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February 13 2013

"A Crisis Of The State? The End Of The Post-Westphalian Model" by Carlo Bordoni

Carlo bordoniBefore we delve into the reasons for the crisis of the state it is necessary to clarify the meaning of ‘nation’. Nation has a cultural connotation and its distant origins are historically much older than state: it is still recognisable as a nation even when its borders have not been marked out and, at least formally, it is still not a state with its own laws. A population that is recognised as a nation feels free in the territory in which it lives and does not need to set limits on their freedom of movement within that space that they feel belongs to them.

And yet a country can continue to exist only if it exists as a state, that reinforces its identity and ensures precise territorial limits, because while the idea of “nation” is a feeling, the state – more pragmatically – needs a territory in which to take root. According to Jürgen Habermas, on the other hand, “national community does not precede the political community, but it is the product of it” (The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Polity Press, 2000, p. 76). A statement which is partially accepted, if we admit that the idea of nationality can mature only within a state, which, however, does not take into account the presence of a core of national feeling (although not institutionalised) on which to build a state.

State and nation go together and support each other, but something began to change in the late seventies and subsequent decades, in correspondence to the dissolution of modernity.

The anthropologist Arjun Appadurai was the first to report that the concept of nation is entering a crisis (Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, University of Minnesota, 1996), because it is the very cultural identity that is first damaged by the change taking place. What is called into doubt is the idea of the national community, based on the same language, same customs, same religion, same culture.

The opening of borders is preceded by a cultural openness that upsets the age-old certainties. The idea of nation endures while the presence of linguistic, religious or political minorities is “confined” temporarily or geographically in “enclaves” in ghettos, in refugee camps or in shelters. Then, when the diasporic communities begin to see recognition of their rights as citizens with full rights, and then demand recognition of their “diversity” with respect to the obligation to integrate (the customary path towards equality), the ‘unity of the nation begins to crumble.

Already in the nineties, Appadurai talked about post-national states, where diasporic communities are no longer occasional or temporary events, but long-lasting ones built into the system, which have become an integral part of the culture and history of a country. The term post-national better defines the earlier concepts of multinational and international, that remain fairly strongly related to economic, legal and practical dependence with the state as reference, until the entire system is weakened.

We live in a constant state of crisis, and this crisis also involves the modern state, whose structure, functionality, effectiveness (including the system of democratic representation) are no longer suited to the times in which we live.

There are many critical issues facing the modern state and the causes are many: some induced by deep historical and cultural changes that took place between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the third millennium, others by political and economic choices that led to consequences in people’s daily lives, further exasperating the distance from the institutions.

In the first place, the end of the post-Westphalian model. It appears crucial to an understanding of the present condition starting from the loss of meaning of this model of balance between states, which has stood for centuries and has been the cornerstone of international relations. The Treaties of Westphalia (Münster and Osnabrück) in 1648 (then essentially reconfirmed by the statute of the United Nations) have established some basic principles on which to base the rights and limits of the modern state, the new civil system that was born from the ashes of feudalism and that Hobbes represented as metaphoric in Leviathan: a form of monstrous strength made up of all the men who gathered together and recognised each other in a superior unity.

Based on the principle of limited sovereignty, the post-Westphalian model recognises in the modern state absolute and indivisible sovereignty over its territory and ownership in international relations, of which it is the sole subject.

If for a long time the state and nation have been able to live together, united on a historical and legal level by the insolubility of the fundamental principles that modernity assured, it was thanks to the agreements made in the Treaties of Westphalia, at the end of the long religious war, that had shattered Europe for thirty years. Since then, modern states, in the form that we have known for centuries, have standardised the so-called “post-Westphalian model”, which sets down the rules of universal stability and recognises the full sovereignty of a state within its own borders.

In the third millennium, it is the very post-Westphalian model that enters into crisis, dragging with it the crisis of the modern state, which is determined not only by the opening of borders, but by the inability demonstrated in maintaining its commitments to its citizens. In this phase, it is the “internal” boundaries that create problems. Security, defence of privilege, identity, recognition and cultural traditions, which once coincided with the boundaries of the post-Westphalian state, are now altered, uncertain, liquid. They are no longer reliable.

The dissolution of geographical or temporal limits imposed on diasporic communities determines the well-known phenomenon of the turnaround: if in the past it was the majorities that enclosed the minorities in “enclaves”, now it is the same majorities that shut themselves inside the “gated communities”, guarded by private security guards, by electronic control and security systems; jealous of the privacy that is no longer guaranteed on the outside.

Now it is clear how this model entered into crisis with the development of globalisation, whose explosive force has erased the boundaries between states and undermined any claim of absolute sovereignty. But the consequences of globalisation are not limited only to undermining the rules of international relations; they have led to a further upheaval, removing the power and raising it to a higher level. Now it is distant and spread on a global level, thus separated from politics, with which, up to now, it had been intimately linked. Hobbes’s Leviathan, deprived of its operating arm, is reduced to a mutilated body that wallows in its impotence. It gets agitated, argues and proclaims, but can not do anything even when it has made momentous decisions because the operational side is the responsibility of others. This no longer belongs to it.

The separation of politics and power is lethal to the modern state. Especially if it is a democratic state, whose constitution has promised its citizens to let them take part in common decisions that but now are taken by bodies that are non-democratically appointed or controlled from the bottom. The tragedy of the modern state lies in its inability to implement at a global level the decisions taken locally. The citizen, for example, elects their representatives to the European Parliament, who, in turn, elect committees and subcommittees, where executive decisions are taken by the last organisational bodies, formed on the basis of a series of institutional changes, the complexity of which should be a guarantee of impartiality and independence.

If it were just a matter of bureaucracy, complicated by the presence of more than one body, the system would still retain some form of democracy, although there is no direct relationship (no feedback, no opportunity to reply) between the last of the voters of a small European country and the drafter of a Community regulation. The problem is more serious, from the moment when the most important decisions on an economic, financial and developmental level are taken not by institutional bodies, as required by a democratic system, though it be a rather loose network, but by groups of power, by holding companies, multinationals, lobbies and the so-called “market”, that is by a summation of personal actions, technical consequences, emotional reactions, political will and particular interests that overlap in a very confusing manner and determine the fate of millions of people without any liability. Everything seems to happen because this is how the world turns and no one is able to oppose it. Not the people taking to the streets, protesting, whose only result is, at best, to sensitise public opinion that is otherwise distracted by an excess of information. Not even the nation-state, which does not have the instruments needed to operate at global distances and never had, since the issue had never been raised before.

Before being physical, political, legal and economic, in compliance with the post-Westphalian model, borders have always maintained that balance of strength and relationships which now no longer exists.

The crisis of the state coincides with the crisis of the post-Westphalian model, whose certainties have been swept away by the opening of borders, by increasingly more rapid exchanges of communications, by an economy at a global or supranational level and, not least, by a culture which is no longer at a local level, and is deeply influenced by suggestions, information, and comments from all over the world. The global village of McLuhan was created (or is being created) thanks to economic and cultural exchange, but at the expense of system-states that it is no longer in line with the changing times.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

February 11 2013

"Hungary – A Very FIDESZ Democracy" by Carl Rowlands

carl rowlandsAdmiral Horthy may be long gone, but just lately he appears to have become all the rage in modern Hungary. Newspapers sympathetic to the governing Fidesz party continually run glowing editorials about this ‘honourable’ man, along with statues and parks being awarded his name.

Despite their legacy as ‘The Alliance of Young Democrats’, some in the ageing and increasingly authoritarian Fidesz party have found a historical hero who was certainly no democrat. As the 1930s progressed, the electoral franchise was progressively choked off in Hungary, quietly ensuring a succession of increasingly nationalistic and right-wing governments. Areas where the social democrats were strongest were effectively deprived of the vote through bureaucratic manipulation and banning of trades union activity. Meanwhile, in rural areas, landlord control of the franchise was overt. The ‘good old days’ to which many Fidesz supporters refer to, were also the days when Roma were physically segregated into remote slums, invisible but for the occasional presence of the gendarmerie, who would brutally and violently ensure that the locals knew their position at the very base of society.

When a leading Fidesz organizer and friend of the Prime Minister declares in an opinion column that ‘most gypsies are animals’ it is against this historical context. Yet it’s also against the context of a Hungarian Right which has established no clear institutional ethical boundaries against racism, and which has increasingly relied upon nationalist rhetoric in the last 20 years. The ruling party in 1990′s first post-transition government, the MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum) even included Istvan Csurka among its leaders. Csurka was an overtly anti-Semitic nationalist politician, dedicated to restoring Hungary’s pre-World War One borders. His presence at the centre of post-transition political life indicated the weakness of democratic forces, even at the height of their supposed triumph. Even as Csurka was expelled from the collapsing MDF administration, the government engineered a ceremonial reburial of Admiral Horthy’s bones in his home village of Kenderes.

The Hungarian right’s love of ceremony and pageant – in somewhat embarrassing homage to the anachronisms of the United Kingdom – extended to a huge parade marking the relocation of the Crown to Parliament in 2000 – investing Parliament with ‘holy’ authority. Such mystical references are common currency across the Hungarian right-wing, whether supporters of ‘center-right’ Fidesz or ‘far-right’ Jobbik. It’s part of the deliberately mixed messages being sent by Fidesz. One week the Prime Minister can meet for photo-opportunity with rabbis, the next week, the Fidesz Deputy President can attend a commemoration for a Hungarian Nazi writer. There is always an eye for an opening.

Horthy might be a strange hero to many people inside and outside Hungary, but it’s especially alarming to consider that the same political forces who indulge in Horthy-worship are also the people centralising control of the Hungarian state (especially schools), redrawing a constitution and creating a whole new set of apparently ad-hoc electoral laws, the ultimate effect of which would be to make it very, very hard to elect a new government. Having won a two-thirds majority, Fidesz are attempting to exploit an opportunity to remake the administration of Hungary, as well as cementing their dominance over the future electoral process.

