How does a republic move to the right? How can one establish or prevent right thinking? How does the “conservative revolution”, from now on Alexander Dobrindt from the CSU also the FDP man Christian Lindner speaks and against the certainly also the AfD would have nothing?
These questions form the background for the symbolically charged dispute Uwe Tellkamp who is not really anybody at all, because what happened was basically something very normal – but because the times are hysterical and the mistrust is eating more and more into people, there is hardly anything normal anymore.
The writer Tellkamp has publicly said his opinion, he feels betrayed by Merkel and persecuted by refugees, which belongs to the tenor of the right. The poet Durs green leg has publicly contradicted him, the Suhrkamp Publishing house, where Tellkamps and Grünbein’s books appear, Tellkamp also objected publicly , Some call this working democracy , some call that freedom of speech , everything okay.
But it should not be that easy, it should not be that simple: We are finally living, Tellkamp is convinced, of which the signatories are the Charter 17 convinced of it are obviously also parts of the center-right Feuilleton convinced, in a country that is dominated by opinion cartels and in which any deviation is punished, because there is a sense of terror from the left.
That happens, one could say, if one considers the world as will and conspiracy looks, something comes from something: You can see enemies everywhere, you can even see a powerful left, which would really be a good news, but unfortunately is empirically undetectable. And you need these enemies, you need this imagined pursuit to stylize yourself, which is a favorite right exercise.
Words of imperious cold
Because that’s the mechanism, that’s the trick, as it is used by rights in the US, for example: You are persecuted, while you are constantly attacking others yourself, you are even aggressive in word and deed, and if it then, as with the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017 , protesting against a right-wing publishing house, hitting the protesters on the nose and calling out!
Or, the discursive variant, one takes a word, a term that is important to the left-liberal, one could say democratic spectrum. Freedom of expression, for example, a concept, a concept that may not even be so important to many rights, as their statements suggest. And with this word one drives the friends of the open society in front of them and watches with amusement, how they get tangled up in their own contradictions.
It is nonsense empirically, as you can see from the example of Tellkamp: Every time the accusation is raised that one should not say what one wants in this country, it is reported in such detail that the echo of an alleged ban on speech is much louder is as the actual statement. With each of these occasions, the discourse shifts a little to the right.
To the statements themselves, it is increasingly rare, even at Tellkamp is now less talked about the substance of what he has said. There were Words of imperious cold that accompany a social temperature drop. While suffering continues in Syria and AfD MPs sit in Assad’s lap, Tellkamp at home delivers the rhetoric of social ire and inhumanity.
Whether he may say so or not is not the issue at all. He said it so he can do it. The real question is rather what effect his words have and what effect the contradiction has against his words. There are two theses that are quite contrary to each other.
Contradiction is not a ban on speech
Some say that contradiction would only strengthen the right wing (and thus the AfD, which is always a vicarious ghost) because it encourages them to feel that they can not say what they want. This not only seems tactically wrong, but also illogical, because the rights are based on their aggressive strength, out of their own thinking.
The others say, and I find that much clearer, that one must contradict the right where they express themselves and where they occur, and that is not just a ban, but a dispute of opinions. Especially those in the middle of society are required.
For it is all about the substance of what is said by Tellkamp or others, it is about defending the standards of democracy with vehemence, freedom, respect, humanity, for example, because only so the rhetorical conquest of the right can be stopped – that defiant democracy, then, as the FRG was formed after the war.
Ultimately, it is always about the bigger question of how a free society deals with its enemies, how much it is able to defend itself with the means at its disposal. This explains the heat and the intensity of the reactions.
A political dispute or typically German?
It is unfortunate only how inaccurate and reflexive many reactions from the reflective and journalistic center are, for example in the “Germany radio” or in the world” who in some way distribute a kind of freedom of opinion seal, according to which tellkamp should firstly not be contradicted and secondly certainly not from his publisher. Yet this is exactly the quarrel they themselves miss and demand.
Whether that, as some write, is a dispute between East Germans and West Germans, between regional and cosmopolitan? This seems more like a typical German dispute, in which those who are arguing are not allowed to participate, all the people who have fled here and are part of this society, all those who have lived here for two or three generations ,
Those who care about freedom of expression and social representation should think about it. He can also look at the ministers, who are now sworn in by Angela Merkel. It is a very fair-skinned, it is a very old German cabinet. That is the reality 2018.