Roland Dürre
Wednesday August 23rd, 2017

Why We Need Christophine! (II)

Why We Need Christophine! (I)

That is what I wrote on July, 12th. It was a few days after I, at the age of 67, was permitted to once again attend primary school. At Christophine. And it makes me very happy how much encouragement I received after having published my article.

This is how I make the experience that my criticism about how children world-wide are “educated” and “instructed” more than a loner’s issue. Because if we talk school, we mostly mean that a young person is “trained” or “formatted” – and the appreciation of the child is totally neglected.

How you can treat children with respect and give them space to learn and experience life under their own control and highly motivated is exactly what I was allowed to see on June, 23rd in Marbach on the river Neckar. Here is my report:

On this Friday, I was part of the class for half a day. Being a nervous new student, I was, naturally, very early. And I enjoyed how the boys and girls arrived one after the other. All of them were in a good mood and joyful – apparently they were quite happy to go to school.

As soon as the class was complete, they all sang a song together. The song was a welcome in many languages – so we shared looking forward to the day.

After the song, the first round of this Friday morning went to the children. They told the class about an experience that had been important to them. One of the children moderated the round – each day, this task is assigned to a different child.
A self-made cardboard box was handed from narrator to narrator – it had a green circle on one side and a red circle on the opposite side. As long as a child spoke, the listeners were shown the red side (Please do not talk, listen to me!).

As soon as the narrator was finished and questions were allowed, the box was turned around and everybody saw the green side (Now your questions and comments are welcome!).

It was great to see how nice and short both the narratives and the questions and answers were. How the children paid attention while listening and letting everybody say all they wanted to say. I had to think of all the brutal chaos I so often experienced during many discussions with grown-ups (meetings with very important persons) …

The second round was about planning the work ahead. The children decided what they wanted to do during the rest of the morning. I was quite surprised to see the high degree of motivation shown by the children and how realistic they were about evaluating their own competence, which is what they then based their activities on.

At the Christophine, nobody is forced to sit down. That is why all the children wear very soft-soled shoes, because they do not want to disturb others when they work. Because that is an important right. You can also demand it (Please do not disturb me while I am working!). You can work in groups or individually, depending on what makes sense to you. And if the weather is fine, you can also work outdoors.

It stroke me that, at the Christophine, there is an order that serves everybody. It is not seen as a constraint.

Instead, it is seen as something that allows a successful social setting. Nor is it self-serving. Instead, it creates a workspace that allows a reasonable treatment both for yourself and together with others.

The language at this school is full of mutual respect – and I would call it “altero-centric”. The children listen, let others finish and relate to what the other child wants. This is very rare among adults. Consequently, I saw a surprising degree of true and violence-free communication at this school. I saw how people relate to each other as I do not often see it with grown-ups.

Naturally, there was also a conflict situation. However, this situation was not waltzed over by teachers, nor was anybody punished. The quarrelling parties (one was a boy, the other a girl) were advised to deal with the conflict situation in a reasonable way. And when it became difficult, the two young people were invited to retreat and solve their problem in private. And when, later on, they went to the village fountain and both put their hands under water, the conflict was over.

And whenever the grown-up world came to mind, I had tears in my eyes. Yes, Rupert Lay was quite right when he said that children are wise creatures. And that we, the parents and teachers, sacrifice their wisdom on the altar of education.

And I also believe that we have actually made progress, for instance through the Montessori School ( Montessori Schule) concept. But that is not enough for me. What we need is many free and self-organized schools with a modern concept. Without indoctrination and central rules.

Now I enjoy the Greek sun. And I wonder what I can do for Christophine.

In my current life phase, I try to find my own peace and multiply my love. Because this is the basis of everything else. I spend a lot of time helping mentees (while they study and when they start their professional careers) and young entrepreneurs (with their start-ups). This is because I want them to become more successful and happier in their lives.

I support young mothers on their way back into work by helping them to write “alternative cv-s” (telling them to describe what they can and wish to do, instead of what they did in the past).

With friends of mine, I founded barcamps and PM Camps and similar events in order to make the concepts of “new ideas” and “breaking patterns” more popular. All the time, I am busy building networks for people in general in order to make them stronger and greater together. And I try to live a mobility that makes sense and I express my desire for peace.

And some of it actually seems to work out quite well. That is something that really makes me a little happier.

But would it not be better to invest my time and strength by helping the very small and weak people? Our children and grandchildren. As I see it, they are worse off each year, because they are robbed of their freedom and indoctrinated more and more due to so-called practical constraints. Just because you want them to become nice citizens and
consumers.

Basically, our society wants the very best, but then they could not do a worse job if they tried. Unfortunately, our children are the best example for this. Consequently, should it not be my main goal to do something for our children? To make them feel big, instead of small? And to give them a chance towards getting the best start for a successful life as free and autonomous persons?

Well, those are the typical ideas you get during a wonderful time-out.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The “Marbacher Pädagogik“ by Lorenz Obleser is something I consider a match for the modern concept we need. In my article “Christophine III”, I will try to formulate something with him and other protagonists of Christophine in the IF blog.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday July 12th, 2017

Why We Need Christophine! (I)

On June, 21st, I went to the “Schiller-Town” of Marbach. I spent the night in Freiberg/Neckar and on June, 22nd, I continued towards Marbach. A friend from long-ago days – Thomas Kleiner – was nice enough to accompany me during travels. Thanks to him, I met Lorenz Obweser and Ruth Martinelli and almost 20 children aged between six and ten. Because I sat in a classroom of the Free School “Christophine“ in Marbach. However, the term is misleading, because in the Christophine, nobody just sits the entire morning. On this morning, I experienced something so beautiful and great that I was moved to tears.

