“A man does not have roots, he has feet.”

Riad Sattouf, zitiert durch Adam Shatz, mit dem Hinweis, das Zitat sei ursprünglich von Salman Rushdie. In: Adam Shatz: Drawing Blood. A French graphic novelist’s shocking memoir of the Middle East. The New Yorker, 12.10.15, im Internet.


26/01/2023 (1:47) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“Shakespeare’s Hamlet said: ‘To be or not to be, that is the question.’ But that is no problem. We all want to be. The real problem, biblically speaking, is how to be and how not to be.”

I would say to young people a number of things, and I have only one minute. I would say, let them remember that there is a meaning beyond absurdity. Let them be sure that every little deed counts, that every word has power, and that we can do, everyone, our share to redeem the world, in spite of all absurdities and all the frustration and all disappointments. And above all, remember that the meaning of life is to build life as it if were a work of art. You’re not a machine. When you are young, start working on this great work of art called your own existence.”

aus: Abraham Joshua Heschel (1972) zitiert durch Arnold Eisen in Krista Tippett interviewing Arnold Eisen: The Opposite of Good Is Indifference. On Being 2008/2017, im Internet.


24/01/2023 (15:05) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

Individualism 2


“… I came across these words of Jewish philosopher Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: ‘I would say about individuals, an individual dies when he ceases to be surprised. I am surprised every morning that I see the sunshine again. When I see an act of evil, I am not accommodated. I don’t accommodate myself to the violence that goes on everywhere; I’m still surprised. That’s why I’m against it, why I can hope against it. We must learn how to be surprised, not to adjust ourselves.’ …

I have no idea how to realise that. Be surprised. Don’t accommodate yourself to evil. Show solidarity, grow. And yet: Live, enjoy life. Find your own way …”

aus: Kübra Gümüsay: Sprache und Sein. München: btb 2021 (Originalausgabe 2020), S.93/94, Zitat im Zitat aus Krista Tippett interviewing Arnold Eisen: The Opposite of Good Is Indifference. On Being 2008/2017, im Internet.


24/01/2023 (13:42) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

USA 2022

“If a second civil war breaks out in the US, it will be a guerrilla war fought by multiple small militias spread around the country. Their targets will be civilians – mainly minority groups, opposition leaders and federal employees. Judges will be assassinated, Democrats and moderate Republicans will be jailed on bogus charges, black churches and synagogues bombed, pedestrians picked off by snipers in city streets, and federal agents threatened with death should they enforce federal law. The goal will be to reduce the strength of the federal government and those who support it, while also intimidating minority groups and political opponents into submission.

We know this because far-right groups such as the Proud Boys have told us how they plan to execute a civil war. …

Civil war experts know that two factors put countries at high risk of civil war. The US has one of these risk factors and remains dangerously close to the second. … The first is ethnic factionalism. This happens when citizens in a country organise themselves into political parties based on ethnic, religious, or racial identity rather than ideology. The second is anocracy. This is when a government is neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic; it’s something in between. Civil wars almost never happen in full, healthy, strong democracies. They also seldom happen in full autocracies. Violence almost always breaks out in countries in the middle – those with weak and unstable pseudo-democracies. Anocracy plus factionalism is a dangerous mix.

We also know who tends to start civil wars … The groups that tend to resort to violence are not the poorest groups, or the most downtrodden. It’s the group that had once been politically dominant but is losing power. … Today, the Republican party and its base of white, Christian voters are losing their dominant position in American politics and society as a result of demographic changes …”

aus: Barbara F Walters Beitrag zu: ‘These are conditions ripe for political violence’: how close is the US to civil war?, The Guardian online, 6.11.22, im Internet


06/11/2022 (17:48) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

Climate Change

“Maybe it is the name that is the problem. Climate change. It doesn’t sound that bad. The word ‘change’ resonates quite pleasantly in our restless world. No matter how fortunate we are, there is always room for the appealing possibility of improvement. Then there is the ‘climate’ part. Again, it does not sound so bad. … A changing world. A warming planet. What’s not to like?

Perhaps that is partly why so many people still think of climate change as a slow, linear and even rather harmless process. But the climate is not just changing. It is destabilising. It is breaking down. … There are … points of no return. And we do not know exactly when we might cross them. What we do know, however, is that they are getting awfully close, even the really big ones. …

The German oceanographer and climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf writes: ‘We have enough ice on Earth to raise sea levels by 65 metres … and, at the end of the last ice age, sea levels rose by 120 metres as a result of about 5C of warming.’ Taken together, these figures give us a perspective on the powers we are dealing with. Sea-level rise will not remain a question of centimetres for very long. …”

aus: Greta Thunberg: We’ve been greenwashed out of our senses. It’s time to stand our ground, The Guardian online, 8.10.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


08/10/2022 (19:21) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

New normal

“‘This is the new normal‘ is a phrase we often hear when the rapid changes in our daily weather patterns – wildfires, hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, storms, droughts and so on – are being discussed. … But this is not the “new normal”. What we are seeing now is only the very beginning …”

aus: Greta Thunberg: We’ve been greenwashed out of our senses. It’s time to stand our ground, Guardian online, 8.10.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


08/10/2022 (19:12) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“I don’t think hope is something that can be given to you – you have to create it yourself. Hope means taking action, … I think that we need to redefine hope, because it’s being used against us. If there is hope you don’t need to do anything, but that is the opposite of hope.”

