Roland Dürre
Friday April 19th, 2019

The True Face of Or Politicians.

Another reason why I am so fed up with politics.

The colours of capitalist feudalism …

Everybody knows that going by plane is particularly detrimental to the environment and that it is a huge driver for the climate catastrophe.
(Consequently,) the German Armed Forces have a  service for government  (Flugbereitschaft). The army planes used to transport soldiers and material.
Today the planes bring politicians (and I presume also army command and generals) to places where they think they absolutely need to go.

About most of the technological Armed Forces sectors, you hear that they, too, are in miserable condition. We read of failures and almost-accidents all the time. A short time ago, a Global 5.000 (by Bombardier) had become unstable shortly before  departure and had to turn around for an emergency landing. At least, both wings touched the ground.

Interestingly, it was exactly this plane that was supposed to take our Federal President  (Bundespräsident) from Berlin to Stuttgart, where he was to open the BuGa at Heilbronn on April, 17th.

Now you can ask: how important is the BuGa and does our Federal President really need to talk at its opening. After all, there are quite a few more important tasks where he might use his energy to promote things. Besides, if the BuGa calls him, you can ask if he really needs to have a special jet to get there.

I found five hours and 47 minutes as the shortest train connection between Berlin and Heilbronn. That is not at all bad. It might be interesting to find out how long the state plane takes. Including changes, etc.

However, if you take the train, you will need to expect that the train will most likely not be on time. But then, maybe the DB can manage to be on schedule if an important state representative, such as the Federal President, is on board? It probably does not happen very often.

… which, by now, controls all of Europe.

If you take the direct route, then the distance between Berlin and Heilbronn is 478 kilometres. In China (or even in France), a train will do this distance in 2-3 hours.

We have not yet reached that stage. If you take an ICE from Munich to Hamburg (781 kilometres), you will need five hours and 35 minutes. The TGV from Paris to Marseille (765 kilometres) only takes three hours and eleven minutes ( source: Spiegel).

That is a difference of more than two hours for a little more than 750 km. Looking at this fact, it might be appropriate to send a question to the German Ministry of Transportation and ask them how something like this could happen. Allegedly, the situation is no better on motorways – although they have a general speed limit in France.

Regardless, one might get the idea to travel long distance in Germany by train, rather than by plane. And if the train connection is so bad that it is really not acceptable, then you might get the idea to take a regular plane that flies “anyway”, instead of a special one.

Mind you, Frank-Walter Steinmeier is basically considered a halfway decent politician. Even if, for me, the secret agreements they seem to have come to during his election was irritating. And besides, his party is the SPD. But perhaps he became Federal President because he needed to be pushed aside by the SPD.

Wouldn’t it be nice if a politician who has been voted into an important position were to also think about the future of this planet? And maybe he could give a symbolic statement by not going places where it is unnecessary or by not taking a separate plane where regular planes fly? That would be a good way to prove his integrity.

I would also like to see a change of paradigm at the German Air Force Flugbereitschaft. When confronted with criticism, the responsible people say that all problems are solved because they already ordered three new planes from Airbus.

The plane that almost crashed was less than ten years old. I read that, for a plane, this is extremely young. Because your average plane lives a lot longer than that. This means that the German Air Force Flugbereitschaft invests now because they assume they will have to fly politicians and generals for quite a few more decades. I wonder what the children who protest for the planet on Fridays would have to say about this.

For me (and probably also for future young voters), it gets harder and harder to vote.

I only want to give my vote to people who do not use government planes as a matter of course and look childishly happy if they board a state limousine (even in front of cameras) as soon as they have become important. Because at long last they have reached their goal and are rewarded for their decades of hard work as party soldiers.

I would prefer to give my vote to people who, regardless of their feudalist position, still use public transport and/or their bikes when travelling.

Mind you, in my perception, most politicians consider it beyond their human dignity to use public transportation. Just as it is against all common sense to have a speed limit on motorways. People with this definition of human dignity and common sense will definitely not be elected by me.