I experienced how

SCHOOL

can function in such a way that you enjoy going there! Even the children and teachers!

But first the bad news:

I have now spent some time being a little sad. My grandchildren are wonderful and rather wise small persons. But in a few, or a little more than a few years, they will start school. And then the sad part of life begins for them. I, too, do not know how to protect them from the destiny that most German children have to endure after they are six years old.

Because school – both as I remember it myself and how I experienced it when my seven children were there – is atrocious. Not only in Germany and many European countries, school is something really backward-oriented and truly evil. With few exceptions, this diagnosis is true for the entire world, and especially for Asia.

School, as we have it today, will damage our children just like it damaged us. That ruins our society and is detrimental to our future. Many persons only recover step by step when they are adults, some never.

In the following, I will relate to you what I find so evil about the classical school system and give reasons why we need to change this system if we want to gain social progress in the form of peace and more justice.


Everyday life at school in Germany (and perhaps world-wide) is worse than sad!


In our system, education means “trained authoritative learning in a quasi-military format”. Knowledge -bulimia prevails. It starts as early as primary school. Luckily, it is no longer quite as bad as it was in the times of the German pedagogue Dr. Moritz Schreber.

Roland on his first day at school (with the bag of sweets).

But they still drill students. You have to sit and cannot unfold. An hourly scheduled is pressed upon the children. Self-organization and self-determining are prevented. There is no way for the children to learn and practice when and what they want.

Agile, slim and transparent are words schools do not know. There is a clear hierarchy between teachers and children. Incidentally, the mechanism goes from bad to worse. This is why school has more and more problems. If that happens, the children are blamed and their poor socialization is cited as a reason. The parents get the blame.

Because they failed in their duty to bring the children up properly. Well, once in a while, this is probably true, but in the majority of the cases, it is not true. In those cases, parents suffer under school just as much as their children.


At school, achievement is the absolute maxim, often even worse than in real life.


The achievement-oriented society is already practiced. Everybody is evaluated, graded and judged. In primary school, it is all about achieving grammar school level. That will only work if the child adapts to the system “school” and submits to it. The ordering principle of school is clearly hierarchical. The magic word is authority. You learn obedience.

The children learn that you have to more or less accept everything you learn, along with the process.


Whenever school does not function, the teachers and society blame the parents.


Because the parents never taught their children how to respect others. Especially the teachers. As I wrote before: sometimes that is true, but usually it is not.

In order to enable the children to manage the transfer from primary school to grammar school in this miserable situation, there is an army of – mostly black-clad – private tutors who, during the few free hours, give the children an extra hard time. And thus – mostly under many tears – they are pushed more or less successfully over the threshold to the grammar school level.

I was often a “child that had no respect”. And I often doubted what they told me, and I also said what I thought. And time and again, I was punished for it. Because the teacher is always right. At school, there is collective obedience. After all, an order is an order you need to carry out. I, too, made that experience.


More than once, they also gave me accusatory feedback about my “being different”. Mind you, all I wanted is: be me.


Later in life, I reversed the roles. I justified the “bad habits” I had also been punished for in an intellectually tricky way, calling them “civil courage” and “constructive disobedience”. Those were attributes that made me exceptional.

But, basically, the school system is based on suppression. There is an order. There must be an order, because humans need order. However, it is not there for the student but for the system, and therefore against the student.

Because this is the only way for the system and the teachers to make students a homogeneous mass (that is at least what school thinks). Between eight and nine, everybody has to do calculations and between nine and ten, everybody has to read. Between ten and eleven, you have physical exercise and from eleven to twelve, you write. And between twelve and one, you get religious instruction. At school, you have to sit and “behave” most of the time. Otherwise, you get punished.

All this is justified by postulating that there is no other way of doing things. It is the only way you can learn efficiently. But that is a huge lie!


The full-time school makes matters even worse. All those free afternoons in our youth that should be reserved for playing, thinking, experiencing and living are no longer available.


Now we get the full-time school. More and more often, children will also be transported to have lunch and “levelled-out” with convenient food. The schools look like barracks and are not places where you can flourish and meet at eye-level.

Schools are organized and managed following military examples, the small persons are administered, their value is the same as that of recruits during basic training in times of compulsory service. The new buildings at grammar schools (or rather: educational plants or barracks) I know at Neubiberg, Ottobrunn and Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn also reflect this attitude in their architecture.

You have long corridors with many doors that lead to the many classrooms like hoses. You often cannot open the windows and the air conditioning creates bad air that gives the “teaching staff” headaches. Looking at these educational plants, you are reminded more of barracks than of free places where you learn something and practice for life. And since these buildings have been constructed with little money (during the bidding, the price is the most important criterion, which means the cheapest architect will win), it will not be long before you notice the first signs of decay.

To make up for it, the administrative overhead grows and grows. This is how education becomes more and more expensive – but not much of it reaches the “final customer: child”.


All social systems need structure. Both children and grown-ups look for something to lean on. But the structure of schools should support children, instead of working against them.