Anyone who remembers the 2002 Election, in which Fidesz attempted to defend its position in office against the Socialists, will remember the partial and disgraceful overt manipulation of public media. Government spokesmen and supporters dominated the programming. The editors of the public broadcasting channels even started broadcasting Fidesz rallies live-to-air – risking the ire of those who were looking to consume the normal diet of soaps and cheap cop dramas. The new electoral law attempted to consolidate this control of public media by preventing commercial radio and television channels from running party political programmes or advertisements during the campaign, leaving only the state-controlled media to provide political analysis. The intention was to drive the opposition off air.

Already we can see the beginnings of the 2014 campaign, with posters plastered on buses and placards around the city, blaming the previous government for Hungary’s problems. It seems much of the funding for this is already coming from state sources. When added to a number of bogus consultations concerning the constitution and the ‘job protection’ campaigns, Fidesz are spending an absolute fortune on communications. The next logical step is to remove the official state budget for political parties, thereby ensuring such massive communications machines are funded from either secretive or ‘grey’ sources. If enacted, it ensures a system that retains the outward trappings of democracy, whilst engaging in multiple instances of manipulation at different levels. The open gerrymandering of electoral districts is, from a UK perspective, more normal, but will further reduce the prospects of change in Hungary, whilst the reallocation of seats has been entirely driven by use of the two-thirds supermajority, with no attempt to garner a consensus.

Finally, and in tune with 1930s Hungary, the new electoral laws proposed a move away from a simple system of voter lists, to a system of voluntary registration. It is here that the government have been placed most under pressure, both internally and externally. Originally, the registration process was intended to involve people presenting themselves physically in a governmental office with the necessary forms of ID. Access to these offices could therefore be made as obscure, or as irregular as necessary, and would be a daunting test of organization and finance, as all parties would need to ferry many of their voters to the offices, or at least ensure as many were registered as possible. The Constitution Court has rejected the electoral laws, indicating dissent in the ranks – but it remains the undeniable case that the party leadership, Viktor Orban himself, wanted to push these changes through.

We could argue that Fidesz, at root, is nothing more than an electoral/communications machine, and in this sense is not so different to many other European political parties nowadays. This machine has even provided an easy cultural identity for Joe Public to adopt, a system of patronage for supporters and friends, plus a flexible and easily adaptable set of policies, which vary from economic liberalism, to nationalism, to oligarchy, depending on the lay of the land.

Yet the rancid nationalism and overt racism of many Fidesz supporters stops it being a question of abstract political science, and illustrates the dilemma that Fidesz has built for itself. For such a machine would obviously not want to risk being thrown out of office –a negative democratic verdict would be too costly to the many interests at stake in such a centralized system of patronage. Yet at the same time, Fidesz retains those same people who were part of the democratic opposition in the communist era, and whose political self-image is based partially upon being democrats in opposition to undemocratic communists. Fidesz need to distance itself from the far-right in some ways, whilst also retaining its nationalist rhetoric and feeding the monster it has helped to create.

By understanding that Fidesz are increasingly being torn in both directions, we can surely begin to appreciate that while the Association of Young Democrats may have a somewhat elastic understanding of the word ‘democracy,’ internal rivalries and dubious decision-making increasingly question the viability of Orban’s all-encompassing governing project. Paradoxically, this coincides with the continued consolidation of absolute power.  This should not obfuscate – the prospects for democratic change and political engagement with social realities in Hungary appear singularly bleak, regardless of right-wing factionalism.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01
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January 24 2013


David Cameron's EU speech - full text | Politics | 2013-01-23


This morning I want to talk about the future of Europe.

But first, let us remember the past.

Seventy years ago, Europe was being torn apart by its second catastrophic conflict in a generation. A war which saw the streets of European cities strewn with rubble. The skies of London lit by flames night after night. And millions dead across the world in the battle for peace and liberty.

As we remember their sacrifice, so we should also remember how the shift in Europe from war to sustained peace came about. It did not happen like a change in the weather. It happened because of determined work over generations. A commitment to friendship and a resolve never to revisit that dark past – a commitment epitomised by the Elysee treaty signed 50 years ago this week.

After the Berlin Wall came down I visited that city and I will never forget it.

The abandoned checkpoints. The sense of excitement about the future. The knowledge that a great continent was coming together. Healing those wounds of our history is the central story of the European Union.

What Churchill described as the twin marauders of war and tyranny have been almost entirely banished from our continent. Today, hundreds of millions dwell in freedom, from the Baltic to the Adriatic, from the Western Approaches to the Aegean.

And while we must never take this for granted, the first purpose of the European Union – to secure peace – has been achieved and we should pay tribute to all those in the EU, alongside Nato, who made that happen.

But today the main, overriding purpose of the European Union is different: not to win peace, but to secure prosperity.

The challenges come not from within this continent but outside it. From the surging economies in the east and south. Of course a growing world economy benefits us all, but we should be in no doubt that a new global race of nations is under way today.

A race for the wealth and jobs of the future.

The map of global influence is changing before our eyes. And these changes are already being felt by the entrepreneur in the Netherlands, the worker in Germany, the family in Britain.

So I want to speak to you today with urgency and frankness about the European Union and how it must change – both to deliver prosperity and to retain the support of its peoples.

But first, I want to set out the spirit in which I approach these issues.

I know that the United Kingdom is sometimes seen as an argumentative and rather strong-minded member of the family of European nations.

And it's true that our geography has shaped our psychology.

We have the character of an island nation: independent, forthright, passionate in defence of our sovereignty.

We can no more change this British sensibility than we can drain the English Channel.

And because of this sensibility, we come to the European Union with a frame of mind that is more practical than emotional.

For us, the European Union is a means to an end – prosperity, stability, the anchor of freedom and democracy both within Europe and beyond her shores – not an end in itself.

We insistently ask: how, why, to what end?

But all this doesn't make us somehow un-European.

The fact is that ours is not just an island story – it is also a continental story.

For all our connections to the rest of the world – of which we are rightly proud – we have always been a European power, and we always will be.

From Caesar's legions to the Napoleonic wars. From the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution to the defeat of nazism. We have helped to write European history, and Europe has helped write ours.

Over the years, Britain has made her own, unique contribution to Europe. We have provided a haven to those fleeing tyranny and persecution. And in Europe's darkest hour, we helped keep the flame of liberty alight. Across the continent, in silent cemeteries, lie the hundreds of thousands of British servicemen who gave their lives for Europe's freedom.

In more recent decades, we have played our part in tearing down the iron curtain and championing the entry into the EU of those countries that lost so many years to Communism. And contained in this history is the crucial point about Britain, our national character, our attitude to Europe.

Britain is characterised not just by its independence but, above all, by its openness.

We have always been a country that reaches out. That turns its face to the world. That leads the charge in the fight for global trade and against protectionism.

This is Britain today, as it's always been: independent, yes – but open, too.

I never want us to pull up the drawbridge and retreat from the world.

I am not a British isolationist.

I don't just want a better deal for Britain. I want a better deal for Europe too.

So I speak as British prime minister with a positive vision for the future of the European Union. A future in which Britain wants, and should want, to play a committed and active part.

Some might then ask: why raise fundamental questions about the future of Europe when Europe is already in the midst of a deep crisis?

Why raise questions about Britain's role when support in Britain is already so thin.

There are always voices saying: "Don't ask the difficult questions."

But it's essential for Europe – and for Britain – that we do because there are three major challenges confronting us today.

First, the problems in the eurozone are driving fundamental change in Europe.

Second, there is a crisis of European competitiveness, as other nations across the world soar ahead. And third, there is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain.

If we don't address these challenges, the danger is that Europe will fail and the British people will drift towards the exit.

I do not want that to happen. I want the European Union to be a success. And I want a relationship between Britain and the EU that keeps us in it.

That is why I am here today: to acknowledge the nature of the challenges we face. To set out how I believe the European Union should respond to them. And to explain what I want to achieve for Britain and its place within the European Union.

Let me start with the nature of the challenges we face.

First, the eurozone.

The future shape of Europe is being forged. There are some serious questions that will define the future of the European Union – and the future of every country within it.

The union is changing to help fix the currency – and that has profound implications for all of us, whether we are in the single currency or not.

Britain is not in the single currency, and we're not going to be. But we all need the eurozone to have the right governance and structures to secure a successful currency for the long term.

And those of us outside the eurozone also need certain safeguards to ensure, for example, that our access to the single market is not in any way compromised.

And it's right we begin to address these issues now.

Second, while there are some countries within the EU which are doing pretty well. Taken as a whole, Europe's share of world output is projected to fall by almost a third in the next two decades. This is the competitiveness challenge – and much of our weakness in meeting it is self-inflicted.

Complex rules restricting our labour markets are not some naturally occurring phenomenon. Just as excessive regulation is not some external plague that's been visited on our businesses.

These problems have been around too long. And the progress in dealing with them, far too slow.

As Chancellor Merkel has said, if Europe today accounts for just over 7% of the world's population, produces around 25% of global GDP and has to finance 50% of global social spending, then it's obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life.

Third, there is a growing frustration that the EU is seen as something that is done to people rather than acting on their behalf. And this is being intensified by the very solutions required to resolve the economic problems.

People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent.

We are starting to see this in the demonstrations on the streets of Athens, Madrid and Rome. We are seeing it in the parliaments of Berlin, Helsinki and the Hague.

And yes, of course, we are seeing this frustration with the EU very dramatically in Britain.

Europe's leaders have a duty to hear these concerns. Indeed, we have a duty to act on them. And not just to fix the problems in the eurozone.

For just as in any emergency you should plan for the aftermath as well as dealing with the present crisis, so too in the midst of the present challenges we should plan for the future, and what the world will look like when the difficulties in the eurozone have been overcome.

The biggest danger to the European Union comes not from those who advocate change, but from those who denounce new thinking as heresy. In its long history Europe has experience of heretics who turned out to have a point.

And my point is this. More of the same will not secure a long-term future for the eurozone. More of the same will not see the European Union keeping pace with the new powerhouse economies. More of the same will not bring the European Union any closer to its citizens. More of the same will just produce more of the same: less competitiveness, less growth, fewer jobs.

And that will make our countries weaker not stronger.

That is why we need fundamental, far-reaching change.

So let me set out my vision for a new European Union, fit for the 21st century.

It is built on five principles.

The first: competitiveness. At the core of the European Union must be, as it is now, the single market. Britain is at the heart of that single market, and must remain so.

