Roland Dürre
Tuesday March 5th, 2019

After Mardi Gras, There is Ash Wednesday.

 

Property, violence, justice, safety and abstinence …

 

It does not matter if you run, ride a bike, ski or drive a car. If you hit someone, then this is violence. Speed is violence.

 

Stone mask from the pre-ceramic stone age around 7,000 before Christ. One of the world’s oldest masks (Musée Bible et Terre Sainte, Paris)

Today is Mardi Gras. You can wear masks. You can wear costumes. Fool’s freedom means that you can take another role. And you need not stick by all the rules and keep up all the moral laws.

That feels nice. For several weeks, they have now made laws that look arbitrary to me and that I cannot understand. Because now the Great Coalition have changed from the argument mode to the working mode. Since laws mostly are not very good, I preferred the argument mode.
After they took the German Citizenship away for IS fighters, there is an EU-wide attack on the internet. But they also discuss the great liberty of German car drivers, the speed limit. A Swedish (?) producer restricts the cars to 180 km/h. Somehow or other, this is unimaginable in Germany. Basically, I do not even understand why cars that drive faster than 130 km/h are allowed on any streets at all.

Because I am personally against all speed. Both in life and in a car. For instance, I would feel a lot more comfortable if cars were allowed no more than 30 km/h in towns and no more than 70 km/ on highways, along with a maximum of 120 km/h on motorways.

But on the other hand, I am against all sorts of prohibitions. How can I solve this dilemma and still give a good reason for limiting the speed of vehicles? By introducing the factor violence! After all, in our times, the application of violence is a monopoly of the state. That is also true for weapons (let us ignore for the sake of argument that there are many exceptions, even in this country). This means that humans consciously agreed to not use violence and that only the state can use it in very clearly specified situations.

Well, knocking down a pedestrian or cyclist is just as much an act of violence as driving into another car. And that is exactly what people in civilized countries have agreed to forego. That makes it quite simple when it comes to speed limits and limitations for objects of the MIV (Motorisierter Individual Verkehr), part of which are also electrically powered vehicles, such as e-bikes.

What is left in our times that actually moves people? As I see it, the answer is: property, justice, safety and abstinence.

Property.


Does it make sense that legal persons have the same rights to property as actual persons? That ideas – we know they should be free – can become private property? Or that even data are considered private property? 
What about common land? What exactly belongs to the common land and how to treat it? What about the self-possession of persons? Or will we get a new form of fiefdom?

Justice.


Arithmetically, it is impossible, at least that is how it seems ever since Aristotle. But what is suitable? Should society award social credits in order to regulate it? Or should some be expropriated?

Safety.

What is safety. Perhaps protection from violence? That would mean we come full circle. We do not want violence against us. If I am a pedestrian, I do not want to be hit by a car or bike. And so on.

Abstinence.


Everybody knows that, if we want to save the planet, we will not only have to change many of our habits, but also practice abstinence. And what do we do? We fly more, drive bigger and bigger SUVs and eat bigger and bigger portions of meat.

Besides property, justice, violence, safety, power and abstinence, there are many more inter-related topics. They are so complex that the only chance to contain them is a new social consensus.

Tomorrow is again Ash Wednesday. Then the hilarity is over. I already dread the political meetings with their speakers. They will again bark and beat. Both men (CSU) and women (Grüne, SPD). Because this is all about the sovereignty over the regulars’ table. And not about peace and social consensus.

It is really sad – so take off your mask and atone.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Freedom? Morality? Principles? Facts? Certainties?

Using beautiful terms and buzzwords, both politicians and the marketing of huge concerns try to impress people (and motivate them to buy things). The former do it because they want our vote, the latter because they want our best – the funny stuff.

Consciously treating language shabbily is part of this “new dishonesty“.

Language is supposed to have a manipulative effect. There is an endless number of terms that are very suitable if you want to seduce people. These terms are used whenever someone says something great. In particular, it is used by people who believe they are in possession of the truth (if you are precise, you will have to call it certainty). They use terms they themselves do not really understand, but still they hope that, by using those terms, they can sell their certainties.