In a nutshell:

I would wish for the first representative of the state that he shows how he takes the problems of the people seriously by acting responsible and by setting a positive example. Instead of going on business trips in a separate plane. If he absolutely has to fly because the place where he absolutely needs to go is on a different continent, then he is welcome to travel business class on a regular flight. But why does he need his own plane? That sounds like Führersonderzugs?

And in my personal life, I really want to continue to improve my own flying habits. It has been a long time since I last travelled in Germany by plane. In the past, I had too many long-distance flights. I will reduce them considerably in 2019. And I will try to establish a tendency that points towards zero. And whenever I go by bike, I will limit my routes to Bavaria, Germany and the neighbouring countries. Basically, this means I will go places that I can reach by train. Which means: no such things as Cuba.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday April 13th, 2019

Pitiful Politics!

It is really frustrating.

Will we actually manage???!!!

These days, politics (successfully) only deals with things that aim at preserving the power of the ruling class. The latest example is the danger to – if not the destruction of – the internet by the “copyright reform”. It is focused on preserving the property of the ruling class. As all politics in the FRG.

Would it not be more important to save the planet?

The important topics, like how to cure the planet, are left to the street. And politics ignore the problem, because the actors are trapped in the concepts of the last century. Their values are: growth and prosperity over everything – also over the world, along with: preservation of all property as a German Human Right.

Wise white children are supposed to shut up and leave the destruction of the planet to the experts.

If children are courageously marching for a new world – then the old white men top it all by telling them to shut up and “please leave the topic to the experts”. Meaning those who should have known better for more than fifty years but ignored it because of their egoistic mind-sets. It may be old and yesterday’s news, but it is also extremely sad news.
Lobby control and the attempt to have fewer representatives in parliament have failed.

However, politics also fail when it tries to mend “small” but important issues, especially if they violate traditional concepts and old structures. For instance, they sabotaged the Lobby Register and removed very necessary changes like for instance the reduction of the ever-growing number of representatives in our parliament from the agenda, because these issues are “unsolvable”. The introduction of rules how to reasonably integrate e-rollers into normal traffic is just as difficult. And they will probably extend the fee and crime catalogue by many more regulations. Because you do not want people who went by public transportation without a ticket to feel lonely in their cells, do you?

In our country, dispossession is a legitimate political instrument.

Dispossession is used all the time if it is about the interests of the big ones or perhaps the community. The motto is: jobs are always in the interest of the community. It does not matter if it is about armament, the production of airplanes or coal mining.
However, these jobs are only worthy if they bring profit. If they do not bring profit, they will quickly be transferred to Slovakia (as is now again happening in Augsburg).

Dispossessing G MAFIA? With pleasure.

If you want to dispossess concerns, then you hear consensual murmurs from the CDU representatives, provided it is about the modern enemy G MAFIA . The digital concerns of the G MAFIA are Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, IBM and Amazon.

Well, quite a few consumption representatives will become hesitant when it comes to the last mentioned (Amazon). Because who is going to bring us all the parcels that we, as consumers, absolutely need to have within 24 hours? The famous international logistics enterprise DB (Deutsche Bahn) will definitely not manage it quickly and on time, regardless of its expensive slim logo.

Dispossess estate agent concerns? No way!

Yet even if “dispossessing” of estate agent concerns – whose lobbyists fraudulently took over hundreds of thousands of estates that were previously state-owned – is so much as mentioned, then there is an outcry, especially among the “Christian“ parties. Those are the parties which, even in their titles, violate copyright regulations. After all, Trump – whom the conservatives secretly idolize (Bavaria First) – also became a billionaire with estate gambling and later a hero of the population and US president. So how can you even think of dispossessing these estate gamblers. It is probably also against all rational thinking. If you dispossessed, how would you compensate the interim-owners when it comes to all the value increase the property enjoyed after having been bought cheaply from the state? Not at all? Well, that is quite impossible. And all other options are far more expensive.

“Transgender toilets“ are more important than “lobby control”.

During the last few months, the most important topics in this country have been “forced vaccinations” and “organ donation per default”. And “no advertising for abortionists”. The top of the list is “transgender toilets“. Do we have no other problems?

The MIV (motorised individual traffic) rules the world.