At school, nobody considers the great diversity potential that small people have. For reasons of efficiency and because of limited budgets, it is neither possible nor desired. They scale and measure, certify and grade. What is taught is achievement.

In short: they indoctrinate you because you need to function. After all, society needs consumers. Autonomy and the ability to criticise are not welcome.

Once in a while, something happens that gives you hope. Because the teacher is really a nice person. But the best teachers are few and far between and sooner or later they will capitulate in front of an educational system that has de-personalized itself. And the best they can hope to do is perhaps minimize the damage that the system produces. And teachers will be selected for their good grades. However, those with the best grades are seldom pedagogically the best. The best will then try to find a job in a private school or drive a taxi or do some private tutoring.


Children, too, should be treated as if they were humans!


I actually once heard this lapse of the tongue (although it was not from a teacher but from an entrepreneur who did not say “children” but “employees”). To be sure, I certainly was only a lapse of the tongue. However, I strongly believe that, deep down, it was what the person who said it believed and felt.


Economy is now learning that motivation will only work intrinsically . At school, they practice 100% extrinsic  patterns. That cannot end well.


Today, everybody, be it Allianz or Siemens, wants to change work-life. #newwork is fashionable, promoting a more innovative and creative approach. One of the protagonists of this movement is Thomas Sattelberger, the “Saul/Paul” of the #newwork-movement. He promotes himself like no other and runs through the country with his message of salvation. After his concern career, the thing that made him most famous was “Augenhöhe, der Film“.

Now he visits everybody and criticizes what he witnesses in local enterprises. Justly so. He would like to crown his life’s work with a seat in the German parliament – for the FDP (is that a fitting combination? FDP and #newwork?). It will make me happy if Mr. Sattelberger, as soon as he sits in parliament, promotes agile and humane schools. But that is another thing I do not really believe in.

For instance, most of the enterprises would like to become more agile, slim and transparent. At least that is what the colleagues of HR (Human Resource – another one of those ugly terms used in the modern working environment) preach. They look for innovative employees who are creative in order to enable their enterprises to manage the transition caused – among other things – by digitalization. At HR, they talk about eye-level, #newwork, intrinsify.me, democratic enterprise, common-good economy, “shared mobility“ & “shared economy“ and many similar issues. They dream of a network of self-organized teams, of a new entrepreneurial culture and communities of shared values. The latter are also quite popular in politics. There are many more catch-words of this type in the new world of old enterprises.
Except how do you expect that to work out if our offspring is trained to do quite the opposite as soon as they start school?


Enterprises want agile, critical and creative people. Yet that is exactly what schools beat out of the young students?


But nobody talks about #newschool, about self-organisation at school, about democratic classrooms, about teaching at eye-level and similar things. At least in Germany, this is not desired. It is taboo!

Terms such as #home-schooling, #un-schooling #no-schooling gain popularity in Europe. They find more and more supporters. More and more people “school” their own children (see also the video of a presentation by Bruno Gantenbein for me).

In Switzerland and some other EU countries, home-schooling is a process that is well established and supported by the administration. Germany is the only EU country where home-schooling is prohibited! Because in this country, they fear alternative schools and alternative thinking as much as the devil fears holy water.


Perhaps there will soon be a disproportionally high number of self-owned and free schools in our country.


But perhaps that is a good thing. Because it creates huge pressure. If there is no chance to escape, then there might possibly be more willingness to change something than in other countries.

Roland without the bag of sweets.

But back to the enterprises. How are we supposed to find these new agile, creative, open, … employees if agility, creativity and openness are the very characteristics that our schools kill most efficiently?

Because in our schools, children are treated as raw material that needs to be formatted. The input is curious and free creatures. The output is small professionals. They function as an obedient and easily controllable society supposedly needs them to function. Consequently, the first thing they will be is: diligent labourers, brave consumers and law-abiding citizens – whose first priority it is to always accept what the upper echelons decree.


We demand elites who solve our massive problems, but at the same time we are content with mediocrity and foul-mouth populism. And we promote mediocrity in schools.


Why is it that children must realize very early that life is no pony-farm and that they are part of the achievement system if they wish to make something out of their lives? That they must follow practical constraints, just like their parents and all the other grown-ups?

They are measured and graded. It is always about being better than the others. Success is everything. It is all about managing to reach the next step in the ladder of an irrational career. No matter what it costs and how it is done.

Emotions, erotic, life, love, the competence to solve conflicts, being able to listen … all those things play no role in the curriculum. You have to become a professional resource for the fight on the business front. And you learn that it is better for your wealth, growth and safety not to say what you think and perhaps not even to think.
And as soon as they understand this, they visit the tattoo factory just to protest, because there they will finally get something permanent. As a last substitute activity before they give up their own lives. …


Good entrepreneurs (leaders, managers, … ) will want to make their employees look bigger on a daily basis, rather than smaller.


I rather love the principle of “acting in a biophile way”. That means (in my own words):
Always behave in such a way that what you do will contribute more towards the lives of other people becoming more, rather than less, in many dimensions.

Perhaps the Golden Rule (Goldene Regel ) is even easier to live than the biophile maxim:
“Treat others the same way you yourself would like to be treated“
Or in the negative form:
“If you do not want it to happen to you, don’t do it to others!“


“Biophile Maxime of Behaviour” and the “Golden Rule”? Why don’t we use it for our children? Why don’t we make them big, instead of small?