Greta Thunberg, interviewt durch Hannah Nathanson: Greta Thunberg Wants To Clear The Air, Elle Britain Online, 6.10.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


06/10/2022 (17:14) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

Markets 2

“Thinktankers’ … worldview has a religious quality: ‘Those rich people are simply better than us; they exist in a state of grace. Why question it, when it’s so obvious?’ It would be easier to counter if they said it out loud but they never talk about ‘rich people’, only ‘markets‘.

And when they say ‘state‘, of course, they mean us. They plan to shrink us, our opportunities, our lives. Don’t underestimate them. You don’t have to be competent … to make a hell of a mess.”

aus: Zoe Williams: They love the super-rich and want to slash the welfare state: meet the new team at No 10, The Guardian online, 19.9.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


19/09/2022 (19:26) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“Documenta 15’s framework suggests the massive exhibition as an attempt to showcase egalitarian survival strategies and community initiatives from the Global South … The concept of ‘lumbung’ is offered as a resource to ‘heal today’s injuries, especially ones rooted in colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchal structures.’

And yet … the types of initiatives most celebrated here … are just more or less the accepted aesthetic preferences of international NGO culture, which values tangible deliverables and loves to produce texts with the word ‘community’ in them. Indeed, almost all these works come with a label that explains what government agency or foundation has helped support them. …

Much of the justificatory text here about sharing and cooperation as a new model of co-habitation that challenges neoliberalism and colonialism seems to me to mistake effects for causes. Things aren’t unsustainable, either in art or more broadly, because of a bad mindset. … [They are because] … a tiny group of the world’s population controls a vast majority of its wealth and resources, and has it in its interests to keep it that way.

The major problem is not an abstract ‘Western’ habit of thought, like ‘hierarchy’ or ‘individualism,’ which you can fix by turning to collaboration. These are deflections of the kind that the non-profit world inculcates, as Anand Giridharadas argues in Winners Take All, because non-profit culture functions by reframing the ‘political as personal,’ turning systemic problems into things that can be solved via workshops, at the level of interpersonal dynamics or clever bootstrap initiatives …”

aus: Ben Davis: Documenta 15’s Focus on Populist Art Opens the Door to Art Worlds You Don’t Otherwise See—and May Not Always Want to, Artnet, 6.7.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


28/08/2022 (23:43) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

Class war

“‘If there is a class war – and there is – it is important that it should be handled with subtlety and skill,’ wrote Maurice Cowling, the influential rightwing historian, in the late 1970s. ‘It is not freedom that Conservatives want; what they want is the sort of freedom that will maintain existing inequalities or restore lost ones.’ The nature of Conservatism has altered very little since, but the class on whose behalf the Tory party fights has changed dramatically: where once it was doctors and lawyers, businessmen, ‘respectable people’, it is now hedge fund managers and property developers, the filthy, the super, the Croesus rich. If you’re less wealthy than Jacob Rees-Mogg, the party has fought a 12-year war against you, and – newsflash – it won.

Some statistics need animating, and some animate themselves … a 40-year high of 10.1% inflation … a 4.1% drop in regular pay …

In fact, the class war wasn’t fought with subtlety and skill, it was fought in a more modern fashion, with misinformation. The argument for austerity was built on complementary, nonsensical narratives: most disabled people were faking it; most people on benefits were too lazy to work; most waste in the benefits system was lost to fraud; a class of the workshy had been created by benefits; the ‘big society’ was good, because it was much nicer to get your neighbour’s help than to have properly funded public services; parents know more about education than local authorities; and so on.

… It was just one diversionary talking point after another, as the first offensive wave proceeded…, and the destruction of the social safety net was achieved.

With Brexit, … the escapade was there to deliver only one outcome: the destruction of regulation by which workers and citizens protect and assert themselves against the interests of capital. It was just the second wave of the war.

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, prime ministerial hopefuls, approach the coming crisis with another patchwork of absolute nonsense. The cost of living crisis is all down to the war in Ukraine. We head into recession because we don’t work hard enough. … But it’s different … [this time]: they’re not trying to divert us from some smart new move – they have no moves. If you look at the level of public debt, the high inflation, the low growth and the tax burden, we’re already in a postwar economy. It was just a different kind of war, a class war masquerading as a kulturkampf, and we lost. …

You cannot rebuild anything on fictional foundations. … You cannot organise if you don’t know what side you’re on, and so many of the narratives of the past 12 years have been tailored to mask exactly that. Are you a striver or a shirker? A net contributor or a net recipient? A patriot or a migrant? Metropolitan elite or left behind? Latte sipper or bitter drinker? Woke or anti-woke? Leaver or remainer? We’ve been trapped in this endless cycle of meaningless divisions to mask what’s incredibly plain: we’re all on the same side and we’re all under attack.”

aus: Zoe Williams: Inflation at 10%? This is class war – and it was years in the making, The Guardian online, 18.8.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


18/08/2022 (15:21) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::
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