Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 6th, 2011

brand eins in September

On return to cold Germany from my vacation, I was a little sad. Another wonderful time was over, the summer at an end, autumn and winter knocking at the door.

But then, there are also things I feel happy about on returning home. One of them is the new “brand eins” edition. In Greece, at Gythio harbour, I had already looked for it in the only shop that sold international newspapers. Unfortunately, the owner of the shop – which actually had a good supply of international papers – had never heard of “brand eins”.

So much the more did it make me happy to find the blue copy in my post box. WHAT?? BLUE?
Strange. I hold a blue copy in my hand, yet the internet version of the “brand eins” has a red cover.
On my paper version, I read:

Business is …. Good

Really? The focal point is: Good & Bad
On the red version, you can read:

Business is …. Bad

With the German letter“ö” (in “böse“ like “bad“)  filled in in the shape of a small devil …
Well, I think I would prefer the red version.

So I am tormented by the questions: Why did I get a blue (good) “brand eins”? Is it accidental? Or is this just an internet trick and there is no red (bad) “brand eins” version?

I am at a loss. What if this is a twist of fate?
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Roland Dürre
Tuesday October 5th, 2010

S21 – What Is It Really All About?

S21 remains in all the headlines. In Nuremberg, they even had the first external solidarity demonstration.

S21 is no longer just about a new railway station. One which is hard to justify rationally and not much easier emotionally. Rather, it seems like the people (citizens) have developed some considerable resentment against the “new self-concept” of politics during the last few years.

After all, it is quite simple, isn’t it? The state and the economy, together with politics, have to be there for the people. That is what democracy and social market economy are based on. It also says so in the excellent Bavarian Constitution, according to which all economic and entrepreneurial activities are to serve the common good (see my article). You will even find a clause on bank transactions.

The majority of people living in Germany apparently get the unjustified impression that this is slowly changing. Humans are sacrificed as a disposable quantity on the altar of the trio state, economy and politics. The needs of the people are put aside for the interests of a shareholder value society. And more and more of the political decisions no longer represent the majority opinion.

Perhaps S21 will now cause the dams to break. And unless politicians remember their original role (serving the people of our country), a conflagration might erupt. More and more people will rise against many unfortunate projects, such as nuclear disposal zones and the extension of operational life-spans of nuclear power plants, third landing runways and the like. Or at least they will react by not voting next time at all or else giving their votes to splinter parties.

Consequently, S21 is no longer just about a railway station. It is about the kind of democracy we would like to live in.

Here are the options:

  • an oligarchy of parties, business and interest groups that pocketed the state and use it for their own interests,
    or
  • a democracy that returns to putting the people in the centre and where it is the people who decide.

The political world in Germany will change after S21 – either way.

RMD

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 21st, 2010

Presentation of March, 16th, at RC Munich Airport (Report)

My presentation was about:

Sind Unternehmer “Dominante Logiker” oder “Evolutionäre Steuermänner”
Entrepreneurs: “Dominant Logicians!” or “Evolutionary Helmsmen?”

I was made aware of this topic through a doctorial thesis written in cooperation with InterFace. Our board member, Professor Dr. Manfred Broy (Informatics, TUM) forwarded a request from St. Gallen to us: a doctorial candidate was looking for a medium-size technology enterprise in order to research the dominance of logics for founding and establishing an enterprise. To us, this sounded exciting, so we volunteered.

The doctorial thesis was about KMU’s (small and medium-sized enterprises). For me, that was the determining factor.

Well, my report is a little on the lengthy side. Here we go:

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Roland Dürre
Monday February 22nd, 2010

A Rule of Justice?

One way or another, what happened around the “tax CDs”, no matter if they are real or probably only exist virtually, still causes an upheaval inside me.

Tax evaders are criminals. Criminals must be punished. If they committed a severe crime, they even must go to prison. We should buy the CDs.

