Vergangenheitsbewältigung

‘The process of coming to terms with the past’.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung means “public debate within a country on a problematic period of its recent history”. Regarding Germany, the ‘problematic period’ refers to the Nazi regime and the systematic murder of around 6,000,000 Jews.” -Pi Media

“This coping with the past is the public response of the state and society to the activities of the predecessor state, which is regarded as a regime of injustice. This response occurs within a context of ‘a cult of guilt’ [Schuldkult]. The term first appeared in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1950s in connection with the period between 1933 and 1945… From 1990 the term is also used in relation to the examination of the injustice committed by the socialist dictatorship in the former GDR… More recently, the original German concept of dealing with the past has been transferred to similar activities with which other states or societies evaluate their own history.”

[How do we South Africans deal with our own Vergangenheitsbewältigung?]

– Metapedia (translated from the German: http://de.metapedia.org/wiki/Vergangenheitsbewältigung)

 

Slaves in all but name

“In a society in which nearly everybody is dominated by somebody else’s mind or by a disembodied mind, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn the truth about the activities of governments and corporations, about the quality or value of products, or about the health of one’s own place and economy.
In such a society, also, our private economies will depend less and less upon the private ownership of real, usable property, and more and more upon property that is institutional and abstract, beyond individual control, such as money, insurance policies, certificates of deposit, stocks, and shares. And as our private economies become more abstract, the mutual, free helps and pleasures of family and community life will be supplanted by a kind of displaced or placeless citizenship and by commerce with impersonal and self-interested suppliers…
Thus, although we are not slaves in name, and cannot be carried to market and sold as somebody else’s legal chattels, we are free only within narrow limits. For all our talk about liberation and personal autonomy, there are few choices that we are free to make. What would be the point, for example, if a majority of our people decided to be self-employed?
The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth – that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.”

Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Everywhere is war

“Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is war.”

Haile Selassie I

Private truth

“… who can peer into the psyche of another and truly see into that person’s private truth? … this I continue to believe: The assumptions people make about the motives of others always reveal a great deal more about the assumers than the assumed-about.”

– Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

Thrown

“Life has been thrown into the world, light into darkness, the soul into the body. It expresses the original violence done to me in making me be where I am and what I am, the passivity of my choice-less emergence into an existing world which I did not make and whose law is not mine.”

Hans Jonas