Merz and the constructive opposition: With neoliberalism and AfD firewall for a Jamaica or Germany coalition in 2025
Friedrich Merz has now been elected by the grassroots and the CDU leadership as the new CDU chairman, who could also be the next candidate for Federal Chancellor. Many leftists now expect right-wing extremist and ethnic slogans, a regulatory cell 2.0 Bayern ala Kahr or worse, due to Merz’s announcement that he wants to bring back AfD voters. Totally wrong. . Friedrich Merz is first and foremost a neoliberal, then a value conservative. Merz’s strategy is first of all to win over the neoliberal parts of the AfD and the FDP, including the German economy, for the CDU and then also parts of the lost value conservatives. But he is clearly opening a firewall against Werteunion (Union of Values),Konservativer Kreis (Conservtaive Circle) and the AFD, even threatening to expell these elements from the party – let’s see whether he can keep his promise or not tactically vibrating. The AfD is a Harzburg Front that has become a party, has a neoliberal, national-conservative wing and a fascist Höcke wing, which represents an organic economy based on the NPD’s motto “Social only works nationally”. Merz wants to attract all those forces within the AfD that arise from neoliberalism and the radical market tradition of their founding fathers Lucke and the 200 economics professors, i.e. are more based in the Goldmann-Sachs Weidel and Meuthen wing, which oppose Höcke’s ethnic organic economy (Organische Volkswirtschaft) and thus the national community and Merz also perceives migration more under the neoliberal aspects of labor and skilled labor shortages, demographic gaps, utilitarian capitalist exploitability and then very secondarily according to human rights and asylum. Like the FDP, he sees a need for immigration for the success of the German economy, although he will not share the extreme positions of the Greens, the Left Party or parts of the SPD for”Open borders for all”. When it comes to migration, he is more likely to argue like Sarah Wagenknecht: Necessary, but upper limits are needed in view of national capacities, insofar as one does not want to raise wealth taxes or further taxesfor the rich or new debts or social redistribution of wealth. Friedrich Merz and the FDP definitely do not want that, and neither does the AfD. Neither the völkisch/ ectreme ational nor neoliberal wing of the AfD,. But Merz will clearly take different positions than the SPD, the Left Party and the Greens when it comes to internal security, integration and the social state. He will probably be the hardliner, although not to the point that the AfD rejects integration and the welfare state for migrants, as well as migrants in general.
It is interesting that Merz and Röttgen have announced that they want to make “constructive opposition” in contrast to the fundamental opposition of the AfD. This applies to both the corona policy, in which the AfD has the blatant corona denier and vaccination refusal position, while Merz clearly supports the corona policy of Great Coalition ( Groko) and now the traffic light coalition in principle, also sees the risk of the pandemic and the need for vaccination, but like the FDP and AfD speaks out against a general vaccination obligation and all lockdowns in the neoliberal business sense, although Merz does not justify a vaccination obligation with the necessity of vaccination, but because of the technical feasibility of a vaccination register.For Merz, like Röttgen and Söder, it is clear that there will no longer be any Conservative Union majorities, especially no absolute majorities, but that the only strategic perspective against a traffic light coalition is a Jamaica coalition or a Germany coalition. That is why Merz does not question the New Green Deal and the conversion of the EU and the German business location to an economy based on green hydrogen technology, even though, like the SPD and the FDP, he sometimes wavers between being open to technology and gas based economy. While he suddenly discovered himself, like Söder, as the voice of social justice, he wanted to put the entire pension system on a stock market basis – the FDP has just pushed through the first step towards a capital-financed pension within the traffic light coalition and sees social justice primarily in tax cuts – especially and above all for businesses and the rich. But Merz as a neoliberal is concerned with further privatizations, deregulations, the most extensive equity financing and stock market based financing of the German pension for his former capital manager Blackrock. He wants to win the neoliberal parts of the AfD and FDP for the CDU at the same time. In terms of foreign policy, Merz is a transatlantic, clear European politican , although like the FDP, more of an austerity politician who works against a Macron-Draghi alliance for a debt union, was chairman of the Atlantic Bridge long before Sigmar Gabriel, and also supported CSU-Friedrich’s project of a China Bridge, albeit Merz’s relationship with China is still unclear. There are still mixed signals about Russia. Most recently, he said that if Russia were to invade Ukraine, Germany, along with the US and NATO, should deliver defensive weapons and possibly other weapons to Ukraine in order to properly drive the Russians out of their adventure and drag them in a swamp and quagmire. Constructive opposition does not mean fundamental opposition like the AfD, which continues to split, but an optimization strategy for possible neoliberal and conservative voters of the AFD and FDP, which strategically will form a Jamaica coalition or a Germany coalition under a CDU Chancellor Merz possible.