War is socially acceptable again in the West.
By Gabriele Gysi
[This article posted on 3/6/2023 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/defensive-invasion.]
Imagine it’s war and no one goes! This dream is being hurled into the dustbin of history by NATO. War is socially acceptable again, new lifestyle. Many voices cry for revenge, cry for the most modern weapons, because there are new sneaky attack warriors with poisonous arrows. It all seems like a duplicate of the US founding story. The new savages, the new Indians are the Russians. They must be defeated, that is, destroyed. Then, after living in reservations, after re-education in the spirit of our Western community of values, after renouncing their own history, under the leadership of governors accepted by the West, the survivors may be allowed to play again in our rule-based order.
Ukraine, for the first time created and directed as a state under German military leadership, has been able to hold its own only briefly, for about a year and a half, in the period from 1918 to 1919, in the game of forces of the Entente alliance around France and Great Britain against the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary.
It seems that the Entente wants to return to Ukraine with the former enemies and new allies as NATO. Is the history of the drama of the First World War to be finally completed here in the struggle against Russia?
A president surrounded by American advisors is delivering his country and people to NATO. As his defense minister stated, Ukraine is de facto in NATO, de jure follows whenever. Here, the notion of an independent Ukrainian government again becomes an illusion. Democracy does not seem to interest anyone after the field test of the Corona measures.
Also in Ukraine, all opposition parties are banned, opposition people have no voice. A president, apparently the only voice of Ukraine, elected with the promise to create peace in Ukraine, lets prepare for the very big war.
What had happened that our Western world – now once again – has to defeat the Russian hordes with the help of Ukraine, which only in 1991 decided through its president for independence from Russia. The common life of people as a Russian-Ukrainian reality within the Soviet Union should not have existed? Why?
In Ukraine, the government that was swept to power in 2014 had started a war against its own, mostly Russian, population in the east. Differing perceptions of the workings of this young state were acted out by the government as an anti-Russian, i.e., racist, civil war. The tanks against eastern Ukraine came from Kiev.
NATO under U.S. leadership supported nationalist militant organizations once associated with the German Wehrmacht, making the development of a modern multi-ethnic state impossible. We see the sad result of this policy today.
The American flag flies in Ramstein when NATO meets in Germany. Here the strategy for the war against Russia is decided. The appearance is the truth. It is not Ukraine that joins NATO de facto, later de jure, it is NATO that takes over the regulation of what once could have been a Ukrainian state.
Ukraine is fighting for Ukraine to dissolve in the EU and NATO? Who is supposed to believe that? Nation-state to abolish nation-state?
Propaganda does not create history. A president is not yet a state, not yet a country. The Ukrainian president, inflated to the white knight of Hollywood, reflects first of all himself. But first of all he mirrors us, with all means of modern propaganda technique.
It is almost like a Hollywood movie with Dustin Hoffmann: “Wag the dog”. Politics is absorbed in stories, reality is of no interest. Why did the Western community of values prevent the agreement between Ukraine and Russia?
What are these British and American hussars of all kinds supposed to achieve, except war? Any request for weapons is an act of submission to our aggressive missionary rule, to the ever redefined rule-based order that desires war against Russia. Why is the U.S. government working off the world division from Zbigniew Brzezinski’s work “The Only World Power” with the mathematical intelligence of a fourth grader?
Does an empire master only the simplest arithmetic? The hegemonic U.S. security architecture is an architecture of war. One counts over 20 war operations since 1945. There are currently at least 800 U.S. military bases around the globe. Is the world becoming safer in this way? Missionizing different nations and peoples to adopt American models of life must inevitably lead to wars and civil strife.
Has the U.S. claim to leadership in South America, which has existed for about 150 years, brought peace and prosperity to the continent? Why are street battles being waged in Peru against the mostly indigenous population? Have interventions in the Middle East improved people’s lives? The constant, ever-new definition of enemies forces the U.S. military to develop ever-new theaters of war. Why? The U.S. to U.S. Americans. “America first” for Americans. European history, with its wealth of culture, of commonalities, but also of conflicts, does not need and cannot be solved by the USA.
