Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Europe remembering 1914-1918: Vincent Van Gogh and things to come - Hatto Fischer 2014


                 Church in Arles which Van Gogh painted

Van Gogh originated from Holland. First he wanted like his father become a priest, but the church did not like someone who would give away all his money and belongings to the poor. He is known for his paintings like the potato eaters and especially his sunflowers. But he left behind as well letters he had written to his brother Theo. These letters contain incredible insights into the making of art and mentions what are outstanding attitudes. For instance, he considered it to be a sign of greatness, if someone was able to recognize in others greatness.1 He demonstrated it himself by thinking immediately of another painter, in this case Rembrandt, who could paint better than he a scene created by his father coming out of a mine shaft and crossing in his black robes a field covered completely by snow. He kept on drawing as long as he could before switching over to painting for he believed drawing ensured that he stayed honest as artist.

Above all, Van Gogh praised the ability to keep a sense of proportions as being the highest of all art. This sense he may have derived from Ancient Greek artists who kept such human proportion that even today, when walking through the Acropolis museum, the free standing sculpture never ceases to amaze how well face, muscles of the arms, hands, feet relate to one another as parts of a whole which comes close to a human being, so it seems, forever alive. But then, he recognized as well that there are many subjects worthy to be painted, but it cannot be done by one artist alone – hence his dream of an atelier of the South where he could bring many of them together. Unfortunately only one came with disastrous consequences: Gauguin.

As we know, Van Gogh left Holland to join the Impressionists. Significant is how he got there. When Aragon and Cocteau discussed the Dresden gallery prior to its restitution, they took an imaginary walk through all the rooms. To do so, they laid out on the table in front of them post cards of the paintings which hung in the specific rooms. Upon leaving the second last for the final room, the Dutch for the French room, they stated that one painter made that journey: Van Gogh. And then they added something of significance: Van Gogh had to step into the 'river of forgetting' before he could reach that other side where the Impressionist painters awaited him.

The 'river of forgetting' is a powerful metaphor. Thoughts go to Heraclitus who stated that one does not step twice into the same river, and thereby evoked the philosophical image of change. There is something else to be noticed. As a river flows along, there can be noticed on the surface of the water a constant creation and dissolving of forms when going around a bend or flowing over hidden roots. Compared to what forms exists in nature, the language we use to reflect what exists, that is very limited, and therefore leaves us extremely poor in experience. One reason for this was given by the philosopher Ernst Bloch. He made the observation that only when we do not say just water, but river or lake, then it is the form which allows us to see what exists.

Interestingly enough, the anthropologist Levy Strauss made the observation that the Indians have more 'categories' to describe and to experience nature than what they need to exist in nature. Hence the critical question prevails whether or not our limited capacity to reflect what exists is not merely due to language, but also in being poor in terms of categories we use due to being solely determined by the flow economy of commodities? In the latter case, people value only, and therefore allow only that to exist which brings in money? How often are invaluable thoughts thrown away, just because there is apparently no use for them right now? Here culture and especially the arts can and do intervene in our otherwise reduced valorization of things, thoughts, experiences and indeed even emotions. In that sense, great artistic achievements do draw our attention to a world no longer indifferent, so it seems, as to what we think and do. It becomes a world which responds whereas in reality most people come very often to the conclusion the world is merely indifferent to them, and therefore they wish an irrevocable change – a transformation once and for all times. Usually it lands them in a silence not recognizable in a world of mere commodities, or a series of objects into which the human being has to blend into. It is like the walking person disappearing into a mechanical stream: cars heading out of the city in a man made river not flowing, but screaming past landscapes and houses till everything appears to be just the same whether driving into or out of town in Los Angelos or Athens.

