EU1 Think Tank

 


Turn of the Times every 80 years? by Joachim Kath


Already some decades ago one could read in the international press that after 70 to 80 years there would be another big war in Europe. This theory was justified with the fact that then all adults would have no own experience with the horrors and would be consequently ready to take up arms rather than their parents. I never really believed in this assumption, also because I learned to calculate so far that there was only the gap of a quarter of a century between the two Worldwars 1914 and 1939.


By the way - what nobody seems to know in Western Europe - but in the former Eastern Bloc and the former Soviet Union they do, is the fact that the secret services and the military are more powerful than the so-called "Intelligentia". The Russian people never experienced democracy except for a few month in 1917. Which was long enough ago that there are no eyewitnesses left!


I myself was born in 1941, incidentally one of the most terrible years in terms of Nazi decisions, and then as a four-year-old child in 1945 I experienced not only an adventurous escape but also the horrors of war at first hand. Right next to me a man was hit in the back by a bullet from a low-flying American airplane. The deadly projectile missed my head by only a few inches. Since then I have known that wars are insane in any case, insane loud, dusty and bloody. It wouldn't have taken that personal experience, but from then on I knew I was anti-war.


Well, that was 76 years ago and since then there has been peace and freedom, at least in West-Germany, despite the cold war until 1990. But then, at the End of February 2022, Vladimir Putin launched a major war of aggression against Ukraine, having already annexed Crimea in 2014 and also supported two separatist states in eastern Ukraine. The West reacted with half-hearted suctions and Germany even agreed to the construction of a new Nordstream 2 pipeline through the Baltic Sea in the same year. For a long time it was claimed that this was not political but a privat project. This assessment was wrong and so Nordstream 2 inevitably ended after completion with the start of the war in Ukraine. Putin's ambitions could have been seen in 2008, when he invaded Georgia and took control of two parts of the country. This has not changed until today.


For a long time, and also at present, people have been asking what Putin wants. The answer is clear: The Russian president wants to reverse the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which was certain at the end of 1991 with the independence of the 15 Union states. For this, he has seen an opportunity in Ukraine in 2022 with what he calls his "special military operation" because the Europeans are dependent on his gas and oil and were considered to be divided in politics. Moreover, he certainly underestimated the defense strength and freedom aspirations of the Ukrainians and their desire to become members of the EU and NATO.


When Putin showed the world his pathologically long tables, at which  he liked to place foreign leaders, his foreign minister, and his defense minister together with the chief of his general staff at great distance from him, all three of the obviously folded up appropriately by him beforehand, everyone could see what the hour had been. From now on it was clear that the autocrat would give the order to attack and start a great war in the middle of Europe. And when the war did not progress as fast as he thought, he threatened with nuclear weapons. In reality, from then on in Ukraine, no more consideration was given to the civilian population.


On Saturday, March 5, 2022, President Putin again sat at a very long table, but this time with at least 20 young women in a training center of the state-owned airline Aeroflot. He awkwardly tried to explain to the ladies in uniform, who all sat there bold upright and with serious faces, that Ukraine must be "demilitarized, denazified and neutralized" by Russian troops. In this TV-address, he also made it clear that further sanctions by the West would be tantamount to a declaration of war. The prospective flight attendants and pilots listened strained attentively and one could not help feeling that they were somehow on the ground just like most of their aircraft. In other words, they didn't believe a word he said!


Probably, politicians, diplomats and intelligence officers cannot be trusted to realize how dangerous a man is who is responsible for the war and land seizure in Georgia, as well as for the annexation of Crimea, the war in eastern Ukraine, the destruction of Aleppo in Syria, the abolition of democratic freedoms in Russia, the persecutions of dissenters, the murder of opposition figures and the deployment of his troops in the north, east and south of Ukraine.


Of course, such a character has understood this Western behavior of not really feeling resistance as an invitation to unpack the very big club and actually strike out. In the end this will be a particularly foolish operation, but the victims who lay down their lives for the freedom of Europe and the whole world will have nothing more to gain from it. That's why the people need our maximal help now! 

   

It is by no means that I have forgotten the sinister role of American presidents in Vietnam, Iraq, and other occasions. But Putin, the trained lawyer and intelligence man, cannot use this to derive the right to deny an entire people the right to exist. That is against international law and against the Charter of United Nations. The UN, which has been in existence since 1945, is far too complicated in its current structure to make quick and sweeping decisions. Reform programs regularly fail because of the highly divergent intensions of its members.


Since March 2, 2022, there has been a UN resolution strongly condemning the war of aggression in Ukraine. 181 states have voted, only 5 states have voted against and only 35 states have abstained. After all a total of 141 states were in favor of this resolution. Nevertheless, the whole procedure has only symbolic value, because in the authoritative Security Council with its 15 members, a single vote is enough to do nothing. And this one vote was, of course, that of the aggressor. China, as expected, abstained from voting, both in the General Assembly and in the Security Council. It is pursuing similar ideological intentions to Russia and does not want to obstruct its own anti-democratic path.