That is what we hear around every corner and it seems to be the general opinion. Although the people I know and have been discussing it with do not share that opinion. They believe the state should not use more and more questionable methods and make denouncianism more and more respectable.

And then I think that the state and the public morals have just sought the easy way out. And I come up with strange ideas:

Is it really the tax evader who is doubtless the criminal? Or does not the state at least have a share in the guilt by taking away so much of the income from its citizens through a system that nobody can understand any more?

As I see it – and this is how I also read it, for instance, in my favourite constitution, the Bavarian one – the state has a number of duties. It must administer the power monopoly adequately. It should serve the citizens. It should give structure to the economic life. Education, safety and some sort of social network are part of its responsibilities. It has to provide a functioning infra structure …

And then one can think of stupid questions like these:

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Roland Dürre
Tuesday January 26th, 2010

“Patents Are In Vain?” or “Be evil!”

Schikanone I have now been nursing an idea for some time. It is a wonderful technological idea. It might revolutionize the IT world.

I would like to register my idea as a patent. Naturally, I consulted an expert. Mind you, I did not just ask some Jack or John, no: I asked a really competent expert.
The result was a disappointment to say the least. My idea can probably not be patented,

🙂 regardless of it being a really wonderful and totally ingenious idea.

In return, I learned a lot about patent law and its application.
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Roland Dürre
Friday December 11th, 2009

“Copenhagen and the Climate?” or “What Should Be Done!”

As the weekend approaches, here are some thought-provoking and radical and ideas!

In Copenhagen, they try to solve an unsolvable problem without hurting anybody. Of course, that is not possible. Mathematically spoken, it is probably not possible to save the day with methods that work step by step and sound reasonable.

If you really want to reverse the weird change currently threatening our planet with gruesome sobriety, you will have to use totally different methods. Collectively and individually! That means that every one of us will have to get active in their private lives, too!

So what needs to be done? Here is what I propose:

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GegenüberStrandStraßeFor us, it has become pretty normal to be granted a right to trade and business. Historically spoken, however, this right is and was nowhere near self-evident, both in our and other cultures. In our “modern economical order”, the right to trade and business has become a quasi-basic right – just like the right to own property.

But every right also constitutes a duty. This is particularly well formulated in the Bavarian Constitution. I always like citations of relevant articles from our beautiful constitution.

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Roland Dürre
Saturday January 24th, 2009

My Personal Declaration of Values – Very Short!

The sections from the Bavarian Constitution I discussed in my last article made me thoughtful. What exactly are the values, expectations, interests and needs of a human being? In German, the acronym WEIB (from Werte, Erwartungen, Interessen und Bedürfnisse) has been installed as a mnemonic (© Rudi Jansche) – Comment of translator:  and maybe vein is not too bad either, in that it symbolizes a rather vital part of the human organism without which life certainly would not be possible.

Here are some answers that come to mind spontaneously:

Convenience is my greatest enemy and the cause of many things that went wrong in our society.

I believe in

  • Tolerance
  • Liberty and
  • Courage to stand up for one’s ideals.

I abhor

  • Torture
  • Fascism and
  • Force.

In my opinion, man’s greatest achievements are

  • Enlightenment
  • Human Rights and
  • Equal Rights

The only way we can solve this world’s future problems is through international consensus. My confidence in governments and commissions is not great, which is why I think international NGO’s (Non Government Organisations) are very important. Examples for such that I am particularly fond of are Amnesty International and Wikipedia (many people are not even aware of wikipedia being a powerful NGO). And the internet might well become the key to the new world, just like the printing press turned out to be the source of our great achievements.

RMD

(translated and slightly completed by Evelyn Gemkow)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday January 21st, 2009

Texts on the World-wide Financial Crisis

We currently witness a world-wide financial and economical crisis that came about through rather adventurous, yet apparently socially accepted readiness to live on borrowed money. An entire industrial sector took advantage of an (often fulfilled) general greed and found ways to outshine itself again and again when it came to construing grotesque financial products.