Cars beat people. That is how it has been for decades. To me, this concept became incomprehensible a long time ago. In my life, “individual” mobility means that I actively move (on foot or by bike). I also like going individually by train or bus. But I do not understand why my individual self should “serve” a powerful, dangerous and extremely heavy machine in a complex system “traffic” with all its chaotic side-effects, where I become an omni-potent controller and where I can nourish my seemingly now omni-potent ego.
Let us look at the necessary change in mobility.

An urban society (smart city) and the car do not go together well.

Cars smell and destroy people. They produce noise and make life miserable. Regardless, we still hear everywhere “free car rides for all citizens“ and “more space for cars“. And, as before, the speed limit remains a NOGO. Because it is against all rational thinking (which, frankly, does not feel too progressive at this point).

Two of our convenient and yet atrocious habits are voyages by plane and by ship.

Both ways of travel destroy our planet at an especially high rate. And it does not make any difference whether it happens because we enjoy it or because of the holy globalization.

Without flights and world trade, globalization and world trade are not possible.

We have to reduce both. And perhaps we also need to think less in global terms. “All business is local“ might be a start. This should also be true for politics. It would mean that we would not need armies for the world either, nor would we have to produce and export mines in order to preserve world peace. 
And it is also quite normal that, while the meat consumption decreases in this country, the export of meat explodes.

If many Boeing machines remain sitting on the ground because they are – due to profit – sub-optimal flying objects, then you will not notice this from the offer in flights. Because we have many planes sitting in the desert and awaiting permission to fly.

In terms of realistic mathematics, we should be aware of the fact that our aircraft industry cannot continue to build all these planes in the future. We need to adapt and build fewer.

Since that is not what we want, we subsidize the already tax-free Kerosene at Munich Airport. And we fly more and more, also national.

This is how the stock exchange price of Airbus increases all the time. The same is still true for automobile concerns.

Because here, too, the priority of growth is a given. Even if millions of new cars are sitting on parking spaces. And because our jobs are always a holy killer argument. Even though we learned that, here, too, change will be inevitable. How many sectors have disappeared from Germany? Innovation is and always has been creative destruction.

Our democracy has been destroyed.

It is high time that we start looking for the reasons why our democracy has been destroyed. We really need to reform it. I cannot really think of a solution to the problem. But this, too, will destroy the preservation of property and is very “politically incorrect“. Because it questions the prevailing balance of powers.

However, there is one symptom I see that destroys democracy. It is named Grindel. In my book he represents not only the current generation of CDU representatives. With CDU and ZDF, he became a member of parliament – and then later the head of the DFB. Well, you might ask the question: How could the DFB have been stupid enough to vote for a CDU parliamentarian as their head? It was quite predictable what was going to happen in such an event.
Why do all the parties I particularly dislike have three-letter abbreviations (CDU, CSU, SPD, FDP …)? Perhaps this is why I no longer like three-letter abbreviations? My suspicions about and dislike of system agents from politics and business have been growing for a long time.

I guess that the social environment in the parties corrupts the people. Especially the three-letter parties only attract a special kind of person these days. You will only become a member if you hope it will give you personal advantages. And when it comes to the fight for top positions in the party, you have to be really competent with F… methods.

The Grindelization of politicians.

Consequently, it seems to me that the meta-reason for our dilemma in politics is quite clear: 
The system of “oligarchy of parties“, along with the “dictatorship of the concerns“ is the reason why politics are only actively pursued by people who represent a negative selection of society and who, additionally, have been negatively socialized. The long road that starts with the membership of the party youth organization and ends with a top party position and in parliament will only be travelled successfully if you use strange methods that are really distasteful to me. And that is formative.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.

I wrote this article for my grandchildren. I want them to know that there were also some old white men who opposed the nonsense other old white men propagated.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday April 3rd, 2019

The Heretic’s Cynic Dance Through Society and Politics.

Currently, I am riding my bike through the Piemont with Barbara. It is pure pleasure, spring, exercise, a wonderful landscape, great food, everything is like a dream. It gives me time and leisure to think about what has made me sad recently. The following summary is the result.

Before you start reading, I would like to point out that we have freedom of thought. That is also true for mental experiments.


