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AfD Policies

Sackgassenschild

We have always asked ourselves: What do right-wing populist demands mean to us personally?

 

Trust exclusively for “healthy” people and those of German origin

For the AfD German citizens are primarily people of German origin (p. 42). Only for them the rules of the liberal constitutional state should apply. This state should trust its citizens, preserve their freedom of action and minimize measures that restrict their liberty (p. 26). That is also why they want to guarantee the right to own a gun for “blameless” citizens. This implicates that, if things went the way AfD wants, children who were born in Germany and have lived there for their whole life but do not have a German parent would officially not be “German”. Accordingly, the party wants to adopt the blood right again. The blood right, also called “jus sanguinis”, implies that at least one parent has to be a German citizen so that the child qualifies to become one as well (p. 26).

The well-being of people who are no German citizens is only relevant for the party in cases in which it favors German interests and counteracts “uncontrolled migration flows toward Europe” (p. 30). Criminal citizens with migration background are supposed to get taken away their citizenship in certain cases (p. 26). At the same time, the AfD considers it is important and purposeful to apply the law for adults to offenders of full age and to reduce the age of criminal responsibility to twelve years (p. 25). They also insist to accommodate drug and alcohol addicts who do not qualify for a therapy in preventive detention and not in psychiatric clinics (p. 26). However, such a policy violates the principles of human dignity. In addition, it is evidently ineffective and would not allow affected persons to reintegrate into society.

Return to militarization 

The AfD wants to restore the “military ability of the German forces” (p. 30). To achieve this goal, the party wants to facilitate “the consciousness for a well-fortified democracy” (p. 32): “That is why the AfD stands for a restoring of the military service for all male German citizens between 18 and 25 years” (p. 32). Furthermore, they want to terminate the way the military and security service has been financed so far. The funding thus far depends on the cash position of the federal budget. Hence, the AfD wants to incur debts to fund the German military forces.

That is how the AfD abuses willingly the idea if a well-fortified democracy: The idea is not to establish a militarized nation state but to defend democracy against anti-democratic policies.

Repeal social security mechanisms

The AfD wants to “reform” the social security systems (p. 36). It aims to repeal state funding and shift responsibilities to families. Consequently, home care has to become a key element of the social security system (p. 38). But this kind of reform would cause some risks and hidden expenses for families. That is because neither do all people have access to such a family environment, nor are all people part of a family that is able to provide this kind of support. Hence, the actual outcome of a reform as the AfD proposes it would be the repeal of social security mechanisms which would mean that people had to pay for their care themselves. Eventually, the AfD would establish a two-tier system; to the expense of the weakest.

The AfD also wants to transform the existing social assistance and unemployment assistance into “activating basic security benefits” (p. 37). People who are not working would then only qualify for a minimal financial support which would be much lower than the current one. The consequences of AfD’s social policy claims would therefore be even more serious than the controversial Agenda 2010.

Racist family policy

The AfD expresses concerns about the demographic development of Germany, because “the birth rate among migrants is - with more than 1.8 children - clearly higher than among women of German origin.” (p. 42) This would amplify the “ethnic-cultural change of the population structure.” (p. 42)

In these sentences the racist orientation of the AfD become evident: On the one hand they assume that people with migration background - especially Muslims - would be less intelligent, successful and productive. On the other hand, they only approve population growth when it is made by people with German origin. 

The wrong understanding of feminism

The AfD owns up to “the traditional family as a model” (p. 41) This model, they claim, is jeopardized which is why the needs of families and kids suffer. The idea of the traditional family excludes many different lifestyles and civil unions. In the same context, the AfD complains that the wrong understanding of feminism only values women who are working, but not those who are merely mothers and housewives. However, to attribute parenting only to women is everything but feminist. It is indeed reactionary.

The AfD wants to stop the discrimination of full-time moms (p. 43), without even mentioning full-time dads or shared responsibility models.

Right-wing populist culture, language and identity

Our identity is mainly culturally determined, claims the AfD (p. 46). Therefore, the party supports the claim of a German Leitkultur (guiding culture) and aims to share the German history with more positive and identity-establishing aspects (p. 48). What aspects the AfD actually means, or what is so typical German about them, does not become clear, probably because it would reveal inconsistencies.  The party supports unconditionally religious freedom, freedom of conscience, and freedom of worship (p. 48). At the same time, it wants to restrict them by invoking “our” laws, human rights, and some not clearly defined “values”.

It is clear that the AfD does not care for an unbiased and responsible historical awareness. If anything they refer to radical right-wing rhetoric and content. 

One-sided accusations in education

The AfD objects the “politically-ideologically indoctrination” in the German education system (p. 54). They claim that this would be against traditional moral values and would jeopardize the natural development of our children (p. 55). However, in this case again the party does not elaborate which moral values they refer to or who is meant by “our children”. Instead, the AfD elaborates extensively on who is to blame for this alleged wrong-doing.

