see below the whole manuscript of the book 'Realignment' (English Language)

Klaus Moegling


A peaceful and sustainably developed world is (still) possible'.

(Third International edition 2024, last update  April 4, 2024)


I would like to thank the following proofreaders, who corrected the various chapters in English and often gave useful advice about the contents as well:

Leonie Geene,

Ulla Klötzer, 

Sharon Rose,
Judith Schäfer,
Prof. Dr. Gerlinde Metz,
Reiner Lomb,
Mag. Dr. Monika Gaisch,
Kathryna Li de Leon
Bernhard Trautvetter

If you would like to give me feedback on the book contents, please email me at:

klaus (at)

I will try to reply to this in a timely manner.
I would appreciate it if you would share the reference to the website and the book on your email distribution list. Making the manuscript public is a political act in the interest of the common goal - the preservation of living conditions on Earth.

With kind regards

Klaus Moegling



A beautiful planet and two important Questions:

How can we protect the next generations from the current generations and preserve the planet?

How can we change the current global systemic structures so that a structural realignment emerges which is characterized by justice, respect for nature, democracy and peacefulness?

The Third international and english Edition (2024) begins here, exclusive and free of charge:


Author: Klaus Moegling (c), 2024, Third International edition


A peaceful and sustainably developed world is (still) possible

– analysis, vision and development steps from a holistic perspective 


Citation option: 

Moegling, Klaus (2024): Realignment. A peaceful and sustainably developed world is (still) possible. Kassel, 3rd updated and expanded international edition,, April 4, 2024.


"Restoring and maintaining world peace requires different international political structures and must not be left to individual nation states or military blocs. Russia's current invasion of Ukraine is a vivid illustration of this. "

First Introduction:

Wars, social inequality, global warming, pandemics. Every day, the world faces new challenges, which can only be overcome by a far-reaching realignment that addresses the causes of the various global problems.
The world is in disarray: In many regions of the world, peace has been destroyed, wars are taking place in various forms. People are being tortured, shot, blown up or starving to death. Many states are becoming increasingly authoritarian and repressive internally and dangerous externally. 
The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas are the most recent examples of the failure of international cooperation. 
Injustice on a global scale is growing: a few rich people are earning more and more, a large part of the world's population has no access to basic foodstuffs and clean drinking water. The economy does not serve people. The cultural approach to digitalization promotes a life in illusory worlds and the transformation of the human. The handling of pandemics is inadequate. Refugee movements are increasing and the associated migration problem is becoming more difficult to manage, even for rich societies. At the same time, right-wing populism and right-wing extremism are on the rise. 
The environment is increasingly being destroyed. Global warming will lead to a dramatic shift in the ecological balance. 
'Save yourself who can!' or thinking about a new beginning? 
The answer to this is a plea for a new order.
A peaceful world based on the principle of sustainability is possible. 
The realignment must already begin now with the first necessary steps. 
But: We are running out of time.


First of all, the last chapter 8, which summarizes the entire manuscript of several hundred pages and provides perspectives, should be placed at the beginning.
The following table of contents can then be used to decide which chapters should be read in greater depth.

Final Chapter 8:

Summary and Epilogue: A new world order

The holistic approach
Only rarely do political science approaches succeed in going beyond a partial specialization of their statements or a focus on a single theoretical approach. For this reason, the complexity of social processes can only be grasped in a one-sided and sometimes under-complex way. For example, neoliberal theories of economic development are linked to economic interests and are therefore deliberately formulated in a one-sided and partially specialized way in order to exclude alternative perspectives and to provide their clientele with strategies for action aimed at maximizing individual profits.

The book is therefore based on a holistic approach whose primary interest is to analyze and assess social perspectives from different angles in order to formulate requirements for future social development that is oriented towards universal values and human interests in peace, justice and the preservation or restoration of a balanced ecology. This approach is primarily based on eight systems theory assumptions:

1. Everything is connected to each other: the single parts to each other and the parts in               turn to the whole. Events that are taking place far away can therefore have a great                       effect in the vicinity.
2. Within this order, political activity can cause an effect that leads to a change in the                   partial relationships among one another and thus also leading to an influence on                         the social whole.
3. Structures strengthen the whole against the dynamic of the parts. However, structures           are built up of individuals, which in turn can change structure-forming rules.
4. There are different system levels. Organizational patterns at the various system levels are less hierarchical; systems usually have multivariate organizational patterns. Information and influences run in all directions, downward, upward and on the horizontal plane.
5. In contrast to a simple machine, wholes in the sense of living systems do not function in a linear-causal sense, but changes result from cyclic information patterns with multiple feedback loops.
6. Living systems are characterized by the principles of self-organization and self-renewal (autopoiesis). This means that a functioning system is able to define its order relatively independently, to change it and to reorganize it in a learning process.
7. A realignment of the whole emerges when the various partial activities of many                      individuals work together intensively enough and in a way that is systemically                               appropriate for the structural change.
8. When partial areas interact in a systemically coherent manner, they develop a system-            changing dynamic. Then – also in a disruptive sense – qualitative changes can                           occur at high speed, a global realignment.
Often areas, that are separate from each other, such as body, mind, psyche and society, as environment, economy and health or as identity, religion and war, are understood as interrelated areas. Here too, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Partial areas interact systemically and can generate a dynamic and global effect. For example, the spread of the corona virus shows us how the social handling of the virus can lead to fears of contagion in people, changes in interpersonal behavior, economic crisis such as the collapse of corporate sales and mass layoffs as well as political crises. In the same way, the Corona crisis has shown that a neoliberal economic regime, in the course of which privatization and commercialization of health care is carried out, is not capable of successfully fighting a pandemic. The terrible price is vast numbers of seriously ill and dead people.

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Not understanding how everything is connected can therefore be utterly dangerous. Underestimating the effects of everyday behavior, that is, at the micro level, can also be extremely dangerous. Underestimating how the daily media coverage of murders and human torture and the virtual participation in these events can affect young people is to overlook the psychological vulnerability of people. Mass shootings in schools and deadly attacks, but also the willingness to kill in war, are an expression of this ignorance. 
On the other hand, educational processes that occur on a democratic basis and are oriented toward sustainability cannot be valued highly enough for their significance for the whole. Peaceful meditation, interpersonal love and helping each other can also yield processes with global charisma, if empathy and willingness to help become the basis of a collective solidarity. 
The connection also becomes clear when we look at the combustion of brown or hard coal for heating as well as for industrial energy production and its connection to the release of additional climate gases. The climate warming caused by CO2 emissions, among other things, has a wide range of effects, from changes in ocean currents, the formation of deserts, the increased occurrence of violent storms, the melting of glaciers, the rise in sea level, to the thawing of the permafrost and the corresponding release of climate-relevant methane. The climate and ecological changes and upheavals lead to mass exodus and migrations of people, which in turn are not willingly accepted by the locals and lead to violent conflicts and a shift in the balance of political power.
Wars arise when the political possibilities of the actors involved to resolve a conflict have failed. Only the historical contextualization of military conflicts can show which interests, measures and refusals to cooperate led to the outbreak of war. As a rule, economic interests, such as the arms industry's pursuit of profit or the exploitation of fossil fuels or rare earths, are linked to power-political or geopolitical options. These different interests as well as the historical genesis of a war must be considered in context if considerations for ending a military conflict are to be realistic and successful. 

This book is devoted to these interrelationships and to the possibilities of having an ethically justifiable political influence on the whole.

A vision cannot be accused of being visionary.
The book begins with a critical analysis of the current state of society in a global context. The central social areas are analyzed and evaluated in terms of their connections: economy, politics, ecology, military and culture.
The focus will be on global structures of greed, which found their historical expression in colonialism, but also in post-colonial times their extension and systemic modification. 

Subsequently, a focus is also placed the reconstruction and classification of the international resistance movements that resist the dominant economy, social injustice, the climate destruction and against the militarization of the world.

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In a second step, negative scenarios are developed for these areas. The question here is what the future of global society will look like if we fail restrain the threat of a global military catastrophe, to prevent the climate catastrophe, to counteract the tendencies of de-democratization, to eliminate social inequality and to prevent the digital transformation of human values in the context of a culture that is hostile to humanity.
The sketching of such negative scenarios, which are constructed in the sense of heuristics from a combination of facts, theoretical assessments, assumptions and hypotheses, is, in addition to the critical analysis of the actual situation, the basis for the demand for a radical reorganization of world society so that such a development can be prevented.
In a third step, the positive vision of a (still) possible global development is then described, which can occur if the right measures are taken and the decisions necessary for this can be enforced and implemented through civil society resistance, democratization and international networking. This vision is based on ecological necessities, the criteria of democracy, peaceful coexistence, the protection of human rights, a humane economy, social justice, an enlightened culture, i.e. on the principle of a multidimensional sustainability. However, concerning the various dimensions of sustainability in regard to the current and future climate threat situation, the primacy must be the ecological dimension, against which every measure and strategy must be measured.
On the basis of the critical analysis, the negative scenarios and the positive vision of planetary development developed on various levels, the first concrete steps are then developed that can be applied to the current state of global politics, the neoliberal economy, global ecology and diversified cultural lifestyles.
As already said in the introduction: Such a vision cannot be developed on the basis of an established and narrowing view on the shortcomings and limitations of the present. The constant accusation of insufficient realism misses the intention of the visionary project. Therefore, a vision cannot be accused of being visionary. Only the first steps towards a long-term approach to a vision must be based on what is currently available. Here it is then also legitimate to ask to what extent the first steps are realistically chosen.
The positive vision of a new order, on the other hand, is an expression of what is ideally desired and wanted and can only be redeemed in several generations - if mankind is actually still given time until then.

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Time dimension of a realignment
The positive vision of a reordering presented in this book has been developed against the background of the analysis of the actual situation and negative scenarios, but also of desirable developments, in order to enable the survival of the human species. For this it is urgently necessary to recognize the own responsibility of the present generations, so that the time of reversal and reorganization is not missed - thus once again Hans Jonas (1979/2015, 8f.):
"What comes to technology, however, ethics has to deal with actions (...) that have an unprecedented causal reach into the future, accompanied by a foreknowledge that also, as always incomplete, goes far beyond anything experienced before. To this is to be added the sheer magnitude of the long-distance effects and often their irreversibility. All of this places responsibility at the center of ethics, with horizons of time and space that correspond to those of action."
Those who argue in this context that man is fundamentally evil, that man behaves like a wolf towards others, and that therefore a positive vision of human development is naive and unrealistic, should be reminded that there are enough worldwide examples in the recent history of mankind of positive humanitarianism, of civil courage, of commitment against oppression, of helpfulness and empathy – from Bertha v. Suttner, Emmeline Pankhurst, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzei to Greta Thunberg.
The many forms of support and help that people give each other in families, circles of friends, political actions or work relationships also speak a positive language with regard to development possibilities of human beings. It must also be emphasized that we have only an ontologically and phylogenetically very short development phase of mankind behind us. We have possibly only walked the first few centimeters of a path that is thousands of kilometer long. Visions of human development in the future must therefore not only cover a few decades but also a range of many generations – so said Wilhelm Reich in his speech to the 'Little Man':

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„You always think in too short terms, Little Man, just from breakfast to lunch. You must learn to think back in terms of centuries and forward in terms of thousands of years. You have to learn to think in the terms of living life, in terms of your development from the first plasmatic flake to the animal man, which walks erect but cannot yet think straight. You have no memory even for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, and so you keep repeating the same stupidities you said 2000 years ago. More than that, you cling to your stupidities, such as your ‘race’ ‘class’ ‘nation’ religious compulsion and suppression of love as a louse clings to a fur. You do not dare see how deeply you stick in the morass of your misery. Every once in a while, you stick your head out of the morass to yell, Heil! the croaking of a frog in a marsh is closer to life.“ [1]

Sense of life and development of personality
People must find out why they want to live on this earth, what values and what meaning of life they want to pursue. They must clarify for themselves what social order they are striving for and, in this sense, work for a new order if the previous world order does not correspond to their ideas of a 'good responsible life‘.
Accordingly, they have to develop, mature, grow and create breakthroughs for themselves and for each other on the personality level and in their social relationships. People – regardless of culture and region – can find ways for themselves to develop in the context of like-minded people through changed forms of politics, new life contexts, forms of solidarity-based economic activity, through educational processes, therapeutic interventions or meditation practices.
At the personality level the prerequisite for this is, among other things, the development of mindfulness, i.e. the ability to perceive and reflect attentively with regard to one's own thoughts, feelings and actions. This often requires pausing, lingering and slowing down in one's own life. People who become aware of themselves in this sense – it has been argued – are not so easily manipulated, do not lose themselves in virtual worlds or other addictions, are less fearful, do not identify with their alienation, develop individuality and civil courage. The combination of mindfulness, personality maturity and democratic capacity through educational processes of various kinds is seen as a good basis for having a positive influence on economic, ecological, social and political structures.

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Determinants of realignment
In particular, the threat of ecological devastation, increasing social injustice, the military annihilation scenario, increasing de-democratization, de-humanization in the course of digital transformation and the increasing occurrence of pandemics pose threats to the survival conditions of humanity for which decisive sustainable countermeasures on a global scale must be effectively implemented without further delay. Sustainable development refers here multidimensionally to ecological, economic, political and cultural aspects of global development with ecological aspects as priority and means not only the preservation of the basis of life for future generations, but also the healing of what has been destroyed. Due to its global nature, such a development cannot be initiated by nation states alone, but must urgently be coordinated transnationally with the involvement of a reformed UN.
In the course of constructing a positive vision of social change, the socio-economic prerequisites for a peaceful and ecological coexistence in the sense of a post-growth society and alternative economies with a clear orientation towards the common good are also described. The economy must primarily serve people and not primarily the profitability interests of its shareholders. Various resistance movements against the neoliberalized economy and for a common good-oriented economy are outlined and analyzed. Steps out of the grip of a greedy economy, including processes of expropriation or re-appropriation, are described and provided with examples of a human and ecologically oriented economy.
The present positive vision of societal development opportunities has also at the level of international politics presented proposals, which will be briefly summarized again here.
The proposals can be outlined at various levels and are extremely topical due to global political developments, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the wars in Yemen and Syria dramatically demonstrate:

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1.       The consistent democratization of the United Nations through a democratically elected             world parliament, the restructuring of the UN Security Council and an elected and                       strictly controlled world government;
2.       Linked to this is a gradual development of a denationalization of political rule in favor of             a regionalization to a sensible degree according to the principle of subsidiarity;
3.       A revaluation and restructuring of international jurisdiction from which no UN state can               escape;
4.       An international disarmament and dismantling of states, armies and illegitimate                           organizations in favor of a democratically controlled monopoly of the use of force by                 the United Nations;
5.       The use of disarmament profits, i.e. the peace dividend, for the urgent and globally                       relevant sustainable development tasks - first and foremost for climate protection,                     peacekeeping, health systems and the eradication of world hunger.
We are of course far from a demilitarization, a denationalization and an implementation of universalism as well as an establishment of cosmopolitan structures of order. The Russian attack on Ukraine in 2022 and the inability of the United Nations to act preemptively here and also to respond effectively in military escalation shows this in a dangerous way.
Nevertheless measures to achieve this state of international reorganization are an important key to global pacification and to the release of resources, especially for the poorer part of the world. If, through the drastic reduction of armament expenditures in the course of disarming the nation-states, the trillion-dollar resources necessary for the development of the poorer regions of the world could be raised, economic reasons for mass migration and the associated conflicts and problems would also be at least considerably reduced.
Also by the timely countermeasures against the ecological climate collapse, which require significant investments, the ecological reasons for future mass migration will be reduced, at least in the medium term, due to the time delay caused by climate slowness.
Political scientist Farsan Ghassim determined in an empirical study that the idea of a global democracy and a democratic global world government does have appeal among the populations of a number of influential countries - according to Ghassim (2021):
"In all the countries surveyed, clear majorities support the idea of a global democracy. The international average is 65 percent. The range extends from 57 percent in England and 61 percent in the USA to 68 percent in Brazil and 74 percent in Japan. Germany, at 64 percent, is in the middle of these five countries."
Don't let anyone tell you that no one wants global democracy. Ghassim's survey results make it clear: It's not hopeless to work for a change in global governance structures.This resonates with many people. More people are interested in global democracy than nationally oriented politicians would have us believe.

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The biosphere responds to human intervention
The overexploitation of nature does not go unanswered. Planet Earth is beginning to defend itself against humans. However, a catastrophe on a global scale can still be prevented.
The United Nations IPCC World Climate Report makes it clear that between the – likewise problematic – 1.5°C degree target and the 2.0°C degree target by the end of the 21st century, there is a significant difference for the global climate situation, especially for already disadvantaged regions and populations:
„Populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences with global warming of 1.5°C and beyond include disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods (high confidence). Regions at disproportionately higher risk include Arctic ecosystems, dryland regions, small island developing states, and Least Developed Countries (high confidence). Poverty and disadvantage are expected to increase in some populations as global warming increases; limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared with 2°C, could reduce the number of people both exposed to climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050 (medium confidence)“ [2]
Achieving the 1.5°C target is probably - now from the perspective of 2024 - no longer possible.  However, the measures required to achieve this would have to be initiated immediately and would have to go well beyond the 45% global CO2 reduction by 2030 compared to 2010 and the complete CO2 neutrality by 2050 required by IPCC . [3] In view of the currently accelerating global warming, the existence of uncontrollable tipping points, the effect of climate feedback effects, but also the millions of deaths from starvation as well as the threats to world peace due to climate development, there will by 2050 be no more time for climate neutrality measures.
Nor can it be assumed that the measures envisaged by the Paris Climate Convention will be sufficient to come close to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C  or 2.0°C by the end of the century. It is already foreseeable that even compliance with the Paris Climate Convention will lead to global warming of more than 3°C with dangerous consequences for planetary life. But not even meeting the climate targets of the Paris Convention is guaranteed. [4]
Recent studies by IPPC (2021 b, 12, 2023) make it clear that the climatic situation has deteriorated significantly in recent years, so that only less than 300 giga tons of CO2 may be consumed worldwide from 2021 onwards if the 1.5 degree target is still to be achieved with a probability of 83%. And this CO2 residual budget must also be allocated in such a way that it is possible to speak of climate justice.
The IPPC (2023, 12) states in its 2023 Synthesis Report, for which over 9000 studies were analyzed, that the 1.5 degree limit will be reached very soon, but that there is nevertheless hope for pushing back global warming if drastic measures are taken in the short term:

Continued greenhouse gas emissions will lead to increasing global warming, with the best estimate of reaching 1.5°C in the near term in considered scenarios and modelled pathways. Every increment of global warming will intensify multiple and concurrent hazards (high confidence). Deep, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions would lead to a discernible slowdown in global warming within around two decades, and also to discernible changes in atmospheric composition within a few years (high confidence). 

However, climate justice in the broader sense also means that the richer regions of the world must largely finance the ecological protection and prevention measures for the poorer parts of the world, including the necessary conversion to climate-friendly renewable energy production. In this way, centuries of colonial and post-colonial exploitation of entire regions of the world can be compensated step by step, at least partially, in financial terms.
In this book, therefore, the necessary packages of measures are outlined in stages over a period of 15 years. By then, all important decisions must have been made and the necessary measures introduced in order to be able to change the global development process in time.
In addition to achieving emission reduction targets earlier, the main priorities here are

  • Switching to renewable energy supplies in the electricity and heating sectors;
  • Redirecting public financial resources away from the weapons industry and towards financing climate prevention and protection measures;
  • Promotion of efficiency and energy-saving measures instead of technical solutions in the sense of 'carbon engineering';
  • Development of fiscal incentives for ecological redirection and a more effective CO2 emissions certificate market.
  • Special financial support for the regions of the world that are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change.

The knowledge for socio-ecological transformation is available; however, the political will of those responsible must continue to develop so that these measures are actually implemented as quickly as possible.

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The relationship between nation-state disarmament and the establishment of a UN monopoly for the use of force
Furthermore, in view of the growing threat, it is necessary to take the first sensibly coordinated steps with regard to global disarmament without further delay:
The technology of nuclear weapons is currently being modernized and further developed by all nuclear powers at great expense. There are increasing attempts to use artificial intelligence and cybercrime in warfare. Private mercenary armies, nuclear armed hypersonic missiles, the use of autonomously deciding killer robots as well as the militarization of space are threatening. The armament madness no longer knows any ethically determined limits. 
However, there is also a risk of unintentional interference by programs that take on a life of their own. In particular, there is a risk of the uncontrolled further development of artificial intelligence into a 'super intelligence' that is superior to humans in terms of its technological intelligence. There is a danger that such a 'superintelligence' will take control of the internet and destructively interfere with the critical civil infrastructure. This can lead to considerable social disruption and even civil war-like situations if medical care in hospitals collapses, traffic lights at intersections no longer work, the power supply breaks down or pensions can no longer be paid. An 'accidental nuclear war' is also entirely conceivable through the intrusion of artificial intelligence or the failure of AI in weapons systems and is unfortunately not unrealistic. Renowned international AI researchers warn against this. (Bläsius 2024)
In the current situation, we are still clearly in a world of growing multipolar threat. Individual nation-states, power blocs and alliances backed by the international arms industry, as well as terrorist militias and clandestine organizations, threaten world peace in a way not seen since the so-called end of the 'Cold War'. Democracies are also currently becoming defensive or are in retreat. Autocracies, armed to their teeth, are attempting to assert hegemonic interests in their regions of the world using hybrid, partly hidden, partly open warfare.  

The Russian war in Ukraine is only the negative culmination of this trend toward internal and external repression. The Russian invasion of Ukraine made the threat tangible for Europe as well. The ongoing war in the Middle East in 2024, which culminated in Hamas' brutal attack on Israel and the disproportionate retaliation in the Gaza Strip with 10,000 deaths, especially among Palestinian civilians, shows how unresolved conflicts and a lack of effective transnational structures repeatedly lead to dramatic historical events. 

This means that the nation-state disarmament of the world is imperative, but it would be an expression of dangerous naivity if especially those states and alliances with democratic self-claims and with at least to some extent developed democratic structures were the first to begin to radically disarm and to demilitarize unilaterally. The result would be a defenselessness that would be exploited by authoritarian and politically immature regimes as well as terrorist and politically extremist organizations. Nazi rule and aggressive military technology would not have been stopped by good persuasion, carol singing and cheerful music.
In the first steps, disarmament in the nuclear and conventional fields can only be achieved through international disarmament negotiations, supported by a transnational alliance of democratic states and regions, in the context of the United Nations.
This international disarmament can only take place if it is supported by a global civil society movement that provides the necessary impetus and a powerful support for this process. The success of the peace movement in the 1980s and 1990s proved this.  The ‚Mayors for Peace‘ movement, the civil society activities of ICAN or the activities of the 'Women's International League for Peace' (WILPF) point in the right direction.

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At the same time, or rather in the individual steps leading up to these precisely coordinated disarmament measures, UN blue helmet troops with an expanded mandate and the a UN world police force must be established as a counterweight and for corrective measures. Without the synchronization of international disarmament of the nation states and the establishment of a functional, supraregional, regional and locally structured and well-equipped executive, an irresponsible power vacuum would arise.
An alternative approach could be to expand NATO. Even if this seems absurd at first glance, we should at least consider whether an expanded and modified NATO could take over the global policing function within the framework of the United Nations. Initially, more western-oriented states, such as South Korea, Australia, Brazil or Japan, could be brought closer to NATO and then gradually integrated into the security alliance. However, states that are currently still at odds with each other could also be given the prospect of NATO membership in the longer term.
The prerequisite for this would be the rapprochement of both Ukraine and the Russian Federation to NATO, for example, subject to precisely defined conditions and, in the next steps, the integration of the People's Republic of China and other states, particularly from the Global South. In this sense, the expanded and technically converted NATO would provide the necessary global police security structure for the UN - under the condition that the UN is democratically reformed.
The integration of Ukraine and the Russian Federation into NATO would be the offer to end the war in Ukraine. A win-win situation. Certainly, the risks and also the resistance would have to be considered when discussing such an unconventional solution to many problem (see Chapter 5.6 and the associated excursus for more details).
In any case, the world would be certain of a huge peace dividend. 

But even in another scenario, the world will not be able to avoid global disarmament if it wants to find the necessary resources to tackle global problems and crises.
Accordingly democratic disarmament decisions lead to disarmament being carried out by all states as a parallel and controlled transparent process. States that refuse to disarm should be subject to economic and political sanctions in such a way that they primarily affect the ruling and refusing elites. Illegal organizations are to be prosecuted, sanctioned and dissolved at the national and supraregional levels by the world police. 

Russia's war in Ukraine shows once again very clearly that a world police operation or the deployment of UN-led troops only makes sense if a state accused of military aggression cannot threaten to use nuclear weapons. 

Parallel to this, democratic structures beyond the nation-states must be established and expanded step by step at the regional and UN levels. In this context, courageous civil society engagement as well as the democratic organization of the necessary social change on the global level have an important and indispensable function. In order to implement a democratic and socio-ecological reorganization, all previously successful forms of civilian resistance are to be used, from mass protests and mass strikes to boycotts of goods. Also appropriate voter behavior and involvement in socio-ecologically oriented and peace-politically committed institutions, parties and trade unions of course play an important role.

Hopeful development has begun
Even if climate policy is not yet developing effectively enough, even if world hunger has still not been eliminated, even if the international security system has suffered a major defeat with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, existing positive world political developments should nevertheless not be overlooked. In many places around the world, there are currently protest and resistance movements working for a more peaceful and sustainably developed world in terms of a new order. 

On the question of social transformation, Friedrich Engels developed considerations as early as 1895 which, in my view, are still valid today - according to Engels:
"The time of surprise, of revolutions carried out by small conscious minorities at the head of unconscious masses is over. When it is a question of a complete transformation of the social order, the masses themselves must be involved, must themselves already have understood what it is all about, what they stand up for with life and limb. History of the last fifty years has taught us that. But for the masses to understand what has to be done, long, persistent work is needed, and it is precisely this work that we are doing now, and doing it successfully, which is driving the opponents to despair." (Engels 1895)
A social transformation and reorganization will therefore not take place via a single global disruptive outburst but will consist of very many movements and political measures that are persistently taken with a long-term perspective.
At present, mass protests by adults can be observed worldwide, but it is in particular the youth who are taking a stand against violence and climate destruction. For example, at the "March for Our Lives" in March 2018 U.S. students very clearly and loudly demanded a social transformation in the area of the arms industry and the laws that control it, against the interests of the arms lobby and the associated politics. On the occasion of the series of mass murders in U.S. schools, about 800,000 students and adults showed solidarity in an impressive demonstration organized by survivors of the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with the aim of building a longer-term political movement against the activities of the U.S. gun lobby, especially the NRA, the corresponding gun industry and the politicians they pay. [5]

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Likewise, the worldwide resistance of indigenous peoples and their support groups against the destruction by the fossil industry of the livelihood environment and natural basis, represents another, not to be underestimated, counter-movement against the overexploitation of nature and against the climate destruction. The Ogoni people in Nigeria, the Sioux in North Dakota, indigenous inhabitants of the rainforest in Brazil or the Cree Nation in northern Alberta are fighting against the destruction of their livelihoods with public relations, blockades, legal disputes and protest camps. They become politicized in the course of these disputes and recognize the connection between capitalism, state repression and the destruction of natural habitats. Young people work together with older generations in resistance to the fossil fuel industry.
The fact, that in March 2019, for example, student protests in connection with school strikes against the destruction of the climate and for effective and timely climate protection took place in about 2,000 cities in 120 countries worldwide [6], is also a sign that committed civil society resistance is emerging in the student generation. In Berlin alone, 25,000 students took part in the strike. [7] Six months later, there were already 240,000 people in Berlin, for example, and worldwide several million young people supported the climate strike. In particular, the fact that pressure of institutional refusal is also being used here in the context of a school strike makes one attentative. The 'Fridays for Future' (F4F) movement initiated by the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg shows that young people are increasingly willing to resort to more radical civil society means. They have understood that everything is at stake ("We are here, we are loud, because you are stealing our future.", "There is no planet B"). It will be extremely interesting to see what effect these mass protests of the F4F movement will have. This depends on the extent to which they can stabilize, network and expand to other fields of action, as well as involve the older generations. The question also arises whether the connection between internationally working structural features of the capitalist economy, the political system and the destruction of the biosphere will be recognized. Also the own consumption behavior, for instance boycotting products manufactured or operated in a climate-damaging manner, will play an important role.

