A new constitution from below. Constitutional questions are questions of power

By Uli Gellermann.

Something is stirring: In times of upheaval, the old order is always questioned. There is no question that we are experiencing upheaval: those up there are ploughing up the old order with a series of control measures, and quite a few down there are fighting back. The struggle is essentially about the Basic Law, even if the Merkel-Spahn group claims that it is about the health of the population. When the government itself calls the constitution into question, many a person further down the line wonders whether the already tattered Basic Law does not allow for an alternative.

Alternative to the Basic Law

The question of an alternative to the Basic Law was first raised on a massive scale at the time of the so-called “Wende”: Many people in the GDR, and also some in the old federal states, asked the question, because of the equality between West and East and the chance of a new start, whether the unification process would not be possible according to Article 146: “This Basic Law, which, since the achievement of the unity and freedom of Germany, applies to the entire German people, shall cease to apply on the day on which a constitution freely adopted by the German people takes effect.” Translated it means: There could well have been a new draft constitution, which would then have been submitted to the East and West Germans for a vote. That would have been fair on the one hand and would have given the constitution a democratic basis on the other. But not with Kohl & Co. and its East German hiwis.

Councils and referendum

Something is stirring: for the first time there is a movement in somehow united Germany around the foundation of all laws. In this movement all possible currents are represented. A website under the camouflage name “Bundesstaat Deutschland” is already completely set up: Even holidays are already planned, the “Rauhnächte” for example, in which the Germanic god Odin plays a central role. The classic left – the GRÜNE, LINKSPARTEI and their publications – play no role in the discussion. Although the democratic right used to be an important topic of the German left, it has subordinated itself to a medical discourse, without a clue and without serious dialogue with virologists or epidemiologists. What remains is the DEMOKRATISCHE WIDERSTAND. In its newspaper, one of its spokesmen, Hendrik Sodenkamp, considers that “citizens’ councils” and ” Committee of Public Safety” must be formed on the road to change. It is no coincidence that the word ” Committee of Public Safety” recalls the French Revolution. One thing is certain: Councils can be formed from the actions for the Basic Law. If a draft constitution of the councils were approved in a referendum, it would have a democratic legitimacy that the Basic Law still lacks today.

A united media front

The new movement in defense of freedom also has its origins in resistance to the medically disguised repression. Above all, the closed media front, which does not give a voice to the many people affected, was a trigger for the ongoing protests: media consumers quickly noticed that their questions and needs were consistently concealed and are still concealed today. While the only seemingly intellectual habitual leftists numbed themselves with the suspicion that the new movement was right-wing, the politically less defined people remained wide awake and met the new conditions with deep mistrust.

It will be the task of a new constitution to mention the media

It will be the task of a new constitution to mention the media for the first time and to radically change their power relations. Another, a better basic law will have to install councils that should emerge from direct elections and control the democratic constitution of the media as they are themselves controlled by the people. It goes without saying that in this way private ownership of essential media must disappear, just as the public media must be freed from party rule.

Convention for the preparation of a draft constitution

There is much to be done on the way to a new constitution. The priority is still to defend the old one. But even now, the opposition can call on legal scholars to work for a convention to draw up a draft constitution. If this is developed publicly and from the actions of the people, this procedure would be more democratic than the appointment of the “Parliamentary Council”. The Council that developed the Basic Law in 1948 was not elected. Its sixty-five voting members were not elected by direct universal suffrage, but by the individual state parliaments. All this took place in coordination with the three military governors of the Western occupying powers. They had the power in the country at the time, the Council at best the good will.

Already the discussion takes steps towards recognition

A new constitution will meet with the determined resistance of the current power: Already the process of action and discussion about an alternative constitution will meet with fierce resistance from the established powers. For even the discussion already takes steps towards an understanding of the nature of real democracy, and it can stubbornly lead to emancipation: Those who decide about their country themselves, those who want to give it a new legal basis, threaten the old power. This will not please the old power. Because constitutional questions are questions of power.


This post first appeared on August 16 on the blog Rationalgalerie.


Thanks to the author for the right to publish.


Image source: pisaphotography / shutterstock


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