From early on, children are made to look smaller, rather than bigger. Not just by the teachers, but also by their parents. I witness all the time how children are massively instructed by their parents about what is right and what is wrong. Ranting mothers scold their children for totally normal behaviour. There is stupid moralizing and indoctrination. What is appropriate and what is not! What you do and what you do not do! What is possible and what is impossible. What you can see/hear and what you cannot see/hear under any circumstances. What is evil and what is good.

For what behaviour you will end up in hell and for what in heaven. And as soon as a child is six and enters school, matters continue in the same way, only more professionally.


Nobody is interested in hearing what small people want and do not want.


At school, you undergo formatting in that they form you according to the current image of a good grown-up. Children have to fit into our world. They learn to survive traffic. They become young consumers who define themselves by what they own and how they look. They have to function, but they are not allowed to be and do what they themselves want to do and be.

At school, ratio and your IQ dominate, they are always in the foreground. It is all about developing an understanding of all the absurdities our life offers. You have to accept the absurd as a matter of course and thus become part of the absurdity.
Social life and the common good only play a minor role. Emotions and eros, love and friendship are not practiced, the same is true for the competence to solve conflicts. Because our systems are based on adaptation. They survive by interchangeability, uniformity, (financial) metrics and the fact that the citizens follow social patterns blindly like lemmings. The ability to criticize things and be autonomous in all you think and do will only be a hindrance.


We will only reduce the latent enmity inside us if we socialize our children differently.


School is one of many places where the old role-plays prevail. Boys still have to be small heroes and cannot cry. Girls are expected to be humble and tolerant. Today, you can show emotions, but it is better not to do so.


If you want to be a success, you have to become Mr. or Mrs. Poker-Face!


Emotions are something you should not allow to get too near, it is seen as a detrimental and annoying weakness. You have to be strong and may never show your weakness. This is how the heart is surrounded by iron rings. If you like someone, it is better not to show it, the universal love for creation is considered a crazy idea. Standing upright as your outer shell is part of the education, but unfortunately not taught as a higher inner value.

This stupid socializing of our offspring will never minimize the wide-spread sickness Alexithymia. A short time ago, a man my own age cried next to me when he told me how his grandchild had died during her birth. I am not sure if that is something I would still be capable of. However, if I watch a sappy film, I start to cry. Isn’t that terrible?

As many others, I fear that I am dependent on “second-hand emotions”. That is doubtless a result of my early and long upbringing. Consequently, I now practice consciously opening myself to real emotions. At the age of 67, that is not easy.


Humans are the crown of creation. But they have to fit into the world.


I am glad that the world changes – at least in the developed and privileged societies I know. It seems to me that more and more persons have a yearning for new “social success patterns”. Well, they are something we badly need, because the old patterns are exactly what brought great misery to this planet.

Schools are the only places where this news has not yet found its way into. And the situation also gets worse and worse at the universities. There are numerous #newwork but no relevant movement #newschool. Many people who work in the educational industry (active teachers and administrators of the educational bureaucracy) told me that the situation has been getting worse for many years.


Schools must serve the children, not vice versa!


Curricula and rules given by the educational ministries make it harder by the year to do justice to the small persons. Additionally, you have an ever increasing administration that eats up the time that should have been spent with the students. This is how the system also becomes more and more expensive and more and more inefficient.


This was the bad news. Here is the good news.


In my next article, I will write how the citizens fight back and create totally new things. Because they actually exist: the Christophine.

But you will read more about this in my article Christophine 2, which I will hopefully  publish here soon. I will describe a school that, as far as its motto and its practical work is concerned, has absolutely convinced me. A school that proves that things can work differently – and work quite well, too.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Two days ago, I published my article about “Nomads on the Cyclades”. It was about a book I had found in Milos. Its title was:
DOCTOR HANS LÖBER

Letters from Milos, 1943-1944

During the war years, he had also founded a hospital for the local population of Milos in Plaka. His letters made a huge impression on me.

And as early as the day before yesterday, I became a “victim” and had to stay at the Plaka hospital. You see how fast it can happen – and here is how it came about:

If you are in Milos, a trip to Kleftiko will always be something you want on your agenda..

In the morning after my post, we took a small ship to Kleftiko. According to our own impression in Greece, the weather was not too good – and a strong wind was blowing. Consequently, the journey on board the ship was a rather wild affair – perhaps the worst I ever experienced in my life. On the way out to Kleftiko, all went well. After a beautiful and longish stay at the quiet harbour, we went back to Adamas, the central harbour of Milos in the afternoon.

On the way back, the ocean seemed to have quieted down a little. To make up for it, the small ship now had to ride against a strong wind that came from the side. Since, we had been drinking at noon, I risked the way to the toilet at the bow of the boat. I totally miscalculated the movement of the ship – and thus what I had coming happened: due to the intense movement of the ship, I fell down rather heavily in the boat. As they say: “carelessness goes before a fall”.

I took injuries to my left hand, the joint capsule of the ring finger was apparently rather severely affected and suffered intense swelling. Basically, this should not be a problem – it happened to me in the past and mostly it healed without much lasting damage.

However, this is the finger where I wear – or wore – my wedding ring. And as the years went by, said wedding ring sat more closely on the finger, which means even when there was no damage to the finger, I could not get it off. Later in the evening, the swelling on the finger got more and more and, regardless of a delicious dinner, I started to get a little worried, because the ring really cut deep.

