nLet’s assume that this Sunday’s general election results in what many now consider unlikely: a red-green-red coalition, led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), will take place. It is true that Scholz made a poignant attempt to support the FDP for some time. But negotiations ultimately fail because of fiscal policy. While liberals are opposed to the introduction of wealth tax, increase in income tax and easing of loan brakes, the SPD man on the left is walking the doors open with his tax proposals.
Let us also assume – which many consider not entirely improbable – that the Berlin initiative to seize large housing clusters will also be successful and a new red-red-green Senate in the capital under the leadership of Franziska Giffy will not be able to. Put in a law avoid the democratic vote of the majority and tackle the socialization of real estate portfolios. After this, the confiscation law would quickly find many friends in the Scholz cabinet.
So if we assume that this election result came in a completely democratic way, it would not be an exaggeration to say that we would then find ourselves in a different, leftist republic in which private property is no longer respected, the successful exception being confiscation. And – at the insistence of the Greens – strong interventions in the freedom of movement of citizens will be the order of the day, in terms of climate change.
What are the chances of minorities?
I don’t want to spread a “red sock scare” here. I am concerned with a question of legal philosophy: What options do minorities have for defending themselves against the will of the majority? The obvious answer is: not at all. This is what happens in a democracy. The losers have to bow before the majority. You can campaign that your people, who are pushing back socialism, will come back to power in the next election. If they become too impatient, they are free to immigrate to a more liberal country (such as Switzerland). Democracy, as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about 200 years ago, is the dictatorship of the majority. There is nothing you can do.
Can’t you really? There are good reasons why individuals have fewer opportunities to correct election results that are inconvenient for them. But what about the big local authorities? Let us now assume in our thought experiment that, in contrast to the federal government, there would be a substantial majority of the CSU in Bavaria under the leadership of the charismatically vigorous hero Marcus Söder. This would revive the old distinction between Munich and Berlin, not least because of fears that red-green-red taxes and climate plans would primarily affect the successful companies and economic citizens of Bavaria (and Baden-Württemberg), But that would be another topic). No wonder that as a result, old separatist ideas are experiencing a renaissance in the free state. According to a 2017 poll by polling institute YouGov, a third of Bavarians want independence from the Federal Republic. The Bavarian Party has kept this idea of autonomy alive for years.
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