Chapter: Media / National Media / Political Philosophy
Departure from political naivety, wake up and free yourselves!A translation from Jürgen Fritz Blog (political philosophy)
A guest contribution by Thomas Zieringer
What does the future hold for our country? Are we destroying ourselves and, if so, where does this self-destruction come from? Could it be related to the fact that we have not really fundamentally changed in the depths of our soul since 1945, that we still blindly submit ourselves all to readily to state authorities and struggle with both freedom as well as rationality? Thomas Zieringer explores these questions in remarkable depth while addressing various key issues.
The path towards a new form of fascism or totalitarianism?
Germany is no longer the country I grew up in. It is no longer the country I had hopes for. I hereby declare my departure from the political naivety of the past and my departure from a belief in current Germany’s capacity to learn lessons from its past.
Sociologist Gunnar Heinsohn foresees a dark future for our country. His description is both well-executed and logically substantiated. This article, that shows a world that clashes with one’s own belief structure and ideals, was neither well-received by any major political party nor piqued any interest. This is nothing but self-protection, even if also the politician and his or her family will be affected in the end, when left with a ruined country. Heinsohn’s fascinating article Germany overburdens its precious talents also chronicles a departure.
In the new Germany, people are finally ready to declare their departure from reality. “Wir schaffen das” (We can do it). The correct ideological mindset, and no longer reason and rationality, inform politics. That's what is what is liked again in the new Germany. And why would the Germans have remedied this weakness in any significant manner since the disastrous era of Hitler? Because people learned from the past?
The typically German commemorative culture has, from the perspective of an authoritarian state, reliably prevented any type of real awakening as regards the responsibility for freedom. Children who grew up with feelings of guilt for crimes committed by their grandparents eventually become much easier to control adults. Moreover, they will also fit better into the new, totally humanitarian ideology of the new Germany. In this new Germany, children are made complicit in the Holocaust, instead of educating them as a consequence of this guilt to free and courageous people, who would never allow any new form of fascism or totalitarianism – regardless of a left or right political orientation.
Holocaust Memorial Day
Yesterday, January 27th, was Holocaust Memorial Day. It’s important to remember and it’s the right thing to do. But when remembering fails to go hand in hand with a certain orientation towards life, a burden is only passed on. This allows the past to repeat itself; in a different shape and form. A culture must remember to learn from the past and prevent making the same mistakes over and over again. Therefore, the question of whether to remember or not to remember is the false one (debate about drawing a line under the past). Germany has been asking the wrong question for decades now. What it really boils down to is the motivation behind remembering – for life or against life?
Israel has a commemorative culture for life. Germany can learn a lot from Israel in this respect. The symbol of Yad Vashem features a barbed wire fence that is overgrown by an olive branch. I constructed the Jerusalem Friedensmal with the same idea in mind. However, between a Mahnmal (memorial to remember a dark past) and a Peace Memorial (a monument of peace dedicated to life), hardly anyone wants to distinguish in Germany. The only thing what is known in Germany, that people respect or fight against, is the Mahnmal.
“Death is a German master.” Here, we only see the barbed wire fence. Most people have in their hearts turned away from this commemorative culture that fails to celebrate life. It is neither expressed nor shown and with that all’s good in our new, better Germany.
Belief has returned to Germany
In the new Germany, we finally dare to believe again. The churches of organized Christianity, sponsored by tax money, are delighted. Even many representatives of the media believe again. The recent "Willkommenskultur" (a culture of welcoming mass immigration of young men, some refugees, many illegal immigrants) was carried by religious belief. It was made believe, that illiterate people from foreign cultures will certainly help meet Germany’s demand for skilled workers – aren’t all people equal? Now, decision-makers believe that integration will work out fine if people are allowed to bring over their families as well. Gentle women will soothe their husbands, who grew up in an aggressive culture and they help them to better arrive in the rather soft German culture. This will counteract the formation of parallel societies. However, perhaps this is how parallel societies form in the first place? But who cares for rationality in this new, better Germany, when the belief in one's own goodness is so enticing?
But it’s good to save people, and it’s good if Germany shows its friendly face. Our Chancellor spoke these words with a friendly face. They were all called refugees, including the many who weren’t, the adventurers and criminals became refugees as well. This is why the many foreigners who arrived in Germany aren’t truly welcomed anymore today. And this is how the many people who misuse the word "refugee", to tug at the heartstrings of Germans for their own, very individual ends, caused great harm to the real refugees. And this is also how they made a significant contribution to German racism and xenophobia. It was never about genuine humaneness in the open border policy. Humaneness, that has to work with lies, is probably something else.
