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Thomas Roth with Prof. Claus Leggewie, tagesthemen, 9 May 2016

Instead of Misdirected Class Struggle: A New Social Contract

10.05.2016 Claus Leggewie, Co-Director of the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, was interviewed in the Tagesthemen, a leading German news bulletin, concerning the current political situation and advises to solutions for existing societal conflicts.

Regarding the current crisis of Germany’s Social Democracy, Leggewie suggests that the SPD has previously lost their political profile during their stand in the grand coalition when implementing 'outstanding minor challenges concerning the tightening of social inequalities'.

As questioned by moderator Thomas Roth why especially society’s most socially vulnerable drift to (right) populist camps, Leggewie recalls out of the perspective of historically known dynamics and quotes a pioneer social reformer, who claimed at the time, anti-Semitism was 'socialism of the stupid guys' (August Bebel).

Often the problems which are addressed by right-wing parties are 'a sort of type of misdirected class struggle'. Hereby anger that has been bottled up does not arrive at the  addressees who are actually responsible for the social imbalance, rather 'it proceeds toward minorities, foreigners and immigrants, people who support immigration, and I think that presently an entire religion is defamed in this way '.

Especially because a 'social injustice structure' has supposedly increased in recent years, the terms of policy guidelines today circle around other circumstances. Policies should be about  a new generation pact or agreement, so that 'future generations are not worse off than us.' Leggewie advocates taking up the social-ecological modernization and refers to climate change and sustainable development as key challenges for global cooperation. Leggewie suggests therefore that also conceptions of political parties today must be measured by how convincingly they act on these policies.

Broadcast: tagesthemen 9 May 2016 10:15 p.m. 

Martin Wolf
Head of Public Relations
Tel: +49 (0)203 379 5238