Wir verurteilen die Ausweitung der verbrecherischen Kriegspolitik von USA, Großbritannien und Frankreich auf dem syrischen Territorium mit Zustimmung der Bundeskanzlerin – Stellungnahme von Mitgliedern des wissenschaftl. Beirats von Attac Deutschland

Stellungnahme von Mitgliedern des wissenschaftl. Beirats von Attac Deutschland; Berlin, 15.04.2018

Wir verurteilen die Ausweitung der verbrecherischen Kriegspolitik von USA, Großbritannien und Frankreich auf dem syrischen Territorium mit Zustimmung der Bundeskanzlerin

 

Die massive Schuldzuweisung der USA und ihrer Verbündeten an die Adresse der syrischen und russischen Präsidenten Assad und Putin nach dem mutmaßlichen Giftgaseinsatz im syrischen Duma sowie die jüngsten Militäreinsätze, verbunden mit der Kriegsdrohung des US-Präsidenten Trump gegen Russland erwecken den Eindruck einer von langer Hand geplanten Inszenierung zur Vorbereitung eines in letzter Konsequenz gegen Russland gerichteten Krieges, der in einen unkontrollierbaren globalen Flächenbrand einzumünden droht.

Wir sind äußerst empört und besorgt über den verantwortungslosen Umgang nicht zuletzt der Bundesregierung angesichts ihrer leichtfertigen Unterstützung der Position der Regierungen in Großbritannien, Frankreich und den USA. Anstatt auf diese mäßigend Einfluss zu nehmen, gießt sie Öl in das Feuer.

Wir erklären: Giftgaseinsätze sind Kriegsverbrechen. Diese müssen vor dem Haager Tribunal mit entsprechenden Konsequenzen verhandelt werden. Jedwede kriegerische Handlungen auf Grund von Mutmaßungen durch einen Staat oder ein Bündnis von Staaten stellen selbst ein Kriegsverbrechen dar. Sie gehören ebenfalls vor das UN-Kriegsverbrecher-Tribunal.

Wir verurteilen die Haltung der deutschen Bundesregierung im aktuellen Konflikt:

– Es ist politisch unverantwortlich, dass die Bundeskanzlerin und der Außenminister sich im Skripal-Fall die Schuldzuweisungen der britischen Regierung gegen Russland zu eigen gemacht haben.

– Es ist ein Skandal, wenn der Vorsitzende des Auswärtigen Ausschusses im Bundestag, Norbert Röttgen, öffentlich und bisher unwidersprochen kundtut, dass „Unschuldsvermutung und rechtstaatliche Verfahren nur für innerstaatliche Strafverfahren“ gelten und die Übertragung rechtsstaatlicher Grundsätze auf internationale Beziehungen wirklich Unsinn“ sei. Herr Röttgen wirft damit sämtliche auf Grund der Nazi-Kriegsverbrechen entwickelten UN-Regeln, -Verfahren und -Institutionen, wie den Haager Gerichtshof und die Menschenrechtkonvention, ja das Völkerrecht insgesamt, über Bord.

– Es ist nicht nachvollziehbar, wenn Frau Merkel sich faktisch hinter Trump, den unberechenbaren US-Präsidenten, stellt und behauptet, „die Evidenz, dass dort Chemiewaffen eingesetzt wurden,” sei “sehr, sehr klar und sehr deutlich”, um dann indirekt Assad und Putin für den angeblichen Giftgaseinsatz in Syrien verantwortlich zu machen. Es ist nicht hinnehmbar, dass sie die Mitwirkung der Bundesrepublik an einem völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffskrieg ankündigt.

– Wir verlangen von der Bundesregierung, sich von der Politik der Regierungen in Großbritannien, Frankreich und den USA, die den Weltfrieden aufs Äußerste bedrohen, klar zu distanzieren und deutsche AWACS-Flugzeuge im Rahmen der US-geführten „Anti-IS-Allianz“ sofort zurückzubeordern.

