Roland Dürre
Friday March 17th, 2017

We Cure the Symptoms and Ignore the Sources.

Long Live Populism!

Talking Instead of Acting?

Charly, the Great Dictator.

Now I witnessed the first (electoral) campaign events with Martin Schulz. Even from the distance, I got the impression that this is another and admittedly talented attempt at using the general uncomfortable feeling of many persons as a resonance body for someone’s own goals and demanding a few improvements where small details are concerned that, however, only equal a treatment of symptoms if you look at the entire picture.

In these speeches, I perceived what is probably generally called populism and what is probably the last remaining recipe for success in the current generation of politicians. Apparently, nobody ever got the idea of asking what caused the problems and then introducing change in a social consensus through political activities.

Consequently, Martin Schulz is the next populist looming on the horizon for Europe. This time it is a candidate for the one “party of the people”. Again, the motto in the speeches I heard is the same:

We are appalled by the symptoms and enjoy to point out what went wrong, but we do not dare to approach the sources.

After all, that would be system-critical and call for change. Which is an absolute no-go. Especially for the SPD. Because that is something the comrades forbade themselves many years ago. After all, they want back to power. And even when they were part of the government, they avoided all “system-critical” issues wherever possible. Because “holy” practical constraints and systemic necessities stood in the way of change.

The environmental catastrophe and destruction of our planet (plastic, climate, …) and the social polarization of humanity with all its consequences such as flight because of destroyed living space and more left them just as untouched. In fact, they would like to just leave these issues out of the government altogether. Because it would only have be a nuisance.

“Social Democracy First” is rhetorically easy to communicate. Except: it is a little harder to actually realize and then to work on the causes. After all, you do not want to be (too) inconvenient and you also would not wish to hurt anybody, would you? These topics do not even appear in the electoral slogans, because bad news are not popular. Especially if you can no longer ignore them.

Regardless of the fact that reality, too, might well be a good topic for populists. See the video below. But if you talk about reality, you cannot be afraid of your own courage. You have to be able to bear the truth. And you are ill-advised if you fear that it might cost you votes. So what you need is courage. But currently, it seems that cowardice is more popular. Fear happens between the ears and it reigns over the world in a truly demonic way.

So here, yet again, I am trying to describe the reasons why our society drifts apart into fewer and fewer rich and more and more poor people. Which is exactly where you should get active if you call yourself a social democrat.

The reasons for polarisation are:

  • The free speculation with everything: currencies, enterprises, food, raw materials, property, copyright, all sorts of rights …
  • A property legislation that protects individual “mental property” in an exorbitant and excessive way;
  • A general understanding of ownership that seems to have totally isolated itself from the maxim of “ownership is also a responsibility”;
  • The social legitimacy of illegitimate influence on common-good interests exerted by interest groups (aka lobbyism as a criminal act of advantage theft);
  • Propaganda, including the seduction and manipulation on all levels, also of the sub-conscious, as a normal business method (aka marketing). Seduction that aims at making the concerned persons behave in contrast to their will and ratio.

Although we know better, we still believe that

  • Growth beats health;
  • Taylorismus beats task-identity;
  • Shareholder Value beats common-good economy.

When will we understand that

  • the interests of the stakeholders (customers, employees, …) should have priority over the shareholder interests and that
  • In a society with a future social togetherness instead of private property preservation must have the highest priority both for all individuals and the entity?

So why do politicians never talk causes but instead only make loud populist noises? And why do they always only write in their programs about minimal corrections and symptoms that need to be cured? And why do these methods actually make them successful?

🙂 Here is an example for POPULISM I rather like. Even if Harald Lesch is only partly correct (and I can easily imagine it), my aforementioned “social fear” might soon no longer play a role at all, because surviving will be more important.

Yes – this is exactly the speech I would like to hear from a politician…

(Translated by EG)

2 Kommentare zu “We Cure the Symptoms and Ignore the Sources.”

  1. Friedrich Grimm (Saturday March 18th, 2017)

    Ein Artikel, der sehr gut beschreibt und aufzeigt auf was es wirklich ankommt, ankommen würde. Nämlich ein zielgerichtetes Denken auf die Ursachenforschung unserer kranken Gesellschaft, unserer kranken Welt.
    Ist es nicht erstaunlich, dass es das Kapital versteht, kaum dass sich an irgendeinem Ort der Welt Grenzen öffnen, all diese “Krankheitskeime” einzupflanzen, an denen wir nun schon so lange zu leiden haben.

  2. Chris Wood (Tuesday March 21st, 2017)

    I can agree with much but not all of this. Of course, a degree of populism is needed in democracy. I am happy that SPD is making a serious effort to succeed in the next election. A few half-truths are needed. The voters are not all clever experts. The right balance between rich and less-rich is needed. One sees that dictatorship of the proletariat does not work. Too much power for the few causes stagnation, then suppression and/or revolution. As a side-line, a compromise is needed between individual freedom and conformity, (we object to forced veiling of faces, but also to people who go everywhere naked). Another side-line is protection of the environment, (but this should be much more than a side-line)!
    After a long period of political domination by the C-union, we need a move towards the left. Anyway, it is time to move on: Merkel is starting to make more mistakes. For example, the government and car industry have been conspiring to damage health and the environment round the world with big fast status-symbol cars. The C-union may give more economic growth than the SPD, but we should not ignore what this growth is doing to the environment.
    Roland’s political wishes are rose-tinted. It would be nice if all the rich people started to concentrate on doing good, (according to the Bavarian constitution), but many have got rich by thinking otherwise. We should use their wealth, (and energies), but cannot expect many of them to cooperate enthusiastically.
    Shareholders are stakeholders too. Many of the shareholders are organisations that look after small savings. Tax on dividends helps us all.
    But I gave Roland 5 stars! The excellent talk by Prof. Lesch compensates Roland’s odd ideas. I often enjoy listening to Lesch. But this is the best and most important I have ever heard from him!

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