Fully four states besides Russia itself did not want to condemn Putin's war of aggression: Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea. All regimes that are far from democracy and freedom. When propaganda lies no longer work there, they operate with fear and suppression. Under this grouping, there can be no meaningful future prospects for Russia and its people.


Another irony of fate is that due to the dependence of especially the Germans on Russian natural gas, oil and coal, half a billion euros a day has to be payed for Putin's war machine. Let there be no misunderstanding: Germany is not financing this half billion alone; it concerns the entire EU. It has turned out to be naivety to trust an autocrat whom a former German chancellor spoke of as a flawless democrat and hired out as a lobbyist. Unlike the U.S., which has now banned all supplies of raw materials from Russia, the Europeans are now reeling from their too-careless energy police.


Trust no one who forbids adults the use of individual words! Otherwise you might lose something very important - your freedom!

We heard that the word "war" has been banned by law in Russia. It has been known for 2000 years: In the Aristotelian sense, truth is spoken by the one who calls things by their right name. The war in Ukraine provoked by the Russian side has become the information war in the whole world, which is supposed to take place in our minds.


This is not only a war between Russia and Ukraine - it is a war between Autocracy and Democracy. The narratives of Putin supporters and Corona deniers overlap significantly. Why? Because both see themselves as resistance fighters against dictates of an authority, often from abroad and whether in democracies or dictatorships. This way of thinking has nothing in common with reality, which can be extremely dangerous when dealing with a nuclear power.


A state that unleashes such a war of aggression with so many civilian casualties in 2022 no longer has a moral right to exist. Even if morality may not offer any solutions that go beyond the justified demand for a quick end to the hostilities, democracies must not simply stand by and hope for an end to this disastrous develope-ement.


Allegedly, opinion polls indicate that around 80 percent of Russians are in favor of the war in Ukraine. Such results should be traced with caution, if only because these polls are conducted via landline telephones or in person. This is because the respondents know that their address and data are known to the callers and interviewers. Moreover, younger people use cell phones exclusively, which additionally does not make the surveyed group more representative. All Russians also know that one wrong word like "war" can land them in jail, so it doesn't matter at all what opinion they express. Therefore, no one knows what the majority of Russians really think today. In any case, it is safer for them to parrot what the propaganda tells them.


Putin in Russia and Xi in China want to define for themselves what democracy is. While their own people are not allowed to express themselves critically. All people in both major powers with nuclear weapons know that criticism of the two long-term leaders can have negative consequences for them. All other nations in the world are also justifiably afraid of coming into direct conflict with Russia and China. And so is Nato!


The so-called West and the European Union have so far understood to little that Brexit and Nationalism endanger the urgently needed cooperation throughout Europe. Without being united a liberal democracy in which human rights count for something cannot be saved.


Weakening the EU and preventing consensus on sanctions has cost Russia billions of euros over the past decade. These covert and extremely diverse influence operations and financing of parties ans individuals have been partially successful in many counties - especially in the UK with the Brexit, a catastrophic mistake by an important European country that must be corrected  in the coming years. For this is the only way to permanently avoid the division of Europe, which has proven to be absolutely necessary for the survival of democracy on our continent.


By the way, this whole discussion in times of war whether to deliver only light or also heavy weapons to the invaded Ukraine is neither sensible nor purposeful. All weapons of war are lethal! Unfortunately, democratic values cannot be defended with words alone when there is a real existing aggressor.


Europe's economic power is eight times that of Russia. Even Germany's economy is about twice as big. In terms of military spending, Europe also spends about five times as much together with the USA. Nevertheless, there is a great fear that because of the many nuclear weapons, Putin might get the idea of igniting World War III. No one can know that today - but in the Kremlin and in the circle of oligarchs, presumably not everyone will be tired of life. In any case, Europe needs much more cohesion and drive if it is to meet the challenges of the future. Relying for all eternity on the U.S., which has supported Ukraine far more than the EU since 2014, does not seem like a good idea given the unpredictable outcome of the next presidential elections in the U.S. in 2024.


I listened to Putin's speech at the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2022, which is the 115th day of the war of aggression on the territory of Ukraine. My analysis is the following: He blames the US and the EU bureaucracy for the economic crisis and inflation, denies that the sanctions have negative effects for Russia and that his so-called "special operation" has any connection whit the crisis. Russia of course, would be willing to allow wheat shipments through the Black Sea ports, but Ukraine would have mined the ports. In any case, the whole "special operation" was necessary to protect the people. Based on this propaganda speech, I doubt that Putin is firstly ill and secondly interested in a ceasefire at this time.


It was striking that the certainly hand-picked audience in the hall, often shown in close-up, looked exceptionally serious and apparently in their majority did not believe a word of what was presented. It was 

terrible to see what happens to educated people when they are not allowed to believe their own minds. Therefore, it is understandable that Ukrainians do not want to go back to a dictatorship after 30 years. And the West must provide them with the weapons and money they need to defend their freedom. Unfortunately, without a standstill on the battlefield, there will be no real peace negotiations.