They will not concern themselves with what these words actually mean. Instead, they just parrot them. Consequently, we should put all statements that are put before us under really thorough scrutiny. After all, we live in times of irresponsible blabbering.

In 1983, I was lucky enough to attend a very high-profile management seminar on dialectics in Frankfurt under Rupert Lay. In those days, Rupert Lay had the reputation of being the German Nestor as far as “Ethics in Management“ was concerned. It was a very modern topic, almost “hype”. I learned a lot during that seminar. And I tried to continue learning for the rest of my life.

I was 33 years old when I learned language, i.e. when I learned what exactly it means to use language properly. Well, that is rather late, isn’t it? The six other seminarists were all top managers from industry or presidents of associations or politicians in high office. They were all around thirty years older than I. That means they were all a lot later than yours truly, doesn’t it?

After a short warming-up discourse, they all agreed that freedom was their most important property and that they would immediately die for it. When I distanced myself from these two statements, I was treated like a pariah. To be sure, I was the youngest, had the longest haircut and did not wear a tie. Consequently, these older silvery-haired gentlemen could not really take me seriously, could they?

Unfortunately, the entire affair was symmetrical. Because to me, these six persons looked very much controlled from outside, which means they were the opposite of free. To be perfectly honest, I thought my six co-participants in the seminar were the prototypes of unfree persons. They were typical system agents who were caught in their fascist jails.

This did not bode well for the entire seminar. Regardless, this seminar is where I started to see philosophy and rhetoric as something important in my life and to appreciate their value. Thus, I learned to listen carefully, to analyse language and to treat difficult terms with caution, rather than negligently. And ever since then, that is what I have tried to actively do.

Concerning the image below:
Be not afraid, my blog is not going to turn into advertising CDU. I will never vote for or support a party the members of which, shortly after WW-II, conspiratorially  and in secret meetings prepared for German re-armament, and then realized it against the protests of the people (and to the benefit of the German Armament Industry).

Because I believe that those were the days that a unique chance for us people was lost for good, just because some people were scared.

No, this is about the text on the poster, or rather the text on the tweet.

The picture illustrates a tweet that was shared by the verified account of the CDU (excluding Bavaria) .
Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer forwarded this tweet under the account @akk . That is how it ended up with me.

Here is the text as it was shared by @akk at @CDU– Tweets with this picture:


In an interview with   admonished the readers: “I expect people who come into our country to accept our values – and above all, I expect us to fight for our values”.


To me, it seems like a sentence directly from marketing. In some way or other, it is a stroke of genius in its bi-polarity. After all, it contains a demand that seems to be easy to accept.

Those who “come to us” should “accept our values”. We, “since we are “us” because we are here already”, should fight for our values. Of course, the weak point in this sentence is the term “values”. What exactly are “values”. What exactly are our values?.

Why do we expect those who come to our country to know our values if we ourselves do not know them?
As I see it, it would be a huge social obligation to work out a consensus about what our values are. Even if you probably cannot solve this problem.

Here are a few ideas.
If I want to understand the meaning of “value”, I first look for related terms, such as morality and principles. I am looking for a general term (because it is easier to understand and describe a word if you have a general term you can use in order to distinguish between the less general terms. That is what you learn in the first semester if you study philosophy).

In Wikipedia, you will find an overview  on the individual letters of „VALUE“. The first cube contains an enumeration of how the word VALULE Is generally used. For our purposes, this is not helpful. Incidentally, this cube is not even complete: you will, for instance, not find what the “value” (content) of a variable is in the game with words used by programmers.
In our context, the second cube of the article is relevant. Here is what it says.

(Wikipedia – value – version of February, 3rd, 2019, second column of text)
Value stands fo:
• Ethics, i.e. characteristics and qualities that are considered morally desirable
• social norms , i.e. social regulations for how to behave.
• christian values
• Ethical values, see: ethical law

Well, I do not really know why Christian Values are part of the definition. I would find “religious” values more appropriate. You could exemplify them by using “Christian Values”. And you would then have to include the values of other religions. Perhaps you could also describe these values as mindsets. Consequently, our values would be described as our mind sets. But do we have a common mind set?

