The political debacle of the established


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Kai Gondlach

Andrea Nahles, (now) former head of the SPD parliamentary group and party and former Federal Labour Minister and SPD general secretary, has resigned. CDU chairman Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (#akk) is likely to be voted out soon. The Grand Coalition (#groko) is shaking over the tectonic plate shifts in political operation. Is politics still to be saved?

What a heap of shards! Who these days received the news from the press, radio and television (or Twitter, Youtube and TIME Online and Co.) can only slap your hands over his head. This applies at least to all those who remain who do not already fully express their political disaffection through their complete devotion to other topics and activities. If we take the participation of those entitled to vote in the european elections as an indicator of the first group, that is just under 51% (more than 200 million people!) across the EU, and 61.4% in Germany. The European elections, on the other hand, are often used as a measure for future elections of the national parliaments, and it is clear that the former People’s Party has failed disastrously in this country. Beneficiaries of the whole tragedy in three acts: the Greens.

One channel undoubtedly underestimated by “the established” is the Internet. So #neuland. In my seemingly naive worldview, until recently I had assumed that leaders had now understood what the Internet is doing with their system. I was wrong. In epic terms, we have been able to observe the consequences for a few days and in the following weeks. First voices call for the dissolution of the Grand Coalition (#groko) and new elections at the federal level (and this is in sluggish, “alternative” Germany!), revolutions of party programs (keyword Kevin Kühnert) up to the complete revision of the political system. What’s going on!?

Review: Dismantling the Established

In times of networked, pluralistic society, I too would like to make my contribution to the discourse. In addition, a subjective A-chronology of the last milestones.

  • 2. June 2019: Andrea Nahles, leader of the former Spd Party , resigns from her positions as party leader (with effect from 4 June 2019). or 5. June). It thus draws the conclusion from the disastrous results of the European elections on 26 May. May 2019. Someone has to hold their head.
  • 26. May 2019: European elections. Even the first projections do not bode well for the established. It is early on that the Green Party will celebrate a historic success; splinter parties such as DIE PARTEI or Volt also win seats in the European Parliament in Brussels – at the expense of the established, of course. The fact that the latter (in part) were even admitted to the election is due to the already mentioned inertia of political inertia – it was simply sleepy to implement the EU-wide percentage hurdle. And so voters in Germany had 41 options on the meter-long (no exaggeration) ballot papers and therefore difficulties in folding in order to prepare the paper for the ballot box appropriately.
  • 18th. May 2019: Youtube influencer Rezo publishes a video entitled “The Destruction of the CDU” a week before the European elections. sources). The content of the nearly hour-long video is a mostly well-researched polemic against actually all established parties, in which Rezo critically discusses some program points of the CDU. The video has since been viewed more than 14 million times and has over 1.1 million likes.com.m. May 2019).
  • 20th. August 2018: Greta Thunberg lays the foundation for the “new climate strike movement” just before the elections to the Swedish Reichstag. In the meantime, several million students around the world have joined in protesting for more truthfulness and consistency in political action as part of the #fridaysforfuture. In addition to the content component, there is also a threat: the students of solidarity will gradually become eligible to vote in the coming years.
  • 19th. June 2013: German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets then US President Barack Obama in Berlin. The spectacle will historically go down in the annals as the day when the head of government of one of the world’s most economically powerful states coined the following sentence: “The Internet is new territory for all of us.” Ouch.
    April 2011: In several mostly North African, Islamic-influenced states, there is a lot of rumbling. Egypt, Libya, Tunisia… apart from the cultural-historical-political-intricate situation, the networked world society experiences first-hand what is happening in Tahrir Square: On Twitter and Youtbe, demonstrators and opponents of the regime broadcast live images of the site of the Action. The Internet presence of the terrible conditions is historically new, the smartphone revolution proclaimed.
  • otherwise:
  • In 2018, 57 million people in Germany used a smartphone, five years earlier it was just over 40 million, in 2009 just 6 million (Statista). Worldwide, more people had access to the Internet in 2018 than to clean drinking water (please use your smartphone to google the respective statistics).
  • “In mid-2012, 21.4 million households had a DSL connection, while 3.6 million cable Internet connections existed, bringing the DSL m[3]arket share in the broadband market to approximately 86%.” (Wikipedia) We are all connected – whether through Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook or the good old e-mail: distances are no longer measured in meters, but in relative proximity and attention.
  • 9. November 2007: The iPhone is the first fully functional smartphone to be launched in Germany. A historically significant date – data retention, anti-terror law, fall of the Berlin Wall, Rolling Stone Magazine, 68 movement, St. Petersburg Agreement, Pogrom Night, Birth of Jean Monnet, November Revolution… The mobile connection to the Internet, access to online commerce and the permanent availability of Wikipedia and Chefkoch.de has also changed people.
  • In 1990, the commercialization of the Internet (Wikipedia on the history of the Internet) began and thus the foundation for the spread of omninet was laid (my contribution to the topic).

