Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 27, 2021

How Centuries Old Local Differences Still Influence German Politics

The German federal election results did not surprise much. What they do show though are the long term effects of geographic-demographic-political idiosyncrasies.

Here are the general election results for each party and the potential coalitions they could form in parliament to create a government. Voter participation was a still healthy 77%.


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Some explanations:

  • The Social-democrats (SPD) are the left of center mainstream party. They won new voters from the other side of the center as well as from the left (Linke). Their candidate for chancellor, the centrist Olaf Scholz, will likely lead the next government.
  • The Christian Union (CDU + the Bavarian CSU) are the right of center mainstream party. They lost due to several recent corruption scandals as well as for presenting the gaffe prone Armin Laschet as chancellor candidate.
  • The Greens are, well, camouflage green as they are pro-NATO Atlanticists. A few month ago they were artificially hyped as potential leading party but deflated over unexplained exaggerations in their main candidate's vita and a too unrealistic environmental program.
  • The FDP are economic liberals who are at times trending towards libertarian.
  • The AFD are right to very right wing 'alternative' conservatives. There losses are due to their anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine positions.
  • The Left (Linke) is nominally socialist. Over the last two years their leadership has emphasized 'wokeness' instead of socialism which led to a loss of their long term supporters.
The previous government under Chancellor Merkel was a black-red coalition of the Union parties and the Social-democrats.

The next government under a Chancellor Scholz will probably be a red-black coalition of the Social-democrats and the Union parties.

An alternative is a traffic light (Ampel) coalition of Social-democrats, Liberals and Greens.

Foreign policy wise the second one would likely be more Atlanticist and hawkish as the previous one as well as less stable.

Here now comes the more interesting observation. Each voter has had two votes. The first was for the direct candidate elected in each constituency / electoral district. There are 299 of these. The district candidate with the most votes wins a parliament seat. The second vote was for a party list. The party list votes are proportionally applied to each party to select parliament members from their ranked lists.

This map shows the results of the second votes in each district. The darker the color the higher was the share of the vote.


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It is obvious that Germany is not a politically uniform landscape. There are strong regional tendencies. The east and north are more Social-democratic territory. The south and some districts in the west are more Union black. Saxony in the south-east is the only area in which a majority voted for the right wing 'Alternative'. Some well off city center districts voted for the Greens.

What I find amazing is that these differences can be traced back through hundreds of years.

Compare the above map with this one from 1860 when Germany was still split into several kingdoms and principalities.


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(Germany has lost the Prussian parts east of the white north-south line (which I added) due to the second world war.)

The old Kingdom of Prussia is now Social-democratic territory. The Kingdom of Bavaria and its western neighbors are quite uniformly Union black. But most astonishing is how the former Kingdom of Saxony is, a hundred and sixty years later, still a quite special territory with its own political expression. I find it fascinating that such political borders, which had been nominally removed after the German unification in 1871, still exist today.

Another demographic feature explaining vote tendencies in Germany is religion.


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These are the shares of self-declared Catholic, Protestant and Atheist from a 2011 census. The Union-black election districts in Germany's west are majority Catholic while the more Protestant and Atheists areas have more Social-democratic voters. The effects of the reformation in the 1500s and the Thirty Years' War in the 1600s are still with us just as much as the more recent non-religious education in east Germany.

What can we learn from this?

Very localized historic experiences which root hundreds of years back are still having political effects in today's globalized world.

This is what neo-conservatives and regime changers forget when they claim that they can change countries and remake them in their own image. That will never work because the historic local context affects everything.

Posted by b on September 27, 2021 at 15:59 UTC | Permalink

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AfD didn't do that badly.
Sad to hear Linke has gone woke tho, is Wagenknetch still in charge?

Posted by: Smith | Sep 27 2021 16:08 utc | 1

Video: Election results in Germany deliver unworkable coalition mess

Posted by: Norwegian | Sep 27 2021 16:22 utc | 2

Thanks for the posting b showing how much some people hold onto regional history and culture.

It would be interesting to know what the migratory nature of Germans is within their country in relation to say, Americans.

While the multiparty system of Germany should bring better choices than the money duopoly in America, it still seems to be overly influenced by money.

And just how does Germany feel about being occupied?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 27 2021 16:25 utc | 3

In the U.S. wouldn't even the Christian Union be left of the Squad Stalinists on things that actually matter to those of us who are not part of the 2.3% trio (1) the .3% who as far as they are concerned see the wrong sex when looking in the mirror; 2) the 1% who bald, softball playing bikers addicted to Buzzfeed; 3) and the 1% Bill Gate$ belongs to)???

Posted by: William Haught | Sep 27 2021 16:36 utc | 4

A blogpost by Bill Mitchell about the legacy of Frau Merkel

The Merkel failure

Posted by: c | Sep 27 2021 16:37 utc | 5

Interesting Times
Referendums Yes.

After years of rising rent forcing many Berliners out of the city, activists led by Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen, or DWE) received nearly 350,000 signatures from Berliners and managed to force a vote on whether to allow the expropriation of housing owned by landlords with over 3,000 units on the Sept. 26 election ballot.

While the movement to expropriate large real estate companies, who have made a fortune speculating on the housing market and causing rent increases over the past decade, has been active in Berlin for years, ironically it was the German Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Berlin’s Mietendeckel (rent cap) law that was the catalyst for the current referendum. While this law would not impose a rent cap, DWE volunteer Dennis Rahmel thinks that it would still have a dramatic impact on rent prices in the city. “Prices would go down in the expropriated apartments, which would change the rent not [just for the socialized apartments] but for other people as well, no matter if they were in public apartments or not,” said Rahmel. “It would also mean that society could show that there is some power against investors, against big capital, and that housing is a human right… it would be a big sign for other cities, too.”

Kim Meyer with Bündnis gegen Verdrängung und Mietenwahnsinn Berlin (The Berlin Alliance again

Posted by: ld | Sep 27 2021 16:44 utc | 6

sorry the last sentemce was not pasted.

Kim Meyer with Bündnis gegen Verdrängung und Mietenwahnsinn Berlin (The Berlin Alliance against Displacement and Rent Madness) thinks that it will also discourage the kind of rampant speculation (and subsequent rent hikes) that real estate markets around the world have seen.
Full article at Zerohedge

Posted by: ld | Sep 27 2021 16:46 utc | 7

Why not a Global African Quad alliance?

http://taobq.blogspot.com/2016/06/colours-for-making-african-pride-and.html

It’s the only way of making sure the Atlantic bridgers don’t hold the supermajority coalition hostage - when Germany decides to dump nato.

A fabulous result (except for the Greens hanging onto some of their hype).
AfD are like UK’s UKIP under Farage. He never won a seat in the U.K. parliament and were a single issue party - kill the EU! Funded by foreign billionaires and overseen by Bannon and Murdoch as the fronts of the dying Empire. They stopped Corbynite Labour but are dead as a dodo. Good riddance.

Posted by: D.G. | Sep 27 2021 17:01 utc | 8

Greens were never popular in Germany, they have been hyped by the media for ten years.Rumor has it that its biggest contributor is an investment fund in the Netherlands

Posted by: Nick | Sep 27 2021 17:05 utc | 9

"Camouflage Green" a perfect description!

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 17:10 utc | 10

@ld #6
I sincerely doubt 3000 apartments will make any difference on the rental prices of the rest. It is simply too small a share to have an impact, particularly since the demand for these apartments will be dramatic.
Only if there is available low price housing, will the overall market align.
Some data: San Francisco has a lot of rent controlled housing. Supposedly 60% of SF renters are in rent controlled properties, but SF has the single highest average rent in the entire United States. If 39% of housing stock isn't able to keep SF out of the top spot in least affordable rent, I don't see how 3000 makes even a ripple.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 27 2021 17:13 utc | 11

@clue #11

not 3000 total - each developer with 3000 or more units will be expropriated. Would be nice to know how many developers have such portfolios of properties but i'm too lazy to search for it and I know a kind barfly will chime in eventually. so say there are 100 developers with 3000 units each that means 300000 units.

Posted by: alpaka | Sep 27 2021 17:27 utc | 12

Hi, Bernhard, I see we both (Hamburg, Cologne) have one direct mandate for the Green Party. I already congratulated my own winner, while reminding him that while open to LGBTQ, I surely hope he will not support its implantation at gun-point. Not in Russia, at least. ;) Hungary, Poland???

I surely, although vaguely, recall the Hamburg faction that at one point opted out. As did indeed one of the party's founders here in Cologne, the father of a good friend.

Be well.
PS try to care of the their vs there's, it's a bit like then vs than. ;)

Posted by: enigma | Sep 27 2021 17:27 utc | 13

fascinating b.. than you..wonder how long it will take now for someone accusing you of not covering germany, lol..i especially relate to your conclusion in the last paragraph…. i wish germany well in these turbulent times..

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2021 17:31 utc | 14

The next government under a Chancellor Scholz will probably be a red-black coalition of the Social-democrats and the Union parties.

Once again, I seriously doubt it.

My guess will be that it will include the politically hybrid FDP. Hybrid socially vs state market-free market axis. Socially, tending towards free vs conservative. Market wise unleashed, unleashed free market freed of state controls.

Looks like the traffic light coalition (red, green, yellow), but we'll see. On the market, the FDP is closer to the CDU/CSU. Could against whatever odds become Jamaica too (black, green, yellow).

Posted by: enigma | Sep 27 2021 17:40 utc | 15

@ 6/7 id.. i have been following this closely.. it is affecting all western societies at this point.. i want to call it a clash between rampant profit explotation and the born predator class that make up a small percentage of our world and the large majority of the rest of us.. it might be the 1% against the 99% but it seems to me the middle class with their retirement plans, mutual funds and etc are working for the 1% at this point, unknowingly.. good conversation for an open thread..i wish the berlin referendum success..