Let us start with a hideous saying from Nazi times. In those days, the masters of the Third Reich hung the sentence “Work Will Make You Free“ over the entrance of the Concentration Camps. Hatred was systematically promoted against persons and groups we disliked. These people were tortured and murdered from the leaders – with the agreement of the vassals. We rightly condemned what happened as crimes against humanity. Work will make you free – in those times that was sheer cynicism.

Today, we have the motto: “Money will make you free”. Since for most people their job is the source of income, you can say – and I do not mean this cynical at all – “your job will make you free”. Because only if you have a job that pays reasonably well, you will be a respected part of society. Everything depends on it.

If your job does not pay very much, this is not a problem. You simply have to have several jobs. That is quite possible. You will still remain a part of society. If you do not earn enough in your job, you will also be ostracized. Except if you have other means of income, for instance if you inherit a lot. With enough money, you will also be a respected citizen if you have no job. Since well-paid jobs will probably become scarce in the future, some sociologists demand the   BGE (basic income without any requirements). It is supposed to give people a little more freedom, but above all, it is supposed to guarantee the preservation of the consumption society.

The best-paid jobs are in the HORGs (Hierarchical ORGanisations). Especially if you are stabilized and protected by collectively agreed wages, you can consider yourself in the golden cage. If you do not wish to work in a HORG (like yours truly), you have two options: you can become either a day labourer or an entrepreneur.

Day labourers can either earn quite a lot or be rather poorly paid, depending on what they can sell. If you need a better sounding word, you will call them freelancers (although they are certainly not free). And they are often persecuted as “fake freelancers“.

Trying to become an entrepreneur is risky, you can fail (as with everything in life). Except if you fail, you might not only end up without income but also without Granny’s Little House.

The VW managing director Herbert Diess has now also realized this, regardless of the fact that he is actually not an entrepreneur but more some kind of upper class system agent. He declared very appropriately: EBIT will make you free – and then he was surprised that they criticized him for this sentence (because of the historical fact that VW, after all, had quite a few forced labourers during the Third Reich). Since he is a nice Austrian who was born in Munich, he later said he was sorry if his choice of phrase was offensive.

Mind you, he was absolutely correct, because his enterprise will be a lot better off if “his enterprise” manages a nice EBIT every year. Believe me, I know what I am talking about!

Incidentally, not only the managing directors in the automobile industry know this – those in the pharmaceutical industry have also gotten wind of it. Mind you, in the pharmaceutical industry, you do not get such products as Tamiflu – that alone guarantees the EBIT – every year. The time of the Blockbuster is also something of the past and business in the chemical health industry gets generally harder.

That is why it is nice if google and facebook, for example, ban the vaccination enemies from their website. Naturally, compulsory vaccinations are an excellent cure for the EBIT of the producers. And the government, too, is now considering to introduce a law that makes it possible to make vaccinations compulsory. Because of the measles.

Since we are talking about compulsory measures: 
Especially in the medical sector, it would make sense in society to have many more compulsory measures. The first thing that comes to mind is the HIV test. Why do they not force everybody to do such a test regularly? That would give people the information whether or not they have Aids and consequently they can act responsibly. Would not some transparency make sense in the fight against the pestilence? And such a law would also be beneficial for the EBIT of the producer of the test.

Or, just as important:
Everybody knows that our planet has a huge problem. It suffers under too many people. Should we not really do something about the over-population? What about forced contraceptives?

Here is what the rules could be:

Every woman has to do whatever it takes in order not to become pregnant (without permission). Either through a known contraceptive or by proving that she lives in a monogamous relationship with a sterilized man. If there is a possibility that she is pregnant, she has to take the pill after. If the pregnancy has been confirmed, there must be immediate abortion. This is a medically very simple and harmless procedure that, in Germany, one out of four women underwent once or several times in their lives.

There would be exceptions for “applied for and approved” children. The approval has to be valid before the actual procreation. It will only be granted if the couple (hetero or homo sexual) can prove that they are able to provide a good social perspective for the child. What a Brave New World!
Well, the Federal Government has a lot of work to do. China already did it, because China had to cope with a drastic population growth. In India, it has also been discussed. They distributed radio receivers as a reward for sterilization. However, it did not work very well.

In general, the Chinese are a step ahead.