The world is more diverse than the actionist claim to rule of an empire is able to comprehend. A single conception of real life cannot reflect reality. Forced allegiance must spread terror.
Hollywood’s victory over many national film industries does not yet make life a duplicate of these mostly fatuous descriptions of good and evil.
To tell history only as the story of persons is today, in our time of incredibly complex work processes, a children’s fairy tale.
Russia and what is now Ukraine share a long common history. For the Ukrainian-born Nikolai Vasilyevich Gogol, Russia was his homeland, the impetus of his critical writing.
Europe needs Russia, however Russians shape their country. The whole of European modernity is unthinkable without Russia. Russia is an important country in the tension between Europe and Russia. We want peace with Russia.
French historian Emmanuel Todd describes the Russian military operation as a “defensive invasion!”
Now it is a war to be whipped through from the western side with the help of Ukraine. One wants to isolate and destroy Russia. Why? What is this constant personification of evil? The president of Russia is more bearable for me medially, because he does not constantly push into the cameras in costume and mask and recite foreign texts like the Ukrainian president.
The media’s way of personalizing conflicts in no way does justice to the situation.
Without peace, there is no life. Modern military technology demands security guarantees, if only to rule out fatal mistakes.
It is a declaration of war not to comply with Russia’s request for security guarantees. Russia, which ended the confrontation between East and West with the withdrawal of its troops and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, is now declared an enemy? How much amnesia is needed to believe this forgetfulness of history to be true? There is no future without a past.
The U.S. does not need to dominate the world, adorned with whatever propaganda, whatever narrative. Missionization is the colonialism of today. No, the American dream must not become a nightmare for the world.
Gabriele Gysi, born in 1946, is an actress and director. She attended the Staatliche Schauspielschule Berlin and worked for a long time at the Volksbühne Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, as well as at other theaters. She directed plays at the Theater Karl-Marx-Stadt, the Volkstheater Rostock and the Compagnie de Comédie Rostock. From 1973 to 1981, she also appeared as a narrator in several radio plays on GDR radio. In 1984 she left the GDR. From 2007 to 2008 she was chief dramaturge at the Volksbühne Berlin.
The delusion of grandeur
Strategies of power
In an exclusive interview, Rubikon Editor-in-Chief Roland Rottenfußer explains the means by which globally organized elites are successively depriving us of all basic rights and freedoms.
by Nicolas Riedl
[This interview posted on 3/4/2023 is translated from the German on the Internet, https://www.rubikon.news/artikel/strategien-der-macht.]
People perceive freedom very differently. Only when they want to make use of it does it become apparent how (un)free they actually are. The chains are only felt by those who try to move within them. Thus, the last three years have shown very exemplarily how differently the striving for freedom is pronounced within the population. While some people wanted even more “security,” others were already in a guarded position at the first signs of freedom-restricting measures. How is it that the people of this society feel such different urges for freedom? How do elite actors manage to subjugate humanity in ever-increasing increments without any significant resistance? Rubikon editor-in-chief Roland Rottenfußer wrote a good 400-page work about these “strategies of power,” which will be published on March 27 as the next Rubikon bestseller and will show concrete paths to the liberation of us all.
The cover is decorated with slippery octopus tentacles that wrap around the letters of the book’s title, symbolizing the increasingly encroaching behavior of the elite. In recent years, they have forcibly gained access to every last corner of our lives, and have not even stopped at our bodies. The tentacles of power will not let go of us as long as we do not put a stop to them with concentrated determination.
In an interview with Jens Lehrich, Roland Rottenfußer explains what motivated him to write the work, how he, as a freedom-loving contemporary, experienced the caesura from 2020 and what role the struggle for freedom has played in his life to date.
Jens Lehrich in conversation with Roland Rottenfußer
The book will be published on March 27. You can pre-order it here: as a paperback or e-book.
