Episode 99: The Traffic Light is On

Looking at the plans for the new German government, made up out of the Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals, there are some interesting free speech and privacy implications for the future. Not only of Germany, but probably also for much of Europe.

This week’s episode of The Private Citizen delivers the promised look at the new German government after the elections in September.

Please excuse the technical glitch that fucked up the release of episode 98 for a few hours. I forgot to run a command on the server.

For the 100th episode, I want to change pace a bit and talk a about myself and where my opinions and attitude comes from. A little bit along the lines of the one year anniversary special, but not as a straight AMA. I am collecting questions for this episode on the forum, though. So if you want to know something about me or my background that I haven’t talked about previously, feel free to ask over there (or via email).


This podcast was recorded with a live audience on my Twitch channel. Details on the time of future recordings can usually be found on my personal website. Recordings of these streams get saved to a YouTube playlist for easy watching on demand after the fact.


The Traffic Light Coalition Agreement

The Traffic Light Coalition (Ampelkoalition) in the German Bundestag has signed its coalition agreement today. The Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals will thus form a government under Olaf Scholz. I explained this process and the election results that started it in episode 88.

c.f.: Detailed list of ministers in the Scholz government

The most interesting and revolutionary goals for this new government are as follows:

  • Legalisation of cannabis
  • Removal of upload filters (the agreement specifically quotes free speech as a right here)
  • Law against “digital violence” (c.f.: Drachenlord case)
  • Right to anonymity on the internet (de-anonymisation becomes a crime), right of encryption, many anti-tracking goals
  • Right to repair, update guarantee for IT devices
  • Voting and drivers licenses for 16-year-olds
  • Climate-neutral data centres, country fully “climate neutral” in 2045, no petrol engines by 2035
  • Removing the term “race” from the constitution, affirming that right-wing extremism is the largest danger to democracy, adding that discrimination because of “sexual identity” is illegal

Pandemic measures are business as usual, including a planned forced vaccination.

Interestingly, while there has always been a ministry the environment (and protection of animals), there is now also a “climate protection ministry” which is the same ministry as the ministry of trade and industry. Which makes no sense at all, but okay.

Producer Feedback

Fadi Mansour (aka. RedeemerF) said on the forum:

I can understand your frustration with the constitutional court ruling. But as you noted, if this is what the majority believes is true, so what can you do? And this is coming from a person who decided to change where he lives because people stated to get crazier.

SteveB replied:

I also understand the frustration and am myself frustrated by this. While I do not know the intricacies of the German legal system, I am not sure that the court ruling represents majority belief. In Canada, majority belief really only effects the elections. Once the party is in, they are free to do pretty much whatever they want, which usually does not include the things they promised in their attempt to get elected. Court rulings however do not follow that same path, and are instead decided by either a jury or a judge directly. In the case of this ruling, it would appear that the decision was reached by a very small representation of the population, consisting of a very small subset of the population. I would question the ability of such a group to be able to decide on something that really is as monumental as this.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (aka. nekr0z) said:

First of all, Fab, you’re not the only person to notice that you are poorer than your parents were. There were actual studies in the US and Europe, and the studies showed that people of our generation and younger are — on average — paid worse than their parents were when they were at this age; we also have (on average) more chronic health conditions than our parents had at the same age, and our average life expectancy is lower. Why it is so is an interesting question that I don’t have a definitive answer to, but I think the change from technical progress to sustainable development helped quite a bit.

As for the episode proper, it looks to me, from what I read and hear, that with this whole pandemic thing, civil rights started going down the drain everywhere around the globe, and continue in this direction at a frightening pace. I don’t like it, of course, and I think I agree with most if not all the things you said in the podcast. However, since there’s hardly anything I can do about it (yay, stoicism!), I’m very much looking forward to seeing how people get out of the totalitarianism that emerges. Living through these times will obviously be hard, but also very entertaining and educating, so if it’s unavoidable, I’d like to get the most out of it.

racoon wrote:

Thanks for your honesty and addressing the issue! I feel the same way you do. While you are talking about this stuff, you should have played sad jazz music in the background.

What is currently happening is history and society is about to write a dark chapter… It is terrible how some people call for a social division and agitate against the unvaccinated with means of “soziale Ächtung”. So-called ethicists from Germany tell us that discrimination or victim blaming is ethically justified. I can’t believe that this is really happening. This is so wrong on so many levels. The people who think this have a very questionable view of humanity and do not represent democratic values.

There is no fair discussion at all because every critic is called an idiot. It is difficult for me to talk about this topic in public as I’m observing the chilling effect.

In response to Petit-Michel, I myself clarified my stance on vaccines as a tool to prevent spread. There are some other very interesting points being discussed in the forum thread for episode 98, it is well worth a look, I think.

If you have any thoughts on the things discussed in this or previous episodes, please join our forum and compare notes with other producers. You can also contact me in several other, more private ways.

Toss a Coin to Your Podcaster

I am a freelance journalist and writer, volunteering my free time because I love digging into stories and because I love podcasting. If you want to help keep The Private Citizen on the air, consider becoming one of my Patreon supporters.

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Thanks and Credits

I like to credit everyone who’s helped with any aspect of this production and thus became a part of the show. This is why I am thankful to the following people, who have supported this episode through Patreon and PayPal and thus keep this show on the air:

Georges, Steve Hoos, Butterbeans, Jonathan M. Hethey, Michael Mullan-Jensen, Dave, Michael Small, 1i11g, Jaroslav Lichtblau, Rhodane the Insane, Jackie Plage, Philip Klostermann, ikn, Vlad, Bennett Piater, tobias, Kai Siers, Fadi Mansour, m0dese7en, Joe Poser, Sandman616, Dirk Dede, Rizele, David Potter, avis, Mika, MrAmish, Cam, Dave Umrysh, RikyM, Barry Williams, Jonathan, RJ Tracey, Captain Egghead, Rick Bragg, Robert Forster, Superuser, D, astralc and Noreply.

Many thanks to my Twitch subscribers: Mike_TheDane, jonathanmh_com, redeemerf, Sandman616, Galteran, Halefa, violet_hummingbird, BaconThePork, m0dese7en_is_unavailable and StardewLisa.

I am also thankful to Bytemark, who are providing the hosting for this episode’s audio file.

Podcast Music

The show’s theme song is Acoustic Routes by Raúl Cabezalí. It is licensed via Jamendo Music. Other music and some sound effects are licensed via Epidemic Sound. This episode’s ending song is Fighting the Youth by Of Men and Wolves.