There is certainly a kind of forgetfulness becoming a systematic negation of many things, when everything is rejected which seems to have no value in terms of the ability not to make art, but money. Hence the question of the director of the Free Museum in Berlin is crucial to take note of. She asked what impact upon the perception of the arts itself will it have, when people look only at what price art gets? As this includes the paintings of Van Gogh after he had died, the point to which art has become an object to speculate on in terms of gaining in near future more value than now, shows in what ridiculous world we live in. William Carlos Williams wrote a poem about this and called it 'products gone crazy'. Her question is prompted by recent developments in Berlin because at risk to be no longer the 'creative city'. This is because, for instance, the free space for artists is being lost to luxurious malls and lofts; at the same time, a number of highly professional galleries have moved in to compete with London, New York and Dubai as to which location fetches the highest price. Especially young artists find it then most difficult to enter the art market because like in the professional field of work, it seems that only those with a huge amount of experience and good connections shall be able to enter the job market and make a career. And once that happens, the innovative capacity of artists shall no longer leave a mark in that city. Its culture will become flat and uninteresting. At the level of the arts, a sign of such deterioration can be noticed when artists are too quickly satisfied with the solutions they seek on the canvas. It leads to a person passing by may to just throw a mere glance and to continue on his way without taking any further notice because there is nothing in that art work which draws his or her attention. When the arts no longer speak to people, their self understanding shall no longer be enriched by the arts adding categories on how they regard themselves, others and life in general. As this negative tendency shall affect the receptivity of the arts, there shall be resorted more an more to all sorts of gimmicks, in order to engage an audience.

If that is the case, art can easily be transformed into advertisement, and even worse into outright propaganda – something the film maker Wim Wender has advocated, insofar as he advises the European Union to develop such images, in order to sell itself better to people in Europe and Europe abroad. Yet in view of how the arts were mistreated under Hitler or Stalin, Europe had enough of propaganda and corresponding tricks.

For many people the modern life style has become an increasing problem. While they seek the newest model of car and try to keep with the fourth or fifth generation of mobile phones, they have adopted oddly enough a political attitude based on more than cynicism as if nothing appears to change for the better. This gloomy outlook, politically speaking, seems at best to give way to superficial comments about everything having to do with public life and especially politicians who are all corrupt and just standing up for the big corporations, the banks and themselves. Many point for a proof to the millions and millions spend during election campaigns. Ever since Occupy Wall Street emerged as a street and square protest movement, it has left the 95% quite angry about the growing inequality between the very rich and the poor.

Still, most of the time the life style adopted leaves everything else but in a superficial trance. This is the case when everyone rushes from one to the next appointment and deadlines have to be met. As these artificial tensions spill over into private life, relationships with neighbours and those sitting like oneself in their car during one of the usual traffic jams, the outlet might be but loud music from the car radio or CD player. Overall one credo manifests itself: impatience.

If an artist would paint the impatient person of the 21st century, he would not have to take recourse to the image of the fifties with the red lip girl, cigarette in her mouth, and as in the case with Marilyn Monroe her skirt being blown up due to air coming up from the underground metro system. Rather he will have to illustrate the 'smart' man or woman who are so quick in their minds that they cannot get it why the others do not get the point! It is a dynamic static which typifies the organization of not only work, but also personal relationships. In such a world, the one who does not fit in, can be dropped very quickly.

As a result, there emerge more and more 'radical losers' as described by Enzensberger. 2 These are ordinary people who may stay unnoticed in the neighbourhood for 25 years, but then suddenly they kill their children and wife before taking their own live. What Enzensberger's thesis say about these losers is that they can only overcome their inner fear and step out into society, if they swing themselves up to such a perversion of a heroic deed, that they will try to take down i.e. kill, as many people as possible before they kill themselves or are finally subdued by the police and arrested as was the case with the Norwegian Brevnik, and who even stood trial for his deed. Figures like these complete the profile of those who wish to appear being not just busy, but over worked, while in fact they are completely empty in human motives when it comes to experiencing their lives.

Altogether any pretence, artificial injection and tricks of the trade help to reproduce the impression these are hectic times. Once caught up in this chase of the new and only new, society will not take the time where it matters most and not be critical enough to avoid being satisfied with quick and superficial solutions. That concerns primarily the growing up of children and youth in society. As a matter of fact, the reverse will happen. Adults will push children in an ever earlier age into hard competition whether in ballet, music, sports, etc. in order to have such exceptional abilities that allows them to compete and stand out first in their class or wherever they happen to be. That fear not to make it, that pushes parents and children very often into an overdrive. Hence there seems to be no more time left to play with the other kids in the streets. Always the next thing is waiting around the corner even when the current activities have hardly begun, never mind been completed. Such a society will run very quickly into disappointments for one obvious reason: the new sought will not be found, and therefore they are forced, as Adorno pointed out, to flee back into the same old structures everyone wanted to escape from.

