Lectionis et Seminario – De sociali et politica in Europea

European Integration – a failed political and social union?

2017 S. BA-Course at the University of Vienna, Department of Political Science.

A series of fifteen sessions delivered at the University of Vienna, Department of Political Science. The series is looking at the process of European integration – a wide topic looked at under the guiding question if EUrope failed to deliver the ambitious perspective of establishing a political and social union. The answer is by the present author given in somewhat negative terms: we cannot really say that the EU-institutions failed to reach the target of a political and social union … – it is worse: such targets never existed. So, we have to be clear in our critique. This means not least that we are challenged – and may gain sufficient insight – to develop the EU to something meaningful – meaningful not for the people but a reflection by the people – men make their own history, but it is not only the nightmare of the past, it is also a matter of the conditions of the still present hegemons who employ gatekeepers of different kind – even if the princes today wear the clothes of normal people, it is very much about behind the veils of the most expensive princely garments.

The various sessions, of which the recordings [German language] are available, present the historical development, some key issues and relevant theories in a more or less narrative way.

Annunci

mind snatchers

Back home now, taking up teaching again – and with this the “major challenge” we face – nolens volens

E.P. Thompson wrote in an article in 1970:

Collectively, all of us – all we liberal academics – were struck with a paralysis of will as the system not only grew round us, but built us into its own body-walls. Once inside there it looked as if we were running our bit of the show: but the show itself was being directed towards other ends.

Andrew McGettigan, also quoting this, comes in his review article in Radical Philosophy (186 – July/August 2014) to the conclusion that the really important thing about the book Warwick University Ltd. is the investigative journalism. The importance of such investigative journalism cannot be denied.
And I am right now again made aware of it: there had been the change, now the business school teaching economics with reference to the CORE-programme – I commented earlier on it, saying that there would be some progress at least. During the last days I learned that even this is a questionable assessment, reading in mails:
… we have to bear in mind when looking at the CORE information, that we are teaching economics to u/g students in a Business School and so interprete the information accordingly, although I do however understand that students might be interested these other areas. …
And
… As you state, the e-book is substantial and so we are clearly not covering all aspects in detail but the relevant staff are deciding which aspects of each unit to focus on. You can reasonably assume that we have discussed all of the “Key Points” listed at the end of each unit. …
 Looking then at other documents, I see exactly those walls, replicated and known …, and not touched.
With all the complains, however, we should never forget that there may be a mechanism here name “distraction by attraction”: Being carried away by the presentation of “simple facts”, scandalisation, and also the play with abstract ideas and models lets us easily forget the actual core of any academic work:
This surely goes beyond (and deeper than) descriptions and statistical meticulousness and the learning of formulas. Indeed, academics should refrain from moving on the stages, “cutting things into pieces”, describing facts like playing roles. But mind:

That’s enough words for the moment,
Now let me see some action!

While you’re handing out the compliments,
You should also make things happen.
Why talk so much of inspiration?
Delay won’t make it flow, you see.

taking up the “major challenge” we face – nolens volens. And the worse answer is:ignoring it, turning head and mind to business as usual, business in capital letters…

War – the political intercourse carried on with other means — 9/11/1973

While writing, just before the 9/11 date, I can only assume that there will be another series of memorials … — and the one nearly complete amnesia: September 11, 1973 is the date which marks much more than just another violent rebuke of an alternative to business as usual as capitalist is called — and it is called even more so today, while the hegemony of this kind of business is barely contested in real terms.
What makes the Coup in Chile special?
To begin with, an important point can be taken from a piece by  Ralph Miliband, published in the Jacobin. He makes us aware of the fact that Chile was a showcase. We read
When Salvador Allende was elected to the presidency of Chile in September 1970, the regime that was then inaugurated was said to constitute a test case for the peaceful or parliamentary transition to socialism.
And leaving the different interpretations Miliband utters aide, it is surely true that
class struggle also means, and often means first of all, the struggle waged by the dominant class, and the state acting on its behalf, against the workers and the subordinate classes. By definition, struggle is not a one way process; but it is just as well to emphasize that it is actively waged by the dominant class or classes, and in many ways much more effectively waged by them than the struggle waged by the subordinate classes.
Gabriel García Márquez out this into the wider context in his piece Why Allende had to die?

