• Politik

    Der intellektuelle Charme des Schwarms

    Zur Zeit wird viel über Basisdemokratie gesprochen. Und über die wachsende Zerstörung unserer sozialen und physischen Umwelt. Natürlich hängen beide Themen zusammen. Unsere Welt hat eine Komplexität erreicht, die den Einzelnen zunehmend überfordert. In der Folge fühlt er sich durch die für ihn unnachvollziehbaren Entscheidungen der Politik nicht mehr repräsentiert und ruft nach Volksabstimmungen. Gleichzeitig wächst das Bedürfnis nach vermeintlich einfachen Lösungen, die immer häufiger in verschwörungstheoretischen und rechtsnationalen Glaubenssätzen gesucht werden. Derartige Ansätze sind wenig hilfreich und mehr noch: vollkommen kontraproduktiv. Aber auch unser aktuelles (politische) System scheint überfordert und unfähig, auf die anstehenden Probleme angemessen und nachhaltig zu reagieren. Schwarmintelligenz könnte möglicherweise bessere Antworten auf aktuelle und zukünftige…

  • Europe,  Geschichte

    Germany and the First World War

    In a recent article, CNN tries to analyze the German relationship to the history of the first World War. Supposedly, WWI is „Germany’s forgotten conflict“, overshadowed by the levels of destruction and suffering of the second World War. The earlier war would often be seen as merely a prelude to the bigger, later war. The main narrative of the article is therefore, that Germany is lacking a proper culture of remembrance when it comes to the First World War. Omnious critics are referred to that Germany would have a „selective memory“. Linke-politician Sevim Dagdelen thinks that, Germany’s neglecting of its history as the main aggressor and cause for the war…

  • Allgemein,  Geschichte,  Politik

    „Absolute Ethics“ and „Ethics of Responsibility“

    In the wake of the First World War and in the face of increasing ideological extremism, the German sociologist Max Weber postulated a difference between people that follow absolute ethics on the one side and people that take ethical responsibility for the consequences of their acts on the other side. The general argument, I believe, is following: There are members of society that see the responsibility of their acts with the principle that they follow. It is not personally their fault if their acts aiming for the realization of a certain principle cause consequences. I want to track that notion back to the contract-theory of Hobbes and Locke. Giving up…

  • Allgemein,  Politik

    Comparative Advantage and Externalities

    The best argument for free trade is probably Ricardo’s comparative advantage. The argument is as follows, that even countries that are less efficient at producing any good compared to a more developed country would be able to specialise in a given prduct that has the lowest opportunity cost to them and trade that good in an advantageous way. I personally feel that this argument should be disputed. The main reason is the trading of externalities. Specialised countries are more prone to import externalities. Many markets have natural entrance-barriers. Structural and institutional deficits arising from specialisation hinder real „creative destruction“. Argumentation for free trade follows a certain structure of argumentation: Comparative…

  • Americas,  Politik

    Scott Sumner asks about cultural appropriation

    In a recent blog post, Scott Sumner asks about recent trends in American society concerning Cultural appropriation: Scott Sumner’s blog: TheMoneyIllusion I also weighed in on this discussion: In my opinion, Cultural appropriation is combative term., that includes too many different aspects too describe any specific situation. Learning a foreign language or become invested in a foreign culture implies the view that those “goods” are neither rivalrous nor excludable. However, sometimes the history of a group of people founds a specific and current political claim. Then taking part in it undermines the political strive of that group. Take for example the situation of descendants of African people in the US:…

  • Asia,  Europe,  Politik

    A new „Eastern Front“?

    As I argued in my previous post a new, serious approach to the Integration of the European East into the European Union is much needed. That integration should not aim to win the East for special interests of the European core – as the setting up of camps for refugees in Albania would be – but to really integrate it into the European Union. Using the East as a source for cheap labour or dumping place for Europe’s unwanted will cause big problems for the Union soon. Symbolic and practical acts that show solidarity and seriousness may be costly but are necessary. That the East is not waiting for the…

  • Europe

    Europa dem Osten – A Europe for the East

    Today, the European Union is being understood as the embodiment of the European idea. The dream of a European Community was conceived before and especially during the second World War and was realized first in an Community of Steel and Coal. Steel and Coal were, of course, not only the foundation of any industrial growth at the time but also necessary for any war. Sharing these ressources should hopefully lead to peace in Europe and the emergence of a global counterbalance to the US and the USSR. From there on, the project turned liberal and developed into a supranational institution that influences many areas of our daily lives. But the…