“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 ::

Multiculturalism 2

“The global culture … militates against … African unity. It serves the purpose of the multinationals. It is a postmodern application of the old adage ‘divide and rule’.

The movement towards a global culture … [and] this postmodern tendency towards cultural fragmentation and identity struggles … are two faces of the same coin. …

There should be no African unity. People should remain divided, fragmented, confused. And new slogans, new catchwords, new worthy causes must be found to hide this truth. ‘Identity‘, ‘multiculturalism’, ‘respect for other cultures’, ‘cultural studies‘, the list will go on proliferating, so as soon as we unveil one world another is found to replace it, so that our African peoples remain perpetually confused, so that our African intellectuals and thinkers and writers are drawn into the noose. … They forget that there is no culture without an economy to support it, without political institutions to defend it, without a land in which it can strike its roots. That ‘cultures’ and ‘identities’ are doomed without a material base, condemned to whither away. …

Otherwise, culture, identity, multiculturalism become an exhibition, a spectacle for the pleasure of others to see, to consume. Like the festivals of African culture I have seen in London, or Copenhagen or New York. Like the visibility of African-Americans in music, dance and sports and their almost total exclusion from the decisive levels of banking, production, business and other areas linked to intellectual or administrative or economic power.”

aus: Nawal El Saadawi: Why keep asking me about my identity? Rede, New York, März 1996, hier in: The Nawal El Saadawi Reader, London/New York: Zed 1997, S.121/122.


09/08/2022 (16:40) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“… the World Athletics president, Sebastian Coe, gave his clearest indication yet that the governing body would do more to protect female sport.

‘We’ve always been guided by the science, and the science is pretty clear: we know that testosterone is the key determinant in performance,’ he said.

‘I’m really over having any more of these discussions with second-rate sociologists who sit there trying to tell me or the science community that there may be some issue. There isn’t. Testosterone is the key determinant in performance.’ …

‘We have two categories in our sport: one is age and one is gender,’ he added. ‘Age because we think it’s better that Olympic champions don’t run against 14-year-olds in community sports. And gender because if you don’t have a gender separation, no woman would ever win another sporting event.'”

aus: Sean Ingle: Caster Semenya out of world 5,000m as Coe signals tougher female sport rules, The Guardian Online, 21.7.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


21/07/2022 (14:56) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“… Two days later, the same group of countries stated they support Ukraine’s proceedings before the International Court of Justice, seeking ‘to establish that Russia has no lawful basis to take military action in Ukraine on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations of genocide’. …

Now it’s interesting to look at which countries signed up for these initiatives. Of course, the US, the UK, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and all the EU-27 members, including the EU as a collective entity. But what about the others?

The other signatories are Albania, Andorra, the Marshall Islands, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Palau and San Marino. …

We have already argued that even in the context of Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, his world is not so small. In the UN, the home of 193 nations, he can still count on international support – or at least neutrality – from dozens of countries, including from some of the world’s most populous ones, like India, Brazil, South Africa, or Mexico. …

The EU remains attractive to most of the world for its living standards, but less so for its democratic and human rights values.

The paradox is that the rich West is attractive but not influential enough, both at the international and grassroots level. And at the same time, the rejection of Western values is becoming an increasingly powerful ideology shared by billions.”

aus: Georgi Gotev: How big and powerful is the West?, Euraktiv, im Internet Externer link-symbol


14/07/2022 (23:53) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

Right to resist

“The question of dethroning … will always be, as it has always been, an extraordinary question of state, and wholly out of the law; a question (like all other questions of state) of dispositions, and of means, and of probable consequences, rather than of positive rights. … The speculative line of demarcation, where obedience ought to end, and resistance must begin, is faint, obscure, and not easily definable. It is not a single act, or a single event, which determines it. Governments must be abused and deranged indeed, before it can be thought of; and the prospect of the future must be as bad as the experience of the past. When things are in that lamentable condition, the nature of the disease is to indicate the remedy to those whom nature has qualified to administer in extremities this critical, ambiguous, bitter potion to a distempered state. Times and occasions, and provocations, will teach their own lessons. The wise will determine from the gravity of the case, the irritable from sensibility to oppression; the high-minded from disdain and indignation at abusive power in unworthy hands; the brave and bold from the love of honourable danger in a generous cause: but, with or without right, a revolution will be the very last resource of the thinking and the good.”

aus: Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France. London u.a.: Penguin 1986 (1790), S.116/117.