Not far from our restaurant, a goldsmith had his shop. So I asked for help there. The female boss really took pains to help me towards dividing the ring in two with pliers, but there was no chance that she could succeed. It did not take long before more Greeks came and wanted to help. Since the finger did not look very appetizing, most of the ladies had to look in the opposite direction in horror.

Since the entire round was no success, I was severely advised to go to the hospital! I was sceptical, because the clock already read after 10 p.m. But the caring Greeks calmed me down. If I took a taxi, I would be in Plaka in five minutes and the doctor there is a really nice person and would quickly solve my problem.

Since I did not see any other way out, I did what they had recommended and almost ordered me to do. The taxi driver took me to the hospital amongst much expressed sympathy and waited for me. I was welcomed by a friendly nurse and two minutes later, the doctor came.

I very much liked him even at first sight. His professional advice was that the ring had to be opened by all means. He started work and two minutes later the problem was solved. Then the finger was examined and taped and I was released.

As always in Greece, the medical treatment was free. Since I had just read the book “The Doctor Hans Löber“, which incidentally had been written in Plaka, I wanted to make a contribution. I told my doctor about the book and he was so delighted that he wanted to give me a second book. It took me quite some effort to make my donation.

I received the book with a personal dedication written by the doctor who had treated me.

This experience is in total accordance with what I often witnessed in Greece. The people are always exceptionally friendly and willing to help. There are hospitals that, at least for the basic functions, offer free treatment. They explicitly do not want to be paid, because helping others is basically an honour. This is how it was twenty years ago and, thank God, this is how it still is.

After my return from the Plaka hospital, I expressed my gratitude towards all the people who had tried to help me in Adamas. And they all shared my joy about the incident having ended so well. I very much enjoyed that Greece is a special country. Unfortunately, many people in the EU and in the German Administration have not yet understood that.

The day after my accident: back in Milos in a good mood at the beach of Paliochori; in the evening, we continued our journey by ship and went to Paros.

Just imagine something similar had happened to me in Munich. For instance, in the Neuperlach hospital, it would have meant: a less than friendly welcome, a long wait, an extensive diagnosis (probably including x-rays and similar gadgets) and a treatment nobody needs. And, of course, a considerable invoice to be paid from our health system.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday August 29th, 2016

Jolly on Stage – September, 17th, in Munich!

Jolly believes in peace. So do I.

Jolly Kunjappu is a philosopher and artist, enterprise counsellor, coach and orator. Above all, he is a human being – and a musician.

At long last, you can again see him on stage. Along with Roykey Creo and iother friends of his!

Creo-Kunjappu_Poster-Konzert_DIN-A4 2

For tickets, see:München-Ticket. And here is more information on the concert.

Naturally, Jolly will also play a special song for PEACE.

I look forward to seeing many of you at Jolly’s very special concert!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Wednesday July 6th, 2016

Project PEACE.


I am frequently asked what our project PEACE is all about. My answer is always the following (or similar)

 


 

Weiße Taube auf blauem Grund, eine Variante der Friedenstaube: Seit den 1980er Jahren das verbreitete Symbol der westeuropäischen, vor allem der deutschen Friedensbewegung, entworfen im Kontext des Widerstands gegen den NATO-Doppelbeschluss.

White dove on blue background, one variation of the dove of peace: since the 1980ies, it has been the commonly used symbol for the Western-European, especially the German Peace Movement. Originally designed in the context of resistance against the NATO double track decision.

Thank you for asking!

For me, PEACE is the most important commodity, because PEACE is the requirement for everything else. Consequently, I want to give the project PEACE the highest priority during the time that remains of my life.
It is simply about, at long last, creating PEACE. Because it is about time.

Humans have managed to do so much already, why should we not succeed with this, too?

And: if you are in favour of PEACE,
you need no justification!

Project PEACE aims at
making more and more persons
willing and able to live in HARMONY
with themselves, with the environment
and the world that belongs to all of us and with each other.

It is a necessary and probably even a sufficient requirement for happiness. We want to work towards our goal without becoming dogmatic or moralizing, and we also want to remain totally neutral.

We will not imitate Greenpeace or Amnesty International and use propaganda and activities we finance with money we collected.

We will recruit friends and “friends of friends” who also want PEACE in a totally independent and free way, relying on inspiration and impulses alone, acting in a very soft way and with respect towards others. We want to reach many equal-minded persons, quasi through a snowball-system, thus contributing a little more towards PEACE.

Here are a few articles (Artikel) about the project PEACE. There is also a link to two videos with Jolly and myself. I particularly recommend Jolly. It is really worth watching. You want spend an hour with friends – or with your children and partners – and enjoy a glass of wine while watching it.

Best wishes!
Roland

 


 

Let us start and create peace! Thanks!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday June 13th, 2016

Project Peace – Roland!

This year, I started the project PEACE. I already told you before mentioning the great   contribution made by Jolly why I think the project PEACE is so important any why I want to focus on this project in the future.

There are so many things this project needs:

A unique logo and the best of all manifestos. A lot of money with the potential to reach a billion persons (which is google’s criterion for its applications). A great “community”. The best partners from all sectors (film, photography, art, marketing, media, music,…), ideas for the coolest activities for peace. And the right kinds of activists!

