New year … why so sad?

The German broadcaster ARD – the 1st of January 2022; it is seven o’clock my time, 24 hrs/midnight GEZ + 1 . Some sentences like these are taken out of the New Years Address of the new German Chancler ( YouTube-transscript in German language followed bueieiòlAQW own translation )

liebe mitbürgerinnen und mitbürger heute geht ein jahr zu ende dass einige veränderungen mit sich gebracht hat. Eine kleine veränderung heute abend richte ich als ihr bundeskanzler die neujahrsansprache an sie. Der reibungslose mitunter fast freundschaftliche übergang von der alten bundesregierung zur neuen hat überall in der welt viel anklang gefunden.  … manche beklagen in diesen tagen unsere gesellschaft sei gespalten. ich möchte hier mit aller deutlichkeit sagen: das gegenteil ist richtig. unser land steht zusammen. was ich überall wahrnehme, dass ist eine riesige solidarität das ist überwältigende hilfsbereitschaft das ist ein neues zusammenrücken und unterhaken ausdrücklich möchte ich heute allen danken, die sich tagtäglich für unser wohl einsetzen, für unsere gesundheit und für unsere sicherheit  …

…   es macht einen unterschied, dass wir unser schicksal entschlossen selbst in die hand nehmen. für das neue jahr wünsche ich ihnen alles gute, vor allem gesundheit. ein großer wunsch für 2022: bleiben wir zusammen

Here the translation:

Dear citizens, today marks the end of a year that has brought some changes. One small change tonight, as your chancellor, I address you in my new year’s address. the smooth and sometimes almost friendly transition from the old federal government to the new one has been well received all over the world. some people complain that our society is divided these days. i would like to make it quite clear that the opposite is true. our country is standing together. what i perceive everywhere is a huge solidarity that is overwhelming willingness to help that is a new moving together and underhooks today i would like to expressly thank all those who work every day for our well-being, for our health and for our safety.

it makes a difference that we resolutely take our fate into our own hands. i wish you all the best for the new year, especially good health. a big wish for 2022: let’s stay together.

Scholz, throughout the presentation looks somewhat sad, definitely not engaging, not really committed. Perhaps the new chancellor knows what the problem is, actually expressed it in the first sentence: the new person as leader does not mean a new leadership, does not mean a new political move. Perhaps he even knows that what he sees – solidarity, working together does exist, but it is under severe threat.

7.04, the same broadcast channel – Traffic radio:

Caution, a wrong-way driver is coming towards you on the B …

Realities

The boys threw shore pebbles into the splintering glass parquet, the various impact sounds at the end of the arches abundantly clear in the silence. Armin watched the wave circles: their flight from the centre to distance, their obstinacy in crossing other circles running in opposite directions, passing through each other unharmed! Imagine: we could wander through each other like that. Perhaps angels could do it. With glances we can do it ourselves, after all, thought Madeleine: Glances cross each other undisturbed, undistracted, a hundred people look at one speaker, but no confusion, everyone gets their own personal view, no mixing, no displacement, our nature is quite practically set up.

Erasmus Schoefer: Winterdämmerung

*****+++++*****

We gladly and unconcernedly accept that photographs from our childhood imperceptibly enlarge, shift, colour, add to the images that our memory has directly stored, so that we can no longer distinguish what we ourselves experienced and imprinted on our minds as experienced reality from what has been handed down as a photographic crutch of memory. In any case, any form of literature that describes the past and admits that an objective view is not possible for a human writer, accepts that it will also change the past. By influencing what of the past is still present reality: its reflection in our minds.

unfortunately I had to translate myself

a question

Our answer to the question what the most thought-provoking thing might be is the assertion : most thought-provoking for our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.

Martin Heidegger, 1968 (German original 1954): What is called thinking? – A translation of Was ist Denken? by Fred D. Weck and J. Glenn Gray; with an introduction by J. Gay Glenn; New York and later: Harper & Row: 17

Remarkable proposal by artificial intelligence – I came across Heidegger’s book – and then this quote, when working on the internet, searching for something on today’s high-tech/AI-ideology and their manipulation of the world — no need to think, everything made to measure.

never forget

Social policy is not an issue for Sunday’s prayers, it is for hard work, needing sound criteria that allow a rights based approach. Leaving aside if Rawls is correct in providing the latter, he is surely right in his critique of an approach also many left pursue:

In any case, moral worth would be ut­ terly impracticable as a criterion when applied to questions of distributive justice. We might say: Only God could make those judgments. In public life we need to avoid the idea of moral desert and to find a replacement that be­longs to a reasonable political conception.

(Rawls, 2001: Justice as Fairness. A Restatement; THE BELKNAP PRESS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS Cambridge, Massachusetts London, England: 73)

I WILL COME BACK TO IT …

Talking to a friend inTurkey – she was just helping her son to settle in Denmark, reading Heisenberg, what he wrote about a talk to Max Planck, being still somewhat confused by the question if there is beauty as such (I ventilated this in the Berlin Diaries) and “being on the move” again, I stumbled upon a passage in Sigfried Lenz’ “The German lesson” … – are we stuck in a non-learning curve? I will return to this but here first the quote:

Well, then, I’ll tell you why I’m on the island. Because no one dares to send the Rugbüll police station for a detox; he can stay addict, remaining  damn duty-addicted. And I’m here because he reached a certain age and age is indispensable to reeducated. Yes, I am here on his behalf, if you ask me. But maybe it will work out: maybe one day he can take over from me the progress I am making here. That is to be hoped for. But that is all there is to hope for. I cannot believe it. (translation P.H.)

