Das Volk der Dichter und Denker (people of poets and thinkers) — an often used phrase to characterise the Germans. While there is always the thought of the nearness of Richter und Henker (the judges and hangmen), something else employs since some days my mind. Properly understood only when using the German language, the reflection behind it may be worthwhile to be spelled out, not only these days and not only characterising the German way of thinking. It is about news, in German frequently the term Nachrichten being used as synonym.
So, in German language … – we may think of the following
Nach-richten als Richten des Neuen in das Vor-Gedachte.
The English equivalent is about news as adjustment of what is new in line with what had been thought before. Well, in German language it is more like a pun, still the meaning should come across … valid nearly everywhere (as we know from Wittgenstein, anyway).
– actually I asked via internet the company to call me: a special offer to make service easier for me. Somebody called back, immediately after I logged my request. A broad American accent guiding me through my questions concerning migration. Well, that is how the transfer of data from one computer to another is called.
And if you have any further question I will be happy to help. Just call again.
As it is a bit tricky to find the site from which one can request this service, I asked if I could get a direct number.
That isn’t really possible as I am calling from America. But I can give you a number from your region. Just a sec. I will check that out for you. ….
Soon afterward he gave me a number and this call could be ended. I checked the number on the display … +353 21 …. Obviously Cork in Ireland. Less obvious is the fact that Ireland seems to be now one of the states, like Texas, Delaware and the others … usually it is said that there are 50 states united. But apparently that is a wrong number and Ireland should be added. There is a but as I recently posted something to the same company, in fact I had been asked to send it to an address in The Netherlands. May be, there is another state to be added? And how many others may be hidden this way?
Perhaps that is another reason that company claims for not paying taxes … they already established their own state?
Of course, it is easy to get it wrong – especially as we all tend to look for the confirmation of what we know and think … – so, this blog post surely is in danger of being born out of …, well, let me say hesitation to accept the US role as world gendarme, securing peace and democracy.
Be it as it is, and surely not accepting war as means of conflict resolution (which does nit say anything about the conflict as such):
Up to recently, there had been only very limited security at and around the Russian embassy in Berlin – just 2 cops walking up and down and having a good or not so good day. Since the outbreak of the war against Ukraine this changed, and in the meantime several police guards are standing there and the area is secured by security fences.
It is worthwhile to compare this with the US-embassy, since years the areas has something of a fortress, an entire road blocked by heave iron bulwarks, only cyclists and pedestrians being allowed to pass, permanently observed by quite a number of guards, not only on that street but also in the surrounding and elsewhere.
This marks the situation today, and even historically it says a lot — doesn’t it make the talk of the Traenenpalast (palace of tears) a matter of showing crocodiles tears? (btw. also forgetting those who indeed travelled freely … – “forgotten” parts of history).
The German (and increasingly international) discounter Aldi runs a campaign, announcing that they will in the future sell only milk from farmers that guarantee “living standard” 3 (e.g. freedom to move, fresh air, more space as standard 2, food without gene tech) or 4 (e.g., ref to bio: open space to roam, more space as standard 3, food without gene tech) of the life stock. Good news one could say …
A short message in DER SPIEGEL, issue 3, page 61, explores the difficulties of farmers: being left without subsidies, the higher requirements will make it near to impossible to stay in business as the cost for necessary changes are too high for the individual farmer. “Ilchmann [head of the Working Group of Rural Agriculture in Lower Saxony/Bremen, arguing against the quasi-dictate by Aldi and subsequently others – Edeka, already announced similar steps] is placing more hope in the planned state animal welfare label … . For this purpose, the calculation of the surcharges for individual husbandry levels could be made binding.”
The inflation rate make it for many households increasingly difficult to cope with the cost of living.
Being part of the entire green growth strategy, the policy by Aldi (and subsequently others) shows that the mainstream of this thinking is not feasible. A “correct 3” requires an integrated strategy, involving a strong intervention by the state and an overall approach, bringing producers, distributors and consumers strategically together. There is not much sense in taking ‘corporate social responsibility’ (Bowen) and/or a ‘sensible mode of life’ (Brand/Wissen) in isolation.
– the infamous sentence used by Margret Thatcher, now understanding them analytically and the notion of the human being as social being.
Does it suggest the end of humankind?
At least it is problematique to blame Digitisation and Artificial Intelligence for developments of capitalist societies for which they are welcome tools but not origins. This is an argument I presented in a reflection paper titled
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 …
A somewhat remarkable constellation; indeed telling, if we think about power relations, and the role of political parties as it is defined in the Basic Law (so-called constitution):
Article 21 [Political parties]
(1) Political parties shall participate in the formation of the political will of the people. They may be freely established. Their internal organisation must conform to democratic principles. They must publicly account for their assets and for the sources and use of their funds.
The German Social Democrats reached apparently the end of the ‘governance period’, preparing the election of a new board – this happened on December 11th.
The outgoing elite of the party uses the remaining power to determine the future course.
A party, being somewhat in a limbo, not having a board anymore and not having a board yet, is deciding about a major issue, one that will be substantial for the future of the party.
Article 21.2. ff. of the German constitution speaks in general terms of the unconstitutional character of parties and the way and means not to allow such parties. Unconstitutionality is broadly defined as not being conform with the basic law. I am wondering now, if – at least when reading formal structures in a substantioal light – the procedure applied here can be really seen as democratic.
It had been once upon a time, a day in April. Admittedly the news sounded strange. But thinking so, it had been also clear that Ireland, the small resisting Republic, apparently did have some magic drink, that made it to the model student of Europe – something one could not imagine when the country joined, being ill-reputed as part of the EUropean poor house. So, there had been good reasons to think “Europe is good for us”, and then subsequently good reasons to think about “more Europe must even better for us”. So, the April news:
Wow, seems to be impossible … ; but they did it in the nordic countries (Sunday Sonntag, 3rd of September 1967, 5 o’clock in Sweden). The new announcement continued:
From next week, the trucks will begin, using the right side of the road – the experiment will last for month, and if it works out the next month will add to busses driving on the right side. As we expect that things will work out, after another month all other vehicle will follow.
— Amaying, isn’t it?
A BBC-comment on the occasion of the announcement of the new German government reminded me of this story, though we are now facing a kind of reversed version: looking at the “real” traffic light, we see typically one light at a time. The political traffic light will see red, yellow and green at exactly the same time.
Yes, the first of April is also in Ireland April-fools day …