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2021 17:41 utc | 16

Those idiosyncrasies are not unique to Germany. They are common all across Europe. The reason for that is very simple: since capitalism was born in Europe, it was never colonized; instead, it grew organically in partnership with the local monarchies. That's why these old late-feudal habits persist in Germany and elsewhere in the Peninsula.

The local results don't invalidate the national results. The European peoples know how to compartmentalize foreign and domestic policy. That's why, for example, the Labour Party fares much better on local elections (council seats) than on national elections: the average Brit wants social-democracy only for his neighborhood - not the rest of the world, which should expect the taste of British naval might. The Germans are identical.

I don't think there will be a Red-Black government. The Christians were shafted nationally (worst result for them since 1949) precisely because the German people decided to punish them (by removing them from national power); it wouldn't make any sense for the SPD, who just won a vote of confidence, to bring back the Christians to power and restore the status quo ante. In my opinion, Scholz will try to form a Red-Green-Whatever the Color of the Fourth Placed Party Is and throw the Christian Union to the opposition. That's the first and foremost reason.

The second reason is that people - Germans included - don't imagine how pro-West/West-oriented the SPD is. It always was, since its foundation. If there's one immutable creed of the SPD throughout the more than one century of its existence is its Western orientation. They are the original orientalists, they have a natural repulse for everything beyond Poland. To them, anything beyond the old frontiers of East Prussia is essentially China (Japan and South Korea being the notable exceptions, but then they can simply consider them Western USA States from Hawaii), which is very bad and inferior, according to them. What I think can save Germany's bacon on this is the powerful pressure of the German capitalist class from the auto sector, who are very much eager to trade with Russia and China.

From the point of view of a foreigner (i.e. a non-German), the impression is that Germany is stagnated. It has essentially become the European Japan. It has reached its limit and exhausted all of its possibilities - it is now just a question to wait for the inevitable collapse to come.

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 17:54 utc | 17

@alpaka #12
"expropriated" is an interesting term. Stolen? Nationalized?
Secondly, SF is a pretty small city. There are only about 400K housing units total for a city with a population of 850K.
For Berlin to achieve 39% affordable or even just rent controlled housing, it would require a stock of 800K units (I'm assuming around 2M housing units in Berlin).
Even if apartments are let's say, a mere 250K euro - that's 200 billion euros of compensation, minimum.
Good luck with that.
And as I noted - SF is the single most expensive city to rent in despite having the 39% rent controlled stock - so likely the "take" in Berlin would have to be higher.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 27 2021 17:59 utc | 18

Within the blanket topic of geography is a subsection, political geography that tracks the sorts of changes b provided and can prove very deeply rooted. Gerrymandering uses it as a tool. Within the Outlaw US Empire, it was hoped the migration of Liberal Northerners to the Illiberal South would change the longstanding voting habits of the region, and that's happened to a degree, most notably in Georgia. But as Gruff pointed out on the week in review thread, usual voting patterns aren't what they once were due to how the public's reacted to Establishment projects to further divide them. I should note that the preferred degree program--business--has very few requirements of the social-science variety that generates both good and poor outcomes and can vary greatly between institutions--some more liberating thought-wise while others are more doctrinaire, constraining and establishmentarian.

In Germany's case, it's public's longstanding political philosophy is conservative but with a collective aspect that helps mute the promotion of aggressive (some might say regressive) individualism, while society hasn't seen the extended family torn asunder to the degree that's happened in Angloland. One of several reasons why Germany and Europe on the whole share many values with Russia is they're all essentially Classically Conservative, which is to say they aren't reactionary like conservatives within the Outlaw US Empire. Where to place Russophobic Radicals within the political spectrum/matrix, and not just within Germany, where IMO few genuinely exist? Likewise, where to place the Neoliberals, for it can be argued they too are radicals inimical to Europe's overall health?

Last, how does the German election impact EU togetherness? Some are writing that with the election results Germany has reclaimed its sovereignty, which IMO is bull as long as Occupation forces remain, and I don't see any huge policy differences or change in the public's political mood.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2021 18:14 utc | 19

D.G. | Sep 27 | 8
That was every owner with over 3000 units not just 3000 units.
Megacorporations that run the rent monopoly

Posted by: ld | Sep 27 2021 18:21 utc | 20

This suggests more regional than religious influence upon politics:
1. The NE Atheists and Protestants both vote regionally, either SDU left or AfD right;
2. The S-SW Catholics mostly vote centrist CDS-CSU; perhaps OKd by religious leaders.

Generally local/religious groups fear social/economic losses from nonconformity with their tribe.
Classical tyrants exploit fear as defenders against imaginary enemies of their tribe.

So I'm curious why religious segregation persists without tyranny causing tense divisions.
Are tribal tyrants simply balanced, or are they more weakened by skepticism than in the US?

Posted by: Sam F | Sep 27 2021 18:33 utc | 21

The east and north are more Social-democratic territory. The south and some districts in the west are more Union black.

Well, OK, it is an interesting observation, but why ignore the elephant in the room? Most of the red corresponds pretty exactly to the former East Germany, as against West Germany overwhelmed by corporate black. The East-West German border is sadly lacking from your account, but in major cases the boundary correspondence is exact. Admittedly that doesn't hold up so well in the north-east - perhaps factory labour considerations? As far as Saxony is concerned, maybe one could relate some of the differences as a combination of East German past (hence third way), with its traditional proximity to far-right Bavaria.

Although on the face of it so different, socialist and AfD are two sides of the same coin - the socialists are the ordinary people who appreciated - and mostly now miss - the socal benefits of East Germany, while the AfD are dominated by the elites of the former communist party members, who on the whole after unification became ultra-right capitalists par excellance.

Posted by: BM | Sep 27 2021 18:35 utc | 22

@ld & DH

The Deutsche Wohnen Group would be particularly affected by this. 113,000 of its 155,000 flats are located in Berlin. However, the competitor Vonovia is currently taking over Deutsche Wohnen – in the meantime it has secured the majority of the shares. In addition, the housing companies Akelius, Covivio, TAG Immobilien and Grand City Properties would also be affected by expropriation plans. According to experts, there are about a dozen companies with about 243,000 homes.

Posted by: DWE | Sep 27 2021 18:44 utc | 23

@Posted by: enigma | Sep 27 2021 17:40 utc | 15

Don't rule out Jamaica (I immediately think of "Money Heist" and that there should be a Jamaica character, but I pull my mind back), the Green leader is the Manchurian Green Candidate and would be happy to join an elite alliance while shafting any progressives in her party.

@Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 17:54 utc | 17

"From the point of view of a foreigner (i.e. a non-German), the impression is that Germany is stagnated. It has essentially become the European Japan. It has reached its limit and exhausted all of its possibilities - it is now just a question to wait for the inevitable collapse to come."

It will suck Europe dry first, as it has already done with Greece (even now, still sucking out what is left). Their greatest nightmare is that the Chinese work out how to produce all the heavy machinery and other intermediate goods that Germany produces at a much lower price point and perhaps more mass configurable manufacturing than custom. I am also waiting for the entry of Chinese EV car manufacturers into Europe, it will be much worse than when the Japanese arrived.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 18:47 utc | 24

There's a very strong ethnic component to the voting choice, also, in those voting maps.

Posted by: BM | Sep 27 2021 18:48 utc | 25

Gerrymandering is not possible in Germany, because the allocations of seats in the Bundestag is almost strictly proportional, direct election for 299 (?) seats is basically decorative, creating a feeling of connection between the voters and the representatives. There are quirky situations when single-mandate elections makes a difference, but this is a little difference.

I read that in 2017, FDP postulated 3% GDP of military spending, a tax cut, increase public work investments and balancing the budget through privatization. This is not libertarianism but trying to restore the mythical glory of the age of capitalist robber barons (or is it the same thing?), plus wrecking the budget to crush social functions of the state, "Anglo-Saxon model". I do not know their current programs -- do they admit to any? Christian Democrats have so social sentiments, bless their soul, and so do SDP. Perhaps there is some continuum here.

Apart from actual difficulty of proposing sensible deviations from "Anglo-Saxon/robber baron" model, progressive (formerly progressive) parties are swamped by substitution of progressive focus with "new hip issues" which are combine with imperialist narrative. This seems to be organized by think tanks and shady funding. Linke and Greens were both affected.

A nice thing about SDP and CSU is that they are open to the reality that deviating from Atlanticist orthodoxy can be good for German business and German society. With the likes of Laschet and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (I get cramps trying to say her name), it seems that too many in CDU availed themselves to meats with prions (agents of mad cow disease and analogous cases among sheep, deer and even squirrels, although Germans are not great squirrel eaters). Do those people have cavities in the brain?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 27 2021 18:54 utc | 26

Their greatest nightmare is that the Chinese work out how to produce all the heavy machinery and other intermediate goods that Germany produces at a much lower price point and perhaps more mass configurable manufacturing than custom. I am also waiting for the entry of Chinese EV car manufacturers into Europe, it will be much worse than when the Japanese arrived.
Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 18:47 utc | 23

They already do.

I suspect a large part of German wealth these days is a combination of cars, finance, and importing Chinese goods into the EU, with most other manufacturing markedly reduced. Interestingly Germany is by far the main importer of Chinese goods for the whole of the EU - and they get to keep the import taxes not the destination country! I think Italy is the other main importer from China, but dwarfed in volume compared to Germany. Import duties paid at point of entry, then distributed throughout the EU.

Some 2 decades ago there were proposals from China to redevelop a former US air base as a dedicated air cargo base only for importation from China.

