A heartbreaking story from South Africa.
Louis Wilsenach remembered by his daughter Mia Ziervogel
“There is a God about whom you know nothing, because men have forgotten him. We call him by his name: Abraxas. He is less definite than God or Devil…. Abraxas is activity: nothing can resist him but the unreal”…C.G. Jung: Seven Sermons to the Dead. – Published 1916
An old guardian of international reporting remembers the years of liberation in South Africa and the aftermaths. “When I migrated to South Africa in 1993, it looked as though a new era was at hand. In Berlin, the Wall had fallen and the Cold War was history. The white racist regime of apartheid was forced to capitulate and the call for freedom could be heard across the continent. Soon, though, it became clear that democracy, fought for by broad popular movements, was merely a façade behind which old power structures continued to flourish.”
Capitalism is a market based economic system free of political values. The system Hitler used was a capitalist system and not a socialist system comparable to the way the Communist Party of China uses this system since Deng Xiaoping declared that he doesn’t care about the colour of a cat as long she is good in catching mouses. American Capitalism is not different. If racism is prohibiting the accumulation of profit the system reacts when it’s ultimate value is in danger. In the late sixties we watched a time when the theory of convergence between the two systems of Socialism and Capitalism had some credibility. But listen the news of nowadays when everybody is concernded how the economy after the severe crisis we awaiting in the years coming could go forwards: A state directing a plannend economy based on market principles relying on the calculations by algorithm preserved by socio-economic research based on mass data provided by personal digital devices and networks could bridge the gap. We are not used to a new paradigma like this. The only experiment we can watch at time is conducted in China and we are scared by their experience without knowing how we manage the change which started more than twenty years ago.
“The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” is a book about the history of science by the philosopher Thomas S. Kuhn published 1962. It’s publication was a landmark event in the history, philosophy, and sociology of scientific knowledge. It’s about the slow process of change of paradigms which mark the evolution of science and an environment where scientists had to defend the results of their research against the old economic and ideological powers of their time. The empowerment of the new paradigm compares to the sluggishness of the “Überbau” in Karl Marx thinking, when the productive forces mulitiplied and the societies at their time couldn’t stomach the depreviation of their identity still based on religion and patriotic values. He believed a new class of the capitalist economy, the workers and dispossessed small farmers would accumulate enough power to overthrow the old class system. But, he always insisted that this would only possible if the creativity of the Bourgeousie to rise the productivity of the capalist society comes to an end and the economy went into decline, accompanied by a sharp increase of unemployment as well decreasing tax income for the state and his ability to preserve his basic functions to guarantee the welfare of his citizens.
Now, let’s come to nowadays when a virus, only visible for scientists, is threatening the global capitalist organised economy with a greater impact than the invisible consequences of a nuclear showdown from the sixties till today. There seems to be a gap between the progress in science especially since the genom project started in 1990 and was finished in April 2003. It’s just the year when the World Health Organization declared SARS contained on 5 July 2003. Remember the conditions which existed under the nuclear paradigm before declaring the desaster of Chernobyl from 1986 as a singular incident which is meanwhile contained. Since Fukushima we know, that this was not a singular incident. Nevertheless after a short hickup we went on with business as usual.
2019 when SARS came alive again as a mutation and much more aggressiv than it’s precedessor, the global scientific community did not expect it was dangerous enough to disrupt the new globalized world without consequences for most nations economic, social and political systems over the years coming. But coming years will be clouded by economic desaster overshadowed by environmental change which will affect every nation severaly in a time of economic decline, indecisiveness how to manage the change and a resurgence of nationalism and racism while science is still unable to control the ghosts she released without knowing how to control them.
In early 1970 Congress established the Office of Technology Assessment with the Technology Assessment Act of 1972. During its twenty-four-year life it produced about 750 studies on a wide range of topics, including acid rain, health care, global climate change, and polygraphs. OTA was abolished (technically “de-funded”) in the “Contract with America” period of Newt Gingrich’s Republican ascendancy in Congress late 1995. According to Science magazine, “some Republican lawmakers came to view the OTA as duplicative, wasteful, and biased against their party.” While the OTA was closed down, the idea of technology assessment survived, in particular in Europe. The European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) network coordinates members of technology assessment units working for various European governments. EPTA never reached the importance of her US precedessor which just vanished.
The one was killed 1964 and his more patient brother followed 1968. His analysis of the situation of the black community living in the United States does not differ, but MLK conclusions were quite different.
I know it’s hard to stomach, but listen to Malcolm, the worst case: A black muslim speaking out truth knowing he will be punished for being Black AND Muslim. He was sentenced to ten years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, adopted the name Malcolm X, and quickly became one of the organization’s most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952. Malcolm X then served as the public face of the organization for a dozen years, where he advocated for black supremacy, black empowerment, and the separation of black and white Americans, and publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration.
Throughout 1964, his conflict with the Nation of Islam intensified, and he was repeatedly sent death threats. On February 21, 1965, he was assassinated. Three Nation members were charged with the murder and given indeterminate life sentences.
Once upon a time in 2011 we gathered in my cottage, Keerom Street 9 in Barrydale, to watch the movie Malcolm X.
The Charter of Paris for a New Europe was adopted by a summit meeting of most European governments in addition to those of Canada, the United States and the Soviet Union, in Paris from 19–21 November 1990.
In effect, the Paris Summit was the peace conference of the Cold War: Perestroika had ultimately put an end to the ideological and political division of the Iron Curtain. Pluralist democracy and market economy were together with international law and multilateralism seen as the victors, and as the common values and principles of national and international conduct that now ruled from Vancouver to Vienna to Vladivostok. Not even ten years after the Soviet Empire collapsed mainly by overstreching her power through the intervention in Afghanistan in late 1979. Twenty Years after I attended a conference in the capital of the victorious superpower Washington DC. I arrived on election day November 7, 1999.
The country was busy to sort out the election results for weeks. The threat assesments of Joint Chiefs of Staff did not expect any agression from abroad but focused on preventing a repetition of some kind of Oklahoma City bombing. But there were even some people from RAND as well from the Air Force who presented some awesome scenarios expecting attacks from abroad using lax controls to organise arial attacks using antrax or invading critical infrastracture by information warfare. The attack on the twin towers by passenger planes followed ten month later. But this was not in my mind when I used a afternoon out of Fort McNair to discover the Washington Monuments.
In the weeks before my journey I read Paul Kennedy’s book: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000. I new about the new guys in Washington who were eager to implement the new ideas of offensive realism but did not expect they would take over power. But after the election results finally confirmed George W. Bush as the 43th President of the United States of America January 20, 2000 they started to implement their blueprint. The trauma started nine month later and hence the nation is entrapped in an outdated vision like the Soviet Union after the invasion of Afghanistan late 1979.