Afghanistan – Indicator for the (System-) Decadence-3
1989 and afterwards – at the frontier and afterwards - in Germany
(Part 1/ Premise, Part 2 here - Deutsches Original hier )
“People ran away from the Warsaw Pact states” – that way it’s always described from the side of many historians.
The Hungarian border – the GDR embassy at Prague – the exodus out of the bonds of the Soviet Communist system in decline starting from the periphery is proceeding irresistibly.
The “iron curtain”, defining the system frontiers between the power blocs of the cold war World order of system enemies, that has been installed after World War II ended in 1945 – it receives more and more loop holes.
When the author of these lines arrives in October 1989 after a long return trip from China by train through the Soviet Union in decay at the East Berlin side of Checkpoint Charly - they refuse to let him in. Somewhere in the midst of Siberia on the train ride he and a woman from Leipzig had heard from the demonstrations of GDR’s 40th anniversary via German Worldwide Broadcasting- and BBC-World service. Someone has purchased a bottle of vodka during their 15 minutes stay at the station of Novosibirsk. The woman from Leipzig – a Half-Chinese has visited her Mom’s family in China together with her Dad. The woman from Leipzig celebrates for the first time an anniversary of GDR there in the Transsiberian Railroad – together with a Dutch guy with a Hungarian father, a young man from Boston/MA, a Texas guy from Austin, who has worked at a Christian US-radio station in China, an English guy from London, who has been travelling for two years and who had celebrated his wildest Saint Patrick’s Day ever at Alice Springs in the Australian Outback with the Irish community there, a young French man from Paris, a man from San Francisco/CA, sharing the name with the filmmaker John Huston, a man from Kiev - these days still the Soviet Republic of Ukraine, who before has donated Gorbi-stickers and buttons to his new West German friend Stepantschik – or Stjopushka, or just simply Stjopa – they are having a lot of fun with Russian diminutive forms – a man from Uzbekistan and some Chinese students, who want to leave the country after the crackdown of the students’ movements there in China and who particularly after having passed the Chinese-Mongolian border feel like needing to report a lot about the events, that had happened in their town, at their university at that time. They have received foreign exchange scholarships – in particular for Germany – notably at Hamburg-Harburg, the technical university there. There’s also a Chinese mine engineer, who has studied in the Soviet Union and who is fluent in Russian and English and – this West German, who has traveled for three months through the homeland of the GDR-citizen – through China and, who before that starting from Thailand has travelled for three more months through Indonesia, the World’s biggest Muslim country – that country, where all World religions have been settled upon the deeply rooted „Adat“, the animist belief in gnomes, nymphs and sylphs and then have integrated that belief into their view of the world. Which belief then in such a structural fabric is the “new” one or the “old” one – that soon doesn’t really matter any more in the “eternal presence” of an in such a way deeply rooted integration and then even assimilation process. Basic requirement for that is the unconditional grant of freedom of religion, which in the first place does enable the peaceful coexistence of people of different beliefs – and the tolerance claimed accordingly from the people themselves – the tolerance, which is based upon the common denominator – the common roots.
The Half-Chinese woman from GDR celebrates the last anniversary of GDR with all these people. Soon the bottle of vodka is emptied – the man from Uzbekistan falls into a deep melancholy and hugs with tears in his eyes his brothers (and maybe also the sister – the one writing here doesn’t know that that exactly any more) from East and West. Soon the Chinese brandy, some Western brothers still had in their luggage is emptied as well.
Next day then the West-German author of these lines, who on Bali had just celebrated his quarter of a century and the slightly older woman from Leipzig are standing in the gangway of the sleeper train produced in GDR. The Siberian steppe – birch tree forests and single villages, consisting of wooden cottages – dachas are passing by. Iwan, the Russian waiter of the dining car has always less work – almost all stocks are consumed. Soon John Huston, the Californian sunshine joins them. All of a sudden the bearded, slightly older and more experienced man from San Francisco asks the two Germans from East and West: “What would you say, if Germany was reunited tomorrow ?”
The Siberian late summer sun shines through the huge train windows into the gangway. Baffled and deranged the two humans, who both were born in the midst of the 1960s look at the man from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean - who actually even comes from the Pacific Ocean side of that huge country over there. Then they look at each other.