If, in our historic tradition, the Christian-Occidental values are propagated, then I always remember that, until the end of the 18th century, the Christians were also among those who supported and used serfdom , which is just another word for slavery  . Well, at least in my eyes that does not make the tradition any better. Bear in mind that mostly serfs were also dependants .The landlord was mostly also the owner of the farmer. And who owned the land?

I like the first entry in the upper cube ethics a lot better. We learn that this is all about our concepts of values. So what exactly are concepts? Visions or hallucinations? The entry also shows us how easily you get into close proximity of morality  that judges if we apply values. After all, morality is something that believes in possessing the truth about what is good and what is evil. Can you tell me what is good and what is evil?

In Wikipedia, you will also find on morality:

Morality is about mostly actual behavioural patterns , conventions and rules or principles of certain  individuals, groups or cultures.  . A violation of morality is called immorality. Amorality is the denial or the purposeful refusal of moral principles and can culminate in the total absence of moral feeling.

So now we are again dealing with patterns, conventions, rules and principles! So let us continue – which means we end up with an article about principles . Now things are really getting complicated. Consequently, we will only take one sentence:
Generally speaking, a principle is a maxim or a basic rule you stick by.

So now we can ask:
Did the author (I am sure it was not AKK herself who wrote it) really mean values with this beautiful advertisement? Or morality? Or principles?
Or does it mean that those who come to our country had better stick by our rules and regulations and that it is our job to see to it that said rules are not violated? 
- Which makes it sound quite differently.

I strongly suspect that the person who wrote this sentence did not even know what he or she actually wanted to say.
Because he or she did not think of such a thing (and perhaps was not even competent enough to think of it). It was simply going to be a nice marketing slogan that sounds nice and makes a good impression. Insofar, it is a good match with the general dishonesty in our communication.

If you are interested in finding out how Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer interprets the sentence on the poster, why don’t you send her an email @akk and ask her?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Monday January 7th, 2019

(Deutsch) Crisis ? What Crisis ?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Hans Bonfigt
Wednesday December 19th, 2018

Ich bin gern ein weißer alter Mann

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Friday October 5th, 2018

Is Democracy in Danger?

Here is what I think about the Bavarian Elections in a little more than a week.

Between ruins (South Georgia – whaling).

Democracy in Danger?
I hear this question more and more often.
And my answer is:
Yes – but it has been in danger for a long time already!

The democratic idea includes that people who live in a country (and therefore are this social system) elect their representatives who then find social consensus in parliament and realize said consensus in the form of prudent legislation. But this has not worked well in a long time.

My friend Detlev Six writes:
Liberal democracy is the most sensitive creature of the world. Nurse the baby!

Well, I, too, think that democracy is a rather tiny plant that should be well tended. However, that is not what we do. Instead, said plant has been threatened and harmed by various pests for decades.

I identified the following reasons why democracy in Bavaria and many other countries has been in the decline:

  • A general weakness in education and learning.
    Schools and universities produce consumers and workers who are more and more adapted to what the system needs, instead of autonomous persons in an ethically responsible awareness of values.
  • Party oligarchy.
    The parties no longer work towards the “social consensus”. They do not want the best for the people but continuing power. For said power, you need votes, which they want at any cost.
  • Interest associations and lobbyism.
    
The citizens see that the government, the parliament and the parties are ruled by foreign powers where the individual interest has priority over the interests of the people.
  • Marketing makes elections ridiculous.
    
How electoral campaigns are organized irritates the people and de-values the elections. You can now again see it in Bavaria. What nonsense you read on the posters that have been distributed all over the streets? Neither do the manifestos of the parties convince anybody. You get the impression that the party where most money flows into marketing and where people are best manipulated will win the elections.
  • The candidate selection and the internal party sleaze.
    
Again and again, party members that have never been elected into top positions get them.
  • Feeling powerless.
    
Huge parts of the population see themselves as powerless (either because that is how they feel or because they really are).

However, the “democracy in danger” question is now asked because the populists in Europe have such success and because of the imagined – and perhaps also real – threat of rightist movements and nationalist tendencies in Germany.

However, I believe that these problems are just a consequence of the factors I listed above and other similar developments. For me, this means that we ourselves caused the entire dilemma. By democratic failure. Both actively and passively.