Chile had long been a favoured area for research by North American social scientists. The age and strength of its popular movement, the tenacity and intelligence of its leaders and the economic and social conditions themselves afforded a glimpse of the country’s destiny. One didn’t require the findings of a Project Camelot to venture the belief that Chile was a prime candidate to be the second socialist republic in Latin America after Cuba. The aim of the United States, therefore, was not simply to prevent the government of Allende from coming to power in order to protect American investments. The larger aim was to repeat the most fruitful operation that imperialism has ever helped bring off in Latin America: Brazil.

And this is the core of such class struggle: undermine systematically any success story that shows that another world is possible. So we read

During the first year, 47 industrial firms were nationalised, along with most of the banking system. Agrarian reform saw the expropriation and incorporation into communal property of six million acres of land formerly held by the large landowners. The inflationary process was slowed, full employment was attained and wages received a cash rise of 30 per cent.
Hegemony, we know too well from Gramsci, is linked to two ways: the direct control, using violence where needed — and this is the force making sure that oppression is maintained if the soft means of hegemonic control fail to fulfill their duty. The geopolitical constellation was clear — The Time Magazine (October 19, 1970) brought it on the point, titling:
Marxist Threat In The Americas – Chile’s Salvador Allende
Indeed, as Márquez points out,
For the Christian Democrats, it was proof that the process of social justice set in motion by the Popular Unity coalition could not be turned back by legal means but they lacked the vision to measure the consequences of the actions they then undertook. For the United States, the election was a much more serious warning and went beyond the simple interests of expropriated firms. It was an inadmissible precedent for peaceful progress and social change for the peoples of the world, particularly those in France and Italy, where present conditions make an attempt at an experiment along the lines of Chile possible. All forces of internal and external reaction came together to form a compact bloc.
At the time, and I remember it well, everything was clear though undocumented – and there was still the attempt of denial – the denial of the obvious fact that this was a geopolitical strategy with many heads behind it. And mentioning those heads, pointing out that it was a coup that had been prepared for some time, had to face too often skeptical answers — but at some stage the truth cannot be denied anymore.
—–
Actually, what is true for the hot war is also true for the cold war. Chile was, at the time of Pinochet, celebrated as blueprint for what is now known as neoliberalism – to on a pedestal by Milton Friedman; and fostered by the IMF. But even in the IMF, some people wake up, seeing in tendency the wrongs for which they stand today:

An assess- ment of these specific policies (rather than the broad neoliberal agenda) reaches three disquieting conclusions:

• The benefits in terms of increased growth seem fairly dif- ficult to establish when looking at a broad group of countries.

• The costs in terms of increased inequality are promi- nent. Such costs epitomize the trade-off between the growth and equity effects of some aspects of the neoliberal agenda.

• Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustain- ability of growth. Even if growth is the sole or main purpose of the neoliberal agenda, advocates of that agenda still need to pay attention to the distributional effects.

—–
Back to today’s main stage then where it had been
against Chile as well — for Cuba it had been already the known strategy for a while.
And the new strategy after the democratically elected government was overthrown, was clear. The Pinochet-regime, after first establishing itself by bloody measures, established the new reign – present in an article published in The Guardian:
After Allende’s enemies finally claimed their victory against him on 11 September, Chileans protected themselves as best they could while Pinochet and his cohorts, well favoured now by Washington, turned to making themselves fortunes from the privatisation of public services and, quietly, from the trade in cocaine from Bolivia which the US never seemed to want to criticise or attack.
Indeed, Clausewitz new it and spelled it out:
War is not merely an act of policy but a true political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse carried on with other means.
And it is in this sense that we have to learn about the “invisible financial and economic blockade” Allende spoke of, addressing the UN in December 1972.
— A topic Paul E. Sigmund discussed in Foreign Affairs (Vol. 52, No. 2 (Jan., 1974), pp. 322-340)
And that the war reports today – those on the ‘cold war’ – are not necessarily widely discussed, though fatalities and winners easily can be seen. And we should also not forget that THIS war can be found in many places around the globe – North and South, and often enough not really just as cold war. And Michael Hudson analysed this issue of Finance as Warfare.
Coming back to Ralph Miliband’s article, we read at its beginning:
Of course, the Wise Men of the Left, and others too, have hastened to proclaim that Chile is not France, or Italy, or Britain. This is quite true. No country is like any other: circumstances are always different, not only between one country and another, but between one period and another in the same country. Such wisdom makes it possible and plausible to argue that the experience of a country or period cannot provide conclusive “lessons.”
But still, despite that there are many lessons we can learn from history, also from the history of 9/11 1973 – in particular when we see all these events, now and then, not as individual occurrences but as part of the ongoing history of striving for global hegemony.

