Klaus Hnilica
Tuesday January 8th, 2019

(Deutsch) Ein nachhaltiger Übersetzungsfehler ?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Sunday January 6th, 2019

Slavery – Did Anything Change?

During my last Caribbean trip, I was made aware of a “black chapter” of human history: slavery. I wrote an article about my visit to the museum in Curaçao and how it motivated me to also inform myself about fiefdom in our so value-glorified occident. After all, we in the occident have so very Christian roots…

Dark Future!?

The more I read and think about slavery and fiefdom, the more I am convinced that both have not been abolished for “honourable” – humanitarian, humane and enlightened – reasons.
Instead, it was mostly business motives that caused the abolition of the more than thousand years-old slavery. This change would not have been possible without the consent of capitalism (i.e. of the ruling classes, both feudally and monetary).

Basically, slavery simply was no longer profitable!

Whenever something is no longer profitable in capitalism, it will be removed. That is true both for the overseas plantations and farming in Europe. It is true both for technology and for humans. The slave was replaced by the worker. The serf was made redundant by the steam engine, which later lost against the Diesel. And perhaps the Diesel will be replaced by the electro motor.

A currently enthusiastically discussed question is:

Will humans lose against artificial intelligence?

It would be the next step. I have no answer to this question.
Still, in retrospective, it seems obvious that fiefdom was abolished in favour of the steam engine. The Feudal upper classes had understood that machines functioned better and more efficiently than serfs. It is no coincidence that roboti is the underlying morpheme for robot.

In the USA, the die-hard Southern States had absolutely no chance against the profit-oriented Northern States when it came to defending the slave system. Naturally, they had to lose the war.

Henry Ford would never have been able to produce his T-Model at the conveyor belt with slaves.

His “engineers” had enough on their hands when they were asked to teach the stupid farmers how you build a car. After all, the stupid farmers came from farming and consequently had no sense of industrial timing.

And consequently, it was a good idea if these farmers who had been converted into industrial workers had to be responsible for how they lived after the hours spent at the conveyor belt. You could say that Taylorism replaced slavery. The ruling classes had found out that self-responsibility will be less expensive for them than accepting all the responsibility for their entire workforce.

Basically, workers were just less expensive than slaves.

They simply outsourced the responsibility for their lives (which, in the case of slaves, they definitely had, even if only because they wanted to preserve the value) to the workers. For the black slaves, they also had to introduce a formal act and a document that officially gave them freedom. Workers, however, already were free (as often as not, they were rejected serfs) – and had to fend for themselves. For those who failed and had to be replaced, the successors were already standing in the queue in front of the plants.

This is how the slaves were freed and how cheap labour was acquired. This was made possible by progress in medicine and farming that had caused a huge population increase. Said population explosion is only now slowly beginning to decline. Consequently, there was always a supply of cheap labour available.

Later, the workers united, they became more powerful and sometimes even were able to increase the price. Many exciting legends have been told.

But now let us look at the today and now.

Has slavery really been abolished?

My answer is: NO!

Mind you, I am not talking the still existing form of classic slavery that we still have in certain sectors where the physical ownership of persons is still profitable. Those are called modern slavery.

If you believe the source (Quelle), then between 12 and 27 million people (there is a high estimated number of unreported cases) are still slaves. Considering that we have 7.63 billion people, this sounds harmless enough (October 2018, Wikipedia).

But do we not have a new form of slavery instead?

I do not mean all the people who have been snatched up by consumptionism (Komsumismus).  Yes, the word exists, I have not invented it. Especially the developed societies have many consumption slaves. That is definitely also a form of lack of freedom. Since, however, most of them are free, I will not call them slaves.

For me, the majority of people in this world who are existentially dependent on their jobs live in a sort of slavery. Even in many rich countries, the loss of your job will mean the END for more and more people. You have to pay high rents, many people have no assets (except negative assets).

If these people lose their jobs, the only thing that remains for them is unemployment insurance and/or the social systems – for instance our detested Hartz system.

However, there are many countries that do not even have such a social system. In the extreme case, losing your job means you will live on the streets.

India is one of the countries that particularly strain under this situation. Here, the slum system developed. The climb on the ladder will, in the truest sense of the word, begin “in the gutter” with a (much coveted) place in one of the surprisingly well-organized slums. These kinds of social automatisms are – still? – absent in our country.

What will the future bring?

Consequently, all those among us who have no work-unrelated income and, for instance, their own residential property, are slaves of a brutal system. As soon as we no longer function in our work environment, we are quickly gone.