Attention: Subjective interim conclusion

Despite the apparent lack of networking or digitization, the top politics of the Federal Republic of Germany still has not understood what it means when a person has a “viral video” on Youtube (or another digital video). channel). Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, for example, has clearly underestimated the influence of internet star Rezo and relied on the support in her system. The CDU has failed in its own structure to respond adequately to Rezo (Philipp Amthor wanted, but was not allowed). After all, the SPD has Secretary General Lars Klingbeil, Juso CHIEF Kevin Kühnert and MdE Tiemo Wölken granted. However, both actions can only pick up a few shards to cushion the election drama to some extent (although it is unlikely to be possible to calculate the exact effects of the respective tactics).

So, enough opinion, an episode science, please!

Meta-perspective change: Systems

According to Niklas Luhmann, the sociology god, every social system works according to its own self-sustaining (autopoietic) logic. Whether a family, a circle of friends, a county, a nation, a federation of states, a religion, etc.: People organize themselves in groups and are per se loyal to their group members. This results in formal (in most not a. laws) and informal (in other words) behaviours) codes. Language plays a central role here: spoken word as well as logics of action, in a sense the currency of any transaction. In business this is money, in social relations affection, in information technology bits and bytes, in politics power.

In times of digitalization, however, these boundaries are increasingly blurred. Where in pre-digitized times communities, much later societies, duchies, states and states were organized, in globally networked times potentially every person can contact any other human being, as long as they have access to an internet-enabled device. The potential size of this network not only exceeds the imagination of an average Homo sapiens – after all, we are talking about currently potentially 4-4-1 billion connections – but it also exceeds the possibilities of the usual system boundaries. No wonder many are burying their heads in the sand in the face of such complexity, opening the doors to Brexit, protectionism, and authoritarianism. After all, “everything used to be better”.

Today’s systems are overwhelmed with recent technological developments. Some politicians may have discovered Twitter for themselves and their self-expression, but that’s not digitalization. There are good reasons why the separation of powers (legislative, executive, judicial) was introduced in democratic systems – and, above all, historically, there was a need to establish various processes and (action) logics within these systems. individual and social skills. However, it would be too short-thought to say that the above-case The caesuras of new media in political discourse were merely fads or zeitgeist. For the new age of the digitized era of Homo sapiens, we need not only educated politics and administration, but a fundamentally new mindset.

I apologise for the fact that this perspective is being discussed extremely briefly. What is more important for this contribution is how to proceed.