But when the single market remains incomplete in services, energy and digital – the very sectors that are the engines of a modern economy – it is only half the success it could be.

It is nonsense that people shopping online in some parts of Europe are unable to access the best deals because of where they live. I want completing the single market to be our driving mission.

I want us to be at the forefront of transformative trade deals with the US, Japan and India as part of the drive towards global free trade. And I want us to be pushing to exempt Europe's smallest entrepreneurial companies from more EU directives.

These should be the tasks that get European officials up in the morning – and keep them working late into the night. And so we urgently need to address the sclerotic, ineffective decision-making that is holding us back.

That means creating a leaner, less bureaucratic union, relentlessly focused on helping its member countries to compete.

In a global race, can we really justify the huge number of expensive peripheral European institutions?

Can we justify a commission that gets ever larger?

Can we carry on with an organisation that has a multibillion pound budget but not enough focus on controlling spending and shutting down programmes that haven't worked?

And I would ask: when the competitiveness of the single market is so important, why is there an environment council, a transport council, an education council but not a single market council?

The second principle should be flexibility.

We need a structure that can accommodate the diversity of its members – north, south, east, west, large, small, old and new. Some of whom are contemplating much closer economic and political integration. And many others, including Britain, who would never embrace that goal.

I accept, of course, that for the single market to function we need a common set of rules and a way of enforcing them. But we also need to be able to respond quickly to the latest developments and trends.

Competitiveness demands flexibility, choice and openness – or Europe will fetch up in a no-man's land between the rising economies of Asia and market-driven North America.

The EU must be able to act with the speed and flexibility of a network, not the cumbersome rigidity of a bloc.

We must not be weighed down by an insistence on a one size fits all approach which implies that all countries want the same level of integration. The fact is that they don't and we shouldn't assert that they do.

Some will claim that this offends a central tenet of the EU's founding philosophy. I say it merely reflects the reality of the European Union today. 17 members are part of the eurozone. 10 are not.

26 European countries are members of Schengen – including four outside the European Union – Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Two EU countries – Britain and Ireland – have retained their border controls.

Some members, like Britain and France, are ready, willing and able to take action in Libya or Mali. Others are uncomfortable with the use of military force.

Let's welcome that diversity, instead of trying to snuff it out.

Let's stop all this talk of two-speed Europe, of fast lanes and slow lanes, of countries missing trains and buses, and consign the whole weary caravan of metaphors to a permanent siding.

Instead, let's start from this proposition: we are a family of democratic nations, all members of one European Union, whose essential foundation is the single market rather than the single currency. Those of us outside the euro recognise that those in it are likely to need to make some big institutional changes.

By the same token, the members of the eurozone should accept that we, and indeed all member states, will have changes that we need to safeguard our interests and strengthen democratic legitimacy. And we should be able to make these changes too.

Some say this will unravel the principle of the EU – and that you can't pick and choose on the basis of what your nation needs.

But far from unravelling the EU, this will in fact bind its members more closely because such flexible, willing co-operation is a much stronger glue than compulsion from the centre.

Let me make a further heretical proposition.

The European treaty commits the member states to "lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe".

This has been consistently interpreted as applying not to the peoples but rather to the states and institutions compounded by a European court of justice that has consistently supported greater centralisation.

We understand and respect the right of others to maintain their commitment to this goal. But for Britain – and perhaps for others – it is not the objective.

And we would be much more comfortable if the treaty specifically said so, freeing those who want to go further, faster, to do so, without being held back by the others.

So to those who say we have no vision for Europe, I say we have.

We believe in a flexible union of free member states who share treaties and institutions and pursue together the ideal of co-operation. To represent and promote the values of European civilisation in the world. To advance our shared interests by using our collective power to open markets. And to build a strong economic base across the whole of Europe.

And we believe in our nations working together to protect the security and diversity of our energy supplies. To tackle climate change and global poverty. To work together against terrorism and organised crime. And to continue to welcome new countries into the EU.

This vision of flexibility and co-operation is not the same as those who want to build an ever closer political union – but it is just as valid.

My third principle is that power must be able to flow back to member states, not just away from them. This was promised by European leaders at Laeken a decade ago.

It was put in the treaty. But the promise has never really been fulfilled. We need to implement this principle properly.

So let us use this moment, as the Dutch prime minister has recently suggested, to examine thoroughly what the EU as a whole should do and should stop doing.

In Britain we have already launched our balance of competences review – to give us an informed and objective analysis of where the EU helps and where it hampers.

Let us not be misled by the fallacy that a deep and workable single market requires everything to be harmonised, to hanker after some unattainable and infinitely level playing field.

Countries are different. They make different choices. We cannot harmonise everything. For example, it is neither right nor necessary to claim that the integrity of the single market, or full membership of the European Union requires the working hours of British hospital doctors to be set in Brussels irrespective of the views of British parliamentarians and practitioners.

In the same way we need to examine whether the balance is right in so many areas where the European Union has legislated including on the environment, social affairs and crime.

Nothing should be off the table.

My fourth principle is democratic accountability: we need to have a bigger and more significant role for national parliaments.

There is not, in my view, a single European demos.

It is national parliaments, which are, and will remain, the true source of real democratic legitimacy and accountability in the EU.

It is to the Bundestag that Angela Merkel has to answer. It is through the Greek parliament that Antonis Samaras has to pass his government's austerity measures.

It is to the British parliament that I must account on the EU budget negotiations, or on the safeguarding of our place in the single market.

Those are the parliaments which instil proper respect – even fear – into national leaders.

We need to recognise that in the way the EU does business.

My fifth principle is fairness: whatever new arrangements are enacted for the eurozone, they must work fairly for those inside it and out.

That will be of particular importance to Britain. As I have said, we will not join the single currency. But there is no overwhelming economic reason why the single currency and the single market should share the same boundary, any more than the single market and Schengen.

Our participation in the single market, and our ability to help set its rules is the principal reason for our membership of the EU.

So it is a vital interest for us to protect the integrity and fairness of the single market for all its members.

And that is why Britain has been so concerned to promote and defend the single market as the eurozone crisis rewrites the rules on fiscal co-ordination and banking union.

These five principles provide what, I believe, is the right approach for the European Union.

So now let me turn to what this means for Britain.

Today, public disillusionment with the EU is at an all-time high. There are several reasons for this.

People feel that the EU is heading in a direction that they never signed up to. They resent the interference in our national life by what they see as unnecessary rules and regulation. And they wonder what the point of it all is.

Put simply, many ask "why can't we just have what we voted to join – a common market?"

They are angered by some legal judgements made in Europe that impact on life in Britain. Some of this antipathy about Europe in general really relates of course to the European court of human rights, rather than the EU. And Britain is leading European efforts to address this.

There is, indeed, much more that needs to be done on this front. But people also feel that the EU is now heading for a level of political integration that is far outside Britain's comfort zone.

They see treaty after treaty changing the balance between member states and the EU. And note they were never given a say.

They've had referendums promised – but not delivered. They see what has happened to the euro. And they note that many of our political and business leaders urged Britain to join at the time.

And they haven't noticed many expressions of contrition.

And they look at the steps the eurozone is taking and wonder what deeper integration for the eurozone will mean for a country which is not going to join the euro.

The result is that democratic consent for the EU in Britain is now wafer-thin.

Some people say that to point this out is irresponsible, creates uncertainty for business and puts a question mark over Britain's place in the European Union.

But the question mark is already there and ignoring it won't make it go away.

In fact, quite the reverse. Those who refuse to contemplate consulting the British people, would in my view make more likely our eventual exit.

Simply asking the British people to carry on accepting a European settlement over which they have had little choice is a path to ensuring that when the question is finally put – and at some stage it will have to be – it is much more likely that the British people will reject the EU.

That is why I am in favour of a referendum. I believe in confronting this issue – shaping it, leading the debate. Not simply hoping a difficult situation will go away.

Some argue that the solution is therefore to hold a straight in-out referendum now.

I understand the impatience of wanting to make that choice immediately.

But I don't believe that to make a decision at this moment is the right way forward, either for Britain or for Europe as a whole.

A vote today between the status quo and leaving would be an entirely false choice.

Now – while the EU is in flux, and when we don't know what the future holds and what sort of EU will emerge from this crisis – is not the right time to make such a momentous decision about the future of our country.

It is wrong to ask people whether to stay or go before we have had a chance to put the relationship right.

How can we sensibly answer the question "in or out" without being able to answer the most basic question: "What is it exactly that we are choosing to be in or out of?"

The European Union that emerges from the eurozone crisis is going to be a very different body. It will be transformed perhaps beyond recognition by the measures needed to save the eurozone.

We need to allow some time for that to happen – and help to shape the future of the European Union, so that when the choice comes it will be a real one.

A real choice between leaving or being part of a new settlement in which Britain shapes and respects the rules of the single market but is protected by fair safeguards, and free of the spurious regulation which damages Europe's competitiveness.

A choice between leaving or being part of a new settlement in which Britain is at the forefront of collective action on issues like foreign policy and trade and where we leave the door firmly open to new members.

A new settlement subject to the democratic legitimacy and accountability of national parliaments where member states combine in flexible co-operation, respecting national differences not always trying to eliminate them and in which we have proved that some powers can in fact be returned to member states.

In other words, a settlement which would be entirely in keeping with the mission for an updated European Union I have described today. More flexible, more adaptable, more open – fit for the challenges of the modern age.

And to those who say a new settlement can't be negotiated, I would say listen to the views of other parties in other European countries arguing for powers to flow back to European states.

And look too at what we have achieved already. Ending Britain's obligation to bail out eurozone members. Keeping Britain out of the fiscal compact. Launching a process to return some existing justice and home affairs powers. Securing protections on banking union. And reforming fisheries policy.

So we are starting to shape the reforms we need now. Some will not require treaty change.

But I agree too with what President Barroso and others have said. At some stage in the next few years the EU will need to agree on treaty change to make the changes needed for the long-term future of the euro and to entrench the diverse, competitive, democratically accountable Europe that we seek.

I believe the best way to do this will be in a new treaty so I add my voice to those who are already calling for this.

