The climate activist Carola Rackete has sharply criticized the protests of the “last generation”. Her analysis puts her finger in the wound – but she goes much too far with her radical conclusions.
What is protest allowed to do in a democratic constitutional state and how far should it go to get things moving? Ever since the Federal Republic came into existence, this question has been raised time and again, for example in the course of the violent actions of the RAF. The climate protests of the “last generation” are currently being discussed. Are the actions of the group too radical, do they even harm their own cause?
An icon of the left-alternative scene, Carola Rackete, has a clear opinion on this: yes. In a thesis paper, the former refugee boat captain and climate activist criticizes the “last generation”. She does so rightly and with clever arguments, but then she goes too far with her proposals.
The climate adhesives break several laws with their actions and are also to be morally condemned. That is the social consensus in Germany. This is shown by polls, according to which a majority condemns these protests. The blocking of car traffic or the temporary occupation of runways not only causes great annoyance for those affected, but is also dangerous for innocent people.
And so Rackete judges in one contribution that this form of radicalism is “not a sufficient solution”. According to “Zeit Online”, Rackete argues that the “last generation” successfully use the means of property damage for media attention, but sabotage is sometimes debated as if it were “a magic pill”.
Rackete, who became known worldwide as the captain of the refugee rescue ship “Sea-Watch 3” in 2019, puts her finger in the wound. Because the climate stickers lack creative ideas to bring their concerns to the public. They act radically but not intelligently. And in doing so, they make enemies of many of the people they want to convert, such as drivers or passengers. They isolate themselves instead of taking the masses with them like the Fridays for Future movement did.
And so Rackete rightly invokes the “last generation” that social change is only possible “through the many, through organizing society and a variety of forms of participation”. And it goes on to say in the text that Rackete wrote with a climate activist named “Momo” that especially in times of rising living costs, the climate movement runs the risk of being “played off” even more against poorer parts of the population.
The authors write that it has been too long to show how climate protection would improve social justice in the Global North. “If we forget proletarian-precarious people or proactively exclude them from our politics because they don’t fit into our lifestyle, we can’t make any progress,” write Rackete and “Momo”.
Unfortunately, the two authors do not draw the right conclusions from these findings. On the contrary, they cannot resist the temptation to present radical left-wing fantasies as solutions to their climate collaborators. In order to combine ecological and social struggles, Rackete and “Momo” advocate expropriating energy companies such as RWE and Wintershall “as the largest German fossil fuel companies, capping rents and socializing Deutsche Wohnen, demanding free public transport and making it impossible to drive without a ticket close”.
Further demands could therefore be a reduction in weekly working hours, free childcare and papers and democratic participation opportunities for everyone living in Germany. In short, according to the authors: “We need ecological class struggle.”
With this demand, based on the capitalism critics Marx and Engels, Rackete and Momo reduce their criticism of the “last generation” to absurdity. Because most of such fantasies do not have a majority in Germany. On the contrary: most people in Germany will be in favor of us striving for better climate protection within the framework of our system based on a social market economy.
Instead of fantasizing about far-reaching and illusory interventions in this system and thus talking the mouth of divisive people in society, well-known and respected figures such as Carola Rackete in particular should try to do exactly what they themselves proclaim. Namely, the “organization of the entire population”.