Solidarity as a future government maxim

                                 Solidarity as a future government maxim

A comment

Solidarity as a future government maxim

A comment


North Rhine-Westphalia                                                 

City: Düsseldorf
Languages: The official language is German. In addition, numerous local dialects are spoken.                    Inhabitants: 17.925.570

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„Because now is such a day, one does not change the policy“1, said Armin Laschet recently with regard to the flood of the century in the southwest. But that is exactly what they are doing! Now, of course, it’s easy to rebuke the CDU candidate for chancellor in a decontextualized way. More content pleasing? Indeed, the Laschet family assumes to be descendants of the great European Charlemagne.2 Thus, Laschet the Great holds a natural right of succession to the throne and will succeed current Chancellor Angela Merkel.

© Frank Kehren on Flickr
© State of NRW

A few days ago I learned that the chicken is a descendant of the dinosaur3. At first I couldn’t believe it, but after some background research it was actually confirmed. What do we learn from this? The chicken is a fundamental part of this society, because the breakfast egg remains essential for Sunday breakfast – whether VW removes the currywurst from the canteen or not. Great power is therefore followed by great responsibility.

Dear Mr. Laschet, for the coming legislative period it will not be enough „[…] to make NRW more climate-proof“1. Therefore, our tip: roll up your sleeves and make a splash, not a spill! The same applies to Bündnis 90/Die Grünen. If, for example, a Kiwi coalition is formed (good luck, good luck, dear Greens), then the climate policy course must be changed – yesterday, not tomorrow! To stay in the image of the kiwi: the CDU should be the little annoying seeds between the teeth, while the Greens are the juicy pulp, which is why we buy the kiwi in the first place. In the end, however, a sour, furry aftertaste remains on the tongue.

All joking aside, climate policy must not be allowed to become a bargaining chip, as it has in Baden-Württemberg. It is clear that politics is always a struggle for majorities and compromises. However, the Greens make themselves untrustworthy when they concede more deportations to the CDU – in the first half of 2021, there were 518 4 – for a handful of wind turbines. What we need instead is more solidarity as the guiding principle of progressive politics. Only through more social cohesion can the great transformational achievements of the coming decades be mastered. Solidarity means: climate compensation payments for low-income earners, tax and gender justice, rent caps and adjustments, allowing municipalities to take in more refugees, a foreign policy as a peace policy. This list is far from complete, but it is a step in the right direction. A look at the election programs shows which parties use the word solidarity and how often: Left 12, SPD 11, Greens 6, CDU 2, FDP 0 (with the exception of the abolition of the Soli).5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Actually, it would be time for a left-progressive solidarity coalition. Society thinks more socialist than is reflected in the elections and the government. Why? There is a tendency for the interests of wealthier voter groups to prevail, as they become involved in parties, citizens‘ initiatives or interest groups.10 At the same time, union membership has been declining for years, and low voter turnout is also an expression of frustration and resignation.11 

Voter turnout by income in Germany

     Voter turnout by age          in Germany

Voter turnout by income in Germany

Voter turnout by age in Germany

All these are systemic imbalances, of course! What is urgently needed is a comprehensive electoral reform (lowering of the voting age, limitation of the term of office, mandatory quota regulations, reduction of the bloated parliament, citizens‘ councils, etc.).12, 13

Unfortunately, Armin the Great will not free us from this misery. The only option is political commitment: get out on the streets, get involved in initiatives, show your stance in social media and, above all, vote on September 26. You have the choice between a future-oriented and solidary policy or well, you know it yourself…




  1. Sabin, Thomas: „Weil jetzt so ein Tag ist, ändert man nicht die Politik“,  retrieved from Last accessed 11.08.2021.
  2. Stern: Laschet-Familie sieht sich als Nachfahren von Karl dem Großen (16.09.2020), retrieved from–familie-sieht-sich-als-nachfahren-von-karl-dem-grossen-9417226.html. Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  3. Schulte von Drach, Markus C.: T. rex, der Onkel des Huhns (17. 05.2010), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  4. Flüchtlingsrat Baden-Württemberg: 518 Abschiebungen im ersten Halbjahr 2021 (08.07.2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  5. Die Linke: Zeit zu handeln: Für soziale Sicherheit, Frieden und Klimagerechtigkeit! (2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  6. SPD: Aus Respekt vor deiner Zukunft. Das Zukunftsprogramm der SPD (2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  7. Bündnis 90/Die Grünen: Deutschland. Alles ist drin (2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  8. CSU: Das Programm für Stabilität und Erneuerung. Gemeinsam für ein modernes Deutschland (2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  9. FDP: Nie gab es mehr zu tun (2021), retrieved from Last accessed 23.07.2021.
  10. Schäfer, Armin/Zürn, Michael (2021): Die demokratische Regression. Suhrkamp: Berlin.
  11. Schäfer, Armin (2012): Beeinflusst die sinkende Wahlbeteiligung das Wahlergebnis? Eine Analyse kleinräumiger Wahldaten in deutschen Großstädten. In: Politische Vierteljahreszeitschrift. 53 (2), S. 240-264.
  12. Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Kein getreues Abbild der Bevölkerung (03.02.2021), retrieved from Last accessed 11.08.2021.
  13. Deutschlandfunk Kultur: Mehr Demokratie wagen − reloaded (15.11.2019), retrieved from Last accessed 11.08.2021.

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