Yes We Can
Friday I received a nice postcard from Eva, showing the Øresund Bridge
What can be more correct than saying
in these times full of terror I think it is important to build bridges between people.
Sitting Saturday evening in the Brunnnenhof of the Munich Residence, Adrasteia sitting next to me – we arranged to meet at the entrance as I had to working during day time (what is new). It is good being together for a while. I am asking myself what is in a name, in her name, meaning “inescapable” and also “not running away”. Like my thoughts: The time here in Munich is coming to its end now – and though I will be soonish back at the Institute I have piles of work on my desk: piles that are waiting to be cleared before I leave rather than staying here, looking forward meeting me later the year.
My thoughts are not employed by the work – but by bridges, strange bridges, bringing spotlights of life, of personal and general history together that are seemingly much further apart than Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden and Copenhagen, Hovedstaden, Denmark.
Being here for the concert of Maria Farantouri I am of course thinking about Greece: The long history, suggesting Greece as one of the main cradles of our European civilisation – the medium historical level: only in 1974 chasing the regime of the colonels, which established its despotic rule in 1967 by a coup d’état, away: establishing democracy, now facing another turmoil: the coup d’état by the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF. – Though saying it this way is possibly a little bit unjust as this most recent coup had been prepared for some time: the generals left, and as many democrats came as much they had been embraced by the lethal kiss of the viper, darting its tongue in and out: the stick and carrot policies of a (now) European Union (Greece joint in 1981). My mind is caught in a whirlwind of history: The Homeric epics of the Iliad and Odyssey
written in the form of ‘cantos’, the songs, the unforgotten Canto General and the recent socio-economic developments, events and also protests which I discussed so many times with Ioanna with whom I am still in touch since she asked me to write the article (“Greece and Ireland in the same crisis shaken boat”), and, which is of course frequently popping topic here with the Greek friends.
Bridges … – before coming here to Munich I worked in Ankara – and arriving there I looked for ‘local music’, and leaving Dede Efendi and also the excellent new Turkish Jazz aside, I frequently listened to the music by Zülfü Livaneli – his music as insightful and challenging as the books I red some time ago already.
As said, sitting there, a mild late summer evening, waiting for the open air concert to begin, my flickering mind is building bridges much linger than the one spanning between the two countries in the North. Greek dictatorship cam to an end in close connection with the invasion of Cyprus and thus the intensification of the conflict between Turkey and Greece ….
Other things floating in my mind, from the recent terror in Norway to the ongoing crusades: crusades between Rome and Mecca and Mecca and Rome, between Westminster and the Oireachtas and Oireachtas and Westminster … – and though I am not thinking of it in terms of work now, I briefly think about last week’s discussion with Lorena, and the book she mentioned – a small, short text by Rudolpf von Jhering. He rejects the Savigny-Puchta approach that claims a pre-existing harmony from which law, rightfulness, right emerges like a result of Platonic love. In his work on “The Struggle of Law” he sees sword and scale as inextricably linked. Right needs to be fought for. And this is an eternal effort, a striving for the permanent ‘renewal’.
Law can only rejuvenate by doing away with its own past. A concrete right, which, after once emerging claims unlimited, this eternal persistence, is equal to a child, that raises the hand towards his/her mother. It ridicules the idea of law, by calling to her as the very idea of law is permanent becoming, but what once emerged has to open a space for new becoming.
Recently, when presenting to the Institute my ideas about Human Rights, Law and Economics a colleague from the audience said after I finished, during the discussion:
But aren’t these rights we are talking about today very much still the same rights that had been claimed – and breached – 50 years, 500 years, and even longer times ago?
Of course, many old debates – also the history that seems to be repeating on a personal level. Sitting here for the concert with Maria – after having listened to her 20, 30 of even more years ago. – Did really nothing change?
I turn to Adrasteia – “inescapable”, “not running away”.
Maria, comes onto the stage – not hiding that she has difficulties to walk, not hiding her age. But the voice still full of power …, moved and moving, full of power and empowering. I look around – the typical audience: the ‘old left’, surely rebellious at times and many now civilised, settled, sedated. One may say, reaching the end of their life’s fight. Many clearly showed
Yes we can
trying to hide a tiny disguise, the mutation of the we, having been swiftly transposed to the I – the letter I and the Roman figure I as the sole unity.
Maria is captivating, enchanting:
Yes we can
As long as we face the inescapable, as long as we don’t (allow) to run away.
Maria’s long silk orange shawl moves in the light wind, hides and leaves the view on the purple dress, a long necklace – simple and good looking. The voice is strong, behind it the devotion and warm passion for another world that is possible.