If something fundamental doesn’t happen now, that’s it for freedom. And it won’t be the attacks of its opponents that will do it in – the indifference of those who enjoyed it for so long will. Pandemics, world war, climate emergency: freedom hovers in the highest danger. “Freedom talk?” “Dare more dictatorship?” What is broken in the hearts and minds of so many that they hold themselves and their freedom in such low esteem, even downright contempt? Why do they agree to their own disenfranchisement and seem almost in love with their chains? Roland Rottenfußer shows: We are prisoners of our illusions, prisoners of the lies and strategies of power. But the emperor has long been naked, the Wizard of Oz only a megalomaniac dwarf pulling levers. If we recognize that our fear is groundless, the spell falls off us and we find our way back to our truth and power: “If freedom were a person, a beautiful goddess – what would I say to her? Above all, one thing: forgive us! Forgive us for this pathetic, unworthy betrayal. It will never happen again. From now on, we will fight better for you.”
Rottenfusser’s book is both a declaration of love for freedom and an individual-collective revolutionary instruction. The path lies before us, we just have to walk it. True to Bertolt Brecht’s motto: “When truth is too weak to defend itself, it must go on the attack.”
Press reviews of the book:
“From one who set out to teach the powerful the fear.”
Jens Wernicke, Spiegel bestselling author
“The powerful are and remain the enemies of freedom. To defend our sacred rights, we must know their strategies, expose the lies, and resolutely empower ourselves.”
Flo Osrainik, Spiegel bestselling author
“Roland Rottenfußer illuminates from different angles the complex tension between power and freedom, obedience and disobedience. His knowledge and thoughts can help to recognize and see through the ‘strategies of power’ – and to get rid of those chains that power likes to put on us. May this book be read by as many as possible who pass on the knowledge gained to others. For knowledge is itself a power. And the power of knowledge is feared by those elites who, in their arrogance, arrogance and complacency, believe they can lie to the public’s face and permanently take them for fools.”
Marcus Klöckner, Spiegel bestselling author
“Roland Rottenfusser pursues enlightenment in the best sense. Completely in the spirit of Critical Theory, he explains the strategies of the power elites: How they condition people into immature puppets, how the microstructure of power penetrates everyday life, how the generation of fear forces anticipatory obedience. Along the way, the author lets us share in wonderful reading experiences and provides many suggestions for further reading. To all who want to defend their freedom against the powerful, this book is highly recommended.”
Patrik Baab, author and journalist
Quotes from the book:
“Unfreedom has eaten so deeply into our souls that some still perceive it as such, but do not know how to defend themselves against the superiority and brutality of the rulers. In times when the balance has shifted so much to the disadvantage of freedom, I think it is urgent to write a book about freedom. How many times does freedom actually have to be trodden in the dust before we take its side not just defensively and half-heartedly, but passionately? How many more colorings of an ideological kind, how many more faces and masks must unfreedom assume before we realize that despotism is despicable and that statehood – indeed, any kind of power and authority – needs our vigilant scrutiny?”
“We inhabit a planet of the subjugated and the subjugated, the breaking and the broken, the enslaved and the enslaved. The collective characteristic of our species seems to be a fundamental lack of respect for the free will of the individual, a tendency to impose the rule of a minority over the majority with extreme brutality again and again, and to sell it to the subjugated by means of propaganda as the only possible and desirable form of society.”
“The tyranny which we have long marveled at like a distant fairy tale from a safe distance, which we thought we could ‘fight’ when it was perfectly safe to do so – many of us no longer recognize it, now that it is right in front of us. The people of our generation have never been closer to their ancestors than in their current delusion, in this as if paralyzed and paralyzing act of submission. The surest way to fail a test is to deny that it exists.”
“When almost everyone turns away from freedom, it is precisely we who must be its support and refuge. For almost everyone stands up in its name, but almost no one really stands up for it.”
“The only way to feel comfortable in an authoritarian state is, well, to join the regime, to become its fellow traveler or beadle, to idolize the strongman and copy and paste his worldview into your own head.”
“The powerful, quasi ex officio freedom skeptics, are creating a new reality together with the freedom refugees. A society in which man appears only as a shrunken form of his former size. As homo obediens, the obedient human being.”
“Power has wreaked incredible havoc in the past and yet is very rarely fundamentally questioned. Only this or that powerful person is ever attacked, never power itself.”
“Exercise of power in its unhealthy manifestation is based on the satisfaction the powerful person feels in disposing of subjugated people. Where this pleasure wears off, as can be seen in dealing with other addictive substances, more power is needed. In the end, someone holds on to power only because its withdrawal hurts, rather than because its possession would bring great pleasure.”