I cannot and will not continue to give encouragement to our established political system. I have lost my faith in this country and this system of politics. I think Mrs. Steinbach has given a very good reason why, after she was a member of her party for 42 years and had high positions, she thought it was decent to leave the new ideological changed party of Mrs. Dr. Merkel. Can we still hope for a process of reflection within the German political system?
Far too many still slumber
A fair share of our politicians must now demonstrate character and acknowledge the fact that they have made irresponsible decisions and acted against the interests of their own culture and the people in their own country. People generally have difficulties owing up to their own errors. Thus, they act as hypocrites, lying to themselves, wheeling and dealing to warp their own realities until it is in line with the esteem these people hold for themselves. This will ruin our European culture with its distorted understanding of freedom. And I cannot see how this will be stopped. Far too many still slumber.
The alternative media that might help wake people from the slumber induced by the mainstream media, are still to insignificant. A majority of Germans still remain unaware of the daily struggle necessary to preserve freedom. And this struggle also means actively reflecting on the media you consume from a broad selection available online. It is also much nicer with one's opinion in the mainstream. It’s much more comfortable to abstain from forming an opinion whatsoever, delegating political responsibility to your trusted politician. Germans love their comfort. But they will pay in the end, and pay dearly!
It’s not easy to wake up
Will Germans wake up.… in time? This all depends on the way people inform themselves and how this shapes their worldview. There is a broad range of free online media available that offer first-class journalism. This competition helps restore quality among the established media outlets as well, breaking through the hegemony of ideology. The aforementioned FAZ article is a good example of this.
The freedom of expression is protected by the constitution; however, it cannot take effect in a democracy if citizens and their representatives are served a one-sided mainstream media diet. A confrontation with different points of view and versions of one story is necessary for true freedom. The Jewish Talmud offers us a good example of this truth. Readers are offered various interpretations of a fragment from the Jewish bible, which gives them the opportunity to form their own opinion without coercion. To awaken the German people from their slumber, it helps that many already read international newspapers and magazines such as Swiss newspapers. This is an article about the return of the opinion police in the Federal Republic of Germany in one of the highest-circulation Swiss newspapers, the left-liberal Tagesanzeiger.
Everybody who usually solely takes in mainstream media messages and structures their worldview accordingly would be mightily surprised how different they would perceive the world after only four weeks. It isn’t easy to wake up, because this requires a confrontation with the lies we tell ourselves. I want to elucidate that using an example from my own life; a lot had to happen before I realized that the real world is not just filled with love. And in this world, love doesn’t suffice; one must know how to confront the evil and protect the world from it. In the real world, people must be capable of protecting themselves and what they hold dear; otherwise, they are ambushed or become deceived. This especially holds true in a spiritual sense, because on this plane there are also wars. We are experiencing it right now.
As a private project I had built with my association a Garden of Freedom with a symbol of peace for the Jewish-German relations. It was in the belief that I was living up to what I had learned in school about the German past and the responsibility for it. I woke from my slumber with dreams of a "better world" after receiving a demolition order for a 1.3 sqm Stone of Encounter on my own plot. This attempt to demolish 15 years of idealistic work was described in the Hessisch Niedersächsischen Allgemeine as a provincial farce. I then knew that the media certainly weren’t on my side. The Stone of Encounter formed an additional and essential part of my art project, which was approved in principle by the authorities: a commemorative circle with a diameter of 26 meters. With the Stone of Encounter, I intended to integrate a new fence on the neighboring plot that just received approval. It’s interesting to note that this controversy revolved around healthy borders (fence). Readers are surely aware that this theme has turned into the country’s hottest debate topic since 2015. The following analysis deals with the healthy connection of freedom and borders. My solution shows that they aren’t polar opposites, but rather that one requires the other. The project website features an exact description.
As an artist, you want to carry a thought into the world. It finds expression in the artwork that one creates. It's like a sentence that you speak into the world. It resonates with the environment. For an artwork like mine, which carries the central message of breaking through a vicious circle, it is vital that this breakout is perceived by its surroundings as well. My artwork features a Tree of Life – an essential symbol in Judaism and Christianity – that breaks through a vicious circle. The responsible authority issued a special permit for the construction of a fence on my neighbor’s plot, right before this breakthrough. This rendered the artwork without sense or purpose. My monument was not considered when approving the application for the fence and nobody at the authorities felt compelled to try and understand how this fence negated the central message of my artwork. What could I do but give up?