One result is a triple loss. The rush to make it as fast as possible from A to B, from one city to the next, will leave out detours and any route which would take more time, but be probably in the end shorter due to the all the conversations and experiences made on the slower way. No wonder that Brecht said he who thinks to be on the fastest way is surely on the wrong path. But not only that shall go amiss, but many things not understood or dealt with adequately at the moment, but in real need to be looked after, shall not be remembered well enough to return to later, when there is the time given to do so. Interestingly enough Hegel sought to trap this remembrance of thoughts prior to their disappearance in a kind of absolute capsule to be opened once it is time to recapitulate all the events. In German, he called it 'an-und-für-sich' or something which does come back onto itself like the circle whose point returns to the beginning, and thereby locks inside that what needs to be remembered by making out of a special point to return to. The only sad thing is that there is usually no returning and so over time there are many sentences concluded and a point put, but that what appeared while writing the sentence – something like a side theme or thought – disappeared once that sentence has been completed. Frankly speaking, this reflection of what is going on while writing down thoughts can literally be called a 'philosophy of writing' which has changed composure and texture now that hand written manuscripts are a rare things and everything is done on a computer or even touch screen with quite a liberation of the mind from the task of writing, but which made a lot of sense in the past when seeing how this links up with thinking and walking without having a definite goal; rather the thoughts point into the direction in which to go. This kind of inquiry is like a search for knowledge while having the demand of truth in mind. What better form could there be than writing down all thoughts and seeing at the end of the day, how everything adds up happily ever after. Yet the syndrome of real losses are there, and therefore the theme of 'disappearance' as crucial as 'forgetting' to such an extent that it shall never be remembered again.

Now this allows a link to quite a different concept of cultural heritage, or 'how to make use of the past' as has become the important and thematic question of Horizon 2020, the EU research agenda for the funding period 2014-2020. It should be pointed out that even while a distinction is now being made between tangible and intangible cultural heritage as recommended by UNESCO, in the latter case there is still not included or taken into consideration that intangible cultural heritage has to include as well not merely memories of past experiences, but more so 'memories of the future'. The latter are ideas which have not yet been lived or realized. They are insights into what could be changed in society if the conditions would be different, and ripe for such a different way of doing things. Very often innovation is not merely a straight forward process of adaptation. Rather initial ideas are linked to still other conditions like the wish to improve human relationships at work. Usually that idea is not realised because it is not accepted due to the conditions it poses in terms of further going changes. Usually what happens is that one year later someone comes up with a similar idea and proposes it independent from the condition of having to change as well human relationships. Practically the idea gets separated from its social and cultural context, and takes on the aura of being independent. There are many more ideas which constitute insights into something novel at a particular point in time, but which could not be realised then. To preserve these days for when a suitable day shall come in future, that then are the 'memories of the future'.

Confidence is born out of developing something in the present which has a future. Indeed, the poets, philosophers and artists of Ancient Greece created something which has still value even 2000 years later. So down by the river many things can come to the mind when just throwing some stones absent mindedly into the water and partially follow with the eyes how rapidly they sink and disappear from the surface of the river.

Aragon and Cocteau named the river of forgetting for a specific purpose. Picasso would say as an adult, one has to learn again to draw and paint like the child. For at risk is to forget that one had all kinds of great abilities when still a child and sensing the potentialities within oneself as has any human being. Picasso had already startled his father, an art teacher himself, into submission and resignation and to give up the making of art because his son started at the age of five to use the pencil like the master of art he was to become.

Moreover 'the river of forgetting' says something more than just about how to connect past, present and future. Especially in Germany, but not only there, a culture of remembrance has become like in Israel itself mandatory, in order never to forget what happened to the Jews during Second World War. What may have resulted due to this institutionalized link with a horrific past, is a worrying trend to victimize the victims over and again. If stories are not told as it happened, then there is no dimension of redemption in them, for they will not give following generations a chance to learn out of the mistakes. Instead, stories will be distorted. A historian remarked after doing some research, he found how easily a young boy whose grandfather was in reality a member of the SS in Nazi Germany would proudly tell his friends at school his grandfather was a member of the resistance. Re-accounting the past without seeking to mystify it for the sake of having some hero to look up to, or indeed someone to identify oneself with, can be a nasty business when it brings one into all sorts of conflicts once confronted by reality. It makes one wonder why Hegel would say, if reality does not correspond to the concept, too bad for reality? That exclusion of reality has to prompt criticism of such artificial constructions as if nothing exists outside the concepts, even though Brecht would admit not the human being exists in the eyes of the authorities, but only the one who has a passport. Walter Benjamin tried to escape over the Spanish border. Since he had no passport, he was turned back. Rather than fall into the hands of the Gestapo, he committed suicide. If one only images one's life does hang on a thin thread of having or not a passport, then what about all the 'illegal migrants' without papers while at the same time citizenship can be bought? That has become a controversial point not only in Malta, but throughout Europe for what does it mean to be an open society, if access is not provided to those who have to flee for their lives because of having no longer a home? Surely Bart Verschaffel was right when he said it makes no sense any more to talk about nomads when there are so many refuges.