There is a new kind of feudalism. Today, the leading class consists of people (and legal persons) who have a lot of capital. Some of them were simply lucky, others have inherited from a rich family (which is also luck). Basically, I actually believe that luck has a tendency to follow the industrious.

But that is not necessarily so. In any case, we can say:

If you have the funny stuff, you need not work any longer and can really live.

This means you can use your time for what you enjoy. Many of the persons who are thus independent of gainful employment work on an honorary basis.

I also know a number of young rich people who consciously enjoy their prosperity. And they do what they enjoy and what brings them happiness. Some of them are busy increasing their capital. That makes them even richer and increases the polarisation between poor and rich.

I am glad that I am not directly threatened by old-age poverty (except if our system breaks down). I am quite happy that I was so lucky in life.

However, I can easily imagine how it feels to be dependent on your job and waiting for your money at the end of each month. And having to struggle to make ends meet.

I understand quite well that, in such an environment, the loss of your job is an absolute terror that can destroy EVERYTHING. And, to me, this life style is absolutely a modern form of slavery.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I borrowed the two images from Hans Bonfigt. He used them for his IF-Blog The power and the glory .

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday December 19th, 2018

Ich bin gern ein weißer alter Mann

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 17th, 2018

Arcis Vocalisten Will Sing the Mozart Requiem

I always enjoy advertising the Arcis-Vocalisten Concerts!

This time, it is the famous Reqiuem by Mozart!

Mozart’s music is so pure and beautiful that I consider it the inner beauty of the universe itself (Albert Einstein)
In Mozart’s mysterious legacy, his last composition, the masterpiece “Requiem”, his steadfast faith is just as ever-present as his constant preoccupation with death. The Requiem is probably Mozart’s most humane work – a kaleidoscope filled with emotions: hopeless and hopeful at the same time.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

DIESEL

Selfie: “I cannot understand it.“

For many days, the main topic in the media and news has been nothing but “The Diesel”. I find this rather frustrating, because there are so many much more important social issues that need to be tackled. It is all Greek to me  (Ich verstehe nur noch Bahnhof).

Basically, it is very simple:

If I buy a low quality product, then I have a claim. If the transaction was a fraud, then I can try to bring the claim forward against the fraudulent salesperson.
That is something the rule of justice in a country should guarantee. If this no longer works because the concerns have become too powerful, then that is just too bad.
This is probably true for all goods, no matter if we are talking food or other products and also for services – and it should also apply to cars.

There are many things I no longer understand!

Why has nobody come up with the idea, especially when we are talking the current Diesel discussion, to simply abolish the subsidies on the Diesel tax? I mean, if the Diesel is such a bad product? After all, it is 22 Euro-Cent per litre in subsidies (in Germany, you have to pay 22 Euro-Cent less for Diesel than for petrol) that lets our “greed is great“ society crave for Diesel vehicles. Regardless of the fact that, in general, the “Diesel car” is more expensive than the competition, but in a state of greed, you do not tend to be very good with calculations.
Isn’t it normal, rather than a national emergency, if the greedy people will, once in a while, be the losers? Mind you, this is not meant to be gloating.

Neither do I understand that there seems to be nobody left who introduces a speed limit. Both on motorways and highways, this would considerably economize on fuel (and on human lives). And it has been obvious for a long time that, in cities, the rule of “driving 30” should be a matter of course. And that the “50” and “60” should be the exception to the rule.

I also do not understand why the Diesel is now such a huge topic. After all, we have a situation where, de facto, all combustion motors in individualized traffic (and, so I hope, not only where cars and motorbikes are concerned, but also where lawnmowers and leaf-blowers are concerned) will (hopefully soon) face their exodus.

Don’t we agree that, today, the discussion is not about whether my SUV has a Diesel or a petrol motor. Instead, it is all about whether you still drive a car at all. Because a) perhaps the climate catastrophe is real after all and b) I do not wish to have all those exhaust fumes in my lungs. It is not even necessary for me to ride my bike on the Rosenheimer Strasse in Munich during rush hour if I want to suffer. Even riding to the bakery on a Sunday morning on the Putzbrunner Strasse in Ottobrunn will do the job!

Neither do I understand that kerosene for airplanes and heavy oil for ships is taxed in the same way as petrol, although we know full well that we need to fly less. And why do they want to build still more runways? And why do we still burn brown coal (Hambacher Forst), thereby making life unnecessarily hard for alternative energies.

And I also do not understand why we celebrate the German Unity Day today. Wouldn’t it be better to use the day for working towards a decent Europe of Regions where people can live in confidence and courage?