China already awards social credits for its citizens. Both negative and positive ones. In the end, the difference is calculated. This is how they want to realize the dream of a system of “relative justice” by rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour.

Thanks to digitalization, it is quite easy.

For instance if someone goes by underground train without having bought a ticket, he/she will get negative points. The same is true if you cross the street on a red traffic light or if you park illegally or drive too fast. If your negative points add up to a certain sum, you will be ostracized from society by a differentiated system.
Isn’t this better than our system?

If you go by underground train in this country without having bought a ticket, you are committing a crime and will sooner or later end up in jail. Since parking illegally is only a violation of a minor rule, you can throw away your ticket without having to fear jail. Is that relative justice?

In China, they have many rich and super-rich – and many poor. In our country, the polarization between rich and poor is not quite as pronounced as there.
This could soon end.

Because Germany is not the only country where the first article of the constitution seems to be: the preservation of your property is the highest priority. That is what the majority of people in this country take as the maxim of their thinking and behaviour.

The protection of vested rights feels like a new human right in Germany.

Consequently, the protection of property has been improved. It happens at all levels. Naturally, because, if 50% of the world’s capital belongs to fewer than fifty people, then these people want to stabilize their situation. And power is always in the hands of those with “the funny stuff”.
The copyright protection that originated in the last centuries is also regulated for the internet. Data are declared personal property and protected by laws. It induces a huge cost that could easily have been avoided if we had simply punished violations of the law.

I never understood the ado they made about data protection. How can any person own data at all? And why do they belong to him/her personally? I used to believe that data (like knowledge) belongs to all of us. At least to all those who know them.

What kind of society is this if my date of birth is a secret? To be sure, I am less than thrilled about my age. I would certainly like to be younger. But why should nobody know how old I am? Why should my sexual and religious orientation not be public knowledge? Why does everyone want to hide something?

My dream is a transparent and tolerant society. Free of violence. We would need no DSVGO as we have it now. Neither would we need upload filters that will now also come officially (we have had them in-officially for quite some time already).

They say that intellectual property needs to be protected. This is because you can earn a lot of money with intellectual property. I feel richer if I can share my ideas with others. I will not want the copyright to my ideas, simply because my ideas have usually been inspired or triggered by other persons.

There is one exception to how the government acts in favour of manifesting property. It is not about the womb that should belong to a woman. Now the government wants to initiate a law that allows them to take the organs of a dead person by default. In other words, if a person did not declare a priori (before he died) that he expressly forbids it or unless his next of kin à posterio gives a good reason why he is against it, the organs will be taken. This weakens the ownership of your own organs. Is that because your ownership terminates with your death? What about applying this reasoning to other property?

It really sounds very humane if you hear about poor people who have been waiting a long time for a donor because they need his organ. As always, however, that is not what it is all about. It is all about business. And business is always justified with reminding people of jobs.

Organ transplants are very expensive medical business cases. And there are quite a few hospitals and people working there who could earn a lot more money if they had more donor organs. The pharmaceutical industry would also benefit. Because people who have been successfully given a donor organ need a lot of medication afterwards in order to continue living with the strange organ.

Also, you are no longer (officially) allowed to own other persons. However, slavery, too, was not abolished for humanitarian or idealistic reasons. It was mostly abolished because it was not beneficial in the sense of profit maximization.

Now I wait for a regulation that protects the right to my own emotions. After all, they, too, can be violated or injured by others. We already have some interesting beginnings, for instance if you violate religious or German-Nationalist feelings (for example if you ignore the flag). This might well become a subject to regulation in the internet. Upload filters come to mind.
I am really happy that I do not have any religious or nationalist feelings. So nobody can violate them. On the other hand: if SpVG Unterhaching lost a match and a München-1860 or Bayern-München fan makes fun of it, he is definitely violating my feelings. And I think he really should be punished for it.

That is one of the problem we have in this society:
How will violations against future regulations be sanctioned?
More and more is forbidden and regulated – it is not only about vaccinations and having children. The planet, the bees, and Europe must be saved. And all of this will not be possible without severe restrictions and solidarity. And voluntary solidarity comes at a high price and will consequently cost a lot.

