Wagenknecht: «spicy» and positive reactions to book | Free press


Berlin (dpa) – Former left party leader Sahra Wagenknecht says she has received positive feedback on her much-discussed new book.

“Of course I also got some biting reactions from those who don’t like me,” she told the German news agency. But there was also “a lot of positive feedback” from the own party.

Wagenknecht received a lot of media attention with her book “The Self-Righteous – My Counter-Program for Community and Solidarity”. Some representatives of the left had reacted indignantly. Half a month after the publication date, the book tops the bestseller lists “Spiegel” and “Focus”. According to Wagenknecht, the first edition in bookstores was largely sold out a day after publication.

The politician, who in the past had repeatedly criticized the course of her own party, for example in migration policy, fundamentally attacks the current orientation of left-wing parties in the book. She laments arrogance and speaks of a dominant stream of ‘lifestyle leftists’ who she believes glorify their own lifestyles as a virtue, who have lost their grip and look down on those who lead simpler or more traditional lives.

“You have to be able to afford organic products, just like the smart Tesla or the apartment in the city center, from which you can actually travel by bike. Those who earn less buy their meat from the discounter and mainly drive an older diesel in rural areas, where there is no alternative to the car, ”Wagenknecht explains in an interview with dpa. Common people’s language is also put down for not conforming to “any gender rules”. Such debates are the opposite of what left-wing politics should do, the 51-year-old criticized.

Left-wing parties should focus on “low-paid jobs, poor pensions and big companies pushing taxes”, she says. Wagenknecht also proposes a “different digitization, beyond surveillance capitalism” and advocates more direct democracy, such as referendums.

Within the party, the former party chairman does not see herself in an outsider role with her positions. She was referring to positive responses from her own ranks. “The question of where we are going on the left has not been decided yet,” she added. In the federal elections in September, Wagenknecht is number one on the left-wing state list in North Rhine-Westphalia. This list alone contained “very many” candidates who generally shared their views and supported them. “In this respect, don’t worry that at some point I’ll be all alone in the Bundestag.”

She wants to initiate a social debate about the role of left-wing parties. “This is not a book against the left and in that respect not a blow in the stomach. It is an attack on a particular notion of becoming left that has weakened leftist parties across Europe and has led many to insignificance. When asked whether the left-wing leaders should expect a break on their part in the coming election campaign of the Bundestag, Wagenknecht said: “I will not do anything that will harm us in the election campaign, but I hope that we will work together on the right issues in the election campaign so that we can get a good result. “

Your book is certainly polarizing because it attacks a certain political direction. “But it is essentially responsible for further dividing our society.” Her goal is to achieve greater social balance. “But if the parties that stand for this goal receive less and less public support, they will never be able to implement it.”