“Destructive power always seeks to narrow the range of movement of others and demands symbolic gestures of submission. Power always wants to be sure of itself. It is unsettling to them that the thoughts of the subjugated are a ‘black box,’ that is, not fully visible to them. Full control is difficult to achieve in this way, which is why those in power constantly stage ‘power tests’. These serve as a gauge of whether they still have ‘it’ under control. At the same time, the power strategy consists in educating people in the sense of an automated obedience to rules.”
“Where there is power, the thinking of the majority aligns with it like iron filings with a magnet. As soon as rulers publicly put something forward as truth, it begins to work in the brains of millions of their subjects, with the sole aim of aligning their own will with that of the ruler, of making his grand narrative theirs. Only an effective opposition movement of almost equal strength can perhaps stop the process. If this is lacking, as it was lacking in the Corona situation, for example, published opinion, philosophy and literature, the thinking of most individuals also take on the coloration of power.”
“Destructive power masks itself by bogus justifications – an urgent responsibility to be assumed, objective factual necessity, inferiority of the subjected, and superiority of its own person. Thus it creates its own justification narratives. Basically, arrogance, even contempt for the citizen, is a basic prerequisite for the more rigid forms of domination.”
“Force an entire country to do something actually ridiculous and degrading, and you will achieve two things: incredulous amazement that none of ‘the others’ refuses this imposition, and a kind of paralysis of will that causes almost everyone to play along. Each individual thus becomes a part of a conformity scenery by which all others feel discouraged. The sheer mass of fellow travelers makes the dissident doubt his sanity over time.”
“We normally assume that as the brutality of state repressive measures escalates, resistance would also grow, so that action and reaction always roughly correspond to each other, provoking a counter-resistance that then puts an end to the harmful behavior of state power. In truth, it is probably more the case that as the aggressor’s harshness grows, the victim’s tendency to adapt out of fear grows. It then swings its mind to the perpetrator’s specifications and devises narratives of its own that impute positive meaning to his actions.”
“There is no one the oppressed and, in the process of conforming, oppressing himself hates more than those who subject his behavior to a comparison he cannot withstand. Cowardice becomes fully recognizable as such only when it is confronted with courage as a counter-image.”
“We only then realize how powers and the media are almost ceaselessly busy flushing us out, scattering us, frightening us and driving us on – in the worst cases even chasing us from one trauma to the next. From pandemic to war. From war into energy emergency – and from this perhaps into a renewed refugee crisis. This also happens because people who have been taken from their midst in this way have apparently proven easier to control. So whenever people want to badmouth freedom, we should ask: Who is it that is trying to do this? And what motives might be driving him? It may simply be that the person in question wants to sell us his self-interest as ours.”
“So is freedom anything at all but a nice-sounding cover name for death in times when any relaxation ‘granted’ by the caring state to its wards can mean death for quite a few? To put it in a nutshell: If freedom kills and dictatorship saves lives, shouldn’t all people who have even a spark of compassion in them willingly surrender to dictatorship like a bride adorned for a wedding surrenders to her groom? And even if some incorrigible freedom sworn still speak against it: If the majority has decided in favor of dictatorship, is not an upright democrat obliged to bow to this majority vote?”
“Certainly, freedom is not ‘everything’ – but if we don’t quickly reflect on its beautiful sides and don’t put its despisers in their place, then it will come about that we will have to live without it – not forever, perhaps, but for a very long time. It is necessary, then, in all cases of doubt, to consider the interests of liberty and how they can be preserved and extended as far as possible, even under difficult conditions.”
“At Corona, policymakers want to pay us the enjoyment of fundamental rights – once a pure given – as a well-measured premium for good behavior. First people are robbed of their freedoms, then they are thrown to the more docile among them like a dog biscuit, as a reward after a successfully completed training act.”
“Freedom and domination are always in tension. No despotic system has ever been at the helm forever. No mind control has ever been so perfect and pervasive that resistance has not stirred here and there. If power becomes too oppressive, the pendulum may swing in the opposite direction. We can hope for this in the current mood. However, even a freshly won freedom would never be secure – not even the one we associate in our imagination with the complete lifting of all ‘Corona measures’.”