– Wir fordern die Bundesregierung und das deutsche Parlament eindringlich auf, die Rüstungsausgaben unter keinen Umständen zu erhöhen und darauf hinzuwirken, dass der NATO-Beschluss zu ihrer Erhöhung auf zwei Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts ersatzlos zurückgenommen wird.

V.i.S.d.P.: Prof. Dr. Mohssen Massarrat, Mohssen.Massarrat@uos.de, Tel: 0176-96746309

 

UnterzeichnerInnen:

Prof. Dr. Michael Brie, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Däubler, Prof. Dr. Peter Herrmann, Prof. Dr. Rudolf Hickel, Dr. Fritz Storim, Prof. Dr. Michael Schneider, Prof. Dr. Mohssen Massarrat, Prof. Dr. Christoph Butterwegge, Prof. Dr. Armin Bernhard, Prof. Dr. Frigga Haug, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Fritz Haug, Dr. Werner Rügemer, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Neef, Prof. Dr. Frieder Otto Wolf, Prof. Dr. Stefan Bestmann, Dr. Lydia Krüger, Prof. Dr. Rudolph Bauer, Prof. Dr. Birgit Mahnkopf, apl. Prof. Dr. Nico Paech, Prof. Dr. John Neelsen, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Duchrow, Prof. Dr. Ingrid Lohmann, Dr. Lutz Mez, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brand, Prof. Dr. Klaus Meschkat, Dr. Thomas Sablowski, Dr. Josef Berghold, Prof. Dr. Jörg Reitzig, Prof. Dr. Norman Paech, Dr. Winfried Wolf, Dr.Heike Knops, Prof. Dr. Isidor Wallimann

Annunci

Leisure Time

It is Chinese New Year and Spring Festival, Seollal in Korea, where the Olympic Games may be part of what they claim to be: a step to the peaceful unification of two countries, which would be a real and global platinum medal – and it is about celebrating and leisure time. Let us join in this difficult matter.

… unfortunately human nature improves slowly, and in nothing more slowly than in the hard task of learning to use leisure well. In every age, in every nation, and in every rank of society, those who have known how to work well, have been far more numerous than those who have known how to use leisure well. But on the other hand it is only through freedom to use leisure as they will, that people can learn to use leisure well; and no class of manual workers, who are devoid of leisure, can have much self-respect and become full citizens. Some time free from the fatigue of work that tires without educating, is a necessary condition of a high standard of life.

 

 

[Marshall, Alfred, 1890: Principles of Economics; MacMillan and Co., London, 1930: 718]

New Princedoms

I know that several people are afraid of drawing long and occasionally somewhat contorted lines, preferring more technical approaches as those suggested in modern text books. But I am a bit afraid that this only defers matters and the history books in 50, 100, 200, 500 years, opening the view on the wider perspectives, will evoke the same disbelieve as the books today when they teach us about the cruelties of ancient and medieval times.

Sure, Keynes said in the First Annual Report of the Arts Council [1945-1946]

The day is not far off when the economic problem will take back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the ear and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems — the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behaviour and religion.

Now, when we look around, we can see already some of these grandchildren amongst us … — well, not really amongst us but when peeping across the walls of the gated communities we gain some insight. We then read for instance about an artist that

she also insisted she worked less than 20 days a year in order to be with their family.

She said: “I have to make one movie a year because I have to invest in their future and I have to be able to pay their way through college and be able to provide for them. I’m looking for movies that will shoot in Los Angeles, for projects where I’m part of an ensemble so I can shoot in and out in 10-20 days. It’s all about trying to spend as little time away from my kids as possible.”

Sooooo caring — this had been the “news” from August the 20th. News of the same day inform us about Rome:

Il funerale si è svolto in pieno giorno con sei cavalli con pennacchio che trainano una antica carrozza funebre, una banda che intona prima le note composte da Nino Rota per il film “Il Padrino”, poi la colonna sonora di “2001 odissea nello spazio” e la canzone Paradise, altra colonna sonora, ma, questa volta, del film “Laguna Blu”. Una scenda degna de “Il Padrino”. Adesso esplode la polemica per capire chi abbia dato l’autorizzazione al funerale.

