German left

The [weakness]( of the left’s response to the financial crisis is also noticeable here in Germany. Left-wing parties are somehow managing to lose popularity, even as capitalism collapses around them. Even Attac — the group campaigning for a [Tobin Tax](, and generally among the better-informed critics of unfettered free markets — have failed to make a dent in the debate. [Der Spiegel](,1518,618304,00.html) nails one reason – the left’s certainty of itself, regardless of the rest of the world:
>Those who know they are always right can deal less with a specific moment than with their principles. So they miss the forward-pass from history, the breath of the moment.
>Thus the clear weakness of the left is not least their inability to react adequately to this unique historical moment, which is for many as confusing as it is threatening.
>That has always been the power of a successful protest movement: vocalising the situation in order to change it. Tangibly, surprisingly. It happened in 1968. It happened in the 1970s, with the environmental and anti-nuclear movements. It happened in 1989, as the wall fell. Always the expression of suppressed or displaced feelings played a decisive role – wit, verve, impudence, passion and a touch of genius, brought together for a ‘concrete utopia’ [all very loosely translated]

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