Totalitarian regimes do not think in terms of human rights and cooperation, but in terms of power politics and subjugation. This does not seem to have been understood everywhere in Europe yet. Or what else is stopping Germany, for example, from supplying the most effective weapons for the defense of Ukraine as quickly as possible?


As early as 1955 the well-known psychoanalyst Erich Fromm wrote: "In the Western world, everyone is free to express his criticism on the existing system. In the world of the Soviet Union, any expression of dissenting ideas is suppressed with brutal force." Exactly this situation has continued in today's Russia and therefore no transformation to a peaceful democracy will come from the country. Neither with Putin, nor without him.


Putin,in his speech of September 21, 2022, when he announced the partial mobilization of 300.000 reservists and threatened to use nuklear weapons, concluded with the following sentence: "It is in our historical tradition, in the destiny of our people, that we put a stop to those who aspire to world domination, who threaten to dismember and enslave our fatherland, our homeland." Well, as we know, the war Putin himself instigated is taking place exclusively on Ukraine soil. The perpetrator now sees himself as a victim - who believes him in this role reversal?   


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Does Tennis prolong Life? by Joachim Kath

I am 81 years old and a tennis player. Not a recreational player but a tournament player and in my age group 80+ in the German ranking list. Whether tennis has already prolonged my life or will do so in the future, I don't know! My personal experience is that those players who have made it into this age group are very fit and can endure a match that often lasts over two hours.


The relevant study

I like evidence-based facts and I know the new long-term study from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Mary-land, USA. Researchers there followed more than 200,000 adults aged 59 to 82 for 12 years and collected data on physical activity. They wanted to find out whether there are sports that reduce the risk of death in old age more than others. I think the topic is also quite exciting for young people who want to grow old healthily.


And the result of the study?

Well, it was particularly positive for the backstroke sport of tennis! The general risk of dying decreases by 16% and of dying from a cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack by as much as 27%.


What is the reason for this positive result for tennis?

Well, according to medical experts, this sport uses many different muscles at the same time, requires good hand-eye coordination, and drives the pulse up again and again with short interruptions.


If I may add another advantage as a practitioner: tennis is not a contact sport like soccer or handball, consequently you are not physically foult and brought down by your opponent. Therefore, the risk of injury is lower.


What about the joints?

Of course, the joints are relatively heavily stressed, especially the wrist, elbow and shoulder of the hitting arm. In addition, the hip and knee joints, because tennis is a running sport. But it is also a ball sport - which increases the fun factor compared to jogging. Especially when you start to master the different types of strokes to some extent and don't give up too soon.


Tennis is one of the very few sports that you can enjoy for a very long time, if your health allows it. I know some players my age who still play point matches and even tournaments despite a metal joint. I myself would probably rather not do that, also because I have some other hobbies where the joints are not quite so important.


ITF

By the way - the International Tennis Federation now calls their many worldwide tournaments for old players like me "World Tennis Master Tour". Sounds motivating for all those whose names are listed in the world rankings! Yes, my next tournament is the "Munich Senior Open 2022"!




Sights of a Mad Man

All you better know about Communication!

How to change your World by separating 

your Longings from Lies?

ESSAY by Joachim Kath


You believe in facts, do you? And in texts and visuals that tell you the plain truth? Well, everybody does. Even people which try very hard selling something quite obscure and explain you the world. I'd like to make you familiar with an idea I had over half a century ago. That was back in the times, when America and Europe were rather self-conscious, the Beatles held their famous live concert in Shea Stadium and I worked at Madison Avenue in New York City. I got a free ticket one day from the agencies media department, which they hat gotten from one of the big TV-Stations or Print Magazines. Great event, but thousands of young girls screamed extremely loud, that one could hardly hear the music and the songs. The Beatles left the Stadium in full flight by car and escaped the crowd.


Anyway, it was also the time, when Professor Marshall McLuhan had become worldwide known with the thesis: "The Media ist the Message." Everybody believed in that sentence at Mad Avenue, me too, and you could hear it in most expert conversations. That inspired Woody Allen later to let the original Professor in his Oscar-winning motion picture Annie Hall step down from a poster, telling a Columbia University Professor waiting in a theatre line: "I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work! You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing!" That sequence was not only funny and nasty; it also was  done in the fourth dimension. Great stuff!


The Idea is the Message

By the way, the same Marshall McLuhan thought also um the phrase "global village", almost thirty years before the Internet was invented. He predicted our dependence of electronic media and communication very early. I came first and directly in touch with this matter as a student in the early sixties. Not only in theory, also in practice. We ran an experiment, dealing with small machines on wheels. The brand-new thing was than, that these primitive robots were able to communicate. This meant, they did not touch each other, when moving. Something, what the automotive industry is trying in traffic for the future.


