No future for IAA!
No future for ca(r)pitalism!
Millions of students worldwide are striking for their future. The organizers of the International Motor Show (IAA), which is scheduled to take place in Munich September 7-12, 2021, are trampling on this protest.
This IAA is more than just any auto show, where the latest feats of engineering are presented to an astonished public. It is rather a greenwashing promo event of the automotive industry, which turns exploitation and destruction of nature into a success story and carries the fairy tale of climate-neutral digitalized and electrified mobility into the world. The IAA is intended to frame profit-promising data collection machines as innovative technologies and to bring politicians and trade unions into line with the promise of economic growth and job preservation.
It embodies the heart of German capitalism, it stands for an unprecedented combination of nationalism, sexism and profit compulsion. The IAA means: No Future.
Our future – our city
Just as the climate fight is not about the welfare of the individual polar bears, the transport revolution is not about more or fancier electric cars. Rather, it is about a new concept of mobility, a new concept of city, a rethinking of space.
It‘s about ensuring that marginalized groups are no longer pushed into outer districts or areas polluted by noise and dust, and about ensuring that people with disabilities can move freely in their city. It‘s about making the walk to the nearest daycare center shorter than to the parking space where your car is parked. It‘s about the quality of life of people who work multiple jobs, take care of family and organize a household, and who barely feature in plans for transportation infrastructure – which is heavily geared toward ensuring that people can commute to their places of work in their cars every day. What is at stake is nothing less than the construction of an urbanity in which the masculinity symbol „car“ no longer plays a role.
Scratches in the paint: Under the green coat of the car industry
The IAA wants to take over a large part of Munich‘s urban space with its promotional vehicles. This will give the car industry even more space than it already has on a daily basis. As with other major events in the past, homeless people and beggars will be pushed even further out of the cityscape in the run-up to the IAA. This arrogance becomes no less disgusting when we look beneath the shiny coat of paint that this industry has given itself.
For underneath it remains dirty: instead of oil and steel, as in the past, rare minerals, lithium and coltan are now mined under inhumane conditions, causing considerable environmental damage. The state safeguards this model: despite huge profits, the car factories are supported with gigantic subsidies, such as the scrappage premium and technology promotion. Production continues unabated, even when the care and health sectors collapse due to the pandemic. Priorities clearly lie with the male-dominated more profitable industries rather than the caregiving professions, which are predominantly occupied by female socialized people.
The industry‘s supposed green visions of the future are also frightening. What is presented as a digital utopia is a dystopia in which only capital can take its pleasure. Digital control of mobility and public space is steadily increasing, and surveillance is gradually permeating all areas of life. Technologies that should actually make our lives easier increase the pressure on workers, increasingly condense and control work processes, and promote exploitation and oppression.
In addition, the success stories of the automotive industry should be treated with caution. For example, behind the heroic saga of the German spirit of innovation and diligence lies an ugly past that has helped companies like BMW, Volkswagen and several supplier companies like Schaeffler and Brose to achieve their current size. To this day, these corporations are run by families who exploited concentration camp prisoners and forced laborers under National Socialism and, notwithstanding, were able to rise to become the leading economic elite of the postwar era. The fact that the IAA served as a National Socialist propaganda show in the 1930s fits into the picture all too well.
City for all – everything for all: making the IAA a disaster.
We will not tolerate the IAA to spread in our city. The city belongs to all of us. Our city needs an ecological, climate-friendly and feminist urban concept to make something like the future imaginable again. It needs space for bicycles and cargo bikes, for baby carriages, walkers and wheelchairs. Our city needs short and uncomplicated routes for care work, in which all people can move without barriers. For this we need a break with patriarchal-capitalist relations and a grassroots-democratic appropriation of space, production and technology, so that these are not oriented to profit but to the satisfaction of our needs. The Corona pandemic in particular has shown that capitalism is in blatant contradiction with a society in which care, solidarity and sustainability are top priorities. Let‘s abolish it! Let‘s join forces and meet at the protest camp in Munich this September to ensure that the state and the car industry hit the wall with the new version of their business model!