Posted by: BM | Sep 27 2021 19:01 utc | 27

Camo green. Thank you b for coining the term.

I don't completely agree on your closing sentence, however.

Posted by b on September 27, 2021 at 15:59 UTC

This is what neo-conservatives and regime changers forget when they claim that they can change countries and remake them in their own image. That will never work because the historic local context affects everything.

For one thing, regime changers rarely boast of their capabilities and even less of their achievements. In fact, much of their effort goes into perception management and erasing their tracks.

I would also add that the situation you describe, that is, a well grounded, natural division in a nation, is a godsend opportunity for any regime changer worth his pay grade. What better way to force the discussion towards favourable ground than to introduce naturally occurring wedges. Hey, let's forget about about these common grievances for a while and could we please talk about THEM? Brothers, have you heard what THEY are saying about us? Quickly now, let us take these sticks and march in this direction.

Not saying there is an intention to divide in this particular circumstance, but it helps to understand how easy it is to nurture sectarian division to manipulate a bunch of hardcore haters. I'm still amazed how the mere mention of the name Trump will set off these peripheral hockey fights that, to this day, still have the potential to hold up the game.

Posted by: robin | Sep 27 2021 19:17 utc | 28

AfD didn't do that badly.
Sad to hear Linke has gone woke tho, is Wagenknetch still in charge?

Posted by: Smith | Sep 27 2021 16:08 utc | 1

No idea if someone already answered you. Members in the Left Party wanted to kick her out. The party itself wouldn't have made it into the new Bundestag hadn't they gained three direct mandates. Otherwise, they wouldn't have made it. Only reached 4,9 % instead of the needed 5 %. Three direct mandates: In Berlin and Leipzip, if I am correct. Gysi in Berlin? Haven't checked.

Back on topic: Some members wanted to kick Sahra Wagenknecht out of the party after her recent critique of the Left Party. Book wise. She survived the onslaught though, and since she is heading the party list of the biggest country, she should make it into the next Bundestag. Where she is desperately needed to face down Alice Weidel. ;)

Sahra, yes she spells her name that way, has been interesting to watch over the decades.

Posted by: LeaNder | Sep 27 2021 19:33 utc | 29

Analysis of Germany by Marxist economist Michael Roberts:

German election: unsteady as she goes

Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 19:49 utc | 30

"This is what neo-conservatives and regime changers forget when they claim that they can change countries and remake them in their own image. That will never work because the historic local context affects everything."

Excellent insight

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 27 2021 19:51 utc | 31

B, you should definitively read Emmanuel Todd's book : The Explanation of Ideology: Family Structure & Social Systems, 1985, Blackwell Publishers, translated by David Garrioch (La Troisième planète, 1983)

Where he explains the political vote of the people (today) by the type of family structure he/she comes from (200 years ago).

Basically, you vote communist because your family sctructure is equalitarian/authoritarian or liberal because the anlgo-saxon family sctucture was/is non-egalitarian & freedom oriented.
(sorry, this is a very rough/wrong summary only to interest you to the subject)

There's a little summary of some of his ideas at the bottom of this page.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Todd

Posted by: SysATI | Sep 27 2021 19:57 utc | 32

And now to more sobering developments... Storm in a Teacup, or a retro Balkan Brew ready to boil?

The timing with Europe's energy woes/NS2 and recent Nato retreats/tensions is interesting, see what evolves ... Who is pushing the agenda towards escalation? What is the point of these new vehicle restrictions exactly?

https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20210927-nato-steps-up-patrols-as-kosovo-serbia-tensions-soar

Posted by: Et Tu | Sep 27 2021 20:00 utc | 33

@Posted by: LeaNder | Sep 27 2021 19:33 utc | 28

The background of such individuals is always interesting, from wikipedia:

"From 1990, she studied Philosophy and New German Literature as an undergraduate in Jena and Berlin but dropped out. She then enrolled as a philosophy student at the University of Groningen where she earned an MA in 1996 for a thesis on the young Karl Marx's interpretation of Hegel, published as a book in 1997.[2][3] From 2005 until 2012 she studied economics at the TU Chemnitz, where she earned a PhD with a dissertation on "The Limits of Choice: Saving Decisions and Basic Needs in Developed Countries",[4] subsequently published by the Campus Verlag"

From what I can see she looks like a traditional leftist fighting against the academic Woke that seem to threaten every left party. No wonder they went after her, even using the same anti-semitism bullshit they used on Corbyn.

"argues that German left-wing politics has been co-opted by a middle-class academic elite which has little interest in the concerns of today’s working class, from precarious labour contracts to a growing housing crisis. Behind their professions of solidarity, she sees an evangelical obsession with identity politics, political correctness and the welfare of minority groups – and a rabid intolerance of those who see things differently ... Rather than shoot the messenger, it urged a radical rethink of 21st century left-wing politics “in the interests of the lower social half of the population in Germany”.

Sounds like a modern-day left-wing Cassandra - cursed to utter true prophecies that would be ignored or rejected.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/germany-s-left-party-convulsed-by-effort-to-expel-internal-critic-1.4607140

A very interesting interview with her:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8DcTr5fPCE

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 20:35 utc | 34

@Posted by: LeaNder | Sep 27 2021 19:33 utc | 28

"Sahra, yes she spells her name that way, has been interesting to watch over the decades."

Sahra is an Iranian spelling, her father is from Iran.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 20:46 utc | 35

Do Germans get to decide between the Red-Black coalition or the Ampel coalition, or is the choice dictated by the US embassy and State Department? If so, I guess the Ampel coalition will win.

The reason I ask is that I suspect the US strongly influences European coalition decisions. Naturally none of this is done in public.

P.S. - Why is there no yellow Ampelmann?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 27 2021 20:50 utc | 36

William Haught @4:

Only .3% can't decide on what sexual gender to belong to? Only 1% addicted to Buzzfeed? A full 1% with $$$ on par with Gate$?

Your line of thought is absolutely right; your numbers are all grossly wrong.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 27 2021 20:53 utc | 37

@Posted by: vk | Sep 27 2021 19:49 utc | 29

Thanks for the link, some great points made:

"German real wages fell during the Eurozone era and are now below the level of 1999, while German real GDP per capita has risen nearly 30%." But even with that:

"However, even German capitalism, the most successful advanced capitalist economy in the world, could not escape the downward forces of the Long Depression. Since the global financial crash in 2008-9, German profitability has stagnated and then began to fall from 2017, even before the COVID slump hit in 2020. Profitability is now near the lows of the early 1980s."

"Contrary to the general impression, Germany is not an equal society. Regional disparities are large (between west and east) and, although inequality of incomes is not large by international standards, inequality of wealth is among the worst in Europe."

Also, an excellent commenter:

"Germany is still an occupied country (chiefly the US). The the privatization of East Germany and Hartz reforms inititated a process of international (mostly US) capital in the form of major equity and captial managing funds like Blackrock and Vantage, etc. buying up or into German industrial, service, real estate and financial organizations . The How much of the German economy is “German”?

A great point that matches that made by Sean Starrs "American Economic Power Hasn't Declined—It Globalized! Summoning the Data and Taking Globalization Seriously" in International Studies Quarterly, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp. 817–830 (non paywalled link below)

"This will reveal, for example, that despite the declining global share of United States GDP from 40% in 1960 to below a quarter from 2008 onward, American corporations continue to dominate sector after sector. In fact, in certain advanced sectors such as aerospace and software—even in financial services—American dominance has increased since 2008"

"American firms own 46% of the world’s top 500 corpora- tions (despite “only” 33% of the top 500 with US-domi- cile), which is almost six times greater than its nearest competitor, Japan. And note the asymmetry of cross-own- ership: While the American share in many non-American corporations reaches 20% or more, the total combined foreign share of top American corporations is usually no more than 15%. Americans own much more of the world than the rest of the world owns the United States, and this asymmetric interdependence leads to asymmetric power. Perhaps one of the clearest manifestations of this is that American citizens continue to own the dominant share of global wealth at 40% or more, despite the global share of US GDP steadily declining over the past half-century to less than a quarter since 2008."

"As there is no alternative to the US dollar and T-bill, no other state has the structural capacity to maintain global capitalism, and no other nation approaches the dominance of American TNCs across such a wide breadth of sectors. And with the globalization of corporate ownership, American investors also profit from the operations of non-American TNCs and vice versa, as the global investor class depends on American prosperity more than ever: All for one and one for all. But this interdependence is asymmetric—the root of structural power—as the American state-society complex remains the richest and most powerful in the world. Hence, American economic power has not declined—it has globalized, and we must move beyond national accounts and take globalization seriously in order to adequately conceptualize this transformation."

This was written nearly a decade ago (especially with the length of time it takes to get peer reviewed!), but it is predominantly still true although US power is slowly declining.

https://academic.oup.com/isq/article/57/4/817/1817158?login=true

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 20:59 utc | 38

ld @6:

The real estate companies did not make the rules and laws that allowed them to get rich on rents and property ownership. So Berliners decided to go pleading with the law makers, who are supposed to fine tune rules and laws to promote social equity and/or sustainability, to rob smart property owners of their legally won wealth. My questions for Berliners is why the hell you keep electing stupid politicians who knows nil about governance and are easily bought by schemers, and why the hell you think robbing property owners is fair game?