Well, this sort of technical projects with complicated devices was not what I preferred as a student. I rather specialized in communication with people. This means psychology, the science of theoretical principles between experience and behavior and philosophy as well, the study of fundamental problems, connected with our existence, knowledge, values, mind, and language. To make a living of my findings, I had to visualize them somehow. So I decided to write copy and design storyboards. Yes, I felt like an artist, maybe I was really one.


Looking back, it was an advantage not having English as mother tongue, especially when I did Young & Rubicam's amour Copy Class, because my creativity turned out to be quite different from the native speakers. And my layouts as well. Pete Peabody, the leading Creative Director, was amused about, what he called the fresh approach. On my job at Y&R, by the way, my Supervisor was a friendly, easy to talk with man who had studied biochemists at Harvard and was owner of a circus museum in Connecticut. He rushed in by  train to Manhattan every morning and should know orthography and grammar. Our secretaries, yes, we still had this rare species with typewriters, were also very familiar with spelling. Nevertheless, I believe retrospect; we did not talk to them like the fellows in MAD MEN.


This Essay is not, as you might imagine, about MAD MEN, the first basic cable series to win the Emmy Award and several Golden Globes. I am not looking at recent American history through that prism. Democracy ends crazy everywhere in the world, if the majority does not see the signs early enough. In addition, despite the fact, being a witness, I must confess, that I have not been one of those hard drinking, chain-smoking executives with a shadow past and sexual dynamics in the workplace. And I did not met any of these individuals at Madison Avenue 285.


The President of Y&R was Edward Bond at that time. The motion pictures of Sean Connery as James Bond 007 were a big success worldwide. Therefore, they had the idea to produce a poster for the office, showing Mr. Bond with a gun and the copy: "Lock your drawers! Otherwise, you might loose something very important. Like your job!" I do not know whether other agencies did send secret agents at night. Well, it was the time, were definitely more criminals were around in New York City than today. Several colleagues of mine came to work with the message: "I have been burglarized!" You better had ten or twenty dollars ready to hand, in case you run into somebody with a gun or knife. I have seen some of these dangerous situations at the streets. All happened quite and fast. Nobody seemed to be dispirited or even irritated. There were no smartphones, to call the police or shot a video for YouTube.


I came over from Europe to the United States by the United States. That was the name of the ship, the fasted one ever. It had the blue ribbon. Actually, it was a troop transporter. That was the reason why it was so expensive to built and so fast. The hot wars were over, and in the cold war, there was no need anymore for military purposes. This of course is an illusion and wishful thinking. Anyway, I crossed the Atlantic in a six-man cabin with a small bull eye right under the water line. We were all unexperienced young students, but clever enough, not trying to open the window, moreover, we had no Notebooks and could not open Windows, either.


See it as you want, these are not only anecdotes of a former MAD MAN, this are also some old-fashioned examples of communication. Ideas are changing the world. Am I right? This text is not about advertising. It is about communication in the 21th Century. Madison Avenue is not anymore what it was in the sixties. You can see lots of for rent signs there today. Something happened in the last fifty years globally!


Who is afraid of science?

I don't think, my thesis's of the 60s are obsolete today. When I was a young mad man, I wanted more science and information, less entertainment and emotion. I thought, the people would prefer a benefit, a unique selling proposition and a reason-why, when they spend their hard-earned money. Instead, they got more and more pure Emotion, Lies and Plastics, that pollute the environment. Moreover, they saw only retouched Pictures, The Advertising Industry, the Marketing Industry, the Internet Industry, the Politicians where not interested in my way. They all went the other way.


Now we have the results. The Climate of the one Earth we have is becoming dangerous for mankind, the gap between the Rich and the Poor is getting larger in pandemic times - is this what we wished? Is this what our secret persuaders always wanted? The answer is no! It just happened!


Our economic system in its core is destructive. This is obvious and omnipresent. In the present state of affairs, we seem to have a big vacuum. It is a feeling like a ride on a tiger. Yes, there is something on the air my friend! The digital networks accelerate this power of change. In many countries the leaders have established an autocracy and brought the press and judiciary into line. We can consider geopolitics, power politics, interest politics and nationalism obsolete in 2022 - but the reality in the world looks completely different and endangers our ideas of peace and freedom. If we don't want that worse comes to worst, politics have to find ways out. It can only be done with the help of communication, that leaves no doubt that concrete action is being taken.


I am not in font of a revolution without a clear direction. I hate violence! I am for freedom and peace! I just think, it helps personally and in general, to really know, what the facts behind the facts are. My opinion is just one. You have to find out yourself, what your own demand is. It will probably change your life to the better, if you know much more about the most important things, they do not teach you in traditional courses.


Fight the black hole future with the weapon of better communication!

