The journey was comfortable, the Krti2 was only 30 minutes late (which is almost record time). There is no longer a stop at Korfu – and landing at Patras, too, did not take long, perhaps because at the time the ship was already rather empty. After all, most of the vehicles left the ship when we stopped at Igoumenitsa, which is where the motorway to Istanbul begins and where all the traffic is headed.
When we started entering Patras harbour, the first forest fire on two summits above the town already welcomed us. And when we continued our journey towards Corinth in the dark, the fire-fighting helicopters we are already so familiar with kept flying over us. Until later the sun rose in the east.
Now we have made ourselves comfortable. Again, it feels like home. Our thoughts go in all directions and our discussions are about things that move us. Two weeks from now, we will go back home. Then there are elections in Germany. But who to give your vote? And is it a good idea to vote at all?
Both in politics and with all political parties, the discourse about all the relevant problems of our society is sadly missing. There is no attempt at finding a social consensus in our political world. The party programs are full of empty phrases, there is no concept of shared values. Our problems are those of the 21st century, yet the parties – depending on their colour – want to solve them with solutions from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. That cannot work. Consequently, the citizens get more and more fed up, because they certainly do hear politicians paying lip service, yet constantly have to experience and see the opposite happening.
For me, the people are what is most important. And as I see it, we have grown to be a society with no solidarity left. We just let it happen that far too many people no longer find a social home. They are excluded from education. And even the children of the privileged classes no longer learn what is really important in life. Instead, they fall victim to a knowledge bulimia. Values, the balance between individual and collective lives and true knowledge of life are pushed to the corner in the daily school day. The basics of democracy and rule of the law are no longer taught.
The teachers I know frequently tell stories from their common workday that give me pause. Because education, like work, health and most of the other areas of our lives, have been “economized”. That hurts. As soon as everything we do serves nothing but the dictatorship of economy, it particularly hurts in all those fields where humans are concerned.
This is also true, for example, when it comes to children living in children’s nursing homes. We are talking children who sometimes even have living parents, yet those parents are not capable of providing for their children emotionally and financially. Sometimes the right to bring up their children is taken away from them by the state. What sad human dramas can be witnessed here! This is bad enough per se. But it is even worse that the state actually increases the misery.
Our society produces more and more losers and victims. We ignore this and try to prevent the worst with social repair companies. But we never even think of prevention through true education and emotional and emphatic care. Just take a closer look at how medicine and hospitals are disintegrating to become mere mechanical and economical repair shops.
This economization process now happening in all our structures and fields of life makes me sad. If I were to vote at all, then only a party which actually discloses this and seriously wants to do something about it. With top priority.
Except we spend our money other kinds of things. And most of these things seem grotesque to me. At one time, I rode my bike through Berlin. I passed the Federal News Agency building. It is the biggest governmental building ever in Germany. Basically, you can see it as a gigantic cenotaph telling you that this is precisely how it cannot work! It is just as monstrous as many other federal buildings showing off in the “new” Federal Capital and former Capital of the Deutsches Reich.
Mind you, it all happens where, basically, we could well do without this national in-between. For me, a country of Bavaria in the middle of a free and united Europe of regions would be totally sufficient. But I certainly do not need some “Show-Off-Germany” in its current version which aspires at being a model for all Europe.
And a few weeks from now, I am supposed to vote. Regardless of the fact that all has been decided already, anyway. The best we can get is a stalemate situation – which would then quickly solve itself in a big coalition.
Those are the moments when I think perhaps I should not go to the elections. Instead, I will continue my political activities by writing articles like this one. Also, I can continue focussing on the values of a free and enlightened democratic society in my – always totally a-political – presentations.
(Translated by EG)