After some short moments of hesitation both Germans are answering unanimously – as one – in one breath: ”No – that’s impossible. Those are two much too different systems. – Those are two societies, which have grown into two completely different directions.”
This way or similar the two are speaking almost simultaneously and they are nodding at the other one for searching some confirmation – trying to hide their total uncertainty caused by that question.
When next day then they want to celebrate the as it were-reunion on a very personal level in the train Iwan, the Russian waiter of the now emptied diner assures the return path – the retraction distance.
The West German guy then gets off the train in East-Berlin. After a several days stay at Moscow and a short trip to Leningrad, which is nowadays again St. Petersburg – Glasnost renders things possible – and after another short stay at Warsaw, where he visits the Old Town and the memorial of the destroyed Ghetto he’s almost back. His last companions are the Texas guy from Austin and the guy from London, who both urgently want to see Checkpoint Charly.
Heavily loaded from their long journey they walk through the autumnal greyish, dismal foggy East-Berlin.
The members of the People’s police point out to the West-German, that this was an allied forces and citizens’ checkpoint and that he can’t get through here as a West-German citizen.
Thus he explains that to his companions and – the three grumbly move over to the checkpoint Friedrichstraße, where some tense and even more grumpy members of the People’s police let them pass through a seemingly provisional foot tunnel to West-Berlin.
National security – the “Stasi” had taken advantage of many very – one is tempted to say - “thoroughly archetypal German characteristics” within its complete self-spying and its underground erosion of any private life until the most intimate detail. Features, “the German of his own” in his addiction to perfection just completely inhales – the obedience - almost bondage – thus – Heinrich Mann’s “subservience” – the accomplished German perfection and thoroughness – “German Gruendlichkeit” – the love for any kind of detail – and – the loss of any field of vision for the big picture then resulting from that pretty often – but also – the culture of denunciation.
The “self-blockade” – thwarting any progresses – erasing all potentials was perfect.
The comparison – not to mention – the act, in which the Nazi-dictatorship and the more “petit bourgeois” or “little man’s” spying apparatus in GDR is put on the same level as “second German dictatorship of the 20th century” by some historians though is lacking any commensurability. Of course – in its entirety the Stasi spying apparatus of GDR was definitely a totalitarian system – but – the mountainous machinery (of war and destruction), that began with the instrumentalized and exploited Reichstag fire 9 and ended in the concentration camps from Dachau to Auschwitz and the total capitulation after a resounding evisceration crusade on the fields of Stalingrad and other places rests incomparable.
(Nevertheless – this should be emphasized here one more time – both systems were cruel dictatorships and have destroyed many people in their physical and psychic existence. To all these people, who resisted to those villainous systems in an upright way – who often had to pay with their lives – to all these victims of the two dictatorships of the past – and to those of the third - the present dictatorship in 100 years on German - on European soil – we owe our deepest respect – and – this time – we might even talk of a global dictatorship – thus – these words are also written with the hope, that one day they should also reach out to other people, who have lost their beloved ones in recent wars – who fought and still fight against barbarianism - on which side – wherever they are – inshallah – so God will – soon - one day they might be able to laugh again – with us – whether we’re there any more or not – who cares? – there will be others to party for us – August, 31st , 2011).
On the material – and the ideal side the Warsaw Pact states have been bled white. There was nothing to change any more. The administration of deprivation of all needs, coming to light always grosser - that way ruled from above – and – the more and more decreasing general buying power - together with a decreasing range of items to buy for those at the bottom emerged in a more and more impressive way the complete inefficiency of the system – a system, that needed to pinch and scrape – a complete economy of scarcity – lacking any plan for the future. But - at least from the GDR people could directly run into the arms of the that way propagated “class enemy” – they couldn`t only see “the white of the enemy’s eye” just on TV but they could directly identify the enemy’s movements as rather friendly gestures.
The most simple desires were quickly satisfied. The images of all-German newcomers, waving bills of 100 Deutschmarks, the “banana pipeline” - raising the profits of the United Fruit Company in Central Europe, which at that time was still predominantly acting in a monopolistic way enormously – who doesn’t know these images here ?
