Property, violence, justice, safety and abstinence …
It does not matter if you run, ride a bike, ski or drive a car. If you hit someone, then this is violence. Speed is violence.
Today is Mardi Gras. You can wear masks. You can wear costumes. Fool’s freedom means that you can take another role. And you need not stick by all the rules and keep up all the moral laws.
That feels nice. For several weeks, they have now made laws that look arbitrary to me and that I cannot understand. Because now the Great Coalition have changed from the argument mode to the working mode. Since laws mostly are not very good, I preferred the argument mode.
After they took the German Citizenship away for IS fighters, there is an EU-wide attack on the internet. But they also discuss the great liberty of German car drivers, the speed limit. A Swedish (?) producer restricts the cars to 180 km/h. Somehow or other, this is unimaginable in Germany. Basically, I do not even understand why cars that drive faster than 130 km/h are allowed on any streets at all.
Because I am personally against all speed. Both in life and in a car. For instance, I would feel a lot more comfortable if cars were allowed no more than 30 km/h in towns and no more than 70 km/ on highways, along with a maximum of 120 km/h on motorways.
But on the other hand, I am against all sorts of prohibitions. How can I solve this dilemma and still give a good reason for limiting the speed of vehicles? By introducing the factor violence! After all, in our times, the application of violence is a monopoly of the state. That is also true for weapons (let us ignore for the sake of argument that there are many exceptions, even in this country). This means that humans consciously agreed to not use violence and that only the state can use it in very clearly specified situations.
Well, knocking down a pedestrian or cyclist is just as much an act of violence as driving into another car. And that is exactly what people in civilized countries have agreed to forego. That makes it quite simple when it comes to speed limits and limitations for objects of the MIV (Motorisierter Individual Verkehr), part of which are also electrically powered vehicles, such as e-bikes.
What is left in our times that actually moves people? As I see it, the answer is: property, justice, safety and abstinence.
Does it make sense that legal persons have the same rights to property as actual persons? That ideas – we know they should be free – can become private property? Or that even data are considered private property? What about common land? What exactly belongs to the common land and how to treat it? What about the self-possession of persons? Or will we get a new form of fiefdom?
Arithmetically, it is impossible, at least that is how it seems ever since Aristotle. But what is suitable? Should society award social credits in order to regulate it? Or should some be expropriated?
What is safety. Perhaps protection from violence? That would mean we come full circle. We do not want violence against us. If I am a pedestrian, I do not want to be hit by a car or bike. And so on.
Everybody knows that, if we want to save the planet, we will not only have to change many of our habits, but also practice abstinence. And what do we do? We fly more, drive bigger and bigger SUVs and eat bigger and bigger portions of meat.
Besides property, justice, violence, safety, power and abstinence, there are many more inter-related topics. They are so complex that the only chance to contain them is a new social consensus.
Tomorrow is again Ash Wednesday. Then the hilarity is over. I already dread the political meetings with their speakers. They will again bark and beat. Both men (CSU) and women (Grüne, SPD). Because this is all about the sovereignty over the regulars’ table. And not about peace and social consensus.
It is really sad – so take off your mask and atone.
(Translated by EG)