These days, there is a lot I do not understand. Not only with respect to mobility, we are surrounded by mania. Is it already too late for our planet (Permafrost). I almost tend towards resignation?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 25th, 2018

The Arcis-Vocalisten Will Sing CARL LOEWE (on October, 22nd, 2018)

Once again, there will be a concert by the Arcis-Vocalisten. And as always, it is my pleasure to do some advertising for the choir. After all, I personally know at least two of the singers.

Ropes of Death – the passion oratory by Carl Loewe.

Most of the musically interested people will know Carl Loewe (1796-1869) as a prolific composer of songs and master of ballads who was quite adept at mirroring character. Only few people know that his major profession was that of cantor at Stettin’s main church, St. Jacobi, where he also worked as the town’s musical director. We have 17 clerical and secular oratories that document his work. The passion oratory “Das Sühneopfer des Neuen Bundes”, which he probably wrote in 1847, is one of the central pieces.

The Arcis Vocalisten will present this concise and penetrative music that is well worth re-discovery with an excellent set of soloists and the renown orchestra in original pitch “L’arpa Festante”. They will also make a recording with the Bayerischer Rundfunk and the label OehmsClassics in a time-consuming studio production.

Loewe’s language of sound expertly combines the power and suggestiveness of Händel’s choirs with the sound of Bach’s passions, especially in the words of Jesus, and with his own melodious and sensual song artistry in the arias and ensembles. The composer made a conscious effort at creating something meaningful that lies between opera and oratory.

 

 

 

 

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday September 12th, 2018

Culture Engineering. Terminology. Methods, Tools

Wearing my new Hanseatic hat after my return from #PMCampBER in the Grosshesselohe forest restaurant.

Let me give you a short report on the PM Camp Berlin session on Culture Engineering before I will write about the “contradictions” in social systems. It was one of many exciting sessions I participated in at the anti-conference #PMCampBER.

The topic was “Culture Engineering” – as a method and tool that helps to influence, change and control the culture in a social system that has an economic goal, i.e., in an enterprise.

The person who had initiated the session himself had felt suspicious about the term “Culture Engineering”. His “feeling uncomfortable” was due to his scepticism about question if a culture can actually be actively influenced with an “engineering-approach“. He feared that such a concept could or would easily end in manipulation with negative or at least unpredictable results.

One session participant said that there is a successful “Culture Engineering“ stream of studies in Leipzig and that the graduates of this school are actually quite sought after by the human resources departments of companies, especially huge companies. I find this rather exciting, which means that we are in the middle of the world of culture engineering and human resource (HR).

As far as titles are concerned, I constantly get visiting cards with job titles such as engineer, officer, manager or president on them. And I must admit that, of all these titles, the one I like best is the engineer who, for instance, is in charge of a project. But “German-English“ is modern, so I am getting into it. Now we have the CEO, CTO and CIO  and, more and more often, also the CHRO (HR as an abbreviation for human resources). That is where you will find the innovation manager and the culture engineer. In general, I am quite suspicious of officers and managers, and the same is true for presidents and vice presidents.

In our session, the first thing we approached was terminology. Someone proposed that maybe we could say “culture gardening”, instead of “culture engineering”. I found this rather appealing. But then I thought that, in analogy to “garden cultivation”, the task could be called “cultural cultivation”.

Then we discussed the definition of entrepreneurial culture. We found the answer (from entrepreneurial theory):

Entrepreneurial culture is the memory of an enterprise.

😉 Honi soit qui mal y pense, but, for me, this is immediately associated with “memory manipulation”.


When I looked up the term in Wikipedia, I discovered a Wikipedia call on copyright.

I support this call with all my heart and consequently I publish it here.
However, I am not sure that it will suffice if you contact your representative in the European Parliament. You will probably have to do more than that.

Yet this is a good example for controlled change in values and rules. And the motives are very capitalist.


Back to Culture Engineering. As with many buzzwords, I find the term a little ridiculous. The same is true for a culture engineer or innovation manager at HR.

I certainly believe that you should be aware of and actively live the culture of an enterprise, just like that of all other social systems. And it is also quite legitimate to use modern technology and methods. But it is a something that must happen between the leaders and all the others. Leadership as defined in Google (see the article article by Dr. Marcus Raitner).