Communication is not anymore what it used to be. Communication is not only a sender or transmitter, a receiver and a message. Communication is more in our days. It is a life style. It is a management tool. It is an industry. It is a Social Network. It is entertainment. Some of the communication companies are worth more money compared with the blue chip companies in other sectors. Like the automobile industry. Despite the fact, that in the near future cars will communicate with cars, in order to avoid accidents.


Keep it simple, but not stupid at all

The great Albert Einstein said and I quote: "Everything should be simple, but not simpler." He obviously hated redundancy, the use of more words than is necessary for clear expression. In this case, my primarily target was to find a very simple formula for making it easier to understand what communication means. Everybody is talking about the age of communication now. We are communicating all the time. Even if we do not want to communicate, we communicate. It must be something very important. What are the secrets of the phenomina?


The usual way in science is to have an idea and formulate a hypothesis. That was exactly what I did more than fifty years ago. Not knowing by then, whether it would be a fallacy or not. You can never be sure in science. What today is right might well be wrong tomorrow.


My hypothesis was then and still is the same:

All problems are communication problems!


The emphasis lies on "all". I am well aware, that as soon as you read this one innocent and tiny little word "all". your mind starts immediately searching for exceptions. Almost everybody in the world who thinks self will. If I had said "some" or "many" or even "most", no one really would care.Very clear, all our problems sound too apodictic. That is impossible. It just can not be. It is merely a statement, nothing else.


Is it really just a statement?

Okay, in the long period of more than half a century, I had hundreds of discussions about this provocative thesis. Many people asked for evidence. Actually, I do not have to proof my hypothesis. Others have to come up with a falsification. This would be the normal scientific procedure. Many people tried just that, but all failed until now. Why did all this intelligent people fail? My answer: It looks very easy at first sight, to find something, which shows definitiv, that my thoughts are wrong. By the way, I did not state in my thesis, that we can solve all problems in the world by communication. That would be quite ridicules. Moreover, who needs problems, anyway?


May be I should explain first, how capitalism works. I am not against capitalism, but I think we must accept, that capitalism does not work without problems. May be I should also explain how our life functions. Our life is full of problems. Our life in democracy and capitalism is still full of problems. This is no catastrophe, as long we are able to find solutions. As long as the industry produces innovative products, as long as the banks give credit, as long as we have enough money to buy food and health care. The growth mentality is what politicians and economists believe in. Most of them hope that the growth of markets will never end. Otherwise, the states would not be able to pay back their credits. What, by the way, they do not intend to do. Not as long they can pay the rate of interest.


There is not something like unlimited growth without danger!

In other words, it is an illusion to think and to communicate, that everything growing is positive. Growth can cause problems. Banks can be to big to fail and will otherwise ruin the whole finance system worldwide. Body cells can grow unhealthy and produce cancer. People, companies, and states can be deep in debt. Growing debts make the liquidation of debts impossible. I am not going to say, that growth cannot be positive. I just wanted to make clear, that communication should not only show one side. The opinion of the lobby is always one-sided and sometimes biased.


It is certainly an open question historically whether more people  have died in wars or pandemics - but that mankind since the turn of the millennium has increasingly, according to my own observation, disregarded important principles and values for the sake of profit, can be demonstrated on the basis of questionnable economic relations. Where truth becomes superfluous, communicative content becomes threatening in many ways.


We need better communication!

Better communication is more transparent, more open. It is honest and true. I think the times are ripe, to ask for more quality in communication for all media and all countries. It is a matter of human rights and human dignity.


Remember the question!

Is the hypothesis "all problems are communication problems" only a statement, or has it also many severe consequences? For example, is what we think directly confronted with the fact, that everybody is involved in problem solving activity or not? The answer is simple: We are already permanent solving problems, more e or less successful. Can we do better?


Yes, we can!

I will give you an example, which shows why even academics fail by trying to find evidence, that I am wrong with the hypothesis, all problems are communication problems. It is one of the better examples.


The lightning flash

A man took a walk on the countryside and saw how a thunderstorm was coming up. He went further on and nearer and nearer came the storm. The thunder became louder and suddenly he has been stricken by lightning. This, of course, was not only a tragedy: it also was a problem, not so much for him. because he was dead, but for his relatives.


The part of this story, which is most interesting for our evaluation, is now, whether the man did communicate with the lightning before he died or not. My answer is, and was to the scientist who raised this issue some years ago, definitely not! He did not have a communication problem with the lightning flash. However, he had a communication problem with himself. We must always keep in mind, that most of our communication is in our brain. It is a permanent process, not only when we are wake, also when we sleep and dream.


The man in our example made a mistake. All mistakes are communication problems. As a grown-up he knew that thunderstorms could be dangerous outdoors. He ignored the danger. Cars are secure, so are houses with lightning conductor.


Think! The quality of communication with you is of importance as well!

We are responsible what we think and what we do. The problem is, we can only see what we know. That is why education and life long learning is necessary. What we do not see, we cannot see, but we are able to talk about it. What we do not hear, we cannot hear, but we are able to talk about it. What we don't feel, we cannot feel, but we are able to talk about it. Yes, we can talk about almost everything, without having the slightest idea. In the Social Networks, which are all financed by Data and Advertising, just that happens all the time.