Soon the “surface lamination” of the East German elites by West Germans started – linked with the increasing exclusion of East German executive management staff. “That means, in the five former GDR federal lands seventy per cent of all executive management positions are getting occupied by West German cadres – the way they were called in state socialism.” 10 “Whom nobody knows, … who neither shares regional or local origins, studies nor former seniors and mentors with those to select you cannot know, how confidential and efficient he or herself is. ‘He doesn’t have the biographical, communicative and habitual type of background -he’s not from the same smelly stable of power.’ No bad intention… is linked with that bizarre disproportion, but an automatism, which only results from the fact, that elites tend to reproduce themselves’, particularly in Germany. In GDR, one might add to that, this happened following a plan, in the new Germany, we know, everything is happening of its own volition.” 11
And – soon many ugly images joined these and – the nice images of people partying in ecstasy the Fall of the Wall should get overdrawn especially beyond the new German borders by photos from burning houses and citizens killed therein – predominantly neighbors of Turkish origin, but soon also others – different – simply different fellow citizens - images from Solingen, Mölln, Rostock-Lichtenhagen and Hoyerswerda and many other places, where victims of the revitalized German feeling of belonging to a strong nation just for some flaring moments were given a name in the jungle of media overkill. And – in case of the burning home for asylum seekers at Rostock-Lichtenhagen with police forces confronting the raising mob pretty uninvolved and abulic soon the right for seeking asylum got cancelled from the Basic Constitutional Law.
Who’s still able to say, who has thrown the first rocks – “violent-prone kids with an immigration background”, as it would be said in new German Political Correctness’ speech or those, who these days are ruling by bypassing any management levels and that way erode the German Basic Law to a hollow façade and permanently annul the sovereign – the people?
10 Great experiment Unity – Stapling instead of Growing together– About the Deficiency of the whole Thing; Friedrich Diekmann talking with Adalbert Reif – (only German) Lettre International 90, Berlin 2010, P. 9
11 Lettre International 90, Berlin 2010, P. 9 – further from: Magazine of Süddeutsche Zeitung – Raj Kollmorgen – East-Germany, Wiesbaden 2005, VS-Verlag - and - Discursive Subalternity, in M. Brunn a.o. (ed.) – Transformation and Europeanization, Münster 2010, LIT – and – Raj Kollmorgen a.o. (ed.) – Discourses on the German Unity – Wiesbaden 2011, VS-Verlag (only German)
August 23, 2011
What else is going to be destroyed - besides the Central Asian Bridge ?
The German warship and its mindless steersmen (and women) – bangsters –
me, us – and the Afghan Misery - Some more introductive words - 4
( Links to Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 )
As we’re now in the last phase before the Euro crash and there are more and more people in precarious working and salary conditions – hidden in a very refined way here in Germany – it’s easy to foresee, what will happen in case of the Crash: In Germany, the country, where “austerity” and many special tricks for faking unemployment rates related to that come from with the Euro Crash more and more people will get squeezed into the “One-Euro-Job market”1 (One Euro per hour). This “market” offers – in official terms “working opportunities with additional expenses compensation” – with other words – in reality it is a “compensated slave market”, where bankrupt entrepreneurs can push their stuff into the wrecked state welfare system for subsidizing slave workers. And – there are quite many “underpaid genius” amongst those, looking for that doubtful safe harbor – which actually looks already much more like Pearl Harbor on December 8th , 1941 than a really safe place.
What will happen, if most Germans will rest like lemmings in front of the barrels of AK 47s, MG3s, M60s or - whatever is used nowadays for threatening our people?