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This is - after the break with the established culture of the 68 generation – possibly the beginning of another cultural revolution, which however, due to the massive threat situation, could now encompass much broader parts of the world population with a global reach.
About 27,000 scientists [8] from Switzerland, Austria and Germany ('Scientists for Future') have, as this is written, signed a declaration supporting the climate protests of the young people. Similar activities are emerging in other countries. International support from currently about 15,000 scientists of the 'Alliance of World Scientists' from 182 countries is for instance being created. These scientists state, "The students are right. The scientific results clearly support their climate policy commitment." Parallel networks of parents ('Parents For Future') and teachers ('Teachers For Future') also support the student protests and call on the school authorities to refrain from school disciplinary measures in case of strike participation. 'Students For Future' are also emerging at universities and they organize strike actions at universities and „Public Climate Schools“.
The commitment of young people in particular gives us hope that effective and long-term counter-movements will emerge and that a new generation will, in the sense of a radical cultural upheaval, break free from the stupefying media embrace of the military-industrial complex, from the priority of one-sided career interests, and from the depoliticizing and climate-damaging consumer orientation.
In this context, Western society could give back something of what it robbed from the subjugated peoples over centuries in the course of the colonization processes – according to the former German development minister Jürgen Todenhöfer:
"The history of the West is a history of brutal violence and great hypocrisy. Nowhere in the world does the West fight for the values of its civilization, but rather exclusively for its short-sighted interests. For power, markets and money. Often with terrorist methods. The sufferings of other peoples and cultures are of no interest. (...) The West needs a non-violent humanist revolution. Instead of misusing the values of its civilization to rape other peoples and cultures, it should fulfill its centuries-old promises to humanity." [9]

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This also means that the rich regions of the world, such as the EU or North America, must lead the way in reducing climate-relevant emissions. Poorer regions in the world must still be given some time to catch up with developments that were denied to them by colonization and an unjust world economic order. However, here too, it is important to achieve sustainability in industry, transport, agriculture, etc. as early as possible.
Of course, the ban on nuclear weapons initiated by the United Nations and the international NGO ICAN and which came into force on 22.1.2021, is also cause for hope. Although this ban applies legally only to the ratifying nations, it sets new international ethical standards to which the international peace movement can refer. Now, for the first time, a ban treaty is anchored in international law alongside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the nuclear states have to confront.
The agreements at UN level on the destruction of nuclear weapons, which 122 states have signed, represent a first step. The agreements must be expanded and, in parallel, the reduction of national arsenals of nuclear, biological, chemical and conventional weapons must begin by means of a binding UN resolution.
Also the worldwide movement of 'Mayors for Peace' with more than 8,000 participating cities from 165 countries, which support the immediate shutdown of operational nuclear weapons and the dismantling and destruction of all nuclear weapons, gives reason for hope with regard to the destruction of nuclear weapons.
Another interesting initiative is the suggestion for the establishment of a Finnish Ministry for Peace and Sustainable Development presented by the Finnish 'Women for Peace' in March 2021 on the occasion of the International Women's Day. This initiative, supported by some Finnish NGOs, criticizes the waste and misinvestment of societal resources for armament and war. The initiating women call for the establishment of a Finnish ministry that will ensure that a considerable part of the money spent so far on the military is spent on peace, poverty reduction and hunger eradication, and ecological development aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They also call on other countries to establish such ministries to work for a more peaceful, just and environmentally sustainable world. The further development of this initiative must be followed closely. [10]

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The movements critical of racism, currently e.g. 'Black Lives Matter', also represent a political activity to be taken into account for the social reorganization. [11]
'Black Lives Matter' is a protest movement originating from the US Afro-American community, which opposes the systemic racism in the society. It was founded as early as 2013 due to serious cases of racism and also because of latent everyday criminalization, but it became a mass protest movement against racist police assaults, especially due to the videotaped and documented murder of George Floyd, which also spread internationally.
"Black Lives Matter' (BLM) has no centralized structure, but is a 'grassroots movement' that is networked in a decentralized manner. BLM arranges demonstrations, marches, and rallies. BLM slogans such as "Hands up! Don't shoot!", "No justice, no peace!" or "Is my son next?" spread through the media worldwide in the course of these protests.
Starting with the police-involved chokehold death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, mass demonstrations were organized in the U.S., where millions of people took to the streets. There were also protests in Europe. For example, in Vienna in the early summer of 2020, about 50,000 participants, and in Berlin in June 2020 - despite Corona - 15,000 mainly young people demonstrated against social racism.
Former U.S. President Trump, on the other hand, described the demonstrators as 'terrorist antifa' and, based on riots by only a few who violently exploited the demonstrations, threatened the entire movement with operations of the National Guard: "Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts." [12] 
In the wake of such statements, heavily armed right-wing-oriented white civilians gathered at monuments of former U.S. colonial masters, racist politicians and generals in order to, with the use of firearms, including rapid-fire rifles in some cases, prevent these monuments from being brought down by activists.

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The movement has already so far, at least in large parts of the USA, achieved a new discussion about the racism issue and suspensions of violent police officers and criminal court proceedings have been initiated. It has also been achieved that colonialism, slavery and neo-colonialism are dealt with again. The movement should however, deal self-critically with tendencies of splinter groups in order not to become racist themselves by discriminating white Americans across-the-board. The eminently justified protest movement must also try to prevent plunder and destruction from being carried out in the shadow of the protests. This makes it easier for the opponents to classify Black Lives Matter as a terrorist movement. Here the reckless shift in standards for defining 'terrorism' is striking. In Turkey, demonstrators against the Erdogan regime are also labeled as terrorists by the regime. In Hong Kong, protests against China will also be regarded as terrorism in the future due to the enforced security law. The former US president Trump called the American Antifa terrorists. In the same way, Putin called the Ukrainian government members fascists and terrorists. 

Autocrats and authoritarian regimes shift the concept of terrorism, thus creating conditions for democratic opposition to be persecuted and threatened with repression.
 Right-wing extremist and right-wing populist political parties are gaining electoral success worldwide and are once again taking a more offensive role. At the same time, resistance is forming - hopefully in good time - among the populations of the affected countries. At the beginning of 2024, for example, several million German citizens protested against the extreme right. The occasion was the conspiratorial meeting of national-chauvinist politicians - including the Alternative for Germany (AfD) - in a villa in Potsdam. There, they discussed the deportation of millions of citizens with a migration background and their supporters. This led to an outcry among the German public and a demonstration movement in all German regions that lasted for months. This also gives hope. [13] 
The deceased French resistance fighter and diplomat Stéphane Hessel accordingly called on the youth of the world in particular to revolt against such shifts in meaning and injustices and to get involved in making the world more equitable:

„It is true the reasons to be indignant can seem today less clearly related or the world too complex. Who's doing the ordering, who decides? It is not always easy to differentiate between all the currents that govern us. We are not any more dealing with a small elite whose joint activities can be clearly seen. It is a vast world, of which we have a feeling of interdependence. We live in an interconnectivity as never before. But in this world there still are intolerable things. To see them, it is well and necessary to look, to search. I say to the young people, Search little, and that is what you are going to find. The worst of attitudes is indifference, to say "I can do nothing there, I'l just manage to get by." By including yourself in that, you lose one of the essential elements that makes the human being: the faculty of indignation and the commitment that is a consequence of it.“ [14]
In addition to working for peace and an ecologically intact world, this commitment should include the preservation of the still existing democratic leeway, which was historically fought for by previous generations at great sacrifice. This should be linked to the commitment to worldwide democratic structures under the umbrella of the United Nations and to the socio-ecological redirection of societies in the course of a systemic transformation of world capitalism. The following overview, which must certainly be supplemented by many other initiatives, gives at least a rudimentary insight into the diversity of NGOs, initiatives and movements, which could be the initiators and supporters of such a global reorganization:

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Who are the social forces of a socio-ecological reorganization? All socio-ecologically, democratically and peace-politically engaged citizens, parliamentarians, parties, trade unions, parliaments and institutions in local, national, regional and global contexts as well as worldwide resistance NGOs and initiatives such as:
Transparency International, ATTAC, Network for Fair Trade, Fair Trade Forum, foodwatch, Fridays For Future, Scientists For Future, Amnesty International, Alliance internationale pour la defense des droits et des libertes (AIDL), Extinction Rebellion (XR), Smash Cruiseshit, Seebrücke, Greenpeace, Global Witness, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Doctors Without Borders, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) – Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), World Future Council (WFC), Friedensinitiativen und -foren, Women for Peace, Women’s International League for Peace‘ (WILPF), Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag, Netzwerk Friedenskooperative, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Peace Brigades International, Democracy without Borders, UNPA Campaign, Democracy International, Civicus, Asia Democracy Network (ADN), Asia Forum of Human Rights and Development (Forum-Asia), Asia Democracy Research (ADRN), Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), Democracy for Hongkong (D4HK), Open Russia, Pussy Riot, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Rete Italiana per il Disarmo, Movimento Nonviolento, Sea-Watch, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), digitalcourage, International Commitee for Robot Arms Controll (ICRAC), Campaign to stop Killer Robots, WWF, Safe School Declaration, Save the Children, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC), Peace SOS, World Beyond War, Wuppertaler Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, UNESCO Associated Schools Network, International Rescue Commitee (IRC), The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Study (ACDHRS), African Commission for Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR), Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH), Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), Palestinian Center for Human Rights, The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B'Tselem), Human Rights Watch, Black Lives Matter (BLM), Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), Netzwerk politischer Kommunen (Kommuja), Tamera, Kommune Niederkaufungen, Greenpeace, Service Civil International (SCI), Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Dannenberg, Ende Gelände, OXFAM,  Ehrfurcht vor allem Leben (EVAL), Global Justice Now, World Vision, The Humanitarian League Advocacy , Pacific Climate Watch , Science for Peace, Nobel Peace Prize Watch, No More Bombs, Ziviler Friedensdienst, Nuclear Age Peace, Socio-ecological union international, Sortir du nucleaire Paris, Swedish Peace Council, The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, Veterans for Peace, Campaign for International Cooperation and Disarmament (CICD), Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, World BEYOND War, South Africa, Seattle Anti-War Coalition; Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity; Friends of the Earth Australia, Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear, Basel Peace Office, Cameroon for a World BEYOND War, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Cessez d’alimenter la Guerre, Disarmament and Security Centre, Global Campaign for Peace Education Japan, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Hawaii Peace and Justice, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Movimiento por un mundo sin guerras y sin violencia, LobbyControll, Campact, Mighty Earth, Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), Mayors for Peace ...

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A world government for planet Earth, which is small in the cosmic scale, will have to come true anyway sometime because of future requirements and problems. However, this will not be a totalitarian world regime of an enriching and power accumulating clandestine world elite, but a democratically structured world society on the basis of the structurally reformed United Nations in cooperation and subsidiarity with the various global regions. Furthermore, the international democratization process must be accompanied by expropriation processes and a democratic takeover of the production sites and added value achievements. In this connection in particular, the present draft differs from most ideas of global reorganization.

There is no alternative
Many will currently be of the opinion that the vision developed here is unrealistic, that this can never be implemented in the future, that a comprehensive orientation towards the common good contradicts the human character. I would like to counter this negative anthropology once again:
Firstly: Who can say now, at the more or less beginning of human history, what development potential humans as a species and the human community will have in the future?
And secondly, I would like to ask: What is the alternative? Without a democratically controlled global union and an accompanying socio-ecological and democratic transformation of politics and economy, humanity will not be able to secure the future of coming generations. Planet Earth will literally be on fire due to ecological and military catastrophes. The first fires are already burning.
Who is actually naive? The one who sees the developments and takes radical countermeasures or the one who pleads for 'business as usual'?
In this context, radicalism is something completely different from extremism. Radicalism in the social transformation process means starting at the root ("radix") of problems: It is about the worldwide and in all regions of the world step-by-step transformation of capitalism in favor of a relationship between economy and politics, which is characterized by responsibility and orientation towards the common good. Economy and politics must serve the needs of all people and let the principles of justice, democracy, peacefulness, science and ecological responsibility become their guiding paradigm. Such a system, which is to prevail worldwide, can no longer be called capitalism, but provides for a state framework for the economic process in a national, regional and global context, which releases market-economy processes from their robber mentality, regulates questions of property and wealth distribution differently, eliminates the tension between economy and ecology, controls technology development ethically and releases the creative economic power of the people for the purpose of the common good. The corresponding transformational steps toward a radical reorganization in this sense have been described in detail in the context of the present book. [15]

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Therefore, once again in conclusion the demands in current interpretation of Marx/Engels [16]:
Internationalists and global citizens from all over the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the chains of your nation-state, the destruction of your liberties, the exploitation by multinational corporations and finance-capitalist speculators, the revenge of the biosphere, digital ankle cuffs, armament spirals and wars, mental programming, misguided investments and value creation as well as the nuclear devastation of the planet.
What is to be won is a peaceful, socially just, democratic, economically sensible and ecologically responsible world!
However, the commitment to a global realignment must by no means be violent, i.e. in an extremist sense. Therefore, we should distance ourselves from the supposed consequences of Marxist thinking. Violent revolutions in history have only led to other forms of open or structural violence. Violent protests today further lead to a stigmatization and criminalization of the protests. The resistance should be peaceful and powerful, in that the mental creative forces, the creativity and intelligence, the solidarity and the civil courage of the people in the commitment, already in the beginning show what will be the task in the future: A new social order that takes into account, supports and promotes people of every skin color, every race, every age, every gender and every region in their basic needs for material provision, for work in solidarity, for a life in harmony with nature, for democratic self-determination and for freedom with responsibility.
There is no reason to give up, the struggle for a life worth living on Earth is far from over! The representatives of the fossil industry, the arms industry, the warlords, the financial speculators, the billionaires, the autocrats and dictators are confronted worldwide and in numerous places by many people united in protest against the destruction of present and future living conditions. In the cooperation and networking of social movements, initiatives, trade unions, parliaments and political parties and institutions oriented towards a new order, it is now important to show a strong will for change and to make an effective contribution to a global new order in a wise, peaceful and yet powerful radical way.
And: Change cannot be postponed much longer due to the enormous threat situation. Change must begin now and be continued at all systemically interrelated levels. A change of direction is still possible. Civil society movements, organizations and initiatives in all parts of the world can have synergistic effects and become an effective force that brings about a new quality of social life and a future worth living for future generations.

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(Chapter 8)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] Reich (1948/2013, 97f.).[
[2] IPCC (2018, 13).
[3] Cf. IPCC (2018, 16).
[4] Cf. Scientists for Future (2019, 80)
[5] Cf., 25 Mar. 2018, 17 Mar. 2019.
[6] In:, 15 Mar. 2019, 15 Mar. 2019.
[7] Cf., 3/15/19, 3/15/19.
[8] Cf., 3/15/19, 9/10/19.
[9] Todenhöfer 2019, 292f.
[10] Cf. Klötzer/ Launokari (2021) (Women for Peace – Finland).
[11] Cf. Yann Durand: "Black Lives Matter" - Nur ein Strohfeuer im Kampf gegen den Rassismus?, 27.6.2020, 20.3.21; Jiréh Emanuel/ Mariam Aboukerim/ Naomi Lwanyaga: Black-Lives-Matter-Demos:„Wir sind Deutschland“,!5689380/, 13.6.2020, 20.3.21; UN verurteilen tödliche Polizeigewalt gegen Schwarze., 28.5.20, 20.3.21.
[12], 29.5.20, 20.3.21.
[13] Cf. Moegling, Klaus (2024): Stärken die Anti-AfD-Proteste die Demokratie?

In: Telepolis,,  13.2.2024, 16.2.2024. 

[14] Hessel (2011).
[15] Cf. chapter 5.7
[16] Cf. Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 60).


Table of Contents 

(The manuscript 'Realignment' was last updated on 3/23/2024).



|   |  Preface to the third international and the fifth German edition:  

A reorganization of social conditions is becoming more urgent.


|   | Preface to the second international and the fourth German edition: A negotiated solution is possible. 


|   | Preface to the third German edition: The present book project and the political movements


 |   | Preface to the second German edition: What can encourage us?


 |   | Preface to the first Gertman edition: Order - disorder - reordering

| 1 |      Analysis of current global crises – orders dissolving


 | 1.1 |         Economic crises


 | 1.1.1 |      Global structures of greed


 | 1.1.2 |      Resistance to neoliberal market radicalism


 | |   The protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization (WTO)


 | |   Occupy Wall Street


 | |   G20 protests in Hamburg


 | 1.2 |         Political crises: Crisis of the United Nations, retreat of democracies, and return of authoritarian rule


 | 1.3 |         Attempts at world domination and hegemony


 | 1.4 |         Military crises and arms policies


 | 1.4.1 |      The growing potential for military violence


| |   Arms exports and the military-industrial complex  


| |   The return of the  rearmament spiral  


| |   Environment, military and war


| |   Asymmetric wars and 'New Wars'


| |   Media and 'enemy images'


| 1.4.2 |       Peace protests and peace movements


| |   Easter march movement, protests against the Vietnam War and NATO double decision


| |   "No blood for oil!" - Protests against the Gulf War


| |   Current protests against the militarization of the world: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC),  Peace Brigades (PB), appeals for peace on the war in Ukraine


| 1.5 |          Ecological crises


| 1.5.1 |      The battered biosphere turns against humans


| 1.5.2 |      Resistance and protests against ecological destruction


| |   The resistance of indigenous peoples


| |   Fridays for Future (F4F)


| |   Extinction Rebellion (XR)


| |   Professionalized environmental Non Governmental Organizations: Greenpeace and Mighty Earth


| 1.6 |          Cultural crises


I1.6.1I        Culture and art in Capitalism


I1.6.2I        The cultural problem of churches and religions


I1.6.3I        Cultural upheavals


| 1.7 |          Mental health crises: Enforcement of instrumental rationality and mass neurosis


| 1.8 |          The crisis of masculinity



| 2 |      Impending global scenarios - Disorder as a principle of order


| 2.1 |           The military annihilation scenario


| 2.2 |           The ecological devastation scenario


| 2.3 |           Failed states and the helplessness of the international community


| 2.4 |           Religious fanaticism and terrorism


| 2.5 |           Collapse of the world economy, overpopulation and famines


| 2.6 |           Cyber wars


| 2.7 |           Digital empires and the media transformation of the human


| 2.8 |           Mass crises of meaning, psychological distortions and escapes


| 2.9 |           External planetary threats of the future



| 3 |      The basis of a reorganization of international    relations also lies in the Psychological Education of the individual


| 3.1 |         Inner worlds, sociality and international relations: Those who are not clear in their relationship to themselves also do not have any clarity in their relationships to others


| 3.2 |         Education and the work on the social self: By empathic community experiences to the educated self


| 3.3 |         Humanistic psychology and therapy methods


| 3.4 |         Meditation as experience of self and world  


| 3.5 |         Democratic education on the way to a new type of politician as a counter-design to Trump, Putin, Erdogan and Co.



| 4 |     Socioeconomic, institutional and socioecological foundations of sustainable development and effective peace policy


| 4.1 |          Taming the Tiger: Transforming the global economy for sustainability and                peacebuilding


| 4.2 |          Democratic Renewal of Societies, Institutions and ways of life


| 4.3 |          Social justice from an international perspective


| 4.4 |          The ecological preconditions of peace


| 4.5 |          Setting limits on digital world domination



| 5 |      Realignment of the system of international relations


| 5.1 |          Denationalization and strengthening of democratic structures at the regional level


| 5.2 |          Further development of global governance


| 5.3 |          Simultaneous strengthening and democratization of the UN


|5.4 |          Europe's central role in disarmament and arms control


| 5.5 |          Disarmament of nation-states, clandestine and terrorist organizations, and armed individuals


| 5.6 |          Establishment of a democratically controlled world police and a UN monopoly on the use of force


Excursus: Should NATO make an offer of membership to Ukraine, Belarus and the Russian Federation? A utopian draft. 

|5.7|  The UN Pact for the Future                                                                                                                              440


| 6 |     First Measures on a long road of social pacification



| 7 |     Classification of the present approach in the theories of international relations



| 8 |     Summary and epilogue: A new world order  







Preface to the third international edition:

A reorganization of social conditions is becoming more urgent 

A new, third international edition of the 'New Order' has become necessary, as social change is accelerating. [1] The war in Ukraine is coming to a head and is now causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and serious injuries on both sides. Newer and ever more dangerous weapons technologies are being used and the two sides are becoming increasingly irreconcilable. When will there finally be negotiations again? How many more people will have to die, how many more lives will have to be lost, how much civilian infrastructure and ecology will have to be destroyed before those in power come to their senses and sit down at the negotiating table?
At the beginning of October 2023, around 3,000 members of Hamas attacked the state of Israel and caused a bloodbath on its border, taking hostages. Israel's response was just as cruel. Tens of thousands of people, mainly children and women, were killed in the Gaza Strip and much of the civilian infrastructure was destroyed. The Israeli government and Hamas are more irreconcilable and hostile to each other than ever before. Will the prudent forces on both sides be able to prevail at some point?
Parallel to this, military conflicts are escalating between the Iranian-backed Houthis, Hezbollah and, on the other side, the USA and Great Britain.
At the same time, problematic military partnerships are emerging between the Russian Federation, North Korea and Iran. There is an increasing exchange of armaments and weapons technology as well as geostrategic cooperation.
The role of the People's Republic of China in this is currently still indifferent. Selective cooperation, e.g. with the Russian Federation, individual provocations in the South China Sea and in connection with Taiwan are offset by interest in economic cooperation with Western countries. It is to be hoped that the cooperation-minded forces in the People's Republic of China will retain or gain decisive influence.
Meanwhile, the ecological crisis continues to escalate, with the necessary measures to combat and prevent climate and environmental destruction being massively blocked by the existing military conflicts and increasing investment in weapons technologies and armaments. Of particular concern are the investments in the technological development of artificial intelligence (AI) in connection with weapons systems, which have so far hardly been controlled transnationally.
The major powers represented on the UN Security Council are still refusing to make drastic reforms to the United Nations. Nevertheless, it is becoming increasingly clear that global problems can only be solved by democratizing and strengthening the United Nations. The existing reform tendencies within the UN and the work of leading NGOs geared towards transnational understanding, which are taking a long, hard look at developing and implementing reform proposals step by step, should be relied upon here. However, the first successes in the transformation of international cooperation should come much faster and more effectively than is currently the case given the existing problems.
The civil society resistance movements, such as those against right-wing extremism and the rise of right-wing extremist parties, as well as the broadening of the peace movement pushing for negotiations and diplomacy, offer hope.
The replacement of right-wing populist governments in favor of democratic parties, such as in Brazil and Poland, should also be seen as positive. At the same time, the reelection of the US government at the end of 2024 threatens the return of a US government led by Trump and, in turn, new international upheavals.
Societies are becoming more and more divided, social tensions are intensifying while at the same time the wealth of a small section of society is increasing.
All social movements that are geared towards cooperation, solidarity, ecological sustainability and an increase in social justice therefore offer hope. These are the seeds of a new social order.
I think that we ourselves will unfortunately not be able to experience many of the necessary changes. Our lifetime is too limited for this and some changes may only occur in the next generation or the one after that.
The United Nations will have to play a special role in the future. Without the United Nations finding its true purpose and changing accordingly, there will be no successful engagement against global crises. Either humanity understands this and ensures change or it will not be able to face a good future.
The debate about the structure, processes and goals of the United Nations is currently in full swing and it is by no means clear who will succeed. Pessimism, on the other hand, weakens the forces of those who are working with their vitality to democratize and strengthen the UN.
In my own political life, I have experienced several times how we have achieved successes that many people previously thought unlikely. When determined and positive-minded people come together, network, organize and work together politically, they can achieve a great deal - locally, regionally, nationally and transnationally.

Klaus Moegling 
in April 2024 

[1] The actualization and expansion of the 5th edition of the 'Neuordnung' has now been largely completed on April 5, 2024. Only minor updates will be made from time to time where necessary.

- 1 -

Preface to the Second International and the fourth German edition:

A negotiated solution is possible.

The second international edition of the book 'Realignment' is based on the updated and expanded 4th German language edition. The second international edition is an editorial special case. The idea behind it is to make social science knowledge publicly accessible, i.e. to democratize it worldwide.

The editing of the manuscript coincides with times of upheaval and destruction of former orders.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an unexpected escalation is developing.
The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation is a disaster and cannot be justified by anything. Even if diplomatic opportunities were not used enough in the run-up to the war, Russia's security concerns were ignored, and political and military forces, some of them problematic, attempted to assert themselves in Ukraine, this does not legitimize the Russian invasion and the bombing of residential areas and infrastructure. Shootings, rapes and child abductions by Russian soldiers cannot be legitimized by Russian arguments for the 'special military operation'.
The attack and the associated invasion of Russian troops represent a blatant violation of international law and an aggressive destruction of the European security order as well as a breach with the UN Charter. 

This preface will develop the prospects of finding a way out of this situation without indulging in illusions. 

Were offers to negotiate a mistake? 

One frequently hears the accusation that the offers to negotiate with Russia were naive. A more extensive military buildup in the West - and also in Ukraine - should have been pursued in good time. Also the Western peace movement and a widespread peace policy habitus must be blamed for the fact that the political-military-industrial complex led by Putin dared this attack. Could more consistent measures of military deterrence have had greater success instead of diplomacy? 

In regard to this one has to ask: What would have been the alternative? Should we have allowed the presentiment of the  Russian aggression to force us into an even more extreme armaments spiral that would prevent the necessary future-oriented investments in order to combat the climate crisis, world famine and prevent pandemics? 
Should‘nt negotiations have been carried out within the framework of the existing institutions? If the institutions and discussion formats created between nations within the framework of the international security architecture are not taken seriously and perceived, then ultimately there is no hope for peaceful global development. Then only the power of arms will rule. Of course, attempts had to be made to persuade the Russian government to back-down and make acceptable compromises via the OSCE, the Normandy format, the NATO-Russia Council or via bilateral talks. This was not done without backing it up with the threat of massive sanctions. It was necessary to risk relying on the rationality of Putin and the politicians and industries associated with him. A more massive arming combined with an even more extensive deployment of NATO troops to its eastern flank and Ukraine’s admission to NATO would directly have led to a military confrontation. 

- 2 -

How is the United Nations reacting? 

So far, the UN has been remarkably restrained. Although there have been special meetings of the UN Security Council and a condemnation of the Russian aggression by the UN Secretary General, the structural problems of the United Nations are also evident in this dangerous world political situation. A state invades a neighboring state - with obviously pretextual reasons - and thereby violates international law, among other things, all essential norms of the UN Charter. This would be a classic case for measures in cases of "threat to the peace, breach of the peace or acts of aggression," which have been laid down in Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In the case of a war of aggression violating the sovereignty of a state, the UN Security Council can decide, if all diplomatic measures and sanctions have been unsuccessful, to use world police and even military force. [1] 

But one cannot seriously believe that the Russian Federation would not make use of its veto power if a corresponding request were to be discussed in the Security Council. 

On February 25th, 2022, Russia also vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian attack and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops. [2] Precisely for this kind of situations a reform of the UN Security Council is urgently needed. A state that militarily attacks another state must lose the right to vote in the UN Security Council - especially if this is a permanent member with veto rights. 

Of course, the UN General Assembly can also initiate a decision that would require intervention on behalf of the UN in accordance with the UN Charter. But even the decisions of the UN General Assembly have only a recommendatory character for such a case. This also applies to an emergency resolution in the sense of "Uniting for Peace.", which is important but also cannot overrule the veto powers in the UN Security Council. [3]
As long as the UN Security Council exists with its current powers, it is therefore necessary that

* Any veto by a permanent member in the UN Security Council must become the subject of controversial discussion there in a UN General Assembly to be convened specifically for this purpose,
* A veto in the UN Security Council can be overridden and cancelled by a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly. A second veto in this matter is then no longer possible.

The Russian veto against a condemnation of the Russian invasion once again demonstrates in a serious way,  and pointing at conflicts that have claimed countless human lives, the urgent need for structural reform of the United Nations.

The abolition or modification of the veto right of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, which has already been demanded internationally several times [4], as well as its changed composition and the upgrading of parliamentary assemblies within the framework of the United Nations, must no longer be held up on flimsy grounds. 

Restoring and maintaining world peace requires different international political structures and must not be left to individual nation states or military blocs. Russia's current invasion of Ukraine is a vivid illustration of this.

World police action carried out as robust UN blue helmet missions 

From this point on -  and of course too late but nevertheless urgently needed - what would have to be initiated internationally? 

·        Inevitably, NATO countries must also make sure militarily as well as take appropriate safeguards whether they can successfully counter a further escalation of the war beyond the borders of Ukraine. If Article 5 of the NATO treaty is activated [5], the appropriate defensive measures in the event of an attack on a NATO state must also militarily and later, on behalf of the UN world police, successfully implemented. However, securing defense capability is only justifiable in terms of peace policy within the framework of a dual strategy whose priority goal is the creation of political peace structures within the framework of an international security architecture. The criticism here is that both NATO and the EU - in view of the war in Ukraine - are primarily pursuing the military strategy and neglecting the diplomatic path. But the relationship between the military and diplomacy should also be the other way around.

- 3 - 

·        It is difficult to decide whether Western countries should continue to supply Ukraine with more and more weapons. Against it speaks the to be expected military escalation drama, which will lead to a further destruction of human lives, environment and infrastructure. 
If offensive weapons are delivered to Ukraine, there is a risk of military counterattacks by Ukraine on Russian territory, which would further accelerate the escalation dynamics. There is also the danger of the Russian Federation using a tactical nuclear bomb in the event of its own military failure, with an incalculable risk for further escalation. It would be irresponsible to ignore this. At least one argument in favor of supporting Ukraine with weapons that primarily serve defensive purposes, such as defense systems against combat jets and drones as well as anti-tank weapons, is that it would be a matter of providing military support to a defending state, which would resist the invasion of a despotic foreign power. 

·       In any case, economic sanctions, which have a profound impact on the economy of the Russian Federation,  must now be introduced with patience and with the awareness that restrictions and economic losses will not only hit the Russian side. Previous sanctions policies, e.g. in Iraq, have shown that they were often misguided and harmful to the civilian population. If, for example, medical aid can no longer reach a boycotted country, the sick, the elderly and children are ultimately the sufferers and victims of this sanctions policy. Therefore, especially measures to freeze accounts and expropriations of Russian villas and real estate, e.g. in the south coast of France as well as in the expensive streets of London, which belong to the financial oligarchies ruling in Russia and supporting the 'Putin system', are important. The blocking of accessible cash reserves of the Russian state as well as the cutting off of Russia from a technology transfer, which is relevant for its armament industry,  

hit the Russian government and its 'elites' hard. It was also right to exclude Russia from the SWIFT international payment system, at least for the largest banks, and possibly even for the entire Russian banking system.
·         In the event of economic difficulties in Russia and the resulting increasing pressure on the Russian government - including from Putin's circles of supporters - this could lead to the Russian government having to give in and to return to the negotiating table. This must be the declared aim of all measures. The OSCE, the UN, the Normandy format or the NATO-Russia Council are institutional contexts that provide a suitable framework for this. But not only the Russian Federation must return to the negotiating table but also the Ukrainian government must return from its military option in favor of negotiations.
Furthermore, parallel to this and afterwards, political science and history, the responsible politicians and the media public are called upon to deal with the prehistory of this war in an unbiased and multi-perspective manner and to analyze to what extent diplomatic mistakes, but also the interests of Western states, corporations and institutions were partly responsible for Russia's breakout from the international security architecture. 
Who are the economic and geopolitical winners of this war? Which actors of which different power constellations on the Russian, the Ukrainian, but also on the Western side had an interest in starting or provoking the war? These questions and research assignments should not be intended to relativize Russian war crimes and violations of international law, but rather to help improve awareness and the ability to act in future international crisis situations. 