24/06/2022 (17:31) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::


“‘Traditions’ which appear or claim to be old are often quite recent in origin and sometimes invented. …

‘Invented tradition’ is taken to mean a set of practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behaviour by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past. In fact, where possible, they normally attempt to establish continuity with a suitable historic past. …

‘Tradition’ … must be distinguished clearly from ‘custom’ which dominates so-called ‘traditional’ societies. The object and characteristic of ‘traditions’, including invented ones, is invariance. The past, real or invented, to which they refer imposes fixed (normally formalized) practices, such as repetition. … ‘Custom’ cannot afford to be invariant, because even in ‘traditional’ societies life is not so. Customary or common law still shows this combination of flexibility in substance and formal adherence to precedent. …

Convention and routine are not ‘invented traditions’ since their functions, and therefore their justifications, are technical rather than ideological. …

Sometimes new traditions could be grafted on old ones, sometimes they could be devised by borrowing from the well-supplied warehouses of official ritual, symbolism and moral exhortation – religion and princely pomp, folklore and freemasonry (itself an earlier invented tradition of great symbolic force) …

It is clear that plenty of political institutions, ideological movements and groups – not least in nationalism – were so unprecedented that even historic continuity had to be invented, for example by creating an ancient past beyond effective historical continuity. … It is also clear that entirely new symbols and devices came into existence as part of national movements and states, such as the national anthem (of which the British in 1740 seems to be the earliest), the national flag (still largely a variation of the French revolutionary tricolour, evolved 1790-4) or the personification of ‘the nation‘ in symbol or image …” 1

“Tartan – that is cloth woven in a geometrical pattern of colours – was known in Scotland in the sixteenth century (it seems to have come from Flanders …), the kilt … – unknown in 1726, … suddenly appeared two years later … its inventor was an English Quaker from Lancashire, Thomas Rawlinson … [there was] no differentiation of clans, no continuity of setts … in October 1745 … the Caledonian Mercury advertised a ‘great choice of tartans, the newest patterns’ …” 2

“[During most of the nineteenth century, British] royal ceremonies were … remote, inaccessible group rites, performed for the benefit of the few rather than the edification of the many. … For the majority of the great royal pageants staged during the first three-quarters of the nineteenth century oscillated between farce and fiasco. … Slowly … [then, a] coherent syntax and language of symbols and meanings emerged. In 1887, after fifty years on the throne, the Widow of Windsor was persuaded – although only with the greatest reluctance – to participate in a grand state pageant in London. It was, indeed, a risk, for her unpopularity made it impossible to predict what sort of reception she would receive. … Nevertheless, the resulting Golden Jubilee … was a great success. … Meticulous planning, popular enthusiasm, widespread reporting and unprecedented splendour were successfully allied. … Three people … were of major significance: … [While] Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher … provided the expertise and organizing flair, and Edward [VII] himself supplied the enthusiasm and support, it was Elgar, whose compositions raised ceremonial music … to mere works of art of their own right. …” 3

1) aus: Eric Hobsbawm: Introduction. Inventing Traditions. In: Eric Hobsbawm / Terence Ranger: The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge University Press, 2020 (Orig.-Ausgabe 1982), S.2-7.

2) aus: Hugh Trevor-Roper: The invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland, im selben Band, S. 18.23.

3) aus: David Cannadine: The Context, Performance and Meaning of Ritual: The British Monarchy and the ‘Invention of Tradition”, c.1820-1977, im selben Band, S.111-136


26/05/2022 (1:07) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::

De-Democratization 2

“In 2002 … we were dragged down by the swamp of the Hungarian left. … But, Dear Friends, in 2002 we … did not adopt a defensive attitude, … we played to win and proclaimed the Reconquista. …

The plan succeeded. In 2010 we came back. … Hungary is the laboratory in which we tested the antidote to dominance by progressives. … This spring Hungary has received its fourth dose, … the patient has been completely cured. The medication is open-source, free of charge, and comprises twelve points …

[1] … Play by our own rules. The only way to win is to refuse to accept the solutions and the paths offered by others. … Those who play by their opponents’ rules are certain to lose.

