windmills – small and large, without allowing to see an end

One of last week’s joy – one of the last weeks …

Is there a mission, a vision ….?

O Ja! Einfach wie Einstmals heiter aus dem Überflusse schöpfend!  O beglückende Zeit, O Zeitalter voll Glück, von unseren Altvorderen das goldene genannt, nicht, weil man damals Gold ohne Müh und Not gewann, nein, sondern weil all jene, die damals lebten, die Wörter Mein und Dein nicht kannten. In dieser segensreichen Zeit waren alle Dinge gemein. Alles damals war Friede, Liebe, Eintracht.

Oh yes! Simply like once cheerfully drawing from abundance!  O joyful time, O age of happiness, called the golden one by our ancestors – not because gold was at hand at easy, without hardship; no, it had been called thus because all those who lived at that time did not know the words Mine and Thine. In this blessed time, everything was common. Everything then was peace, love, harmony.

Ach, Nichtchen, weisst Du denn nicht, wie verhängnisvoll mein Zuhausebleiben fuer die Welt wäre, wenn man an all das Unrecht denkt, das ich zu richten habe, an all die Bosheit, die ich Gutmachen muss und an all die Sünden, die ich zu sühnen auserwählt bin.

Oh, little niece, don’t you know how disastrous it would be for the world if I stay at home – think of all the injustice I have to judge, think of all the evil for which I have to make good for and of all the sins, I have been chosen to atone for.

(From the leaflet Koenigsplatz – Theaterspiele Glyptothek im Innenhof: Miguel de Cervantes: Don Quijote – 17. July to 15th of September – own translation -P.H.)

Well, yes, soon moving on, indeed ….



John, we met on occasion of a couple of conferences, frequently said:

I always see you sitting with you work in the hotel lounge or in the reception area.

And indeed, for many parts of my work I like an inspiring atmosphere as I can find it in hotel lounges or …

…, yes in some cases it is a privilege, being able to sit in a spot like this
It had been a year ago, near Amsterdam, children playing nearby did not really disturb me – more the other way round: I found it even motivating as it is a bit like having the “dedication of my work” directly as motivation and appeal around:
this work is dedicated to the future generations, aiming on contributing to a society that is worth living in
Such privilege can easily reverse – an adult abruptly dragging one of the kids at the arm, shouting at him
Just leave here, don’t play while we are sitting here.
 – I felt paralyzed, I had to leave soon after this “incidence”. Because of this old fellow’s misbehavior towards the children, but also as I felt disturbed by the permanently incoming beep-sound of incoming messages and swoosh-sound of outgoing messages on his phone.
Two days later, I went there again – I urgently needed a place that provides quietness and inspiration. I was a bit …, no, I was not really surprised that nobody calls the group of adults to order: about fifteen to twenty people, sitting in one of the corners, chatting and laughing loudly, cheering at each other with the beer and wine glasses, and walking around – each of them wanted to take a photo – about about fifteen to twenty people wanted to have more or less the same photo.
I left, feeling guilty that I did not make the point there, both days – the point of difference and sameness. And I left with the confirmation of the position of a lecturer and researcher: there is no such thing as value freedom, the place, any lecturer and researcher has to look for, is the place of the future, not a future ’that happens’ but a future that we have to develop. – Well, the value-judgement dispute should never be reduced on an abstract issue of academics disputing in an ivory tower.

Once upon a time …

… is today ….

Actually it is a more or less long time ago that this project commenced, making the first steps and growing, without a path that would be determined, trying to live in exactly that way that was also the birth name: Phanresia, bringing phantasy and reality together, trying to do it at least, playing the cross-cross conflation. And accepting that the reality could be something different than the original plan, imagined in the stories that had been made up, told to a little girl …

And then …?

… and then the little stories that had been told and imagined together, allowing the old to become young and the young to become …, well, wise and had been published as book …

…and then is now, commencing the youtube version of the book of Phanresia, telling stories from being different and stories about contradictions …. .

Yesterday, the 19th of August, the first part had been launched on youtube; and also the second part; the third part and the fourth. there will be more published subsequently while I enjoy writing the fourth volume, for a little boy… – step by step …, because once upon a time is now and will always be … if we allow reality of phantasy to be!

What is it?