I decided to construct a small Stone of Encounter in front of the fence, thereby integrating it into the art project. I symbolically recognized the border and at the same time healed the obstruction confronting the Tree of Life. Also in a spiritual sense. The Stone of Encounter can be found here. An elegant solution that additionally embellished the rural surroundings. Significant modifications were required to my entire monument, to compensate for a fence. Without these modifications, the project really would’ve been a farce. Instead of receiving praise for mastering this difficult task and the design and financial issues associated with it, I received a demolition order for the 1.3 sqm Stone of Encounter. It was said to be illegal. Order is a must. “You have to comply with laws”, wrote the responsible member of the Bundestag of Merkel’s party in a letter, when I asked him for help. And this wasn’t even incorrect. Yes, this new and better Germany can be brutal. Nobody offered me any possibility of a compromise for the Jerusalem Friedensmal. The public debate that followed only caused harm to all parties involved.
You have to comply with laws
I read many stories of a slew of different people about this new, less-squeamish Germany. The very Germany that recently acted like the World Champion of Humanity. After all the conflicts surrounding the Jerusalem Friedensmal, I started to increasingly rub my eyes until they opened up to recognize and understand a few truths about Germans and this new Germany, as well as it's striking similarity to the “old Germany”.
Could there be a more deafening warning signal for Germany than that rung by the Hitler bell in the Palatinate Region (a recent story)? Was this a coincidence or more likely a symptom? How large must a bell be for us to hear it ringing? That Chancellor Merkel decided to settle the German guilt for murdering Jews by accepting a large number of anti-Semites, infracting on German laws? This was approved by all established parties without parliamentary debate and democratic decision. Is this loud enough? But we can do it! In Germany, we simply solve the issues of anti-Semitism by appointing a commissioner to counteract anti-Semitism.
I started to understand this hostility towards life and the inhumane nature of our new, so-called better era. But this description is probably also out of line with the impressions of a majority of “our” politicians. So, let’s just look at this one symptom that might substantiate my perspective on our era. I refer to the article by Gunnar Heinsohn that I introduced at the beginning of this text. If there is a lack of young talent in our own country, we can already speak of a degree of cultural alienation that threatens Germany’s very existence. If the capable youngsters also opt to leave the country due to a lack of appreciation for their work and excessive income taxation, it’s all over. But politicians don’t seem to care, because it doesn’t seem to be pressing enough. Merkel summarizes the current state of affairs as follows: “Germans have never done better.” The stock markets are on the rise, so are private assets. We’ll get it done in the end…?
Is it all just a blatant lie?
Suddenly, people in this country welcomed a completely insane solution to solve the demographic problems caused by themselves, without complying with existing norms and laws – “Order is a must?”, “Laws are there to be complied with?” And it felt wonderful. It drew a flattering picture of Germany for the rest of the world, quite similar to the Good Samaritan. Merkel is the daughter of a pastor and German President Gauck was a pastor – the “right people for the job”. That their worldview deviates from reality doesn’t seem to bother them.
The German working population will have to bear the burden of welcoming "refugees" into our country against our laws; many of them adventurers and not refugees in the sense it was explained to the German people. Taxation already poses a significant burden on the working population. Moreover, we can barely hope for proper integration of these people from a very different culture into our existing society, nor into our high-performance economic structure. Science has shown that stressed-out people have fewer children. On the other hand, the new people that do not integrate properly, people without work and qualifications feel excluded from society and suffer from a lack of self-worth. There is no reason to assume that these changes will lead to more prosperity or social harmony; they will lead to our definite deterioration.
How are these political decisions healthy? Or good for our country? Or even “just” humane? It drains our country and culture of the potency to solve the life-threatening problems already in place. This might be the justness of the God in whom fewer and fewer people believe in our nihilist western part of the continent. Seeing all these blind politicians, even the unbelievers will find their minds drifting to a story from the Bible.
It seems that they are blinded like the Egyptian Pharaoh that refused to let the People of Israel emigrate. One feels compelled to shout at them and motivate them to trust their own eyes, mind, and experiences. Peter Scholl-Latour said, correctly and logically sound: “If we accept half of Calcutta, we’re not helping Calcutta, we’re turning into Calcutta!” Today, there is a politically correct euphemism for this: the development of parallel societies. Chancellor Merkel even dedicated a speech to it (in German) in 2010. This should lead potential voters to the conclusions that the CDU of Merkel has no intention to create the multicultural society it considers failed. Was it all just a blatant lie?