I am currently thinking about what to put into the manifesto. Here are a few pieces of the mosaic I am experimenting with:

In a very basic way

Peace is the only way!

Peace is the basic requirement for everything else!
Peace has no need to justify itself!

A little longer

YES!
Peace is possible!
We badly need PEACE!
We live in PEACE with ourselves!
We live in PEACE with the world around us!
We work hard towards PEACE!
There are many of us!
It can be done!

AND

If you want PEACE, you need no justification!

Or

Peace beats war!
Humanity beats inhumanity.
Love will always conquer hatred!
Tolerance will always beat intolerance.

Which means

No tolerance for tolerance!
War against war!
Hate hatred!

But these are only ideas and proposals of mine. I look forward to your ideas. Thanks a lot!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 12th, 2016

Project Peace – Jolly!

Earlier this year, Jolly and I started the project PEACE. The video you can watch below is a wonderful result of our kick-off meeting.

It is a little longer than 61 minutes for you to absolutely enjoy. You will get positive inspiration and many impulses. So why don’t you take a little time and one of several beloved partners and just watch it? Find a comfortable position and relax in front of the screen.
🙂
You really want to totally relax – for those of us who like their alcohol, why not with a glass of red wine?

Because Jolly is really an exceptional person and first-class mentor. Consequently, his seminars and presentations are the reason why many people have become happier and more successful persons. I am one of them.

The project PEACE is the most ambitious I was ever involved in. We are at the very beginning and what we need is friends, partners and supporters.

I will also constantly write in the IF blog about our progress in terms of ideas, concepts and activities of the project PEACE. So far, all I know about it is that I never did anything more aspiring. For me personally, it is the greatest possible challenge.

The next thing I want to do is publish my kick-off presentation in the IF-blog!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday May 28th, 2016

Ever More, More, More … (TTIP)

Growth, Growth, Growth!

Eine Liliputaner-Parade marschiert durch Gullivers Beine. Illustration von Louis Rhead, 1913.

A parade of Lilliputians marching through Gulliver’s legs. Illustration by Louis Rhead, 1913.

The G7 summit led by US president Obama and Mrs. Merkel wants “more growth” world-wide, because that will solve all the problems – including the refugee problem. The CDU wants more and longer jail time for those who committed breaking and entering, because this is allegedly one crime sector that increases. And more punishment, including longer jail time, will certainly deter the burglars.

The unions want more quietness on Sundays and consequently stop the open shops on the Sunday of the Munich Founder’s Celebration. The german Leftist want more radical attitudes and more freshness in order to stop the AfD from stealing their voters.

The people governing France want more “international competitiveness”, because they think this will make them more successful in terms of business.

To me, this all sounds like bullshit. All I basically want is more peace and less consumer attitude. If you absolutely need growth, why not let “wisdom” and “ratio” grow? And I do not only mean our politicians. I would restrict growth to sectors where no harm can be done. For example more good theatre, but only if more people actually go there more often.

Since we all need more growth, the TTIP agreement needs to be ratified and installed at the end of this year, say Obama and G7. They want to promote the economic activity on our planet by all means. Consequently, there might be some serious progress with TTIP.

So here is my clear announcement:

I am against TTIP and limitless free trade. This is not only because TTIP will in an abominable way usurp the idea of democracy and put the right of enterprises over the right of governments and parliaments. That alone is bad enough. This is also not because, for instance, the experiences and consequences of a similar free-trade agreement in South America are all but encouraging. Which, incidentally, is also an argument against such an agreement.

For me, the worst is that the concept of absolutely free trade basically should be a thing of the past, because it is no longer at all trendy. Because it ruins our planet. It is no longer at all in accordance with modern times. The same is true for many other things we produce and have by now made an essential part of our life style.

Who among us still wants “predator capitalism” the only purpose of which is the increase of the shareholder value? I mean a capitalism that forcefully installs irresponsible activities, for profit and power on the market. Should we not be happy that, by now, we are back on the way towards regional products? Thinking in terms of “less is more”? By now, we understand that consumption does not make you happy, don’t we? All is does is give us depressions. That too much convenience and the absence of physical effort might well sound attractive, but that this is what, in the end, makes us sick? And I mean very sick!

Do we really want yet another increase in world-wide division of labour? After all, it just creates even more losers because it kills good jobs and promotes cheap labour (exploitation). And it also intensifies the murderous race of nations, all of whom want to produce cheapest by exploiting both humans and nature. Who wants concerns that are more powerful than the government and the UNO? Lobbies that dominate everything? And enterprises that manipulate and cheat their customers, artificially generate demand and control markets, yet – at best – ignore the interests of the people?

So how is economic activity generated? It is certainly not generated by making food – such as milk – in poorer quality and cheaper. Economic activity is only possible industrially with expensive products. Such as cars and tanks. In other words: growth will be easiest if you produce and sell even more expensive vehicles. Then you will win twice: first because of the products and secondly because you will have to improve the infra-structure. So you need garages, streets, bridges, motorways … or even worse: you will have to make a few more wars for the armament industry!

But we no longer want that! We want transparent, lean systems and easily understandable structures. We want strong regions in world-wide harmony. As the Agenda 21 used to advertise:

“Think globally, act locally!“ or “Think global, act local!“
And, please, let us do that in a more humane way and be more considerate of our environment.