I do not know whether you are a little bit convinced by now, that all our problems have at least something to do with communication quality. So it might be a good idea, to give you an example of a sector, people are interested most.


Medicine and Health

I had the honor to speak at a congress about communication and the place was full with doctors. Male and female one should not forget mentioning today. That was not by accident. A pharmaceutical company sponsored the event. They did not really appreciated that I started my speech by saying, that there is not something in the whole world like a free lunch. Well, the theme was another; many doctors have problems to communicate with their patients. They interrupt them after approximately nine seconds. The doctors cannot listen with patience because they are convinced, to know more about health care as their patients. The last might be true in many cases, but doctors do not feel the pain.


That this situation is not an example for good communication is pretty clear. To make a long story short: Until now, there is no evidence, that my thesis about problem solving thru better communication is false. But everybody is invited, trying to find examples in order to proof that it is wrong. By the way, that's my idea of what science really is!



Aktuelles aus der unabhängigen EU1-Denkfabrik

Ist es für EU-Mitglieder sinnvoll, aus der Gemeinschaft auszutreten? Ist der Brexit intelligent?

Weder noch - die europäischen Staaten können in einer globalisierten Welt besser bestehen, wenn sie gemeinschaftlich auftreten. Die Schweiz oder Norwegen als Beweise dafür zu nehmen, dass man als europäisches Land sehr gut zurecht kommen kann, führt in die Irre. Denn bei diesen beiden Ländern handelt es sich um Sonderfälle. Die Schweiz repräsentiert eine bewaffnete Neutralität, nicht erst seit gestern, sondern seit dem Wiener Kongress im Jahre 1815. Und Norwegen hat Erdölquellen und war so vorausschauend, mit den Geldern einen riesigen Fond aufzulegen, um für die Zeit nach dem Versiegen dieser sprudelten Geldquelle genügend Kapital für einen weichen Übergang zu haben. Außerdem sind diese beiden Länder, was die Bevölkerungszahlen angeht, vergleichsweise klein und überschaubar.


Dass Großbritannien Leave statt Remain gewählt hat, ist in mehrfacher Hinsicht ein kapitaler Fehler. Insbesondere weil ein großer Teil der Bevölkerung einer Lügenkampagne aufgesessen ist und auch, weil die jüngeren Leute, die mehrheitlich soweit sie abgestimmt haben, für Remain und damit für Europa gestimmt haben. Aber viele der Jüngeren sind überhaupt nicht zur Wahl gegangen und haben das Feld den Älteren und ewig Gestrigen überlassen, die gegen Ausländer sind. Viele von den Brexiteers haben nicht gewusst, dass die Einwanderungspolitik im Fall von Großbritannien gar nicht von der EU bestimmt wird.


 Welchen Status Großbritannien danach hat, was die Beziehungen zur EU und dem Binnenmarkt angeht, ist gegenwärtig völlig offen. Dass sie als Nicht-Mitglied vorteilhafter sein werden als heute mit den zahlreichen Sonderregelungen darf allerdings stark bezweifelt werden! 


Ist Weltfrieden möglich? von Joachim Kath

Diesen Artikel habe ich 2014 geschrieben. W enn Sie ihn nach dem 24. Februar 2022 lesen, nach Beginn von Putin's Krieg in der Ukraine, dürften Ihnen einige der Erkenntnisse bekannt vorkommen. 

Aufgrund sorgfältiger Faktenanalysen kann man nur zu dem Ergebnis kommen: Gegenwärtig besteht keine Aussicht auf eine friedliche Welt! Warum nicht? Weil es keine Institution gibt, die so konstruiert wäre, dass sie Kriege stoppen oder gar verhindern könnte. Auch die UNO nicht.

In der Charta der Vereinten Nationen steht zwar gleich in der Präambel und in Kapitel I (Ziele und Grundsätze) Artikel 1, dass es ihr vorrangig um die Wahrung des Weltfriedens und die internationale Sicherheit geht. Doch diese äußert sinnvollen Ziele werden dadurch konterkariert, dass im Sicherheitsrat als ständige Mitglieder mit Vetorecht ausgerechnet die größten Waffenlieferanten sitzen, die völlig unterschiedliche Macht- und Wirtschaftsinteressen haben. Solange diese Entscheidungsstruktur besteht, kann und wird es immer wieder zu bewaffneten Konflikten kommen, ohne dass rechtzeitig und wirksam eingegriffen wird.

Viele der maßgeblichen Politiker hängen offenbar nach wie vor der überholten Doktrin an, ihren Nationen durch die Demonstration militärischer Stärke bestimmte Wettbewerbsvorteile im geopolitischen Poker zu verschaffen. Paradox ist dabei, dass die Mehrheit der Bevölkerung in allen Ländern eigentlich friedlich leben will, aber als Wählerinnen und Wähler von ihren Politikern Führungsstärke erwarten, die sie fatalerweise oft am Grad des Dominanzverhaltens gegenüber Andersdenkenden und angrenzenden Nachbarländern messen.

