Politics and society react hysterically to the actions of the last generation. A guest contribution by ex-RAFler Karl-Heinz Dellwo.
No rescue in sight. Anyone who looks at the world today inevitably has to become depressed or cynical. The contempt and disrespect for people that can be seen everywhere dominates. We live in societies that are primarily structured according to rulers and follow the dictates of command and obedience in their central areas. Everything is grounded in criteria that pursue the valorization of life for a dead cause, as efficiently as it is ruthless. With the expansion of economic exploitation to all areas of life, the command to participate has long since become an inner drive of the individual.
Pier Paolo Pasolini captured this from the mid-1960s with his term “anthropological mutation”. By overrunning and overrunning all values that are still independent and not permeated by its world of exploitation, capitalism dissolves what is fundamentally human. This was and is the condition for that new doxa of production and consumption that has long determined the reality of our lives. Man has never been more hopelessly degraded to an object than today.
Comparisons come to mind: In the 1960s, the then Federal Chancellor Ludwig Erhard failed in his attempt to proclaim the “formed society”. All individual interests should be subjected to a “common good” that was defined from the point of view of the economy. Today, the “formed society” has long since become a bitter reality.
The last generation acts with caution
The name “Last Generation” is irritating and yet it is accurate. If humanity wants to survive without dystopia, the old history of world use will end with the generation alive today. You can see this as an epoch break, similar to the transition from the Middle Ages to modern times.
In this picture, the turning point that Olaf Scholz proclaimed is a phrase that masks the opposite. The turning point, announced in the tectonic fractures of the old world order, is to be stopped and where it has already occurred: reversed. The old should remain. The means for this is the new militarization. Up to the thought game of a nuclear war.
Since its inception, the group “Last Generation” has operated demonstratively symbolically and obviously with care. It appears that she is doing everything she can to prevent damage to what she uses as a factual vehicle for her political positions. Why do so many work through them with bad arguments? Claudia Roth introduces the ridiculous argument, that because of this group, the art in safes could disappear. In the attack on the ultimately small actions of the “Last Generation” it also becomes apparent that those in power also want to possess the morale of the resistance.
Dellwo, 70, is a publisher, filmmaker and author based in Hamburg. In 2009, Dellwo founded the Laika publishing house. There he published the “Library of the Resistance”.
The RAF terrorist
In 1975, the Holger Meins detachment, to which Dellwo belonged, stormed the German Embassy in Stockholm. During the hostage-taking, with which Andreas Baader, Ulrike Meinhof, Gudrun Ensslin and other RAF-sympathizers were to be freed, the military attaché Andreas von Mirbach and the economic attaché Heinz Hillegaart were shot by the terrorists. Dellwo was sentenced to life imprisonment for this in 1977, but was released in 1995.
dealing with the past
Dellwo described the Stockholm action as a “political and moral error”. He rejects the debate about remorse as a “measure of how far one submits”.
The symbolically alarming nature of the group can be interpreted as an attempt to break through society’s all-encompassing powerlessness in the face of the conditions with which it is consolidated and reproduced on a daily basis. For more than 50 years, everyone with political responsibility has known that the concept of exploiting the world and the strategy of perpetual growth are tipping into global destruction. Nothing significant was done, most people were simply not interested. The distant disaster is topped by the immediate interest in the continuation of what already exists. All promises to take action against the destruction that had been set in motion remained rhetorical. The system relies on the integrative digestion of the protest and knows its success here.
In their analysis, the “Last Generation” group is of course correct: politics in the sense that it regulates the affairs of society in the interest of improving the living conditions of mankind does not exist. Reactions to the ‘Last Generation’ appearing in the usual concord between the political caste and its media are not surprising.
Some react to this group as if a new armed struggle is imminent. Hysteria is a proven means of shifting discourse. In terms of depth psychology, one might think: those in power obviously expect punishment. You know yourself that your “green capitalism” is a chimera. Everyone knows you won’t change anything.
It will continue as before. Some also want nothing else because their interests are identical to those of capital. But there is another side to the reference to the RAF: it contains the announcement that it will use everything if necessary, to go beyond any limit if the politics of the “last generation” would raise a real question of power.
The political class is united in the same view of society. For its action orientation of “continuing”, society has to function. The demands of the political caste are simple and are based on the management of the company: those involved in the company have to accept the state of their administration. They are rewarded with consumption and apparent freedom – and, when there is a crisis, with the gesture of the “big boom”, the cushioning of their new economic needs from above, which is nothing more than increasing the burdens of the masses for the future .
Wherever protest and resistance abandon their intended decorative role, officials and the media shoot back with mendacity and instrumentalization. After the parallel death of a cyclist to an action of the “Last Generation” in Berlin, they are held responsible for it. Thought through, demonstrations and protests may only be held on the distant meadow in the future.
By the end of 2022, around 400 cyclists will have died on the roads. This has not been a social upset so far, it is part of normality and is de facto accepted with a shrug of the shoulders. In these cases, each death remains an individual stroke of fate that the relatives have to deal with. The instrumentalization of the dead cyclist against the “last generation” only points to the unrestrained exploitation and the reversal of what is in fact responsible for all road deaths.
This text comes from the Wochentaz. Our weekly newspaper from the left! Every week in the Wochentaz, the world is about how it is – and how it could be. A left-wing weekly newspaper with a voice, attitude and the special taz view of the world. New every Saturday at the kiosk and in the of course by subscription.
“In my opinion, there is always a certain space left in artistic creation that cannot be ‘integrated’.” (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1974)
The “last generation” also uses art as a vehicle for their message. Behind the attacks on the “last generation” is also the eliminative desire for something fundamentally different, which cannot be integrated into the existing conditions. The consequences of this are obvious: Without this non-integrable, only the fatality of the given prevails, which then makes it easy to present the conclusions developed from it as “without alternative”.
We’ve known that for decades. The world of recycling is considered to be without alternative. What cannot be integrated in one’s own space, however, disturbs the peace of the false. It is therefore what is hated by all those in positions of power. But it is also what ultimately attracts the annihilation. And yet it is indispensable.