Every memorial is about this not forgetting, and yet there is a difference when someone like the historian Koselleck initiates a course of study of monuments and calls it 'political iconography'. He started to examine together with students of history and art history monuments of war. They were created 1871, that is the war Bismarck incited to unify Germany, 1918 even though the monument called 'Völkerschlachtdenkmal' or monument of the people's battle to commemorate victory over Napolean was opened in 1912 to entice precisely the people to prepare for First World War, and after 1945. He asked his students to examine these monuments under one specific question: which ones glorify war, which ones ask to pause and to reflect why war? To study this directly a field trip was undertaken to visit these various monuments usually to be found along the French-German border in almost every village and town. There are different layers with each new war adding another kind of cover. Most revealing was the destroyed nature at Verdun, itself a huge monument since plain for everyone to see where the battles of the trenches had cost so many human lives, and this only because some general wished to see, if the troops could advance the trench by five meters or more. This waste of human lives is never openly talked about even though Canadian Veterans would carry a poppy flower as symbol for every soldier who died on those battle grounds. Crucial is that my physics teacher at high school in Ottawa, Canada would recall what it was like on Vimy Ridge, and how strange it was for soldiers suddenly to emerge out of the trenches when it was time to celebrate Christmas. All had become sentimental and nostalgic. They forgot their guns and came together. But after the second, and more so on the third day suspicion and mistrust of the other regained the upper hand. You will shot first, no you! When they left the places of the Christmas celebration, they did not walk away with their backs to the ones they had left behind but kept them in eye sight while walking backwards slowly away. How is it possible for people to celebrate together Christmas and the next day shoot at each other again?

This question remained virulent especially when George Steiner in 'Silence and Language' asked how is it possible for someone to play Schubert songs on the piano and the next day go into the concentration camp to kill there innocent people? 3

That question is a challenge to the arts: can they prevent war or foil an act about to commit a crime against humanity, that is intervene before it is too late? No wonder, when forgetting or not became a crucial issue in post-war Germany, and which is especially now, that we have entered this time span 2014-2018, reason for many parallel events taking place to recall how lyric played a role during First World War with Rilke being used by many soldiers when writing home to their loved ones.

It became even a more crucial issue when Hölderlin's poem about 'My fatherland' was used by Hitler to pinpoint how important it is for ordinary soldiers not to ask any questions but to be ready to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of the fatherland. Hölderlin put it in terms of a wish that he did not want to die an ordinary death, but when in a fight for the freedom of his fatherland, then he was prepared to do so. Hölderlin had been a romantic poet, and fell into the trap of falling in love with the wife of his employer. That is always dangerous but she seemed to be the only one who understood his poetry. At the same time, he could not comprehend how she could on the other hand circulate amongst all the business people who her husband had invited for a party to the house since he, Hölderlin, could not like Kafka put it later exist amongst those business people, but only between the letters he would write. Hölderlin had to flee. He went to Paris which was at that time caught up in the aftershocks of the French Revolution. Hölderlin was one of the few to embrace the Revolution even though his friend and protector was arrested on suspicion he would be favouring as well such a course, namely to topple the bourgeoisie society and its way of using power to stay in power and in control over the masses of people.

All this is to say, the question can the arts prevent violence is not an easy topic. It was taken up by the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly in his essay 'Poetry and Violence', but that would lead to another discussion about the role of Irish poets in European culture. It is a complex question since in Ireland, and especially in Northern Ireland, violence has a double meaning: the Loyalists who served under the Crown in First World War would not question the atrocities committed in places like Verdun, but link it to their pride and readiness to serve the Crown and therefore propagate violence by way of glorifying heroism based on allegiance and loyalty. The Catholic side which prompted the emancipation from the British rule around the same time took violence as force of freedom. It made and still does make the Northern Ireland peace process complicated since both sides adhere to violence as a justified means to an end which is greater than any individual would dare or could question.