My strong preference is to enact these changes for the entire EU, not just for Britain.

But if there is no appetite for a new treaty for us all then of course Britain should be ready to address the changes we need in a negotiation with our European partners.

The next Conservative manifesto in 2015 will ask for a mandate from the British people for a Conservative government to negotiate a new settlement with our European partners in the next parliament.

It will be a relationship with the single market at its heart.

And when we have negotiated that new settlement, we will give the British people a referendum with a very simple in or out choice. To stay in the EU on these new terms, or come out altogether.

It will be an in-out referendum.

Legislation will be drafted before the next election. And if a Conservative government is elected we will introduce the enabling legislation immediately and pass it by the end of that year. And we will complete this negotiation and hold this referendum within the first half of the next parliament.

It is time for the British people to have their say. It is time to settle this European question in British politics.

I say to the British people: this will be your decision.

And when that choice comes, you will have an important choice to make about our country's destiny.

I understand the appeal of going it alone, of charting our own course. But it will be a decision we will have to take with cool heads. Proponents of both sides of the argument will need to avoid exaggerating their claims.

Of course Britain could make her own way in the world, outside the EU, if we chose to do so. So could any other member state.

But the question we will have to ask ourselves is this: is that the very best future for our country?

We will have to weigh carefully where our true national interest lies.

Alone, we would be free to take our own decisions, just as we would be freed of our solemn obligation to defend our allies if we left Nato. But we don't leave Nato because it is in our national interest to stay and benefit from its collective defence guarantee.

We have more power and influence – whether implementing sanctions against Iran or Syria, or promoting democracy in Burma – if we can act together.

If we leave the EU, we cannot of course leave Europe. It will remain for many years our biggest market, and forever our geographical neighbourhood. We are tied by a complex web of legal commitments.

Hundreds of thousands of British people now take for granted their right to work, live or retire in any other EU country.

Even if we pulled out completely, decisions made in the EU would continue to have a profound effect on our country. But we would have lost all our remaining vetoes and our voice in those decisions.

We would need to weigh up very carefully the consequences of no longer being inside the EU and its single market, as a full member.

Continued access to the single market is vital for British businesses and British jobs.

Since 2004, Britain has been the destination for one in five of all inward investments into Europe.

And being part of the single market has been key to that success.

There will be plenty of time to test all the arguments thoroughly, in favour and against the arrangement we negotiate. But let me just deal with one point we hear a lot about.

There are some who suggest we could turn ourselves into Norway or Switzerland – with access to the single market but outside the EU. But would that really be in our best interests?

I admire those countries and they are friends of ours – but they are very different from us. Norway sits on the biggest energy reserves in Europe, and has a sovereign wealth fund of over €500bn. And while Norway is part of the single market – and pays for the principle – it has no say at all in setting its rules. It just has to implement its directives.

The Swiss have to negotiate access to the single market sector by sector, accepting EU rules – over which they have no say – or else not getting full access to the single market, including in key sectors like financial services.

The fact is that if you join an organisation like the European Union, there are rules.

You will not always get what you want. But that does not mean we should leave – not if the benefits of staying and working together are greater.

We would have to think carefully too about the impact on our influence at the top table of international affairs.

There is no doubt that we are more powerful in Washington, in Beijing, in Delhi because we are a powerful player in the European Union.

That matters for British jobs and British security.

It matters to our ability to get things done in the world. It matters to the United States and other friends around the world, which is why many tell us very clearly that they want Britain to remain in the EU.

We should think very carefully before giving that position up.

If we left the European Union, it would be a one-way ticket, not a return.

So we will have time for a proper, reasoned debate.

At the end of that debate you, the British people, will decide.

And I say to our European partners, frustrated as some of them no doubt are by Britain's attitude: work with us on this.

Consider the extraordinary steps which the eurozone members are taking to keep the euro together, steps which a year ago would have seemed impossible.

It does not seem to me that the steps which would be needed to make Britain – and others – more comfortable in their relationship in the European Union are inherently so outlandish or unreasonable.

And just as I believe that Britain should want to remain in the EU so the EU should want us to stay.

For an EU without Britain, without one of Europe's strongest powers, a country which in many ways invented the single market, and which brings real heft to Europe's influence on the world stage, which plays by the rules and which is a force for liberal economic reform would be a very different kind of European Union.

And it is hard to argue that the EU would not be greatly diminished by Britain's departure.

Let me finish today by saying this.

I have no illusions about the scale of the task ahead.

I know there will be those who say the vision I have outlined will be impossible to achieve. That there is no way our partners will co-operate. That the British people have set themselves on a path to inevitable exit. And that if we aren't comfortable being in the EU after 40 years, we never will be.

But I refuse to take such a defeatist attitude – either for Britain or for Europe.

Because with courage and conviction I believe we can deliver a more flexible, adaptable and open European Union in which the interests and ambitions of all its members can be met.

With courage and conviction I believe we can achieve a new settlement in which Britain can be comfortable and all our countries can thrive.

And when the referendum comes let me say now that if we can negotiate such an arrangement, I will campaign for it with all my heart and soul.

Because I believe something very deeply. That Britain's national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union and that such a European Union is best with Britain in it.

Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will not rest until this debate is won. For the future of my country. For the success of the European Union. And for the prosperity of our peoples for generations to come.

June 21 2012


March 02 2012

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Reposted bycheg00 cheg00

February 03 2012


Nicht mehr das Volk, der eigentliche Souverän, sondern die Finanzmärkte bestimmen die Maximen der Politik. Das Ergebnis ist dann die „marktkonforme Demokratie“, die Angela Merkel als Leitbild ausgegeben hat. Mit einer lebendigen Demokratie hat dies jedoch nichts zu tun, es handelt sich vielmehr um eine demokratische Fassade hinter der ganz andere Kräfte die Fäden ziehen, wie das der britische Politologe Colin Crouch als Postdemokratie beschrieben hat.

Wenn in Griechenland und Italien demokratisch gewählte Regierungen durch sogenannte Expertenräte ersetzt werden, ist das nach klassischer Definition keine Demokratie mehr, sondern eine Technokratie. Übersetzt aus dem Altgriechischen bedeutet dieser Begriff denn auch »Expertenherrschaft«. Diese Entwicklung ist bedrohlich. Geradezu erschreckend ist jedoch, wie widerstandslos diese Aushöhlung der Demokratie hingenommen wird.

Wer es nicht besser wissen kann und sich duckt, mag ein Opfer sein. Wer es besser wissen könnte, aber lieber freiwillig mit dem Strom schwimmt, ist schon kein Opfer mehr. Und wer es besser weiß und dennoch den Mund hält, ist kein aufrechter Demokrat und feige ist er obendrein. Schon einmal ist in Deutschland die Demokratie gescheitert und in einer Katastrophe gelandet, weil es zu wenig aufrechte Demokraten gab oder zu wenig Kräfte, die sich mutig für die Demokratie aktiv einsetzten.

Weder die Griechen noch wir sind unmündige Kinder oder senile Greise, denen man einen Vormund vor die Nase setzen kann. Alle Staatsgewalt geht vom Volke aus und nicht vom Finanzsystem. Deutsche Kanzler und Minister schwören in ihrem Amtseid, dass sie ihre Kraft dem Wohle des deutschen Volkes widmen, seinen Nutzen mehren und Schaden von ihm wenden werden – vom Nutzen für die deutschen Banken ist in diesem Eid nicht die Rede.

Die Agonie der Demokratie | 2012-02-03
Reposted byked ked

Die Agonie der Demokratie

Der Verfassungsschutz beschäftigt sich mit der Linkspartei und gleichzeitig nutzt das Finanzsystem die von ihm provozierten Refinanzierungsprobleme der Eurostaaten, um der Politik neue und immer engere Leitplanken zu setzen, mit denen die politische Handlungsfähigkeit der demokratischen Staaten immer weiter eingeschränkt wird. Längst ist die öffentliche Verschuldung zu einem Gesslerhut geworden, der dem Volk und der Politik aufzeigt, wer der wahre Souverän in diesem Lande ist – nämlich das Finanzsystem. In steter Regelmäßigkeit wird ganz offen eine Unterscheidung zwischen den vermeintlich objektiven Interessen der Allgemeinheit und dem politischen Willen der Allgemeinheit vorgenommen. Gerade so, als seien die in einer Demokratie angeblich mündige Bürger unmündige Kinder, die nicht wissen können, was das Beste für sie sei. Die Demokratie von heute ist nicht mehr von ihren offenen Feinden – und schon gar nicht von der Linken -, sondern von denjenigen bedroht, die vorgeben, die Politik in den europäischen Staaten wieder auf den Pfad der Tugend, nämlich des Sparens zurückführen zu wollen. Von Jens Berger

Seit wann nimmt die Öffentlichkeit es eigentlich ohne weitere Klagen hin, dass die deutsche Politik die Verfassung eines souveränen, demokratischen Staates außer Kraft setzten will, indem sie dem Parlament das Budgetrecht abspricht? Während das Bundesverfassungsgericht den deutschen Politikern hier sehr restriktive Leitplanken gesetzt hat, lässt man andererseits jeglichen Respekt vor der Verfassung anderer demokratischer Staaten vermissen. Griechenland – so hat es den Anschein – gilt für die Eliten dieses Landes als eine Art seniler Großvater, den man davon schützen muss, auf Nepper, Schlepper und Bauernfänger hereinzufallen, indem man ihm die Geschäftsfähigkeit aberkennen lässt und selbst die Vormundschaft anmaßt. Man erklärt die griechische Demokratie inzwischen reflexhaft für unfähig, die eigenen Interessen erkennen oder gar vertreten zu können, erklärte sie schlicht für unmündig und ignoriert damit sogar das demokratische „Königsrecht“ eines Parlaments, nämlich die Haushaltshoheit in einem Maße wie es in der Geschichte bisher nur durch Gewalt- oder Kriegsandrohung oder durch militärische Besetzung möglich war.