Und es herrscht Angst

Bereits vor meiner Abfahrt zur SOAK – der attac-Sommerakademie  und dann wieder nach der Rückkehr habe ich mich dadrüber unterhalten. Das Grundthema kann vielleicht zusammengefasst werden in dem Satz: Es herrscht Angst in Europa .., und in der Welt. Nicht weil ein Gespenst umgeht in Europa, sondern weil der eigene “Geist des Kapitalismus”, der so marvelos von Weber in seiner Protestantismus-Studie herausgearbeitet wurde, unter mehrfachem Druck steht. Und es herrscht Angst hier in China unter Freunden, die sich nicht mehr so recht in den Westen wagen. Freilich ist die Unsicherheit und die Bedrohung durch Terrorismus ein Problem und die Gefahr des Fundamentalismus darf nicht unterschätzt werden. Und die Ursachen sind vielfältig – soweit sie mit dem Thema Migration zusammenhängen, haben wir dies im wissenschaftlichen Beirat in einer kleinen Arbeitsgruppe des attac-Beirates in den letzten Monaten ausführlich bearbeitet und das Resultat wird bald auf der website irgendwo veröffentlicht (eine andere, kürzere Veröffentlichung ist für die Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik vorgesehen).

Angst aber ist ein schlechter Ratgeber angesichts der anstehenden Probleme – sie führt zur Abschottung und feuert an: führt zu mehr Angst: bei den sich selbst einsperrenden und bei den nun absolut ausgeschlossenen. Angst ist ein schlechter Ratgeber, denn Dialog ist angesagt, der Mut erfordert – und Stärke. Aber wie kann Stärke sich finden, wenn dieses Modell Freiheit – Freiheit ist die Freiheit, dass alle alles konsumieren können – nicht funktioniert?

Wie die Pressemeldung der Partei Die Linke (siehe auch unten) zeigt, findet nun in Kanada der “Ausschluss vom Markt” die politische Fortsetzung – den Ausschluss aus der politische Arena. Rosa Luxemburg  hätte wieder Grund zu fordern:

Freiheit ist immer Freiheit der Andersdenkenden. Nicht wegen des Fanatismus der »Gerechtigkeit«, sondern weil all das Belebende, Heilsame und Reinigende der politischen Freiheit an diesem Wesen hängt und seine Wirkung versagt, wenn die »Freiheit« zum Privilegium wird.”

Aber dieser Ausschluss ist ja nur Logisch, denn nur wo Freiheit auch Freiheit des Nicht-Konsumbügers ist, kann auch die Freiheit des Andersdenkenden gesichert sein. Und das bedeutet auch, den gemeinsamen Weg zu suchen – darüber zu sprechen, auch wenn es schwer fällt, und Empathy zu zeigen, auch wenn es nicht schwerer ist.

====

Hier eine Meldung der PDS. Die Linke – sie macht auf eben diesem Tatbestand aufmerksam:

11. August 2016 Judith Benda

Weltsozialforum ist wichtige Plattform für internationalen
Erfahrungsaustausch

Zum in dieser Woche stattfindenden Weltsozialforum im kanadischen
Montreal erklärt Judith Benda, Mitglied im Parteivorstand der LINKEN
und der Europäischen Linken (EL) und Teil der EL-Delegation beim
Weltsozialforum:

“Eine andere Welt ist notwendig: In der aktuellen politischen Lage ist
ein Treffen progressiver und sozialer Bewegungen mit Menschen aus allen
Regionen der Erde wichtiger denn je. Wir müssen linke Antworten finden
auf die vielfältigen Herausforderungen, wie den weltweiten Hunger, die
verschärfte soziale Ungleichheit, Kriege und die voranschreitende
Militarisierung sowie das Erstarken reaktionärer Kräfte in vielen
Ländern. Das Weltsozialforum ist eine wichtige Plattform für den
internationalen Erfahrungsaustausch und zur Entwicklung von Programmatik
und gemeinsamen Aktionen”.

Die Partei der Europäischen Linken (EL) kritisiert die
Einreiseverweigerung der kanadischen Regierung für viele AktivistInnen,
insbesondere aus Afrika und Asien. “Es ist inakzeptabel, dass
AktivistInnen die Teilnahme durch eine restriktive Einreisepolitik
unmöglich gemacht wird. Das Weltsozialforum braucht ganz besonders auch
die Stimme des globalen Südens”.

Die Partei der Europäischen Linken ist an fünf Workshops vor Ort
beteiligt, auf dem Programm stehen zudem Treffen mit der Partei Quebec
solidaire sowie Anti-TTIP und CETA Initiativen.