Needless to say, the coming together of Europe can already be difficult to say the least, if there are people on the continent who look back to First World War in horror while there are others who derive out of that experience still pride and glory for having served the Crown. Bringing together Europe is no easy task especially if not only things are forgotten but rather too much is silenced. Andre Breton describes how after the ending of First World War, the soldiers in France were not dismissed because the Generality was afraid if they would speak out in public and tell everyone what really happened, their bad decisions which cost thousands of lives in an endless trench war would come under public scrutiny. To prevent an outburst of anger and a new form of solidarity amongst those who had lived through these terrible times, they were ordered to keep on their uniforms and therefore could not hold political speeches in public.

Silence as a way to keep people not speaking about the real problems. It is not a mere legacy of the past, but continues in the present in the form of all kinds of censorships and repression. Distortions of the truth means people cannot level with each other, and confront together in public the truth. Unfortunately if the real problems are not put onto the table and everyone put into a position to know what is going on, then as seen what has happened in Greece after the crisis started to grip in 2009 and thereafter, anger and frustration were diverted so long until people started to resort to extreme measures to articulate dissatisfaction. It does explain the rise of the Extreme Right party called 'Chrysi Avgi' or Golden Dawn, but also how the Left Wing opposition party Syriza has become the strongest in the European election of 2014.

Once human communication is cut off, there will be an inclination to use symbols to express certain pent up feelings in order to refer to certain symbols to express an emotional state of affairs like anger against the bureaucracy. By resorting to symbols, it will prevent at the same time any reflection under which acceptable conditions these needs can and should be satisfied. Reforming the bureaucracy is a bit more complex than doing away merely with the 'corrupt' politicians, but simple solutions copy the model of business management. The chef or coach has to go as soon as the team is not winning or the company no longer doing so well. But to remind, growing up is learning to communicate what one needs. A child will say 'water' when thirsty and therefore use the word water like a symbol. Only later, when an adult, will it not take water for granted but reflect under which conditions is it possible to obtain clean drinking water. In short, maturity is attained when things are not longer taken to be merely self understood, especially not in a world in which so many different people live with diverse interests. That then is both a dilemma and challenge of finding a good way to govern, so that needs are satisfied under humane conditions.

About the art making possible experience for it has to be based on a positive 'self-forgetting' before we see what the other has painted. Whether Heidegger was mistaken or just did not see what Van Gogh had wanted to say, interpretation of any painting is really following not the rationale of everyday life, but the dialogue of poetry with our imagination. We begin to see different things once we have articulated what we see, and only then we wonder why we had not seen that before. This says something about language, perception and indeed about 'ethics of seeing'. For to remember as well many Germans said after Second World War they had not seen the Jews disappear from their midst. Likewise it is a question of today what is happening, for instance, to migrants and yet most of the society does not wish to see what is happening to them. This is all the more important as a remark for already a long time ago, that is around 1994, the philosopher Bart Verschaffel stated it makes no sense to talk about 'nomads' when the world is creating due to wars and conflicts so many refugees.

But what do we often not see in the present, and only become aware of things in retrospect? When viewing the works of the Impressionists while they were still hanging at Jeu de Pomme in Paris, I met there a painter who was making a copy of Renoir's 'Woman on swings'. He was so impressed by the paint strokes of Renoir that he called him a genius. And then he added a thought not to be forgotten. He said that Renoir never had the time to enjoy what he was creating since he had to rush through all his paint strokes. Likewise today, it seems that so many people live in a pre-emptive way with regards to the chance of making any experience. They rush through their daily lives and never come around to enjoy life. Yet art can and does teach that life is an art of learning on how to make experiences become vivid memories out of which stories can emerge like the boy with the magic violin. It is interesting to note that those who wish to evaluate the legacy left behind by a city after having been European Capitals of Culture try to establish the 'psyche income' of the citizens in terms of what they remember most intensively or best from that special year. Yet the stuff out of which stories and the arts are made, that depends on lived through experiences – Sartre called it 'le vecu' . That memory track is a first indication on how stories heard as a child are not lost when an adult and which becomes an impulse to go on further: James Joyce taking an example from Homer's Odyssey, but instead of letting the main character wander around for twenty-two years, James Joyce let his main figure explore the world of Dublin in twenty-four hours, and at the end of which in the final chapter he lets the reader add the punctuation since the description is now endless. It is a description of walking through a tunnel with a train running over it interrupting the dripping of water from the cold and grey walls. Van Gogh had also this time juncture in mind when he depicted a field after harvest and at a close distance a train heading towards Paris. The rural and the urban life as two different time zones but merged when he painted the unemployed sitting a bare tables and just starring into their empty glasses while the waiter comes around and whose appearance resembles a 'butcher of time'. Time wasted. Life does not pay back in kind when things are forgotten which matter most. It is a delicate feeling, often expressed only in subtle colours, or like Van Gogh would portray his own isolation in society by showing a group consisting of three trees full with leaves and aside a naked tree without leaves. It is a feeling of projection going on all the time as if the others seem to have and to enjoy a unity the own fragmented self does not seem to have.