Unter dem Deckmantel der Stabilisierung des Euros und der Erhaltung der Europäischen Währungsunion will Deutschland Ländern wie Griechenland in ein Verhältnis zwingen, das wohl am ehesten einem Status entspricht, den Völkerrechtler als „Suzeränität“ bezeichnen – nämlich das Übertragen verschiedener elementarer Bereiche staatlicher Souveränität an einen mächtigeren Staat („Suzerän“). So war es etwa zu Zeiten des britischen Empires vollkommen normal, dass britische Beamte im Auftrag der mächtigen Britischen Ostindien-Kompanie die Fiskalpolitik der indischen Fürstentümer im britischen Machtbereich „koordinierten“. Nicht großartig unterschiedlich ist da der Vorschlag des CDU-Politikers Volker Kauder zu werten, der deutsche Beamte dazu einsetzen will, die fiskalischen Vorgaben, die Griechenland von der deutschen Regierung über die EU diktiert bekommen hat, gegen demokratisch legitimierte Entscheidungen knallhart vor Ort durchzusetzen. Hinter den Kulissen zieht diesmal nicht die Ostindien-Kompanie, die eine Vereinigung reicher Londoner Kaufleute war, die Fäden, sondern ein weitestgehend anonymes Konglomerat der Hochfinanz, das gerne beschönigend mit dem Begriff „Finanzmärkte“ umschrieben wird.

Eigentlich müsste ein Politiker wie Volker Kauder, der schon mit seiner chauvinistischen Aussage „in Europa wird wieder deutsch gesprochen“ unsere Nachbarn gegen Deutschland aufbrachte, und der nun mit seinem Ruf nach einer Art „Generalgouvernement Griechenland“ nicht nur alles in den Schatten stellt, was man in puncto Taktlosigkeit von Unionspolitikern kennt, sondern auch offen einem befreundeten demokratischen Staat die Souveränität abspricht, doch mit Schimpf und Schande aus dem Reichstagsgebäude gejagt werden. Ein derartiges Ultimatum, worin sie Griechenland zur Aufgabe seiner Budget-Hoheit auffordert, das die deutsche Kanzlerin in Brüssel einreicht, erinnert an die dunkelsten Stunden der deutschen Geschichte. Diese Art von Großmannssucht trägt dazu bei, dass man sich wieder schämen muss, ein Deutscher zu sein, wenn man ins benachbarte Ausland reist.

Doch wer hat eigentlich bei uns diese zutiefst antidemokratischen Äußerungen kritisiert? Wer hat die Wahrung demokratischer Grundsätze in Europa öffentlich verteidigt? Die deutschen Politiker der aktuellen und früheren Regierungsparteien, die gerne in Sonntagsreden bei feierlichen Anlässen ihr Hohelied auf unsere freiheitliche demokratische Grundordnung singen, jedenfalls nicht. Nein, Demokratie scheint für diese Politiker nur so lange ein schützenswertes Gut zu sein, so lange sie ihnen erlaubt, ihre eigene von Ideologie bestimmte Politik demokratisch zu legitimieren. Sind jedoch die Interessen der Mehrheit nicht deckungsgleich mit der von solchen Politikern vertretenen Dogmen, geraten die Sonntagsreden schnell in Vergessenheit. Haben die deutschen Leitmedien auch nur in einem einzigen kurzen Moment die von der Bundesregierung geforderte Suspendierung der griechischen Demokratie beklagt? Nein, die honorigen Leitartikler, die sich stets in anmaßender Hybris in der Rolle der vierten Gewalt gefallen, haben nicht nur in diesem Fall als Verteidiger demokratischer Grundprinzipien auf ganzer Linie versagt. Wie kann man ihnen da noch die Verteidigung der deutschen Demokratie zutrauen, wenn sie noch nicht einmal imstande sind, mahnend die Stimme zu erheben, wenn vor ihren Augen die Demokratie eines Staates der Europäischen Union außer Kraft gesetzt werden soll?

Dabei ist Griechenland nur die sichtbare Spitze eines riesigen demokratiegefährdenden Eisbergs, der auch schon den Rumpf des deutschen Politdampfers auf bedrohliche Länge aufgerissen hat. Auf ganz vielen Feldern – angefangen von den Hartz-Reformen, über die Rente mit 67, dem Mindestlohn bis hin zum Militäreinsatz in Afghanistan – hat sich die Politik von den Bürgern und deren Sorgen und Interessen verabschiedet. Sie dient nicht dem Allgemeinwohl, sondern den Partikularinteressen einer sehr einflussreichen finanzkräftigen und dementsprechend meinungsmächtigen Minderheit. Quer durch wichtige Bereiche des gesellschaftlichen Zusammenlebens bestimmen diese Partikularinteressen die politische Agenda. Dies gilt ganz besonders für die ökonomischen Interessen des Finanzsektors. Die Finanzwirtschaft hat die Politik der letzten Jahre zunächst mit ihrem Druck auf die Deregulierung der Finanzmärkte vor sich her getrieben hat und nunmehr – durch die dadurch ausgelöste Krise – geradezu zu ihrem Bittsteller gemacht hat. Die gesamte europäische Politik buhlt nur noch um das „Vertrauen der Märkte“. Und die Medien plappern das von morgens bis abends auf allen Kanälen nach. Durch die Finanzkrise und die durch sie ausgelöste Eurokrise findet Politik nur noch als Reaktion auf die Märkte statt. Nicht mehr das Volk, der eigentliche Souverän, sondern die Finanzmärkte bestimmen die Maximen der Politik. Das Ergebnis ist dann die „marktkonforme Demokratie“, die Angela Merkel als Leitbild ausgegeben hat. Mit einer lebendigen Demokratie hat dies jedoch nichts zu tun, es handelt sich vielmehr um eine demokratische Fassade hinter der ganz andere Kräfte die Fäden ziehen, wie das der britische Politologe Colin Crouch als Postdemokratie beschrieben hat.

Wenn in Griechenland und Italien demokratisch gewählte Regierungen durch sogenannte Expertenräte ersetzt werden, ist das nach klassischer Definition keine Demokratie mehr, sondern eine Technokratie. Übersetzt aus dem Altgriechischen bedeutet dieser Begriff denn auch »Expertenherrschaft«. Diese Entwicklung ist bedrohlich. Geradezu erschreckend ist jedoch, wie widerstandslos diese Aushöhlung der Demokratie hingenommen wird.

Wer es nicht besser wissen kann und sich duckt, mag ein Opfer sein. Wer es besser wissen könnte, aber lieber freiwillig mit dem Strom schwimmt, ist schon kein Opfer mehr. Und wer es besser weiß und dennoch den Mund hält, ist kein aufrechter Demokrat und feige ist er obendrein. Schon einmal ist in Deutschland die Demokratie gescheitert und in einer Katastrophe gelandet, weil es zu wenig aufrechte Demokraten gab oder zu wenig Kräfte, die sich mutig für die Demokratie aktiv einsetzten.

Weder die Griechen noch wir sind unmündige Kinder oder senile Greise, denen man einen Vormund vor die Nase setzen kann. Alle Staatsgewalt geht vom Volke aus und nicht vom Finanzsystem. Deutsche Kanzler und Minister schwören in ihrem Amtseid, dass sie ihre Kraft dem Wohle des deutschen Volkes widmen, seinen Nutzen mehren und Schaden von ihm wenden werden – vom Nutzen für die deutschen Banken ist in diesem Eid nicht die Rede. Es ist an der Zeit, dass wir die Politik einmal daran erinnern, wer der Souverän ist. Mehr und mehr kommt man sich hierzulande vor wie eine Laborratte, der zur Durchführung eines ideologischen Laborversuchs gezielt Schmerzimpulse zugefügt werden, um herauszufinden, wo die Schmerztoleranzschwelle liegt, von der an sich die Ratten sich zur Wehr setzt. Unsere Schmerztoleranz scheint sehr hoch zu sein, wir befinden uns geradezu in einer dauerhaften Duldungsstarre. Nur wenn wir daraus aufwachen, werden wir wieder umgekehrt, der derzeitigen Politik ihre Grenzen aufzeigen können. Je länger wir uns alles gefallen lassen, desto hinfälliger wird unsere Demokratie. Ihre Totengräber sind die Eliten, aber wir schauen ihnen tatenlos zu. Muss denn immer erst eine Katastrophe eingetreten sein, bis die Deutschen von einem ideologischen Regime befreit werden können?

Reposted bysbsm sbsm

January 29 2012


Verfassungsschutz: Das ist ein irreführender, ein falscher Name. Falschnamen gehören in die Welt der Geheimdienste. Und Verfassungsschutz ist der Falschname für den deutschen Inlands-Geheimdienst. Man tut damit so, als sei er so etwas Ähnliches wie das Verfassungsgericht. Das ist eine Anmaßung. Alljährlich präsentiert der Bundesinnenminister einen "Verfassungsschutzbericht", und er tritt dabei auf, als verkünde er ein höchstrichterliches Urteil. Es handelt sich aber nur um die von ihm redigierten Tätigkeitsberichte des Inlandsgeheimdienstes, die man - wie man seit der neonazistischen Mordserie weiß - insoweit auch Untätigkeitsberichte nennen kann.

Der galoppierende Irrtum

Der Verfassungsschutz ist kein Verfassungsorgan, sondern ein Behördenkonglomerat, das im Geheimen operiert, von der Regierungspolitik dirigiert wird und von der Justiz nicht kontrolliert werden darf - dessen Überwachungskompetenzen in den vergangenen zehn Jahren aber erheblich ausgeweitet worden sind. Das passt nicht zu der Offenheit, die eine Demokratie auszeichnen soll, und nicht zu der Rechtsstaatlichkeit, deren sich die Bundesrepublik rühmt.

Dafür passt das Agieren des Verfassungsschutzes zu den Vorurteilen, gegen die er sich vergeblich wehrt, weil er sie selber bestätigt: dass er auf dem linken Auge scharf-, aber auf dem rechten fehlsichtig sei. Jüngst ist öffentlich geworden, dass der Verfassungsschutz Abgeordnete der Linken im Bundestag überwacht. Wenige Wochen vorher waren die zehn Morde der Neonazis bekannt geworden, von denen der Verfassungsschutz nichts mitbekommen hat oder nichts mitbekommen haben will. Ein Untersuchungsausschuss des Bundestages, soeben zusammengetreten, soll klären, wie das geschehen konnte.