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 27 2021 21:05 utc | 39

It's the same in Poland. Their election results look like the map of 1914. There was even a (sic!) German government project to show the similarities as "phantom borders": http://phantomgrenzen.eu/das-projekt

Posted by: Dirk | Sep 27 2021 21:15 utc | 40

Alice Wiedl, AfD party group leader in the Bundestag:

- A lesbian
- Against mass immigration, proposing export processing zones (SEZs) in the Middle East to give them jobs and help them stay at home. Also, thinks a Canadian-style "merit" immigration system would be good.
- Speaks fluent Mandarin and spent 6 years in China - working at the Bank of China!
- Wants Germany to stay in the EU, but leave the Euro
- Wants weak states to leave the EU, i.e. bring it back to being a viable grouping of relatively equal (GDP per capita) states
- ""I don’t want anyone with their gender idiocy or their early sexualisation classes coming near my children" she says

All of the above, with a left-wing economic orientation and independent foreign policy that does not demonize Russia and China would be wonderful, but unfortunately not. Her party is strongly pro-NATO, pro-USA and pro-Israel but opposes sanction on Russia and sees the Ukraine as an internal matter. Also, ordoliberal economics wise.

You can have economically conservative and socially liberal ("Woke") - SPD
You can have economically conservative and somewhat socially liberal - CDU/CSU
You can have economically conservative and socially conservative - FDP
You can fake left-wing (i.e. "Woke") - Recent Die Like
You can even have Green and neoconservative - Green Party

BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE anyone that is truly left wing economically, whether socially liberal or conservative as that does not serve the capitalist class. Hence the destruction of Corbyn, the attacks on Sahra Wagenknecht, and the attacks even on the milquetoast lefty Bernie Saunders, and the cooption of fake-lefty AOC (and "the squad" in general).

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 21:27 utc | 41

@Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 27 2021 21:05 utc | 38

Capitalist property developers are notorious for coopting and bribing anyone they need to so that can continue with their looting of the economic commons. You only get to vote for the candidates that have been preselected for your vote, and deemed acceptable by the press and the powers that be. Blaming the victims for their abuse, and then complaining when they attempt to stop it is absolutely ridiculous. Smells of the North American "you are poor because you deserve to be" bullshit.

Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 21:40 utc | 42

Oh. My. God.

In stark contrast to B, I was very surprised by the election results. I'm also thoroughly disappointed by the outcome.

I had seen CDU/CSU at 25%, SPD and Greens battling for 2nd place at around 20% each, Liberals and Alternative battling for 4th place at roughly 10% each. The only party where my private prediction was right is the Left. Except for a few holdouts, they're gone, and deservedly so. I say that as a former supporter. Where I was wrong again is the Freie Wähler block ("Free Voters"), a non-party collective of independent candidates. I had predicted them at a share of some 4.5% of the vote, possibly even the crucial 5% threshold a party needs to gain any seats. I had voted for them this time, and my vote was "for the toilet", as the German term goes. They scored a meagre 2.4%.

I'm scratching my head, wondering what the hell people see in Olaf Scholz and his ragtag SPD. I mean, all the parties are braindead, that goes without saying. But the SPD was considered also somatically dead until 3 months ago. And now this? Olaf Scholz, the ugly ghoul, Mr. Cum-Ex? Err, sorry?

Some of B's claims are just not true. The most important one is the one regarding vaccines. It may seem like a no-brainer to claim that the AfD is somehow opposing the vaccines, but this is just not true. They're not, most of their people will have jumped at the first opportunity to get the lucky shot. The fact is: ALL of the parties are frantically in favor of vaccination, up to the point of harassing people to get it (or get them, rather). ALL of the parties are also ignorant of the fallout from the vaccines. The only ones who are indifferent to skeptical are the Freie Wähler, and they didn't stand a chance.

The fallout by the way is there. It's real, and it's mounting. I've made it a habit to check the online counter of the fire department of the city of Berlin every evening. For medical emergencies, they had an average of 1,160 sorties a day in 2020. Yesterday, the counter stopped at a whooping 1,626. That's a nauseating, breath-taking number. By and large, for months now there has hardly been a day when the counter would stop below 1,300. That's a 12% increase, which is huge and unsustainable.

None of this bodes well.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 27 2021 21:41 utc | 43

Within the blanket topic of geography is a subsection, political geography that tracks the sorts of changes b provided and can prove very deeply rooted.
Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2021 18:14 utc | 19

With all due respect to Bernhard: Those deep religious roots are to some extent nonsense, of course. The roots are much more economic than religious by now. Besides the Württemberg part of the South-Western part of Baden-Württemberg is and always was Protestant:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-W%C3%BCrttemberg#Religion

The South-Eastern Free State Bavaria with its specific CSU party within the CDU/CSU union no doubt was historically Catholic, but by I doubt more than 50% are registered Catholics by now. Ok almost 50%. Another quite Catholic region is the Saarland. Maybe even second behind Bavaria. On your voting pattern map it is quite red though.

What about economical instead of religious reasons? ...

Posted by: LeaNder | Sep 27 2021 21:42 utc | 44

I know very little about German politics, outside of the Baroque; but, for what it is worth, I recall that Saxony was Catholic, yet a slightly different flavor from Bavaria. For instance, the Elector was anti-Jesuit, which was one of the reasons the incomparable Zelenka never became a Kappellmeister.

Posted by: Platero | Sep 27 2021 22:28 utc | 45

You can have economically conservative and socially conservative - FDP
Posted by: Roger | Sep 27 2021 21:27 utc | 40

The FDP is a hybrid. Surely not socially conservative. Quite the opposite. Socially progressive or liberal, but economically right, or unfettered economics. (As the AfD is, while socially conservative) The FDP came close to voting for the complete decriminalization of all drugs. For God's sake! But the vote was withdrawn, supposedly there was a misunderstanding, so party members didn't realize what they were voting for. Something, that couldn't happen in the AfD. ;)

Woke, isn't a good term to describe the Left either. Socially, they are quite active and indeed left, both locally and in the Bundestag, in a good way. But economically, they have partly unrealistic desires. Which makes them good communist threat scapegoats. The specter of a communist take over via the Red (social democrats), Green, Red (the Left) was raised quite effectively during the election campaign.

By the way, to return to Bernhard's religious theme, in the quite Catholic Austria, the citizen of one of Austria's biggest towns voted for the KPÖ, or the communist party of Austria: Graz. And Austria may have one of the best social security systems in Europe. From the perspective of this outsider. Surprises, never end.

Posted by: LeaNder | Sep 27 2021 22:33 utc | 46

Sorry, I remembered that wrong. I was thinking of the principality of Dresden, not Saxony.

Posted by: Platero | Sep 27 2021 22:45 utc | 47

@ 41 roger, 21:40 utc comment.. thanks for saying that. it is exactly my take as well..

Posted by: james | Sep 27 2021 23:14 utc | 48

@ LeaNder

Really sad to see the Linke collapsing and trying to push out Wagenknetch. She was my favorite german politician during the later 10s period.

Oh well, it seems the centrist holds have been emboldened, pushing out both the left and right.

Posted by: Smith | Sep 27 2021 23:14 utc | 49

LeaNder @45--

Glenn Diesen in his Russian Conservatism: Managing Change under Permanent Revolution defines Conservatism thusly:

"Conservatism is about managing change by ensuring that modernization evolves organically by building on the past."

In other words, conservatives shouldn't automatically be considered reactionaries wanting a regression to the past ways of doing things. Rather, they can more readily be seen as Progressives, which was the case in early 20th Century United States and examined by Gabriel Kolko in his Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900–1916, a period known as the Progressive Era. It's thus possible for Communism to be Conservative since Conservatism can be Progressive. Since we are examining Germany, the politician we ought to investigate is Bismarck. My interpretation of Bismarckian policies is they were conservative yet progressively collective when the goal of a nation's political-economy is the advancement of the primary national asset--its human capital.

The Public within "Old Europe"--geographically Iberia to Slovakia--IMO can be classified as Conservative, although their governments in most cases are captive of radical Neoliberals who don't have their wellbeing in mind whatsoever and are behind the attempts to divide and rule. So what we see in response is a temporary radicalization of the public aimed at ousting the radicals and returning to their progressive conservatism promoting the human condition. One of the main battlegrounds we discuss here is riding government of Rentier control by making finance a public utility charged with uplifting humanity instead of a private domain aimed at increasing individual wealth at the expense of humanity. The EU was organized in a manner to prevent that from happening so Rentiers could maintain control. When looking for the basis of most political issues, that's the conflict shown to be impeding progress. And so the direction Germany takes will be key to the solving of European problems.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2021 23:15 utc | 50

Why not go all the way back to Roman times, with the Catholic/CDU regions being those that had been romanized?

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Sep 27 2021 23:35 utc | 51

Principality of Saxony dynastically related to the original Saxony that was conquered by Charlemagne ( now "Lower Saxony") and its ruler had the title of Prince Elector of Saxony as the head of the Saxon House of Wettin: a former frontier march got the name of Saxony in that way. The rulers and thus their subjects became Lutherans with Reformation. Dresden was the capital from early days when it raised from a Slavic village to a city till now. Prince Elector fervently supported Napoleon, gaining the crown of Duchy of Warsaw and title of King as a reward, and loosing Lusatia (and the Duchy of Warsaw) when Napoleon lost (retaining the Royal title).

Because of Polish links, rulers were tolerant in respect to Catholics, but the authorities and the majority of people remained Lutheran. I guess special aspects of their history was that while Lutheran, they were clobbered by Prussians on few occasions, an are of anti-Prussian Lutherans.

Politically, residues of historical animosities may persists in the form of opposite political orientations. Saxony thus has an impulse to have opposite trends than Berlin (Prussia) and Catholic south Germany. That makes AfD a natural choice. BTW, Lusatians did not retain animosity to Prussians after being annexed in 1815.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 27 2021 23:53 utc | 52

Robert Macaire @50--

In Roman times, the Germanic/Celtic tribes were Druidic/Animistic and fearsome foes. The few Germanic tribes that converted to the Roman Church lived within the Roman Empire. The Germanic Tribes that lived in what's now Germany weren't converted until Charlemagne. And the farther North you go the later the conversions with the Nordic peoples finally succumbing @1100.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 27 2021 23:55 utc | 53

Roger @41; james @47:

Interesting. So you both are all for expropriation of properties for the sake of Berliners who want to live free.