And, as so often, those that lament most about what is wrong are those who caused it. We will probably have to accept that it is all our own fault, if we like it or not.

So whom am I supposed to give my vote?

I do not yet know. I do not like the Green Party because they were the ones who, along with the SPD, made it possible for our armed forces to be stationed abroad. CSU and SPD do not look electable to me. As far as the CSU is concerned, this is not only because of the current protagonists. The SPD did not understand #newwork at all, although this could (should?) be their topic. The FDP covers its clientele policy by promoting an “educational push“ and is millions of miles away from a “liberal“ policy, which means I cannot give them my vote. As I see it, the Left Party has some nice and good things in their program, but they also say many adventurous things. When it comes to “work life”, they are just as bad as the SPD. The AfD is not at all my world. That leaves only the ÖDP, which looks honest to me, or the “Die Partei”, which at least does not have a manifesto that makes you laugh as much as that of the other parties. Well, and ever since they tried to write a common political manifesto (see IF-Blog five years ago), I no longer like the Pirates either.

But here comes what is most important: 
Many of us are really well off. Let us enjoy life and give a little bit of our strength and nourishment (and nursing) to the little plant “liberal democracy”! And the first step is probably to actually go and vote.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 16th, 2018

Hambacher Forest. Ethics. Primary. Secondary. Virtue

Dracula as a Metaphor.

Years ago, I liked writing about ethics. For me, it was a very simple topic. It was primarily about virtues and the question which virtues are primary and secondary virtues. Then this sort of ethics started to get boring.

Now, what happens around brown coal in the Hambacher Forest makes me more concerned. In fact, I am not just concerned, I am appalled.

And I believe it is about time that we again talk about primary and secondary virtues.

When I was a child, I was taught many virtues. Well, it was more than just teaching, I was literally trained in them. It started with the demand that I should always be nice. I was to be washed clean at all times and my (short) hair had to be combed nicely. When adults were in a conversation, children had to shut up. I was admonished to be obedient, nice and never recalcitrant. However, the worst sins were if you lied or – God forbid – steal. Respecting the property of others and telling the truth at all times were the highest virtues of all.

As I grew up, I started to have my own ideas. And I understood very early on that there were quite a few glitches to my education. And that, for example, the categorical demands that you must not lie and must not steal will not hold after a thorough ethical test.

Later, I studied the philosophers and I remember reading the letters exchanged between the older Kant and a younger French philosopher. Well, the Frenchman with his arguments caused quite some sweat on the forehead of the then so famous and well-liked Kant. Kant’s reaction was very irrational and, in my opinion, very emotional.

This is how I learned that categorically sticking by the Eighth Commandment will certainly cause a lot of damage and thus can only be a secondary virtue. In fact, in normal life there are many situations where ethical behaviour actually forces us to lie in order to prevent damage to ourselves or others.

I also saw very quickly that the Seventh Commandment is not much better. I do not even have to mention Robin Hood and the questionability of a society that is dominated by property. It will suffice the imagine a child that might die from hunger but could be saved by theft.
This is why the Hambacher Forst Activists are definitely not criminals, even if they are not necessarily heroes.

Because they act upon virtues that I consider primary virtues. They are autonomous and they study the situation. They live up to virtues that I consider primary virtues, such as civil courage and constructive disobedience. They even do it in a very responsible and peaceful way.

The only thing I could ethically hold against these people in their tree houses is that they cultivate a martyrdom and that their actions in favour of a “good cause“ will eventually have negative consequences for their own lives. Because it is an important – and for me also a primary – virtue that your self-esteem is high and that you do not ruin yourself. Especially not for others!
Because, basically, we all know that matters cannot continue as they are, just like we also know that, when all is said and done, we will all suffer under the destruction of the world.

As opposed to an omniscient minister, I do not know what is the “mother of all problems“. All I can say is that I believe our system practices a very questionable approach on how to treat humans and nature.

We have several problems. The source of these problems are probably weaknesses in our approach to poverty, education, climate protection and mobility. The reason why our social system has these problems is probably that values, priorities and power structures have changed in our country and its politics.

