That the Spectator is no longer a conservative magazine is evidenced in many ways large and small, a small one being how the it concludes it article:
East Germans in the 80s tried to claim their freedom by pulling down the Berlin wall. Nearly 30 years later, the country’s populists are attempting to replace it with new divisions with the help of old catchphrases.Apparently it is making “new divisions” to not want to be replaced by incompatible Third World immigrants, to not want to be predated upon by those immigrants, and to not want to be silenced by your government for opposing your replacement and their predation upon you.
‘Wir sind das Volk’ – ‘We are the people’ – has become the slogan of Germany’s disaffected. The phrase is the rallying cry of Pegida, the country’s anti-Islam protest movement. At one of the group’s first rallies in Dresden, back in 2014, it was taken up as a popular protest chant. In the disenfranchised east, it is a phrase which has gained currency since then, with Pegida and Alternative for Germany (AFD) keen to use it to exploit the widespread feeling of dislocation from central government and ‘Wessis’ (west Germans), who continue to be richer than their eastern neighbours. A recent government report found that, in the east, GDP proportionally was 66 per cent that in the west; and eastern unemployment remained over four per cent higher. Germany is a nation divided, and September’s election reflected this division at the ballot box. While the AFD scored 12.6 per cent nationally, in Saxony that number rocketed to 27 per cent. In an area of the country that has traditionally been home to few foreigners, both the AFD and Pegida succeeded in pinning the blame for the feeling of dislocation on newly-arrived refugees. Yet this political upheaval rests on a borrowed catchphrase. ‘We are the people’ was popularised by Saxony’s re-unification movement of the 1980s – when East Germans would gather in their thousands to demand the freedom to travel, free elections and an end to the communist regime. Beginning in Leipzig, these were the protests that eventually sparked the momentum to pull down the Berlin wall in November 1989.
Today – exactly 28 years after the fall of the Berlin wall – many in Germany feel as if old barriers are being resurrected. Last month, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned of new ‘walls that stand in the way of a unified ‘we’. Although Germany’s economy – Europe’s largest – has its lowest unemployment rate since re-unification, the far-right repeatedly warn that jobs are under threat from outsiders. By pairing these threats with soundbites from the eighties, they have recreated the narrative of a state against its people. Paul Betts, a professor of modern German history at Oxford University, says Pegida is resurrecting this old slogan for cynical reasons. The party ‘is clearly using ‘Wir sind das Volk’, as a cloak of legitimacy,’ he says. ‘That particular phrase has a lot of resonance for people in former east Germany…. In the hands of Pegida, the term ‘Volk’ [people] has become dangerously ‘Völkish’ [ethnic].”
From CIW NEWS Contributor
Germany (DE) is estimated to have a population of 82.2 million with a growth rate during 2010-2015 of 0.1% pa.
At the same rate of change, in five years' time its population will increase by 0.4 million.
However, the rate has been much higher since 2015 when two million immigrants entered Germany (1.14 million net).