The Appeal for Peace 

The 'Appeal for Peace'  proposes a diplomatic negotiation initiative through the UN General Secretariat. [6] The UN Secretary General is called upon to finally take the initiative and form a highly legitimized and high-ranking negotiating commission. 
High-ranking means that the commission should include personalities at least at the foreign minister level. It would be particularly important that representatives of China, India and Brazil, who are economically and politically relevant for the Russian Federation in particular, also participate in this commission under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General. Highly legitimized means that a large majority of the UN General Assembly endows this commission with negotiating power. The commission, led by the UN Secretary General, should bring the Ukrainian government and the Russian government to the negotiating table to achieve a ceasefire as a precondition of peace negotiations and solutions. National and transnational governments are urged to commit to such a negotiating initiative. Now, at the latest, is the time for diplomacy. There is a danger, as Jürgen Habermas (2023) also points out, of reaching a 'point of no return' whose escalation dynamics can no longer be stopped by either side.
Furthermore, parallel to this, political science and history, the responsible politicians and the media public are called upon to deal with the prehistory of this war in an unbiased and multi-perspective manner and to analyze to what extent diplomatic mistakes, but also the interests of Western states, corporations and institutions were partly responsible for Russia's breakout from the international security architecture. Who are the economic and geopolitical winners of this war? Which actors of which different power constellations on the Russian, the Ukrainian, but also on the Western side had an interest in starting or provoking the war? These questions and research assignments must not be intended to relativize Russian war crimes and violations of international law, but to help improve awareness and the ability to act in future international crisis situations.

 - 4 - 

·        The aim of the negotiations would then have to be the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine, combined with reparation payments to Ukraine. 

·        The United Nations International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court must also investigate the case and hold those responsible, including the Russian government, accountable. The March 2023 conviction of Russian President Putin as a war criminal by the International Court of Justice in The Hague is an important first step in this regard.

·        The two Russian-oriented parts of the eastern provinces in Donbass, Donetsk and Luhansk, would have to be granted a relative autonomy status within Ukraine, as is the case, for example, for South Tyrol in Italy. This process would have to be safeguarded by world police measures controlled by the UN. A neutral status for Ukraine, under the protection of the UN, is also conceivable in the future. 
-          Crimea could be an exception to this rule, since it is predominantly inhabited by Russians and the historical act of donation by Crushchev to Ukraine in 1954 was just as questionable under international law as the takeover of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014. Here, it could be agreed that Crimea would remain in Russian administration until, after a period of 15 years, a new decision on Crimea's state membership is made in OSCE- or UN-controlled referenda. But this is, of course, a decision that would have to be made in the context of future negotiations between the Ukrainian and Russian governments under the guidance of the UN or the OSCE.

-         If Putin is still in office, negotiations will probably have to begin with him. In the medium term, however, we must hope for a change of government in the Russian Federation.
The focus must be on democratic change in the Russian Federation,  which must be carried out from within, i.e. primarily by Russian civil society. This will be a dangerous path for those currently engaged in Russia against the Ukrainian war, since the Russian government relies on repression and has already arrested thousands of people. [7] 

A Russian government that behaves differently under international law and returns to democratic principles and respect for the UN Charter, will be more likely to agree to a robust world police operation on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Such consent by the states directly involved is a prerequisite for a combination of civil society mediation attempts and world police operations under the protection of the United Nations in order to regain and secure Ukraine's sovereignty over the upcoming negotiation. 

A peaceful and sustainably developed world is (still) possible. 

The development of the  world and the international community has currently been pushed back by Russia's attack on Ukraine and the associated threat to also use nuclear weapons in the event of a military intervention by the West. The existing nuclear reactors in Ukraine can also be used as a weapon of nuclear contamination in the war in Ukraine. For this, only the power supply and the supply of cooling water would have to be interrupted long enough. This is a clear step backwards on the path towards a more peaceful and sustainable global development - especially since even the People's Republic of China is reluctant to condemn Russia's actions. It is not only world peace that is at risk, but also the fight against the climate crisis, which can only be fought together and using the necessary resources in a time of peace. 

Nevertheless, the development perspective must remain oriented towards a long-term time frame, and international politics, institutions and NGOs, as well as international civil society, must not give up too quickly, but must - especially in view of the suffering of the Ukrainian population - in addition to the measures mentioned, also take the necessary steps to expand the international security architecture even more urgently. 

In this context, the first priority should – also for states with nuclear weapons -  be the ratification of the nuclear weapons ban treaty initiated by ICAN and put into force by the UN. This would be the right alternative to the nuclear rearmament projects now starting everywhere.
Corresponding perspectives of a new security order in Europe have been published very recently by the NGO 'Rethinking Security' [8]

It is apparent that the main problem is that powerful members of the UN Security Council, due to the military power of these members and the inadequate structure of the UN, and without the United Nations being able to take action against them, do not abide by the rules of international law. This has been shown by violations of international law by the USA (e.g. Iraq war), by China (Tibet) or now by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The United Nations must be democratized and at the same time strengthened, so that in the future, in the event of military aggression by a state, it will be able to act more effectively in terms of peace policy than before.

- 5 -

A second upheaval occurred about a year before the Russian aggression: Finally, the US presidency of Donald Trump has ended.
It is still to be hoped that with the presidency of Joe Biden and Kamalla Harris the time is over when one had to be ashamed of the president of the most powerful state. 

Certainly, the influence of the social 'elites' that brought Trump to power and supported him (for far too long) are still present. Also, there are still very many incorrigible ignoramuses who were blinded by his lies or opportunistically adapted here. Nevertheless, there is hope that at least a return of the USA to the diplomatic level will take place. This applies in particular to multilateral cooperation at the level of the United Nations. Initial measures taken by the U.S. government indicate that it will seek to continue cooperation in the areas of climate protection, health policy and peacekeeping. This concerns the renewed signing of the Paris Climate Convention, the resumption of cooperation with the UN's World Health Organization (WHO). However, the prolongation of the New Start treaty in cooperation with Russia was suspended by Russia in the course of the war in Ukraine. It is to be hoped that this will be reversed and that China will also join the New Start Treaty in the future as a further necessary step towards international disarmament.

But other signs make it clear that the new US administration is holding to the goal of requiering two percent of a NATO country's gross domestic product for its military expenditures as a target to be achieved.
There seems to be no realization here that this money should be spent elsewhere in a more urgently needed way. Children are still starving every day. There is still a lack of funds for peacekeeping missions of the UN. The pandemic and its consequences require trillions of US dollars to even begin to repair the damage caused. The approaching climate crisis, however, and the fight against the climate catastrophe  – insofar as this can still be fully achieved – will cause the greatest costs and unspeakable suffering. What a fatal signal it is, therefore, to continue arming and to want to implement a policy of deterrence? The war in Ukraine cannot therefore be an argument for further rearmament either.

The war in Ukraine - and this is often displaced in the West - is only one war among dozens of other current symmetrical and asymmetrical violent conflicts. Especially in Europe, this war comes into focus because it takes place in geographical proximity and is also a war among whites with similar cultural traditions. The war in Yemen, for example, has already lasted much longer and has already claimed many more victims, especially among children. But it takes place at a great distance from Europe and between foreign cultural ethics. This is experienced as not so threatening, although it is just as problematic in terms of international and human rights law and terrible war crimes are also taking place there.
The way out to a meaningful reorganization in the global context can - this is a central thesis represented here - only lie in the strengthening and democratization of the United Nations, which is to be demanded worldwide by democracy initiatives, democratic parliaments and parties, non-governmental organizations and civil society protest movements.
This book gives numerous suggestions for the realization of this project on different time levels. 

The social conditions analyzed in the first part of the book - in particular the most unpleasant variant of neoliberalized capitalism and the deficits of the political system, which are pronounced differently in different regions of the world - make it clear that there must be a fundamental and systemic reorganization. The social transformation must take place step by step in an orderly and internationally coordinated manner in order to avoid violent excesses and social disruptions that will ultimately lead to social destruction in the sense of a destroyed state system or a growing number of dictatorships. 

A meaningful way to a new order in the local, national, regional and international context - and especially in the connection of these levels - can only take place through a democratization of all social spheres. This must be done peacefully and democratically, otherwise it will not happen. 

The problem is that we are still a long way from this and in some cases common tendencies can be observed: Nationalistic attitudes, autocratic tendencies, refusal of international cooperation, unrestrained profit thinking, an increasing wealth gap and growing social differences, arms exports to areas of tension, numerous wars of various kinds and ecological ignorance. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the development of the climate in particular leaves only a window of time of about 10-15 years open for mankind in which the right decisions can be made and realized. 

This means that at present and in the near future actually nobody can hold back any longer. A social commitment on all levels is required if a positive development if a positive move toward systemic realignment is to be achieved. 
The publication of the international (English) second edition in open access could be a (small) help on this way. 

Yours sincerely, 

Klaus Moegling (in 9/2023) 

- 6 -



[1] Cf. in particular Article 43 of the UN Charter.[
[2] "Russia blocks Security Council action on Ukraine," in:, 2/25/2022.[
[3] Although the UN General Assembly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine by a large majority of 141 votes (with 45 abstentions and 5 votes against), the adoption of the resolution has 'only' a symbolic significance and reflects the global state of mind regarding the war in Ukraine. Cf., 3/2/2022.
[4] Cf. on the demand for a democratically elected UN Parliament with more comprehensive powers as well as the reform of the UN Security Council Leinen, Jo/ Bummel, Andreas (2017): Das demokratische Weltparlament. Bonn: Dietz-Verlag. Zumach, Andreas (2021): Reform or Blockade. What future for the UN? Zurich: Rotpunktverlag and Moegling, Klaus (2020): Reordering. A peaceful and sustainably developed world is (still) possible. Opladen, Berlin, Toronto: Barbara Budrich Publishers. In English, the international edition (free to read):
[5] NATO Treaty, Article 5: „The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.“, 4/4/1949.
[6] Cf.  The complete text of the Appeal for Peace in German and English as well as the various lists of initial signatories can be found at

[7] EU foreign affairs envoy Josep Borrell spoke of demonstrations in 58 Russian cities at his press conference on 26.2.2022. The 'Frankfurter Rundschau' also lists the protests in Russia against the Ukraine war from the civilian population, from Russian aid organizations, journalists, artists and scientists and refers to the demonstration ban of the Russian state, to the brutal procedure of the Russian police apparatus as well as to the number of arrests made: Cf., 2/27/2022.
[8] Cf. Rething Security (2022):Turning the Perspective Overcoming Helplessness. Rethinking Security Report 2022. In:, 2/18/2022. 


- 8 -


Preface to the third German edition: 

The present book project against the background of
the political movements

The third edition of this book attempts to outline the theoretical and practical foundations of a social reorganization - based on an updated critique of the conditions. The book tries to make the first steps on the way there in the course of a positive vision, as well as to develop non-violent implementation strategies. 

The literary work on the three previous so far represents a project of collective experience evaluation and knowledge construction over several years. In each edition, I integrated the understood knowledge and reflected experiences of many people with whom I have been seeking dialogue for years: experts in various fields, colleagues, students, as well as the many contributions to discussions in the context of readings, lectures and Internet forums, which I have been able to process for this purpose since the second edition. I have tried to network this knowledge and these experiences respectfully and to make them the subject in my own way. 

Furthermore, it was important for me not to write merely from a theoretical perspective or solely about the experiences of others. Therefore, this book in its various editions has also emerged from my own political experiences in the environmental and peace movements, in the field of education, as well as party-political and trade union cooperation. This book is thus a part of and an expression of the various movements that carry out civil society resistance and, connected with this, emerged from these movements and reflecting them. 

The historical development of cultural upheavals shows that such a social change can only be successful for a longer period of time if it is based on a well thought-out socio-political vision. Here we will plead for this vision to include a socio-political model that is democratic, internationalist, oriented towards the common good and socio-ecological, and that allows the cultural achievements of the period of Enlightenment to become the starting point of a new order that has so far remained stuck in rudiments. In this context, the system-relevant questions of the fair distribution of property and wealth and a different quality of life and work must also put to question.
Perhaps the Enlightenment period, in my opinion the greatest cultural achievement in human history, has so far reached only a minority of humanity. An extended enlightenment is still massively blocked in its development by various dogmatic religions, by a lack of consciousness as well as a neoliberal predatory capitalism. Also, Immanuel Kant, for example, could not yet overlook the ecological problem and the susceptibility of instrumentalizing his thoughts for the then emerging capitalism. A second wave of enlightenment, learning from the blind spots of the first enlightenment, and consistent action towards a global reordering based on a radical socio-ecological and democratic orientation are necessary if humanity is to survive at a level worth living at. 

The rapid worldwide spread of coronavirus showed that the world is a global village. Developments in one region can take effect very quickly in any other place through globalization and thus it can affect literally all people worldwide. This is true for a virus, for the climate crisis and for war and peace. Therefore, more than ever, the principle of each person's responsibility for this world applies, just as the need exists to face global problems also with global responsibility. 

I would like to thank again all readers' forums, discussion groups, seminars, collaborators and friends as well as my colleagues at 'Scientists for Future' (S4F) (1) and in the 'Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag' (2), who gave me valuable hints and impulses for the realization of the third edition in the discussions. Without this lively exchange, the present draft would not have come about. 


With the best and (still) hopeful greetings 

Your Klaus Moegling                                     

in April 2020 


P.S.: I would be happy to continue receiving your feedback and comments at ([email protected]) 

- 9 -

Preface to the second German edition: 

What can encourage us 

Although the second edition of the book 'Reorganization' presented here has remained unchanged in the core content of the concern, it has been revised again in some places. It was expanded to include additional aspects and, in particular, updated to include some important developments. Further literature that has since been published has also been included. 

This new edition is also an expression and result of the discussions that have taken place about my book in the past year in seminars, at conferences, in various discussion circles, and of reader suggestions that have been communicated to me directly. Many thanks for this! 

Dear reader, you now have in front of you a book oriented to human science with a socio-political focus, which attempts to offer critical analyses and possible solutions for essential problems of our time and the future to be expected. 

We are in a global transformation phase with a clear acceleration dynamic. The world is increasingly becoming disordered. Many people feel helpless at the mercy of the globalization dynamic, and some are looking for easy solutions, e.g., in fundamentalist-oriented religions or right-wing populist groups. 

What can give hope, however, are the current youth protests that can be observed worldwide. Many young people have realized that the current ruling generation of adults is destroying their chances for a future worth living. They are beginning to fight back. They are joined by adults who are similarly minded and who can also see the approaching catastrophes. It becomes clear here: A new radicalism in civic democratic engagement is necessary. Otherwise, the threatening developments can obviously no longer be prevented. 
Anyone joining one of the growing protest movements should ask themselves at least four questions: 

- How do I want to live in the future? 

- What prevents me from living in this way? 

- What should a reorganization of the world look like in the essential aspects in which this quality of life becomes possible? 

- What do I have to change - also in cooperation with others - on all levels of society, but also for myself personally, so that this reordering and this life in the future can become more probable? 

This book attempts to offer suggestions for the reader's own search for answers to these questions. 

A change of course and a reorganization are (still) possible. But time is pressing. The IPCC's current world climate report (3) calls for a decisive change of course by 2030, and measures to combat world hunger or prevent war leave no time at all. And: How much longer can we afford a lack of democratization at the UN level? 

I am happy to enter into a conversation with you again this time. I am very grateful for your feedback on this book. 

With warm regards 


Klaus Moegling                                                                                              in march 2019 

- 10 -


Preface to the first German edition: 

Order - disorder - reordering 

Before developing the central questions of the book, some general remarks on the meaning of orders will be made first. 

On the ambivalence of orders 

Orders are ambivalent. They can be both constructive and destructive. 

Orders and their rules folded into them initially structure and relieve decisions in a constructive way. They thus facilitate living together by helping to cope more easily with the complexity and the associated confusion of life. 

Orders in human societies are therefore more than an expression of annoying secondary virtues, but give security, provide an overview and offer orientations as well as identifications. Psychological orders are connected to social orders. The emotional identification with a social order usually comes along with a high potential of energy used to defend this order 

Human orders are the expression of social conflicts and struggles. The outcome of these social conflicts is solidified in social orders, in which power and domination relations are reflected. 

However, social orders must be elastic if they are to endure for a long time, i.e. they must contain a certain degree of readiness to innovate in order to be able to adapt to new requirements. Functional orders or systems therefore have the ability to renew themselves in the event of dysfunctional (dis)orders occurring (homeostasis). This means that a system takes measures to get back into balance and to establish a functional order. (4)

On the other hand, social orders that cannot be renewed quickly enough due to rigid social forces of inertia are replaced by other social orders. This happened to an ossified feudal system with its feudal lordship, with an order of estates and guilds and their restrictive regulations to limit production, price formation, technological development and trade. This was also experienced by the so-called real socialist systems, whose rigid planning systems, combined with massive restrictions on individuality and repression of the individual, were no longer able to withstand system competition with the various variants of capitalism. The orders that constituted them were eliminated and replaced by new ones. 

- 11 -

From the need for reorganization

A new order of the world in its different dimensions becomes all the more urgent, if the old (dis)order leads more and more to the destruction of the human living conditions on planet earth: Massive supply crises, mass exodus and brutal distribution struggles for what is left, ecological catastrophes as well as devastating military conflicts could make the earth uninhabitable in large parts for centuries possibly even for millennia. 

For such a scenario of annihilation there can then be only one alternative, which is to be seen in the radical and timely reorganization of the world. 

Visions of a new order of the world have often already been drafted. Especially after the world war catastrophes of the 20th century as well as after the collapse of the East-West confrontation there were drafts for the reorganization of the world ('New World Order'). Nevertheless, these conceptions usually did not range from the micro-systemic perspective to the macro-systemic perspective, and certainly the interaction of these systemic perspectives for a new order was not taken into account. 

Realignment from a holistic perspective 

However, the reorganization of the global and international system - as is emphasized in this book - has social and psychological prerequisites. Political, economic, ecological, interpersonal and psychological orders are to be thought and understood in a holistic sense in a connection. 

Here, it must be clarified exactly what is meant by holism or wholeness in order to avoid misunderstandings: 

- 12 - 


Order, disorder and reordering from a  holistic point of view. 
The understanding of holism presented here critically distances itself from diffuse and mystical holistic convictions and is also aware of the misuse of holism in fascist political orders, such as German National Socialism. Nevertheless, this term will be used here because of its enormous epistemological value. The prerequisite for this is a precise definition: Holism in the sense understood here means the consideration of the different levels or dimensions of human existence and leads to a description, assessment and development of scenarios and visions in the understanding of the interrelationships of these levels and the factors and feedbacks acting on them. Disciplinary, inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in the perception of human, societal and planetary developments address the different dimensions such as the psychological, the social, the ecological, the economic and the political-structural level. This refers first to the cognitive perspective of holistic perception when it comes to understanding the connections with the mind. In addition, the thinking of human beings is to be understood in connection with their bodily being and their sensual-emotional possibilities of perception and experience, which are to be connected with the ability to reflect in thought in the sense of maturity, critical faculties and responsibility. (5) Or to put it another way: Knowing something is different from feeling something. But both influence each other and lead to understanding. Body, emotion and intellect seem to be separate levels and yet they are in intense contact with each other. The personal maturation process in the sense of a conscious integration of intellect and emotion must not be neglected if a social maturation process is aimed at. Holism in thinking and perception can address the relationship of the parts to the whole as well as the relationship of the parts to each other against the background of the whole. Through this, the interdependence of all living things emerges, connections between local and global events and structures, between social togetherness in the lifeworld and political interaction at all levels, as well as the connection between sociality and ecology become clear.

Perceptual performances and strategies isolated and related to only one dimension will not produce the cognitive performance and will not have the effect that can lead to a radical reorganization.

- 13 -

In this sense, the long-time director of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Uwe Schneidewind, points out that 

"only systemic approaches, which do not shy away from a broad inter- and transdisciplinary bridging, offer orientation in a reality that is becoming more complex. This is all the more true at a time when, in the face of increasing specialization, the courage for such designs is diminishing rather than increasing in the science system." 

(Schneidewind 2018, 11) 

Purely technical approaches cannot capture more complex interrelationships. Disciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity must complement each other in a meaningful way. Also an omission of bodily-sensual possibilities of experience, can lead to a one-sided and necessary perceptions suppressing thinking. The splitting off of the emotional leads to an impoverishment of the human personality, to a reduced ability to perceive and to a destructive return of the split off. The exclusion of a critical perspective of reflection, in turn, can lead to mystical transfiguration and ideological concealment of inhumane conditions. 

Only if a new order, a systemic reorganization is wanted by the overwhelming majority of the people living on planet Earth, will it have a chance. One should have no illusions about this. A fundamental reorientation can only be achieved with the people and not against them. 

Hopefully, the conditions for this will not occur only when generations have experienced massive suffering and no longer see any other way out than in a radical change of direction. The author agrees with the authors of the Club of Rome study published in 2017, Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Anders Wijkmann and others, that such a transformation is possible in principle. For this, a "new narrative", a "new Enlightenment", but also an emotional involvement as well as a decisive change in the decisive behavioral patterns of mankind in the life-world, regional and global context are indeed necessary. (6)

- 14 - 

Underlying questions

In this sense, the central questions of the present book mark the epistemological interest that is to be addressed: 

In what respects can we speak of a crisis-like development of humanity? Which negative scenarios of a worsening of the crisis are conceivable and probable? Will humanity still be able to prove itself capable of learning in time? To what extent must a fundamental change of the economic system take place? How must human beings change psychologically, socially and in their behavior for a new start? What role can education, therapy, meditation, alternative lifestyles and solidarity-based economies play here? How is the relationship between nation states, regions and transnational systems to be shaped in the future? Can a democratic reorganization of the United Nations oriented toward a positive vision of global development succeed? In what way must man's relationship to nature be redefined? How can a regional and international reorganization look like, in which effective and responsible climate policy interventions lead to a reversal of climate development? How can the cooperation of privately organized arms industry, politics and military be effectively broken up? How should the question of property and the future distribution of wealth be regulated? Which groups of people, social movements and organizations will have to implement a radical reorganization? 

And above all, what will be the first transformative steps on a long road to a reordering that embraces human beings and their psychological, social, ecological, economic, and sociopolitical orders in local, regional, and global contexts? (7)

The holistic approach leads to an analysis and to a vision of social-human development, which at first astonishes and lets the reader go to own borders. But if one gets involved and lets go of those reservations that often consist of a mixture of prejudices and fears, an awareness and a sense of foreboding for the future changes in a comprehensive way can arise, which is what this book is about: The reordering of life on our planet. 

Klaus Moegling, June 2018 

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ChApter 1

Analysis of current    global crises 

- orders dissolving

Before a positive vision of social development can be sketched out, it is necessary to

convincingly justify the necessity for such a development. In a first step, this will be achieved in chapter 1 through a critical analysis of current social conditions. In the next chapter, the urgency of a systemic change in the global context will be made clear by developing possible negative scenarios (chapter 2): What will happen if the current development cannot be decisively stopped? In other words, this chapter deals with negative developments that cannot be predicted with certainty, but whose occurrence is possible under certain conditions.

When it comes within the realm of human imagination how devastating and destructive such a scenario can be to the possibility of human life, only then will it be possible for the force necessary to prevent this from happening. Only then will it be possible, with the necessary determination, to design a positive vision of planetary development that is fundamental and radical, that starts at the root. An approach to the root of social problems must also face the systemic question. Property and wealth relations cannot remain untouched by this.

Nor does radicalism mean smashing windows, setting cars on fire or even violence against individuals or groups of people. The use of violence is not radical, but extremist and contradicts the vision of social realignment presented here.

As radical as a vision of social reorganization is and must be, i.e., one that addresses the systemic foundations, given the existing and impending threats, the next step is to sketch out the first reform steps, based on current social reality and differentiated in time, that can lead to the realization of this future-oriented vision of social development (Chapter 6).

Seen in this light, the analysis does not get stuck in the negative, but rather opens the view for a possible positive development, if the measures required for this are taken as soon as possible with the necessary decisiveness and systemic coherence.
Here, the courage for vision and utopia is required, as the social philosopher Ernst Bloch already formulated in 1918 at the end of World War 1:
"We have longing and brief knowledge, but little action and what explains their absence with, no width, no prospect, no ends, no inner threshold, imagined crossed, no utopian principle concept. To find this, to find the right, for the sake of which it is proper to live, to be organized, to have time, for this we go, we hew the fantastic constitutive ways (...) and look there for the true, real where the actual disappears - incipit vita nova." (Bloch 1918/2018, 11)
But before the vision, the work of critical analysis must be done, so as not to take the 'constitutive path' into the unknown.

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1.1 Economic crises 

1.1.1     Global structures of greed

Economic crises in a capitalistically shaped global system, in whose highly developed neoliberal late phase we are obviously situated we obviously find ourselves, must first be analyzed on the socioeconomic level. In a next step, however, the psychological and social dispositions associated with private economic modes of production, the private levying of the generated surplus value, and the corresponding structures must also be described. 

Already in the middle of the 19th century, Marx/Engels far-sightedly analyzed  how the process of globalization takes place in capitalism: 

"The need for an ever-expanding outlet for its products chases the bourgeoisie all over the globe. Everywhere it must nestle, everywhere it must cultivate, everywhere it must establish connections. The bourgeoisie, through the exploitation of the world market, has made production and consumption cosmopolitan." (8) 

Marx/Engels see the fact that investors are constantly looking for new investment opportunities and producers are constantly looking for new sales markets as economic acts of compulsion, which are the expression of capital valorization crises when the technical possibilities of production and - continuing this thought -– also the communicative possibilities of investment activity are constantly developing. 
The colonialism of the global North in the regions of the global South served - in addition to geostrategic considerations of power expansion - above all the economic exploitation of the human and natural resources of the militarily conquered world regions. Wars of conquest, human trafficking, slave labor, ethnocide, environmental destruction, plunder, the destruction of functioning infrastructures and the overexploitation of natural resources, as well as the establishment of an imperial world economic order, are characteristics of the colonial phase of global development. The wealth of the global North is based on the brutal exploitation of the global South. Wealth and poverty are here in a destructive functional relationship. Postcolonial studies deal, among other things, with the prolongation and also the modification of these structures after the actual period of colonialism in the course of decolonization after the Second World War. The theme here is that the global injustices resulting from colonization and also the thinking and feeling in the societies of the global North continue to exist into the present day. 

Ina Kerner, professor for the dynamics of globalization and for postcolonial studies, describes the resulting tasks: 

They consist first of all in, "to change the common view of European colonialism, which tends to be positive or at least trivialized, and to create a critical awareness of its late consequences. Furthermore, it is a matter of developing and strengthening non-colonial patterns of thought, behavior, representations and institutions. (...) On the one hand, through precise empirical analyses and theoretical reflections that shed light on how far colonial causes and path dependencies actually extend - for example, in relation to problems such as poverty, strong social inequality, authoritarianism or a lack of the rule of law in former colonies. (...) It is clear that a critique of one's own context always has something self-referential. Against this background, postcolonial theories problematize the unreflected aspects and the power effects of Eurocentrism. For this has always served to legitimize global claims to power and domination." (Kerner 2020) 

While in colonial times it were primarily corporations such as the British East India Company, the Dutch East India Company or the U.S. United Fruit Company that brutally exploited colonial or neocolonial relations of domination in Asia and South America, in postcolonial times the role of multinational corporations of a modern character must be examined more closely.
The winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, Josef E. Stiglitz, is not far removed from Marx/Engels' analysis when he criticizes the takeover of market power in the important economic sectors by a few corporations. This concentration is associated with the elimination of a free interplay of supply and demand in favor of unrestrained market power and the enrichment of a few private individuals at the expense of the majority of the population: 

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"These mega-corporations use their market power to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. By setting higher prices, they have effectively lowered consumers' standard of living. New technologies enable these companies to engage in mass discrimination - which they do - because prices are set not in the marketplace (as a single price that reflects supply and demand), but by algorithmic determination of the  maximum price a customer is willing to pay. (…) 

Where financial deregulation was most advanced, financial sector abuses such as market manipulation, predatory lending, and excessive credit card fees were also most common." (9) 

The current variant of neoliberalized capitalism is the worst version of capitalist social formation, since  the state largely dispenses with the necessary controls and regulations of capital. The state sees itself primarily in the role of enabling economic growth and private appropriation, without recognizing that economic growth can be a very problematic variable. 

In contrast to Marx/Engels, however, Stiglitz (2019) sees the opportunity not in a systemic overcoming of capitalism, but in a "progressive capitalism" that restores a genuine market function and that once again embeds capital in society and is socioecologically regulated by the state. 

The penetration of inner spaces 

Capitalism expanded worldwide in the course of its historic triumphal march. Not only did it advance from Europe into all geographical areas of the earth, but it also penetrated into the inner spaces of human coexistence - according to Elmar Altvater (2006, 22): 

"The micro- and nanostructures of life are put into value and thereby manipulated in such a way that the transformation into commodity and its exploitation in monetary form come out. Private spaces of retreat are not safe from the constraints of money and capital. Forms of social coexistence are more and more contractualized and thus subjected to the logic of monetary market equivalence. Capitalist valorization is an all-encompassing and yet, in the internal space of the planet, limited and confining principle whose rules are to be followed as if they were commandments of God." 

According to this, people are also psychologically penetrated by exploitation interests, consumption offers, media influence and the logics of capitalism contained therein. In particular, the inevitability of a connection between wealth, private property and economic growth seems to be an unquestionable paradigm. There seems to be no escape from this systemic hegemony of thinking and feeling. 