RMD
I wrote this tonight in the hotel in Piräus while watching the first innings of the Champions League Final Match.
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Well, one cynic hope remains: Mr. Trump does not like the TTIP either (even if for totally different reasons). And by now, chances are pretty good that he will be the next US president.

Roland Dürre
Friday April 29th, 2016

PEACE

Denker, Künstler und vor allem Mensch.

Thinker, artist, and, above all: human being.

It seems that yesterday’s kick-off for the project peace was a success. I think we, and in particular Jolly, reached the people. We also produced nice video material and will soon discuss what and how to best process all this material.

Roland M. DürreNewly invigorated, we will now continue on our way. We are looking for allies and collecting crazy ideas. And we will all think about it all and then start new activities.

I would like to thank all those who came for being there and supporting us.

In my presentation of a little more than 30 minutes, I introduced Jolly, related why I, from now on, will focus more and more on the project PEACE, told you why I am optimistic and tried to make you understand that it is time to act.

We will make Jolly’s and my presentations available online. Here is mine in a nutshell, along with a few links for video recordings:

Introduction: Jolly (we are project partners)

  • First met at the Munich Chess Academy;
  • Immediately understood that we are “brothers in spirit”;
  • He is an artist and philosopher and a
  • Modern Robin Hood;
    Through his life philosophy he convinces the rich to share their wealth with the poor.
  • He lives what he talks about and engages himself for more togetherness and peace.

Why do I do this (motivation)?

  • Grateful for so many good things life gave me, wanting to give something in return;
    • Private reasons (marriage, family, children);
    • Always having enough to eat and never going cold;
    • Wonderful teachers, circles and communities;
    • Learned endlessly;
    • Successful in business and social life;
  • Adventures
    • War and early home – 1950ies;
      (inner peace)
    • Tschernobyl – 1980ies;
      We have to join;
    • Cuba crisis – 1960ies;
      (a still traumatized society is afraid of the great war)
    • Vietnam
      (My experiences with young GI-s in the 1960ies);
      And many more wars!
      (peace among humans, nations and all sorts of societies)
    • Annoyed about not having done things better, regardless of having known better.
    • Continue with the task that generations before me started (forefathers – models).
      (Carl Amery, John Lennon, Konstantin Wecker, Willy Michl, Ghandi or Martin Luther King)
    • The engineering knowledge that we need a great transformation, and that we need it rather quickly and perhaps on a radical scale – otherwise we will be finished in a few generations.
    • Soon 66 years old – and I feel more and more that Peace is the only thing that really counts in my life

Why I am hopeful (optimism)?

  • War gets more and more absurd!
  • 13,500 cyber soldiers (13500 Cyber-Soldaten)
    (harmless model – the concept of a permanent cyber war give me pause)
  • Body leasing of soldiers as a new quality of mercenaries
    (they used to sell individual persons as mercenaries, today this habit becomes the normal entrepreneurial profit concept of capital companies).
Examples: Academi (between 1997 and 2007 Blackwater USA, until 2009 Blackwater Worldwide, until 2011 Xe Services LLC, since 2014 part of Constellis Holdings) is the biggest US security and military enterprise.
  • War robots
    Atlas  is a Boston Dynamics project for the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and as far as I know, Boston Dynamics used to be Alphabet (Google), now sold, because it is military-oriented and On new ways of warfare, an overview (Übersicht).
  • New knowledge from neurology and philosophy
    • We totally misunderstood issues such as personal criminal responsibility and free will;
    • Ratio is only a very small part of the human being;
    • We are not those free thinkers and controllers. Instead, we are all trapped in our socialization that is formative for our subconscious. This might be another reason why, when all is said and done, we are all very much social creatures. After all, our subconscious has been generated by socialization, i.e. by other people.
  • The internet changes the world.
    The digital and social networks of “friendly persons” with their readiness to act together increases.
  • Success stories:
    (NextHamburg, Urbanauten, PMCamp.org self-made, Open Source Communities, NGOs but also enterprises)
    Installing these “free communities” by yourself will become the main means by which to solve actual problems in the future (infra-structure topics and smart cities). Among other things, this is because it would be asking too much of the fatherland to do it.

So how to go about it? (strategies)

  • Instead of talking, we have to act! Get up! Do something!
  • We have to begin with ourselves;
  • No indoctrination, only impulses and inspiration;
  • Peace and liberty;
  • Living in love;
  •  Connecting with art and artists?
  • Snow-ball principle?
  • Plenty of ideas.
  •  …

And then came: Jolly …

RMD
Finished late in the evening in the train from Stuttgart to Munich, going to a good weekend and already a little on the way to Rome on Saturday.
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
JOERG ROTHERMEL wrote a beautiful facebook comment:

“Instead of talking, we should act! Get up”! Do something!“
well, here is an feminist article:
https://franziskaschutzbach.wordpress.com/…/ich-denke…/
I find it especially nice to read the question if “Macker“ is derived from “Macher“!

Well, this really hits home. Because my formulations were very masculine. Except: I think this is how men and women are. This is totally free of judgement. And since I am a man, I consider women beautiful goddesses. Incidentally, the post behind the link is worth reading.

Yet, I do not see it as a contradiction. It looks more like a huge supplement to me.

Because in my concept, you will find:
“Instead of talking, we have to act! Get up” Do something!“
NOT to mean: COCK-FIGHTS, WARS, DEMONSTRATIONS, PROPAGANDA and MISSIONARIES: It almost annoys me that I called our enterprise “PEACE” project PEACE. After all, in my personal radical concept, the common understanding of project is already typically chauvinistic behaviour. And I consider it important that teams of men and women basically NEED NO project managers.

