by Jeffersonian Democrat
Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 10:16:44 AM EST
I ran across an interesting column that dares to dishearten me.
More below the fold
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 16.06.2005
Göttingen-based political scientist Franz Walter considers the new leftist coalition being formed by Gregor Gysi (former chairman of the PDS, the successor to the communist party of East Germany) and Oskar Lafontaine (former SPD finance minister and a harsh critic of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder) to be the sign of an ageing society. "The days of a juvenile political culture... are past. In an ageing society, the political hero is no longer the bold lad who describes the Utopia of the future with a cracking voice, hastening towards a better society with his coat tails waving behind him. In an ageing society, the social and political veto is articulated softly if you like: traditionalist, safer, more seasoned, maybe also wiser. Such a leftist party can profit from this lifestyle conservatism. It doesn't have to protect itself - half-hearted, embarrassed - against the accusation of being a party of the 1970s welfare state."
So, is the Left a dying breed? It seems, that in trying to be Centrist, the SPD/Greens have moved to the Right, much as the US Democratic Party has done. What happened to the 68-ers? They're starting to charge tuition at universities here and aside from some very lame protests, most students gripe but do nothing. Nothing like 68. Are the 68-ers growing old and comfortable in their "lifestyle conservatism". Is their spirit dying as well? Or is it a mixture of angst, apathy, and nihilism?
I find it disappointing when "welfare state" is such a bad word. The ironic thing is, that it was the Left that made the the changes popular that a woman can run with a gay man and be chancellor, who both happen to be on the right.