This critical analysis certainly has socioeconomic plausibility and must be taken into account in the analysis of worldwide capital concentration, an inequitable distribution of wealth, global investment activity, overexploitation of mineral resources and ecological devastation, destructive arms investments, and recurring economic and financial crises fueled by speculation. (10)

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Nevertheless, the human being - despite existing structures - should not only be regarded as an object of economic developments. Each and every individual decides for himself or herself on which side of global events he or she wants to be: Value creation does not necessarily have to be destructive even in the times of a technical-digital development stage of capitalism. Economic investments can certainly be aimed at a value creation process that is geared toward sustainability. No one is forcing arms companies to forego investments in arms conversion in the sense of producing peace goods. No one is forcing energy suppliers not to make a transformation to a solar energy supply future in time. Nobody forces politicians to behave in a national-chauvinistic way or to accept bribes from the economy. No one is forcing banks to participate in risk speculation on the financial markets instead of being content with the returns from loans to home builders and to small and medium-sized businesses. 

There can be a right life, at least in serious approaches, even under the wrong social conditions: Greed would have to be neither a central political nor a priority economic principle. Behind this are decisions of the individual to surrender to the existing structures with the whole personality and to submit to the paradigm of egocentrically controlled greed. 

Social and human rights consequences of neoliberalized capitalism 

The situation is different for those who suffer from neoliberalized capitalism and the economic policies associated with it. Whereas prosperity gains for larger parts of the population and the expansion of the middle classes could be observed after the Second World War, especially in industrialized countries, neoliberalization caused a reversal of this process. Low-wage sectors also expanded in Western countries  and wage dumping, temporary work and pseudo-self-employment led to a decline of the middle class and to corresponding social fears among those threatened with social  relegation. In the regions of the world that remained dependent during the post-colonial period, these development trends were even more dramatic. Within the economic framework defined by the World Bank and the IMF, these countries serve as debtors and interest payers, as suppliers of raw materials and as cultivation areas for monocultures,according to Latin America expert Sabine Kurtenbach (2019), who is using Colombia as an example: 

"Colombia could become the breadbasket of South America with very different agricultural products because it is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Instead, almost only palm oil is grown for export." (11)

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International capital is particularly interested in stabilizing its investment activities and the associated profits through authoritarian governments in the post-colonial regions of the world. Democratically elected governments, however, which are interested in a nationalization of natural resources, a dissolution of the international division of labor in the interest of the rich nations and the large corporations originating from them, are fought with all means, with secret services, sanctions, with media propaganda and finally with military means. The example of Chile is the best known example of how a democratically elected government was overthrown via a military coup with the proven support of the CIA, and a neoliberal regime was installed in 1973 under a right-wing military dictatorship. (12) The devastating social effects of the neoliberal model in Chile have repeatedly been the cause of mass protests combined with brutal deployments of the Chilean military. In the capital Santiago and other cities, for example, there were demonstrations in 2019 with over a million people protesting the total privatization of the country, low incomes and pensions, the undemocratic constitution, high water prices and tuition fees. A referendum for a new, fairer Chilean constitution failed in 2022 due to one-sided media propaganda and the resulting vote against the draft constitution.

Another variant of authoritarian investment protection lies in the direct influence of multinational corporations on governments in post-colonial countries, such as Nigeria, in order to defang movements against corruption and exploitation by corporations in these countries. The example of the winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize ('Right Livelihood Award') Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his fellow campaigners shows how the interest of the oil company Shell was enforced by the Nigerian military government. The critic of the overexploitation of nature, the oppression of the Ogoni people and the expropriation of national mineral resources, in this case oil by Shell, was sentenced to death by hanging together with his companions in what international observers consider an unlawful trial. 

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Ken Saro-Wiwa and his comrades-in-arms were executed by the military government's executioners in 1995, despite worldwide protests. Shell denied interfering, but nevertheless paid the families of those killed $15.5 million in compensation 14 years later. (13) 

The consequences of such repressive policies of multinational corporations and their supporting governments are - in dependency theory formulation - structural heterogeneity and marginalization. Small farmers displaced by land grabbing find themselves in the squalid conditions of ever-expanding urban slums, without regular income and a minimum of health care and clean drinking water. On the other hand, the upper classes profiting from the exploitation of the land and corrupted by the corporations, as well as the foreign managers with their families, live in walled and guarded settlement fortresses that look similar everywhere and worldwide. Such structural heterogeneity, however, is not a prerequisite for a democratic system; rather, it usually leads to authoritarian solutions in order to be able to maintain these conditions of social exclusion of the majority of the population. 

The global economic mechanism underlying these relationships is described in dependency theory by the phenomenon of unequal exchange. This means that the existing wealth of a postcolonial country, in the form of mineral resources and labor, must be given away cheaply to the richer regions of the world. In contrast, the services of the industrialized regions in the form of manufactured goods or technical services must be paid for at high prices in the poorer parts of the world. (14)

Large corporations are now positioning their representatives directly in the political arena 

However, multinational corporations are also engaged in a competition to outbid each other, with those that do not grow fast enough being swallowed up by the larger company. Hedge funds also buy the majority of shares in corporations, break them up and liquidate parts of the corporation that do not generate above-average returns, without regard for the jobs and people employed there. It is obvious that greed is the economic principle of economic concentration and in connection with it the leading interest of finance capital. (15) V. I. Lenin calls the epoch dominated by finance capital, i.e. the fusion of industry and bank capital, the phase of imperialism, the most developed phase of capitalism: 

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Definition of Imperialism: 
"1. concentration of production and capital, which has reached such a high stage of development that it creates monopolies which play the decisive role in economic life; 2. fusion of banking capital with industrial capital and the emergence of a financial oligarchy on the basis of this 'financial capital'; 3. the export of capital, as distinct from the export of commodities, acquires particularly important significance; 4. international monopolistic capitalist associations are formed which divide the world among themselves, and 5. the territorial division of the division of the earth among the great capitalist powers is ended."  (16)

Whether these five characteristics are sufficient to identify imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism remains to be seen. Doubts are reasonable, since Lenin could not have known the excesses of digitalized capitalism (17), did not take into account the fundamental differences in interests of different capital fractions, and does not make any ecological statements here. 

In any case, capitalism seems to be taking on new forms again and again, with the result that ever fewer companies have increasing economic power and financial strength, the capital of major banks and corporations can no longer be distinguished, new value chains are emerging, and in the process ever fewer people are able to accumulate ever more capital. In addition, it is becoming increasingly apparent that large corporations have little need to send lobbyists to political representatives. They either position corporate employees or close associates in political positions themselves or sign up government representatives shortly after they leave office so that they can use their political networks. The former managing director of Greenpeace International, Thilo Bode, speaks of a "political-economic complex" that increasingly undermines democracy and ensures that the different economic interests of multinational corporations are enforced in competition with each other. (18)

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Gerhard Schröder, Mario Draghi, Joschka Fischer, Christine Lagarde, Richard B. 'Dick Cheney', Emmanuel Macron or Donald Trump are just a few of the numerous personalities who were either positioned directly from international corporate boards into leading political offices or joined corporate boards shortly after leaving government. 

The question here is whether capitalism can be socially reformed, or whether the combination of collective greed, economic concentration and financial speculation can only be broken by a change of system, i.e. by a radical reorganization of the economy and politics.
Certainly, this cannot be considered only at the systemic level, but must also be linked to the individual in his or her social context. For example, social scientists Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen (2017) point out that the systemic exploitation of people and nature in the course of neoliberalized capitalism has a psychosocial counterpart in the context of an imperial way of life. The imperial way of life is not only anchored in institutions and structurally entrenched forms of domination, but can also be found in people's individual cognitive and emotionally controlled and social behaviors through an act of psychological and socializing transmission.
First, the imperial way of life is based, first, on the exploitation of the low-wage sector in rich societies and, second, on the exploitation of the global South by the global North. Furthermore, even the marginalized people in the low-wage sector of the rich regions in turn exploit the labor force in the poorer regions, since they also profit from the cheap prices of imported products. Here, neither the basic human needs of the exploited nor the necessities of sustainable development are taken into account due to the massive human and ecological consumption of resources.
The imperial way of life basically needs regions and people to whom the costs of production and consumption can be outsourced. For a socio-ecological transformation of society, the imperial way of life has to be overcome structurally and also psychosocially.

U.S. critique of the neoliberal model of capitalism 

In the U.S., too, there are beginnings of a critique of the system that takes the interconnectedness of bank and corporate capital and their entanglement with the political ruling forces as its starting point, which ultimately led to today's neoliberal version of capitalism. 

Noam Chomsky, holder of ten honorary doctorates, analyzes the 'Washington Consensus' initiated by large corporations and the financial sector as an expression of neoliberal enforcement of interests against the poor regions of the world and especially their impoverished populations. The Washington Consensus was supported and promoted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). (19)

The Washington Consensus of 1989 stipulated, among other things, deregulation, privatization, lowering of corporate taxes and trade liberalization as guidelines for an ostensible support by the World Bank and the IMF , especially of the states of the global South. In reality, it deprived these countries of the possibility to impose protective tariffs and to fend off international finance capital, which - as the Nobel Prize winner for economics, Joseph Stiglitz (2002), impressively analyzed - led to the further impoverishment and financial bleeding out of these countries. 

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But even the formerly rich states, such as the United States, Great Britain or other European states, became socially divided due to the neoliberalization of capitalism and the unboundedness of the markets, especially the financial markets. This led to an increasingly rich upper class and a decline of former members of the middle classes into social poverty: 

In "most advanced countries, the market economy has been failing large swaths of society. 

Nowhere is this truer than in the United States. Long regarded as a poster child for the promise of free-market individualism, America today has higher inequality and less upward social mobility than most other developed countries. After rising for a century, average life expectancy in the US is now declining. And for those in the bottom 90% of the income distribution, real (inflation-adjusted) wages have stagnated: the income of a typical male worker today is around where it was 40 years ago.“ (20)

Stiglitz makes it clear that a 40-year neoliberal experiment has failed miserably and calls for a socially contained capitalism ("progressive capitalism" (21)) in which the state must once again recognize its central role and social and ecological responsibility. 

While Stiglitz sees the central problem above all in the decline of state activity in neoliberalized capitalism in favor of corporate interests, early on the U.S. economist Michael Hudson (1939/2003, 1) drew attention to the enormous importance of state intervention strategies interested in global political hegemony. He summarized his historically oriented fiscal policy studies of fiscal policy as follows in his introduction: 

"One lesson of U.S. experience is that the national diplomacy, embodied in what now is called the Washington Consensus, is not simply an extension of business drives. It has been shaped by overriding concerns for world power (euphemized as national security) and economic advantage as perceived by American strategists quite apart from the profit motives of private investors." 
Chomsky (2000, 23) also sees the connection between state intervention and corporate interests when he criticizes the Washington Consensus: 

"The 'principal architects' of the neoliberal 'Washington Consensus' are the lords and masters of the private sector, mostly giant corporations that control vast sectors of the international economy and have the means to dominate the formation of political will as well as to influence public opinion. For obvious reasons, the United States plays a special role in this system." 

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In his book, Chomsky also demonstrates - in a manner comparable to Michael Hudson's perception - how U.S. corporations have called for liberalization and deregulation worldwide, but have themselves received massive strategic support from the U.S. government in the form of subsidies and trade benefits. This, of course, is how the Trump administration's current efforts should be assessed: Impose protective tariffs itself, but demand that other states remove them. Chomsky therefore criticizes that the Washington Consensus does not apply to the U.S., but only as a doctrine for countries where the unhindered access of U.S. corporations is to be facilitated and which serves the greed of the rich in the U.S.: 

"The vaunted doctrines, in their design and use, serve the purposes of power and profit. The 'experiments' currently being conducted follow a familiar pattern, taking the form of 'socialism for the rich' set within the system of global corporate mercantilism, where 'commerce' consists largely of centrally directed, intra-company transactions between giant institutions that are totalitarian in nature and serve only the purpose of undermining democratic decision-making processes and protecting the lords and masters from the discipline of the market. In their strict tenets, only the poor and helpless are instructed." (22)

On the crisis of neoliberal capitalism

Lenin already analyzed the parasitic structures of exploitation within the global division of labor: 

"Monopolies, oligarchy, the pursuit of domination rather than freedom, the exploitation of an ever-increasing number of small or weak nations by a very few rich or powerful nations - all this produced those features of imperialism to call it parasitic or capitalism in rot."  (23)

In her book "Madness with Method. Financial Crash and the Global Economy"Sahra Wagenknecht analyzes recent developments that were already analytically conceived in principle by Marx/Engels and Lenin, but could not then have been known in this modernized form. Wagenknecht sees the cause of the 2007/2008 global economic and financial crisis in the reckless granting of loans to insolvent homeowners ('subprime mortgages') driven by bank greed, in the sale of opaque credit paper portfolios based on a lack of creditworthiness ('asset backed securities') on the international financial markets and in the bursting of the real estate bubble created in this way, which in turn led to the shaking of the banking system. 

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The prerequisite for this was the deregulation of financial markets and international capital movements. The phase of loan securitization and the sale of the corresponding portfolios was the basis for above-average returns - according to Wagenknecht (2008, 39): 

"For one thing, the margins in this business were much higher than in traditional lending, which usually yielded less than 10 percent, and for another, the volume of loans could be extended in this way far beyond the limits of the equity capital of the bank concerned. Since the bank's profits continued to swell with each loan extended, and since the risk of default was, after all, transferred to the purchasers of the loan securities, construction lenders were henceforth understandably anxious to extend as many loans as possible to whomever they could." 

Ultimately, taxpayers had to pay for the bailout of the banks that had acquired the bad mortgage securitizations on a large scale. Nation states supported the big banks because of their supposed systemic relevance ("too big to fail"). Profits were thus privatized and losses socialized. The fact that the losses and the possible threat of national bankruptcies were then used to generate additional returns by means of high-dollar bets on the financial markets is an additional aspect of the rotten nature of this economic and financial order. (24)
In capitalism, economic crises are attempted to be solved with a return to economic growth - in other words, with exactly the same medicine that ultimately led to the economic crisis. Growth thinking leads to overproduction, because affordable consumption is limited. Overproduction crises lead to recession, with consequences for political and cultural stability. Right-wing extremism and 'angry citizens' are typical manifestations of the crisis nature of modern capitalist societies. 
The reliance on limitless economic growth also fails to recognize the ecological limits of our planet and is gradually destroying the foundations of human civilization. The already occurring climate catastrophe, the littering of the earth as well as the destruction of the biodiversity, which is indispensable for the ecology of this planet, are an expression of a primarily growth-oriented economy and consumption orientation.
This criticism refers not only to the conditions of the global north but likewise to the capitalist development path in the countries of the global south - so the political scientist and activist Alexander Behr (2022, 29):
"A brutal class struggle is also underway in many other countries of the global South. The national bourgeoisie serves the interests of transnational corporations. In the short term, it may be able to rely on a growing middle class to secure its imperial way of life. But the hegemonic development path - whether state interventionist as in China or neoliberal as in Brazil - is deeply destructive and will further intensify resource conflicts in the future. It thus ultimately endangers the security of supply for all people."

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Greed as the psychological basis of economic action 

Greed describes a mental attitude and psychological mood in which a person ruthlessly and egomaniacally tries to accumulate values and resources in the form of monetary equivalents, real estate, stock shares and production facilities. Greed is the basic psychological structure and motivational condition of neoliberalized capitalism. Greed, combined with the opportunities offered by late capitalist structures, has led to 1.1% of humanity owning 45.8% of the world's wealth at the end of 2022. In contrast, more than half of the world's population owned only 1.2% of the world's wealth. (25)

Greed also manifests itself in the mass attempts of the wealthy to move their accumulated money abroad without paying taxes - Hans-Jürgen Burchardt (2017) discusses capital flight and tax fraud via accounts on the Cayman Islands or in Panama: 

"However, 28 German banks appeared in the Panama Papers, including six of the seven largest money houses. Along with England, Switzerland and Luxembourg, Germany ranks eighth among the eleven countries that favor illegitimate financial flows the most worldwide. The estimated assets of foreigners in Germany, which they do not have to account for at home, amount to approximately three trillion euros. This includes a lot of money generated in developing countries and transferred abroad by the elites there. These facts make two things clear: poverty - here as elsewhere - is not based on a lack of resources, but on unequal distribution and legal and illegal tax avoidance. And German and European policymakers have every opportunity to take action against it." (26)

Economic greed is evident not only at the individual but also at the collective-continental level, where rich continents and regions want to exploit poorer regions and parts of the world even beyond the existing level of inequality. Thus, in the course of the liberalization and deregulation of world trade steered by the World Bank and the IMF ('Washington Consensus'), the EU demands from countries of the continent of Africa the dismantling of protective tariffs, with EU producers simultaneously throwing EU-subsidized agricultural products and US corporations their subsidized production onto the African market in a neo-colonial sense: 

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"European trade agreements with African countries have so far insisted on radically opening Africa's markets. This makes it tempting to sell agricultural surpluses, which have been boosted by EU subsidies, in Africa,: For example, the sale of European dairy products, meat or poultry on African markets has increased significantly in recent years. African smallholder farmers - the majority of the working population - cannot compete against these often highly subsidized food products. They lose their source of income and migrate to the cities. There, they learn that, thanks to EU trade agreements, even the few local industries will soon be in ruinous competition with EU companies with global market clout, and there is little hope of more employment. Who can then be blamed for listening to the Bremen Town Musicians, who once taught us: We can find something better than death anywhere! We must decide today whether we want to gear our agreements with Africa toward a genuine partnership or whether we want to declassify the African economy into a junk bazaar that forces more and more people to seek their fortunes elsewhere." (27)
In this context, Nadège Compaoré (2017, 3) criticizes the exploitation of African mineral resources by foreign mining companies and investors ("structural power imbalances in Africa's mining sector"). Here, too, the phenomenon of unequal exchange is evident (Senghaas 1974), in which mineral resources are bought cheaply in the countries of the South and ready-made technical goods from the North are sold back at a high price. The political scientist Compaoré demands that Africa's mineral wealth be used for the benefit of the people living there ("Mineral wealth can be garnered to benefit its people" (Compaoré 2017,5)) and calls for inclusive participation processes via the influence of civil society groups and local communities.
Economist Franklin Obeng-Odoom (2020, 2021) analyzes the same phenomenon in terms of land privatization and African land grabbing, where people are evicted from their land where they have lived and farmed for generations or got there into servitude by the landowners. He calls the privatization of communally owned land under colonial and post-co-lonial processes and structures the "tragedy of the commons" and calls for decolonization of land on a large scale. By this he does not mean the nationalization of land but its socialization, i.e. an appropriate share in the profits and land rights for those who work and produce there and organize themselves. Obeng-Odoom emphasizes the importance of dealing with land in the analysis of social relations and capitalist economy, but also for the people themselves:
"... land is not capital as in the conventional sense and land is not one thing, but rights and interests. It is, for many people, identity, another name for nature or spirit. Land is power." (Obeng-Odoom 2021)

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The negative consequences of greed are not only evident in relation to poorer societies, but also permeate richer societies in a brutal and destructive way, especially with regard to the production of weapons. Every year in the U.S., people the size of a medium-sized city are killed with firearms. The murders of students and teachers in U.S. schools are a frightening illustration of how the gun industry can get its way and how hurdles to gun acquisition are kept low through lobbying, buying top politicians, and generous campaign contributions to those in power. 
The political scientists Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen (2017) point out that this form of collective Western greed and especially the structure of needs of the ruling and profiting elites is embedded in an imperial way of life. Imperial ways of life are based on a mentality that assumes that one part of the global society is entitled to live off the resources, such as labor and mineral resources, of the other part. It is taken for granted by the profiteers that their good life can be made possible by the bad life of the others. Waste of resources, environmental pollution and climate destruction are accepted for their own standard of living. However, the negative effects are to a large extent externalized, i.e. left to the poorer parts of the world. This is anchored as a hegemonic consensus in the societies of the global North in particular, but also in the thinking of the profiting and often corrupt elites of the global South: 

"The imperial way of life is an essential moment in the reproduction of capitalist societies. It is produced through discourses and world events, is consolidated in practices and institutions, and is the result of social struggles in civil society and in the state. It is based on inequality, power and domination, sometimes on violence, which are simultaneously producted by it. It is not external to subjects. Rather, it brings forth subjects in their everyday minds (...), normalizes them, and at the same time makes them capable of acting: as women and men, as utility-maximizing individuals who feel superior to others, as striving for certain forms of the good life."  (Brand/ Wissen 2017, 45)

This then also means that greed and imperial lifestyles are not a detached psychological construct or lifestyle element, but are anchored in the structural conditions of producing and the commodity character of the produced products. To accumulate and consume as much as possible is a characteristic of the capitalist social system. To own more and more, to increase the rate of profit, to maximize property and to achieve speculative profits are behaviors that are immanent to the system and an expression of a generally accepted capitalist consensus on values that is reinforced by the media. 
Hegemony in this sense means not only that manifest pressure of domination is used to stabilize the prevailing conditions, but also that a latent manipulation of people takes place. Those ruling strata that profit excessively from unrestrained economic growth in the global North, but also in times of crisis in times of recession, succeed in anchoring a consciousness, even in the middle classes down to the socially graded strata, that capitalism, the pursuit of profit, the depletion of nature, consumerism, low wages and an unconditional orientation toward economic growth are irrevocable variables. In this sense, Alexander Behr (2022, 57) analyzes:
"This leads to the fact that relevant parts of the population agree with the prevailing conditions and perceive them as having no alternative. Endless economic growth, the exploitation of people and nature, and the constant development of new consumer goods are seen as guarantees of welfare, prosperity and security. There is a wide-ranging social consensus on the level of consumption to aim for: it is considered desirable and normal for a middle-class family to own one or more cars, to regularly buy new clothes for fashion reasons or to fly on vacation. Those who do not do this generally lack the means to do so - only a minority reduce their own level of consumption of their own free will."

- 29 -

An example of economic greed: Cargill - "the worst company in the world" (Mighty Earth) 

Cargill Incorporated is a multinational company headquartered in Minnesota, USA, whose global sales increased from USD 113.5 billion in 2019 to USD 177 billion in 2023. (28) Descendants of the founding Cargill and MacMillan families own about 85 percent of the company. The Cargill Group offers various products and services related to food production and marketing: 

 Cargill Incorporated ·        
" · grows cotton, wheat, oilseeds, corn, barley, as well as millet, and sells, transports, stores             and processes the raw materials.
  · manufactures feeds (and additives) for cattle, swine, poultry and fish, advises U.S. farmers       and provides risk management services worldwide; 

  ·  is the world's largest producer of ground beef and ready-to-fry hamburgers; one of its main       customers is McDonald's, for which Cargill also produces Chicken McNuggets; ·          

  ·  produces manufactures food products such as cocoa and chocolate, glazes and fillings,           tortillas, salt, oils and fats, sweeteners, meat and egg products, and highly processed                 products; 
   · Manufactures food additives such as starches, proteins, emulsifiers, pectins,                               carrageenans,  lecithins and other chemical products;  produces coatings for pans and               baking sheets, additives for cosmetics, road surfacing, biofuels, road salt and deicing                 agents." (29)

Furthermore, Cargill is involved in financial services and provides, among other things, a hedge fund ('Black River Asset Management') that owns over ten billion dollars in assets. 

The general public and consumers are hardly aware of this company, as it is not named as a supplier on the products. Products from Cargill are in numerous foodstuffs without this being apparent. 

The NGO Mighty Earth has now taken a critical look at this multinational company, which by now has around 160,000 (2023) employees in 70 countries. The former congressman and current chairman of Mighty Earth, Henry Waxman, is making a comprehensive indictment of what he sees as an extremely money-grubbing and immoral company: 

"The people who have been sickened or died from eating contaminated Cargill meat, the child laborers who grow the cocoa Cargill sells for the world's chocolate, the Midwesterners who drink water polluted by Cargill, the Indigenous People displaced by vast deforestation to make way for Cargill's animal feed, and the ordinary consumers who've paid more to put food on the dinner table because of Cargill's financial malfeasance - all have felt the impact of this agribusiness giant. Their lives are worse for having come into contact with Cargill." (30)

Cargill has repeatedly been known for selling low-quality and infected meat, finances the destruction of rainforests, e.g. in Brazil or in Bolivia, for soy cultivation and cattle pastures, engages in 'land grabbing' on a large scale, and sources products, e.g. cocoa beans, from African plantations that exploit kidnapped child slaves. (31)

- 30 -

A leading human rights organization (International Labor Rights Fund (ILRF)) accused various corporations, including Cargill, of massive violations of children's rights as early as 2005: 

"A leading human rights organization and reputable civil rights firm filed suit against the Nestlé, Archer Daniels Midland, and Cargill companies today in Federal District Court in Los Angeles. The complaint alleges their involvement in the trafficking, torture, and forced labor of children who cultivate and harvest cocoa beans which the companies import from Africa. The suit was brought under two federal statutes, the Torture Victims Protection Act and the Alien Tort Claims Act." (32)

In the United States, Cargill has also been sued several times for violating clean air laws. 

Cargill, which makes billions in profits, is a multinational agricultural corporation that Mighty Earth believes is responsible for destroying ecologically intact regions and turning them into monocultural and chemically devastated areas: 

"Cargill is America's largest privately-owned company, surpassing the second place Koch Brothers by billions of dollars in annual revenues. Cargill is the corporate behemoth at the nexus of the global industrial agriculture system, a system that it has designed to convert large swaths of the planet into chemically dependent industrial scale monocultures to produce cheap meat, palm oil, and chocolate." (33)

International economic regimes, such as the Washington Consensus, but also intergovernmental economic agreements would facilitate such corporations' unhindered anti-environmental and anti-human corporate activities. In particular, corporate rights of action under bilateral treaties ensure the unrestrained investment activities of large corporations. Instead of regulating and controlling these corporations, the world is left to their free use. There  is a destructive economic understanding of freedom behind this, which in its structural safeguarding ensures that multinational corporations are the winners of globalization and that the majority of people and their natural living conditions are globalization losers. This dynamic will continue to increase as long as the global balance of power is not drastically changed and no socio-economic transformation toward a complex reorganization is achieved that is wanted and supported by the majority of people. 

- 31 -

Conclusion: Unbridled greed for profit is an expression of destructive economic and political orders in the interest of the rich and powerful. Colonial structures that served the expansion of power and the maximization of profits of the global North find their extension and modification in the global structures of order of the postcolonial era.
Due to their systemic tendency to self-destruction, such private economic orders, which can be described as capitalist, repeatedly end up, after seemingly stable phases, in enormous crisis developments, which particularly affect the poorer parts of society. 

Investments in value creation through production and services are increasingly being replaced by the speculative use of financial resources on the international financial markets. Huge speculative bubbles are being created that no longer bear any relation to real value creation. The bursting of these bubbles can destroy still functioning orders and destroy the existence of millions of people. If this has a particularly negative impact on the poorest countries in the global South, it can be assumed that the distribution struggles will intensify there and that poverty migration will increase. 

The trend toward ever greater multinational corporate concentrations is leading to extra-parliamentary economic countervailing powers that have a massive influence on decisions made by governments and other institutions. Using the example of the multinational corporation Cargill, the damages of such corporate activities in the ecological, political and human rights fields were outlined, as recorded and criticized by the international NGO Mighty Earth. 

But a counter-hegemonic power is also growing against the economic and political power of the corporations . The resistance and protests against neoliberalization in the form of the attempt to install problematic free trade agreements (MAI, TTIP, CETA, MERCOSUR ...) show corporate activities their limits and let the possibilities of a social reorganization shine through in the tangible transformation process. 

- 32 -

In this sense, Brand/ Wissen (2017, 15) also summarize: 

"The imperial way of life is based on exclusivity; it can only sustain itself as long as it has an outside to which it can shift its costs. This outside is dwindling, however, as more and more economies access it, and fewer and fewer people are willing or able to bear the costs of externalization processes. The imperial way of life thus becomes a victim of its own attractiveness and generalization."

1.1.2   Resistance to neoliberal market radicalism    The Protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization (WTO) 

The 1999 World Trade Conference organized by the WTO in Seattle (34) on the northwest coast of the United States was initially accompanied by peaceful rallies and demonstrations with some 50,000 participants who came from a wide variety of backgrounds and world regions: 

 "It is a colorful crowd that defies the world's powerful on this rainy morning: The demonstrators, nearly 50,000 in all, have costumed themselves as turtles or butterflies or invoke the 'protest of the century' on raincoats. Farmers from the U.S. Midwest are there, as are rainforest protectors from France, Greenpeace activists from Latin America and Chinese fighting for Tibet's freedom. Pupils and students chant the name of that organization, which some, by their own admission, did not even know recently: 'Hey, hey, ho, WTO has to go!' Away with the World Trade Organization!" (35)

Then, however, the previously peaceful protests by various globalization-critical NGOs, including numerous trade unionists, and committed individuals on the part of some militant critics of world trade relations turned violent. They attacked delegates, blocked roads and smashed windows, including those of McDonalds and Nike. However, as is so often the case, this was a small minority who did not heed the organizers' call to protest nonviolently and creatively. The scale of the violent actions was subsequently exaggerated in media coverage, but led to increased attention in the world press and on television news programs. 

- 33 -

The mayor of Seattle imposed a nighttime curfew on the downtown area. The governor of Washington state then declared a state of emergency, and a perimeter around the convention center was ordered. The National Guard and state police were also called in, and their deployment led to attacks even on peaceful demonstrators. (36)

The opening ceremony of the WTO summit had to be canceled because the safety of the delegates could not be guaranteed. (37) Press conferences and first WTO meetings could not take place due to the blockade of the ministry building. People had chained themselves together in the entrances of the conference building. 