For instance, we know that a polarization into poor and rich parts of the population can have quite unpleasant consequences. We also know that our social welfare state tumbles towards a future full of crises. We also know that our mobility with big cars and the combustion motor has no future. We also know that stricter speed limits on motorways, other streets and also in the cities are more than necessary. We also know that subsidies granted to the motorized traffic in general and to the Diesel engines in particular are total nonsense.

To be honest, we also know that electricity-powered vehicles will not improve the situation at all. On the contrary, they will have an even worse environmental footprint, especially if the electricity they need is produced from brown coal.

Incidentally, this is not only true for brown coal, but also for higher-quality coal that is processed by overexploitation in Australia, then driven to the coast, then loaded onto huge container ships and thus brought to Hamburg. In Hamburg, the coal will be distributed to various means of transportation – and later it will be used up somewhere in Germany. Well, this is certainly not a solution.

Most of the electricity we consume world-wide is made from coal. This is still true today! Regardless of the fact that there is now a social consensus that says we must not produce electricity from coal for many well-known reasons. However, we cannot manage the exit because of “economic interests“. Yet we need this exit very soon if we want to replace all those combustion motors by electrical solutions.

The opposing party for the activists at the Hambacher Forest is an industrial sector. Or rather: it is a concern the domineering and driving factor of which was the shareholder value over many decades. And it used all the legally possible – and sometimes even borderline legal – means to achieve a sensational shareholder value. Few sectors were able to make their shareholders as rich as the EVUs over a long period of time. It all happened at the cost of our environment and – as with (not only) nuclear energy – at the cost of our country. And it was all achieved through legal procedures, thanks to great lobbyism and soft blackmail.

Now more and more people want to change this, and for good reasons, too. Because they understand that it has to end. And soon. I mean people who show civil courage and who put the virtue of constructive disobedience over obedience. Even though they know that, in the end, they will stand no chance against the omnipotence of the country and business. Which is why their actions are detrimental to their own lives.

In my book, these people are not criminals but people who live important primary virtues. The only thing I regret is that they do not have the slightest chance of success – and that they should actually be aware of this. But then, this has always been the problem with idealism and idealists. Which opens yet another, totally different discussion.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Sunday September 2nd, 2018

(Deutsch) Es plappert der Spiegel am rauschenden Bach … (I)

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre

SIEMENS. #MyLife

Siemens technology as I experienced it during a wonderful trip to the Veragua-Rainforest and Puma Waterfall Research Centre in Costa Rica

In the early 1970ies, while studying in Munich, I ended up at Siemens AG. I was a working student at Kopp-Strasse. My office was there and our tests were done at the Feurich Building IT Laboratory. The Kopp-Strasse was beyond the “Hofmannstrasse” compound, the Feurich Building inside.
Siemens was a wonderful enterprise. Perhaps it is (was)  The German Enterprise.

Our motto was “building high technology for and with everything that is related to electricity”. There were more than 20 sectors, and every one of them did exceptional technological work. We complemented each other in a synergetic way. In addition, the entire enterprise was under excellent business leadership.

In the technological areas, there was an atmosphere of departure. The challenges were never big enough and the solutions were absolute works of genius.

In those days, the directors were very approachable. One of them described his view of his role as follows:

“Most of the more than 25 Siemens AG departments are doing economically very well. There are a few that need a little extra help. It is my job to make those strong again. I am not worried that there will be a day when I no longer have any work, because it is quite normal that another “strong” sector will need a little support at some time”.

To me, that sounded plausible. Such is life, also business life. There is no such thing as continuing top performance. Consequently, it is also quite normal that one sector or another will occasionally need some support.

I admired the economic strength and the exceptional business competence of the enterprise as a total unit. That was something that clearly distinguished us – Siemens – from the competition, such as AEG or Telefunken. As far as D was concerned, also from Nixdorf. And when occasionally some people lovingly and with irony called Siemens “a bank with an electronics sub-sector”, then this was not something I found so bad. It is quite a good idea for an enterprise to have “the funny stuff”.