With the next emergency chute packages to be sent to Greece and to Spain or Portugal -wherever the cashflow for covering the interest rates for the European Central Bank at Brussels has to go to and stockmarkets breaking down the scenery in Germany will be like that:
Shopkeepers and other businessmen and –women - entrepreneurs will tell their stuff, that they need to cancel their employees’ contracts and – that this was essential for keeping the job and for not going bankrupt – for “day x after the crisis”. And – they will promise to keep them busy on basis of the “subsidized slaveholder market” - the One-Euro-Job-market for that “day x” . And - the government will tell us, that now WE even need to work harder for building up the Euro as THEIR failed symbol of European identity again. As Germans are living under this iron fist - the iron fist of austerity and stagnant salaries despite of rising inflation since more than a decade this shock wave hopefully won’t get accepted. But - there are still many people, who will act like the “Deutscher Michel” 2 . And - there will be entrepreneurs – not temporary and latent, but – permanent sociopaths who will resist. They were charmed to the max by corrupt administrations on all levels of the StasiBND 2.011 system, where many examples of another archetype of German obedience are sitting - “The Good Soldier Svejk” 3. As this guy potentially is both - a hack as much as a mastermind, who’s able to dupe and even to outmaneuver those commanding him - there’s some hope, that the sleeping “Michel” 2 might wake up – even before the crash – the breakdown might take place – starting from midst September with the climax towards the end of September – maybe also a bit later – towards the midst of October 2011. I’m not an oracle - just a man with a brain and a bit of a mind.
The threat of using the German army for interior tasks was already spoken out and the change of “constitution” for making that possible already happened. I’ve seen paranoid soldiers at some places. It doesn’t matter, where they come from. Will German soldiers shoot their own people ? If there’s one dead citizen, not wearing guns – shot by police forces or by soldiers – cities will boil and more cars than ever will burn. And – soon another German terrorist fraction might evolve from that – like the Red Army fraction (RAF) 4 after 1968 student rebellions. Nobody wants that – neither politicians, nor the people. And – just some months ago the German army was changed towards a professional army – before – we used to have the draft. After WW2 the German army was rebuilt with the ideal of “The Civilian in Uniform” 5. As I already said – I’ve seen paranoid soldiers – but – I’ve seen and – I’ve talked with many more very smart and clever brothers and sisters in arms - US and UK marines as much as Germans in Kabul and Italians in Herat. It’s something completely different, if you’re asked to shoot your own people or – if you’re misled by bureaucrats, who don’t have a clue of people on the ground – whether they are in their own country or in Afghanistan and that way you get more and more paranoid.
And – I dare say – the German army is still rooted in the civil society.
“Austerity” is at the end of the day an anti-Keynes and anti-Humanity program of bangsters reigning a corrupt market just focused on cash. Dollar and Euro bills then become more and more worthless damp cloth with numbers on them.
European Governments – especially the most influential “big leaders” – Sarkozy and Merkel – the whole financial dictatorship located in Brussels - they have failed in creating and invigorating a European identity. And – all parties are still as slow as many people elsewhere in their way of thinking in fixed left-right, black-white schemes. Many, many alternative and integrative European concepts have been ignored by the media and the political mainstream all the time. But – they do exist. If political leaders really wanted to unite Europe – why didn’t they force bi- and trilingual programs – for example – setting the target, that in 2015 70 % of Europeans should be able to use three European languages ? Instead now Merkel and Sarkozy even try to establish a European Central Government - just trying to serve their clients – but none of the people at all 6.
The way of leadership, they and their clients prosecute in the end leads “a Neoliberal Society” directly from the “Neo-feudal”- to the “Neo-Slaveholder-Society”. As we are free people – born free and supposed to raise our kids as free people as well and – wanting them to be free in a free World – we also want to die as free humans.
When Paul Krugman edited his famous article “Triumph and Tragedy of the Euro” 7 in the International Herald Tribune on January 14th 2011 there was still some time left for reforms – reforms, he was urgently asking for European “leaders” from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Now they’ve gone too far in cheating their people.
Now – the only way forward is the (R) Evolution.
But - those, who by thwarting any progress tried to maintain their own and their clients power – what can we do to finally make their deaf ears listen to us ?
Well – “Germans to the front” – as I heard it a couple of days ago, running up a ramp towards a bridge, crossing the Rhine here ? I didn’t find the guy, who was shouting there – a well dressed Muslim family - three ladies and two schoolkids and - two of the three ladies pushing strollers just came down the ramp, when I wanted to enter the bridge. Maybe it was this peaceful image that had caused the despair of that guy. The mob like that, running the scene – that would be a catastrophe. What can we do ?
Will people be willing to listen - to act in a respectful way towards their counterpart ?