Untersuchungsausschuss - Hilfe, der Verfassungsschutz! | Heribert Prantl 2012-01-29
Reposted bykrekk krekk

January 27 2012


Es hätte von Beginn der Bundesrepublik an gute Gründe gegeben, die Union und die FDP zu beobachten, weil sie reihenweise Nazis aufgenommen haben. Es hätte gute Gründe gegeben, gegen Politiker der Union wie Streibl und Strauss vorzugehen, weil sie Volksverhetzung betrieben haben. Nichts da. Aber Abgeordnete der Linken und Teile der Partei werden beobachtet, obwohl sie gewählt worden sind und keine verfassungsfeindliche Programmatik oder Aktion erkennbar ist. Die Beobachtung dient eindeutig der Diskreditierung, sonst nichts. Es ist der Versuch, die politische Konkurrenz zu schwächen. Deshalb auch der laue Protest der SPD, die von der Diskreditierung der Linkspartei zu profitieren hofft. Alle sind sie daran interessiert, nicht die Gefahr einer politischen Alternative zu Angela Merkel aufkommen zu lassen. Die SPD merkt das nur nicht, worauf wir hier aufmerksam machten.

Die „Staatsparteien“ können sich alles leisten. Von Demokratie weit und breit nichts zu sehen. (AM’s Wochenrückblick) 2012-01-27
Reposted bydarksideofthemoonbesen

Aber gerade eine antizyklische Finanzpolitik, also eine aktive Konjunkturpolitik durch den Staat, wird durch den Fiskalpakt, wenn nicht ausgeschlossen, so doch wesentlich eingeschränkt. Man kann es also auch so sagen: Mit dem Fiskalpakt wird eine ganz bestimmte Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik auf einen Verfassungsrang erhoben. Nämlich das neoliberale Dogma, das den Staat zugunsten der Marktkräfte zurückdrängen will und dem Staat eine schädliche Wirkung auf den marktwirtschaftlichen Wirtschaftsablauf zuschreibt.

Merkel nennt das „marktkonforme Demokratie“. Keynesianische oder Neokeynesianische Wirtschaftslehren, die von einer prinzipiellen Instabilität der „Märkte“ ausgehen und deshalb eine aktive Rolle des Staates mittels der Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik für das Wirtschaftsgeschehen verlangen, werden also durch Schuldenbremsen, wenn nicht nur wesentlich eingeschränkt sondern sogar per Verfassung verboten.

Die Einführung der Schuldenbremse in Deutschland bedeutete schon eine Einschränkung unserer bisherigen Verfassung. Das Grundgesetz – so war bisher die allgemeine Auffassung – ist „wirtschaftspolitisch neutral“, d.h. es ist offen für ganz unterschiedliche wirtschaftspolitische Theorien und Vorstellungen. Es lässt sogar mit seinem Artikel 15 GG – schrecklich zu sagen – „sozialistischen“ Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsvorstellungen Raum: „Grund und Boden, Naturschätze und Produktionsmittel können zum Zwecke der Vergesellschaftung durch ein Gesetz, das Art und Ausmaß der Entschädigung regelt, in Gemeineigentum oder in andere Formen der Gemeinwirtschaft überführt werden.“ Und nach Artikel 14 GG sind „zum Wohle der Allgemeinheit“ auch Enteignungen zulässig. In den Länderverfassungen gibt es hinsichtlich staats- und gemeinwirtschaftlicher Lösungen noch viel weitergehende Formulierungen, bis hin zur Möglichkeit der Verstaatlichung des Bankenwesens. (Siehe „Das Grundgesetz ist links“)

Wer betreibt eigentlich einen Systemwechsel? | 2012-01-27
Reposted bytuedel tuedel

Wer betreibt eigentlich einen Systemwechsel?

Zwei Nachrichten beschäftigten in der zurückliegenden Woche die Politik und die Schlagzeilen der Medien: Erstens das Weltwirtschaftsforum in Davos und dabei vor allem die Eröffnungsrede der Kanzlerin und zweitens die Beobachtung und Überwachung von Parlamentariern der Partei DIE LINKE durch den Verfassungsschutz.
Oberflächlich betrachtet haben beide Themen nichts miteinander zu tun, schaut man aber genauer hin, so geht es in beiden Fällen im Kern um die Frage einer Systemveränderung bzw. eines Systemwechsels. Von Wolfgang Lieb

Für die Beobachtung und Überwachung von Politikern der Linkspartei wird als Begründung herangezogen, dass die Gefahr bestünde, dass diese Partei oder einige ihrer Gruppierungen einen „Systemwechsel“ herbeiführen wollten: “Wer den Systemwechsel in Deutschland fordert, über Wege zum Kommunismus schwadroniert und sich mit Diktatoren solidarisiert, darf sich nicht wundern, wenn er vom Verfassungsschutz beobachtet wird”, sagte CDU-Generalsekretär Hermann Gröhe.

Um einen Systemwechsel geht es bei genauer Betrachtung aber auch bei der vor allem von Kanzlerin Merkel für die Länder der Währungsunion angestrebten „Fiskalunion“: Also mit der möglichst in den Verfassungen zu verankernden „Schuldenbremse“, deren Überwachung durch die Behörde der Europäischen Kommission und – bei einem Verstoß gegen die Verschuldungskriterien – der Klagemöglichkeit vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof. Darüber hinaus soll der Fiskalpakt unter Umgehung der Europäischen Verträge separat in einem zwischenstaatlichen Vertrag festgeschrieben werden.

Warum muss man bei diesem Fiskalpakt von einem Systemwechsel sprechen?

Der Fiskalpakt schränkt die Finanzpolitik der Staaten ein. Das ist so gewollt, weil nach der ihm zugrundeliegenden Logik, die Verschuldung der Länder als Ursache für die Krise der Europäischen Währungsunion unterstellt wird. Es wird angenommen, dass wenn die Verschuldung eingedämmt und auf ein festgelegtes Maß zurückgefahren wird, die Finanzmärkte wieder „Vertrauen“ fassen und die Spekulationen um die Staatsanleihen ein Ende finden. In Reinform trug diese These diese Woche noch einmal der frühere Finanzstaatssekretär und jetzige Sonderbeauftragte der Europäischen Zentralbank für „Krisendiplomatie“, Jörg Asmussen vor: „Die Hauptverantwortung für die gegenwärtige
Krisenbekämpfung liegt bei den Regierungen, weil diese Krise ist ja, um es ganz deutlich zu sagen, keine Krise des Euros, sondern es ist eine Staatsschuldenkrise, und da diese von einer unsoliden Finanzpolitik herbeigeführt wurde, liegt es eben auch an der Finanzpolitik, uns im Wesentlichen aus dieser Krise wieder herauszuführen.“

Selbst wenn man dieser eindimensionalen Betrachtung der Krisenursache folgte, dann wäre es Aufgabe der Politik durch entsprechendes finanzpolitisches Handeln diese Krise zu bekämpfen. Doch die deutsche Kanzlerin vertraut der Politik (genauer gesagt demokratischen Entscheidungen über die Haushaltspolitik) nicht mehr, sie verlangt „Verbindlichkeit“ und will deshalb überall Verfassungsänderungen herbeiführen, die die Politik einklagbar zwingen sollen, die Staatsausgaben zu reduzieren. Sparpolitik wird so zum Verfassungsgebot. Nun könnte man vielleicht sogar noch sagen die Kürzung von Staatsausgaben könnte einer der Wege zum Schuldenabbau sein. Aber es ist eben beileibe nicht der einzige. Im Gegenteil: Es gibt eine empirische Evidenz, dass eine aktive Konjunktur- und Beschäftigungspolitik durch den Staat sich in der Vergangenheit als ein weitaus erfolgreicheres Mittel zur Abtragung von Staatsschulden erwiesen hat. Indem nämlich durch ein höheres Wirtschaftswachstum die Steuereinnahmen gesprudelt sind und dadurch die Defizite nicht nur ausgeglichen sondern sogar wieder abgebaut werden konnten. Man sollte die Staatsschulden auch nicht immer nur absolut betrachten. Viel wichtiger ist, wie sich die Staatschulden in Relation zur Wirtschaftsleistung entwickeln. Entwickelt sich die gesamte Wirtschaft – also auch die Binnenwirtschaft – positiv, steigt das Bruttoinlandsprodukt und die relative Staatsverschuldung nimmt sogar dann ab, wenn gar keine Schulden abgebaut wurden. Sie würde sogar dann abnehmen, wenn die Neuverschuldung niedriger als das Wirtschaftswachstum ist. Erzeugt man jedoch durch die Budgetkürzungen eine Rezession, nimmt die relative Verschuldung auch dann zu, wenn gar keine neuen Staatsschulden aufgenommen wurden.

Aber gerade eine antizyklische Finanzpolitik, also eine aktive Konjunkturpolitik durch den Staat, wird durch den Fiskalpakt, wenn nicht ausgeschlossen, so doch wesentlich eingeschränkt. Man kann es also auch so sagen: Mit dem Fiskalpakt wird eine ganz bestimmte Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik auf einen Verfassungsrang erhoben. Nämlich das neoliberale Dogma, das den Staat zugunsten der Marktkräfte zurückdrängen will und dem Staat eine schädliche Wirkung auf den marktwirtschaftlichen Wirtschaftsablauf zuschreibt.
Merkel nennt das „marktkonforme Demokratie“. Keynesianische oder Neokeynesianische Wirtschaftslehren, die von einer prinzipiellen Instabilität der „Märkte“ ausgehen und deshalb eine aktive Rolle des Staates mittels der Finanz- und Wirtschaftspolitik für das Wirtschaftsgeschehen verlangen, werden also durch Schuldenbremsen, wenn nicht nur wesentlich eingeschränkt sondern sogar per Verfassung verboten.