Floor plans for a future policy

Juso CEO Kevin Kühnert said in an interview after the European elections that personnel discussions do not come first or second for him. This is not only rhetorically absolutely brilliant, because he naturally catapults himself up by such statements, but even soberly considered correctly (and then of course not discussed in depth in the interview). The fate of a party, i.e. a highly professionally organized community of interests, should not depend on a few (selected) minds. However, the historically developed system of the party landscape currently provides no other way and updates are still difficult for the old system – today, many people are still blasphemed about the decision of the Green Party to have a double-header for the group chairmanship. As Max Weber did in the early 20th In the 19th century, politics is the drilling of thick boards… to stay in the mechanical image: the drill needs a renovation. So, a few food for thought for renovation needs in politics and administration:

  • Speed vs. Eye-catching: The world has been ticking faster than the political system could show since Whatsapp, real-time brokerage and just-in-time production. Of course, human brains are not made to think about all the possible consequences of individual decisions and to include them ex ante in the negotiations. Equally of course, there are legitimate interests of companies, civil rights movements, climate activists, etc., who want to have a say in decisions. In addition to committees, institutes for technology assessment and consulting firms, the view for the big picture (and a lot of taxpayers’ money) is lost. Solution approach: Artificial intelligence in the status quo has long since been used to make visible connections that no human being can recognize with the naked eye. The result is not deterministic yes/no decision templates, but almost holistic evaluations of the present and the past. Why do top corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, Softbank, or Alphabet use such software – but states don’t?
  • Politics vs. Science: Especially in the context of the climate debate, I often wonder why there are serious debates about the extent of human guilt for undeniable climate change – and especially about which state or state. which people have caused more harmful emissions. I would like to banish these discussions to Members’ coffee clubs and instead push for binding measures. It is not only in the field of climate research that we are running out of time; also in education, integration, the social contract between old and young (keyword secure pension), infrastructure, the development of artificial intelligence and many more, personal or party opinions are exchanged, where scientific evidence has long been Exists. Project managers from agile, market-leading companies would only shake their heads if they had to analyse the management of parliamentary debates. Less rhetoric, more (potentially unwelcome) binding decisions!
  • Employers vs. Workers: Any structural change has an impact on the economy. But it does not help to shy from the consequences. Employers’ associations are begging for tax relief and a reduction in social security contributions, while workers’ associations are openly opposed to “disruptive” innovations to safeguard jobs. A seemingly intractable conflict, as both operate in different systems. Some want to maximize profits, preserve other working conditions. Both fail due to globally networked systems, which unfortunately take little account of geographical systems. If you want to secure jobs, you have to make long-term, realistic forecasts and start the transformation in time instead of preserving the old status quo until the turnaround is suddenly radical. If you want to maximize profits, you need to try up-to-date organizational and process tools instead of pacifying shareholders in the short term through incremental improvements in the balance sheet.
  • Faction coercion vs. Conscience of the Deputies: From the day of the election to the Bundestag, a member of parliament finds himself in a fundamental conflict of conscience. On the one hand, the election promises to the citizens, on the other hand the commitment to their own group, which has not primarily anchored the national politics of the elected in its foundations. How should these differences be compatible? Well, through networking (from social media to blockchain / DLT votes) all interested parties, those involved, those affected can participate technically simply in decisions. For the construction of a swimming pool, these are the taxpayers of a municipality or a county; for the decision of speed limits on motorways all road users, and so on. Direct digital democracy is the buzzword.

In short: the end of the story…

… does not occur again. The renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama predicted the “end of history” in 1992 after the fall of the Iron Curtain, not least because the ideological question between capitalism and communism seemed to be resolved. But that is nonsense, of course. Nor will the utopia of a perfect society and politics be made by mine or other people’s proposals next year. January.

However, my personal motivation on a path to a “world with a future” is and remains to point out grievances and to present constructive, often fundamental solutions. If you have read so far, I would like to begin by thanking you for your attention. If you have thought of a new thought, I am happy about comments and reproduction of my thoughts – and even more so about the implementation on a small and a large scale. In addition, as always, this contribution should serve as an invitation to change perspectives; because if we continue as before, we will not make any progress.

Selected sources

Institute for German Economy IWD (2019): What helps the turnout on the jumps.

Luhmann, Niklas (2002): Introduction to System Theory.

Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

Rezo ja lol ey (2019): The destruction of the CDU:

Thunberg, Greta (2019): TED An urgent appeal to tackle climate change as quickly as possible:

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