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In the stranglehold of the climate extremists

Time to read: 5 min
At the carnival parade in Düsseldorf, one float caught the eye: it showed a member of the climate extremist "Last Generation" fighting a “car monster”. Düsseldorf thus adopted the common narrative of "David against Goliath" and assigned the role of heroes to the extremists - not least because the slogan underneath, "Who's the climate terrorist here?" made it clear that the CO2 guzzlers are responsible, not the activists.

Yet the incident sheds a telling light on the debate. For the "Last Generation" does not stick to the streets to stop lignite excavators, but to sabotage the flow of traffic in the big cities. Hardly a day goes by in Germany without such a disruption. In Berlin, Monday has become the unofficial blockade day. Though thousands of workers are terrorised by the climate rescue crusade of the "Last Generation", those actions have gained the noble image of a fight against dark forces. In reality, they are harming the defenceless citizens of the lower and middle classes. The academic milieu, politics and the press, on the other hand, who are hardly affected by such blockades, can calmly knit their narrative while dwelling in stylish historical buildings with herringbone parquet flooring.

The carnival float, however, has another meaning. In addition to the supposed partisanship for the good, the homage to the climate extremists can also be understood as payment of “protection money” - for the "Last Generation" had announced that they would also block the traditional carnival floats. With this in mind, the organisers submitted meekly to a bunch of blackmailers. They signalled that they were on the extremists’ side, hoping that as long as one fed the crocodile, it would eat others. This is the state of the German Federal Republic in the spring of 2023 after a year of gruelling "climate actions".

Not only the organisers of the carnival condescended to such kowtowing. In Hanover, the mayor gave in to the extremists too. He wants to introduce a “Gesellschaftsrat” as demanded by the "Last Generation". This “society council” not only sounds like something out of the Soviet era, but carries precisely the same devastating spirit. For this reform is not meant to give more leeway to democratically elected institutions, but it rather aims to submit the state to a body of “experts” that is to be given sweeping decision-making powers. The historian can only state with amazement: in the middle of Germany, extremists have prevailed with their demand for a soft-socialist form of government at the local level. Patronisingly, the group announced that they would end their disruptive actions in the capital of Lower Saxony.

All this is just a snapshot from everyday life in which the bizarreness has become normality and normality has become bizarreness. In front of the Federal Chancellery, the extremists sawed down a tree while the police stood by calmly. In a similar way, the "Last Generation" had mutilated the Christmas tree in front of the Brandenburg Gate - the officials just looked on. Neither the invasion of the site of a coal-fired power plant to stop its supply with resources - and thus the power supply - nor the raid on the Berlin airport and the occupation of a runway have caused the outcry one would expect if not left-wing but right-wing "activists" were to undertake similar "actions" on the same scale.

Instead, the major media warn the citizen, who rubs his eyes in the face of such handling of saboteurs: he is strongly advised against dragging the disruptors off the street by fisticuffs, as he could end up in court for coercion. Thus, while one group has the right to paralyse traffic and coerce motorists, motorists are supposed to endure this quietly - for otherwise they could be prosecuted by the courts.

It is useless to ponder the question whether movements like "Extinction Rebellion" or precisely the "Last Generation" should be classified as terrorists. However, we can say clearly that they are extremists - because the intervention in the basic democratic order in favour of establishing "social councils" has no constitutional basis. And it is a truism that one should not negotiate with extremists any more than with terrorists.

German decision-makers do the exact opposite: when they are not chumming up or bowing down, they allow climate extremists to appear on talk shows or write long articles, say in the "Spiegel" magazine. There, the Swedish extremist Andreas Malm was given enough space to justify why violence is allowed when it comes to protecting the climate.

Just how little use such gestures are is shown by a recently published video announcing that the "Last Generation" would carry out further attacks on everyday life in the future. It is nothing less than an announcement of a criminal intent to a mass audience that, on the one hand, is educated to use public transport in order not to stand in traffic jams half the day; on the other hand, wonders how powerless the German state still wants to be in the face of the phenomenon. But this is a false perception.

The state is not powerless: it obviously sees the climate extremists as useful helpers. The fact that the supposed “David” has been financially nurtured by NGOs and even has received funds from a federal ministry through indirect channels belongs to the other side of the story. The "great transformation", which subordinates every political issue to climate protection, is an official part of the coalition agreement. Even Savonarola's army of children would not have done a better job.


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