Raison d´etat versus Moralism
In the following we want to comment on the article „The Yearning for self-destruction“ by Alexander Meschnig from October 18, 2020 on the Axis of Good/Achse des Guten:
The article, which in a Freundian way under the categories of life and death instincts is an appeal for more raison d etat and less moral rigorism and missionarism, contains a true core. Nevertheless, he forgets that man-made climate change, demographic gaps and aging, the shortage of skilled workers are real threats to the existence of the state, which are by no means of quasi-religious origin on the part of moral rigorists, but are also viewed as such by most experts and scientists. What is true, however, is the missionary emotionalisation and exaggeration of the debates, which do not allow any differentiated intermediate positions and balances between morality and reasons of state/ raison d´ etat and are wiped out in between. But this can be seen on both sides, the polarization does not only come from one side – the article also tries to emotionalise on one side, as it accuses the other side. Closely related to the juxtaposition of the raison d’état and morality / human dignity, the opposition between ethics of responsibility and ethics of convictions according to Max Weber or between realpolitik (national interest) and value politics (universalistic human rights) is often presented, although it is not so objectively determinable what a national interest is is and how one interprets it or what is realistic and not, to what extent the raison d’êtat is beneficial to the interests of the various parts of the population and not where supposed responsibility and conviction begins and ends. Even between real politicians there are differences what the national interest should be and if there is a minimum consensus, then the dispute begins which suitable means and goals can be used to achieve this.
In addition, many politicians in practice and rhetoric often want to be a hybrid who weighs between interests and values, between realpolitik and human rights and morals and does not see them as mutually exclusive categories, but instead asserts their compatibility, so rather as a question of weighting. For example Henry Kissinger in “Diplomacy”, in which he prioritizes national interests, but also emphasizes that it is not possible without values and that the CSCE process also had an element of human rights policy and brought some improvements for the opposition in the Eastern bloc which in turn later brought the peaceful revolutions and not a third world war which in the end was also in the national interest. Similar Norbert Röttgen or Markus Söder, both of whom also emphasize that you have to strike a balance between interests and values. Nobody wants to appear as the political pig without moral and values who doesn’t care about human rights, morals, ideals and values. In addition, values, morality, international law and human rights are often used selectively by real and power politicians when it comes to foreign policy opponents and enemies, while allies who negate human rights and values are logically excluded from such categories, which is why many idealists who are influenced by social studies critizise supposed double standards and double standards. Quite utilitarian: values, morality, human rights and international law as long as it benefits the national interest, and then again not or only to a limited extent if it harms them. In the event that an ally goes too far over the top and the global public and the domestic opposition cause a lot of fuss about it, it can of course be that even a realpolitician tactically sends a few protest notes to a valued ally , although he will not immediately impose sanctions or start a humantitarian military war.
Meschnig also criticizes very critical details of the current refugee, corona, transport and energy policy and their changes, but does not propose any constructive solutions or alternatives, does not even roughly hint at them and also seems to have fundamental problems with humanity, morality and human dignity. And he indulges in apocalyptic doomsday scenarios and their emotional use, of which, conversely, he accuses the other side – especially in Nazi comparisons. Likewise, many supporters of the Axis of Good/Achse des Guten are AfD supporters, above all Henrik M. Broder, whereby the Höckeparty would probably also cause the downfall of democratic and European Germany and „Germany abolishes itself“ ala its own apologist Sarrazin, if one followed their fascist resetwhich would mean the abolition of human dignity, which as Article 1 of the Basic Law is also supposed to be a raison d’etre and the establishment of a dicatorship. Likewise, one could see the Axis of Good/Achse des Guten, the AfD and its appendices as lemmings of nationalist and narcissistic death drive and instinct. This polarization of the one group as the personified and symbolic death and of one’s own as the vitalistic life only emotionalises and hysterizes any debate and also prevents any objective and differentiated discussion. In addition, every politician emphasizes being a responsible politician, wanting to take responsibility, accusing others of wanting to take on too little responsibility or shirking responsibility or being an ideologue, wishful thinker or politician of conviction. Nevertheless, the text is more focused on the raison d’état category. sometimes an object point to the thoroughly existing moralism.