The political motivation for participating in the protests varied widely, ranging from views that saw the liberalization of world trade as affecting national concerns, to criticism of the lack of transparency in WTO decision-making processes, to much more radical analyses that opposed world capitalism and the international domination of giant corporations in principle, but not globalized conditions in principle - according to the more socialist-oriented opponents of WTO activities: 

"The development of a political movement against global capitalism requires above all a conscious recognition that capitalism, and not the increasingly global character of modern society, is the real enemy. Capitalist globalization - that is, the subordination of people to the profit interests of a few hundred giant transnational corporations - cannot be fought by turning to a historically outmoded system of relatively isolated and uncoordinated economies." (38)

- 34 -

In Seattle, the successful resistance against the 'Multilateral Agreement on Investment' (MAI) was continued. Almost unnoticed by world public opinion, attempts had been made in previous years on the part of the OECD to establish investment protection for multinational corporations even beyond the borders of the OECD. This would have meant, for example, that multinational corporations could sue a national government for damages before the controversial international arbitration tribunals that undermine state sovereignty if their investments, for example in fracking, were impeded by environmental laws of a nation state. Through the determined resistance and international public relations work of various NGOs, including the consumer protection organization 'Publican Citizen' founded by Ralph Nader, it was possible to successfully fight this corporate request in 1998, which later sought to find a way back into bilateral treaties. (39) (40)

One of the participants in the Seattle WTO protests described the creativity of forms of resistance not seen in this form in previous protests: 

"One of the most remarkable aspects of this action was the presence of art, theater, dance and poetry: a true celebration of resistance. The demos were broken up with giant puppets, costumes (including 240 sea turtles), beautiful banners, stilt walkers, singers, dancers, rappers, and the street theater (coordinated by Bread and Puppet Theater) was the most professional and effective I've ever seen. People could even view art from the air: after several smaller demos before Nov. 30, an artist helped people form letters with their bodies so that the words 'Rise Up' could be read from above." (41)

- 35 -

The protests in Seattle caused considerable disruption to the WTO conference, which was ultimately unable to realize its economic policy goals in Seattle. Above all, however, they brought the World Trade Organization and its neoliberal approach to international economic policy into the focus of a broader world public for the first time. People around the world now began to consider what impact the world trade agreements supported by the WTO and the liberalization of world trade would have on the development of poorer regions of the world as well as the environment. 

For political scientist Ulrich Brand, the WTO protests in Seattle were an expression of continuing and intensifying counter-hegemonic movements - according to Brand (2005b, 100): 

"'Seattle' was a first international crystallization point of social movements after years of political paralysis. While the protests in the 1980s against the World Bank and IMF were carried by the metropolitan solidarity movement and were primarily directed against neoliberal structural adjustment programs in peripheral countries, today the initiatives are truly acting globally."      Occupy Wall Street

The anti-capitalist movement 'Occupy Wall Street' (OWS) emerged in September 2011 as a site occupation with tents in New York's Zuccoti Park, directly adjacent to Wall Street, in clear reference to square occupations in the wake of the 'Arab Spring'. Moreover, the global economic and financial crisis that had occurred earlier was an important backdrop for the OWS protests. The start of the Occupy movement was made possible by the interaction of various groups and social networks in the media, such as the consumer-critical Canadian magazine 'Adbusters' or the hacker collective 'Anonymous', which called for participation in the globalization-critical square occupation. The political intention was directed in particular against the activities of international finance capital. 

- 36 -

A separate (contested) Twitter account @OccupyWallStNYC was also set up, which was used to communicate with great broad impact. The OWS movement sees itself as a grassroots, multicultural, peaceful movement critical of capitalism: 

"Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants." (42) 

The site occupation in New York led to other occupations in the United States, e.g. in Portland and Oakland, and also abroad, e.g. in Frankfurt in front of the European Central Bank building or in Hamburg in front of the HSH Nordbank building. In London, there were sit-ins at various locations. In Rome, about 150,000 people demonstrated in October 2011. In Spain, the grassroots movement 'I Democracia real ya!' ('Real Democracy Now!') supported the OPW protests called for worldwide on Oct. 15, 2011. Several million participants demonstrated in 82 countries and 911 cities. (43)

Accompanying demonstrations also took place in New York, partly supported by various trade unions. Access to the New York Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs was blocked, leading to clashes with the New York police and arrests. 

The square occupants administered themselves horizontally, i.e., renouncing hierarchies. Daily meetings with speeches and consultations took place on 'Liberty Plaza', which was renamed to its original name. Demands were posted on or published in the 'Occupied Wallstreet Journal'. Numerous celebrities, such as Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Naomi Klein, Josef E. Stiglitz, Noam Chomsky and Immanuel Wallerstein, supported OWS, gave speeches, publicly expressed their solidarity. The statement "We are the 99 percent." became the slogan of OWS. 

- 37-

The political demands of OWS are not uniform; although they tend to be anti-capitalist, they are characterized by a broad spectrum of socialist to anarchist criticism of the excesses of financial capitalism. In this context, calls for regulation of the banking system, taxes on the rich, and speculation taxes have in particular been raised repeatedly. In the manifesto posted in 2011, the following summarizing self-image can be found: 

"We are peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to make known the following facts.... They have used illegal foreclosure measures to take our homes from us without having the original mortgage. They have allowed themselves to be bought out by taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give their managers exorbitant bonuses ... They have granted huge sums of money to politicians responsible for regulating them (...) They continue to perpetuate inequality and discrimination in the workplace, by age, color, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation (...) They have contaminated the food supply with their negligence and undermined agriculture through monopolization. They have made profit by torturing, caging, and cruelly treating countless animals, and they deliberately conceal these practices as well. They have deliberately not taken back life-threatening defective products in their pursuit of profit (...) They continually try to deprive workers of their right to negotiate wages and improve their working conditions. They have consistently moved jobs offshore, using that as leverage to cut workers' pay and health care (...) They have sold our private lives as commodities (...) The list could go on and on (...)"  (44)

In the winter of 2011/12, the actual Occupy movement died down, and the tents of the protestors, who became fewer in the winter, were also cleared away by the police. The last Occupy tent camp disappeared in Tel Aviv in 2014. However, there were numerous globalization-critical follow-up projects, and important contacts had been made in the course of the OWS movement that led to further networking and cooperation. (45) The social media accounts of OWS continued to be used. (46)

Similar to the consequences of the 1968 movement, the young people shaped by OWS will make their way through the public institutions, through the parties and NGOs and bring their experiences into the new work contexts and into their political engagement. Even if such movements are only present in the world public sphere for a while and dissolve in their organizational idiosyncrasy, their influence is not lost - according to the German journalist and author Caroline von Eichhorn (2016): 

"Activists from the origional camp in New York's Zuccotti Park, for example, are involved in the 'Debt Collective,' an organization that highlights how many people are suffering from debt and organizes strikes or other actions against it. Many of the ideas of the '99 percent' are channeling themselves back to where they were before and during Occupy: in politics. As with Bernie Sanders, who ran for the Democratic Party as a candidate for the U.S. presidential nomination. As with the Occupy-inspired parties Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece." 

- 38 -           G20 protests in Hamburg 

The G20 protests in Hamburg in July 2017, which became known in particular for the violent excesses in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel, referred to a G20 summit in the Hanseatic city. The G20 centers on the economically strongest and politically most influential industrialized and emerging countries and the EU. (47) The G20 countries represent 85% of global economic output and three quarters of world trade. (48)

In the self-image of one of the key players in the G20, the Federal Republic of Germany, the G20 summits of the heads of government as well as the meetings of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors which take place several times a year, constitute an important regulatory instrument and an effective way of combating global economic crises - as can be read on the homepage of the German Federal Ministry of Finance: 

"The G20 has existed since 1999 and became the most important forum for economic policy coordination at the global level during the 2008/09 financial crisis. Today, the G20 is the most important forum for international governance and regulation. G20 cooperation has been instrumental in stabilizing economies and financial markets in the aftermath of the 2008/09 crisis. To this day, the consequences of the crisis continue to shape the work of the G20. Increasingly, however, it is also about working together in a forward-looking way to avoid potential new crises, learn from experience and make economies more resilient." (49)

The topics negotiated at the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg included the partnership with African countries, displacement, migration and flight, climate protection, women's rights, tax justice, digitization and the UN Development Goals 2030. On the one hand, the G20 countries declared their support for free trade and opposed nation-state economic protectionism. On the other hand, the Unites States were claiming to take protectionist measures to protect its economy. While climate protection is usually defined in terms of strengthening renewable energy production, the United States also emphasized at the summit that it wanted to convince other countries of the 'clean' use of coal, oil and gas. Also, at the time, under the Trump administration, the U.S. reaffirmed its desire to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which was clearly supported by the other G20 countries, including China and Russia. (50)
From the point of view of organizations such as ATTAC, Campact or Greenpeace, the criticism of the G20 states centers on the lack of contribution of these states to the elimination of global social injustice, the connection between economic growth, resource exploitation and environmental pollution, and the support of free trade agreements that would especially serve corporate interests. 

- 39 -

On July 5/6, 2017, a counter-summit was organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, ATTAC and BUND, focusing on the question of a different economic system that would eliminate poverty and social inequality. At this counter-summit 70 events took place, in which about 1500 interested people participated. On the eve of the summit, a concert for solidarity with poorer regions of the world 'Global Citizen Festival' was held with 12,000 listeners. The announced large demonstration with several 10,000 participants under the motto 'Borderless Solidarity instead of G20' at the end of the summit was peaceful. However, during the days of the summit itself, especially on July 7/8, war-like scenes took place in Hamburg's Schanzenviertel district in the course of the protests against the G20 summit, some of which continued for the next four days. Ongoing clashes between special police units and those prepared to use violence led to a spiral of violence that got out of control. Police officers were attacked with Molotov cocktails, with slingshots and iron bars. About 200 police officers were injured. Burning barricades were set up in the streets. Fires were set by black-clad and masked or hooded protesters. Sporadic looting of stores took place, cars were set on fire. Water cannons, batons and pepper spray were used by the police. Several hundred people were arrested. 
Some original eyewitness accounts of the events: 

"In the afternoon, it still seemed like a street party in many places. On the Reeperbahn, people sat in front of the stores and drank; perhaps also to protect their businesses. Only towards the evening  it escalated again and again. Especially at the hot spots around Fischmarkt, Messehalle, Sternschanze, Reeperbahn and Hafenstraße." 

"As we were walking along Schanzenstraße, a man with an iPad ran towards us. Then we saw that an Apple store was being looted. A woman was desperately trying to hold the door shut, shouting, 'You call yourselves anti-capitalists? What a load of shit!'" 

"You could tell a lot of the police officers were overtired and scared. It just sucked for everyone involved." 

"In the afternoon, everything was relatively peaceful. It was only around 7 p.m. that the mood on the Schulterblatt escalated to pure aggression. It was absolutely no longer about politics there, but only about the discharge of violence and frustration. This was not a critique of capitalism. Many of the people were very young, maybe 14 or 15, 20 at the most. They seemed to use the opportunity to fuck up without consequences. In between, the militant bloc set fires and destroyed shop windows. Since many were completely dressed in black and hooded, you often couldn't tell who belonged to whom." (51)

With regard to the protest against the G20 summit in Hamburg, the media focus was primarily on the violent riots in the Schanzen district. Here, the problem of violent riots in the context of peaceful protests becomes fully apparent: 

- 40-

·         The peaceful, discursive and creative part of the majority's forms of protest receives less attention and becomes marginal in the case of violent riots by a minority. This, therefore, offers interested media the opportunity to distract from the actual globalization-critical concerns of the majority of demonstrators by showing mainly spectacular scenes of violence that disparage the entire movement. 

·         Violent protest reveals the pent-up anger in the face of many governments' inability or unwillingness to solve problems of social injustice on a global scale, to take the necessary steps to secure peace and to implement effective climate policies. On the other hand, the inability to contribute to peaceful problem-solving approaches is also evident on the part of the violent protesters. Resistance and protest should, in my opinion, already show the new quality of a future form of society. This is not to be seen in throwing Molotov cocktails, setting cars on fire, looting stores or throwing stones at policemen. Such a form of resistance is in its own way similarly inhumane as the violence of worldwide structures of inequality and in its effect counterproductive and to be rejected. 

Due to the intensemedia coverage, the fundamental criticism of this form of G diplomacy is overlooked. It is true that organizations such as the African Union (AU), the Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) are invited to the G20 summits. Yet they have no voting rights. Most countries - notably all African countries except South Africa - are excluded from G diplomacy - be it G7/G8 or G20 - and have to accept what is decided without them. The right place for such discussions and decision-making processes, however, would be in the competent bodies of the United Nations - provided that a democratic and transparent place for such processes would be created here in the future. (52)

- 41-


Easter march: Peace activist and singer Joan Baez with friends at the Easter march 1966

Occupy Wallstreet: Protests against financial speculation with great public impact.


1.2 Political crises: 

     Crisis of the United               Nations, retreat of               democracies and return         of authoritarian rule

Thomas Hobbes' famous saying "Homo homini lupus est" [53] is in line with the assessment of international relations in realism theories, which is based on the predator mentality of states that would attack each other in a chaotic and unguided world political situation, i.e. without an overarching regulating hand. As a consequence, all states would then have to arm themselves ad infinitum in mutual competition in order to be able to defeat other states classified as dangerous. Hobbes' solution to ending the chaotic state within a society was a strong ruler or state power that would end the "bellum omnium contra omnes"-"war of all against all." If one transfers this assessment to international conditions, a strong central power on the world political level would have to be demanded, to which all states would submit by treaty. However, this demand would contradict the principle of sovereignty of the nation-state, which is still dominantly anchored in the Charter of the United Nations and which grants the UN only limited possibilities for action. Moreover, this could only be legitimized in a justifiable way if the UN decision-making structures actually met democratic requirements. 

- 42 -

United Nations – expectations and reality

From its founding conception, the United Nations Organization (UNO) was indeed to become the guiding power of international relations, within the framework of which justifiable compromises in conflict situations were to be found through international negotiation processes by diplomatic means. This would then correspond to the approach of the theory of institutionalism, which assumed an institutionalized reconciliation of interests at the international level - as in the preamble to the UN Charter: 


to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,


The increase in wars of various forms, the climate catastrophe, worldwide inequality in the distribution of property and wealth, hunger in the world, but also the need to combat pandemics require a strong, democratically organized and efficient UN that safeguards the interests of all peoples. However, the UN - according to the thesis to be substantiated further on - due to its undemocratic and oligarchic organizational structure, serves above all the enforcement of the interests of the nuclear weapon states represented as five permanent members in the Security Council, which clearly contradicts the principles laid down in the Charter Preamble. 

- 43 -

The UN General Assembly represents almost all states and should actually constitute the central decision-making power. But a key feature of the UN's democratic deficit is already inherent in the recruitment of the Assembly's members: The members of the UN General Assembly are not democratically elected delegates, but diplomatic officials of the individual nations who are subject to instructions. The world policy decisions of the UN General Assembly are furthermore only recommendatory. Such decisions and resolutions of the UN General Assembly are not valid under international law. 

The Security Council, and above all the permanent members with veto power, is the real body of power, without the USA, Russia, the PR China, Great Britain and France having a democratic legitimizing mandate. Their power is established and results from the outcome of World War II as well as from the possession of nuclear weapons. Because of its veto power, the Security Council is often blocked on controversial issues and unable to make decisions, since there is yet no universalist orientation, but rather the orientation of UN policy to national geostrategic interests. In addition, the UN Security Council is not representative, i.e., large nations, such as India or Brazil, are often not represented. [55] 

The political scientists James Cockayne (UK) and Christoph Mikulaschek (US) see the silo character of separate institutional areas and the institutional turf wars between the different institutions as a major cause for the UN's lack of efficiency in solving transnational problems. They refer to the revalry between the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council in the fight against international terrorism: 

„An example of the challenges of overcoming these institutional barriers to improved response to transnational security challenges is counterterrorism. The twenty-four different parts of the UN system engaged in counterterrorism have repeatedly been the subject of structural reform proposals. While the coordination and cooperation among the counterterrorism bodies has recently improved, none of the far-reaching structural reform proposals has been implemented thus far. One of the reasons underlying the structural reform deadlock is an ongoing struggle between the Security Council and the General Assembly over control of the UN’s counterterrorism program. Only when such turf wars can be resolved will the UN improve its capacity to respond to transnational security challenges.“ (Cockayne/Mikulaschek 2008, 4) 

Furthermore, the principle of nation-state sovereignty and the associated policy of non-interference in internal affairs leave it up to individual nations or their governments to decide whether to respect human rights or to suppress their populations. All attempts so far have failed to reform the UN Charter clearly in line with the hitherto controversial 'responsibility to protect'. There is still no universally recognized mandate under international law for the UN to intervene in cases of massive human rights violations, for example, with regard to the right to liberty and the right to physical integrity, which should take priority over everything else. There is also no UN mandate to intervene in internal national affairs against the destruction of ecological resources that are indispensable for mankind, e.g. with regard to the rain forests, in the case of the lack of precautions against the spread of viruses that endanger humanity, or even against the vote of an oppressing, endangering or destroying national government. 

Moreover, the fact that the U.S. is the largest donor to the United Nations is not likely to be helpful to a reorientation of the UN. 22% of the UN's core budget comes from the United States [56], which also uses its money to pursue its own policies, for example, by the withdrawal of U.S. UNESCO funds in the event of a decision taken against U.S. interests [57] or the cancellation of funds for UN actions against climate change. 

- 44 -

It is doubtful whether the United Nations on the basis of its current constitution and the structural demcratic deficits can still be regarded as a serious actor within the framework of an effective peace and security architecture with a conflict-preventive function, as stipulated in Article 1 of the UN Charter. [58] 

Only a radical democratic reform of the UN and the associated reorganization of international relations within the framework of the United Nations can counteract this. [59] 


Article 1 of the UN Charter
The Purposes of the United Nations are:
1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.” [60] 


The United Nations is also increasingly being undermined by regional alliances, e.g. in the case of the Syrian war, Russia an Turkey, and the 'club governance' (G 7/8 or G 20), in which influential states become independent and do not adhere to the principles of the UN Charter or thwart the ability of other states to exert influence. 

In this context, the long-time UN rapporteur and journalist Andreas Zumach objects to speaking of the UN as a single actor operating as one person. This ignores the fact that the United Nations consists of a multitude of nation-state actors who - with varying degrees of weight - try to assert their interests. - Zumach (2021, 14): 

"In fact, member states determine the UN's actions. Whether the UN takes care of a problem at all or not, whether it succeeds or fails in doing so - that is always the result of the interests of member states, which either prevail or do not prevail in the decisions of the Security Council, the General Assembly or other bodies and institutions of the UN system. However, member states with high political, economic, and military power particularly often prevail and

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determine the UN's actions. This fact, together with the fact that some of these predominant member states, especially the United States, have broken the UN Charter and other provisions of international law in a particularly flagrant manner in recent years, without these violations having any consequences, has now led many long-time supporters of the UN to resign themselves to the point of cynicism." 

However, contrary to this resigned turning away from the UN, in the course of his book, Zumach argues - in view of the UN's quite observable peace policy achievements over the past 75 years - for a structural reform of the UN and a consistent democratization of the United Nations. 


"The future belongs to patriots" - or the past? 

Former U.S. President Donald Trump in September 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly also made clear the deliberate weakening of the UN in a national-chauvinistic manner. Trump dared to deny the representatives of the United Nations their legitimacy in the sense of a multilateral community of understanding by stating: 

"If you want freedom, take pride in your country," Trump continued, "If you want Democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation. Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first." And: "The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots." [61] 

Here he repeated his provocative statement, made before the UN, that the future does not belong to global citizenship but to nation-state patriots. Democracy can only be maintained within the nation-state framework. Only people who love their nation automatically contribute to peace in the world. It would be impossible to express more clearly that history is forgotten. National-patriotic attitudes and nationalistically fed emotions have always been a reason and a mass-psychologically produced motivation for interstate wars. 

Trump equalised cleverness in political leadership with national chauvinism of political leaders, in his case with "America first." The fact that Trump could allow himself to do this as U.S. president before the United Nations is an expression of the currently observable weakening of the United Nations, which cannot effectively defend itself against such a mockery of its own rights with regard to multilateralism and international understanding. 

Nation-state democracy is also in crisis 

However, it is not only at the level of the United Nations that democratic deficits can be observed; numerous nation-states that previously considered themselves democratic are also in crisis. 

Several decades ago, the German social scientist Tilman Evers (1991, 3f.) correctly criticized the democratic deficit of traditionally representative democracies: 

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"These include disenchantment with politics and a loss of trust among the population, focusing political content on election dates and media publicity, ignoring longer-term and programmatically 'cross-cutting' issues, party discipline instead of openness to discussion and learning, hierarchical internal structures and patronage of offices, undermining parliament in favor of the executive branch, and asserting competence instead of solving problems." 

British social scientist Colin Crouch first published his widespread essay on post-democracy [9] in 2004. According to Crouch, Western democracies are on the way to a post-democratic state in which democracy exists only formally. Democracy, he said, is primarily organized formally through elections, in which decisions are made primarily on what PR agencies advising the parties consider relevant. The state increasingly refrains from intervening in the economy and leaves the essential social decisions to the economy and the profiteering elites behind it. Since national democracies had hardly evolved any further and were incapable of international cooperation, the international interdependence of corporations continued to develop in the course of advanced globalization: 

"I am not saying that democracy no longer exists. But I am saying that we are moving toward a condition I call post-democracy. By this I mean a situation in which all the institutions of democracy continue to exist - and are even strengthened in some cases - but at the same time the political energy has been drained out of them. They are nothing but empty shells. (...) The problems facing politics today - whether environmental protection, the scarcity of resources, control over the globalized economy - can no longer be grasped with the instruments of national democracy. It simply doesn't work anymore, it's pointless. The result is a frustration that leads to a loss of political energy." (Crouch 2008) 

Democracy in an ideal sense as a participatory form of politics hardly takes place in the representative political system anymore, but rather appears in social movements and non-governmental organizations, which are still most likely offering resistance against the concentrated power of the corporations. Crouch does not yet see the stage of post-democracy reached, but he thinks that the Western democracies are on the way to a post-democracy and he critically questions the current development: 

"The question is: Do we see democracy only as a formal process of elections from which heads of government emerge? Or do we also see it as a culture of debate, of permissible criticism, of civil rights and concern about inequality of all kinds? The latter might be difficult." (Crouch 2008) 

Of course, one must ask whether all Western democracies can be viewed in this undifferentiated way or whether one should not distinguish between individual political systems. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that representative democracy has a participation problem that can lead to a lack of identification with democracy as a system. 

In this context, it is therefore necessary to discuss the need to find a sensible balance between forms of representative democracy and elements of direct democracy, such as citizens' petitions, appeals and referendums. 

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However, if forms of direct democracy become too powerful, they devalue democratic elections, elected parliaments and their representatives. The question also arises as to whether referendums always lead to better political solutions or whether they might lead to questionable decisions in case of manipulation, agitation and demagogy. If, on the other hand, direct democracy takes place only with high hurdles or as an alibi, citizens often feel left out and left behind between elections. This is a missed opportunity for democratic activation and participation. 

These considerations on the lack of balance between direct and indirect forms of democracy can also be applied to the United Nations. Here, too, there is a deficit of co-determination opportunities for the world's citizens on a global level. 

Due to the lack of opportunities for co-determination, the aloofness of many parliamentarians and dissatisfaction with many parliamentary decisions, a creeping disenchantment with politics has developed in many predominantly representative democracies in recent decades, combined with a tendency to vote for right-wing populist parties and politicians. 

In these democracies, such as Germany, Japan or France, there has been little change in recent years – apart from the temporary restrictions of fundamental rights due to the Corona pandemic. There have been drastic changes, however, in a number of former representative democracies that are clearly moving in the direction of an autocratic form of government, such as Turkey, the Philippines, Hungary and Russia. Other states that could never be described as democratic, such as China, are increasingly expanding digital control over their citizens and are entering the state development phase of a digital autocracy. 

The Transformation Index (BTI) of the Bertelsmann Foundation which has been compiled for 129 developing and emerging countries since 2006, shows a decline in democratic structures and an increase in national autocracies: 

"More and more people are living not only in less equal, but also in more repressive environments. At the present time, 3.3 billion people are governed autocratically (4.2 billion democratically) which is the highest number since the study began. Of the 129 countries studied, the BTI classifies 58 as autocracies and 71 as democracies. But it is not so much the slight increase in the number of autocracies that is worrying. More problematic is the fact that civil rights are being curtailed and the rule of law undermined in an increasing number of democracies as well. Former beacons of democratization such as Brazil, Poland and Turkey are among the countries that have fallen the most in the Transformation Index". [62]
The EIU Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit Limited group also shows the same trend for 2023 compared to previous years. Less than 8% of the world's population would live in a fully-fledged democracy. In contrast, around 40% of the world's population live in authoritarian states. The other half of the world's population lives in 'flawed democracies' or hybrid systems, which only have the rudiments of democracy but are interspersed with undemocratic structures or are clearly flawed (Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2024).

Social change only through a multidimensional strengthening of democracy 

Despite this currently observable retreat of democracies in the global context, the idea of democracy as a suitable social, governmental and supranational form of rule and life should be retained. Only in democracies can human rights, such as freedom of opinion and expression, be realized. Only in democracies democratically committed people do not have to live in fear of being arrested the next morning after taking part in a demonstration. Only in democracies can the will and the needs of different segments of the population be adequately taken into account in participation procedures and political compromises. 

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Neither right-wing populist legitimized and autocratic forms of rule nor traditionally left-wing ideas of an authoritarian socialist state in transition to communism ('dictatorship of the proletariat') are suitable to cope with the present and future problems of human and social development. Only through further democratization in the national, regional and global context, a social change towards more peace and less wars can be achieved. Here we must agree with the approach of the liberalism theory of international relations, which assumes, among other things, that states which have succeeded in peacefully and democratically settling their differences of interest and conflicts are also more inclined to negotiate and compromise internationally than autocratic or dictatorship states. 

Of course, capitalist social structures as well as the associated greed for profit of people have to be restrained and systemically excluded in the society so that they do not undermine democracy. In particular, the practice of neoliberalized and unleashed capitalism and the concept of democracy do not fit together. There is an obvious contradiction here between the interest (and greed) of a few very rich people and the will of the majority to live an adequate and self-determined life. 

'Facade Democracy' and 'Deep State'? 

Recently, it has often been criticized that democracies have degenerated into facade democracies, which can exist because they have a surveillance 'deep state' ready for those who are not fooled by this. 

Typical for the contradicting connection between neoliberalized capitalism and a formal affirmation of democratic structures are first of all systemic tendencies toward sham democracies or facade democracies. 

Psychologist Rainer Mausfeld (2017) describes facade democracy as follows: 

"Major political decisions are increasingly determined by bodies and actors that are not subject to electorate control. So while the shell of a representative democracy appears largely formally intact, it has been almost completely stripped of its democratic core. Democracy thus no longer poses risks to the actual centers of power." 

Certainly, democracies are always threatened by emptying and erosion. They depend in particular on the political interest, commitment and civil courage of their citizens. Democracy cannot be taken for granted. Under the influence of interested circles and profiting power elites, it is in danger of degenerating into a facade democracy if its citizens lose interest in it, are socially and economically devalued, become the object of sophisticated media propaganda or do not receive the necessary educational opportunities. Then it would also be obvious to combine facade democracy with a „deep state“,which is controlled by forces acting in the background (in the depths) and largely invisible to the public. The combination of „facade democracy“ and a „deep sta64“ could function on the basis of subtil manipulation mechanisms of its citizens. If individual social groups were to see through the concept of facade democracy, system stability could then be guaranteed by an increasingly repressive order and an internal security architecture based on continuous control in a „deep state“ manner. [63] 

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Whether the Western democracies can already or still be described as 'facade democracies' and as 'deep states' in this sense depends on the outcome of the political confrontations between the engaged citizens and the political and economic 'elites' that stand by the side of the economically powerful. The outcome of these confrontations has not yet been decided. The mass protests currently taking place all over the world are showing the first effects, e.g. in the area of climate policy, until the Corona pandemic and its restrictions significantly reduced the effectiveness of the protest movements. 

To describe the most developed Western democracies, such as the political systems of the Scandinavian states or of states like France, Germany or Great Britain, as ‚facade democracies‘ or as a 'deep state' - despite all the deficits that still exist - is, in my opinion, unjustified and exaggerated at present: Neither in historical comparison nor in intercultural comparison were there, and are there, more opportunities for democratic participation without fear of persecution and state threat. [64] Nevertheless, this does not mean that these states are not also threatened by systemic regression and are in need of significant systemic improvements in order to maintain or even improve their previous level of participation. These states and their populations are also under the exploitation pressure of international capital, for which the participation of citizens becomes inconvenient, for example when they protest against climate destruction or the devastation of their region for the extraction of mineral resources. 
Even if the former German Federal President Joachim Gauck belongs to a more conservative position, his assessment of democracy as a form of ruling contains life experiences in two social systems that should be appreciated:
"For I know from my own experience what it means to have no human and civil rights, no freedom of assembly and opinion, no independent courts, no self-managed interest groups, no freedom of the media. I wish young people and those who have never had to live in bondage could make a liberal democracy their inner conviction anew or again. After all, we, the citizens, are the ones who either waste freedom or defend and preserve it. Even if it is not free of defects, democracy remains the best form of government we know and the refuge and desire of the oppressed worldwide." (Gauck 2024)

Historical experience with so-called ‚real socialism‘ does not offer any meaningful social alternatives either. All societies based on real socialist state dictatorship have already been disproved many times historically, since each time they led away from the desired 'empire of freedom' and towards the realm of Stalinist or Maoist mass extermination and deprivation of freedom. No humane society can be organized through authoritarian political structures, repression and state-organized exclusion. The massive restriction of freedom will not result in freedom in social responsibility, but only oppression. Therefore, we want to argue that a containment and transformation of disinhibited capitalism, a socio-ecological development of society oriented towards the common good, and a peaceful global community will only be possible through an increase in civil society and transnational democracy and a corresponding change in national, regional and international structures [65]

In this context, however, the question of economic participation or private ownership of the means of production must also be raised. Experience in the Soviet-style states has shown, on the one hand, that it is counterproductive and economically extremely questionable to prohibit any private ownership and any form of market-economy activity. Neither the tasks of allocation, production and distribution, nor the satisfactory supply of goods could be solved in this way in order for the needs of the people to be met. On the other hand, Western democracies are massively threatened by the economic interests of huge agglomerations of capital. In particular, multinational corporations, in conjunction with the financial capital behind them, are trying to undermine democracies and constitutional structures through their market power, lobbying, corruption and international trade agreements. This is accompanied by excessive international financial speculation, the extent of which is many times that of global economic value creation. At best, a transformed capitalism that regulates corporations, prevents market dominance by corporations, and unbundles and divides multinational corporations and legally obligates them to pursue public welfare-oriented goals and practices is compatible with actually implemented democratic political structures. It is questionable, however, whether such a form of economy, which includes small businesses, medium-sized enterprises, free-market operations on a manageable scale, downsized and partly nationalized corporations, as well as forms of solidarity-based economy and eco-communities, can still be called capitalism.