Was es ist — What it is

– a poem by Erich Fried (See below the poem in german language)

Andreas Cellarius: Harmonia Macrocosmica, Plate 13: The hemisphere of the old world circle, including its zones and circles as well as the areas of the various inhabitants, 1660 

Yesterday taking up on this: an attempt to formulate an Ode of Life, after a brief meeting at the academy in the morning, then while we had been waiting for Daniel and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, amidst the Salzburgian Schickeria.

Why this urge to write, rewrite Fried’s poem? Was it because I receive  right now a message from Tobias, stating

Listening to Parsifal in Bayreuth I was getting aware of so many things. It has such a beautiful message: every ritual, religion and ideology – every togetherness of people – can only exit on the foundation of pity and love … this is Parsifal’s experience … — and the music … …

Is it the the impression from the program brochure which I received in advance? – It says

In Coleman’s Looking for Palestine, Said’s words are sung by a solo soprano, but the large orchestral forces also give voices to thoughts and feelings possibly too deep for words. Along with the familiar woodwind, brass and strings is a large percussion section, including a lithophone (pieces of rock suspended and struck to produce half-defined notes). And, in addition to the harps and piano, Coleman makes prominent use of an old, the Arab ‘king of instruments’, lute-like in appearance, but usually played with wide vibrato and decorative slides in a quite distinct way. It is the old that opens and nearly closes Looking for Palestine, though the last sounds we actually hear are the dry, skeletal stabs of lithophone and high violins. Between these poignantly atmospheric frames, the soprano tells her story, at first in long, keening melodic phrases, nut approaching the more urgent patterns of speech as the story builds to its climax, culminating in anguished, repeated cries. It is anguish that knows no allegiance, takes no position, but one that any human being reduced to extremity by life’s senseless cruelty can share. (Stephen Johnson: Cries and Hymns)

Or is it yesterday’s work on Phanresia – the beginning of the recording of volume 1, the continuation of writing volume 4?

Or perhaps the mentioned snobbery – the need of living some reasonably real  life in the persisting wrong wrong one …?

Andreas Cellarius: Harmonia Macrocosmica, Plate 14: the established, ptolemaic hypothesis, as it presents the movement of the planet with its excentres and epicycles, 1660

An attempt …

What it is?

It’s nonsense

ratio says

But not only that

says life

It is lack of fortune

says the calculating mind

And nothing than pain

adds fear


supposes the insight

But worthwhile to be lived … the voice comes from no-everywhere

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

pride thinks so


knows care

Impossible after all

experience wants to have the last word

But that is what it is

says life – despite of it, and only if it is lived as such …


Was es ist

Es ist Unsinn

sagt die Vernunft

Es ist was es ist

sagt die Liebe

Es ist Unglück

sagt die Berechnung

Es ist nichts als Schmerz

sagt die Angst

Es ist aussichtslos

sagt die Einsicht

Es ist was es ist

sagt die Liebe

Es ist lächerlich

sagt der Stolz

Es ist leichtsinnig

sagt die Vorsicht

Es ist unmöglich

sagt die Erfahrung

Es ist was es ist

sagt die Liebe

Erich Fried

Approximately 4,600 miles

Early morning, walking through the countryside, the cityscape, the coastline – somewhere, does the location matter? A glance across fields, the well-known image, familiar from various paintings that can be admired in the museums across the world. Does it matter where it is?
I listen to Dostojevski’s novel The Idiot, the following passage standing out:

“Here’s another alternative for me,” said Nastasia, turning once more to the actress; “and he does it out of pure kindness of heart. I know him. I’ve found a benefactor. Perhaps, though, what they say about him may be true — that he’s an — we know what. And what shall you live on, if you are really so madly in love with Rogojin’s mistress, that you are ready to marry her — eh?”

“I take you as a good, honest woman, Nastasia Philipovna — not as Rogojin’s mistress.”

“Who? I? — good and honest?”

“Yes, you.”

“Oh, you get those ideas out of novels, you know. Times are changed now, dear prince; the world sees things as they really are. That’s all nonsense.

Images and stories, the real life condensed in them, moments … – realities, moments lived according to images and novels … — the old Platonic questions, in simple minds, ad common sense put as question about hen and egg.

