Sunday, May 20, 2007

Political futility or Which Memes to Replicate?

Originally, i planned to write about Germany and her women.

When you browse international news, you will repeatedly stumble across short messages about the inferior role, women play in Germany both in industry and politics – each year the same. As marginal as it seems at first glance, it’s a very interesting fact to ponder about...

when you ponder about “individualities” of nations and cultures, about memeplexes and their survival power. Especially Germany is a great example to study “national personality” beyond the usual – there are not many nations experiencing a national trauma like that. And when you ponder about future of humankind, the uber-body of the next evolutionary step, Germany is a really strong hint for something like a “national organism” because of the impact the trauma had on the “national personality” – like the deep mistrust of a positive future (could be? Consequence of the failed nearly absolute trust in the “Endsieg”), like the high propensity to save and buy houses (Could be? Consequence of two harsh times with starvation and loss and currency reforms)...

or like the traditional distribution of roles, which makes Germany to the “Iran” of Europe regarding women, a consequence of what the Germans thougt about Women at least since Goebbels.

I guess, there were some people who didn’t think that women are just inferior breeding cattle not able to do anything else than serve husbands and sons to offer the Fuhrer as many soldiers as possible...

but they kept silent, betrayed Lise Meitner and let Goebbels speak:

German Women:
”The first, best, and most suitable place for the women is in the family, and her most glorious duty is to give children to her people and nation, children who can continue the line of generations and who guarantee the immortality of the nation.”

And so it came that Goebbels speaks until today. Until today women all over the world have to decide between their own wishes and ambitions and the wishes and ambitions of husbands and children. There is not much sympathy for women not surrendering to the usual way of family – and especially not in Germany, where such a behavior is called “feminization of men” since Goebbels, so both offending liberal husbands as “weaklings” and wives as “masculine” aka “against their own inherent nature”:

”The feminization of men always leads to the masculinization of women.”

Take that speech, remove the word “german” and you can easily hold that speech again – and expect standing ovations.

That’s the power of memes in action.

So originally i want to warn about the memes we nowadays are willing to accept and to replicate, because even when we might change our minds...

they may survive and harm our children and grandchildren.

But then Steve posted that entry on the Last Chance Democracy Cafe:

Ladies and Gents — Mr. Charles Pierce:
”I held off on this [impeachment of George W. Bush] because I thought the process was both legally unjustifiable and politically futile.”

and so i started to ponder about “political futility”.

My first thoughts were that this argument should never be an excuse for keeping silent. You will never stop fighting against child rape because it is futile, won’t you? So how can it be that decent people remain silent in case of horrible crimes against humanity – just because “it is politically futile”?

Why do you think Mother Nature gave you a brain? To surrender to power and strength? You don’t need intelligence to give up. So brain means responsibility – means duty.

Then i remembered The White Rose – the incarnation of “political futility”. At a time when the whole world believed the Nazis to be unstoppable, there were some decent young people not willing to keep silent. Despite the fact that they knew they couldn’t win, that they knew that they might not have the least impact on history, they defended what they thought to be right...

to be worth to be defended.

Sophie Scholl:
"Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don't dare express themselves as we did.”

Then i realized that my original plan – the survival power of memes – and the ponderings about the surrender to “political pragmatism” have some connections, because memes are always the foundation of what is “politically futile” and what is “politically promising”.

Roman Saying:
Qui tacet, consentire videteur
He who is silent appears to consent

Each meme you don’t attack is a meme you support. And how to you “attack memes”? Not with guns, not with muscles...

you attack memes with words.

Keeping silent, e.g. not demanding for impeachment, is therefore supporting the idea, that impeachment is “not worth mentioning”. No one will know, that your silence is just “pragmatism”...

your silence is support. Because memes are attacked with words, not with guns.

“Political futility” might be a difficult challenge, but as a brain owner you are duty bound to act for what you yourself think is right or wrong:

An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment? (Immanuel Kant):
Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why so great a proportion of men, long after nature has released them from alien guidance (natura-liter maiorennes), nonetheless gladly remain in lifelong immaturity, and why it is so easy for others to establish themselves as their guardians.

Btw: there is a moral to the story about German women and “political futility”.

No one really thought that Merkel would have a chance to be Chancellor, they all mocked about the style of hair and clothing and that she only would be a stopgap after the big scandal of the party. But Merkel didn’t care about “political futility” and so succeeded in being the first female chancellor of Germany, the country without female leaders where the weapon of the “Rabenmutter” is used against working mothers.

So when you think, a war based on greed and arrogance, the killing and maiming of children and justice is a crime to be impeached...

do it.

Fight the meme of the Law of the Strongest, because when you don’t do it, you might have to bear the consequences.

Rev. Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.


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