Has the counterculture become mainstream

Greens: the epitome of the uncool

It's impossible to be mainstream and counterculture at the same time - One comment

In the new surveys by the opinion research institutes INSA, Forsa and Emnid, the Greens are only one point above the five percent hurdle with six percent: A year ago they were between ten and 13.5 percent, and a week ago they were there six and a half and seven percent. This shows that the decline is not only due to the "Schulz-Zug" of the SPD (which seems to run out of steam when the Union is five points ahead of the SPD and Gabriel scores better on the popularity scale than the current Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor).

If you look at the political developments of the last few years, explanations open up as to why the Greens are seen by many voters as superfluous: In 2011 the ruling Union adopted one of its two main goals from the time the party was founded, the nuclear phase-out. The other main goal, peace, was cleared by the Greens under Joseph Fischer in 1999. In 2015, Angela Merkel and Sigmar Gabriel also exceeded the Greens' migration policy demands, which have been "mainstream" in the media since then.

Identity crisis

That seems to have led many Greens into an identity crisis: they used to see themselves as a "counterculture". But for reasons of logic, the mainstream cannot be the counterculture at the same time, no matter how much it believes and wants it. The mainstream is the opposite of the counterculture, it is its target. He can use repression for this, while the counterculture is left with humor, to which the mainstream often reacts angrily. However, that makes him "uncool".

In the 1950s, the churches and their political representatives, the Union parties, were the epitome of the "uncool": They tried to educate the population to control their sex life and to make statements that did not fit into their worldview with the reference to "decency" to disallow. The way in which sedate prayer sisters reacted to bosoms at the time is strikingly reminiscent of the reactions of SJW Puritans to 4chan pranksters today.

Interaction between ridicule and repression

In Germany, the Greens with memes like "Stupidity has a color" have become as popular an object of mockery as SJWs in the USA. And they too respond with demands for repression and may call for censorship of social media, not least because they are so often annoyed there (see Greens no longer want to be hated - thought crimes should be prosecuted more severely). But no matter how much pedagogy and repression, a mainstream cannot be turned back into a counterculture - neither in social media nor in sexual criminal law or in traffic, nutrition and other issues, for which the party repeatedly comes up with new ideas for bans:

For example that of a weekly "Veggie Day" (see Greens reiterate their demand for a meat-free day), a ban on "cheap advertising" and special meat offers (see Greens wanting to ban "cheap advertising" and special meat offers), of e-cigarettes (cf. e-cigarettes can continue to be sold freely), from "sexist advertising" or from gasoline and diesel cars (cf. Greens sharpen their profile as a party of bans).

Dynamics of Distinction

The problem with such prohibition demands is, among other things, that they entail a paradox: Although renunciation is usually demanded as a we imperative for all of humanity ("We have to" - heat less, eat less meat, use less technology, etc.), but distinguishes itself at the same time - which is why one always has to invent new prohibition demands when the old ones have become "mainstream", as the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu explains in his main work The Subtle Differences (see costumes and "cultural appropriation"). (Peter Mühlbauer)

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