They criticize differentiated gender education in schools as well as gender sciences on the academic level. They reject gender-mainstreaming which pursues gender equality. This case makes clear that the AfD insists on a traditional gender model which does not treat men and women equally. The understanding of equality, alternative lifestyles and other identities is meant to be prevented. 

Closing of the border and freeze on immigration

The AfD does not see Germany as a country of immigrants, but claims at the same time, that it virtually is one (p. 58). The party vetoes all immigration from EU countries systematically. They say, immigration would lead to an abuse of the German social security system (p. 61). Although they acknowledge that there are violent and religious conflicts as well as extreme climates that force people to flee their country, only war refugees are regarded as actual refugees. Everyone else is an irregular migrant (p. 59).

The party wants to afford refugees protection only until the reason for the refuge is abolished. Once the reason does not exist anymore, they want to provide support for the return and the reconstruction in the countries in question. At the same time the party wants to close the German border and build shelters with the for the region standard provision with basic supplies (pp. 56 - 60). They want to enforce the obligation to leave the country stricter, too. It remains unclear however, how they want to realize these inhumane, ruthless and risky plans. 

No citizenship for children with migration background

The AfD complains about a gradual loss of the relevance of citizenship (p. 65). Naturalization should only be possible in cases in which at least one parent is already German citizen. Children who were born in Germany would only become German citizens with 18 years. For children with parents who are no German citizens this means that even when they do not know their parents’ home country they are supposed to become citizens of it.

This steadfast refuse of citizenship is highly problematic. It means that biological facts determine the “membership” to Germany - a pure form of racism. 

More competition and deregulation 

The AfD is a neo-liberal party. They claim: “The more competition and the lower the public spending ratio the better for everyone.” (p. 67) At the same time the stand for a stronger consumer protection. But if they primarily call for a reduction of bureaucracy they also subordinate consumers’ interests the economy. 

When it comes to digitization the AfD exclusively emphasizes data privacy (p. 69). This one-dimensional view on this topic ignores the wide variety of challenges that our society has to face in the realm of digitization. Contemporary policies should also provide answers to questions of copyright and the increasing automatization in the industrial sector. However, the AfD provides no answers to these questions so far.

Unfair taxation system

In its finance and taxation policy plan the AfD focuses on libertarian claims. They want a thin state without social responsibilities. Important historical achievements like labor rights or the participation of workers’ councils are seen as unnecessary bureaucracy. Furthermore, they seek for a differential tariff which contains a different income tax tariff with less levels and a way higher personal exemption. In other words, the AfD wants to abolish those taxes that are mainly paid by the rich.

This is how the party favors wealthy citizens while increasing the risk for all the others to become poor. This contradicts the party’s claim to be the advocate of ordinary people. 

Climate change as a myth and natural conversation as a side issue

The AfD denies the existence of climate change and believes that CO2 were good for the environment (p. 79: “The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more plants can grow.”) They conclude: Clean energy is unnecessary and too expensive. When it comes to natural conversation and environmental protection the AfD only vaguely defines its position. The unchecked expansion of wind energy has to be stopped because it causes more harm than use. However, this is a traditional populist claim since the expansion of wind energy is already highly regulated in Germany.

In the field of fishery, they want to free German fishers from competitive disadvantages. This includes an abolishment of regulations for the maximum amount of fish they are allowed to cast and the permission of bubblenet feeding (p. 88). This would increase the risk of overfishing massively, though. These are just some examples for the AfD’s positions on environmental issues: An apparently environmental friendly rhetoric promotes fatal measures that jeopardize the environment. 

Infrastructure without a clue

Also on this topic AfD’s strategy is neither coherent nor clear. On one hand, they complain about the decay of streets and buildings and speak of a chaos of planning (p. 90). They want to fix this by renovations instead of new building. Later on, however, they claim a simplification of planning and building laws as well as a reduction of private home costs in order to address urbanization and to create an identification with people’s hometowns (p. 94) For the expansion of infrastructure the AfD desires a stronger EU since they seek for an integrated strategy (p. 92). This stands in stark contrast to their goal to abolish the EU. Furthermore, they want to transfer the transportation of cargo to waterways and trains. However, the party does not elaborate on how to realize and fund this idea, though.

The AfD also opposes a speed limit on highways and seeks for a less used public transportation system. The party criticizes the costs for car drivers while also criticizing the degradation of streets. They do not mention that a reduction of the budget for car infrastructure is not compatible with a more intensive use of them and that it actually leads to a degradation. The claim “free rides for free citizens” is from a policy as well as from a financial perspective not feasible. 

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