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Probably a new understanding and the terminology of 'democratic socialism', 'eco-socialism' or an 'eco-social market economy', in which a state that is still to be democratized assumes its responsibility in a regulating way, would describe this more correctly. In any case, an economy oriented toward the common good with mangeable free-market elements would fit better with a participatory democracy, which, however, would have to bring representative and direct-democratic structures into an even better balance than has generally been the case to date. 

Democracy as a form of rule is in the sense of the US president Abraham Lincoln - who was assassinated in 1865 by a racist - the government of the people, by the people, for the people.[66] And this does not mean 1% of the population, but rather probably 99% of the world population. 

The participation of the 99% in the successes of the economy and their participation in democracy must coincide in principle. The social spheres of the economy and the political system should be committed to democratic norms. The economic and political systems must not come into systemic contradiction with one another. If this were the case, a representative electoral democracy would increasingly become a democratic playground whose freedom would be restricted if the economy were in crisis. 

1.3      Attempts at world domination and hegemony 

The concept of hegemony in international relations can be understood as an extreme form of unilateral international politics by a world power that ruthlessly seeks to assert its chauvinistic and geostrategic interests, and, by the adherence to absolute state sovereignty, is radically opposed to the very basic idea of the United Nations - according to Gareis/Varwick (2014, 348): 

"It thus depends heavily on the theoretical guiding principles in the states concerned whether a unilateral or multilateral strategy is seen as promising. The United Nations can only play an important role in international politics if its member states rely on multilateral strategies to deal with the problems and challenges, i.e. success for the United Nations is extremely preconditional. In the real world, it is apparent that these preconditions are not always met. Too rarely are member states willing to put the United Nations at the top of their foreign policy priorities and, more importantly, to change their understanding of the foreign policy of 'sovereign' states." 

The attempt to exercise hegemonic rule was critically analyzed in particular by Antonio Gramsci [67] and further elaborated in later political science works by contemporary authors [68]. Here, the focus is on the attempt of the capitalist West, and in particular on the geostrategic interests of the USA, to dominate world politics in a secured military manner and to use military aggression in a targeted manner in order to enforce political and economic hegemony in the global context. 

This is associated with the creation of a dominant consciousness in the population of the dominant state or association of states and presented by the media, that this dominance is justified, in conformity with international law and fair. In the mainstream of these societies, this leads to identification with the hegemon and to a lack of awareness of the injustice of the hegemon's dominance. A difference is made between good states that are perceived as positive and free and states that are perceived as negative and unfree, which are demonized and devalued. Criticism of one's own statehood is undesirable here and can lead to the devaluation and exclusion of the person or group opposed to the hegemonically generated attitudes. Hegemonic rule thus takes place not only in structures but also through identifications and political attitudes.

However, this concept can also in regional hegemonic terms be applied to other actors, such as China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Russia, which are constantly striving to expand at least their regional sphere of power and hegemonically enforce their political and economic interests there. 

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The extent to which the EU also wants to by military means secure regional hegemonic interests depends on the extent to which the EU sees itself as a peace power or whether it wants to participate as a global player on the military level. [69] 

Within the framework of a hegemonic order of rule, an identification with mainstream concepts within society takes place, which are staged by the media and initiated by the rulers in order to create a consciousness in the population that can be rephrased as 'identification with alienation'. In the case of international dominance, this can also be rephrased as imperial consciousness. [70] 

Political activist Ralph Nader also makes the social mechanism transparent by which, for example, the second Iraq war, instigated during the Bush Jr. administration and described by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as illegal under international law [71], experienced only ineffective civil society resistance: 

"When the president beats the drums of war, the dictatorial side of American politics begins to rear its ugly head. Forget democratic processes, congressional and judicial restraints, media challenge, and the facts. All of that goes out the door. It's the president, stupid - plus the clique that surrounds him and the vested interests that reflexively support him. Dissenting Americans may hold rallies in the streets, but their voice is drowned out by the bully pulpit." [72] 

As examples of  proxy wars of interested hegemons, the Korean War in the 1950s, the Vietnam War, the military intervention in former Yugoslavia, the Iraq War led by Bush-Junior and a military alliance, as well as the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Yemen could be mentioned as examples. These were wars that must be described as illegal and contrary to international law were staged by NATO countries, among others. [73] In all of these wars, there was no unanimous vote of the UN Security Council and no case of self-defense within the meaning of the UN Charter of an attacked nation, which could trigger an international alliance case and a UN intervention. 
The war in Ukraine is a mixed form of war. On the one hand, the Russian Federation tried to implement its hegemonic ambitions over Ukraine through its military invasion. On the other hand, it is also the war of the hegemon with a global ambition, the United States, against a regional hegemon, the Russian Federation, which wants to expand its sphere of influence. Ukraine was thus caught up in the conflict of interests between two great powers that are trying to enforce their hegemonic interests - certainly with economic and geostrategic self-interests.

After 40 years as a defensive alliance against the Warsaw Pact countries, NATO should have dissolved as a result of the disappearance of the supposed threat. The adversary had been lost. However, the actual development took a different direction, according to the political scientist and peace researcher Peter Strutynski (2008, 222f.): 

"Militaries which like any other professional group have a strong need to safeguard their vested interests, reacted very creatively to the world political epochal upheaval by constructing new risks. They were in detail described in the NATO Declaration of Rome: The illegal transfer of weapons of mass destruction was among them, as were the dangers posed by terrorist attacks, the spread of crime or the disruption of supplies of vital raw materials, and the disruption of free world trade." 

However, these are all predominantly military reasons for intervention, which are not legitimized by the current UN Charter. 

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USA and China as descending and ascending hegemons 

Currently, the U.S., as a rather economically declining hegemony, sees its position threatened, especially in relation to China. Despite the human rights situation, which must be criticized, and the restriction of democratic freedoms, China has had an enormous economic, social and political success story spanning several decades. China achieved this with a different political and economic model than the one implemented by the United States. China consists of a mixture of central government planning and control combined with free-market elements. China has been admitted to the World Trade Organization, although it has a central government with a state party that directs economic development. There is a state-approved 5-year plan and regulation of capital movements in China. At the same time, however, there is a spectrum of semi-state-owned corporations, privately-owned enterprises, and joint venture business cooperations in which Western entrepreneurs and Chinese entrepreneurs invest, produce, and market together. China now has the second-highest defense investment - after the U.S. - is building up the 'New Silk Road' international trade project, and is intensifying its global political and economic influence, including in Africa and Europe. [74] 

The US is now reacting to this increasingly important role of China. With regard to its own economic decline the US intends to start a trade war in which it unilaterally imposes protective tariffs against China on the grounds that China's exports would disadvantage the US economy. The legitimate question is whether the subsequent escalation of mutual protective tariffs and trade blockades will also be the beginning of a military confrontation - as Listl (2019, 72f.) concludes: 

"If the U.S. fails to achieve its goal to massively weaken its main strategic enemy China with its  trade war in order to maintain U.S. hegemony, the next stage of escalation would be, for example, the blockade of the sea routes where China performs a large part of its foreign trade, which according to Trump is contrary to U.S. interests." 

In addition, the USA is already in the process of encircling China militarily. The U.S. has established 20 military bases around China, missile systems are installed, U.S. aircraft carriers and submarines are stationed in the Pacific near China. [75] It is to be hoped that the Chinese leadership will behave more intelligently and seize the opportunities of international negotiated solutions. Diplomatic counteraction by the UN and the EU would also be required here. [76] 

Nevertheless, a critical understanding of political science and sociology must not lead to a one-sided view of the different political systems. Of course, the criticism of the neo-imperialist policies of Western alliance systems and Western hegemonic intentions, is justified and can be proven with many historical examples. The CIA-led overthrow of democratically elected governments in Persia and Chile, for example, are historical evidence of this. But also the 3rd Gulf War with the illegal invasion of a military alliance of states supporting  the US as well as the NATO air raids in former Yugoslavia, which were not legitimized by a UN decision, are examples of this. Likewise, a critical look must be taken at states such as the People's Republic of China and Russia. There, too, the connection between social condition inside a state and military aggression by this state must be addressed without illusions. 

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Here, the focus is on attempts at regional hegemony and military aggression, such as Russia's actions in Ukraine or Syria. According to Amnesty International – there is evidence that Russian warplanes have bombed hospitals, markets and mosques in Syria. [77] The Russian attack on Ukraine in 2022 and beyond was waged as ruthlessly as Russia's attacks in Chechnya and Syria, for example. China is consistently expanding its hegemonic sphere of power without compromise. First of all, there is the invasion and brutal occupation of Tibet. Then there is the treaty-breaking systemic synchronization of Hong Kong and the destruction of the democratic system there, which involved numerous arrests and the military-assisted crushing of civil society opposition. Likewise, the treatment of the Uighurs in the province of Xinjiang, which massively violates human rights, the increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward Taiwan, and the military activities in the South China Sea are part of these hegemonic claims. Extremely dangerous is China's attempt to designate Taiwan as a Chinese province and to seek 'reunification'. If China militarily attacks US-protected Taiwan, the threat of a third world war looms. 

Of course, China's political record also includes the considerable successes of the Chinese system and Chinese governance in terms of the economic improvement of the average population. On the other hand, however, the internal Chinese human rights violations and the total (digital) control of Chinese citizens weigh heavily. [78] 

The social sciences must address the problems everywhere without hesitation and must not look for questionable allies for whom human rights violations and the breaking of international law are concealed through  misconceived loyalty. The critical gaze must not only be directed at Western capitalism, but must also turn its attention to the East and to dangerous developments in the Global South. 

This applies equally to the international peace movement, which is only credible if it makes no distinctions in its critical approach to states and alliances of states when they dangerously expand their military potential, develop ever more dangerous weapons, violate international law and oppress their populations. 

Certainly, historical developments and contextualizations must also be taken into account. Thus, it is also necessary to understand the security interests of distressed states that do not belong to NATO. In this context, it was certainly counterproductive that NATO moved ever closer to Russia's western border, contrary to previous assurances, without making Russia the same offer of NATO membership.  This resulted to reactions in Russia, and there to the strengthening of nationalist forces and the military-economic complex. It is also important to understand China's security interest as it is  being increasingly surrounded by U.S. military bases and battleship fleets. Nevertheless, it must be emphasized that international security can be established primarily through international cooperation, diplomacy, and the control of a strengthened and democratized United Nations. International rearmament is not the order of the day, but the disarmament of all weapons systems, carried out together in comprehensible steps. And this must be demanded precisely in view of the Russian Federation's breakaway from the existing international security architecture: The war in Ukraine should not be instrumentalized for a further rearmament spiral, but should be the occasion for intensified disarmament negotiations in view of the definitely existing nuclear threat situation.
The brutal Hamas attack on Israel on 7 October 2023 and the subsequent merciless military response by the Israeli military on behalf of a right-wing government, which left tens of thousands of civilians dead on the Palestinian side, also dramatically demonstrate once again the need for timely negotiations between opposing sides and a superior global police force with the right to intervene that is democratically organized and controlled.

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Proxy war in Yemen 

The Houthi attacks on Western container ships in the Red Sea in 2023 and 2024 draw attention to the activities of the Houthis (Huthis) and the ongoing military conflict in Yemen.

The current war in Yemen [79], which has gone on relatively unnoticed by the general public for a long time, will now be used as an example to illustrate how proxy wars are waged at the expense of the domestic civilian population in the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. These are two powers that want to establish regional hegemony in competition with each other and exploit the difficult domestic situation of a country to realize their own regional political, economic and geopolitical interests. 

Yemen, in a volatile situation following the uprising of the Houthi rebels who had largely taken power in Yemen, attracted the geopolitical interest of two major regional powers: Iran and Saudi Arabia. Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world, became the scene of a brutal proxy war that lasted for years. The war coalition led by Saudi Arabia is using massive bombardments, blockades and invasion strategies to try to destabilize the Houthi rebels and drive them away  from the center of power. The Houthis, in turn, are supported with weapons supplies from Iran. 

Meanwhile, the war in Yemen has resulted in thousands of civilian casualties, especially due to Western-backed airstrikes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition - according to author and editor Jacob Reimann (2018) in a report analyzing the situation very accurately and published in 'Open Access': 

"Above all, the Saudi coalition is guilty of serious war crimes, as the human rights organizations Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International explicitly state in their reports. 

Without the support of Western countries, the bombing of Yemen would be unthinkable, and thus, in particular  the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada bear a central share of the blame for the war crimes of the Saudi coalition by supplying weapons, air refuleling for Saudi fighter jets, providing logistics and intelligence, or sending military advisers." [80] 

Reimann reported already in 2018 - among other things with reference to figures from the UN - that more than three million people are fleeing within their own country. More than 10,000 people have been killed and more than 45,000 injured since the start of the war in March 2015. The number of children killed - according to UNICEF - would be 1600. 


"But these numbers are just the tip of an iceberg. It is complex, because in addition to the Saudis, the Yemeni military, the Houthi rebels, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, two other deadly forces are raging in Yemen as a direct result of the war: cholera and hunger. According to recent UN figures, of the 26 million inhabitants of Yemen, nearly 21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance/aid, 76 percent of the total population. The UN calls Yemen 'the world's greatest humanitarian disaster' - and yet the war could hardly be less present in public perception." [81]

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All warring parties must be accused of human rights violations. The Iranian-backed Houthis are accused of arbitrary imprisonments, of planting internationally prohibited anti-personnel mines, of torture, of using child soldiers and of shelling civilian facilities of the other side. However, according to Amnesty International, the largest number of casualties [82] is caused by Saudi-led air strikes, including the internationally prohibited cluster bombs, against civilian facilities, such as hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods and hotels, even at wedding parties. 

Amnesty International (2018) confirms in another comprehensive situation report that weapons outlawed under international law are being used by the Saudi coalition: 

"In some attacks, the military alliance used munitions that were off-target, including massive bombs with a wide effective range that resulted in deaths, injuries, and destruction far beyond the immediate target. In attacks in the Sada District the use of cluster bombs, which have an indiscriminate wide-area effect and are largely prohibited, also continued.  These bombs, which disperse a large number of smaller bombs over a large area, often do not fully explode on impact and pose a constant threat to civilians. In February 2017, the Military Alliance fired Brazilian-made rockets containing banned cluster munitions at residential areas and agricultural crops in the city of Sada." 

This is a pattern that has already occurred several times: A state no longer succeeds in getting the influential power and interest groups in a society behind it. Individual groups arm themselves and, sometimes with the support of part of the military, revolt against the state, which is now increasingly disintegrating. The state's monopoly on the use of force no longer exists; civil war breaks out, and the state becomes a failed state in which no one - including the powerful - is safe. In this situation, major regional powers take advantage of this and unilaterally support one of the groups close to them. They then try to seize military power in the failed state over this group dependent on them and to expand their sphere of influence in the sense of regional hegemony. [83] This is precisely what is currently happening in Yemen - of course at the expense of the civilian population, which is massively affected by bombardment, supply shortages, disease and displacement. 

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 "This is because people suffering from starving or malnutrition are hardly able to fight cholera on their own. In addition, the symptoms are more severe in starving people and worsen more quickly. At least one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen because of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections, according to the shocking results of UNICEF, 1,000 children every week.“Children are dying because the conflict is preventing them from getting the health care and nutrition they urgently need” said Dr. Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “Their immune systems are weak from months of hunger.” According to the latest situation report from the UN World Food Programme, 17 million people in Yemen are at risk of food shortages, representing 65 percent of the population, and 6.8 million people are at acute risk of hunger. Over two million children are severely malnourished, in addition to over one million pregnant or nursing mothers. Hunger is the scourge of Yemen, literally tearing society apart. It is being used outright as a weapon by the Saudi coalition, as a military strategy to provoke the population to revolt against the Houthis." [84]

In addition, as a result of the disastrous UN Security Council Resolution 2216, among other things, the sea route to Yemen is blocked by the Saudi coalition, and the airspace over Yemen is closed. This means that food and medicine cannot be transported to Yemen. In addition the canal and irrigation system in Yemen has been deliberately destroyed, and the health care system has been significantly weakened by the systematic bombing of hospitals. As a result of this bundle of warlike measures that violate human and international rights, the number of deaths from starvation and the number of dying sick people are significantly higher than the number of people killed as a result of direct military action. 

Jakob Reimann (2018) draws a conclusion that accuses the public: 

"When investigating the Yemen war, photos and videos repeatedly reveal heartbreaking images of babies and young children, emaciated by hunger and cholera, lying in the arms of their desperate mothers, or on bars in destroyed hospitals. The shame causing impact of these images of Yemeni children spending their last physical strength for occasional breathing, just barely not dead, is a slap in the face to the conscience of humanity. 

As a monstrous testimony of the shame of man-made misery, they should find their way into the collective consciousness just as much as the images of the emaciated Buchenwald prisoners or those of the children deformed by Agent Orange in Vietnam. But Yemen seems infinitely far away; the brutal war simply finds no place in public perception." 

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In the years from 2015 to the end of 2019, 85,000 children under the age of five starved to death during the war in Yemen according to the international NGO 'Save the children'. [85]
In 2023, 400,000 Yemeni children still suffer from extreme hunger. 15 million people still have no access to water in 2023. 21 million people suffer from hunger in Yemen and lack the most necessary medical care.  [86] 

The members of the UN Security Council must be blamed for not being willing to draft a neutral resolution here that is linked to intervening measures, due to their own geostrategic interests and partial involvement in the Yemen war. The UN Security Council Resolution 2216, adopted in 2015, on the contrary, served as a unilateral statement in the interests of Saudi Arabia, among others, and provided the basis for Saudi Arabia's blockade and military action together with an alliance of the United Arab Emirates and Western powers at the expense of the Yemeni population: 

"Since the supplies of Yemen are almost entirely dependent on imports, this UN resolution explicitly means legitimizing a total supply blockade. No fuel; no food; no potable water; no medicine. Virtually zero of anything needed also in Yemen for mere survival. 

According to the usual understanding of international law, such a blockade is clearly a war crime. With Resolution 2216, the UN legitimizes a genocide - the genocide in Yemen systematically carried out since 2015 by the SAC with massive support from the USA, Great Britain and France. This means: The UN itself is abolishing its own foundation, international law" (Meggle 2019). 
Western countries, such as Germany, are also to blame for supplying further arms to the warring state of Saudi Arabia in 2022, thereby helping to prolong the war in Yemen.

Conclusion: Although the UN regrets the situation in Yemen showing correct figures, it is part of the problem itself and, due to the interests of the UN Security Council, is not in a position to draw more effective consequences from these assessments or to withdraw Resolution 2216. In Yemen, not only the ruthlessness of hegemonic interest enforcement but also the misery of the United Nations is revealed to its full extent. The United Nations has committed itself unilaterally through Resolution 2216, and is therefore neither capable of effectively helping to restore an overall state order, nor of exercising a moderate influence on the warring parties with the aim of initiating a reorganization of the 'failed state' Yemen in order to help the people. 

Here it is irrelevant to discuss the question of who was the actual perpetrator of this war. This was an interplay of reactions and incidents by all actors involved in the war. Certainly, Iran as well as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Western powers assisting with arms supplies, logistics, and espionage, as well as factions operating within Yemen, have all been involved in the escalation of the conflict. It is to be hoped that the UN will nevertheless succeed in exerting a moderating influence on all warring parties, despite the rather unsuccessful mediation attempts so far and the destructive Resolution 2216. The aim should be to establish a UN-controlled no-fly zone, to ensure medical and food supplies, and, if necessary, to send blue helmet soldiers with a robust mandate into the disputed area to keep the warring parties apart. The attacks in late summer 2019 on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia point to the escalation potential of this conflict - especially if Western interests are affected here.
In the spring of 2022, a temporary ceasefire was reached in Yemen under the mediation of the UN special envoy, but this could not be extended in October 2022. Since the outbreak of war in Yemen, the UN estimates that 380,000 people have died as a result of the war, both directly and indirectly. [87] 

An international donor conference sought to alleviate the suffering of the war-affected population. However, of the 4.3 billion U.S. dollars needed, only 1.2 billion U.S. dollars were pledged, although it is not yet known whether these pledges will actually be fulfilled in 2023 [88]

There is also the contradiction of supporting one of the warring parties, Saudi Arabia, militarily with weapons deliveries, on the one hand, and alleviating the consequences of the war with Yemen aid, on the other. A more effective approach would certainly be a thorough diplomatic initiative and reconstruction aid accompanied by a cease-fire and a subsequent peace treaty with mutually agreed regulations.
In the meantime, the Iranian-backed (and directed) Houthis are interfering in the war between Israel and Hamas by attacking the ships of the Israel-supporting West in the Red Sea with missiles. In response to this, 36 targets in Yemen were bombed with airstrikes by a US-led alliance in February 2024. Weapons depots, missile installations and anti-ship missiles were hit. In addition to the USA and the UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand were involved. [89] 

These events clearly show how an initially regional military conflict that was not resolved is increasingly expanding and escalating. This applies to the war in Yemen as well as the war in Ukraine and the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinian organizations. 

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(Prefaces and Chapters 1.1-1.3)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page)

(1) Cf. on the self-image and actions of 'Scientists for Future':, o.D., 13.9.19. (The first date after the link shows the date of publication; the second date is the date of extraction, without this being indicated by 'from' and 'extracted' respectively. In the case of o.D., no publication date is indicated).
(2) Cf. on the self-image and activities of the Federal Committee Peace Council:, o.D. 13.9.19.
(3) Updated: Cf., 20.3.2023, 20.3.2023.
(4) Cf. in more detail on the basic assumptions of systemic thinking in Capra (1985, 293 ff.); a reference to Luhmann's systems theory (e.g. 1984) was omitted due to the rather social-technological approach, the exaggerated degree of formalization as well as the non-consideration of the subject in Luhmann's systems theory.
(5) Cf. in more detail on the understanding of holism in Moegling (2017, 80ff.).
(6) Cf. Weizsäcker, v. /Wijkman et al. (2017, 197).
7)This preface to the first edition has been shortened or modified in some places and subheadings have been added.
(8) Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 27).
(9) Stiglitz (2019). 
(10) See Altvater (2006) and Wagenknecht (2008), among others, for a detailed discussion.
(11)  Sabine Kurtenbach interviewed by Jonas Seufert:, 6/20/2019, 7/30/2019. 
(12) See, e.g.,, 9/14/2015, 9/24/2019; especially here the video interview with Latin America expert Harald Neuber. Cf. also the Spiegel interview with documentary filmmaker Patrizio Guzmán:, 11.9.2013, 24.9.19.
(13) Cf. Erhardt (2009). 
(14) See, among others, Senghaas (1974). 
(15) See Bode (2018) for details on corporate power.
(16) Cf. Lenin (1917/1970, 94f.). 
(17) Cf. chapter 2.7. 
(18) Cf. Bode (2018, 33ff.). 
(19) On the critique of the Washington Consensus and the corresponding institutional policies, see also Stiglitz (2002, 2010). 
(20) Stiglitz (2019a).
(21) Stiglitz (2019b).
(22) Chomsky (2000, 50). 
(23) Lenin (1917/1970, 133).
(24) See also Altvater (2006) and Scherrer (2015).
(25) Cf., 3.1.2024, 6.2.2024.  
(26) Burchhardt (2017). 
(27) Burchhardt (2017).  
(28) Cf., n.d., Sept. 21, 2019  and 2023:, undated, 7.2.2024. 

(29) Kwasniewski (2019). 
(30) In:, o.D., 21.9.19. 
(31) Cf. source survey at Mighty Earth:, 9/7/2019, 20/9/2019. 
(32) In:, 14.7.05, 21.9.19.
(33) In:, o.D., 21.9.19. 
(34) This was the third ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization. 
(35), 6.12.1999, 5.11.2019.

(36)  Cf., 1 Jan. 2000, 5 Nov. 2019.

(37), 1 DEC. 1999, 5 NOV. 2019.

(38), 9.12.1999, 5.11.2019.

(39) Cf., 6 Dec. 1999, 5 Nov. 2019.

(40) Ultimately, it was helpful that France turned against May in December 1998.

(41) This quote comes from Vivien Sharples, an activist of the NGO 'War Resisters League', which among other things had prepared the WTO protests. Cf., 9 Dec. 1999, 5 Nov. 2019.

(42) In:, 28 Oct. 2019, 6 Nov. 2019.

(43) 43 Cf., 9 May 2012, 6 Nov. 2019.

(44) 2011 Manifesto, in:, n.d., Nov. 6, 2019.

(45) 45 Cf., 9/9/2016, 6/11/2019.

(46)   The compilation of events was made in part based on documentation at, Oct. 28, 2019, Nov. 6, 2019,, 2018, Nov. 6, 2019; Cf., May 9, 2012, Nov. 6, 2019,, Sept. 9, 2016, Nov. 6, 2019,, Sept. 28, 2019, Nov. 67, 2019, and, Sept. 17, 2014, Nov. 6, 2019.

(47) In addition to the EU (representatives of the EU Council Presidency, the EU Commission and the European Central Bank), the following countries belong to G20: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the Republic of Korea, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Before the summits, there are meetings and discussions with various NGOs; transnational institutions are also invited, such as the WTO or the African Union.

(48) Cf.
 Themen/Internationales_Finanzmarkt/G7-G20/G20-7292.html, 4.1.2019, 7.11.2019.

(49)  In:
 Internationales_Finanzmarkt/G7-G20/G20-7292.html,4.1.2019, 7.11.2019.

(50)  Cf., July 3, 2017, 7 Nov. 2019;, July 9, 2017, 7 Nov. 2019;, July 9, 2017, 7 Nov. 2019.

(51)  In:, 8/7/2017, 7/11/2019.
(52)  Cf. e.g. the conception of a Democratic World Parliament at the level of the United Nations in chapter 5.3.
(53) "Man is a wolf to man. “

(54) Preamble to the UN Charter (1945).

(55) Cf. on the criticism of the UN Security Council also v. Sponeck (2019).

(56) Cf. Bernstein (2017, 4).

(57)  In this case: the recognition of Palestine as a member of UNESCO.

(58) Cf. also chapter 1.3.

(59) Cf. e.g. on the campaign for a democratic world parliament (Leinen/Bummel 2017) as well as chap. 5 of the present book.

(60)  Retrieved from, n.d., 8/17/2018.

(61) Quotes taken from:, 9/24/19, 9/24/19.

(62) Bertelsmann Foundation (2018).

(63) Cf. Mausfeld (2017), see also Wernicke (2017).

(64)  cf. in more detail Moegling (2020)

(65) cf. chapter 5.
(66) Democracy is "Government of the people by the people and for the people",, 12.3.2016, 17.11.2019. 

(67) Cf. the selection of the so-called prison notebooks in Gramsci (1979) and the 10-volume series of prison letters in Gramsci (2012) in the new edition.
(68) Cf. on more recent variants in the understanding of hegemony Mouffe/ Laclau (1985), Brand (2003, 2005), Winter (2003), or Eis (2018).
(69) Cf. in more detail chapter 5.4
(70) Cf. Brand (2005a, 9ff.) and Brand/Wissen (2017).
(71) See Annan's statements at, 7/24/2018.
(72) Nader (2004, 219).
(73) See Ganser (2017) for an overview of the illegal wars instigated and conducted by NATO that undermined the UN order.
(74) Cf. here the argumentation in Listl (2019) and Crome (2019, 13ff.).
(75) See Listl (2019, 73ff.) for further details.
(76) Cf. Crome (2019, 69).
(77) Cf. Amnesty International (2015)
(78) Cf. Chapter 2.7
(79) Status: 3/2023.
(80) Reimann (2018), n.d., 7/24/2018; for more recent statistics on this, see also Reimann (2020).
(81) Reimann (2018).
(82) Cf. Amnesty International (2018).
(83) Cf. more extensively Zartmann (1995) and Chomsky (2007).
(84) Reimann (2018).
(85), 8.10.2019, 17.11.2019.
(86) Cf., 27.2.2023, 24.3.2023.
(87)  Cf., 2.10.2022, 24.3.2023.
(88)  Cf., 27.2.2023, 24.3.2023. 
[89] Cf., 4.2.2024, 19.2.2024. 


Rearmament: How many new weapons systems can humanity still afford?

Combat drones: Using joystick to kill people from a distance.


1.4 Military crises and arms       policies 

1.4.1    The growing potential for military violence      Arms exports and the military-industrial complex 

It is understandable that - as long as there is no stable and secure international system through the United Nations, as long as there are highly armed states with aggressive geostrategic intentions - states or alliances of states must also have a necessary minimum of defense capability, despite the primacy of diplomacy and international understanding. Weapons systems that are primarily used for defense, such as air defense systems, are acceptable products of a publicly controlled arms industry. The production of weapons, however, should be under state control and not in the hands of private enterprises, otherwise a military-economic complex with disastrous interlocking interests will develop.
The military-industrial complex is to be seen here as an economy of death that generates returns for its shareholders through military rearmament, increase in arms exports and frequently brutal destruction of social order through wars of various kinds. (84)  Actually, one should speak of a military-industrial-political complex, since it are politicians who make war decisions and control arms expenditures. As a rule, arms contractors, warlords, arms lobbyists and influential politicians - whether in formal democracies or open dictatorships - form a unit with often mutually compatible interests. Or, to put it another way: without the fear of the enemy fueled by the media, without armed conflicts, i.e. without the mass deaths of people in war zones, no significant profits can be made in the arms industry. This means that internationally viable peacekeeping agreements are not in the interests of the arms industry and the military leadership associated with it, as well as the cooperating (and sometimes profiting) politicians. 