With this article, I intend to motivate many people to bid their state of political naivety goodbye. If you, dear reader, still believe in our political system, be sure to write to your member of the Bundestag. The representatives aren’t all bad people, they simply tend to live in their own parallel society.
Pride comes before the fall
The demise of our society and culture is turning ever more inevitable due to the incapacity of the politicians responsible to own up to, or even recognize, their own failures. All the same, they have great visions of the future of Europe and the world at large. And this in turn calls into mind another story from the Bible: the construction of the tower of Babel.
Meanwhile, the fundament necessary to realize these visions in the first place is slowly being destroyed. Instead of trying to solve our problems at home at the root, we prefer to attempt to integrate Arabs, Africans, and Afghans – most of whom are illiterate and all of whom are focused primarily on their own islamic culture – into our western culture. Politician of the Green Party Claudia Roth said, in a talk show in September 2015: “Some people will arrive that will not immediately be of use” (for the economy). This reckless strategy was first justified by the lack of specialists at home. I am very sure that, looking back, our descendants will consider our behavior mind-bogglingly irresponsible. I use the word “our”, as politicians can only act because we allow them to.
I ask myself, why didn’t they step down? All these politicians who believed in the myth of skilled immigrants, that are specialist staff, the millions from countries in North Africa and Africa crossing Merkels open borders. Why did all those politicians did not step down, who sold the myth of a new humanity to the German people, with great support of the established media? Because they can afford it, because we participate. Because we sadly lack a culture of freedom. Because we learned nothing from our dark German past, at the very least nothing constructive.
Germans are often separated from their own shadows. These shadows contain the evil and, after Hitler, we want nothing to do with that. This is why the so-called Gutmenschen (do-gooders) who just feign their own morality are a force to be reckoned with in our society. To confront shadows does not entail becoming evil. One should become aware of these elements to prevent them from expressing themselves elsewhere, as a wolf in sheep's clothing. On the other hand, the potential of this integrated shadow component is then at the disposal of a culture that otherwise won’t survive for long considering the political decisions of the last few years. My entire Peace Memorial revolves around this concept. Art should inspire culture to undergo the necessary developments.
German “culture”, however, is today "far more" than just a welcomed inspiration through art. German "culture" today is (again) the cutback for adaptation. This even applies to the German commemorative culture surrounding the Holocaust. Here too, extensive adaptation is necessary to be noticed in the first place. But the Holocaust wouldn’t have taken place without the adaptation of many Germans.
Psychologists refer to the emotional state caused by these inner conflicts as cognitive dissonance. This dissonance is not only present in our commemorative culture, as I experienced first-hand, but in many other spheres of our society as well. However, humans as well as cultures can only endure a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. At some point, the house of lies will collapse under its own weight. My concept of responsible action-taking concerns itself with identifying this catastrophe and already today urging society to return to the values that made our country strong in the first place – and this includes non-ideological reasoning.
We need the nonconformists with their deviating perspectives on the world, and we need a culture of freedom in Germany. My work as an artist revolves around this and confronting society’s shadows. Please read up on the root causes of the Holocaust and the lack of a culture of freedom in Germany in Die Zeit. Germans have failed to face up to this root cause for 72 years now: “A pestered, suffering, cowed, generally unfree population should be willing to be shot for a tyrant. Unprecedented terror! The bigwigs as a spy. The decent German barely has enough bravery left to think, let along speak.” (Die Zeit: Everybody could have known).
By the way, I visited the Geschwister Scholl Schule in Bensheim, which profoundly influenced me. It taught me to stand up for my own responsibilities as well as avoid conformation just because it’s the easy thing to do. The Scholl Sisters were role models in this school. This allowed me to construct a Peace Memorial for the German-Jewish relations later in my life.
About the author: Thomas Zieringer was born in Bensheim in 1968. He interrupted his studies in electrical engineering after a serious accident to subsequently study body therapy and develop his artistic talent. He has concerned himself with the German commemorative culture for the better part of the last two decades and constructed a Garden of Freedom on a 3,200 sqm plot. It was officially inaugurated in 2015.
Note: This is a translation of the original article published in Jürgen Fritz Blog on January, 28, 2018.
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