Wenn schon auf höchster Ebene selbst unter den Atommächten keine Einigkeit über den Einsatz von konventionellen Waffen herrscht, wie kann dann erwartet werden, dass Entwicklungsländer konfliktfrei bleiben? Zumal sie von den Industrieländern mit modernen Waffen in reichlicher Menge und einem Wert von über 50 Milliarden Dollar jährlich hochgerüstet werden. Die USA und Russland waren in den vergangenen Jahren für mehr als die Hälfte aller Waffenexporte verantwortlich. Wenn wir die EU-Länder dazu rechnen, kommen wir auf über 80 Prozent der Waffenexporte in der Welt.

Am 24. Dezember 2014 soll nun der Waffenhandels-Kontrollvertrag (Arms Trade Treaty - ATT) der Vereinten Nationen in Kraft treten. Ist er ein begrüßenswertes Weihnachtsgeschenk und wird er die gefährliche Situation entschärfen? Die USA und die EU-Länder jedenfalls haben den Vertrag unterschrieben. Andere bisher nicht, von denen man es sich wünschen würde, auch nicht Russland und China. Hinzu kommt als Mangel, dass nicht alle konventionellen Waffen kontrolliert werden, wie beispielsweise Handgranaten, Munition und Einzelteile von Waffen. Auch Polizeiausrüstungen nicht, was natürlich geradezu einlädt, Rüstungsgegenstände beliebig zu deklarieren. Außerdem sieht das Vertragswerk keine Strafen gegen Länder vor, die dagegen verstoßen. Die Zukunft wird zeigen, ob ein solcher Vertrag überhaupt das Papier wert ist, auf dem er steht, oder nur wieder ein weiterer "zahnloser Tiger", der für die gegenwärtig rund 50 Millionen Flüchtlinge auf der Welt und die übrige Zivilbevölkerung in den Kriegsgebieten rein gar nichts bringt.


 

WARUM IST DIE WELT AUS DEN FUGEN?

 

Was sind die Gründe für so viele bewaffnete Konflikte im Jahr 2014? Man könnte aufgrund der Medienberichte vielfach den Eindruck gewinnen, es wären einzelne Mächtige, die aus der Zeit gefallen, ihren Einfluss ausweiten wollen und deshalb völkerrechtswidrig die militärische Option ziehen. Unter dem Deckmantel eines angeblich göttlichen Auftrags oder einer vermeintlichen bzw. realen Bedrohung von Aufständischen, Separatisten oder ausländischen Mächten.

Doch so einfach wie die Ursachen und Motivlagen für die bewaffneten Konflikte häufig dargestellt werden, sind sie keineswegs. Eine der ganz wesentlichen Ursachen der globalen Verunsicherung ist die gefühlte Ausweglosigkeit von jungen Menschen in immer mehr Staaten, irgendwann ein menschenwürdiges Leben führen zu können. Ihnen ist in letzter Zeit durch das Internet in ganz besonderem Maße bewusst geworden, dass ihre Regierungen korrupt sind und mit den Reichen gemeinsame Sache machen. Ihnen ist massenhaft klar geworden, dass sie von den an der Macht befindlichen Politikern keine Veränderung ihrer prekären Situation und Lebensperspektive erwarten können. Deshalb protestieren sie auf der Straße, werden daran mit Gewalt gehindert und suchen schließlich den bewaffneten Kampf. Diktatorische Politiker wollen samt ihrer Entourage nicht die Macht verlieren, weil das in diesen Gesellschaften nicht nur den Verlust der Pfründe, sondern oft auch der eigenen Existenz bedeutet. Sie leisten folglich militärischen Widerstand und ersinnen allerlei Verschwörungstheorien und Bedrohungsszenerien, um ihr inakzeptables Verhalten zu rechtfertigen.

Wir werden jedoch mit der Einteilung in Gute und Böse nichts erreichen, weil gegenseitiger Hass nur zu einem Patt führt und nicht zum Schweigen der Waffen, die größtenteils gerade von denjenigen selbst verkauft wurden, die jetzt den Einsatz ganz schrecklich und verwerflich finden.

Man kann keine konstruktive Zusammenarbeit von Leuten erwarten, die nichts außer ihr Leben zu verlieren haben, und denen von ihrer Ursprungsgesellschaft kein Ausweg offeriert wurde, den sie als solchen erkannt haben. Mit Freiheit und Wirtschaftswachstum allein, den bevorzugten Lösungsansätzen des westlichen Kapitalismus, werden wir in Zukunft weniger erreichen als noch vor Jahrzehnten. Einfach weil heute die entscheidenden Parameter für Erfolge in den Industrieländern ausfallen, wie echte Produktinnovationen, steigende Kaufkraft und Renditen auf Sparvermögen, die den Inflationssatz ausgleichen.