It should not go unmentioned here that not only the generals, the bank and corporate bosses and members of governments belong to the military-industrial complex, but also the workers in the arms industry as well as the soldiers in the armies. Both groups have existential interests in the functioning of a privately organized and growth-focused arms industry and identify themselves to a large extent with its goals and structures and at best require a further efficiency increase.
The then outgoing U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower - as a Republican by no means a politically left-wing critic of the system - warned as early as 1961 in a televised speech against the military-industrial complex, which in his view was in the process of undermining the democratic form of government with its influence. Eisenhower urgently warned against the de-democratizing influence of the military-industrial complex: 

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"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." (85)

The interests of the military-industrial complex
- arms exports to areas of tension express moral underdevelopment
With her indignant "How dare you?!" question Greta Thunberg accused the heads of state and government represented at the UN Climate Summit 2019 of their ignorance and inaction in the face of the occuring climate crisis. Shouldn't the same indignant accusation be made today against the arms industry and raised publicly against the government representatives approving arms exports to areas of tension: "How dare you!"?

Is the man-made climate crisis not comparable with arms exports to areas of tension? The climate crisis and ethically unjustifiable arms exports represent a global phenomenon caused by man. In the accelerating destruction of social systems caused by arms exports, there are also, as in the global climate crisis, tipping points and feedback effects. 

Ultimately, what remains is an increasing dynamic of destruction with dead and injured, failed states, a destroyed environment, and shattered buildings and institutions.
Both - climate crisis and war situations aggravated by global arms exports - arise from the same state of moral underdevelopment, from the same immature mindset that accepts everything that yields results, despite massive destruction of the basics of life. 

Apart from the exception, where action is taken because of solidarity with a state under attack, greed for profit as an expression of moral underdevelopment, economic and political motives plays a central role in the export of armaments to areas of tension.
In this context, the term 'areas of tension' refers to all states and regions in which either interstate wars, asymmetric conflicts, massive state-organized human rights violations and state-organized terror as well as civil wars are threatening or already exist.
However, as already discussed, there is one exception where arms exports to areas of tension are reasonable: When a state is attacked by a more powerful state and all offers of negotiation are in vain, then it may be legitimate to support the attacked state with arms deliveries in a very dosed manner (while maintaining diplomatic efforts). The Russian invasion of Ukraine represents such a case of conflict, which led to legitimate arms exports to Ukraine. Here, it would have been important to formulate a binding and principled 'red line' for arms exports, i.e. what may and may not be supplied. Priority should also be given to weapons such as defense systems to shoot down attacking fighter jets or weapons to defend against drone attacks, as well as weapons to defend against attacking tanks, e.g. bazookas. Weapons that can be used primarily to attack the attacking state in the interior of the country, such as long-range missiles and fighter jets, would have to be beyond the scope of decisions that are justifiable in terms of peace policy.

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Regarding the economic motives of arms exports even to areas of tension - apart from the exceptional case mentioned above - it can be stated that the arms industry is recording growing returns, has rising share prices, is of particular interest to investors and represents a safe commercial context even in times of crisis. 

The authorizing politicians, on the other hand, pretend they want to secure jobs and technology transfer, some of them also have economic interests ('revolving door effect'), are under massive lobbying pressure from the arms industry and are acting on the basis of geostrategic interests calculations. (86)
In Germany for example, officially every politically responsible person effectively positions himself or herself against arms exports to areas of tension, since the national and international legal situation and corresponding regulations currently indicate publicly observable barriers in regard to this issue. Nor are arms exports to areas of tension popular. The overwhelming majority (more than three quarters) of the German population rejects arms exports to areas of tension. (87)
 In addition to economic motives, geopolitical motives play a role in arms exports. Weapons are mainly delivered to those from whom the authorizing politicians hope to gain an advantage in the event of their military victory. Sometimes even both warring factions are strengthened if their geostrategic weakening corresponds to the interest of the arms supplying nations. The arms deliveries to both Iran and Iraq by the USA and also the then USSR during the first Gulf War are an example of this. The cynical calculation to weaken both sides escalated a war in which about one million people fell victim. (88) 

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What specific legal barriers have been erected in the wake of long-lasting protests and clear criticism of arms exports to areas of tension? In the next section of the study this question will be examined first for the international level and then for the national legal bases of licensing practice. The next question asked is how effective these regulations are for the actual practice of arms exports to areas of tension.

International regulations to prevent arms exports to areas of tension
Regulations of the United Nations

The UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), adopted by the UN General Assembly in April 2013 and effective in 2014, is clear. States parties commit to installing a transparent and effective control system for conventional arms exports. According to Article 6, paragraph 3 of the ATT, a State Party may 
"not authorize any transfer of conventional arms (...) if it has knowledge at the time of the decision that the arms or goods would be used in the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, attacks directed against civilian objects or civilians protected as such, or other war crimes as defined in international agreements to which it is a party."  (89) 
The problem is that not all UN members have ratified the ATT so far: 113 states have ratified, accepted, approved or joined the treaty ("state parties"), 28 states that have signed the treaty are yet to do so ("signatories that are not yet states parties"), 54 states have not yet signed ("states that have not yet joined the treaty") (as of February 2024). (90) Arms exporters such as Russia and Iran have not yet signed the ATT. The U.S.  approved it but had not yet ratified it. Thus it was not valid for them under international law.  Trump affirmed in 2019 that the U.S. would not ratify the treaty, saying  "Americans live by American laws, not the laws of other countries."  (91)
But the Biden administration has also not yet taken steps to ratify the ATT - according to Rachel Stohl (2022): 

„Unfortunately, the Biden administration has been frustratingly and disappointingly silent on the ATT despite support for the treaty appearing in the Democratic Party’s platform and numerous promises to review the agreement and the U.S. role in it. This decision sits firmly in the executive branch’s hands; no congressional action is required to recommit to the treaty. (…)President Biden need only send a letter to the UN stating that it will fulfill its responsibilities as a signatory and be bound by the object and purpose of the treaty, which are to reduce human suffering and ensure a responsible, accountable, and transparent arms trade.“ 


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Germany has ratified the ATT, which means that the treaty is binding for Germany under international law. Besides Germany, also other states that are among the ten largest global arms exporters; China, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, have signed the treaty. China joined the ATT relatively late; it became legally effective with the UN's letter of confirmation in October 2020.
It can thus be stated that two of the leading arms exporters, the USA and Russia, have not yet decided, or are refusing to join the ATT in a legally binding manner. Even if other major arms exporters, such  as China, Germany or France , have acceded to the ATT treaty, its effectiveness will be very limited until at least all permanent members of the UN Security Council are willing to join, among other things, the ban on exporting weapons to crisis regions and areas of tension.
Furthermore, it must be criticized that the ATT does not contain any regulations on binding controls and sanctions. It merely calls on nation-states to transfer the requirements of the ATT into national law and to report the legal basis and licensing practice as well as the characteristics, dimensions and destination of arms exports to the United Nations ATT Secretariat on a voluntary basis. This is to be supported by the incentive of financial support through the ATT Sponsorship Program and the ATT Volantary Trust Fund.
However, it must be noted that these stimuli are not effective enough, since ATT signatory states, such as France, Germany, Great Britain, China and Italy, also export weapons to areas of tension - without there being any support for self-defense in the sense of the UN Charter. Amnesty International (n.d.) lists importing states such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt as examples.  For example, in January 2024, the German government approved the sale of 150 Iris T missiles to Saudi Arabia, even though this country is heavily involved in the war in Yemen.

EU regulations
At the European Union level, there are also corresponding regulations that strictly prohibit arms exports to areas of tension and seek to exercise control over arms exports overall. 
Within the framework of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), a so-called "Council Common Position" was developed in 2008 (to be updated and adopted again in 2019). (92) Here, it is first all emphasized that member states must examine applications for arms exports or for the export of weapons technology against the background of international agreements. These are primarily alliance obligations towards the EU and the UN, which arise, among other things, from agreements on imposed sanctions, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the ban on anti-personnel mines (Ottawa Convention), and the ban on chemical and biological weapons (Art. 2 (1) of the "Council Common Position"). Art. 2 (2) sets out eight criteria for the consent or rejection of arms exports. In particular, if a state violates human rights and international humanitarian law, an export license to a final destination must be denied. 

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If there is a risk that the exported arms and military technologies would lead to internal repression in the recipient country, if serious human rights violations and violations of applicable international law would be committed or are to be expected there, if armed conflicts within the country and with other states would be exacerbated as a result, if an undesirable attitude toward terrorism exists, then the export license must be denied. Also, if a diversion of military technology is to be expected and the risk of a further export of military equipment to unsafe and risky third countries is to be anticipated, the export of military equipment must be denied.  With these formulations, the decision making framework is on a par with the UN Arms Export Treaty (ATT).
Problems arise, however, when the provisions of Article 2 (1) and 2 (2) contradict each other. The state licensing practice remains unpredictable and open if, due to alliance commitments, a delivery of armaments is deemed necessary, although these weapons are then used to suppress the own population, for aggression in a neighboring state or for direct delivery to warring parties in areas of tension. For example, the German arms deliveries to Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as the arms deliveries by France and Italy in the Libyan conflict should certainly be mentioned here. The U.S. and Russia also supply weapons worldwide to their allies involved in military conflicts, without this being legitimized by regulations of the UN Charter.
Wolf-Dieter Vogel, a journalist specializing in arms exports, also points out that the Council's Common Position is not legally binding in the sense of an EU regulation. (93) Obviously, the Council deliberately leaves a considerable margin of maneuver for the member states when it comes to exporting military equipment. The lack of legally binding provisions for the decisions and the potentially contradictory provisions of Art. 2 (1) and 2 (2) also provide an unfavorable prerequisite for sanctions against EU states that do not comply with the Council's agreement on arms exports to regions of tension or to states that disregard human rights.

National regulations using the example of Germany
Each state has its own regulations concerning arms exports, and they can vary in strictness or negligence. The example of Germany will be used here to demonstrate the extent to which normative expectations with regard to arms trade are formulated there. These will then be

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examined in a subsequent step - as also for the global and European levels - to determine to what extent aspirations and reality can be brought together.
The restrictions on the export of weapons from Germany to other countries refer first of all to the fundamental peace requirement of Article 26 (1) and the claims of Article 26 (2) of the German Constitution, in which the manufacture of weapons and the export of weapons are declared to be subject to approval ("Weapons intended for warfare may only be manufactured, delivered and brought into circulation with the approval of the Federal Government". (GG Art. 26 (2)).
For example, in the coalition agreement of 2017, the German government referred to the ATT, the EU's 'Common Position of the Council', the Foreign Trade and Payments Act (AWG) and the War Weapons Control Act (KrWaffKontrG), among other things, and stipulated for itself restrictively with regard to arms exports: 

"Respect for human rights in the recipient country plays a prominent role in the decision-making process. If there is sufficient suspicion that the military equipment to be supplied will be misused for internal repression or other ongoing and systematic human rights violations, a license will not be granted as a matter of principle."  (94)
In addition to compliance with human rights, the second decisive criterion is the question of reliability in terms of peace policy or the threat posed to interstate peace in the recipent country:
 "According to § 6 KrWaffKontrG, there is no entitlement to the granting of a license for the export of war weapons. Such a license must be denied if there is a risk that the weapons of war will be used in an act that disrupts peace, that obligations of the Federal Republic of Germany under international law will be impaired, or if the applicant does not possess the reliability required for the act."  (95)
Actually, these regulations are formulated in a sufficiently restrictive and responsible manner. Nevertheless, Wolf-Dieter Vogel criticizes that these formulations are rather claims and not legally binding regulations ("The German arms export guidelines are not legally binding"  (96)).  In my opinion, this criticism can indeed be related to regulations in a coalition agreement as well as to the Federal Export Report,  but neither to the AWG nor to the KrWaffKontrG, which have the character of  law and on the basis of which prosecution can or should be initiated in case of violations. 

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The official procedure for obtaining a weapons export license involves a preliminary inquiry by a defense company to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy about the possibility of exporting weapons or military equipment. The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), a higher authority of the Federal Ministry of Economics, is involved in the control of war weapons control, to which war weapons stocks and changes in stocks must be reported on a regular basis. In addition to a political assessment of the recipient country, a long and detailed weapons list defining which equipment is subject to export control (Export List to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (2018)) is decisive for the approval of a preliminary inquiry. If a preliminary inquiry from an armament company is rejected, the project is, at least through this official channel, usually not pursued further. If the preliminary inquiry is approved, the arms export can usually proceed. An arms export that is to take place outside Europe to countries that do not belong to NATO or comparable states, or that are considered problematic states, leads, if politically significant, to negotiations in the Federal Security Council (BSR), a cabinet committee chaired by the Chancellor and including, among other things, several federal ministers. There, inter alia, relevant applications for arms exports are negotiated in private. The meetings of the Federal Security Council are secret. Neither a meeting date nor an agenda is announced in advance. The German parliament (Bundestag) is only informed afterwards when a decision has been made. However, the Federal Security Council is not subject to parliamentary control by the Bundestag. As a rule, it decides autonomously on arms deliveries and is only obligated to the federal government where this is stipulated by law. In this context, arms export licenses are related to German security policy and its strategic orientation, as defined by the Federal Security Council and the federal government.
The evaluation possibilites for the Federal Security Council also remain due to the fact that transnational sanctions policy and alliance obligations based on intergovernmental treaties (KrWaffKontrG § 27 ) (97) must be observed. For example, Article 3 of the North Atlantic Treaty of NATO (1949) obligates the signatory states:

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"In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.“ 

Another problem is that the German arms control law partially contradicts the implementation of European legal norms. There is still no effective control and sanctions policy at the European level due to the legally non-binding nature of the relevant EU regulations. This enables arms exports from Germany to other EU states, which in turn tolerate arms exports to areas of tension. Thus, exports from the EU country in question to third countries, also including areas of tension, is possible.
Indeed, in 2015 the German government formulated guidelines for post-shipment controls, in which, among other things, the final destination of the exported weapons in the recipient country is to be controlled in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, in particular the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). The problem here arises first of all concerning the principle of exemplary verification and the lack of personnel for complete verifications, as well as concerning the fulfilling of trade interests, when formulated like this:
"The competitiveness of German industry and defense cooperation with third countries must not be jeopardized by the system of post-shipment controls."  (98)
Accordingly, there is no effective way of dealing with direct investments by armament companies in areas of tension or when investments are made in a supposedly safe state outside the EU and NATO. If, for example, German technology is transferred to Australia and a weapons or ammunition factory is built there in cooperation with a German arms manufacturer, there is no guarantee that the weapons produced there will not be exported to areas of tension or used there by the arms-producing state involved, given the corresponding statements by the Australian government and the deliveries have already been made. (99) If a munitions factory is built in South Africa by a German arms manufacturer, then we should not be surprised if German know-how is used to kill people in the Yemen war. 

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The reality of arms exports

The aim here is to start a little earlier in the data analysis in order to be able to follow the development over a longer period of time and determine the changes over time in connection with political events.
The Swedish peace research institute SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) already in its report published in spring 2018 (100) states, that the international arms trade has increased by 12% in the last five years compared to 2008 - 2013. The U.S. arms industry ranked first among arms-exporting nations, with a 34% market share. The contracts for this were signed under the administration of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama. The second largest exporting country was Russia (minus 7.1% arms sales), followed by France (plus 27%), Germany (minus 14%) and China (plus 38%). The arms industries of these five countries were responsible for 74% of all arms sales from 2012-2017. Nearly every third weapon sold was delivered to Middle East countries, which have doubled their arms imports over the past five years. Correspondingly, every second U.S. weapon was sold to the Middle East. German arms sales to the Middle East increased by 109% over the last five years.
In 2019, the U.S. already had an arms export share of 36% and arms exports in the period 2015-2019 76% higher than the exports of the second largest exporting country Russia (minus 7.1% arms sales) (SIPRI 2020a).
Overall, in the global context, annual arms sales increased by 42% by 2018 compared to 2002. Five US companies were at the top of the list of arms-producing companies:
"For the first time since 2002, the top five spots in the ranking are held exclusively by arms companies based in the United States: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. These five companies alone accounted for $148 billion and 35 per cent of total Top 100 arms sales in 2018. Total arms sales of U.S. companies in the ranking amounted to $246 billion, equivalent to 59 per cent of all arms sales by the Top 100. This is an increase of 7.2 per cent compared with 2017."  (101)

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Most weapons were sold to India (tensions with China and Pakistan). Saudi Arabia, which is actively contributing to the destabilization of the Middle East and flying destructive military operations in Yemen, was the second largest importer of arms (tripling its arms purchases in the last five years). Saudi Arabia is followed by Egypt, the Arab Emirates, and China.
China reduced its imports as it increasingly produces weapons itself. The increase in China's arms exports (38%) relates primarily to Pakistan, Algeria and Bangladesh.
"Since 2003, the German government has steadily expanded its relations with Saudi Arabia. The goal of the Federal Republic was and is primarily to promote foreign trade, but some of the more recent deals had a clear security dimension. The peak of the cooperation, which has meanwhile been pursued by three German governments, was the planned sale of 270 Leopard battle tanks to the desert kingdom. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring, however, this deal was highly problematic. First of all, this concerned the equipment of the tanks ordered. The tanks in question are the Leopard 2A7-+, which have been converted for counterinsurgency operations in inhabited areas, making them particularly suitable for suppressing domestic unrest." (102)
This clearly means that, despite political discussions and differing political statements by the respective governments, arms deliveries are almost universally made to areas of tension. The economy of death grows with each hotbed of tension - according to Pieter Wezeman, Senior Researcher of the 'SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme':
"Widespread violent conflicts in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in Western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales (...) Yet the USA and European states remain the main arms exporters to the region and supplied over 98 per cent of weapons imported by Saudi Arabia."  (103)
Arms exports to areas of tension often result in massive military oppression of the civilian population by the various warring parties (see Syria or Yemen), even including racially motivated genocide attempts, such as currently in Myanmar (Burma) with regard to the Muslim ethnic group of the Rohingyas or in 1994 in Rwanda with regard to the mass murder of the Tutsi population by Hutu militias.
The bombing of the Gaza Strip in 2023/2024, which violated international law and resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, especially among the civilian population, was also carried out with Western weapons in a disproportionate response to Hamas' brutal attack on Israeli territory.
Data from SIPRI (2020) also make clear that the U.S., Russia, France, Germany, and China, the five largest global arms exporters, export weapons everywhere - regardless of whether these are areas of tension.
SIPRI (2023) now points to a trend reversal in the regional distribution of arms imports. In particular, European countries increased their arms imports, which is certainly related to the growing tensions with Russia in connection with the war in Ukraine: 

„Imports of major arms by European states increased by 47 per cent between 2013–17 and 2018–22, while the global level of international arms transfers decreased by 5.1 per cent. Arms imports fell overall in Africa (–40 per cent), the Americas (–21 per cent), Asia and Oceania (–7.5 per cent) and the Middle East (–8.8 per cent)—but imports to East Asia and certain states in other areas of high geopolitical tension rose sharply. The United States’ share of global arms exports increased from 33 to 40 per cent while Russia’s fell from 22 to 16 per cent, according to new data on global arms transfers published today by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).“ 

Figures from the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI made it clear for the period 2015-2019 that arms exports were rising steadily. Arms exports to areas of tension were not exempt from this:               

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Table 1: The 10 largest arms exporter and importers  (104)
 Arms exports 2015-2019                   Arms imports 2015-2019
Rank       Country      Share in %        Country           Share in %
1              USA                  36                Saudi Arabia       12
2              Russia              21                India                     9.2
3              France              7.9              Egypt                     5.8
4              Germany          5.8              Australia               4.9                 
5              China*              5.5              China                     4.3
6              UK                     3.7              Algeria                   4.2
7              Spain                3.1              South Korea          3.4
8              Israel                3.0              United Arab
                                                              Emirates (UAE)     3.4
9              Italy                   2.1              Iraq                         3.4
10           South Korea     2.1              Qatar                      3.4
In the meantime (2022), Ukraine has become the third-largest
arms importer (SIPRI 2023a).


* China's arms exports are most likely to be set higher, as no traceable international insight into Chinese arms exports is available . 

Table 1 clearly shows that the U.S. and Russia were by far the largest arms exporters, accounting for more than half of all arms exports (57%). Neither these two states, nor the eight following countries in the ranking of exporters, were deterred by international arms export bans in relation to areas of crisis and tension. Almost all of the world's leading arms importing states were located in areas of tension or were involved in wars and asymmetrical armed conflicts (except for Australia). 
For example, arms exports to the area of tension in the Middle East increased by 61% (!) when comparing the years 2010-2014 with the period 2015-2019. (105)

Syria, Yemen and Libya in particular are war zones where wars are being fought primarily with weapons imported from the USA and Europe (including Russia). 

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SIPRI (2023) now shows that meanwhile Ukraine, which was affected by the Russian invasion, has the largest arms import increases and became the third largest arms importer in 2022:
"From 1991 until the end of 2021, Ukraine imported few major arms. As a result of military aid from the U.S. and many European states following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Ukraine became the 3rd largest importer of major arms during 2022 (after Qatar and India) and the 14th largest for 2018-22. Ukraine accounted for 2.0 per cent of global arms imports in the five-year period."
For the period from 2019 to 2023, the proportions of heavy weapons exports changed significantly (Table 2) 


Tab. 2: The 10 largest exporters of heavy weapons and percentage changes (SIPRI 2024) 


Exporting             Exporting country                         Exporting country                      Percentage change 

Country                Percentage share %                      Percentage share %                  from 2014-2018 

                              of global heavy exports                of global heavy exports            to 2019-2023 

                              2029-2023                                      2014-2018

USA                                         42                                                       34                                               17

France                                     11                                                       7,2                                              47

Russia                                     11                                                        21                                              -53

China                                        5,8                                                      5,9                                             -5,3

Germany                                  5,6                                                      6,3                                             -1,4

Italy                                           4,3                                                      2,2                                               86

Great Britain                            3,7                                                       4,1                                              -14

Spain                                        2,7                                                       2,7                                              -3,3

Israel                                         2,4                                                       3,1                                              -25

South Korea                             2,0                                                       1,7                                               12


In the course of the war in Ukraine, the arms companies in the United States were able to increase their arms exports in the comparative period. Exports of heavy weapons, such as tanks and missile systems, increased from 34% to 42% of global trade. Exports from France and Italy also increased significantly. At the same time, Russian exports fell by 53% from 21% to 11% of global trade in heavy weapons as a result of Western sanctions policy.

 Example Libya

 Since the fall of the Gaddhafi regime in 2011, Libya has been in an extremely unstable political situation. For many years, a military confrontation took place between the troops of General Haftar and the government troops of the al Sarraj government, repeatedly interrupted by short ceasefires. Despite an arms embargo imposed by the UN Security Council, which was extended again in June 2020, weapons were supplied to the area of tension by various states. Turkey sent Syrian mercenaries, weapons, and drones to support al Sarraj. Qatar also supports the government forces. Russia, the Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi Arabia supported Haftar. Russia sent mercenary troops from private Russian military companies, among others, to Libya. (106)   But even within NATO and the EU, the support provided went in different directions. While Turkey, which is interested in exploiting Libyan gas reserves, provided military protection for al Sarraj, also Italy, which as well is interested in exploiting the oil fields off the Libyan coast and in holding back refugees, supported al Sarraj by military equipment. Italy has a longer tradition here, having already supplied al-Gaddafi with military helicopters, which he then used against his revolting population in 2011.

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 France, along with Russia, supports General Haftar. Both countries, in turn, have interests in securing contracts worth billions, offering access to the Libyan energy market, pushing back Islamists, and using Libyan Mediterranean ports. In addition, all parties have geostrategic interests and want to strengthen their influence in the Arab region. (107)
 While Germany calls for international negotiations to enforce an arms embargo, the German government in the background is approving large-scale arms deliveries to states that in turn deliver weapons to the Libyan conflict zone - for example, since the beginning of 2019, the German government has approved arms exports worth more than 1.3 billion euros to states that are fueling the Libyan war. (108)
 Due to economic and geostrategic interests, all relevant arms export regulations are ignored. Even an arms embargo unanimously imposed by the UN Security Council hardly shows any effect.
In 2023, Böhm/Nahr (2023) describe the situation in Libya as follows:
"Since the fall of long-term dictator Muammar al-Ghadhafi in 2011, there has been almost uninterrupted war in Libya. Militia bosses, political clans and foreign militia are fighting for power and oil in the vast, sparsely populated desert country. Recently, Hamuda's leader, the internationally recognized Prime Minister Dbaiba, had to fend off his rival Fathi Bashagha, who also claims the office and is supported by the powerful eastern Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar. (...) Fighters loyal to Dbaiba managed to repel the attack last summer. Since then, calm has prevailed. For the first time in years, the guns are silent. The local warring parties in Libya are tired, and their international supporters from Turkey, Russia, the West and the Gulf are busy with other things. Recently, even the head of the CIA was in the country to mediate between the hostile politicians in the east and west of the country. (...) Libya is divided, there are two parliaments, two prime ministers, a multitude of armed groups and the elections originally scheduled for December 2021 have been postponed indefinitely."
A UN Security Council resolution of 30.10.2023 continues to call for the holding of free, general elections for Libya and expresses its concern about the security situation in Libya and its destabilizing effect on neighbouring states. 
To summarize: The example of the Libyan state shows how massive military interventions, arms exports to different groups combined with geostrategic and economic interests can destroy a country in the long term. Libya has the status of a failed state and it remains to be seen whether future elections can lead to unification and stabilization of the country.

Arms exports from the EU to areas of tension.

 In 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In the same year, however, EU was the world champion in arms exports. Despite the regulations of the ATT and the 'EU Common Position', massive deliveries of weapons were made from the EU specifically to areas of tension:
 "Out of 51 authoritarian regimes worldwide, 43 received European arms deliveries. Out of 47,868 export licenses applied for, only 459 were rejected. German arms exports to the six Gulf Cooperation Council states alone - including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - amounted to 1.42 billion euros in 2012!"  (109)
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But even after 2012 this did not develop differently. Besides Germany, mainly France, GB, Spain and Italy are involved in arms export business. Its share of the arms trade came to 22.6%, almost a quarter of global arms exports - according to a 2020 question from the Left Party in the European Parliament. The exports go primarily to areas of tension such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, the United Emirates and Algeria. (110)
The claims of the "EU Common Position" do not seem to work. When alliance obligations and own geopolitical and economic interests are in the room present, the "Common Position" becomes wastepaper or is bypassed.
Regulations concerning export of goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes ("EU Dual-Use Regulation") have also not yet entered into force due to differences of opinion in the European bodies. These dual-use goods include electronic products such as jammers, which can be used, for example, to interfere with the Internet and cell phone reception also against the civilian population. Likewise military trucks can be militarily upgraded by attaching a gun carriage and a machine gun.
The EDA (European Defense Agency) however, is already working at full speed within the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) with regard to the coordination of European armament efforts. The EDA is supposed to be responsible, among other things, only for supporting intra-European research and development of military technology. This is taking place within the financial framework of PESCO, in which the participating EU states have committed to increase their investments in defense equipment by 20%. In this context, it is beyond the competence and control of the EDA if a technology developed in this way also becomes the subject of arms exports to third countries.
The current development with regard to European military cooperation illustrates this problem even more sharply. The so-called 'European Peace Facility' (EPF), launched in December 2017 at the EU level based on the request of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, claims to primarily unburden EU development cooperation costs for the security architecture in Africa by, among others, providing a fund of €10.5 billion outside the regular EU budget for this purpose.

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In addition to offering military training the EPF explicitly plans to provide export of weapons, ammunition and security technology. 
"Currently, the EU has limited capacity to engage in military or defense activities such as capacity building and provision of training, equipment or infrastructure. The EPF will contribute to building capacity of armed forces in partner countries for peacekeeping, conflict prevention and for addressing security threats. For instance, the success of EU military training missions is sometimesquestioned due to the inability of the partners to take advantage of what they have learned because of often very rudimentary equipment or infrastructure. The EPF will enable the EU to provide comprehensive support through integrated packages that may include training, equipment, and other forms of assistance. This will make it easier for partners to manage crises and security threats on their own." (111)
While the intended separation of civil development cooperation and military spending could indeed have positive effects on the actual volume of civil development cooperation, it is not without risks. In particular, there is a danger that these billions could also be used to finance arms exports to third countries which, firstly, are to be regarded as crisis areas and, secondly, are not safe end-use states, i.e. which themselves forward or sell these arms to areas of tension. (112)
This would then also be a new quality of the official EU foreign and security policy, if arms deliveries could be made openly to third countries or crisis areas. 
The EPF is currently being discussed at EU level but the outcome of the decision is still open.
EPF funds in 2022 and 2023 will also finance, among other things, military assistance to Ukraine (Bundesregierung 2023). 

German arms exports to areas of tension

In the second decade of the 21st century, almost €17 billion worth of armaments were exported from Germany.  In the past decade, armaments worth almost €17 billion have been exported from Germany. In the same period, the German government approved arms exports worth around €63 billion for future exports. (113) Also the year 2019 is expected to generate substantial returns for the future. 

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Table 3: Licenses for arms exports from Germany (114)
Number and value of individual
licenses for military equipment
granted by the German government
                  2018  in € billion                        2019 in € billion
Total                                                                          11,142 individual approvals     11,479 individual licenses  
                                                                                    € 4.82                                          € 8.02
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------to NATO states, EU states 
and NATO-equivalent states                                   € 2.28                                          € 4.48
to third countries                                                       € 2.55                                          € 3.53
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------to developing countries                                           € 0.37                                          € 1.35 

to developing countries that                                                                                     Egypt (€ 0, 8),

qualify as areas of tension                                                                                        Indonesia (€ 0,2),
                                                                                                                                        India (€ 0,93),
                                                                                                                                        Pakistan (€ 0,63),
                                                                                                                                        Morocco (€ 0, 61)
Meanwhile, Ukraine is the most important destination of German arms exports:

"Funding for the Enhancement Initiative totals 2.2 billion euros for 2023 (up from 2 billion euros in 2022). The funds are to be used primarily to support Ukraine."  (Bundesregierung (2023a)

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Tab. 3 makes first of all clear that the value of arms exports from Germany increased sharply from 2018 to 2019 (from € 4.82 billion to € 8.02 billion). Furthermore, about 44% of the arms exports went to third countries that are either areas of tension and crisis areas themselves or countries in which the final destination of weapons cannot be controlled. But even the final destination of exported weapons to EU states is not guaranteed. For example, weapons produced by the Rheinmetall subsidiary were delivered from Italy to the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen until 2019. 

