German Greens : the transition to professionalism

Janet Biehl (1993):

Almost as soon as die Grünen entered the federal apparatus, the defining democratic impulses of the movement were brought into question and even abandoned by many of the Bundestag delegates themselves. Those who became generally committed to exercising parliamentary power came to be known as "realos"; those who defended the original values, in turn, generally came to be known as "fundis" and later regrouped as the left within the movement; this also encompassed Greens who accepted the use of the parliamentary apparatus to publicize and dramatize their program. It was the realos who now rejected the principles of Green extraparliamentary grassroots-democratic radicalism and adapted to the conventional framework of the parliamentary establishment. Otto Schily, a lawyer who in the 1970s had been a flamboyant, defense attorney for the members of the Baader Meinhof terrorist group, now basked in the limelight as a Bundestag deputy and did as much as he could to professionalize die Grünen and eliminate rotation. (He later left the Greens and joined the Social Democratic Party.) Two former leaders of the "Spontis" (or Revolutionary Struggle, anarchistic street revolutionaries from Frankfurt in the 1970s) ―Joschka Fischer and Daniel ("the Red") Cohn-Bendit― entered the party after it had achieved a measure of success and became media darlings and joined Schily in arguing that Greens should be able to hold parliamentary offices in the conventional way. Together these realos attempted to professionalize the Greens into an environmentalist and pragmatist party that would be comfortable within in the existing system rather than remain a collectivist "non-party party" that would challenge it.

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