Nevertheless the Impressionists did create an amazing optimism. It was due to letting light dance on the leaves of a tree. And yet there is Van Gogh's image of the crows descending on fields while the sky seems to darken due to an approaching storm. In retrospect, we realize that he and the other painters anticipated already, so it seems, the coming of First World War. That war broke all sense of beauty. Paul Klee said after that war any creation of beauty is done out of memory, and this would make any expression thereof by necessity be abstract. It led the art historian Worringer to pose the crucial question at the beginning of the Twentieth Century as to what was to come in the arts: abstraction or empathy?

We know that Hitler banned abstract art as degenerated form of expression. There were even people ready to throw stones to smash the shop window behind which was hanging a painting by Otto Dix. The stone throwers said this is no way to make a portrait of your parents. But the Expressionists in Germany wanted to punch that face having become a mask due to the use of so many lies. So while Max Ernst and others left to join the Surrealist movement which under the guidance of Andre Breton wanted to reveal the truth about First World War, and this by adhering to a programme based on a 'morality of creativity', there has to be formulated at the beginning of the Twenty-First Century a similar question to Worringer: what lies ahead for the arts? In which direction shall Europe develop in, and will it stay connected through the arts and culture? There is much what needs to be anticipated so that it is possible to change direction before it is too late!

Indeed, honesty in art and to oneself is as important as it is in relationship to other people. The philosopher Edmund Husserl admitted at the end of his life, that he had never till then posed the question of honesty – and realized it was the most difficult one of all. Simone Weil added we become honest when we can root ourselves in the words we speak, for then we shall remember what we have said. This then might be the start of memory work to connect ourselves to others in Europe and in the world. In the realm of reality we relate through language not silenced by fear to what resonates in our thoughts as being relevant in terms of the culture we seek to uphold as a unique search for 'truth'. For only then we stand to what we can live by, including our own assumptions and practical judgements of reality. Otherwise everything achievable is merely marginal, and what we claim or say not even an aspiration for others. It will definitely not bring about something inspirational, and that is exactly what the arts need to do if culture is to be taken seriously.

After having returned from exile in the United States of America after the end of Second World War to West Germany at that time, Adorno said that “a German would be someone who cannot lie, but who has to convince himself to say the truth”. Out of that emerges the 'Überzeugungstäter' – the one who convinces himself and others what that his beliefs are the only truth and nothing but the truth. That leads to fanaticism which Jean Pierre Faye analysed correctly as having been the case in the Weimar Republic when the 'Totalitarian Language' or the language of hate started to be used. Already Dostoevsky had asked, if it is easier to unite people by hate rather than by love. But Europe was then altogether a different story. Even nowadays the hate-love relationships are not as simple as they are made out to be for even if all politicians are hated, but the next moment all fall in line with the call of allegiance to the nation, and unite themselves by unleashing xenophobic forces.

However, if truth is to be upheld and not disputed as if non existent, then it should be impossible for Right Wing Extremism to assert itself again in the same way as in 1933. Still, people need to see that this political upsurge seeks to convince everyone as if they alone know what is the right thing to do while all others are stupid, failures, corrupt, even though it is obvious that they have a false concept of politics and do not know everything as they claim. For truth has to be something livable made only possible not by hate, but by love, patience and granting to others the freedom to have a different opinion.


Hatto Fischer

Athens 27.5.2014

1 Something similar was expressed by Mandela who said free the others from your fear of greatness.

2 Hans Magnus Enzensberger (2006) The Terrorist Mindset The Radical Loser


3 George Steiner, Language and Silence: Essays on Language, Literature, and the Inhuman (New York: Atheneum, 1967).http://www2.iath.virginia.edu/holocaust/steinerls.html

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