3919 – Frost on Dead Leaves on a Car

Austria is governed by a coalition of Social Democrats and Conservatives, with most influential ministries under control of the Conservatives, and the Head of Government, the Chancellor, being a Social Democrat. The Social Democrats have won the last elections, but effectively they had no other choice for a coalition, and that made them an ideal target for extortion.

When they signed their pact, one of the first things they did, was to increase the period of governance by a year, from four as it had been all through our recent democratic history, to five. Ostensibly they did it to be able to shoulder the “big problems”.

Well, this year the Conservatives broke the pact and in October we’ll have general elections, one year earlier than planned. The reason is, that the Conservatives have a new shooting star, some 30 year old Sebastian Kurz. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration during the past period.

Basically Kurz has one single topic so far, and that’s the refugee crisis. He also has one single success so far, namely that he negotiated with Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia, in an effort to close the route through their countries for refugees.

Apart from that, Kurz’ primary achievement is, that he brought the Conservatives completely under his control. During a recent congress, his party granted him unprecedented privileges of leadership, something so far impossible especially in this traditionally fractioned political organization. He is now the much adored pop star of the Conservatives, the messiah who has stepped down from the heavens to lead his struggling party into a bright future. Or at least that’s what we are told.

Kurz also seems to be attractive to a lot of women of about my age, basically women who could be his mother. That’s what I gathered from a chat that I had to overhear on the train recently, and that’s what I hear over and again since. Something with his eyes, they say.

If you look closer, you can see that, apart from young Caligula’s age, there is not much that distinguishes him from other politicians. Personally he has dropped out of university for an early political career, and all through his short adulthood he has been a professional politician, being integral part of and being carried along by the party, that he now claims to be changing so completely.

OK, I don’t like him, that’s obvious, but what exactly is his program? If he really were head of the next government, what would we have to expect?

And this is exactly the problem. In a perfidious move the Conservatives don’t tell us. Kurz travels across the country, lets his eyes be seen, but the only thing else he does is, to raise fears of a new wave of refugees. His idea for keeping them out is to close the Mediterranean. He’s a big fan of the “Australian Model” of concentrating refugees in island camps, or if that’s not possible (which it is not), of sending them back to Africa.

I don’t claim to see no problems. Definitely there are, but just to close our eyes and pay for more border troops will not solve any of those problems. And worse: exploiting those real problems for political purposes is extremely dishonest, but that’s exactly what the Conservatives do. They speak of preparations to close Austria’s southern border to Italy, much to the dismay of the Italians and at a time when there is no reason for it at all – apart from the upcoming elections.

Ostensibly Kurz’ tour across Austria is an effort to gather people’s opinions, in order to come up with a widely supported program in early September.

This could be. I doubt it though. I think what really happens is, that they send him around in order to establish him as an untainted Saviour. At the latest point possible, they will come up with a deliberately vague program, impossible to vet, especially in such a short time. It will be a program that uses shiny marketing language, in order to hide what they really intend to do, namely what every “conservative” party in the world does, and that is to lower taxes for the wealthy, to let “The Market” reign supreme, to increase surveillance and to keep exploiting this planet as if we had a few to spare.

It’s a shenanigan, nothing more. I could be wrong, but I doubt it seriously.

9 thoughts on “3919 – Frost on Dead Leaves on a Car”

  1. In the USA the term “patriot” is often used by conservatives, but I have never understood how cutting education and health care is patriotic. I don’t see much future for a country that dismisses its people (except for the richest 0.1 percent).

    1. Yup! There’s a disturbing tendency to blur the meanings and to render language and communication meaningless. What’s even more disturbing: it works! I really don’t know whether it should console or further disturb me, that it always has.

      I have no idea if you know Viktor Klemperer’s “Language of the Third Reich: LTI: Lingua Tertii Imperii“. I also can’t guarantee for the quality of the translation, but that’s what is available. Maybe you can get it at a library, maybe you can even read it in German. It’s not all that hard language, but some of the subtle points may be hard to get.

      Anyway. Klemperer demonstrates how language has been weaponized by the Nazis. Of course you can pick out any epoch and find similar things, only probably not so well documented by contrasting evidence. I mean, much of what we know from Roman authors has to be taken at face value, because no contrasting account has survived.

      To say it in one popular word: Sad 😛

  2. Thanks for the hint! The only book by Viktor Klemperer available at the local library is “Ich will Zeugnis ablegen bis zum letzten : Tagebücher 1933-1945”, in a Finnish translation. I’m not sure whether it is relevant to the topic here, but I made a reservation anyway.

    (As a sidenote, it seems that your blog does not give notices it there appear new comments on the postings where a visitor has commented. One needs to go and check…)

    1. There is a German three book edition of his diaries that I’ve read. It contains most of the material from LTI plus lots of autobiographic context. I suspect that your translation is based on an older edition, probably from GDR times. Klemperer stayed in Germany and ended up in GDR. He was some functionary there in the 1950s and I think he later got pretty disillusioned with the party, probably 1956 due to the Hungary crisis, but I can’t remember.

      As to the comments: I think you should be subscribed and everything should be set up fine. Obviously it ain’t. Weird.

      Do you get asked for an email address when posting? Maybe you need to check a box? Hard to tell, because I’m obviously logged in as owner all the time. Must make an experiment with Safari 🙂

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