While you're at it, why not root for supermarkets handing out groceries free, car dealerships giving away cars free, department stores inviting people in to take there clothing, furniture, cosmetics, etc. etc. all for free. All these are money making institutions making billions no less.

Meanwhile, the law makers who made the laws that allow these money making machines to thrive are obviously blame free. I was simply barking up the wrong tree :-). Yup, you both are classic products of a citizenry of democracy.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 28 2021 0:00 utc | 54

Franks who conquered France consisted of two major groups: one centered on Germanic part of today's Belgium, and the other around Frankfurt (Ford of Franks) and today's northern Bavaria (Frankonia, until Napoleon not a part of Bavaria). As they adopted Catholicism in late 5-th century, that religion was established in entire Western Germany, minus Lower Saxony its adjacencies, with addition of Thuringia. The rest of East Germany was Slavic at that time -- a bit strange, but in 4-5-th centuries Germanic folks in those parts, and in Poland developed irresistible urge to get real estate somewhere in Italy, Gaul or Spain, some even moving to Africa. Then Slavic tribes moved in.

Charlemagne conquered Saxons and Slavs of Eastern Germany were his vassals, later were conquered in stages. What is now Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was Christianized ca. 1100, unlike Scandinavians who got Christianity around 1000.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 28 2021 0:23 utc | 55

Oriental Voice @ 38, 53:

Please check the news about the Berlin referendum carefully. The referendum targeted large landlords like Deutsche Wohnen SE that each own more than 3,000 housing units. Deutsche Wohnen SE alone has a portfolio of over 113,000 housing units in Berlin. The second largest landlord Vonovia (planning to merge with Deutsche Wohnen SE apparently) owns more than 43,000 units.

Even if Berlin voters approve of public expropriation of the thousands of units owned by these and other large landlords - who appear to be corporate investment fund landlords specialising in buying and renting out properties, and whose primary clients are not tenants but their shareholders - the approval is still not legally binding. If the expropriation were allowed to go ahead, the private companies would still be allowed to own units but not own more than 3,000 units or whatever maximum limit ends up being allowed.

The referendum never targeted owner / occupiers of residential properties. More than 80% of Berlin residents rent their homes from corporate landlords like Deutsche Wohnen SE.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 28 2021 0:58 utc | 56

@William Haught #4

"Squad Stalinists"? Really? This sort of gross mischaracterization is yet another reason the US is bound for another civil war. The "Squad" are maybe just left of neoliberal on domestic policy, reliably neoconservative on foreign policy and certainly lacking the political will of Stalin. It should be quite obvious to any adult with a functioning brain that they are controlled opposition and a limited hang out to suck the true progressive energy in the US into a political dead end. They may occasional spout some moderately outrageous things to get a rise out of conservatives, but they ultimately play for the same team, as do all US politicians. Attempting to paint them, or any elected American official as radical, communist, or hell, even truly totalitarian is absurd. Watch Biden fold on his totalitarian proclamations once it is evident they won't get cooperation and they lack the fortitude to see their plans through.

At the end of the day almost all American domestic politics are pure theater and attributing any sort of agency to some junior Congresswoman is ridiculous. The conflicts are all entertainment--guns, abortion, masks, vaccines, all divide and conquer nonsense, while both teams work together to further the whims of the oligarchy.

So yeah, not Stalin.

Posted by: Krungle | Sep 28 2021 1:01 utc | 57

Just a comment on German exports- visiting a number of Chinese factories I've seen an awful lot of very expensive German equipment such as CNC drills for making printed circuit boards and other machinery. Huge volumes. There may be local suppliers but the high-volume factories preferred the imported equipment and were not willing to take a chance on the domestic players. That may change at some point in the future (or be changing now) but it was my experience with such equipment. So I would not put German in the same class as Japan (though some Japanese equipment is also popular).

One difference, from what I can tell is that Japan's success was to a large extent built on exploiting younger workers with high workloads and low pay (deferred raises) and with the demographic changes in Japan that is no longer as possible, whereas Germans have always insisted on reasonable work hours and put in solid high-quality work during those limited hours, so their companies had to create sufficient value within those limitations.

Feel free to disagree with these observations, I've not had enough recent exposure to either country to be sure.

Posted by: Billb | Sep 28 2021 1:20 utc | 58

Platero @ 44, 46:

From my own quick'n'dirty reading, the Kingdom of Saxony was mostly Protestant but its rulers were nominally Roman Catholic so they could be eligible for election as Kings of the old Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The dual Poland-Lithuania (before it was sliced'n'diced through the 1700s by Prussia, Austria and Russia until 1795 when there was no more to slice up) had the tradition of electing Catholic kings since the mid-1500s when the Jagiellonian royal family died out. The royal family that ruled the Kingdom of Saxony must have had some blood ties to the Polish nobility.

My gut feeling is that for practical purposes the religion followed by the Kingdom of Saxony would have been Lutheranism which in its high-church guise would have been little different from Roman Catholicism and in its low-church guise not much different from some forms of Protestantism. It would have been parallel to the Anglican Church in its tolerance of different styles of worship and doctrines followed.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 28 2021 1:27 utc | 59

@ Posted by: Billb | Sep 28 2021 1:20 utc | 57

German industrialists love China. Volkswagen has just announced another brand new car battery factory in China:

Volkswagen to build first wholly-owned EV battery system plant in China

The love (read: dependence) of the German industrialists to China is so strong that even the Eastphobic SPD has swallowed its pride and - with great disgust, it's true, but they did nevertheless - apparently removed their 15-page long anti-China rant from the previous year's manifesto and announced they would put up with China for purely commercial reasons for the sake of winning the elections:

Germans vote in crucial poll for Merkel's successor

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2021 1:41 utc | 60

vk "The love (read: dependence)"

read pragmatism.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 2:01 utc | 61

Billb 57

My experiance with China is it has a high respect for German quality in machine tools, and German quality is somewhat the benchmark. Many Chinese factories making cutting tools for CNC machines advertise they use German machines for making their product.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 2:06 utc | 62

I see that many here aren't from Germany. For record. Merkel in 2017 withdrew at the last minute from a coalition with greens and FDP to work with the SPD . I want to see what happens this time. One of the reasons at the time was because of NS 2. SPD and CDU/CSU have worked together in 3 merkel administrations, both know of their respective scams and have dirty on each other..

Posted by: Nick | Sep 28 2021 2:20 utc | 63

Oriental Voice

You hit the nail on the head in saying look at the politicians.
Here people will winge about such and such a country buying up housing or farmland, but never do they seem to target the politicians who put everything up for sale on the international arena.
An international arena our children have to compete in to buy a home or farm or business.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 2:23 utc | 64

Jen @55:

Thank you for reading my comments and responding with amicable reference to relevant details where I obviously have overlooked, but to be honest I'm really not interested in delving into German politics and dissecting rights and wrongs on specific proposals. I'm simply not well-informed enough to discuss the merits of the referendum you cited. My distaste with this kind of political manoeuvre is that it smacks of populism that discards basic fairness. If these humongous property owners en masse their property empire illegally, then there should be legal means to bust them. If their practice is monopolistic, then there should be anti-trust measures to counter them. If they have done everything legally proper and still end up with a scenario that counters the interests of the society at large, then that's the kind of situation that legislators are precisely there for to address and appropriately make changes to the law for correction, is it not? I was only saying Berliners' predicament was due to politicians not doing their job. If such politicians are elected time after time despite their failure to address governance issues, then, well, indeed it's their own fault.

I live in the United State, and let me tell you we are mightily guilty of our own fault to have the kind of politicians and government we have on hand right now. I suspect Europe, Australia, and India are in the same boat as we are.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 28 2021 2:27 utc | 65

peter AU1:

Thank you for your support :-)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Sep 28 2021 2:29 utc | 66

German industry and finance has been hit hard by the US in recent decades, various multi billion dollar 'fines' for this and that. They should have some pull in government but with US controlling Germany's IC and media....

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 2:33 utc | 67

The FDP is as much a kingmaker as Green. Even the unthinkable is numerically possible: CDU + FDP + AFD! Won't happen as the Anglo elite found Western Left easier to manipulate than Western Right, specially Green. Their Europe based MSM, Facebook, Twitter, Google, the NSA under direction of CIA (or hired proxies- contractors) will make sure of US favorable European governments as usual I am afraid. Macron was such an example of maverick to president in ~6 months. Or Boris the clown, or Rutte the teflon Dutch MP, or Draghi the Italian robot.

Posted by: Antonym | Sep 28 2021 2:45 utc | 68

@Jen

Thank you. I’ve found a way to get an education: just go on moa and make up some s**t and wait to be taken to task.

The only thing I am pretty sure is that the royals in dresden were catholic and heinichen ( i think it was) was the right kind of catholic and zelenka was the wrong kind. And wfbach wasn’t catholic at all.

Posted by: Platero | Sep 28 2021 2:46 utc | 69

I have a question about coalition following these elections: is there ANY DIFFERENCE from the situations in 2017? SDP+CDU/CSU is eminently possible, but there are more remote possibilities that are negotiated to improve the conditions of the eventual coalition, basically, should it be SPD+CDU/CSU or rather CDU/CSU+SPD? The different is the main post in the country going to one party or the other, and the compromise on the policies is more inclined toward one party or the other.