Their mentality, at least as far as engineering areas were concerned, fascinated me. We worked in the same way as employees at google later told me they worked (during the good years). There were huge technological challenges, a high degree of self-responsibility and a faire error tolerance in case of failure. In addition, they had a clear reporting strategy without any restrictive processes and roles. Those were virtues that catapulted us to the front in technology. And we were (often more than) at eye-level with IBM and the other mostly US competition. The few European competitors had been left behind a long time ago, anyway.

In the late 1970ies, I was a tenured Siemens employee. In 1980, they also sent me to Neuperlach. And then I soon left the enterprise. Because the aforementioned virtues were getting lost.

They defined roles and introduced processes. Bureaucracy became the domineering factor and all decisions were made with a strong consideration of the shareholder value. A huge wave of paralysis was combined with irrational planning approaches, thus making it harder and harder, if not impossible, to work successfully. This is how a great technology went down the river.

After having founded my own enterprise, I did a lot of business with Siemens. Initially this was an excellent situation. Siemens was an honest customer and business partner. I can tell and already have told you many positive stories about it.

In the 1990ies, the climate started changing more and more for the providers, too. The providers came up with a nice German bonmot: “Partnerschaft ist, wenn der Partner schafft“. (If the partner does the work, they call it partnership). This is also something I could tell many stories about.
Then, the distance between me, and the same is true for InterFace, and Siemens grew. As the years went by, I followed the decline of the biggest German enterprise in the third millennium. Thus, the pain I, as an original Siemens person, felt became less and less and was finally relieved to some extent by a morbid joy of seeing a sick system collapse.

Now, in 2018, there are again exciting news from the one-time electronics concern. A new enterprise organisation is under way. They want to become „meaning oriented“. But what exactly does that mean?

Incidentally, all the stakeholders are to benefit – but above all, they mean the shareholders, then to some extent the customers, the people who work in the enterprise, the providers and the external social systems. It seems that Siemens did not learn a lot from what they saw in the last decades, because those decades show that this is not how it works.

The emotional distance between me and Siemens has grown. Today, I can look upon Siemens with more serenity than a few years ago. And I notice:

Again, the employees are verbally made the ”centre“. And there they are more in the way than anything else.

The first priority is given to the shareholder, i.e. the international capital. As I see it, Siemens wants to tread on a path that I already saw several other enterprises take.

You divide an enterprise into two (here: three) parts and take the new enterprises to the stock exchange. As soon as each of the enterprises alone has a higher stock exchange value than the old one ever had – the champagne corks can fly. This is especially true for the capital.

It is a totally different story what will become of the three successor concerns. However, it will have nothing to do with the old Siemens company.

Well, this is neither here nor there, because the times when they said “we produce everything that has something to do with electricity” are history. Which is also true for the other German enterprises that, with their more or less enthusiastic employees (and many guest workers) created the “economic miracle”.

RMD
(Translated by EG

Gastautor(en)
Friday July 20th, 2018

Article by a Young Guest: The Transatlantic Circus.

Today, I (Roland Dürre) would like to introduce Götz, the son of Detlev Six. In the past, Detlev contributed hugely to the IF Blog with his articles. Among the things he wrote was also the  Radio Philosophy. Let me remind you of former times: the radio philosophy (Radiophilosophie) consists of 80 – as I see it, a little underestimated – philosophical articles, all of which follow the motto: “success regardless of thinking“.

But now, let us give his son the spot light. His topic is:

The transatlantic circus:

One would imagine that it is a good thing if the presidents of the two biggest nuclear powers meet in order to reduce tensions, especially since it is not the first time that an American President officially meets a Russian President. However, as we all know, there are people who see this differently. One of these people is the “Zeit” columnist Matthias Naß, who finds Trump’s politics “scary”. In his opinion, he gets support from Stefan Kornelius, who is the boss of the foreign correspondents department at “Süddeutsche“ and who writes: “These days, democracy suffers its worst setback since the fascist 1930ies”. In other words, Trump meeting Putin reminds Kornelius of the rise of Adolf Hitler – and Naß even calls him a “special transatlantic person“ for saying this [1]. Well, boys, I would like to thank you for this chip pass. Incidentally, both of them – like many other journalists [2] – are members of the transatlantic political lobby “Atlantik Brücke”.
Basically, one could just find such a circus hilarious, but there are quite a few problems with this attitude: the positions of Naß and Kornelius are such that they are considered far from obscure clowns. They are important clowns. Besides, this one example, sadly, covers the complete mainstream range of opinions. Additionally, there are still many people who actually consider these kinds of comments journalism. So now let us look at the reasons the mainstream press gives for their demand that Trump should not talk with Putin.

