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Germany: CDU/CSU agreement: arrival as fiction, racism as compromise

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The "Union", that is the partnership between the Christian Democrat Union and the Christian Social Union, CDU/CSU, is still in one piece and so too, probably, is the German government. Refugees who make it across the Mediterranean, or even as far as Germany, alive, despite EU border controls and camps, will not to be turned away "on their own". Instead, they will be held in "transit centres" and sent back. Officially, they will never have entered the country and so they cannot be expelled. Seehofer's "rejection" in Merkel-German is now called "rejection on the basis of a fictitious non-entry".

Point 2 of the agreement between CDU and CSU, which patched up the differences between the two "Christian" parties explains:
"We are setting up transit centres from which asylum seekers will be sent directly to the relevant countries (rejection on the basis of a fiction of non-entry). We do not want to act unilaterally, without agreement, but to conclude administrative arrangements or establish procedures with the countries concerned."

So much for the "European solution", which obviously consists of implementing racism not "unilaterally" by establishing national barriers, but everywhere and by administrative agreement, with minimal disruption to trade and traffic. Entry is declared fictitious with, unfortunately, anything but fictitious legal consequences, that is, a further denial of refugees' rights, with closed camps, etc.

So, to rescue their parliamentary group and the government, the CDU and CSU are willing to walk over corpses. Seehofer and other hardliners who echo the Alternativ fuer Deutschland, AfD, are not the only ones who prove this with their bluster about "lawless conditions" at Bavaria's borders. From summit to summit, Merkel and her "humanist" friends have also adopted and implemented more and more draconian measures against the refugees. Racism only disturbs Europe's "humanitarian" and "democratic" centre parties when it damages their business and image.

The "three steps" to further seal off Europe include the militarised "border" protection of Frontex, the establishment of closed "centres" in North Africa, which do not only sound more and more like concentration camps, and a so-called "Marshall Plan" for Africa, which is intended to stimulate European, that is, above all, German, capital exports.

The SPD?
As always, when they are going to go further to the right, the other party in the governing coalition, the Social Democratic Party, SPD, has a "need for discussion". That they will agree is pre-programmed and already priced in by CDU/CSU. Another one or two "coalition summits", perhaps another one or two cosmetic concessions, and the SPD will probably join in. A party that has been firmly on the side of German imperialism since 1914 cannot and will not step back from racist measures and a border regime of this kind. The collapse of the coalition and new elections would probably have even more disastrous consequences for the SPD than for the CDU/CSU. The SPD leadership, whose own future is inseparably linked to the Grand Coalition, does not want to risk that. After all, Nahles and Scholz "cannot help everyone".

The duo is all the more pleased that the government can finally get back to politics as usual after the "days of chaos". The CSU drove Germany, the EU and the government itself to the very edge of the abyss, and the SPD does not want to be accused of that under any circumstances. Echoing the style of the current right-populist wave, Seehofer played poker with his mixture of egomania, nationalism and racism, which he complacently calls "conviction", but social democracy tries to present itself as the defender of political reason and normality, which cannot get along without its wretched behaviour.

Seehofer's "master plan" and the "compromise" of CDU and CSU are set against a 5-point plan; yesterday's EU policy. With greater political instability and profound differences over the European policy of capital among the various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties and political groups, it is difficult for social democracy to keep in step. The SPD, as always the submissive accomplice of capital, prefers to wait and to call for "order", if at all possible without developing a policy of its own.

This basically also applies to the "left" opposition parties in the Bundestag. It is therefore no wonder that the ultra-reactionary, right-wing populist AfD appears as the only "radical" opposition. At this point, however, we do not want to be either with the Liberal party, FDP, which oscillates between the Union and the AfD, or with the Green party, which is increasingly becoming an eco-CDU.

What about the Left Party?
Faced with the crisis of the government, the Left Party has also presented a miserable picture. On the one hand, its statements focus on denouncing the chaos, the egotism and the shift to the right of Seehofer, as well as the inhumane decisions of the EU and the Union parties. On the other hand, the government is accused of not taking care of "real problems" such as poverty, pensions and rents.

This inevitably raises the question isn't racism, whether from the state or the right-wing populists, Nazis and the "bourgeois" centre, one of the "real problems"? That this is not just a verbal "omission" by the Left Party is demonstrated by the undisguised social chauvinism of a Sarah Wagenknecht or an Oskar Lafontaine, as well as the deportation policies of the states in which the Left Party is in government. However, the language used by faction and party leaders also refers to this. It should therefore come as no surprise that Bartsch and Wagenknecht, themselves proponents of "regulated" migration and opponents of open borders, accuse the government above all of having the wrong priorities. But even Kipping and Riexinger, who at least demanded Seehofer's dismissal, cannot use the word racism when criticising the policies of Merkel, Nahles or other representatives of the middle class. After all, the party not only wants to preserve the "bridges" to the SPD, but also to win the "reasonable" parts of the bourgeoisie in the fight for "humanism".

As is so often the case, reformism, whether deliberately or not is unimportant, does not go beyond the superficiality of bourgeois democracy. The conflict between Merkel and Seehofer, between CDU and CSU appears as one between nationalism and racism on the one hand and wavering "democrats" on the other. The latter have to be assisted by "the left" in order to prevent anything worse, and that through a kind of pact for humanity.

In reality, the Left Party is being dragged along in the slipstream of the "Centre". Their own racism, not to mention their bourgeois class interests and imperialist strategy, disappears from view. The Federal Government is not criticised as a government of capital which much be fought resolutely. Rather, the political representatives of the ruling class are accused of taking too little care of the poor and exploited. The SPD's betrayal of the working class is not mentioned; rather, it is accused of not advocating a "genuine" reform of German and European capitalism, preferably by a "political change" hand in hand with the Left Party and the Greens.

The "criticism" of the Left Party ultimately amounts to accusing capital of pursuing its own interests "unilaterally" or even radically. the party appeals to the ruling class to put aside their own interests and to devote all their energy to "people's problems".

But what should "people", what should wage earners, expect from a government that denies millions access to the EU, the labour market, housing and citizens' rights, "collects" them in camps in and outside the EU and then sends them back as quickly as possible? To ask the question is to answer it! The only question is what to expect from the leaders of "leftist" parties who rely on social partnership, cooperation between workers' organisations and capital, government and state, and on "moderation" instead of class struggle?