

Sahra Wagenknecht

But this is not a mistake. Wagenknecht has long invoked Ludwig Erhard in an attempt to win over liberal and conservative voters for her critique of the economy. But she accepts that she is giving up the claim of a fundamental critique of the state and capital.

After all, it is about winning votes. In the debate, Petry has focused on the alleged similarities with the left in her criticism of the EU or free trade, in order to retain voters who have switched from the left to the AfD, or rather to win them over. to win more. Hence Petry’s advances to Wagenknecht to continue the discussion.

We should talk more with each other.

This is basically a request addressed to the electors of the Left Party. Petry’s endorsement of left-wing positions, as the junge Welt conjectures, is a tactic that all successful right-wing parties in Europe are now pursuing. The pioneer in this was the Front National, which sometimes uses socialist-sounding rhetoric to maintain its position as the new electoral party of the French workers.

Only, such a social commitment from the right has nothing to do with the socialism of the emancipatory parts of the labor movement. What lies behind the national phrases of the right is a nation-state protectionism designed to bring special privileges and prerogatives to a small group. So it is a profoundly anti-egalitarian and exclusionary welfare state notion that lies behind right-wing welfare state rhetoric.