Democracy

Of course it would be silly to deny the value of democratic rules and mechanisms as free elections, representation and the like. But looking at countries where all these are in place, one may occasionally ask what all this really means.  A report on the situation in France and its labor reform may make us think a bit more. Quoted from the Telsur-aricle:

The plan, opposed by three in four French people, according to pollsters, has provoked weeks of often violent demonstrations and added strains on police who were already stretched by extra security duties in the wake of last November’s deadly Islamist attacks on France.

New Princedoms II

— or: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science

Of course, now I could state: what I wrote earlier on the New Princedoms had been just a prolegomena, and I could even be much bolder, claiming what follows is not less than a new “Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics That Will Be Able to Present Itself as a Science”, the one that had been presented by Kant in 1783, surely in need of some update.

But in actual fact both, modesty, honesty and realism require that I admit that I only heard about it yesterday evening, having been asked

Hai sentito dell’ archeologo del sito di Palmira? … Era in pensione, ma era rimasto al suo posto dando la vita per la Bellezza e per il suo lavoro, a cui aveva dedicato tutto sé stesso.

Checking then a day later the WWW, I soon found a bit more about what happened, namely

The killing of Khaled Asaad

Siria: perché l’Isis ha ucciso l’archeologo di Palmira

I am not in a position to engage in depth — perhaps as I am a non-religious and non-fundamentalist person, not seeing myself in a position to comment on the details, not being able to clearly distinguish between the broad lines and the distracting details. Still, there is a bit that I can say.

The article mentions five reasons — and I am wondering if it is not just one reason that is relevant: the change of the foundation of the old world order: a world order in which difference had been defined and accepted, inequalities being taking for granted and clearly defined — some will remember the cartoon of the 1960 and early 70s, wasn’t it a Chinese one: showing the pulling of hair down the line, the cat being the last in the row that started from the accepted authority. Wondering means: not knowing, asking, or even more: going on in searching the question, namely the non-technical one. Just like Stephen Hawking who asked

In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?

and continuing:

I don’t know the answer. That is why I asked the question.

Coming back to the article on the murder of Khaled Asaad, it brings us at the end to part of the question that has to be asked, looking for all those who stated earlier

Je suis Charlie

and who are silent now.

One problem is obviously a matter of information, or to be precise: the two matters of information. The one is that the information overflow goes hand in hand with non-recognition; the other is the way of selection: you can’t have it all. It is our own limitation and it is …, well, that is the second part: the process of directing attention by algorithms, defined by the powerful.

When browsing the Panorama further on “L’Isis e la guerra al terrorismo islamico” — and I will not go into details; furthermore, picking the Panorama is due to laziness, due to accepting the guide of some http://www.engine.algorithm, which will bring you probably to something similar in the place that big brother determines as “your country” — something had been …, well I could say, surprising:

  • many/most of the news are about violence, are presenting sad and “unbelievable” stories
  • many/most of the news are presenting some form of “weighing” — cynically one may say: the life of a person does not count much, the life of a woman or child, and of course: even more the lives of women and children counts much more, if there are enough men it counts too, or if there are such exceptional people as Khaled Asaad — and from what I know by now, he really was exceptional
  • many/most of the stories are marked in some strange way, looking at the reporting, by a contradiction: the “colorful” way of writing about the horrors is accompanied by the black-and-white-presentation of the good and the bad. And indeed it remains difficult to say “Je suis Charlie” in a world of which the actual struggle seems to be very much the old one, fought not during the Risorgimento. Those times seemed to be clear — to quote Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard:

“Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com’è bisogna che tutto cambi.”

i.e.

“Things must change, in order that they can stay the same.”

A nice saying, though really important is the context. The words are spoken by Tancredi, following his statement

Unless we ourselves take a hand now, they’ll foist a republic on us.

And the entire story is about the disintegration.

But WHAT disintegrated? We may look at the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies — Il Regno delle Due Sicilie; and we may also look at the different types of government, royalty standing against republic ecc. .