Die Einführung der Schuldenbremse in Deutschland bedeutete schon eine Einschränkung unserer bisherigen Verfassung. Das Grundgesetz – so war bisher die allgemeine Auffassung – ist „wirtschaftspolitisch neutral“, d.h. es ist offen für ganz unterschiedliche wirtschaftspolitische Theorien und Vorstellungen. Es lässt sogar mit seinem Artikel 15 GG – schrecklich zu sagen – „sozialistischen“ Gesellschafts- und Wirtschaftsvorstellungen Raum: „Grund und Boden, Naturschätze und Produktionsmittel können zum Zwecke der Vergesellschaftung durch ein Gesetz, das Art und Ausmaß der Entschädigung regelt, in Gemeineigentum oder in andere Formen der Gemeinwirtschaft überführt werden.“ Und nach Artikel 14 GG sind „zum Wohle der Allgemeinheit“ auch Enteignungen zulässig. In den Länderverfassungen gibt es hinsichtlich staats- und gemeinwirtschaftlicher Lösungen noch viel weitergehende Formulierungen, bis hin zur Möglichkeit der Verstaatlichung des Bankenwesens. (Siehe „Das Grundgesetz ist links“)

Misst man die Bestrebungen nach einem Systemwechsel also an unserem Grundgesetz, dann bedeutet also die Einführung einer Schuldenbremse und deren Überwachung durch die EU-Kommission nebst einer Klagemöglichkeit vor dem Europäischen Gerichtshof eine viel weitergehende Systemveränderung als die Ziele, die das Programm der Partei DIE LINKE vorgibt und die sich ohne weiteres mit der geschriebenen Verfassung vereinbaren ließen.

Aber schon Aristoteles hat sinngemäß gesagt: Das herrschende Recht ist immer zugleich das Recht der Herrschenden. Deswegen müssen gerade diejenigen, die die Macht haben, das geltende Recht zu verändern, die anderen besonders heftig bekämpfen, die solche Veränderungen politisch in Frage stellen – wenn es sein muss paradoxerweise sogar durch den „Verfassungs“-schutz.

January 17 2012

Chris Hedges Sues Obama Admin Over Indefinite Detention of US Citizens Approved in NDAA - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces. "It is clearly unconstitutional," Hedges says of the bill. "It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing." We speak with Hedges, now a senior fellow at the Nation Institute, and former New York Times foreign correspondent who was part of a team of reporters that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper's coverage of global terrorism. We are also joined by Hedges' attorney Carl Mayer, who filed the litigation on his behalf in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Towatch the complete daily, independent news hour, read the transcript, download the podcast, and for additional coverage of the NDAA and civil liberties issues, visit the Democracy Now! news archives at FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: Facebook: Twitter: @democracynow Subscribe on YouTube: <b>...</b>
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Reposted fromVideosDemocracy VideosDemocracy

December 16 2011

Obama and the final destruction of the constitution

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, if signed into law, will signal the death knell of our constitutional republic and the formal inception of a legalized police state in the United States. Passed by the House on May 26, 2011 (HR 1540), the Senate version (S. 1867) was passed on Dec. 1, 2011. Now only one man — Barack Obama, a scholar of constitutional law — will make the decision as to whether the Bill of Rights he went to Harvard to study will be superceded by a law that abrogates it.
First, let’s be clear what is at stake. Most critical are Sections 1031 and 1032 of the Act, which authorize detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely without charge or trial if deemed necessary by the president. The bill would allow federal officials to take these steps based on suspicions only, without having to demonstrate to any judicial official that there is solid evidence to justify their actions. No reasonable proof will any longer be required for the government to suspend an American citizen’s constitutional rights. Detentions can follow mere membership, past or present, in “suspect organizations.” Government agents would have unchecked authority to arrest, interrogate, and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens if accused of potentially posing a threat to “national security.” Further, military personnel anywhere in the world would be authorized to seize U.S. citizens without due process. As Senator Lindsay Graham put it, under this Act the U.S. homeland is considered a “battlefield.”
What is at stake is more than the Constitution itself, as central as that document has been to the American experiment in democracy. What is a stake is nothing short of the basic fundamentals of western jurisprudence. Central to civilized law is the notion that a person cannot be held without a charge and cannot be detained indefinitely without a trial. These principles date back to Greco-Roman times, were developed by English common law beginning in 1215 with the Magna Carta, and were universalized by the Enlightenment in the century before the American Constitution and Bill of Rights were fought for and adopted as the supreme law of the land.
For more than two centuries of constitutional development since then, the United States has been heralded as the light to the world precisely because of the liberties it enshrined in its Declaration of Independence and Constitution as inalienable. It now seems as if the events of 9/11 have been determined to be of such a threatening magnitude that our national leaders feel justified to abrogate in their entirety the very inalienable principles upon which our Republic was founded.
At the heart of this Act is the most fundamental question we must ask ourselves as a free people: is 9/11 worth the Republic? The question screaming at us through this bill is whether the war on terror is a better model around which to shape our destiny than our constitutional liberties. It compels the question of whether we remain an ongoing experiment in democracy, pioneering new frontiers in the name of liberty and justice for all, or have we become a national security state, having financially corrupted and militarized our democracy to such an extent that we define ourselves, as Sparta did, only through the exigencies of war?
Within a week of 9/11, the Use of Military Force Act was approved which authorized the full application of U.S. military power against “terrorism.” A month later, on Oct. 26, 2001, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Patriot Act that began the legislative assault on the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment right to freedom of association was gutted as federal officials were authorized to prosecute citizens for alleged association with “undesirable groups.” The Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure was compromised by permitting indefinite detentions of those suspected of “terrorism.” The Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy was obliterated as unchecked surveillance was authorized to access personal records, financial dealings, and medical records of any citizen at any time without any judicial oversight or permission. Evidence obtained extra-judicially could be withheld from defense attorneys.
The Patriot Act also criminalized “domestic terrorism.” It stated that civil conduct can be considered “domestic terrorism” if such actions aim to “influence by intimidation or coercion” or “intimidate or coerce a civilian population.” Put in plain language, this means that actions such as Occupy Wall Street can be designated as “domestic terrorism” by Federal authorities without judicial oversight and dealt with outside the due process of constitutional protections.
Two weeks after passage of the Patriot Act, on Nov. 13, President Bush issued Military Order No. 1 authorizing the executive branch and the military to capture, kidnap, or otherwise arrest non-citizens anywhere in the world if suspected of engaging in terrorist activities. Proof was not required. It stipulated that trials, if held, would be military tribunals, not civil courts, and that evidence obtained by torture was permissible. No right of appeal was afforded to those convicted. Numerous executive orders, findings, and National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives followed, further consolidating the militarization of due process under the law and enabling the executive branch to act without legal constraint after it has defined a person or group as potentially engaging in “terrorist” activity.
A year later, on Nov. 25, 2002, the Homeland Security Act was passed that for the first time integrated all U.S. intelligence agencies, both domestic and foreign, into a single interactive network under the president. The Act gave these intelligence agencies complete freedom to collect any and all data on anyone anywhere in the United States and, working with allies abroad, to access complete information on anyone anywhere in the world, working closely with local police, intelligence agencies, and the corporate sector. This dissolved the distinctions between domestic and foreign spying and made more ambiguous the distinction between domestic and foreign “terrorism.”
The next major step took place on Oct. 17, 2006, when Congress passed the Military Commissions Act that effectively abrogated habeas corpus for domestic and foreign enemies alike, stating, “Any person is punishable who aides, abets, counsels, commands, or procures” material support for alleged terrorist groups. One of the most basic principles of both our democracy and our civilization, that a person cannot be held without being charged, was surrendered, and done so by substantial majorities in both houses. On the same day, the 2007 NDAA was passed, which amended the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, prohibiting U.S. military personnel from acting upon U.S. citizens within U.S. borders. Not only was anything allowable in the pursuit of “terrorists,” but the military was authorized to conduct operations inside the homeland in their pursuit.
Now comes the 2012 NDAA, which completes the process and thus serves as the coup de grace for a democratically voted metamorphosis from republic to national security state. It puts the final nail in the coffin of the Constitution by designating the entire United States as essentially the same “battlefield” in the war on terror as Iraq or Afghanistan, and authorizes the executive branch and the military to take whatever actions they consider legitimate against any human being anywhere on planet earth, civilian or enemy combatant, and to do so without any judicial oversight or constitutional constraint. If this Act is passed, the Bill of Rights will no longer protect American citizens from their government. The Constitution will no longer be the ultimate law of the land.
The House and Senate versions of the Act must now be reconciled and the Act sent to the president to either sign or veto. With his decision, he will determine the fate of those very liberties which, up to this point, have been integral to and indeed have defined America.


Reposted fromSigalontech Sigalontech

November 13 2011


New book by Michel Rosenfeld on Pluralism | "Political Theory - Habermas and Rawls" - - 2011-11-13

New book by Michel Rosenfeld on Pluralism

Law, Justice, Democracy, and the Clash of Cultures

by Michel Rosenfeld

(Cambridge University Press, 2011)

320 pages


The Cold War ideological battle with universal aspirations has given way to a clash of cultures as the world concurrently moves toward globalization of economies and communications and balkanization through a clash of ethnic and cultural identities. Traditional liberal theory has confronted daunting challenges in coping with these changes and with recent developments such as the spread of postmodern thought, religious fundamentalism, and global terrorism. This book argues that a political and legal philosophy based on pluralism is best suited to confront the problems of the twenty-first century. Pointing out that monist theories such as liberalism have become inadequate and that relativism is dangerous, the book makes the case for pluralism from the standpoint of both theory and its applications. The book engages with thinkers, such as Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Rawls, Berlin, Dworkin, Habermas, and Derrida, and with several subjects that are at the center of current controversies, including equality, group rights, tolerance, secularism confronting religious revival, and political rights in the face of terrorism.


Part I. Liberal Justice and Fleeting Specters of Unity

1. Reframing Comprehensive Pluralism: Hegel versus Rawls
2. Equality and the Dialectic Between Identity and Difference
3. Human Rights and the Clash Between Universalism and Relativism

Part II. E Pluribus Unum?

4. Spinoza's Dialectic and the Paradoxes of Tolerance
5. The Clash Between Deprivatized Religion and Relativized Secularism
6. Dworkin and the One Law Principle

Part III. Can Pluralism Thrive in Times of Stress?