Consequently, you cannot follow the politically incorrect sentiment that, for example, you are opposed to a Europe that is dominated by nationalist countries and that dreams of a powerful army of its own with aircraft carriers. Just as violations against the environment need to be sanctioned if you want to stop the climate catastrophe.

This is where we come full circle. You will really need a well-paid job or be extremely rich if you want to pay all the fees and tickets you will get.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I just read that the Bayerische Landesausstellung will be re-named “Stadtluft befreit“. The organizers of the event in Aichach and Friedberg in 2020 modified the original title ”Stadtluft macht frei“. Charlotte Knobloch had criticised that the title is hurtful and “poisoning people“.

The reason was that the old title violated feelings. If feelings are property that needs to be protected (because you can hurt them), then – following the current political concepts – you need a GSGVO (regulation for the protection of feelings) in the internet, too. And since we already have update filters, why not exclude everything that hurts your feelings? Such as city air will make you free. Or Haching is a shitty club.

In my opinion, “city air will make you free“ is a very important metaphor. Because the social, political, cultural and all other progress in Europe happened in the cities and through networking.

Roland Dürre
Saturday March 16th, 2019

POWER in Social Systems

In my last article , I gave you my ideas about the three terms FREEDOM, LOVE and POWER..

When I was still powerful 😉

Quasi as a continuation of these ideas, I will now deal with the question:

What is it about enterprises and generally society and POWER?

POWER also plays a huge role in the context of movements such as  #newwork, “democratic enterprise”, and intrinsify.me. POWER is not only a determining factor in enterprises, but also in the political system, where our social coexistence as countries is organized.

Traditionally, POWER always belonged to men without further thought. In our country, it is still the old white men. Women were and still are ignored, except if they act like men. And children are kept small whenever they try to get in a word – because they are worried about their future.

POWER is relevant in churches, clubs, families, relationships, i.e. in all sorts of social systems. It is always the same. Everything is about who is in a position of power and who is not. And if you are in a position of power, you are better off than the others.

Yesterday

Since classical times, there has always been a ruling class that had the power in our cultural spheres. In Medieval Times, we had feudalism and precariat (Prekariat). Even in old Greece, there were citizens and slaves. In our regions, there were masters (land owners, knights, church dignitaries), a few free citizens and serfs in Medieval Times (fiefdom is just a category of slavery). Until the end of the 19th century, fiefdom was quite normal in many countries of Europe if you lived in rural areas – that is where the important food was produced. City air frees you – that is how people started to gain freedom in cities. And then came the revolution and enlightenment with its national wars.

So how did it continue?

Today

Today, we have a middle class. So far? It lies between the very rich and the very poor. The rich become richer and richer and the poor become poorer and poorer. The middle class seems to disappear.

Tomorrow

I imagine that we will have few very rich people. The huge majority will be part of the Precariat. Let us do some research:
 


precariat
[pertaining to the distinctive vocabulary of the educated class] {noun}
Part of the population who, especially due to long phases of joblessness and deficient social security, live in poverty or are directly threatened by poverty and only have limited chances to climb up.


 

You can easily remember the word precariat if you remember what precarious means. Those who belong to the precariat will live in precarious circumstances. Let us take another look at the dictionary: what is the meaning of precarious?
 


precarious
[pertaining to the distinctive vocabulary of the educated class] {adj}
Made up in such a way that you find it hard to come up with the right measures and decisions, not knowing how to get out of a difficult situation.
”a precarious [economic, financial] situation“


 

Those who live precariously will have few rights. They will be suppressed by an oligarchy of parties and associations. As a consequence of the climate catastrophe, along with the collapse of the infra structure and several similar factors, the people living in the precariat will be the absolute majority. They will be ruled by the religion of consumption. This is how a new kind of slavery could arise. It will no longer be based on ownership of people but on supervision and manipulation. A huge majority of persons will probably be governed by a small number of pseudo-democratic feudalists.

For a short century, we actually believed that democracy gave the citizen as the “sovereign” power and made him superior. Now we are surprised to find out that this was just an illusion.

All we can hope now is that it might still be enough for bread and games in the future.

RMD
(Translated by eg)

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)