# 194: Fucked Up State
Story behind the Passage
It takes a while to break all chains with your own past. I am not talking about any “skeletons in the closet.” I am simply talking about old thoughts, values, and hopes. In my case, I did believe in the fact that a market economy can actually work. I used to be the one reading the Financial Times in high school and aiming for a career in business. But now, we have arrived at a point where only hardcore capitalist sharks really defend the current economic ‘order.’ In fact, nothing is in order or in balance anymore. As my dear friend U. said today:
“Our society is so polarized, it is insane. There is nothing in-between. How can it be that global corporations distribute bonuses to their shareholders and the management team after having received billions of Covid support by the state?”
Of course, such a summary cannot be globalized. There might be some countries left on this planet that are working according to other rules and rituals and where board members do not make millions of Euros per year. In Germany and the entire “West,” we now have to pay the bill for becoming richer and richer. Some people are still busy doing this, I mean, chasing money. And, as you know, that is ok. I have been trying hard to not judge all the time. In fact, I am not judging individual people for still working in cubicles and chasing management promotions and bonuses. I am not blaming them, really. They are not the reason. The reason is that they simply never learned to question and resist — to say “no, boss, I am not doing this because it is hurting our society and our environment.”
You know what I mean?
Oh, you are one of these people?
Again, no worries, I am not blaming you.
In fact, even I did, why would you care?
I am just trying to get your attention.
To raise your awareness.
Happiness is not entirely a choice.
But by making choices that make you happier, you can change things.
Oh, you like working in cubicles and saying yes, boss?
O.k., fine. I cannot help you then.
As you know, people who help are chronically broke and superfluous.
Until you end up in intensive care, of course.
Then you appreciate them — maybe.
If you wonder now what all this has to do with the passage above — a lot. Not only am I finally taking the step to turning the company into a publishing house, I am also thinking a lot about the path that took me there. And, of course, I am very grateful that this blog has turned into something like an “archive” that reveals the reasons behind this. Well, not all of them, of course. But in a world where writing is free but at the same time censored via big publishing houses and their newspapers and ‘opinion-leading’ journals, you have to walk your own path. That does not make any sense? Sure it does!
If you want to solve problems with writing and with your brain, there is no place for you to go except for the internet. That is fine but I am old-fashioned: I want to also be read by those who do not have super high-tech equipment. And, plus, I know that those with super high-tech equipment like reading real books on paper. But I do not even want to write too much about publishing as a business today. I want to point to the connection between writing and social resistance and reform. This made me think of the Baader Meinhof Komplex today.
Is Silke turning radical now?
Is she nuts?
Is she militant already?
Is she turning her words into guns?
Does she have a YouTube channel for this?
No — at least as far as the latter is concernd. But I am working on it. What I mean is that historically, the writers, including journalists, were the ones that laid the foundation of political radicalization which later turned into violence. Of course, I am not calling out for this. Do not get me wrong. This would, after all, nourish the entire polarization spirit. I am just saying that it takes more. Maybe this gradual shift towards radicalization is something that really impressed me about the RAF (Red Army Faction).
I had a phase in my teenage years when I read everything about the RAF — at least a lot, including this more than 600 page book by Stefan Aust. What impressed me most about the origins of the group was their intelligence and the good causes they started with (at least the so-called First Generation). Certainly, the intention of breaking the neck of capitalism and questioning state authority went out of hands soon and what followed was bloody terrorism that cost hundreds of people their lives. Still, the individual figures, the founding memebers around Meinhof, Bader, Ensslin and the others impressed me. As I read more about them, I could understand what drove them to go one step further almost every day. Again, understanding does not mean sharing or supporting this. But it makes a difference to read the entire story and not just some headline. By the way, this has not changed a bit in the history of publishing — a headline sells but the story reveals.
“Die Redakteure dieses >>Magazins für Kultur und Politik>> dachten und schrieben in der Tradition eines linken und literarischen Journalismus der >>Weltbühne<< Carl von Ossietzkys.“ / “The editors of the <<Magazine for Culture and Politics>> were thinking and writing in the tradition of the Leftist and literary journalism of the <<World Stage>> publication by Carl von Ossietzky”. It is funny. When I just skimmed the book to look for passages that might suit my topic today, this one immediately caught my eye. I had not remembered that Meinhof started as the editor in chief of “konkret,” which is how the former student magazine was later called. But I feel like I am at similar stage now. And this by far is not unique, you might argue. There are probably thousands of blogs and magazines in Germany now which report about how fucked up our state is. The point is: If you want to do your thing, there is only this way — you need to focus on your own way of doing things. You cannot worry about the others who might be doing the same thing all the time. You have to start small by creating immediate impact in your environment.
“You can create regional change,” my friend U. said in this context today.
This is absolutely true and it will work if you just do it. People always think that it takes huge plans and a lot of money to get started. That is bullshit. That in and of itself is part of the consequences of a fucked-up system in which startups with no brain and no plan get 1.5 million EUR from the German government, so the politicans can say they are supporting digital change and innovation. Again, I am not entirely against startups but I am really in a different place now. If you remember: When I started this blog half a year ago, I wanted to support these rebels of the tech sector — and I did. Now I have come to understand that the good ones among them are just pawns in the corporate bullshit game. And the others are openly and willingly drivers of the bullshit game.
So, it is all bullshit — who would have guessed this?
I think, we cannot really fix that much that quickly. Much is simply lost. But my conclusion will not be pessimism or anger. Yes, on some days, you just have to open your eyes and see what is going wrong. And then you can use your energy again for doing something about it. I will do this, I am doing it already. At least in this repsect, I will use some fo the weapons of the early RAF — words and writing (and more). There is still much room for books that so far are not being published because publishing houses are part of the problem. Hence, it is a wonderful time to do your thing. You cannot break anything these days. Everything is already broken. In a system where managers and 18-year old App builders make more money per month than others in a year with three-times more education, you can start anywhere to fix things — you will always get it right.
Will this really change anything?
Yes, it will change something.
But that is not even the point of doing it.
The point is to use your lifetime for something that makes sense to you.
This is something that you have to decide for yourself.
1) What do you think about the role of journalists in the age of digital media?
2) How do you think about the possibility that radical left-wing political movements might emerge again to counter systemic ills in society?
3) Would you ever consider joining such a movement — under which particular circumstances?