SPD got more deputies. But CDU/CSU has an opportunity of governing without SPD, and SPD lacks symmetric opportunities (SPD+Linke+Greens+AfD? a stretch in many ways). That said, Black+Green+Yellow could be called mayonnaise coalition, it would require a lot of effort to make them a single smooth mass. Many months in 2017-18 were spend to make this mayonnaise, but the ingredients did not combine. What would be different now?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 28 2021 2:56 utc | 70

Nick@62 "SPD and CDU/CSU have worked together in 3 merkel administrations, both know of their respective scams and have dirty on each other.."

You are on the right track, but I would add - in politics the dirt is used globally, and internationally, so I am sure that US, France, GB, Russia have a lot of dirt on most of the german politicians. The SPD man of the hour, Olaf Scholz, has a heavy load of dirt, associated with the financial scandals, such as Wirecard, and others. I invite other commenters to add their information here.

Posted by: bystander04 | Sep 28 2021 3:07 utc | 71

Piotr Berman 69

Various numbered emulsifiers can be used to make non compatible ingredients mix, other substances are used in suspensions. Bentonite clay is used for that purpose in ceramic glazes.
In politics, US has fulfilled those roles for some time. Americanization might be a good term.

b's post on history - showing how history comes through in voting patterns - 70+ years of Americanization are now added to the historical or cultural mix.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 3:16 utc | 72

Posted by: ld | Sep 27 2021 16:44 utc | 6
(the movement to expropriate large real estate companies)

In the late 1960s I worked for a residential building company in Oz founded by a 3 successful German building tradesmen, and became friendly with their (German) architect, Fritz. The company specialised in affordable housing and innovative design and built display homes from which to promote sales.

According to Fritz, ordinary German citizens could only dream of owning their own homes and renting was normal. At that time, in Oz, anyone with a full-time job could afford to buy, or build, their own modest home. There were State Banks whose primary purpose was to facilitate home ownership with low interest rates and guidelines on % of Income to service loan repayments.

The loan repayments on my first home (3 bedrooms 1300+ sq ft) were the same as we'd been paying to rent a 1 bedroom 400 sq ft apartment.

Those State Banks were destroyed by NeoLiberal de-regulation policies in the '70s and eighties. Victoria's State Bank, for example, was encouraged to embark on a foray into risky Biz, Investment and Commercial banking and went belly-up a short time later due to political interference (bullying), crappy due diligence and absence of risk management policies.

The nail in the coffin of cheap home loans in Oz came with the introduction of Negative Gearing which made expenses i.e, interest, for Landlords purchasing a house as an Investment Property, tax-deductible, leaving people purchasing their own residence excluded from the tax privileges of landlords.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2021 3:37 utc | 73

Hoarsewhisperer 72

You have a few years on me but I remember from my childhood on how easy it was to have a home. Not only financial but also various other regulations.
I grew up in a small farming community, polish neighbors opposite us had built their house where they got a flat tyre, not even sure if they were on their own land. A Turkish family - their house burnt down so everyone one rocks up and in one or two weeks they moved into the house that was built on the ashes of the old. The old polish bloke I started doing an apprenticeship with, he had worked for that same company all the time he had been in Au. Bought a block of land and lived there in a tent for seven years as he built a house.
When I was young it was cheap rent to stay in a caravan park cottage. Talking to a caravan park owner a few years back and he said government regulations had made it impossible for for people to stay permanently at caravan parks. He said a lot of homeless people, most living in their cars would come around but he would have to turn them away. In years past, what little income they had would have sufficed to pay the caravan park fees. It was a bit of an eye opener talking to him about that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 3:59 utc | 74

@ 53 / 64 oriental voice.. i am away from home typing on an ipad which i don’t enjoy.. thanks for your questions and comments.. aside from agreeing with peter au general comment on politicians, i think the situation is much more complex then your viewpoint @53 captures..it is about what is fair for me as well… the reason i am sensitive to this referendum in berlin is the same reason i am sensitive to the growing divide between rich and poor which is no easily more seen in the increasing number of homeless people who just are no longer keeping up with the costs, let alone the jones..

maybe an example closer to home will suffice.. i live in a community of about. 90 thousand.. my neighbour, a very nice lady from australia owns 6 or more houses in this community..there is a huge r/e bubble in canada and in this community.. the young people i know in there. 20,s, 30,s and 40,s are not able to ever own there own place due this bubble, unless they receive some significant inheritance.. frankly i would like to see a limit on the number of places people can own, and a stop to the rampant speculation in the re market, but i doubt my ideas will be adopted anytime soon.. at the same time i seethe re trust funds and investment groups also targetting the housing market, specifically aiming to buy great amounts of re, to rent out and profit from what appears to be an endlessbubble ride.. i see a lot of downside in the future to all this speculation, and i see a society suffering from this type of exploitation on a basic need as well…. yes, it is how capitalism works and yes our politicians serve corporations, but i see it ending very badly for society in general, and these lowerincome people that are being squeezed, or worse, nowor close to living on the street…

so maybe i am too idealistic and think making a better world in not about always serving theagenda of money, making money our god.. it does seem to me though the world is increasingly becoming more dog eat dog…. it ain’t pretty.. these real estate investment funds and etc are not contributing to a better world.. in fact i see it the exact opposite..i seethis vote about addressing some of this. but, yes….politicians are equally to blame, just as people who have money in mutual funds with no idea of what the money is doing, and just as those folks who care more about profit then they do people are a real part of the problem.. if iwas writing on a properkeyboard here, i would say more.. cheers via the ipad…

Posted by: james | Sep 28 2021 4:09 utc | 75

Hey, b. This is the most comprehensive cliff-hanger election postmortem I have ever seen, read, or heard of.
77% participation rate suggests that Germans still have considerable faith in the ability and willingness of their politicians to govern in the best interests of Germans and Germany.

Is it only a matter of when, rather than if, the Yankees are invited to go home?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2021 4:20 utc | 76

Re: Oriental Voice | Sep 27 2021 20:53 utc | 36

Only .3% can't decide on what sexual gender to belong to? Only 1% addicted to Buzzfeed? A full 1% with $$$ on par with Gate$?

Your line of thought is absolutely right; your numbers are all grossly wrong.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was trying to be funny by referring to a particular group of "one-percenters" as "the 1% who (are) bald, softball playing bikers addicted to Buzzfeed" through the most common stereotypes.

As far as I know, the percent that think they were born the wrong sex is supposedly about .3. Only the T in LBGTQWERTY+++ is relevant here.

Of the 1% Bill Gates belongs to, only a 1% subclass of that class is on par with him.

Posted by: William Haught | Sep 28 2021 4:22 utc | 77

Re: Krungle | Sep 28 2021 1:01 utc | 56

Read that as the Christian Union being "left of the Squad Stalinists" rather than the Christian Union being left of the "Squad Stalinists" (in the context of Amerikastan where most Amerikastanis are brainwashed having had their minds warped) and it makes more sense and fits nicely with what you brought up.

Posted by: William Haught | Sep 28 2021 4:33 utc | 78

james 74

There will always be sharks. They will be born every day as that is part of the human character mix. It is up to government to control the sharks. Once the sharks control government it is time for revolution, though modern day sharks have taken Goering's quote to heart and use it to good effect.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 5:34 utc | 79

@38 Oriental Voice
You are absolutely right and most Germans outside Berlin ask themselfes exactly the same questions. You know, within Germany Berlin is mockingly refered to as "failed state" because the local authorities really always mess up things.

Duting the recent elections there were for instance at some places in Berlin not enough ballots at the voting stations. People who wanted to vote had to wait until more ballots arrived. One never hears such silly stories from other parts of Germany. It's always Berlin.

Posted by: m | Sep 28 2021 5:39 utc | 80

Oriental Voice @ 64:

The context behind the Berlin referendum (in which most voters said "yes" to public expropriation of residential units held by the large corporate landlords, if those landlords owned more than 3,000 units each) may have been decades in the making. These corporate landlords formed from mergers of smaller firms and from acquisitions of small firms by large firms, often under conditions that may have been legal at the time they were done, though whether such mergers and acquisitions were ethical (from the viewpoint of the tenants affected by such moves) would have been another thing. (MoA barflies might like to see the Wikipedia entry for Vonovia, one of the largest corporate landlords in Berlin.) You would really have to know what the real estate environment has been like in Germany over the past 30+ years and how changes in government at federal, state and local government levels might have affected the legislation that regulates (or should regulate) property ownership and the ability of companies to merge or acquire rivals in their business.

At what point in the history of the landlord companies should their mergers and acquisitions have been deemed unethical and made illegal? Could tenants at the time have done anything? I suspect the companies put pressure on politicians or bought them to bend or change the law, and voters, tenants and other people affected by changes or new interpretations in the relevant laws were in the dark because the companies and the politicians they paid off did not want the public to know.

I live in Australia so the machinations of companies like Vonovia, Deutsche Wohnen SE and others in gobbling up apartments and treating the housing market like their casino for their shareholders are something unfamiliar to me, though the time may be coming when our big banks may own enough Australian housing stock through property investment funds that the same could be done to Australians who think they "own" their own houses and apartments (though the title deeds are with their banks).

Posted by: Jen | Sep 28 2021 5:44 utc | 81

Jen 80

Ownership of property is ownership of rights. There are various property titles but in all cases they are about what rights the holder of that title has. Something few understand.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Sep 28 2021 6:16 utc | 82

Posted by: Platero | Sep 27 2021 22:28 utc | 44

Thanks for bringing to my attention Zelenka, the Benda brothers were my best known Czech composers, especially Frantisek flute concerts. Baroque music is an excellent way to start a new day.