Vermutlich dauert es zu lange und wahrscheinlich ist es sogar unmöglich, die Lebensbedingungen der Menschen in den Krisengebieten mit den herkömmlichen Methoden "Demokratie und Wachstum" so weit zu verbessern, dass die Verteilungskonflikte nachhaltig eingedämmt werden können. Denn in den ärmeren Regionen von Ländern, die wir zu den alten Demokratien zählen, funktioniert dieser Weg schon heute nicht.

Das G20 Leaders Communiqué vom November 2014 beginnt gleich im ersten Satz damit: "Raising global growth to deviier better living standards and quality jobs for people across the world is our highest priority".  Einverstanden, das ist ein extrem wichtiges Ziel, aber alle diese Statements kommen leider über Analysen und Strategien nie hinaus. Altbekannte Forderungen wie Investitionen in Infrastruktur, die Stärkung der Nachfrage und die Förderung der globalen Balance bringen uns nicht weiter. Das ist alles zu allgemein, zu weit weg von den Problemen der Menschen und es reicht auch nicht mehr aus, die taumelnde globale Ökonomie und das marode Finanzsystem zu stabilisieren.

Um wirklich weltweit jungen Menschen Bildung und Arbeit zu garantieren, ist ein völlig neues Denken und das Konzept einer Weltordnung erforderlich, dass gerade nicht oberflächlich von den großen Strukturen der Konzerne ausgeht. Sondern von bewusst anders organisierten lokalen und regionalen Verantwortlichkeiten. Denn Unternehmen müssen keineswegs grenzenlos wachsen, um Gewinne abzuwerfen, genauso wie Staaten oder Religionen nicht ihre Gebiete erweitern müssen, um erfolgreich und in Frieden zu existieren. Diesem Irrglauben, nur mehr von allem sei die Lösung, muss Einhalt geboten werden, denn es handelt sich in Wahrheit um das Kernproblem und beschreibt neurotisches Verhalten!

Die schnelle Kommunikation über die elektronischen Medien, die wesentlich dazu beigetragen hat, unsere Welt in Unordnung zu bringen und auf vielfältige Weise den Terror anzuheizen, könnte auch dazu genutzt werden, weit über die sogenannten sozialen Netzwerke hinaus, die kommerziell agieren, die Startchancen junger Menschen von staatlicher, kommunaler und unternehmerischer Seite her sehr viel effizienter zu verbessern als dies bisher der Fall ist. Denn Markt und Wirtschaft sind für die Menschen da und nicht umkehrt!


 

Warum der Aufkauf von Staatsanleihen falsch ist

Die EZB hat am 22.01.2015 entschieden, dass sie monatlich für 60 Milliarden € Anleihen aufkaufen will und dieses Programm bis September 2016 laufen kann. Die Kaufaktion soll im März beginnen. Dies wären dann 19 Monate und eine Summe von 1,14 Billionen €. Falls es sich noch nicht herumgesprochen haben sollte, eine Billion sind tausend Milliarden, und nicht nur hundert. Dieser Schritt stellt aus mehreren Gründen einen geldpolitischen Einschnitt dar und ist komplett falsch. Nicht nur von der Größenordnung und Dauer, sondern auch vom Zeitpunkt her. Es ist das psychologisch falsche Signal für die Regierungen und die Märkte. 

Einmal davon abgesehen, dass die EZB gar nicht berechtigt ist, Staatsfinanzierung zu betreiben, dieses Mandat hat sie gar nicht, treiben die Anleihekäufe in dieser gewaltigen Größenordnung die Finanzmärkte zu Auswüchsen und bremsen gleichzeitig den Reformwillen der Krisenstaaten. Der Euro droht durch diese Maßnahme zur Weichwährung zu werden, was keineswegs im Interesse der Währungsunion sein kann.

Die Finanzmärkte weiter mit Geld zu fluten, obwohl bereits genügend Liquidität vorhanden ist, kann gar nicht den gewünschten Effekt haben, eine mögliche Deflationsgefahr zu bekämpfen. Außerdem ist die gegenwärtig niedrige Inflationsquote dem günstigen Ölpreis geschuldet.

Die notwendigen Strukturreformen in den überschuldeten Staaten der Eurozone werden keinesfalls dadurch angekurbelt, dass sie billiger an Geld kommen. Ganz im Gegenteil werden ihre Schulden weiter steigen, weil der Druck für Reformen sinkt und die Gelder nicht in der Realwirtschaft ankommen, sondern ausschließlich Investoren und Banken saniert werden, die durch ihr unverantwortliches und risikoreiches Handeln die Euro-Krise erst verursacht haben. Die Zeche zahlen die Sparer und der Mittelstand, dessen kleine Unternehmen nicht vom Export profitieren.  


 

 


 EU1 Think Tank

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