May 15th 2015

Fuck politics? The role, joys and frustrations of politicians

Hep Monatzeder, City Councillor and former 3rd Mayor of Munich

In the framework of the MCI Alumni & Friends lecture series, the Entrepreneurial School® recently welcomed Hep Monatzeder, City Councillor and former 3rd Mayor of Munich. In his talk he considered whether free-trade agreements eroded the authority of the elected politicians and whether privatization measures endangered the provision of public services.

Following an explanation of how he acquired the moniker Hep as a young man, he began with the “lecture by a practician” with over 25 years of political experience.

According to Hep Monatzeder, the TTIP and CETA free-trade agreements constitute a massive encroachment on political authority leading to a situation in which the interests of investors will be placed above those of the people. In a free-trade zone with 800 million inhabitants, he said the power would shift to multinational corporations and politicians would be forced to take a back seat.

The speaker also warned his audience against the market-based provision of public services with regard to transport, housing, energy and water. Monatzeder said that would lead to an increase in charges and rents and not secure the provision of essential services in the long term; the focus in the future would be on profits and dividends for investors.

Finally, Hep Monatzeder explained why his enthusiasm for politics had increasingly been replaced by a sense of frustration. He said the world needed critical politicians who are willing to say unpopular things. But that, he continued, is becoming increasingly problematical in the digital age where a wrong word in the online media can mean the end of a career and politicians are therefore becoming more and more conformist. He also made a plea for a civil society that participates in political processes.

The event was chaired by the MCI’s Rector Dr. Andreas Altmann and finished with a lively discussion.