Posted by: Paco | Sep 28 2021 6:37 utc | 83

Rent in Berlin is so expensive because the government sold most of the social housing to private equity funds that drove up rental prices by not building enough new housing leading to high demand, low supply and higher rents.

Berlin's state-owned housing company Gewobag announced late Thursday that it will buy back 6,000 apartments built as social housing in Berlin between the 1960s and the 1990s.
Government authorities sold the apartments in 2004 for €405 million. The buy-back from Luxembourg real estate company Ado Properties will cost Berlin €920 million (about $1 billion).

The deal is the largest property renationalization effort ever seen in Berlin. It would bring Gewobag's housing stock to "around 68,000 apartments and secure affordable living space for over 10,000 more renters," said Gewobag board member Markus Terboven, adding that the deal is "economically viable" for the organization.

Berlin spends nearly €1 billion buying back apartments

To show just how much of the housing market is dominated by private equity firms, even though they voted in the referendum to nationalise firms owning more than 3000 units, it will affect companies owning more than 240,000 units

The outcome represents a progressive effort to cool one of Europe's hottest housing markets. Rent prices have surged 13% in the last 12 months, according to Berlin-based real estate firm Guthmann. Years of underbuilding now leave the city with an apartment shortage of 205,000 units, the firm said. With three-quarters of Berlin residents renting, the lack of sufficient housing supply has powered a stifling jump in rent prices.

The referendum marks a shift from the free-market model and toward one that views affordable housing as a human right.Public ownership of units would offer more affordable housing options. The proposal's approval also shows Berliners are interested in more drastic steps to cool the market than denser zoning or more building on the city's outskirts.

A majority in Berlin's election just voted to strip 240,000 rentals from major landlords and fight the city's housing crisis

Posted by: Down South | Sep 28 2021 7:56 utc | 84

Greetings,

Germany will not leave the NATO, as per 2+4 treaty it is not allowed to make, cancel or change alliances with other countries without consent of the allied council (i.e. U.S. administration). And I do not see any scenario, that would make that happen.

The success of the AfD in Thuringia and Saxony can also be attributed to the following facts. First, all of eastern Germans are rather unsatisfied with the state of affairs in regard to what they have been promised at the time of the reunification. This is especially true for Thuringia, which is situated in the center of the country with several western federal states bordering it, and as a result has a high loss in workpower (many cities have halfed their population since 1990), many workers commute to work in the western states and the remaining population is overaged. Despite the actually not so bad economic state in Thuringia (low unemployment), wages are very low and thus is the living standard. So there is a higher rate of protest voters in eastern Germany, who used to vote for the Linke (successor of the GDRs socialist unity party SED), but since the rise of the AfD, southern Thuringia and Saxony go for the AfD. These regions are mountainous and have a tendency for a red-neckish mentality, which explains that IMO. Northward the mentality (and dialects) are prussian, southward is "West Germany", so they identify as unique. Saxony and thuringia are rather similar (e.h
g. the dialects), allthough since Saxony historically has the much stronger (and anti-prussian, i.e. anti-Berlin) self-identification, since it once was its own (prosperous) kingdom, whereas Thuringia consists of smaller erstwhile territories from the era of the German empire. All in all, the resistance against the federal policy is the highest in these regions (not that anyone cares), it was the same during GDR times. In Saxony some voices even talk about secession from the FGR. In the media these regions are of course vilified as Nazi-ridden brown sh*tholes of angry white men.

I do not expect any big surprises from the new administration. The climate change narrative will probably be upped even more (it is already implanted in the MSM narrative by those teenagers who started a hunger strike, because "the German government isn't doing enough to save the earth climate"),economic decline will continue, as will mass immigration. Even the liberals have now more heavily adopted the climate rescue ideology, probably to allow compatibility with the greens. Though, there has never been a coalition with the liberal FDP and social-democrats or greens before, so that would be new.

In general I would not perceive the current German state as a "real country", it is more like an open Gulag with a state simulation on top, fully dominated (or at least 90%) by globalist/transatlantic powers. I rather think of it as an Anti-Germany, set in place to prevent any emergence of a real sovereign Germany. Since the Merkel era the policies and the "tone" have been outright hostile against native Germans.
With liberals and greens back in the administration the transatlantic control will be executed even more strongly. So, no NATO exit to be expected, even with the recent backstabbing of France by the anglosaxon countries.

Posted by: Mohnhoff | Sep 28 2021 11:15 utc | 85

Russia must pay Ukraine to transit gas even after Nord Stream 2 pipeline operational, triumphant German SPD leader Scholz declares

Well, with gas to Europe at USD 1,000 per m³, you bet your ass Russia will continue to use every gas pipeline it has at its disposal to deliver as much gas to the Peninsula as possible. No need the threaten.

--//--

@ Posted by: Mohnhoff | Sep 28 2021 11:15 utc | 85

From a sociological point of view, the German reunification was a complete disaster. The only reason it was not an outright humanitarian catastrophe is the simple fact there was mass migration to the Western part of the country.

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2021 11:49 utc | 86

c @ 3, thanks for the Bill Mitchell link

some excerpts:

---If you followed the German election campaign, none of the likely governing parties, in whatever coalition one can imagine, gave any impression that they were up for serious reform.

They all talked about fiscal responsibility, which in the German context is actually code for irresponsibility – undermining the future.The fiscal rules have crushed future prosperity in Germany and left the future generations (the ‘grandkids’ with a reduced quality of life).

The Germany state has pressured the European Commission to enforce austerity in various nations to the end that some have been permanently impaired.

Clearly these policies are not allowing the other Member States to make relative competitive gains against Germany. It is a race-to-the-bottom – towards the impoverishment of European citizens.---

-----------------

Basically the euro has led to a destructive pattern of austerity where deficits are being discouraged thereby limiting productive activities.

It is the opposite in the US where huge deficits are used non-productively to benefit the FIRE sector.

China, Russia, Iran etc are getting it right and eating everyone else's lunch.  Not a free lunch as Wall Street is looking for but an earned lunch.

Posted by: financial matters | Sep 28 2021 11:57 utc | 87

The beauty of the German proportional representation voting system is in the reality of accommodating the ACTUAL voters post election- rather than ignoring these who’s vote is ignored in a first last the post system.

It can be argued that by most measurements - Germany has been better run than the U.K. postwar because of that system.

I think Merkel has played a blinder in making sure that a competent, experienced Chancellor from an opposition party to here will be steering. Whilst declawing the NeoLibCon merchants in her own party and AfD who were slavering at delivering the Empires Atlantic Bridgers Agenda upon the EU.

She may well be around for another year! As the wrangling goes on. Brilliant.

As for the U.K. the neutered Labour Party is being herded back into line of being wolfs in sheep’s clothing at their Conference. Aimed directly at the membership not the absurd Johnson government.

No PR system for them. No chance to re-elect a truly radical leader again like Corbyn by rule changes. No defence of the EU or blame for the woes suffered by our BrexShit upon PM Johnson. The MSM echo chamber choir drowning out any such protest as they move towards elevations the little elfin princess to empress starting with the Climate change bonanza ceremony in Glasgow.
The kippers and AfD’s of Europe being replaced by Green Goddess’s as the mates cover for their ancient murdering Masters.

Posted by: D.G. | Sep 28 2021 12:04 utc | 88

what I like about the discussion is that it provides strong evidence for how nation states and nations within nations mold humanity into beings who are servants to the cultures and environments into which they were born..

A child born in NYC to 6 or more generation Jewish English Speaking NYers is exchanged for a child born on the same day to Shea Muslim Farsi speaking Iranians. So the parents raise the exchanged children in the culture of the surrogate parents. Twenty years later the Jewish child will be a Shea Farsi speaking Iranian citizen and the Shea Muslim Child will be a Jewish acting English speaking NYer.

Neither of the two children nor their two pairs of parents will recognize each other. This is what the nation state system and the cultures it accommodates does, it differentiates humanity into 256 different hate groups and multi many sub hate groups.

Posted by: snake | Sep 28 2021 12:25 utc | 89

Oriental Voice | Sep 28 2021 2:27 utc | 65


I live in the United State, and let me tell you we are mightily guilty of our own fault to have the kind of politicians and government we have on hand right now. I suspect Europe, Australia, and India are in the same boat as we are.

The reason these vile & ridiculous politicians get elected time after time is very largely due to their media support. The electorate has no means of controlling who owns the MSM. The fact is that a very small group of very rich people have taken over almost all the sources of information (education, printing & publishing, entertainment, news services, and so on) and has subverted it to serve their purposes. Yes, the Collective West is in much the same boat but, Guilt has very little to do with it.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Sep 28 2021 12:59 utc | 90

@Hoarsewhisperer
Cheap loans are exactly what causes the home price/asset price spiral. The government institutions just couldn’t keep up with the private ones in the race to the bottom, but the core dynamic is the problem.
Just because you saw the nice parts due to the spiral starting in the 60s and 70s doesn’t change the fundamental problem.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2021 13:38 utc | 91

@Oriental Voice #39
The referendum is largely pointless.
If we focus on the law vs ideology:
Does the city of Berlin have the sovereign right to abrogate basic national property laws and rights?
Ditto regarding the corporations in question: does the city of Berlin have such power be said companies, even if they are headquartered in Berlin?
I am sympathetic to rentiers getting shafted but the means and methods do matter.
Furthermore, it is far from clear that “expropriation” is the right or even a good way.
As I alluded to earlier - SF has rent control laws offsetting the ridiculous Prop 13 subsidies.
Does Germany in general and Berlin in particular charge property taxes based on valuation?
Dr: Michael Hudson rights states that the FIRE sectors worst enemy is Government property taxes. The taxes keep valuations down, in turn rents lower and cost of living down.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2021 14:05 utc | 92

a must pay Ukraine to transit gas even after Nord Stream 2 pipeline operational, triumphant German SPD leader Scholz declares

Well, with gas to Europe at USD 1,000 per m³, you bet your ass Russia will continue to use every gas pipeline it has at its disposal to deliver as much gas to the Peninsula as possible. No need the threaten.