It is easy to overlook that all this had been — here and (at least) in all the European countries at the time — an expression of fundamental changes of the economic system …. — but now I am hesitating, or I am afraid, coming too close to figures. As said previously

If we want to look at figures, we should look at figures that are relevant: unemployment rates, orientation of economic policies on national performance instead of global responsibility, the privatisation of hospitals and the subsequent maltreatment of patients and staff, the Making of the Migration Crisis, going hand in hand with fears of extinction of nations, prices that make accommodation unaffordable, thus opening space for speculation and leaving places prone to alienation by different forms of ghettoisation …

But the meaning of this can only be understood when we read it against what Engels stated:

According to the materialistic conception, the determining factor in history is, in the last resort, the production and reproduction of the immediate life. But this itself is again of a twofold character. On the one side, the production of the means of subsistence, of food and clothing and shelter and the implements required for this; on the other, the production of human beings themselves, the propagation of the species. The social institutions under which men of a definite historical epoch and of a particular country live are determined by both kinds of production: by the stage of development of labour, on the one hand, and of the family, on the other.

(Engels, Frederick, 1884: Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Preface [to the First Edition]; in: Karl Marx Frederick Engels. Collected Works. Volume 26. Frederick Engels. 1882-89; London: Lawrence&Wishart, 1990: 131-133: 131 f.)

The figures — of course important, and of course important as indicating main problems — are at the same time (potentially) misleading as they fall short of grasping the really relevant aspect of

the production and reproduction of the immediate life

As especially the reference to the Making of the Migration Crisis shows, they are very much about the production and reproduction of the immediate life under very specific capitalist conditions. And these capitalist conditions. And with this, there is very little hope for a Vatican Spring, a remark that is not directed against setting up a broad movement of very different forces; but it is directed against the reliance on value systems, appeals and hopes that are not clearly addressing capitalism and reduced the critique on “this capitalism”.

Approaching “this capitalism” has to look fundamentally at the following, something I elaborated on a different occasion — it is very much a translation from a text originally written in German

1. The discussion of the current crisis remains trapped in the old tracks — and it is often just looking at the glass, asking if it is half-empty or half-full, at the end being oriented on re-establishing a status-quo ante. This is in many cases also true in cases where critique is brought forward with the claim of fundamentally rejecting of the existing system. However, when talking about a structural crisis, the question must be whether the glass is actually completely broken. …

2. The current challenge is then to look at the crisis of the hegemonic system. If this is seen as power of ideas, it should also be emphasised that the so-called neoliberalism reflects a one-sided interpretation of the objective conditions and not simply a voluntary statement of values of a self-proclaimed ruling-class. …). We need … a courageous utopia that is based in the objectively given conditions of the productive forces and the real potential, and partly implicitly realised in the existing forms of socialisation.

3. The “limits to growth” are not simply a matter of discussing the negative constellations; it is necessary to consider the wider context, allowing to understand the limits of growth in the context of the ongoing limits to limitations that are to a large extent directly and causally related. We are talking about increasing inequalities, which are much more extensive than shown by Piketty: It is still the question of the (lack of) access to basic resources such as water, nutrition, housing, etc., all this increasingly a problem in all societies.

4. Finally, politics are always made for an uncertain future – risks should not result in paralysis nor lead to excessive adjustments.

Looking from this angle, the war against evil is a kind of Hobbesian Bellum omnium contra Omnes. However, we have to observe fake and original — as we are now dealing with a new dimension, going far beyond the individualist stance proposed by Hobbes. Today’s war is taking place in the gabbia di matti, the place where confusion reigns: individuals against individuals are still fighting, as much as we are also facing wars of states against states. However, in addition we find the “war of citizens against citizens” — even if the citizens are split personalities, fighting against each other — well-known from role-theory: and it is the war of the consumption citizens, active citizens, citizens of nation states, citizens of associations against the consumption citizens, active citizens, citizens of nation states, citizens of associations — it least the war of everybody against him and herself … . And to make it easier to bear it, it may be and will be a war of the consumption citizens, active citizens, citizens of nation states, citizens of associations against the consumption citizens, active citizens, citizens of other nation states, citizens of associations of other countries.

Not so much that changed, one may say — and it is true although the change is fundamental insofar the borders actually do not work anymore. Of course, it is not entirely clear if and in which way they actually worked in previous ages and eras. But at least there had been some stability over time. In terms of regulation theory, we look at accumulation regimes as

[a] particular combination of production and consumption which can be reproduced over time despite conflictual tendencies (Jessop)

and modes of regulation as

[a]n institutional ensemble and complex of norms which can secure capitalist reproduction pro tempore despite the antagonistic character of capitalist social relations (Jessop)

When we look closely the possibility of “reproduction over time despite conflictual tendencies” is broken — not globalisation as such requires a new definition of borders and rule(r)s. Instead, the fact that globalisation becomes increasingly real, defends such requirement. The end of history — this has been stated for many times — is the beginning of a new era, rightly characterised by Antonio Gramsci, contending that

[t]he crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

Walls are erected, to maintain the old borders: States against states — interestingly nations defining themselves as ultimate external border as in the Hungarian case; different fundamentalists each claiming to be the better of the people of god, the one wanting to capture Istanbul, the Turks claiming that their fence is about keeping “them” out, joined by the big brother across the great ocean, but actually aiming against the Kurds and the “old fight”, now being combined with a seemingly new one.