A short time ago, I found some really wise words that get a special meaning in this particular context:

The entirety of economic activity shall serve the common wellbeing, in particular a guarantee of dignified existence for all and a gradual enhancement of living standards for all sections of the community.

Within this aim, freedom to contract within the law shall be upheld. me fundamental individual freedom to develop personal enterprise and to engage in independent economic activity shall be recognised. Economic freedom of the individual shall be consistent with consideration for others and the moral demands of the common well-being. Socially damaging and immoral economic activity, in particular any economically exploitative contract, shall be illegal and void.

and

The accumulation of capital is not an end in itself, but rather a means to the development of the national economy.

Finance and credit systems shall serve the interests of wealth creation and the satisfaction of the needs of all residents.

Can you guess which book these words are taken from?

It is the Bavarian Constitution. In it, the independence of the Free State of Bavaria as federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany is regulated. It was brought before and passed by the state assembly on October, 26th, 1946. After the council of ministers officially read it on December, 4th, it became law through publication in the Bavarian Code of Law on December, 8th, 1946.

The aforementioned sections are a translation of two constitutional articles:

Article 151 Economic development

and

Article 157 Finance and credit systems

All we (and the state) have to do is act according to the constitution!

All texts in cursive letters: © Bayerischer Landtag

RMD

🙂 Such a fine constitution should almost be reason enough in itself to favour an independent Free State of Bavaria!

(translated by Evelyn Gemkow)

It has now been almost fifty years since I was first permitted to vote. And, as far as I can remember, I also always took part in the elections. Because my super-ego always ordered me to go and vote – even if I did not feel like it.

Only a few days ago, I discovered that the voting procedures (and consequently also the rules) are quite different for federal elections, state elections and district elections.

Initially, I was outraged about my deficient political education. Then I asked friends I consider wise democrats – and it turned out that they, too, were quite ignorant. During the electoral campaigns and from the messages on quite a few election posters, I discovered that even some of the parties and their candidates, at least partly, do not know the differences between the federal, state and district electoral systems.

That was a consolation, but it also motivated me to describe two important differences:
As opposed to the federal election rules, the Bavarian State Elections are organized in such a way that the first votes, too, will be counted following the proportional representation (see: Bayerisches Landtagswahlsystem and Bundestagswahlrecht)!

When it comes to the district elections in Bavaria, the five-per-cent rule is ignored. Conversely, there is a minimum rule for the Bavarian State elections (until 1973, the Bavarian rule said ten per cent for the district level. Since 1973, we have now had the state-wide five per cent regulation as written down in Art. 14 of the Bavarian Constitution. Since the Bavarian Electoral System has no Basic Mandate Clause as we have in the Federal Electoral Regulations, this also means that persons who won their seats might actually not receive a mandate).

What does that mean?

First and foremost, the voter in Bavaria should, when giving his first vote, not apply the same reasoning as he would in Federal Elections, because he might do something he had not intended to do.

Secondly, if you give your vote in the district elections, you can also elect “small parties” without the risk that these votes will practically be cancelled and titled “others”, as would be the case in State Elections.

You remember?

Tomorrow, we have both State and District Elections. And remember: there are different rules for the two although you vote on the same day in the same election office.

Some more information:

In the 2013 district elections, the CSU did not have the absolute majority in any of the seven Bavarian districts. In the district parliaments, we do not only have the representatives of the well-known parties CSU CSU (89), SPD (38) , FDP (6), FW (21), Grüne (18), but also representatives of the Leftists (5), the BP (6), the ÖDP (6), the Franken (2) and also the Piraten (4). I took the numbers of the 2013 elections from Wikipedia.

I do not understand why the parties that know they will hardly have a chance to top the 5% in Bavaria do not tell their potential voters that there is no 5% clause for the district elections. Presumably, quite a few voters would probably elect a small party.

I would propose that we standardize the voting procedures – and we could at the same time reform it. To might make it easier for the citizens.

RMD
(Translated by EG)