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Who can succeed Ms Merkel in Germany?
Observations on the failure of the four-party-coalition-talks in Germany, first drafted on Nov. 21, published on
Nov.22, 2017

    La création du premier être, premier représentant d’une nouvelle espèce intelligente créée par l’homme  “à son image et
    sa ressemblance”, eut lieu le 27 mars 2029, vingt ans pour jour après la disparition de Michel Djerzinski. Toujours en
    hommage à Djerzinski, et bien qu’il n’y ait aucun Francais dans l’équipe, la synthèse eut lieu dans le laboratoire de l’
    Institut de biologie moléculaire de Palaiseau. La retransmission télévisée de l’évènement eut naturellement un impact
    énorme – un impact qui dépassait même de très loin celui qu’avait eu, une nuit de juillet 1969, près de soixante ans plus
    tôt , la retransmission en direct des premiers pas de l’homme sur la Lune.. En prélude au reportaje Hubczejak prononça
    un discours très bref où, avec la franchise brutale qui lui était habituelle, il déclara que l’humanité  devait s’honorer d’être
    “la première espèce animale de l’univers connu à organiser elle-même les conditions de son propre remplacement”.
    Aujourd’hui, près de cinquante ans plus tard, la réalité a largement confirmé la teneur prophétique des propos d’
    Hubczejak – à un point, même, que celui-ci n’aurait probabalment pas soupçonné. Il subsiste quelques humains de l’
    ancienne race, en particulier dans les régions restées longtemps soumises à l’influence des doctrines religieuses
    traditionelles. Leur taux de reproductions, cependant, diminue d’année en année, et leur extinction semble à présent
    inéluctable. Contrairement à toutes les prévisions pessimists, cette extinction se fait dans la calme, malgr’e quelques
    actes de violences isolés, don’t le nombre va constamment décroissant. On est même surpris de voir avec quelle
    douceur, quelle resignation, et peut-être quell secret soulagement les humains ont consenti à leur propre disparition.

    Michel Houellebecq: Les Particules élémentaires, Flammarion 1998, pages 315 f

In the early hours of Monday, Nov. 20, Germany’s Liberal Democratic Party (FDP) officially tanked all efforts by
Chancellor Merkel to form a four-party-coalition government in Germany. This unprecedented move by the
FDP may well signal the beginning of the end of Ms. Merkel’s otherwise formidable rule over political affairs in
Germany and in Europe. It is hence time to introduce to an international audience the candidate within Ms.
Merkel’s center-right CDU who is most suited to eventually succeed her both as president of the party and as
Chancellor of Germany. The person that comes to mind here first and foremost is Germany’s current Minister
of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen. What kind of person is she? And does she have what it takes to live up to
the awesome legacy that Ms. Merkel is leaving behind?

If Prof. Stephen Hawking and French author
Michel Houellebecq are correct in predicting that the future of
mankind will largely depend on its ability to substitute itself by a scientifically created human race, then Ursula
von der Leyen clearly represents the next step in man’s evolution towards a flawless cyborg. Her hairdo never
moves an inch. Her composure rarely comes undone.  And her body has withstood the test of time and
motherhood without apparent sign of wear and tear. Not just has she given birth and raised 7 children, she also
found time to gain a PHD in Medicine and a Master degree in Public Health. She spent time in Stanford,
California, studied at the London School of Economics and speaks English and French with stunning ease and
fluency. In short, she is a perfect combination between Evelyn Waugh’s Lady Marchmain (Brideshead
Revisited), TV Azteca’s Patty Chapoi (Ventaneando) and The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart (Christine
Baransky); or to put it in more colloquial terms, she, Ursula von der Leyen, is a captivating blend of what is
most noticeable in Ann Coulter, Nancy Reagan, Bree Van de Kamp and Claire Underwood.

If she herself is, however, an improbable product of perfection, we have to admit that this article on her is just
as much an engineered hybrid. It oscillates between the Hawking scenario and the current turmoil in Germany’s
political class. This is in part because we cannot make up our mind on what to think about the FDP’s recent
moment of drama.  While we understand the exasperation that the Liberaldemocrats may have felt about the
inability to find a common ground on a number of ultimately rather petty issues, the spectacular retreat of the
FDP was in itself so full of
narcissistic grandstanding  that we find it difficult to simply applaud that. Much rather
is this another confirmation of the fact that our modern democracies have become so disunited that barely
anything meaningful still gets done therein. Hence, the need to revert to the Houellebecq scenario, if only to
find some comic relief there!

But let’s force us for another second though to stick with the immediate implications that the failure of the four-
party-coalition attempt in Germany entail. No doubt, the local electorate is a little tired of seeing Ms. Merkel
again and again in the limelight. Not that there were too many major mishaps voters could lay at her feet. (Yes,
there is this immigration issue, but she has already changed course on this.) No, it’s really about wanting a
different performer on central stage; about someone that can instill a new element of energy, another impulse
of liveliness into our everyday consumption of our own national identity. Whether this is a reasonable desire or
not, is hard to tell. The best possible argument in favor of it obviously rests in the observation that life itself is
generally underwhelming enough not to want some sort of change occasionally.  

That however brings us back to Ms. von der Leyen. There is probably little doubt that she would be able to
keep Germany’s ship in solid and somewhat calmer waters. The question is whether she can keep her troops
united and win elections on the national stage. Our guess is that she can. It’s true that the slightly WASPish
and hence condescending style of her statements can turn some voters of.  And the metallic clink in her voice
doesn’t help either. But the truth is that her corporate executive approach to politics sits well with a new
generation of voters that favors independence and freedom over motherly compassion and balminess.

No doubt, the coziness wing of the German society still exists. And occasionally it even exists with a vengeance.
See the rise of the far-right AfD in some quarters. But these people will probably disappear over time either
because they are too old or because they have become too violent not to be locked up eventually. So there
isn't really all that much to fear here.  No, this is the age of blind spot sensors, of Google goggles and self-
driving automobiles; and it’s the world of Michel Djerzinski, of plastic surgery and prenatal screening . So you
might as well enjoy it rather than fight it. After all, you’ll be a cyborg too in a not too distant future. Therefore,
go, Ursula, go.
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failure of coalition talks in Germany, Chancellor Merkel fails to form a
four-party-coalition in Germany, end of coalition talks in Germany, democracy in
the digital age, how to achieve unity in an individualistic society