However, culture cultivation will only be a success if as many people as possible participate in the cultivation process – and I mean with a lot of attention and actively.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday June 6th, 2018

Digital, bekloppt, banal

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Munich is a big city. In Munich, there is also a great theatre tradition. In former times, the “Resi“ (Residenztheater with various locations) and the Kammerspiele  dominated and fascinated me. Today, you get top theatre especially in the Volkstheater and perhaps also at an outsider in Freimann: the Metropoltheater.

However, we also have a huge variety of amateur theatres in Munich. I find the theatre troupe tgsm especially outstanding. With this opinion, I certainly do not want to discredit all the many other ambitioned “amateur actors“ in Munich who play with enormous enthusiasm on many stages. On the contrary, with theatre, it is just like in real life – the amateurs (people who do it because they love it, rather than for money) often need not feel inferior to the professionals.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of a very special experience at the tgsm. It was a play that, unfortunately, is only rarely performed. Perhaps because it is unpleasant and because it hurts.

Fear and Misery in the Third Reich

by Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1956)

Here is what it says in the tgsm brochure:

In 30 scenes, Brecht describes 30 moments of life in the Third Reich. Initially, he wanted to call the piece “Germany – a Horror Story“. The premiere was in 1938 in Paris with eight scenes. The individual scenes are separate units and are not combined to become a linear story. Yet, taken together, they are an image of life under the national-socialist regime. If you look closely enough, you will understand the mechanism of all dictatorships: polarisation, fear, defamation of minorities (enemy image) and demonstration of the government’s power on a daily basis. This is why the issue is also a current issue today and will always remain one.


I was worried when this evening started. Simply because I know that all the misery and atrocities of that time depress me. A short time ago, even riding my bike along the premises of the Dachau KZ gave me a sleepless night.
In the evening (at 10.30 p.m.), I rode home with a profound feeling of happiness. Which was totally the opposite of what I had expected. Because I had experienced great and precious theatre.

It made me particularly happy to have seen so many people (around 25 actors and around 15 supporters) who, in their free time and on a totally honorary basis, worked extremely hard to make something so great happen. And because I felt that those people saw the world like I see it.

Many thanks!


Here is the good news:
There are still a few performances, so you can watch the play! Here are the performance times:

June, 1st, 2018 (Friday)
June, 2nd, 2018 (Saturday)
Pasinger Fabrik, starting at 7.30 p.m.

June, 7th, 2018 (Thursday )
June, 8th, 2018 (Friday)
June, 9th, 2018 (Saturday)
Pepper Theater, Neuperlach, starting at 7.30 p.m.

June, 14th, 2018 (Thursday)
Neubiberg, Aula der Volksschule, Am Rathausplatz, starting at 8 p.m.

For tickets, click here.

And here are a few links to whet your appetite: a long comment on the debut at the end of which Konstantin Wecker sang a song. Naturally, he will not be present during all the other performances. You will then hear his song SAG NEIN as a recording. When we saw the performance, everybody sang along, so it was a great experience even without the master.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

On May, 6th, you can again hear them: the ARCIS VOCALISTEN will sing in the Munich-Sendling Himmelsfahrtskirche.

Together with famous soloists, they will sing the PAULUS by FELIX MENDELSON BARTHOLDY, which is a theological oratorio in two parts.

 

“Rise Up, Arise and Shine!“

In 1836, the then 26-year-old musical genius Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy presented his first monumental biblical oratorio, the history of the apostle Paul. Beginning with his origins as Saul, the hunter of Christians, the story is about his Damascus experience, his crisis of faith and his new religious conviction, until he is finally described during his missionary travels.
Great representative choir movements, sensitive chorales, memorable arias are form a unit that finally becomes a huge, two-hour theological opera in Mendelssohn’s sensually romantic expression.

The Arcis-Vocalisten will present PAULUS in maximum choir strength and will be joined by young and exquisite soloists such as Judith Spiesser, who was last successful as Lucia di Lammermoor at the Landestheater Niederbayern. The other soloists are the mezzo soprano Florence Losseau, the tenor Christian Zenker who spent many years performing in the Innsbruck and Graz theatres, and the basso-baritone Alban Lenzen in the title role.

The accompanying orchestra is the Konstanz Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie. The director is Thomas Gropper.

The concert on Sunday, May, 6th, 2018, at 7 p.m. is in one of the churches most suited for the performance of this kind of music, the Himmelfahrtskirche in München-Sendling, Kidlerstr.15.

The musical director will give an introduction to the work at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at MünchenTicket and directly before the concert. For IF-Blog.de readers who want to enjoy the concert, we can arrange a small bonus. If you are interested, just send an email to me under the title “Arcis-Vocalisten.
🙂 I will reply!

RMD