[2] … National conservatism in domestic politics. The cause of the nation is not a matter of ideology, nor even of tradition. The reason that churches and families must be supported is that they are the building blocks of the nation. … The Achilles heel of progressives is precisely that they want to impose their dreams on society. But for us that danger is also an opportunity, … one must find the issues on which the Left is completely out of touch with reality and highlight them …

[3] … The national interest in foreign policy. Progressives always think that foreign policy is a battle of ideologies: a battle between good and bad … Something is wrong with that concept. Our response should be …: the Nation First! Hungary First! America First! … We know that Ukraine is not defending Hungary. That is a nonsensical idea! … Our aim is to restore peace, not to continue the war, because that is what is in our national interest. Hungary First!

[4] … we must have our own media. We can only show up the insane ideas of the progressive Left if we have media that helps us to do this. … Naturally, the Grand Old Party, too, has allied media outlets, but they are no match for the liberals’ dominance of the media. My friend Tucker Carlson stands alone and immovable. His show has the highest audience figures. What does this mean? It means that there should be shows like his day and night – or, as you say, 24/7.

[5] … expose your opponent’s intentions. … We must not only break down today’s taboos, but also tomorrow’s taboos. … For instance, there is the issue of LGBTQ propaganda targeting children. This is still a new thing over here, but we have already destroyed it. We brought the issue out into the open and held a referendum on it. The overwhelming majority of Hungarians have rejected this form of sensitization of children. By revealing at an early stage what the Left were preparing for, we forced them on the defensive, and when they attacked our initiative they were eventually forced to admit the reality of their plan. …

[6] … economic policies that benefit the majority of voters. … In the final analysis people want jobs: people want jobs, not economic theories. … If a government of the right is unable to deliver all this, it is doomed to failure.

[7] do not get pushed to the extreme. … What is the difference between the denial of science by the extreme right and the denial of biology by LGBTQ movements? The answer is simple: there is no difference whatsoever. We must render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, unto God the things that are God’s, and unto Science the things that are Science’s. We may gain immense popularity on internet forums by promoting conspiracy theories – … but in reality we will alienate a large proportion of the electorate, find ourselves pushed to the margins, and eventually we will lose.

[8] … read every day. A book a day keeps the defeat away. … Reading … helps us to understand what our opponents think and where their thinking is flawed. If we know that, the rest is mere technique. … It is true that the spin doctor is a useful species; but understanding the problem is something that must be done by us as policymakers.

[9] … have faith. A lack of faith is dangerous. If you do not believe that there will be a final reckoning and that you will be held to account for your actions before God, you will think that you can do anything that is in your power. …

[10] … make friends. Our opponents, the progressive liberals and neo-Marxists, have unlimited unity: they have one another’s backs. By contrast, we conservatives are capable of squabbling with one another over the smallest issue. And then we wonder at how our opponents corner us. We do indeed possess intellectual sophistication, and we care about intellectual nuance. But if we want to succeed in politics, we should never look at what we disagree on, but instead look for our common ground. … Believe me, if we do not, our opponents will hunt us down one by one.

[11] … build communities. … The fewer communities there are and the lonelier people are, the more voters go to the liberals; and the more communities there are, the more votes we get. It is as simple as that. …

[12] … build institutions. For successful politics, one needs institutions and institutes. Whether they are think tanks, educational centers, talent workshops, foreign relations institutes, youth organizations or whatever, they should have a political aspect. Let us not forget: politicians come and go, but institutions stay with us for generations. They, the institutions, have the capacity to renew politics intellectually. New ideas, new thoughts and new people are needed again and again. If they run out, we will run out of ammunition, and our opponent will show no mercy in laying us low.”

… Progressives are threatening the whole of Western civilization … Progressive liberals, neo-Marxists intoxicated by the dream of wokeness, those in the pay of George Soros, the advocates of the open society. They want to abolish the Western way of life that you and we love so much: what your parents fought for during World War II and the Cold War, and what we fought for when we drove the Soviet communists out of Hungary.

My Friends,

We must take up the fight … We must take back the institutions in Washington and Brussels. … We must coordinate the movement of our troops, because we face a great challenge. … The Hungarian lesson is that we have no silver bullet. We only have work. We need to do it. Let’s go out and do it! Thanks and good luck!”

aus: Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the opening of CPAC Hungary, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Budapest, 19.5.22, im Internet Externer link-symbol


21/05/2022 (22:58) Schlagworte: EN,Lesebuch ::
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