But what are these moments, how can we understand them as matter of time?
The opening words of Rüdiger Safranski’s book about time what it does to us, hat we make out of it [Zeit, was sie mit uns macht und was wir aus ihr machen. Hanser, München 2015, ISBN 978-3-446-23653-0] are as follows:
Time, says the Marshall in Hofmannthal’s The Knight of the Rose is a peculiar thing/if we just thoughtlessly live it seems to be nothing/ but then, out of a sudden/ one doesn’t feel anything like it.
We can measure all of it: space, realities, time – the various devices may come to mind as the chronometer, and the means to measure physical existence, it’s chemical composition, magnetic and electronic oscillations … – But how  can we really grasp this …. – matter that is without matter and still completely determines everything that matters. I remember one question I asked the students in Changsha:
Three brothers are living in a house. They truly look different from each other, but if you want to distinguish one from the other, each is like the other two. The first is not there, he returns home. The second is not there, he already left. Only the third is there, the smallest of the three, because without him the other two would not be there. And yet there is the third one, with whom we are concerned, just because the first is transformed into the second. Since you want you look at him, you will always just see one of the other brothers. Now tell me? Are the three perhaps one and the same? Or there are only two of them? Or is it even none? And if you can you tell me their names, you will see three mighty rulers. Together they govern a mighty empire and they are a mighty empire themselves.” (own translation from Michael Ende: Momo; P.H.)
Time completely determines everything that matters … – some people come to my mind: colleagues, acquaintances, students – encounters, casual or not, enjoyed or not, controlled or not, remembered … and somewhat present, if missed or not … .
In this way at least it is probably true what we say:
老师 – lǎoshī – it is not just being a teacher, it is about a lifelong position, a …., a matter?
Lifelong presence in undefinable space, not clear when it comes to its materiality/imagined character. Mind, imagined has nothing to do with illusionary. Instead, it is about the power we all have, the necessity to acknowledge responsibility to resist. Of course, always determined, limited as
[m]en make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, ….
These the words used by Marx in the Eighteenth Brumaire.
The 8th of July 2018 …, a very concrete time and place and matter: in Changsha my laoshi of special kind, celebrate their graduation. 4,585.20 miles away from where I am now, and still close. It is about the students of the “first intake” at Bangor College China (2014), my students who also had been my teachers – there had been so much hard work, efforts, failures, illusions, deceptions … Illusions and disillusionments …. – and so many others involved: non-students, non-lǎoshī. And what really mattered over the years, matters  at this very moment …, and will matter in the future of all those who play(ed) on this stage is not this piece of paper, testifying for the students their achievements – with which they live, which make them saleable; testifying the staff in one way or another the money they gained or earned; and testifying for some the power they gained or failed to gain on the ranking vanity fair …. [some further reflections can be found in the contribution Challenges for Education in an International Setting; more is published here].
A flow of timespacematter merged, condensed in an event, graduation as celebration but perhaps also a distraction by eventialisation, … eventialisation … eventually they, we got here, eventually as concrete result, as the concrete which is the condensation of the many-multifold – Marx wrote about it in The Grundrisse
The concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations, hence unity of the diverse. It appears in the process of thinking, therefore, as a process of concentration, as a result, not as a point of departure, even though it is the point of departure in reality and hence also the point of departure for observation [Anschauung] and conception.

And it is also the condensation as the concrete on which the future can and will develop: concrete – also the concrete as matter, the firm ground which allows to stand and develop power, the pouvoir, the ability each of us, of them has … and will develop further as Foucault insists.

A large plain, timespacematter for each as individual, as personality … and still – it was a permanent topic when I was together with a friend of those days – a plain of gain only when it is walked on together: emerging as reality of lived life in real spaces when the different images and stories are put together like a jigsaw with different optional results, not as volens purum – and equally not resulting by way of nolens volens.


Early morning, walking through the countryside, the cityscape, the coastline – somewhere, does the location matter? A glance across fields, the well-known images, familiar from various paintings that can be admired in the museums across the world. Does it matter where it is? A novel … whatever it is, it will be about the best of our world, the Candide-world.
Images and stories, the real life condensed in them, moments … – realities, moments lived according to images and novels … — the old Platonic questions, in simple minds, ad common sense put as question about hen and egg.
Altro tempo. Non c’è più. Arrivato e fuggito. Rapidamente. Ma sempre soggiornare.