And all the other walls (see also here for one that is often misunderstood) and fences as the many in Latin America and against Latin America … the main wall still waiting to be lifted: the embargo against Cuba. And. with all this we easily forget the one of utmost important, the wall that is much more than the namegiver to a street,  that a major, the real divide of the world, for so many the wall against which they stand while being executed, listening to the song that speaks about Killing me softly.

As Max Weber stated 1919 in “Politics as a Vocation”

Every state is founded on force,’ said Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk. That is indeed right. If no social institutions existed which knew the use of violence, then the concept of ‘state’ would be eliminated, and a condition would emerge that could be designated as ‘anarchy,’ in the specific sense of this word. Of course, force is certainly not the normal or the only means of the state — nobody says that — but force is a means specific to the state. Today the relation between the state and violence is an especially intimate one. In the past, the most varied institutions — beginning with the sib — have known the use of physical force as quite normal. Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Note that ‘territory’ is one of the characteristics of the state. Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the ‘right’ to use violence. Hence, ‘politics’ for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state.

Sure, it is easy to point on the walls of shame — many others could be added, including the “virtual walls” by European migration polices along the Mediterraneans. It is not so easy to acknowledge that there is another wall that actually establishes the foundation of shame: This is the wall of fame. Well, here the plural applies too

Universities, striving for excellence, expressed in ranking lists, causing a suicide of social science (irony that this article is only accessible for the academic insiders, those in the safe heaven of the ivory towers of academia); the mentioned celebration of little starlets that feel their marriage threatened by working time of 20 days per year; broken-up politicians establishing a Forced Choice Between ‘Suicide or Execution’. And other politicians cynically mocking

“You shouldn’t commit suicide because you’re afraid of dying,” the commission’s President Jean-Claude Juncker said. “You should say ‘yes’ regardless of what the question is.”

 

Well, how can we then try to understand what cannot be understood? Now, a renaissance has usually two sides, it consists of the character of dialectics as matter of maintaining and overturning.

Returning to the five reasons mentioned above, trying to put them into one nutshell (while remaining alert — such attempt is always as tempting as it is dangerous) we may take home what Hegel states in the Philosophy of Right, namely in § 258:

Rationality, taken generally and in the abstract, consists in the thorough-going unity of the universal and the single.

Such “universal and single” cannot consist in the dishonest erection of walls of fame that evoke equally dishonest walls of shame.

One does not have to live in Rome (though it may help) to appreciate una vita per la bellezza — the appreciation of beauty, not only as e(x)ternal phenomenon but even more as matter of a state of life.

 

Another quick turn to Hegel, who wrote in § 257

The state is the actuality of the ethical Idea. It is ethical mind qua the substantial will manifest and revealed to itself, knowing and thinking itself, accomplishing what it knows and in so far as it knows it. The state exists immediately in custom, mediately in individual self-consciousness, knowledge, and activity, while self-consciousness in virtue of its sentiment towards the state, finds in the state, as its essence and the end-product of its activity, its substantive freedom.

But if the actual state has nothing else to do than permanently driving wedges between people and peoples, if sovereignty is undermined by confronting the sovereign with the decision between suicide and execution, it will be difficult to find a solution. If a Coalition (of the Radical Left – Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς, ΣΥΡΙΖΑ (Syriza)) is forced to loose (even if they may win another election), the unity as Λαϊκή Ενότητα (Laiki Enotita), the Popular Unity may be forced to go its own way.

It surely is an important point that had been mentioned in a recent TeleSur-article

the one thing that we can continue to look for in Greece is that anti-austerity movement is coming from the streets and communities.

The challenge is to bring the various communities from across the globe going the same direction, not as they usually did: along the Rabbit-Proof Fence, erected against humans degraded to animals, themselves degrading

So, if we turn down the real fences, the fences that imprison the minds will fall — we only have to make sure that the minds have to set free, allowing to turn down the fences. And if we look around, if we look at people helping migrants, caring for others, and fighting for and with others we may manage to really turn them down and use the huge potentials that we do have.