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The Green Party Program at the Federal Level (1981)

A loose coalition of disparate environmental groups, including both conservationists and social revolutionaries, founded a Green Party in 1980. Its radical program stressed ecological consciousness, social equality, grass roots democracy, and peaceful methods for political change.

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Preamble (draft)


We are the alternative to the traditional parties. We have evolved from a coalition of green, diverse, and alternative candidate lists and parties. We feel connected to all those who are working in the new democratic movement: the organizations to protect life, nature, and the environment, the citizens’ initiatives, the labor movement, Christian initiatives, the peace and human rights movements, the women’s and Third World movements. We see ourselves as part of the green movement throughout the world.

The established parties in Bonn conduct themselves as if infinite growth in industrial production were possible on the finite planet Earth. Thus, they themselves say that they are leading us to the hopeless decision between nuclear state or nuclear war, between Harrisburg or Hiroshima. The global ecological crisis is intensifying from day to day: resource reserves are diminishing, one toxic scandal is followed by another, animal species are being killed off, plant species are dying, rivers and oceans are turning into sewers, human beings risk withering away spiritually and mentally in the midst of a late-industrial and consumer society. We are burdening generations to come with a frightening legacy.

The destruction of the foundations for life and work and the dismantling of democratic rights have reached such threatening proportions that the economy, politics, and society need an alternative that is fundamentally different. This is why a democratic citizens’ movement has risen up spontaneously. Thousands of citizens’ initiatives were formed; they stand up in powerful demonstrations against the construction of nuclear power plants, because it is impossible to cope with the risks and because there is nowhere to dispose of the radioactive waste. They stand up to oppose the devastation of nature, the paving over of our countryside, the consequences and causes of a throwaway society that has become hostile to life itself. It is imperative that we make a radical break with our style of thinking, which is driven by short-term economic expediency. We regard it as false that the present waste-economy still promotes happiness and fulfilled lives: on the contrary, people are becoming more and more stressed and less free. Only to the extent that we free ourselves from overvaluing a purely material standard of living, that we make self-fulfillment possible once again, and that we appreciate the limits of nature, will our creative powers be free to restructure our lives on an ecological basis.

We regard it as necessary to supplement extra-parliamentary activities through work in local and state parliaments, and in the Bundestag, in order to create a public forum and to implement our political alternatives. This will open up an additional option for citizens’ and grassroots initiatives to assert their concerns and ideas.

Green, diverse, and alternative lists have enjoyed their first electoral successes. The 5 percent clause* and other hurdles can no longer stop them. We will not participate in a government that continues on this destructive course. But in pursuing our goals we will also attempt to find support among the established parties, and we will approve resolutions from other parties that correspond with our goals.

As opposed to one-dimensional policies of increasing production, we represent a comprehensive strategy. Our policies are guided by long-term considerations for the future and revolve around four principles, which can be described as: ecological, social, grassroots democratic, and nonviolent.

*German parties need to receive at least five percent of the vote to be represented in the parliament – trans.

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