“The wind turns as a result of many small ‘turns’ that take place inside our fellow human beings when you suddenly become aware of what ‘they’ have been doing to us all along. When suddenly the great anger breaks free from the prison of weighing reason and trained conformity, and we stand incredulous before our own previous forbearance.”
“Let us, at the latest, stop this terrible and senseless urge to ‘make ourselves popular.’ So great are not most of our contemporaries that we should have to give ourselves up for a half-hearted swim along in their warm consensus soup.”
“We see clearly from the Corona hysteria how harmful it is to fear death more than is normal and healthy for a living being who loves his life. To exclude death at all costs, to exclude it at literally any cost – such as the cost of dignity and freedom for all – leads to that fear-driven denial of life that we are currently witnessing.”
“Present humanity must choose between an era of intensified despotism and a new era of freedom. If a certain principle – in this case security authoritarianism – is overstimulated, a counterforce may form in the historical process. The sorrowful experiences we are now going through could again awaken an increased need for self-determination. I even see a ‘window of opportunity’ for a strong freedom movement, provided we don’t let ourselves think that this has become obsolete in the face of war.”
“On the threshold of a new global age of despotism, we must decide now: Do we want the broadest possible protection against the risk of death at the cost of living what is in effect a lifeless life? How we choose is also a question of courage. For freedom and aliveness never come entirely without risk – like everything else of real value.”
“To live is to live with threats of various kinds. It means, nevertheless, to conquer anew, full of bravery and confidence, the happiness and lightness that are also inherent as potential in our being.”
“What we are dealing with in the 21st century is the secularized god-godhood of a small global power elite of large corporations, big banks and financial companies – most recently IT and pharmaceutical giants: The god of mammonism wields the scepter. A few people without any democratic legitimacy determine the fates of billions of people – ultimately only because they want it that way and because they hold the institutional power in their hands to force us to accept what is actually unacceptable.”
“The citizen of the early 21st century takes power for granted – freedom has to be explained to him. Through the discourses of domination that occupy almost the entire public space, freedom as a value could be put on the defensive. While people still know roughly what is meant by it and what it feels like – the lack of vigor with which increasingly disenfranchised citizens stand up for their freedoms is evidence of widespread freedom illiteracy.”
“The difference between democracy and tyranny is: Democracy is always about what the citizen wants; tyranny is all about what he is ‘still allowed’ to do.”
“I am skeptical of any exercise of power – it must be able to justify well its necessity and the means it uses. And I abhor abuse of power – any kind of dictatorship and despotism in small and large ways. A betrayal, however, that is less to be blamed on the individual than on those powers that have seduced and manipulated him or even forced him to stifle the fire of freedom within him. It is important that the longing for freedom is revived in as many people as possible. Because if it is missing, no matter how many words and sophisticated arguments against the abuse of power are probably in vain. If we want to set out on a long and arduous journey, two kinds of motives can give us the courage to do so: either the place from which we set out is so terrible that it drives us away, or our destination is so tempting that we will do anything to reach it, even if we don’t even have it particularly bad at home.”
“Legitimate freedom cannot include the freedom of the powerful to impose their will on the weaker, thus taking away their freedom. This applies not only to political power, but also to economic power.”
“Treating citizens decently who do what the powerful want them to do anyway is no art. But the acid test for a democracy – if it wants to distinguish itself from a dictatorship – is always how it deals with dissent, with disobedience.”
Nicolas Riedl, born in Munich in 1993, studied media, theater and political science in Erlangen. He documents and analyzes the increasingly abstruse zeitgeist of Western culture in critical texts. He is also a book lover, a strict cash payer and an unusual digitalization muffin for his generation. Accordingly, you won’t find him on any social media platform. He is a member of the Rubicon youth editorial team and writes for the column “Junge Federn.”
In the Rubicon courage talk, mother of two Susanne Herrmann explains that emotional attachment disorders of mothers to their children can only be cured when this topic is de-tabooized and illuminated.
24.02.2023 by Friederike de Bruin, Nicolas Riedl
The power of the strongest