It is about a “festive funeral” for a Mafia boss in the middle of Rome, blocking the entire traffic, which is bad enough though we are used to it. But dead as he is, he still sends a clear political message about “governance today”. Of course, this is frightening. And reading further one wonders what is more frightening:

  • the fact that such funeral happened — and had been allowed
  • or the fact that there are now investigations called for, signalling a state that is substantially weak … — and can only deal with the technical side of what happened, but does not have anything to say on the “state of the nation” that actually makes such things happen.

From my side, no word on this occasion on the church — the relevant article in today’s Il Messaggero’s Cronaca is written by Mauro Evangelisti.

It is indeed a sign that politicians — be they state actors, “societal civilians” or corporate actors — are completely disempowered, let alone people being able to gain and maintain power — just these days I stated in an article on the “Death of Representative Democracy”:

Und paradoxer Weise ist gerade auf diese Weise der Demos von den Herrschenden gewählt: an technischen Entscheidungen darf es teilnehmen und auf dem Jahrmarkt der Eitelkeiten darf es sich tummeln, während die eigentliche Politik hinter der Bühne gemacht wird.

Nur auf der Erscheinungsebene hat sich das Politikfeld zu einer Bühne verwandelt, auf der sich die Eitlen tummeln: Konsumbürger, Aktivbürger, Staatsbürger, Vereinsbürger … — für jede(n) findet sich eine scheinbar einheitliche Bühne. Sachverstand wird gern gesehen — soweit er sich an Details zermürbt. Als großer Sachverstand aber stört er die Schau, denn die großen Rollen bleiben immer noch den Mächtigen vorbehalten.

In short, I highlight there the degeneration of democracy — it is now a playing field of vanity, providing a stage for “different kinds of citizens” as consumption citizens, active citizens, citizens of nation states, citizens of associations … . They can present their specific skills, get crunched by discussing technical details, thus hiding the fct that the real power is still just that: power by way of force.

The latter can be taken from the interview with Yanis Varoufakis:

HL: You’ve said creditors objected to you because “I try and talk economics in the Eurogroup, which nobody does.” What happened when you did?

YV: It’s not that it didn’t go down well — it’s that there was point blank refusal to engage in economic arguments. Point blank. … You put forward an argument that you’ve really worked on — to make sure it’s logically coherent — and you’re just faced with blank stares. It is as if you haven’t spoken. What you say is independent of what they say. You might as well have sung the Swedish national anthem – you’d have got the same reply. And that’s startling, for somebody who’s used to academic debate. … The other side always engages. Well there was no engagement at all. It was not even annoyance, it was as if one had not spoken.

(Varoufakis, Yanis, 2015: The full transcript of the former Greek Finance Minister’s first interview since resigning; Interview in the New Statesman: 13.7.2015; 17:37)

It remains a declaration of war — a scenery that is not much more than a translation of what Bert Brecht had in mind, talking about Freedom and Democracy.

So it makes much sense when the German PDS notes in a press release highlights

that Tsipras decision to step back and to call for bend elections shows how far the intervention of the creditors in the national sovereignty of Greece reaches: under the conditions imposed by the institutions Syriza can not fulfill its mandate to govern.

Now, it remains an open question if and to which extent politicians should be blamed — at least the intellectual elites have to bear their part. After recent allegations against Zygmunt Baumann, a new muddy wave had been launched. Just believe me, as I refuse to name the person who does not deserve an increase of his citation-index — as a commentator rightly states, it is an

appallingly crass piece of attention grabbing nonsense.

(sorry for omitting reference, Leslie — see the argument before)

In sum it is about this: a critique bringing forward that Bauman, on many occasions, is guilty of self-plagiarism. It is one of many similar debates: substance does not matter, is not even recognised and only form counts — as it is form that can be counted — see also the recent entry here.

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 …

We can be somewhat cynical-optimists and turn Clausewitz’ statement around. Instead of

War is the continuation of politics by other means

it is nowadays still:

Politics is the continuation of politics by other means.

Indeed, a matter of establishing New Princedoms, while the old princes are finding their pompous chaperon to the last rest.

But how long will this last? the last rest, and the war by politics?