7. Rethinking Political Rights in Times of Stress
8. Derrida's Deconstructive Ethics of Difference Confronts Global Terrorism
9. Habermas's Discourse Ethics of Identity and Global Terror
10. Conclusion: the Hopes of Pluralism in a More Unified and More Fragmented World

Michel Rosenfeld is Professor of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. He is Co-Editor (with Andrew Arato) of "Habermas on Law and Democracy: Critical Exchanges" (University of California Press, 1998).

Related papers by Michel Rosenfeld:
* The Rule of Law and the Legitimacy of Constitutional Democracy (pdf, 2001)
* Spinoza's Dialectic and the Paradoxes of Tolerance (2003)
* A Pluralist Theory of Political Rights in Times of Stress (2005)
* Habermas's Call for Cosmopolitan Constitutional Patriotism in an Age of Global Terror (2006)
* Derrida's Ethical Turn and America (2006)
* Equality and the Dialectic Between Identity and Difference (2006)
* Unveiling the Limits of Tolerance (2010) [w. Susanna Mancini]

See also a panel discussion between Michel Rosenfeld, Jeremy Waldron, Tracy Higgins and Ruti Teitel on "What is Human Rights? Universals and the Challenge of Cultural Relativism" (pdf, 1999).


October 02 2011


Wie mehrere Zeitungen und Online-Portale berichteten, ereignete sich der Vorfall nach einem Treffen der NRW-Landesgruppe der Unionsfraktion im Vorfeld der Abstimmung über den Euro-Rettungsschirm EFSF. Bosbach lehnte die Ausweitung des EFSF entgegen der Linie von Regierung und Fraktionsführung ab, ebenso wie auch einige andere Abgeordnete von Union und FDP. Pofalla soll nach Angaben von Sitzungsteilnehmern Bosbach weiter mit den Worten beschimpft haben: "Du machst mit Deiner Scheiße alle Leute verrückt." Innen-Experte Bosbach verteidigte seine harte Haltung im Streit um den Euro-Rettungsschirm mit Verweis auf Gewissensentscheidungen von Abgeordneten: "Ronald, guck bitte mal ins Grundgesetz, das ist für mich eine Gewissensfrage." Pofalla antwortete: "Lass mich mit so einer Scheiße in Ruhe."

Kanzleramtsminister beschimpft Euro-Abweichler Bosbach: Pofallas Pöbelattacke schockt Koalition - Politik | STERN.DE 2011-10-02
Reposted bykrekk krekk

August 17 2011


Vom Neoliberalismus zum Autoritarismus | UK - Ungarn

Bembel - via Diaspora

// vier Jahre Gefängnis für #Aufruf zu Unruhen auf #Facebook (kein Mordaufruf o.ä.)… nicht in Nordkorea, in Großbritannien //



Der gesellschaftlich sich vollziehende Umbau vom Neoliberalismus zum Autoritarismus wird in den traditionell westlichen Ländern stillschweigend, tabuisierend und massenpsychologisch höchst effectiv, durch gezielte Kriminalisierung der digitalen Sphäre erreicht - in Ungarn erlaubt es die öffentliche Meinungung der Regierung weit ungenierter über eine entsprechende Verfassungsänderung zu Werke zu gehen :


April 04 2011

Erstellt am 31.3.2011 um 16:29 | Permanent-Link

“10 Internet Rechte und Prinzipien

Das Internet offeriert nie da gewesene Chancen für die Realisierung von Menschenrechten und spielt eine immer größer werdende Rolle im täglichen Leben. Daher ist es essenziell, dass alle Beteiligten, sowohl öffentliche als auch private, die Menschenrechte im Internet respektieren und schützen. Es muss dafür Sorge getragen werden, dass das Internet in seinem Betrieb und in seiner Entwicklung die Menschenrechte weitest möglich wahrt. Um diese Vision eines auf Rechten basierenden Internets wahr werden zu lassen, folgen die 10 grundlegenden Rechte und Prinzipien:

1) Universalität und Gleichheit

Alle Menschen sind frei geboren und gleich in ihrer Würde und ihren Rechten, welche im Internet geachtet, beschützt und erfüllt werden müssen.

2) Rechte und Soziale Gleichheit

Das Internet ist ein Raum zur Beförderung, zum Schutz und zur Erfüllung von Menschenrechten sowie zur Förderung von sozialer Gerechtigkeit. Jeder hat die Pflicht die Menschenrechte der anderen im Internet zu respektieren.

3) Zugang

Jeder hat das gleiche Recht auf Zugang und Benutzung zu einem sicheren und offenen Internet.

4) Meinungsäußerung und Zusammenschluss

Jeder hat das Recht Informationen im Internet frei zu suchen, zu finden und zu versenden, ohne Zensur oder andere Einmischung. Jeder hat das Recht, sich über das Internet frei für soziale, politische, kulturelle oder andere Zwecke zu versammeln.

5) Privatsphäre und Datenschutz

Jeder hat das Recht auf online Privatsphäre. Das schließt Freiheit von Überwachung, Recht auf Verschlüsselung und Recht auf Anonymität ein. Jeder hat das Recht auf Datenschutz, einschließlich der Kontrolle über Sammlung, Speicherung, Verarbeitung, Löschung und Veröffentlichung perösnlicher Daten.

6) Leben, Freiheit und Sicherheit

Das Recht auf Leben, Freiheit und Sicherheit muss online respektiert, geschützt und verwirklicht werden. Diese Rechte dürfen nicht eingeschränkt werden oder benutzt werden um andere Rechte im Internet einzuschränken.

7) Vielfalt

Kulturelle und Sprachliche Vielfalt im Internet müssen gefördert werden, Innovation der Technik und der [technischen] Richtlinien sollten gefördert werden um eine Vielfältigkeit der Ausdrucksformen zu erleichtern.

8) Netzneutralität/Gleichheit des Netzes [Network Equality]

Jeder soll universellen und offenen Zugang zu den Inhalten des Internets erhalten, frei von diskriminierender Priorisierung, Filterung oder anderer Datenverkehrseingriffe aus wirtschaftlichen, politischen oder anderen Motiven.

9) Standards und Regulierung

Die Architektur des Internets, der Kommunikationssysteme sowie von Dokumenten and Dateiformaten soll auf offenen Standards basieren, welche vollständige Interoperabilität, die Inklusion und gleiche Chance für alle gewährleisten.

10) Verwaltung [Governance]

Menschenrechte und soziale Gerechtigkeit müssen die rechtliche und normative Grundlage sein, auf welcher das Internet betrieben und verwaltet wird. Das soll auf transparente Weise und in multilateraler Ausrichtung geschehen, basierend auf den Prinzipien der Offenheit, Partizipation und Verantwortung.

On the fly Übersetzung von mir. Sorry für Rechtschreibfehler und ein paar unschöne stellen.


the original Engish version is also available on | permalink

Zehn Internet-Rechte und -Prinzipien
Reposted fromkellerabteil kellerabteil

April 02 2011

Zehn Internet-Rechte und -Prinzipien

Die Internet Rights & Principles Coalition (IRPC) hat zehn Rechte und Prinzipien definiert und schlägt diese als Basis einer Diskussion über Internet Governance vor. Das kann ich so auch unterschreiben. Bisher gibt es zahlreiche Übersetzungen, aber keine ins deutsche.

Update: Danke an Mayleen für die Übersetzung in den Kommentaren.

“10 Internet Rights & Principles

The Internet offers unprecedented opportunities for the realisation of human rights, and plays an increasingly important role in our everyday lives. It is therefore essential that all actors, both public and private, respect and protect human rights on the Internet. Steps must also be taken to ensure that the Internet operates and evolves in ways that fulfil human rights to the greatest extent possible. To help realise this vision of a rights-based Internet environment, the 10 Rights and Principles are:

1) Universality and Equality

All humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled in the online environment.

2) Rights and Social Justice

The Internet is a space for the promotion, protection and fulfilment of human rights and the advancement of social justice. Everyone has the duty to respect the human rights of all others in the online environment.

3) Accessibility

Everyone has an equal right to access and use a secure and open Internet.

4) Expression and Association

Everyone has the right to seek, receive, and impart information freely on the Internet without censorship or other interference. Everyone also has the right to associate freely through and on the Internet, for social, political, cultural or other purposes.

5) Privacy and Data Protection

Everyone has the right to privacy online. This includes freedom from surveillance, the right to use encryption, and the right to online anonymity. Everyone also has the right to data protection, including control over personal data collection, retention, processing, disposal and disclosure.

6) Life, Liberty and Security

The rights to life, liberty, and security must be respected, protected and fulfilled online. These rights must not be infringed upon, or used to infringe other rights, in the online environment.

7) Diversity

Cultural and linguistic diversity on the Internet must be promoted, and technical and policy innovation should be encouraged to facilitate plurality of expression.

8) Network Equality

Everyone shall have universal and open access to the Internet’s content, free from discriminatory prioritisation, filtering or traffic control on commercial, political or other grounds.

9) Standards and Regulation

The Internet’s architecture, communication systems, and document and data formats shall be based on open standards that ensure complete interoperability, inclusion and equal opportunity for all.

10) Governance

Human rights and social justice must form the legal and normative foundations upon which the Internet operates and is governed. This shall happen in a transparent and multilateral manner, based on principles of openness, inclusive participation and accountability.”


Eine deutschsprachige Version befindet sich

auf | permalink

Reposted fromnetzpolitik netzpolitik

April 25 2010


Chronology of the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis [on Wikipedia]

Chronology[1] of the 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis provides a detailed description of the political developments and events which led to, include, and follow the 2009 Honduran coup d'état and the constitutional crisis associated with it. The coup was widely repudiated around the globe,[2] but Roberto Micheletti, head of the government installed after the coup, has claimed that the Honduran Supreme Court ordered the detention of Zelaya and that the following succession was constitutionally valid.[3]

The initial portion of the crisis involves a longer-running political battle between President Manuel Zelaya, with his leftward policy drift which culminated in a push to authorise a Constitutional Assembly to write or reform the Honduran constitution with a fourth ballot box referendum, and the remainder of the Honduran political establishment, which largely opposed the policies and considered the assembly illegal.

The later portion of the crisis following the ouster of Zelaya deals with the interim presidency of Roberto Micheletti and the efforts to resolve the political crisis both domestically and internationally.

[...] September 30, 2008

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