By Charlie Gengler | GERMANY
Monika Schaefer was recently arrested on charges of hate speech in Germany. This marks yet another hate speech related detainment in Germany. This follows a pattern, and if history is any guide, it shows Germany’s current trajectory. Let us track that pattern.
During the German Empire, Otto von Bismarck launched a series of policies and political attacks officially against the Catholic church and its political influence. Kulturkampf, as it became known, while not only against the church, was completely unsuccessful, but more than that, it was unethical and completely against principles of liberty. One reason it failed was that the political influence of the church was negligible. Despite making up about one-third of the population, Catholics held very few positions in governance, and none were church officials. Secondly, the population continued growth during the empire and, as it grew, its Catholic population grew too. Lastly, as it normally does, oppression unified the Catholics, who were previously divided on the case of papal infallibility. Their repression reminded them of their history, and their duty. Due to all of these, the Kulturkampf was slowing down. To gain steam, Bismarck doubled down, taking Catholic education, specifically that of priests, under the hand of the state. He exiled scholars and Jesuits and jailed or exiled bishops, priests, and other members of the clergy. Discrimination against the clergy and the laity was subtly encouraged, and civil approval was instituted for marriage. He attempted to meddle and influence the election of popes and bishops and began efforts towards the destabilization of Catholic countries. He kicked out the only voice for Catholics inside of the government, the Catholic Department within the Ministry of Culture. Moving away from religious oppression, he was an early adopter of the welfare state. He adopted a basic form of government aid in healthcare and provided benefits to those in poverty. They increased war production and therefore economic dependence on the state and, lastly, they increased government oversight, regulation, and overall control of education. After getting done persecuting Catholics, they decided to economically and politically persecute socialists, the dominant party of the time. This only led to increased union power, more socialist welfare, and, much like in the Kulturkampf, more socialists and more unity among said socialists.
Directly after World War I brought an end to the German Empire, the Weimar Republic came about. Modelled after its European neighbors, it was much freer than its predecessor. It only lasted around fifteen years, but in this time the increased the aforementioned welfare state, pushed stronger health protection and government provided services. While oppression of specific peoples wouldn’t return until the next era in German governance, this government did expand the state, and its economic policies ruined Germany and gave rise to the Nazis. The Great Depression caused a massive economic downturn and the government proved completely inept at dealing with this. Their policies, along with incredulous amounts of reparations, caused massive hyperinflation, reaching stupid amounts, bread had to be bought using literal wheelbarrows of notes. During all of this, a socialist party arose, preaching a comforting and fiery rhetoric.
Adolf Hitler became chancellor in 1933, marking the beginning of probably the darkest hour of German history. He immediately nationalized the German economy, instituting socialist policies. He enacted more control over the economy and then immediately to directed it towards the military effort. Hitler believed in the concept of Lebensraum, the concept of constant expansion for population and supply reasons. His policies were extraordinarily aggressive, sending forces to the Rhineland as early as 1936. They took Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1939, starting World War II, and then proceeded to invade and/or annex several countries. Moreover, Germany brought the world into chaos and lead directly into the Cold War, forty and a half years of tension, propaganda, and communism, with the world toddling on a knife’s edge. Perhaps darker than this, however, was his changes made at home, the Holocaust. This is what truly makes this period the darkest in German history, if not in the history of the world. The treatment of minorities, specifically Jews, but also Blacks, Gypsies, and other religious, was truly and obviously abhorrent and dreadful. Not only on a personal level, but an extra layer when a libertarian considers the absolute and complete violation of human dignity, liberty, and rights. They broke almost every libertarian convention when enforcing the “Final Solution.” Every single basic human right was trespassed against, the right to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness. Their homes were stolen, mandatory abortions and the mass extermination as if they were trash to be thrown into the fire or a landfill. They were made slaves, forced laborers whose chains were connected to the state that hated them, and “fortunate” few who weren’t made to do hard physical labor had their businesses and career opportunities, along with family and almost any option afforded to them prewar, was stripped or made impossible to obtain. Further than this, perhaps not as bad though is the cult of personality formed around the state. Instead of forming a sort of “necessary evil” dynamic, or even a “part of life” mindset, they made the state their life. They totally devoted themselves to an evil state. They were duped by a legendary public speaker with devious intent. By establishing a cult of personality, they allowed for levels of commitment not only absurd in our modern perspective but unprecedented to them and history in general. Child soldiers, mass murder with little remorse, even going so far as to hang their own neighbors for not doing enough. This distortion, in reality, is what drove people to insane levels of nationalism and racism they never thought they would, or even could, do. They instituted subtle changes too. Like the medals of honor and service for bearing children of specific attributes or censoring of books. They put marriage under complete control, determining if they’ll allow based on race and advantageousness to the state.
After the Nazis fell the country was split. One side was a broken down “hell of war” scene and the other was a communist broken down “hell of war” scene. Within twenty years the western side was thriving under US control and aid, European style government with a touch of American-ism, and capitalism. They were bastions of freedom for a time, especially compared to the Soviet-run state of East Germany. It was a nightmare, no food, no freedom, no escape. At first, the Russians blockaded both sides of Berlin, both corresponding to their larger counterparts, despite Berlin being entirely in the east. The Berlin Airlift rescued Berlin, but the eastern side of the city was not quite as lucky. They were starving, and son there was an epidemic of refugees and people attempting to escape. This was such a “problem,” that they had to build a wall to stop them. Walls are usually to keep people out but the living conditions in East Berlin were so dreadful that they had to keep people in before their population ran dry. This compounds itself with the God-awful system that is socialism/communism. The jobs were not available, they just didn’t exist. And when they were available they were assigned and awful. Hard working conditions, long hours, and little pay. Soviet patrols were indiscriminate to all peoples. They treated them all equally poor, equitably awful. Moreover, the censorship was back, with books and other literature, along with entertainment such as movies and radio, all affected. The state also meddled in religion, sponsoring atheism and making harder, while not impossible, for both Protestant and Catholic communities to grow.
Now we move on to move on to modern Germany with people like Monica Schaefer and their new hate speech laws. Merkel came to power in 2005. As of late, she has devoted herself to the destruction of Germany. She has pledged to accept a number of refugees equivalent to .12% of its population. That’s a lot! And if anyone detests that number, speaks out in favor of the opposition, or even makes a joke about it, they get thrown in a cage. The German government celebrated the raid and arrest of 36 people promulgating “Islamophobia” and “hate speech.” These are just a few of the several cases of this all over Germany. So now when Germany gets more authoritarian and militaristic, then we only have ourselves to blame.