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2004-08-19

New political party in Vorarlberg 

A long, long time ago, when I was even more arrogant and omniscient than these days, I defended voting for the Greens as follows against people who considered voting useless because of ubiquitous careerism and corruption in politics: yes, there were first signs of corruption and nepotism settling in also among Green parties, but still the Greens were a relatively young movement with an explicit aim of abstaining from the old dirty practices of power politics. Eventually, when the Green movement would get older and more corrupted by power, there would emerge a new competing movement to take its place, which would then represent this appeal of cleanness and principle, but for the time being, people with a certain world-view and desire for morality in politics had to stick with the Greens.

I was reminded of that prediction this morning when I read the interview with Bernhard Amann [DE] in Der Standard. Amann is running with the new party vau-heute in the upcoming regional elections in Vorarlberg. The interview is fresh and vigorous, although it has to be said it's an email-interview, which of course makes it easier to formulate razor-sharp replies. Particularly interesting is the way in which he distances his leftish party from the Greens. Amann challenges the reduction of ecology to a difficult-to-grasp concept of sustainable capitalist development, emphasises the often neglected Green goals of radical direct democracy and pacifism, and chides the Greens for conservative moral imperatives like "Thou shalt separate your garbage properly" ("Du sollst den Müll säuberlich trennen"). Conclusion:
A qualititative change away from conservativism and towards the future -- they do not achieve it.
Most serious of these criticisms is probably the attack on the sustainability concept, concerning which the vau-heute website links to the paper by Saral Sarkar and Bruno Kern, Ökosozialismus oder Barbarei [DE]. I had a look at that paper but was left unconvinced by it, since its authors seem to discard the potential for economic growth in services and information all too easily. Still, the vau-heute platform seems viable, even more so with the support it is receiving from Hans-Peter Martin, the successful critic of the EU parliament.


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