Here the original, from page 554:

Na gut, dann werde ich Ihnen sagen, warum ich auf der Insel bin. Weil keiner sich traut, dem Polizeiposten Rugbüll eine Entziehungskur zu verordnen; der darf süchtig bleiben und süchtig seine verdammte Pflicht tun. Und ich bin hier, weil er ein bestimmtes Alter erreicht hat und als Alter unabkömmlich ist, um sich noch einmal umtrimmen zu lassen. Ja, ich bin stellvertretend für ihn hier, wenn Sie mich fragen. Aber vielleicht gelingt’s ja: vielleicht kann er die Fortschritte, die ich hier mache, eines Tages von mir übernehmen. Das ist zu hoffen. Aber das ist auch alles, was zu hoffen ist. Glauben kann ich es nicht.

Admittedly, it is a rather weird thought suggesting that, indeed history is not repeating itself, but actually it moved with modernity into a Procrustean bed. At least, as much as learning is about asking, (see comment on an earlier post: it has to be allowed to table some questions …, they will follow here soon.

Excellence

There is so much talk and wrong-doing about excellence, high performance striving for exceptional individual results. And there is so much forgetting of the fact that any human performance is part of a process, picking up the seeds and germs, delivered “for free”, often by really great minds, so often greater than the celebrities. Excellence, well understood, is about being part of a wider social and historical performance, not about individuals who – by chance or fierce violence in a competitive strive – are excluding themselves from the cooperative context, possibly even positioning themselves against it.

http://www. haleadvisors.com/wp-content/uploads/Dollarphotoclub_65673150-1024×576.jpg

William Guthrie is  somebody who showed by exposing his modesty what this actually means, writing in the second half of the19th century the following words, part of the Introduction and Translators Notes to the translation Savigny’s Private International Law and the Retrospective Operation of Statutes (A Treatise on the Conflict of Laws, and the Limits of their Operation in Respect of Place and Time)

Now, when a considerable portion lies before me completed, I might wish that much of it had been more exhaustive, plainer, and therefore different. Should such a knowledge paralyze the courage which every extensive enterprise requires ? Even along with such a self-consciousness, we may rest satisfied with the reflection, that the truth is furthered, not merely as we ourselves know it and utter it, but also by our pointing out and paving the way to it, by our settling the questions and problems on the solution of which all success depends ; for we help others to reach the goal which we are not permitted to attain. Thus, I am now satisfied with the consciousness that this work may contain fruitful seeds of truth, which shall perhaps find in others their full development, and bear rich fruit. If, then, in the presence of this full and rich fructification, the present work, which contained its germ, falls into the background, nay, is forgotten, it matters little. The individual work is as transient as the individual man in his visible form ; but imperishable is the thought that ever waxes through the life of individuals, the thought that unites all of us who labour with zeal aud love into a greater and enduring community, and in which even the meanest contribution of the individual finds its permanent place.

This is surely part of Marx probably meant when talking about the fact that humans are social beings and can even individualise only in society.Now, when a considerable portion lies before me completed, I might wish that much of it had been more exhaustive, plainer, and therefore different. Should such a knowledge paralyze the courage which every extensive enterprise requires ? Even along with such a self-consciousness, we may rest satisfied with the reflection, that the truth is furthered, not merely as we ourselves know it and utter it, but also by our pointing out and paving the way to it, by our settling the questions and problems on the solution of which all success depends ; for we help others to reach the goal which we are not permitted to attain. Thus, I am now satisfied with the consciousness that this work may contain fruitful seeds of truth, which shall perhaps find in others their full development, and bear rich fruit. If, then, in the presence of this full and rich fructification, the present work, which contained its germ, falls into the background, nay, is forgotten, it matters little. The individual work is as transient as the individual man in his visible form ; but imperishable is the thought that ever waxes through the life of individuals, the thought that unites all of us who labour with zeal aud love into a greater and enduring community, and in which even the meanest contribution of the individual finds its permanent place.

This is surely part of Marx probably meant when talking about the fact that humans are social beings and can even individualise only in society. It is not (only) the dwarf on the shoulders of giants, but (also) the cogwheel without which the entire engine cannot work.

De-Margin-Alisation

Yesterday we went to an exhibition n the theatre museum here in Vienna, from my side not expected to such an extent: a treasure.

AnnaReisenbichler, 2018: SdB; (Seidenfaden in Papier gestickt)

In fact, much had been written about those at the margin, presenting the ambiguity of the outsider. This “positive side” had been something that employed my thinking the last weeks already, reading about family businesses etc.. It surely will guide my future work, looking more on the margin: victim in terms of having to carry the burden of all the stuff that is externalised by the ruling classes; but also preventing the advantage of having nothing to loose, being already there where not only new varieties int also entirely new plants may grow.

Another time …

another time – moving from one place to another, some suggesting “moving home” though a passport, indispensable in some respect and for some as well expressed here, does not mean anything in and for others …, so it is for me, indeed, just ‘moving from one place to another’, wondering if and when it comes to a standstill … 

The weekend busy with putting things into place which; while massively downsizing, it had still been a huge amount of work, also mental work. Will happen, what had been promised, when and where I left some time ago: the work on the project in Łódź, the projected cooperation between the colleagues in Munich and Moscow, the ‘foundation-library’ in Rome, which had been promised such a ling time ago, and saddening every time I think about my books still behind bars …

… but it is also about the other dimension, letting Hans Bender, while tidying up, state

here some letters, manuscripts, mostly fragments, photographies – but who, after I left, will be able to call the by name?