I used to transform a quote of Rosa Luxemburg 8 - German Revolutionary at the times of WW1 - saying that freedom is always the freedom of the dissident - “Respect is always the respect for the experience, the other one has gained.”
A very rare thing to find these days. It was quite hard for me - a man of 47 years, I dare say - well educated - architect and urban planner, speaking a couple of languages - to explain even to my parents, that the world nowadays is a different one than the world 40 years ago. Was very hard to explain them, that it wasn’t completely my fault, that “the system” had spit me out.
And - who’s listening - who’s caring about kids any more ? There was another quote of the “Sponti-movement” - following 1968 student rebellions here: “You’ve got no chance - go for it !” - Later it was Punk, saying “No Future” and - “we’re the ones, our parents warned us against.” Now it’s altogether - and - I’m an indignant as much as the guys on Puerta del Sol in Madrid and Placa Cataluniya in Barcelona, in Chile and the Free Gaza Youth kids in Gaza, knowing, that my own kids won’t have a chance in a system of barbarianism and cannibalism - such as their father, who always protected his teams in pretty doubtful hierarchies against people, who weren’t able to listen. And – whose false kind of pride prevented, that they would pose the right – the smart questions, that could enable us to move on together – without looking for the victim – the pawn to be sacrificed. The way leading to empathy instead of homophobia.
And – saying that – I hope, I mustn’t emphasize, that I know, that I’m not an angel – that I’m just a human being sharing his ideas and his experience here, knowing, that he as a human being will always make mistakes – but – knowing as well, that only by letting these happen and working on them there’s a chance of growing. And- I’m writing my phd without having got a doctoral advisor – using the start-up money from the unemployment agency for building up my business for some bread, salt, butter and water – and some fruit. The system only offers me its bottom. Buckminister Fullers quote: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”? 9 is mostly addressed to the young these days – they are requested to get inspired by those wise words, but - what about the elders, who don’t seem to be willing to learn – also perhaps from their own kids ?
What - if nobody listens to your new models, cause everybody’s out for quick and unilateral - black and white solutions ?
The other day I told my Mom, that she always had said to me that one won’t get gifts for granted from the others - I replied - “Well - that’s right. I know that and - I always had to work hard to get through many hassles. And - I always tried to be fair. But - today we’re one step further - today everything is taken away from us.”
Tackling the big challenges, humanity is facing here on mother Earth we have to be smarter, greener, healthier and happier – the way, Edward Glaeser describes Cities as our greatest inventions in “Triumph of the City” 10. And – that way all of us will also become richer.
But – for going there - we also have to keep in mind, what Richard Sennett is saying in “The Craftsman”: “To do good work means to be keen, to research and to learn from inclarities.” 11
And - we have to get listened to – as a minimum of respect. Will corrupt and weak politicians and their clients and followers be able to do that – will they be able to work with us on building Jeremy Rifkin’s “Empathic Civilisation” 12 - on working on building that ?
Or - will they try once more thwarting everything ?
Are they in the position any more for doing that ?
German political leaders – the two highest posts (another pretty doubtful hierarchy – sometimes people vote for their judges and hangmen – happened more than once in history) - those two persons didn’t give birth to any children – they - and we missed quite a lot - what will other political leaders tell their children, what they had done against the decline of it all ?
We should invite them soon to listen to us – but – we won’t wait for too long.
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_opportunities_with_additional_expenses_compensation and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartz_concept
10 Edward Glaeser – „Triumph of the City – How our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier and Happier“ ; © 2011 Edward Glaeser, The Penguin Press, USA
11 The Craftsman – German: Handwerk - Richard Sennett; German Edition: ©2008 Berlin Verlag GmbH, Berlin, P. 71 – transl. sf
12 The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis http://www.amazon.de/Empathic-Civilization-Global-Consciousness-Crisis/dp/1585427659/ref=pd_cp_b_1 - here there’s also a long interview with the author about that book and his thesis : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQN_13KawUw&feature=player_embedded and an RSA- animate : http://anyarchitectsandengineers.tumblr.com/post/9207193071/weweregods-rsa-animate-video-of-the-day-the
All images 8-17: photos by the author