--//--

@ Posted by: Mohnhoff | Sep 28 2021 11:15 utc | 85

From a sociological point of view, the German reunification was a complete disaster. The only reason it was not an outright humanitarian catastrophe is the simple fact there was mass migration to the Western part of the country.

Posted by: vk | Sep 28 2021 11:49 utc | 86

------

Seems that vk mixed the pastes from different threads, the claim attributed to Mohnhoff | Sep 28 2021 11:15 utc | 85 is not in this post or in this thread, although I recall it from this site. Concerning the claim of vk, comparing with the creation of Ukraine the unification of Germany was a smashing success, and in absolute terms, "not so bad", e.g. former DDR is not particularly depopulated.

Concerning the claim wrongly attributed to Mohnhoff, it ignore the issue of price elasticity. There exists products with inflexible demand, as the prices double or half, the demand varies in a small range. In free market (commodity exchanges), if the supply is somewhat above the the upper limit of that narrow range, the price drops precipitously, something that happened in spring and summer of 2020 with the natural gas in Europe and oil worldwide. Now the supply have fallen a bit below the lower limit of this range, and the price quadrupled.

Mind you, the demand grew with the end of shutdowns, more shops are open and consume gas+electricity etc., while supply... experienced something mysterious, commentators write about increased prices in "Asia" (China, Japan, Korea, India, all of them pay 1USD/m3 without loud complains) and ships with LNG being diverted there -- including the ever reliable Americans (you can rely on them to sell to the highest bidder).

Suppose that Russia increases the supplies enough for the prices to go down by 50%. Will they gain a lot? It is a tad more complicated because Russia sells mostly on long-term contracts, but it is still true that they will loose if they cause a significant price drop, and they did increase the supplies to some degree (I guess to pre-2020 level).

So Russia/Gasprom have no incentive to increase supplies, although long term considerations can change the calculus. Approval of North Stream 2 is one such consideration, another is a long-term elasticity of production and consumption (production in USA was devastated by the tragic price drop in 2020, it is bouncing up but the domestic demand is bouncing up to etc., nevertheless the fracking can resume its former pace).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 28 2021 14:19 utc | 93

Re foolisholdman @ 90 .. you have identified a problem for the humanity trapped within a media target area or nation state to work on.

The privately owned media are a very small group, but the content they distribute is very attractive to a large and diverse audience and that audience attractive content is not available to alternative media because it is copyright protected. So not only is access denied by cost to the digital platform, it is also denied by copyright and by FCC rules.

The FCC, which is a PIGO owned establishment, dictates who can present, what, on whose media at what time. Propaganda is embedded in audience attractive content and they allow most of that.

There is another element to this control of information reaching audiences that is the means by which this small group of owners get their financial support..

Every super corporation buys advertising to access media with large audiences. The media get their large audiences by developing content that is entertaining and attractive to audiences. Maybe the real problem is not the few in number media owners, but the lack of mass audience attractive entertainment available for alternative media to use to build large audiences?

Yet there is a much bigger problem than that, and it is achieving access to media distributors on the digital platform. Search engines deny audiences access to the content which alternative media present?

Alternative media has not found a way to attract large audiences, and to sell advertisers <= access to those audiences.

Alternative media needs larger audiences and to find ways to accept the advertising dollar to support the alternative media without giving up alternative content independence to the advertisers..



Posted by: snake | Sep 28 2021 14:20 utc | 94

@Hoarsewhisperer
>Cheap loans are exactly what causes the home price/asset price spiral.<

The government institutions just couldn’t keep up with the private ones in the race to the bottom, but the core dynamic is the problem.
Just because you saw the nice parts due to the spiral starting in the 60s and 70s doesn’t change the fundamental problem.
Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2021 13:38 utc | 91

It's not that simple.
Cheap loans, by themselves, won't cause an asset price spiral. You need a situation in which demand exceeds supply to kick-start a price spiral. And your "The government institutions just couldn’t keep up with the private ones in the race..." is neither true nor relevant to what happened in Oz.

The Landlords and Employers, or more accurately the Landlords/Employers 'bought' NeoLiberal politicians (with For Sale signs tattooed on their Meet and Greet hands) and conspired to kill off the State Banks AND the unions to keep cheap loans, and regular wage increases, out of the hands of workers and impose 'wage restraint' upon them.

In the 1990s the Liberal Kennett government sold off (Privatised) most public housing in Victoria which quickly conjured up a big, new, supply of homeless renters AND a dramatic reduction in affordable rental accommodation. And that created the requisite imbalance between Demand and Supply to kick-start the price spiral. Needless to say, the Landlords/Employers didn't complain...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2021 16:19 utc | 95

Will there be big changes in Germany’s posture?

Low probability. Germany is a suzerainty of the Financial Empire with a private monetary system. Who controls its financial system? When was the last time Germany issued sovereign money? Who are the power brokers?

“Since 2015 not only the German finance ministers Schäuble (CDU) and Scholz (SPD) met with Lawrence Fink, but also the German foreign minister Gabriel (SPD). The head of the Federal Chancellery, Braun, as well as Finance State Secretary Kukies, who had previously worked for Goldman Sachs, also held talks with BlackRock representatives. Merz was also involved in several meetings since 2017....

First, BlackRock&Co know about all important companies, including the competition in the same industry.
Second, BlackRock&Co are co-owners of the major companies and banks in the major Western economies: the US, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and influence governments and financial institutions.
Third, BlackRock&Co are co-owners of the rating agencies that set the credit terms for companies and sovereigns. BlackRock&Co are also co-owners of the largest consultancies, such as Accenture and Capgemini.
Fourth, companies are also dependent on services provided by BlackRock&Co (risk analysis, financial management).
Fifth, BlackRock&Co influence the performance of the company’s shares and thus also exert pressure on the members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board, whose performance is measured by the share value.
Sixth, the largest capital organizers – BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Capital World, Wellington, Fidelity, Norges – coordinate their voting behavior at shareholder meetings...
Seventh, BlackRock&Co coordinate their votes through the voting consultants they pay, such as ISS Corporate Solutions and Glass Lewis.”

What are various circles of CONTROL, keeping the populace enslaved, distracted and in darkness? Starting from the closest to the population...
– Information: Media & education
– Administration: Politicians, Bureaucracy, Intelligence agencies
– Legal: Lawyers & law firms
– Financial: Financiers, capital firms, banks, .... They want private control of corporations, capital & credit markets.
– Rulers: Private Imperialist Syndicate (PIS) / Private Imperialist Global Oligarchy (PIGO). Any preference between these two?

Please don’t participate in division of classes. Focus on the control circles. The biggest blame goes to the media houses that maintain the darkness of lies and myths. Without media and educational centers the private empire won’t exist.

@ foolisholdman (#90), agree. “In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power.”

Are the media, education and administration circles responsible for the current state of humanity?

Posted by: Max | Sep 28 2021 16:31 utc | 96

Are the media, education and administration circles responsible for the current state of humanity?

On a very minor level.

We are vastly overpopulated in a collapsing ecosystem.
The elephant in the room no one wants to see.

But it does keep the proletariat occupied.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 28 2021 16:44 utc | 97

@Hoarsewhisperer #95
I disagree with your statement.
Cheap loans enable more people to buy houses, both more and earlier, than could otherwise; this constitutes unquestionably increased demand.
Loans of any kind also change the capital cost question to a monthly payment question - which also increases demand.
I would agree that loans are not the only factor driving asset price inflation, but I don’t see anything else as driving it more - I.e. loans are the biggest.
Even if we returned to the 20% down payment paradigm of the past - it would still be increasing demand vs no loans.
The people who benefited by being at the start of the process - the boomers - received their massive real estate windfalls at the expense of their children and grand children.
Even things like securitization, which are huge factors, could not exist without the loans to start with.
Any asset has the same dynamic but home prices affect a wide range of economic outcomes by decreasing housing affordability and decreasing economic resilience for almost everyone.
In contrast, a meteoric increase in Bitcoin price or Van Gogh prices is meaningless as they are nothing but Veblen goods.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2021 17:59 utc | 98

@ Duncan Idaho (#97), What percentage of times does the media, education and administration circles tell the truth on big issues?

Have these centers talked about humanity’s enslavement, monetary Imperialism, the suzerainty status, private money, fake excuses for wars... ? Got integrity?

Posted by: Max | Sep 28 2021 18:26 utc | 99

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 28 2021 17:59 utc | 98

"Cheap loans enable more people to buy houses, both more and earlier, than could otherwise; this constitutes unquestionably increased demand."

That's not correct. Back in late '60s Oz, cheap loans allowed EXISTING demand from a GROWING population to be adequately serviced. A majority of new houses were modest in size and built for first home buyers; a good proportion of whom merely made the house they still liked, in the suburb they felt at-home in, bigger as needs and finances permitted. .

"The people who benefited by being at the start of the process - the boomers - received their massive real estate windfalls at the expense of their children and grand children."

That's another misconception. Unless a BB is thinking of cashing in, it won't matter that his 1968 $14,000 house is now worth $1,000,000 because he won't want to live in a $500,000 house, if he can find one. At least half of the inflated value can be directly attributed to the rentiers whose tax-paying tenants fund the rentiers' untaxed ability to out-bid genuine home buyers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 28 2021 21:28 utc | 100

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