The “Annexation” of the Crimea:

In the UN Charta, which is the so-called international law, the terms annexation and secession do not exist, i.e. these words are not defined. In said Charta, we find the “right of self-determination of all peoples” and the “territorial integrity of countries”. When they sent the green men to the Crimea in order to make the former possible, Russia violated the latter. So regardless of the fact that international law allows a referendum that decides secession, the majority of the experts argue that the vote cannot be in accordance with international law because it was initiated through a breach of international law. However, some experts argue in favour of a secession [3]. There is no doubt that the so-called annexation of the Crimean is not a fact but an opinion. On the other hand, there is no doubt at all that the United States annexed the Island of Guam [4].

War in the Eastern Ukraine:

The MSM is quite good at not mentioning that Janukovich was not overthrown by the people, but by sharp-shooters. They shot from buildings that, at the time, were controlled by the opposition [5]. After the citizens of the Eastern Ukraine, who did not accept the forced coup, had declared their independence, a new Ukrainian government sent the army to the eastern regions, calling the entire process “anti-terror operation“. This activity triggered the fights in the Donbass region and made it a popular holiday destination for Russian soldiers. To be sure, Russia makes this war possible by supporting ethnic Russians in their neighbouring country, but the conflict was definitely triggered by others.

The influence on the elections:

Between 1946 and 2000, the USA influenced 81 elections and Russia and the Soviet Union influenced 36 [6]. If now the USA get upset about an alleged election influence, then this is a little like a Mexican drug cartel calling the rocker crime rate in Europe un-ethical. Additionally, there is the fact that, to this day, there is no publicly available proof. Most of the material is based on what the secret service said – and I mean the same secret service that faked the proof of Iraq mass destruction weapons. And those allegations do not even claim that what the Russians did actually had an influence on the election results [7]. But what about Mueller’s accusations? Yes, it is possible that, at long last, they will find something that sticks, but as of now, the benefit of the doubt still seems appropriate. The accused are all Russian citizens and companies operating in Russia. Basically, it is not very likely that any of them will appear in front of a court, which means Mueller does not necessarily count on having to provide proof. Surprisingly, now one of the firms that were accused of being troll farms appeared at court and pleaded “not guilty”, wishing to see proof. The first reaction by Mueller was that he tried to delay the release of said proof [8]. Unfortunately, German media had not time to write about this.

This is basically how propaganda works. Once in a while, some piece of information is withheld, some connections are not mentioned. The process is called fragmenting and de-contextualization of information. It generates a distorted image onto which then an unnaturally simplified range of opinions is imposed. And said distorted image is then held to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This is how you can lie without telling a lie and it all sounds very realistic, because the information fragments you presented are mostly true. However, the same is not true for the overall image. Currently, the press massively promotes Cold War. Any attempt at closer contact or de-escalation needs to be avoided. But it is important that you do not let yourself be brainwashed by this propaganda. There is a lot you can say against Trump, but his approach to Russia is a good approach.

[1] https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2018-07/donald-trump-nato-gipfel-usa-demokratie-5vor8
[2] http://spiegelkabinett-blog.blogspot.com/2013/03/journalisten-der-atlantikbrucke-in.html
[3] http://m.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/die-krim-und-das-voelkerrecht-kuehle-ironie-der-geschichte-12884464.html
[4] https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolonien_und_Protektorate_der_Vereinigten_Staaten
[5] https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/propaganda-statt-journalismus
[6] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_electoral_intervention
[7] https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PSieUmpeDSw
[8] https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/mueller-russia-interference-election-case-delay-570627

So much for Götz Six.

My conclusion? Perhaps we should listen more carefully to what young persons have to say and also give them more responsibility in politics and in enterprises?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Sunday July 8th, 2018

(Deutsch) Papa, Charlie hat gesagt …

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.