Dead Clowns

meaning, relevance, sense – questions people who live are too often compelled to leave them to philosophers …. – like issues of production as reproduction of real life are, on the other hand left to people while economists read in tea-leaves of heroic, even quasi-divine formulas that are distant from peoples’ and people’s life — just remaining meaningless and non-sensual.
Some time ago already – after I gave a presentation at the Symposium organised by the European Academy of Sciece and Arts – looking at
a later presenter was carried way by
Several month later, by accident, I was getting nicely aware of the misleading question of humanoid robots replacing humans, spotting by accident a clip showing
Baseline? There is no real danger of human beings becoming replaced – the danger is that some Kurzweil’ig ‘systems’ are brought forward by those sigularitarian minds in their Plutocratic caves [see Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else]. The danger is that some powerful forces succeed in reducing us to mindless clowns, caught in Platonian caves – the circle of virtuality emerging as vicious circle, its life depending on he fact that no needle will be used, by nobody.
Mind, all this is not really about  Humanoid toys – it is about comedians and actors like Beppe Grillo in Italian politics, natioal citizens attacking fellow citizens from other countries, narcissistic tyrants rethinking the liberty statue and overlookin the old rebukes
Skerbischs „Lichtschwert“ vor dem Opernhaus Graz
Von Marion Schneider & Christoph Aistleitner – Eigenes Werk, Gemeinfrei,
And yes, it is also about administer-infantilisation.
Overcoming humankind, if it then happens, won’t be much else then the

« My makeup is dry and it clags on my chin
I’m drowning my sorrows in whisky and gin
The lion tamer’s whip doesn’t crack anymore
The lions they won’t fight and the tigers won’t roar »


« Il mio trucco si è asciugato e cola sul mio mento
Sto affogando i miei dispiaceri nel whisky e nel gin
Il domatore di leoni non da più colpi di frusta
I leoni non si azzufferanno più tra loro e le tigri non ruggiranno »



Ambiguities – hardly coming to an end …

… be it as topic of love stories, of national identities, recognition of interpretation and believes or as matter of understanding of and acting within this world. It is the huge topic of Howard Zinn’s play
[Howard Zinn:
Three Plays: The Political Theater of Howard Zinn: Emma, Marx in Soho, Daughter of Venus]
It is truly coming across in this wonderful, poiggnant performance by Brian Jones
Well, I watched it, and read it before going to Maynooth early May – for some short lectures at my Department of Chiense at the University, one on
the other looking at
then attending the conference The (re)Birth of Marx(ism): haunting the future, there looking at the question
Value theory: is there any value in it? Is it still worthwhile to talk about it?
I remember one passage – showing the ambiguities, and also giving some tiny insight in the major role Jenny played.

I wish you could know Jenny. What she did for me cannot be calculated. And she accepted the fact that I could not simply get a job like other men. Yes, I did try once. I wrote a letter of inquiry to the railway for a position as clerk. They responded as follows: “Dr. Marx, we are honored with your request for a position here. We have never had a doctor of philosophy working for us as a clerk. But the position requires a legible handwriting, so we must regretfully decline your offer.” (He shrugs.)

Jenny believed in my ideas. But she was impatient with what she considered the pretensions of high-level scholarship. “Come down to earth, Herr Doktor,” she would say.
She wanted me to describe the theory of surplus value so ordinary workers could understand it. I told her, “No one can understand it without first understanding the labor theory of value, and how labor power is a special commodity whose value is determined by the cost of the means of subsistence and yet gives value to all other commodities, a value which always exceeds the value of labor power.” She would shake her head: “No, that won’t do. All you have to say is this: your employer gives you the barest amount in wages, just enough for you to survive and work; but out of your labor he makes far more than what he pays you. And so he gets richer and richer, while you stay poor.” All right, let us say only a hundred people in world history have ever understood my theory of surplus value. (Gets heated) But it is still true! Just last week, I was reading the reports of the United States Department of Labor. There you have it. Your workers are producing more and more goods and getting less and less in wages. What is the result? Just as I predicted. Now the richest one percent of the American population owns forty percent of the nation’s wealth. And this in the great model of world capitalism, the nation that has not only robbed its own people, but sucked in the wealth of the rest of the world . . . Jenny was always trying to simplify ideas that were, by their nature, complex. She accused me of being a scholar first and a revolutionary second. She said: “Forget your intellectual readers. Address the workers.” She called me arrogant and intolerant. “Why do you attack other revolutionaries more vehemently than you attack the bourgeoisie?” she asked. Proudhon, for instance. The man did not understand that we must applaud capitalism for its development of giant industries, and then take them over. Proudhon thought we must retreat into a more simple society. When he wrote his book The Philosophy of Poverty, I replied with my own book, The Poverty of Philosophy. I thought this was clever. Jenny thought it was insulting. (Sighs) I suppose Jenny was a far better human being than I could ever be.