For me, it is the METAPHER for:

FOR: “Not letting us be suppressed by YOU CANNOT DO THAT, not letting us be manipulated by MARKETING, or influenced by INDOCTRINATION.
“
FOR: “Listening to the MESSAGES FROM THE FUTURE, living AUTONOMOUSLY AND IN FREEDOM and not swallowing ANY KIND OF RUBBISH.
“
FOR: “Stopping to swallow all the RUBBISH POLITICIANS try to tell us and instead COURAGEOUSLY reacting with CIVIL COURAGE.
“
FOR: “APPRECIATING ourselves and ALL HUMAN AROUND US, winning back the CREATION and our ENVIRONMENT, and living with mutual respect and LOVE as a formative maxim and ELEMENT of OUR EVERYDAY LIVES.
“
FOR: “Quickly forming alliances with FRIENDLY PERSONS (rather than angry citizens) and actually changing the world for the better through COURAGE and happiness”
FOR: “first and foremost: changing your own habits and finding JOY and LOVE inside!“

AND MUCH MORE OF THE SAME!

Why should not the sexes meet on that basis!?

Roland Dürre
Monday April 25th, 2016

The Masters of Reforms.

Here is what happened before I wrote this article:
Currently, I have much-loved visitors from China. Yesterday, Sunday (April, 24th), our visitor wanted to see the Federal Talk Show “Anne Will“.

Well, there is nothing you will not do for your guests, is there? So we watch “Anne Will” together. The show is about the current EU politics and its relationship with the partner Turkey. Particular attention is given to Erdoğan, the twelfth president of the Turkish Republc (whom I personally see more as a dictator). The guests are mostly the usual candidates … (here is the link to the Show).

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 2015

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 015

A Great Reformer?

Initially, it is quite boring. Then Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is praised by one of the guests as a great reformer.

What annoys me about this statement is that all the other guests not only agree, but that this also gives the dictator a better reputation in the assembled circle. As a counter-argument, you get the question why he now “abolishes all his (good) reforms”?

Before talking reforms, maybe you should think about the definition (Begriffserklärung) of “reforming”. So I first look up the term reform in Wikipedia.

The first item given in the listing says that reform is:
“The planned and violence-free change of prevailing circumstances“.

To me, this looks like a halfway valid definition. And alas – it is totally unbiased. It does not say anything about being “positive” or “good”.

Neither does the definition ask about the purpose of change. Consequently, a reform is still a reform, even if, for example, it introduces a (good or bad) dictatorship or a (perhaps just as good or bad) democracy.

The actual Wikipedia article on reform does not look very convincing to me. All it does is give examples for reforms out of history; political reforms in current Germany and church reforms. It also suggests that a reform only deserves the name if it causes a modification that brings considerable change.

It seems that the only way of realizing reforms in a democracy is legislation. Reform means introducing a new law. So where does the constant cry for new reforms come from? Since we do not have the strength to remove old legislation, it means we demand new legislation all the time. And that is exactly what happens both in the counties, on state level and in the EU at an inflationary rate.

For me, the history of the German Railway is a good example for studying reforms and the consequences thereof. Initially, they merged all the county railways to become the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR). This generated one of the world’s biggest enterprises and the biggest job provider world-wide. The advantages were easy to see: now they could build “standardized parts” in huge amounts. This “reform” probably also made the organization rather capable. Allegedly, the German Reichsbahn actually was more punctual during the first years of WW-II than the DB AG and its competition are today.

After WW-II, the Deutsche Bundesbahn (DB) in West Germany succeeded the DR. In addition to the GDR taking over the Deutsche Reichsbahn, the Deutsche Bundesbahn was privatized and converted into the DB AG, along with it being divided into many small railway societies and an extension by “private” competition.
One could easily have a long discussion about the purpose of these reforms.

But back to the Anne Will Talk Show.
Initially, when the Erdoğan reforms were mentioned, I had to think of Adolf Hitler. After all, he was not only the greatest warrior of all times (GröFaZ), but also the greatest reformer of all times (GröRaZ)? After all, many reforms and the resulting legislation that is still valid today have been initiated during the Third Reich (labour, maternity protection, relationship between church and state – including the church tax, protection of cultural goods and much more).

Here is Turkish history as I learned it:
When I was a child, I learned at school and during my socialization as a citizen of the FRG that Turkey and the Turks are very friendly-minded towards us Germans. In military terms, Turkey has always been a good partner. The fear of the Turks as we had it in medieval times is no longer appropriate. To be sure, Turkish internal policies are a sensitive issue, because the separation of church and state is never an easy thing with Islamic countries. Luckily, however, the secular heritage of Atatürk (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk), who was the father of all Turks, was protected by the generals of the strong armed forces, which in doing so also guaranteed the Turkish democracy. And, of course, they also taught us that Turkish labour was also an important factor for the German economy. This was about it when it came to information about the NATO country and then still soon-to-be member of the European Community.

Well, perhaps Erdoğan and his reforms did bring some change.

RMD
(Translated by EG)
I took the picture from Wikipedia Kremlin.ru.
Встреча Президента России Владимира Путина с Президентом Турции Реджепом Тайипом Эрдоганом в Баку