#190: On the Ability of Russians to Suffer their Government

As sanctions keep hurting Russia’s economic outlook, we keep hearing that the Russian people are able to endure anything, and that they will tolerate all of this, that it would be pointless to sanction the country and that we should just give in to Putin’s genocidal demands. Yet it is not the West which is… Continue reading #190: On the Ability of Russians to Suffer their Government

#183: What Are Russians Thinking?

We keep hearing in the news frequently that most Russians support Putin’s war. This is highly misleading, and very probably wrong. There cannot be objective surveys in Russia. All independent journalistic institutions have either been closed or are about to close. Any independent thinking is being actively discouraged, and if discouragement does not work, it… Continue reading #183: What Are Russians Thinking?

#166: Reflections on Memorial Day

It is strange to have to look up the meaning of a central holiday of the country into which you have immigrated. I grew up in Socialist/Communist East Germany, and that was a criminal state, I did not care for its traditions. The Catholic Church dictated most of my holiday schedule – the Protestants varied… Continue reading #166: Reflections on Memorial Day

#156: Politics, Arts and Sports: Some Erratic Reflections

I. During the recent weeks, we have heard demands for uttering shibboleths from athletes or artists at two crucial occasions: During the Beijing Winter Olympics – held in a totalitarian state – and during the genocidal war waged by Russia against innocent Ukraine. What do athletes, what do artists, what do performers think about gruesome… Continue reading #156: Politics, Arts and Sports: Some Erratic Reflections

#152: Democracy vs. Tyranny, or: How Does It Feel to Live in a Dictatorship?

Monument to Giordano Bruno in Rome:A BRUNO - IL SECOLO DA LUI DIVINATO - QUI DOVE IL ROGO ARSE(To Bruno - From the Age he Predicted - Here Where the Fire Burned) We are seeing continuing criticism of current democratic countries become more and more prevalent. This is, of course, legitimate. Criticism is necessary, it… Continue reading #152: Democracy vs. Tyranny, or: How Does It Feel to Live in a Dictatorship?

#83: The Purpose of History, or, We Need to Explain Democracy Better

Francis Fukuyama has been much ridiculed for allegedly claiming that we had reached the “end of history” in the 1990s after the victory of democracy over socialism. His argument, however, was more complex, and consisted rather in an update of Hegel’s analysis of the consequences of the dual victory of Napoleonic France (and its proclaimed… Continue reading #83: The Purpose of History, or, We Need to Explain Democracy Better

#80: There Is No Alternative to Dialog and Debate

Of course, we all want to believe that what we are thinking and doing is the right thing. Nobody wants to be wrong, nobody wants to be the bad guy. Nobody is truly at peace with themselves if they are at war with the world. But we cannot all be right on everything. We all… Continue reading #80: There Is No Alternative to Dialog and Debate

#68: We Do Not Need Enemies

We are seeing increasing tension in the world again. There were a few years, namely the 1990s, when the world seemed to be growing more closely together, overcoming differences and seeking understanding over division (with a few painful exceptions). Then, 9/11 happened, which brought new wars. The transatlantic alliance was put under strain, globalization brought… Continue reading #68: We Do Not Need Enemies

#54: The Dictator as False Messiah: A Belated Review of Game Of Thrones Season 8

I. Game of Thrones has been a mainstay of recent television mania. Each year, the excitement built up more and more, and for the very last season, expectations were high, and, as it goes with genre shows, fans had their very concrete ideas about how things should develop. This now is a very belated, spoiler-filled… Continue reading #54: The Dictator as False Messiah: A Belated Review of Game Of Thrones Season 8

#20: Exiled

I grew up in former East Germany, lived through the 1989 Revolution, saw the fall of the wall, transitioned to life in West, or rather, United Germany, fell in love, moved to the US, enjoying a freedom I never thought I would ever be able to enjoy pre-1989. My transatlantic life was based on the… Continue reading #20: Exiled