Germany is a free society: unless you do something the collective decides you shouldn't. Then you're far less free than in America, or much of the world. The point isn't to bash what is a lovely country, and great people, it's to remind people that Freedom isn't how you treat people you agree with, but how much people you don't like or agree with, are free to do things you don't approve of.
Someone told me how great Germany is for Liberty, so I replied, "Cool. Here's a few freedoms I enjoy, and I threw out a list of things I can't do there, but could here". They were ignorant of the laws, or made excuses: people that want to be blind, are good at it. But below is a list of things that many want to do, would be considered OK in a free society, and yet are not in countries like Germany.
What you can and are forbidden buying is a reflection on how free you are. Germans are much more restricted. There are tons of things you can't have (the state has protected the choices from you).
- 🇩🇪Buying anything on Sunday (or keeping my own store open on Sunday’s) - illegal
- 🇩🇪Buying/shooting guns (right to self defense) is near impossible. Heck, even paintball or airsoft fake guns are controlled
- 🇩🇪Pillows are considered a weapon. And even “passive weapons” are things you might have that defend against someone else’s weapon — like a bullet proof vest: can’t have them.
- 🇩🇪Even some toys aren't safe (|1). The point isn't that you can't have consumer protection, it's that consumer protection can go way too far.
- 🇩🇪Germany - assault is 2.5 times higher than the U.S., everything else is a bit better (but they’re trending upward quickly)
Basically, how much of your income/work do you get to keep, is how free you are. Over there, you're more slave than free person. (More of your work goes to the state, by force, than to yourself or your family).
- What if I don’t want to pay for a drug abusers apartment?
- What if I have a religious aversion to paying for other people’s prostitutes as part of healthcare (I don’t, but what if I did)?
- Tough: not my choice, the state decides what I can do with my money
- 🇩🇪Employment — Let's say I start a business, and I have a ne'er do well that is incompetent, rude, and abusive, and I want to let them go. MY business, and I want to fire them. Nope: that choice is controlled by the state. I might be able to fire them in 6 months (if I give them notice), maybe never. Ask for permission, and wait and see. And if you put them in a windowless office, you’re in violation of an employment crime.
- 🇩🇪I also don't want to join a union, can I get a job without joining one, or do they have a lot of "closed shops" (where I must join a union to work there)? Why are the employers and me not free in that?
- 🇩🇪 Adoption or surrogacy is a draconian nightmare
- 🇩🇪 Naming my kids what I want: names must be approved by the State
- 🇩🇪 You want to keep Grandma after having her cremated: against the law.
- 🇩🇪 Home Schooling. The state decides what to teach their kids (they’re not your kids — the state owns property, and people are property)
- 🇩🇪Home improvement (like drilling) or other work is outlawed on Sunday (It’s also outlawed between 12-3 every day: quiet time)
- 🇩🇪The traffic laws are impossible, with the speed limits changing constantly. But even running out of gas on the highway is a crime.
- 🇩🇪Drunk Riding (a bike) can lose your drivers license
- 🇩🇪VoterID -- the Democrats hate the idea here of requiring people to show ID before voting -- required in Germany.
- 🇩🇪 immigration wise, they're worse than Trump. They are being more open to the Syrian refugees against the popular opinion over there, but in general, to become a citizen or be there legally to work isn't as easy as in the U.S. But with the Euro zone people come there anyways.
Speech / Expression
What you can say / think / express (free speech). Free speech/expression means freedom for others to do things I dislike: they don’t have that. Everything is by permission, and most things aren’t allowed.
- 🇩🇪 There’s no limits on private or corporate donations to political campaigns. So their Citizens United equivalent is in full force. (How come the Bernie Sanders of the world that whine about how great it is over there, don’t remember things like this?)
- 🇩🇪 Some political parties and ideologies there are outlawed. I don't belong to them, but they have thought crime (Nazi’s, Communists, etc). Deny the holocaust: go to prison.
- 🇩🇪 You can be fined 20 euros for calling someone an "arse" but 5,000 euros for calling an official a "little Hitler”.
- 🇩🇪 You can’t even sing the first line of their national anthem “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles” without it being a crime. Songs have gotten censored (Rammstein for lyrics that were, “I want to hurt you” was claimed to incite violence).
- 🇩🇪There is no religious freedom (Religion is controlled): Scientology is monitored as a threat to the state. Johova’s witnesses are outlawed. Advertising by Religious institutions is controlled. Pagan symbols are often outlawed. Symbols such as crosses or headscarves are outlawed in government buildings (including schools)
- 🇩🇪It’s illegal to wear masks (at protests)
- 🇩🇪I want to be able to flip someone off that cuts me off on the highway: that’s criminal
- 🇩🇪Being rude to a police officer is a crime (even addressing them informally)
- 🇩🇪Saying things against a foreign head of state, is a crime, with a real threat of extradition and prosecution:
- 🇩🇪6 month prison sentences for reposting a historic photo: https://knightstemplarinternational.com/2017/08/germany-journalist-sentenced-six-months-jail-publishing-historic-photo/
Our left has apoplexy at Texas as being fanatical for saying that abortion clinics should be subject to the same laws as other medical clinics and abortion doctors must have practicing privileges in their facility or one nearby, in case there’s a complication. But the U.S. (and Texas) still has far more liberal abortion laws than any of the countries discussed. Can you imagine the uproar if the most conservative State proposed anything as draconian and invasive as the following laws?
- 🇩🇪Germany - only allowed up to 12-14 weeks (14 weeks but counting starts from last period, which is generally 2 weeks before fertilization), 3 day waiting period and counseling is required. Rate = 6.1/K