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A new beginning for democracy. Rejecting the politics of fear in favour of a politics of hope

A call by the Institute of Solidary Modernity (ISM)

We too have yet to shake off the sense of horror we feel at the outcome of the recent elections – and the events of recent months more generally. Yet what seems like a landslide for the right, for the deprivation of rights and for violence is, on closer inspection, actually an indicator of polarisation, holding out the prospect of a politicisation of European (and other) societies. As is so often the case, this seems most within reach elsewhere: in southern Europe, far away in the US, even in the UK. Yet the pendulum could swing to the left in Germany, too – and we believe it could do so far more strongly and rapidly than many consider possible.

The proposal we outline below initially concerns the period until the next Bundestag elections in the autumn of 2017. We suggest that the election campaign should mark the beginning of a process of politicisation, one which is not primarily about political parties and their candidates or drumming up votes for others; instead, it should be about the joint programme and, moreover, the joint project of a left‐wing awakening in society, a left‐wing pole in society. We suggest that we should develop this programme and project, in a spirit of solidarity, in a process emanating from within society, taking place across society, and intended for this society. And we suggest that this process should begin in local political forums, from the bottom up and cutting across the political groups in which we are involved, and in which most of us will continue to be politically active. The focus on the autumn of 2017 is only an initial time limit, because this is not just about developing a joint left‐wing project, but about making it a reality: a genuine revolution in our society brought about by its social and environmental transformation. That is why the joint work in which we are inviting you to join us will span the next ten years.

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