— Nomen est omen? A friend of mine said the other day that the danger of the Northern American trump …, ops Trump, with capital T of course, is that he says what many USNA-citizens want to hear. And also Mr., ops, sorry: Dr. Schäuble and his mates clearly showed this link between the two wars.

Even if history does not repeat itself, the question remains if we can see at the horizon a new Spartacus, a new Cicero or a new Cesar … .

There are thoughtful words coming from a possibly unexpected corner of the world, written in a letter by Fidel Castro Ruz on the 5th of July of this year, and published in the Granma

Cuba conoce el valor y la capacidad combativa de las tropas rusas, que unidas a las fuerzas de su poderoso aliado la República Popular China, y otras naciones del Medio Oriente y Asia, tratarán siempre de evitar la guerra, pero jamás permitirán agresión militar alguna sin respuesta contundente y devastadora.

En la actual situación política del planeta, cuando la paz y la supervivencia de nuestra especie penden de un hilo, cada decisión, más que nunca, debe ser cuidadosamente elaborada y aplicada, de modo que nadie pueda dudar de la honestidad y la seriedad con las que muchos de los dirigentes más responsables y serios luchan hoy por enfrentar las calamidades que amenazan al mundo.

Of course, there is more to be said.

Enigmas of Mastery – or Arts Challenges Academia

A side remark – isn’t all this blog-epistle a side remark, personal reflections on various issues in which personal, social and societal issues conflate?

So then a short note on dialogue. There is perhaps a reason for talking about the master and bachelor in ARTS that we should not push aside without reflection – as social scientists in particular we are part of a complex social structure – its history in past, present and future. And though we are not independent, we are part of a process that we may consider as symphonic piece of war and peace (borrowing the title from Tolstoi). Monumental and complex, full of contradictions and thoroughly determined by our readiness to truly engage in looking for collective solutions. Yesterday I have had the opportunity to attend an exciting concert here in Munich – exciting not least as it presented a tensional line from Bach’s 5th Brandenburgische Concert, passing Schubert’s 4th Symphony (‘The Tragic’), leading to Strauss ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’. Being confronted with the latter, consequently with the highly problematic oeuvre by Wagner provoked to move further moving beyond the smooth integrity of the Court Society, overcoming the tragedy and crossing the borderline of nihilism – not by denying it but by looking for a synthesis, for instance offered in the magnificent masterpiece provided by Shostakovich in the Symphony No.12 in D minor, Op.112 ‘The Year 1917’ – Admittedly something one has to learn listening – Barenboim once had been teaching me to admire Shostakovich’s work. And admittedly revolutionary processes and ‘results of revolutions’ (which, of course, will always be processes themselves) have to be learned. And looking at processes of learning the words by Albert Schweitzer on Bach’s work gave to come to mind:

It is not about alternating between the Tutti and the Concertino. ; the different bodies are related to each other in an intrinsic tension, penetrate, differentiate and conflate for another time – and all this emerges from an unfathomable necessity, inherent in the art. … One gets the impression to really face what philosophy throughout all times presented as a higher occurrence, the unfolding of an idea, creating its contradiction in order to overcome it, creates from here a new contradiction, overcoming it again and so forth, until it returns to itself, after it went through all stages of life. It is the same impression of unfathomable necessity and enigmatic satisfaction while listening to these concerts, following the subject matter as it first presents itself in the Tutti, then being subject to enigmatic divisive powers, finally returning in the final Tutti again to its inner entity, coherence.

(quoted in Wolfgang Stähr, 2003: Nicht nur zur Weihnachtszeit – Konzerte von Arcangelo Corelli bis Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Berliner Philharmony Programmheft Nr. 25 zum 21.12.2003)

Wouldn’t this be a matter we should revive in academic culture? A Sunday visit in the Alte Pinakothek paradoxically confirmed this when I joined a new format of arts education: Cicerone. As much as it is about the utilisation of great speeches the visit showed so much that all this is about dialogue, with the paintings, even between the paintings, between the presenters and not least by including the visitors.

Yes, academic life, if it takes itself serious is about the mystery of mastery of arts.