Arms exports to developing countries have also increased significantly. This includes arms exports from Germany to states experiencing interstate tensions or human rights violations. 

The total number and value of individual licenses issued by the Federal Ministry of Economics and the Federal Security Council are not to be considered equivalent to actual exports of military equipment. Nevertheless, they provide an insight into the arms exports to be expected in the coming years. In this context, arms exports are not just about weapons. There are also, for example, trucks, boats and mine-clearing equipment. These can easily be converted or used to support warlike activities. 

In addition to the individual licenses, there are also collective licenses for 2019 worth approximately half a billion euros. Most of the licenses for military equipment relates to armored vehicles and military trucks (€3.06 billion). (115)

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Tab. 4: The three most important countries of destination for individual licenses in 2019 (116)
Rank                          Country                     Military equipment                                       Value in total
                                                                                                                                                in € billion

1                                Hungary                     Main battle tanks, self-propelled                  1,7842
                                                                      howitzers, armored engineer 
                                                                      vehicles, armored recovery vehicles, 
                                                                      armored bridge laying vehicles, 
                                                                      armored driving school vehicles,
                                                                      trucks, all-terrain vehicles,

                                                                      all-terrain vehicles,

                                                                      trailers and parts for main
                                                                      battle tanks, armored vehicles,
                                                                      all-terrain vehicles, land vehicles,
                                                                      driving and combat simulators
                                                                       and parts for driving and combat 
2                                   Algeria                     Trucks and parts                                             0.847
                                                                       for armored vehicles 
3                                   Egypt                         Missiles, firing equipment,                            0.802

                                                                        special tools and parts for missiles,
                                                                        missiles, fire control equipment,
                                                                        target acquisition systems,
                                                                        target range finding systems
In 2022-2024, due to the Russian war of aggression, Ukraine is currently the priority country for individual permits.

The first three countries listed in Table 4 alone - apart from Ukraine - illustrate the problematic nature of German arms exports using the example of 2019. The first three countries listed in Tab. 3 alone - apart from Ukraine - illustrate the problematic nature of German arms exports for 2019.  Two states (Algeria and Egypt) can be described as areas of tension, states that also disregard the fundamental rights of their populations. Furthermore, Egypt in particular is known to support the Saudi coalition in the Yemen war, which means that German weapons are likely to be used there, although Germany supports an international arms export embargo for the Yemen war. Hungary, on the other hand, is accused within the European Union of undermining fundamental rights of its citizens and destroying the separation of powers. 

Furthermore, in previous years, arms exports to the Saudi coalition warring parties involved in Yemen dominated - according to political scientist and publicist Markus Bickel in 2018: 

"Although the European Parliament as early as 2016 called for an end to arms deliveries to the countries involved in the conflict, the German government unaffectedly continues to issue export licenses. In the past three years, the German Security Council has granted military equipment worth over one billion euros to Saudi Arabia alone. Egypt received arms exports worth 850 million euros and the United Arab Emirates 474 million euros." (117)
The German government justifies its arms exports to Ukraine - in contrast to its official policy of not exporting weapons to areas of tension - on the basis of Ukraine's right to self-defense and the obligation of UN states to provide military support to a member of the UN that is under attack. Since the Russian invasion on 24 February 2022, Ukraine has already received a total of €14 billion in support (as of 2023) in the form of weapons, direct payments and humanitarian assistance (Bundesregierung 2023b).
By February 2024, support for Ukraine in the form of weapons, direct payments and humanitarian aid had increased to €30 billion. This makes Germany the second largest bilateral supporter of Ukraine after the USA since February 24, 2022, the date of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Deutsche Botschaft Stockholm, 2024) 

In 2023 alone, the German government set a new record for arms export licenses worth around €12.2 billion. The Federal Ministry of Economics announced that €6.44 billion of the licenses related to war weapons and €5.76 billion to other military equipment, such as armoured vehicles. With €4.44 billion, Ukraine was once again the main recipient country. In this respect, Ukraine was treated on a par with a NATO country (Handelsblatt 2024).

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Example of arms exports to Turkey. 

Arms exports approved in one year are not comparable to arms exports actually taking place in that year. Although the Federal Security Council has been cautious about approving arms deliveries to Turkey since the invasion of Syria, the NATO country Turkey nevertheless, for instance, received nearly €350 million in arms deliveries from Germany in 2019. (118) The excuse given by the government in such cases is that these are older licenses that have to be fulfilled. Turkey is currently an aggressive state that has intervened militarily outside its national borders several times in violation of international law (Syria, Iraq, Libya). Furthermore, there are serious domestic human rights violations (arbitrary arrests of opponents of the regime, long imprisonment without conviction according to the rule of law, questionable jurisdiction, elimination and banning of parts of the opposition). If the German government were serious about the ATT of the UN and the Common Position of the EU Council, as well as about the legal claims formulated in German laws and agreements, it would – due to the worsening situation in regard to Turkey – consistently withdraw given approved licenses for arms exports to Turkey. 

If Turkey crosses the Syrian borders with Leopard 2 tanks from Rheinmetall and fights the Kurdish population there with German weapons and with other weapons originating from Germany, then the German government must be blamed for not having recognized the contemporary signs in time and can hardly avoid being accused of complicity. In the future, the argument of joint NATO membership must also be dealt with more critically. As long as NATO tolerates a member state that violates international law for geostrategic reasons, joint NATO membership can no longer be a sufficient argument for arms deliveries within the NATO alliance. 

Already in the first four months of 2020, Germany had again exported nearly half a billion weapons (40% more than in the same period in 2019). This does not yet include dual-use armaments. 

The left-wing politician and member of the Bundestag Sevim Dağdelen demanded after a report published by 'Der Spiegel' news magazin: 

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" 'The export of almost 40 percent more war weapons than in the same period last year in a world where conflicts are increasing every day is completely irresponsible,' said Dağdelen, disarmament policy spokeswoman for her parliamentary group. 'Especially with the war weapons exports to Egypt and Turkey, the German government is encouraging the conflicts in and around the Mediterranean and is thus blatantly violating its own indifferent arms export guidelines in the process.' She said that anyone who would take seriously their own commitment to carry more responsibility internationally would have to stop the exports of war weapons all over the world." (119)
Interestingly enough, numerous states are now no longer listed in Germany's arms export list - including Turkey - on the grounds that this could be used to identify arms companies that have delivered weapons to these states. The classification of these states as classified is done to protect the trade and business secrets of the arms companies involved. In the future, of course, this will make the identification and control of arms exports increasingly difficult and can be seen as a problematic success of the arms industry's lobbying activities.
The exports to Turkey were the first arms deliveries to be declared a secret by the German government and were probably only made public due to an error - according to Dağdelen in a paper published by the Left parliamentary group 
"On the homepage of the Federal Ministry of Economics, however, a parliamentary answer was published –presumably by mistake - according to which Turkey received a total of war weapons from Germany last year worth 345 million euros, which is more than a third of the total German war weapons sales amounting to 824 million euros. In 2018, Erdogan was already the record holder among the recipients of German war weapons exports (770.8 million euros), with 242.8 million euros. Turkey is also among the top ten recipient states from January to April 2020. Against the background of Turkey's numerous wars of aggression in Syria and currently in northern Iraq, which violate international law, the arms deliveries are particularly reprehensible." (120)
The current interest in arms imports from Turkey is shown by the haggling over Sweden's accession to NATO in 2024 in connection with trade agreements for the purchase of fighter jets from Turkey  (Meinardus, 2024). On the other hand, Turkey also uses arms imports to expand its own military know-how and to develop and produce its own weapons, which it in turn exports to areas of tension, including the delivery of Turkish drones (Bayraktar TB2) and armored vehicles to Ukraine and the delivery of electronic material for weapons of war to the Russian Federation, which is at war with Ukraine (Pehlivan, 2023). At the same time, Turkey purchased the Russian S-400 air defense system, thereby duping the USA, which was interested in selling its own defense system (Marz, 2023).

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Example of arms exports to the warring alliance in Yemen.

The war in Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, is partly internal but has also increasingly become a proxy war between the Saudi-Emirate coalition and Iran, which supports the Houthis. (121) The U.N. Security Council sided with the Saudi alliance, unilaterally imposing an arms embargo on the Houthis in 2015 in its Resolution 2216. Weapons continue however, to unabatedly be supplied largely to the opposing side. UN Resolution 216 is the basis for the blockade of Yemen and the military actions of the alliance of Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and supported by Western states. 

The three largest arms exporters to the Saudi alliance waging war in Yemen are the United States, France and the United Kingdom. 

Germany is also involved in exporting weapons technology to this area of tension: For example, there were deliveries of 33 patrol boats produced in Germany (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) to Saudi Arabia, which are used off the coast to enforce the Houthi blockade. The argumentation of Prime Minister Manuela Schwesig (SPD) that these are only patrol boats is contradicted by the fact that they are militarily relevant as blockade boats and, of course, that they retrospectively can be armed with for instance machine guns. (122)

In total, Germany has, according to the German Ministry of Economics, approved weapons to the Saudi coalition waging war in Yemen for approximately €1.2 billion since the beginning of 2019 (a total of 224 deliveries). (123) Hereby, the German government violates its own coalition agreement, in which the halt of arms deliveries to those involved in the war in Yemen was agreed upon. 

In a press release of the magazine 'Die Zeit', the data is summarized in a different way: 

"According to this, 21 arms deliveries worth 802 million euros were allowed to Egypt alone within 15 months. For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), there were 76 authorizations with a total value of 257 million euros. For three other members of the alliance - Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait - arms exports amounted to a total of 119 million euros."  (124)

Only for Saudi Arabia the arms supply freeze was largely observed in 2019. 

In the Yemen war, there are thousands of victims, especially among the civilian population, due in particular to the permanent bombardment of Yemen by the Saudi alliance. 

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Western weapons as well as weapons from Germany were used also here. In the meantime, more than 100,000 people have been killed by armed violence in Yemen. In 2020, the journalist Jacob Reimann illustrated the extent of the bombing: 

"Massacres of civilians on behalf of the Saudi-Emirate coalition have always been on the agenda: schools, weddings, funerals, marketplaces, refugee boats, hospitals and mosques have been deliberately bombed time and again. In total, the coalition has already carried out 21,259 airstrikes against Yemen in over five years - an average of more than eleven attacks per day. Since the coalition members - with the exception of Egypt - have only rudimentary arms industries of their own, they rely on the complicity of predominantly Western arms exporters to commit their war crimes. After the U.S., France, Russia, and the U.K., Germany ranks fifth among the main exporters to the eight members of the coalition during the years of war." (125)

However, most of the victims died as a result of the sea and border blockade due to which the Yemeni population was cut off from food and medicine supplies. In the years 2015 to the end of 2019 alone, 85,000 children under the age of five starved to death in the Yemen war, according to the international NGO Save the Children. (126)
The members of the UN Security Council can be accused of being unwilling to draft a neutral resolution with intervening measures due to their own geostrategic interests and their partial involvement in the Yemen war. UN Security Council Resolution 2216 adopted in 2015, on the other hand, acted as a unilateral statement in the interests of Saudi Arabia, among others, and provided the basis for Saudi Arabia's blockade and military measures in conjunction with an alliance of the United Arab Emirates and Western powers to the disadvantage of the Yemeni population:
"Since Yemen's supplies are almost entirely import-dependent, this UN resolution means in particular the legitimization of a total supply blockade. No fuel; no food; no drinkable water; no medicine. Almost zero of everything that is needed even in Yemen for mere survival.
According to the usual understanding of international law, such a blockade is clearly a war crime. With Resolution 2216, the UN is legitimizing genocide - the genocide that has been systematically carried out by the SAC in Yemen since 2015 with massive support from the USA, the UK and France. In other words, the UN itself is abolishing its own foundation, international law" (Meggle 2019)
Western states, such as Germany, can also be accused of supplying further arms to the belligerent state of Saudi Arabia in 2022, thereby helping to prolong the war in Yemen.

The German company 'Rheinmetall' was heavily involved in the arms deals with the Saudi coalition. Until 2019, the company delivered aerial bombs from its Italian subsidiary RWM Italia to the Saudis, bombs that were used against the civilian population in the Yemen war. This is confirmed by bombs of German origin found in Yemen. It was not until 2019 that these arms deliveries from Italy were banned as a result of an intervention by the Italian government. (127) 

The current Greenpeace study on German arms exports draws the following conclusion in regard to such corporate activities: 

“These examples of armaments cooperation, the establishment of subsidiaries in third countries as well as German technology and know-how transfer, reveal loopholes in the German arms export legislation and the associated procedures. These concern the export of technical support and know-how as well as the control options for investments by German armaments companies building up production capacities abroad. These regulatory loopholes have not been closed even after the revision of the Political Principles of July 2019.“ (128)

Conclusion: Although the UN deplores the situation in Yemen with correct figures, it is itself part of the problem and, due to the interests of the UN Security Council, is not in a position to draw more effective consequences from these assessments or to withdraw Resolution 2216. Yemen not only reveals the ruthlessness of hegemonic interests but also the full extent of the United Nations' misery. The United Nations has committed itself unilaterally through Resolution 2216 and is therefore neither capable of effectively helping to re-establish a national order, nor of exerting a moderate influence on the warring parties with the aim of initiating a reorganization of the 'failed state' Yemen that helps the people.
It is pointless to discuss the question of who actually caused this war. This was an interplay of reactions and incidents by all actors involved in the war. Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Western powers supporting the conflict with arms supplies, logistics and espionage, as well as the groups operating within Yemen, are all involved in the escalation of the conflict. It is to be hoped that the UN - despite the rather unsuccessful attempts at mediation to date and the destructive Resolution 2216 - will nevertheless succeed in exerting a moderating influence on all warring parties. The aim is to establish a UN-controlled no-fly zone, ensure medical care and food supplies and, if necessary, send blue helmets with a robust mandate into the contested area to keep the warring parties apart. The attacks in late summer 2019 on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia point to the potential for this conflict to escalate - especially if Western interests are affected.
In spring 2022, a temporary ceasefire was achieved in Yemen under the mediation of the UN Special Envoy, but this could not be extended in October 2022. Since the outbreak of the war in Yemen, the UN estimates that 380,000 people have died as a direct and indirect result of the war.
An international donor conference attempted to alleviate the suffering of the population affected by the war. However, of the 4.3 billion US dollars required, only 1.2 billion US dollars were collected in pledges, although of course it is not yet known whether these promises will actually be realized.  There also remains the contradiction of supporting one of the warring parties, Saudi Arabia, militarily with arms supplies, among other things, on the one hand, and alleviating the consequences of the war with aid to Yemen on the other. A thorough diplomatic initiative and reconstruction aid, accompanied by a ceasefire and a subsequent peace treaty with mutually agreed regulations, would certainly be more effective.
In the meantime, the Houthis, who are supported (and directed) by Iran, are interfering in the war between Israel and Hamas by attacking the ships of the Israel-supporting West in the Red Sea with rockets. In response to this, 36 targets in Yemen were bombed by a US-led alliance in early February 2024. Weapons depots, missile installations and anti-ship missiles were hit. In addition to the USA and the UK, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand were involved. 
These events make it clear how an initially regional military conflict that was not resolved is increasingly expanding and escalating. This applies to the war in Yemen as well as the war in Ukraine and the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinian organizations. 

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Military-industrial complex and revolving door effects

 The arms industry also includes equipment companies, private military research institutes, and companies specializing in military transport. Here, too, there are numerous links between politics and the arms industry - Richard B. 'Dick' Cheney was the most prominent example of a US top politician(129) who promoted the Iraq war and whose former company Halliburton consequently profited from equipment and transport orders. According to Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008) such exploiting of a public office signified an affility for corruption. (130)

The "open revolving door system" exists in all nation states. This can also be demonstrated by the example of Germany, where former decision-makers in the political system, in particular former members of the Federal Security Council, move to the arms industry, as do former high-ranking officers.
Dirk Niebel's (FDP) consultancy work for Rheinmetall, Franz Josef Jung's (CDU) move to the supervisory board of Rheinmetall, or the appointment of Georg Wilhelm Adamowitsch (SPD), former state secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics, a long-serving chief executive of the German Security and Defense Industry Association (BDSV), which is mainly involved in lobbying, are all examples of this disastrous revolving door effect. (131) Another prominent example is the former Inspector General of the Bundeswehr (2000-2002) and former Air Force General Harald Kujat. He was chairman of the NATO Military Committee (2002-2005) after his time as the highest-ranking German soldier and link between the Bundeswehr and the German government. He became chairman of the supervisory board of the defense contractor Heckler & Koch in 2019. (132) As a reminder, it was Heckler & Koch that illegally supplied 5000 G36 assault rifles to the embargoed district of Mexico (Guerrero). These weapons were then used, among other things, to murder the teacher students in 2014 who were on their way to a demonstration against the merging of Mexican politics and organized crime. (133)
Even though Harald Kujat has recently spoken out in public several times in 2023/2024 in favor of ending the war in Ukraine, which he considers hopeless, and has called for negotiations, this does not mean that he is against arms deliveries to Ukraine - as Kujat said in an interview with the Berliner Zeitung in 2024: 

"Whether the 61-billion-dollar aid package that has been under discussion for months will even be approved in Washington is not foreseeable. The EU had 'achieved a lot so far', but could not make up for the decline in American support. Nevertheless, it is important 'that this is continued. That is what the Federal Chancellor wants to achieve. We must give Ukraine the certainty that this support will not be cut off. "  (Fasbender, 2024)

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Wars as economic stimulus

Wars are often promoted by warring politicians and some affirmative economists as stimulus packages for the domestic stagnating economy. Joseph Stiglitz (2008) (134) contradicts the views that wars de facto are suitable as economic stimulus programs and calls for the true costs of wars to be made transparent: 

"At the beginning of 2003, the U.S. government said that the Iraq war would cost only $50 to $60 billion. Was this merely a mistake, or were the politicians simply too optimistic? First, at the beginning, only the war costs in the narrower sense were taken into account, i.e., the operational expenditures. Ignored were the war costs in the broader sense, such as interest payments on war loans, the costs of caring for war invalids and veterans, or money for the intelligence services. (...) One must also consider all the things that could have been done for the economy with the three trillion dollars in war spending. For example, building American infrastructure instead of destroying Iraqi infrastructure. From an economic standpoint, war and mass destruction is the worst economic stimulus program." 

Also, it would certainly be more than cynical to choose to discuss the mass suffering and deaths of people on a merely economic level. This would present a world view that would give priority to economic priorities over the necessities of humanity: People torn to pieces, children who lose their parents and parents who hold their dead children in their arms, are all victims covering the spectrum of economic interests of private-sector profit-seeking as well as of national economic expectation of economic stimulus from the booming arms industry in the event of war. 

The role of private military companies and security services 

Private military and mercenary companies are also increasingly playing a role in military conflicts. For example in Afghanistan and Pakistan, private mercenary troops act on behalf of the U.S. against terrorist groups financed by drug trafficing; sometimes they are also used against states.

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Moisés Naím describes this relatively new armaments industry in his book "The End of Power“: 

"Often starting as small companies out of anonymous office parks in the outskirts of London or suburban Virginia, firms such as Blackwater (now renamed Academia), MPRI, Executive Outcomes, Custer Battles, Titan, and Aegis took on key roles in different military operations. Some were bought by larger firms, some went out of business, and some remained independent. Among other recent opportunities, private military firms have found a market for their services in protecting commercial vessels from Somali pirates. Mercenaries, with all the ancient associations of the word, have turned into a booming and diverse industry." (135) 

The state as well as the private-sector use of mercenaries from private security or military companies entail even greater risks, e.g. with regard to compliance with the law of war, such as the Geneva Convention or the Hague Convention on Land Warfare. 

The killing of 17 civilians in Iraq by Blackwater mercenaries in September 2008 (136) highlighted the activities of private military and mercenary companies and led to broader discussions about the legitimacy of state cooperation with such companies, which originate mainly from the United States and the United Kingdom.The 'Wagner Group' is a military company with direct contacts to the Putin government that is fighting particularly brutally in the Russian invasion and is responsible for numerous war crimes.The soldiers of the Russian Wagner Group are also known for their extremely robust actions and covert operations.
The Wagner Group's attempt to turn against its own opponent, the government of the Russian Federation, in a coup attempt in June 2023 is particularly curious. This ultimately ended after the failed coup attempt with the crash of the plane in which the head of the Wagner Group was flying and was thus also killed. 

But other institutions and organizations, such as multinational corporations, some NGOs and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) also work with military security companies. The market for this has high growth rates. (137)

Mercenarism or privately paid military services have existed in history for a long time, but today's private military services are, according to Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008, 2f.), characterized by the specifics of their organizational embeddedness, 

"One of the main differences between the current private providers of military services and private military organizations in the past is the corporatization of military services. The services are now provided by private firms, operating as businesses to increase value for their shareholders, and many of them are part of bigger multinational corporations." 

Mercenaries from private security companies or military companies are often used by governments of highly developed states, as they are more experienced in at using highly specialized technical equipment, and fallen members of military companies attract less public attention. Mercenaries can also be used behind the front lines. Thus they can also be used more flexibly in the fight against terrorist groups, i.e., in part by circumventing national and international law, in the sense of secret armies with illegitimate missions. The transition to private military companies also corresponds to the trend toward cost-saving, profit-increasing and lower-risk outsourcing in a neoliberal sense. 

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Relativization of the state monopoly of force

The attempted coup by the Russian Wagner Group and the associated march on Moscow in 2023 showed how the state monopoly on the use of force can face competition from an increasingly powerful mercenary organization, even in an authoritarian state.
However, the use of mercenaries from private security companies is also highly problematic in Western democracies, as it relativizes or undermines the monopoly on the use of force of democratically legitimized governments:

"While a key principle of modern states is that they alone have the exclusive legitimacy to exercise violence - the state monopoly of violence - the reliance on private companies for its execution increases the distance between decision making and implementation of force, creating an intermediate actor with its own private, profit-maximizing goals. This thus challenges both the ability of government to exercise direct control over the use of force and the accountability of security providers to the electorate." (138)

Hence, the SIPRI researchers Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008, 17) aptly summarize the problem of private military companies as follows: 

"The continuing expansion of the private military services industry raises many issues. The view that outsourcing is economically efficient can be challenged on a number of grounds, not least when these services are provided in operationally deployed contexts. The involvement of private companies in assisting military operations in armed conflict situations such as Iraq also raises serious concerns about the democratic accountability of armed forces, the status of civilian contractors in military roles, and the political influence of companies that have a vested interest in the continuation of the conflict." 

The Frankfurt political scientist Tim Engartner refers to the difference between democratic objectives of a state and business cost-benefit thinking and its consequence for an army supposedly controlled by parliament. Along with a sell-off of state services and institutions, such as the postal service or the German railroad, the military also comes under the spotlight of state privatization efforts in a neoliberal sense: 

"As in the case of privatization in other areas that were previously the responsibility of the state, there is still a divergence of interests between the profit motives of the private sector and the public service obligations of the public sector. Short-term savings potentials cannot justify the surrender of parliamentary control and the associated de-democratization. Otherwise, a moderately democratic state runs the risk of giving away security-relevant information and leaving decisions making that affect one of the most precious goods of all - the good 'peace' - to private companies." 

(Engartner 2018, 13) (139)

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Civil society as a target 

A further level of escalation of armed conflicts is the targeted bombing of civil society institutions. The violent attacks and mass murders in military conflicts do not stop at educational institutions or children and teachers. The organization "World Vision" in its initiative "Safe Schools Declaration", which is supported by UNICEF, states among others: 

"In the last decade, the number of violent conflicts has nearly doubled, resulting in one in four children worldwide not attending school. The scale of attacks on educational institutions is staggering: the recently released 'Education Under Attack 2018' report documents more than 12,700 attacks on educational institutions between 2013 and 2017, in which more than 21,000 learners and teachers were injured or killed. More than 1,000 attacks (targeted or as "collateral damage") on schools were documented in each of the Democratic Republic of Congo (639 of these in the Kasai region alone in 2016/2017), Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Nigeria, and Yemen. Between 500 and 999 attacks on schools were recorded in Afghanistan as well as South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine." (140)

This problem is exacerbated when militant groups deliberately use schools and hospitals in order to escape enemy attacks. Accordingly, schools, hospitals and ambulance transports are increasingly becoming the target of military attacks, with the argument that enemy fighters are hiding under their protective shield or would operate from there. 
In the course of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, civilian objects are also targeted. Not only the energy system of Ukraine was the target of Russian missile attacks in 2022/2023, but also schools, hospitals and residential districts. Furthermore, in March 2023, the International Criminal Court in The Hague convicted the Russian president of complicity in the abduction of thousands of Ukrainian children and their release for adoption to Russian parents. Putin can theoretically be arrested from now on in all states that recognize the ICC. Also, of course, this is an important symbolic act that no one should be above the law. The corresponding consequences of this fact for the war in Iraq, for politicians Bush Jr. and Cheney should be obvious.
Likewise, the killing of over 1000 Israeli civilians and, in response, the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians - including thousands of children, young people and women - must become the subject of international jurisdiction as soon as possible after the end of the war in the Middle East.

Conclusion: The military-industrial complex oriented towards private-sector profit maximization should not be understood as a "normal" economy, but against the background of existing political structures, as a destructive economic concept, as an economy of death. Deliveries of weapons to areas of tension, massive lobbying, wars as economic stimulus packages and private-sector warfare with high returns, point to a cynical approach to the fact of deaths on a massive scale among the civilian population affected by warfare. Speculation with shares of arms companies in connection with military conflicts and wars, as exemplified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 and the associated rearmament pledges by Western governments, lead to high profits for war profiteers. The timely purchase of shares in the arms companies led to high profit increases, which are achieved with the suffering of people affected by war.

The next chapter analyzes how the military-industrial complex, with the support of politics, will continue to assert itself and how a new arms spiral will contribute to the increasing disorder of the world. 

- 86 -    The return of the rearmament spiral 

With the help of the realism theory of international relations, it can be justified that a state must constantly rearm in order to be able to defend itself against a potentially hostile state. This other state, in turn, uses the same argument of a threat situation to arm itself militarily. The prevailing thinking is that security can only be achieved at the price of military strength. This is legitimized by the view that those in favor of peace must arm themselves for war. It is also argued that the backing of a highly armed military is advantageous in building up pressure for international diplomacy negotiations. This, however, creates an initial and increasing dynamic of rearmament between states and military blocs with all the human, political, ecological and economic consequences and risks that this entails. 
In the war in Ukraine, it is further argued that peace negotiations would only make sense once the Russian army has been defeated or largely pushed back. Therefore, an escalation of arms deliveries to Ukraine and an increase in arms production are demanded. In this context, Germany has decided on a special fund for arms spending worth 100 billion euros in 2022. Russia is reacting accordingly and is in turn increasing its own arms production.
US companies in particular will benefit from new arms orders. In this context, Germany has also decided on a special fund for armaments expenditure worth 100 billion euros in 2022. The Russian Federation, which is primarily responsible for the military aggression, is reacting accordingly and is transforming its economy into a war economy, thereby increasing its own arms production, which in turn leads to further calls for armaments in Western countries. The escalation spiral continues to develop within the framework of this war-focused mindset, leading to an expansion and intensification of acts of war with unforeseeable consequences.

A rearmament spiral does not necessarily have to occur

The successful disarmament negotiations at the end of the 20th century within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, from 1995 OSCE) (141) , in which the USA, Canada and the former Soviet Union also participated, show how diplomacy and talks can be successful in order to get rid of a large part of conventional and nuclear weapons and also to help 'human rights' to achieve a breakthrough. The prerequisite for this was, among other things, civil society support from a broad-based transnational peace movement involving the commitment of millions of people. The agreements concerning the observance of human rights, free elections, freedom of expression, etc., which had already been achieved in 1975 within the framework of the CSCE Final Act, in turn led to numerous Helsinki groups engaged in civil society and to a political opening of the Warsaw Pact states. The resumed INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) negotiations within the CSCE resulted in 1987 in a treaty for the destruction of land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) was signed by 22 heads of government from the Warsaw Pact and the NATO countries. The result of this, in turn, was the elimination of approximately 50,000 conventional offensive weapons systems (tanks, artillery, attack helicopters and combat aircraft stationed in Europe) by the end of 1995. Furthermore, as a result of the Helsinki Document of 1992, war prevention and peacekeeping measures were agreed upon between the signatory states. (142) Those who claim that arms control and large-scale disarmament are fundamentally unsuccessful should be countered by this historic negotiation success in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Social orders in the field of military and security policy can certainly change if a corresponding social pressure arises. This seemed to widely have opened the door to a fundamental new order with an associated peace dividend. 

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The counterforces also became active ...

However, also the counterforces with regard to a peacebuilding new order mobilized in this situation of change. The military-industrial complex and its supporters in politics have of course no interest in eliminating rearmament programs, since this would eliminate a lucrative business model and chauvinist geostrategic options would no longer be viable. 

In recent years, therefore, a new global rearmament spiral has emerged due to the politically supported media staging international enemy images and to existing geostrategic and economic interests. This could lead to enormous returns for the arms industry. 

The intervention of U.S.-led troops in Iraq and Turkey's invasion of the Kurdish regions in northeastern Syria in violation of international law, Russia's occupation of Crimea, also in violation of international law,  and Russia's military invasion of Ukraine and its attempt to split off parts of Ukraine's eastern and southeastern regions, Iran's proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen violating international law, China's increasing aggressiveness (Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea), and the wars in Syria and Libya, initiated a new rearmament spiral on the basis of regional hegemonic interests instead of primarily resolving conflicts by diplomatic means.  In this context, the U.S., China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are continuing their rearmament efforts. The U.S. and NATO are attempting to oblige NATO members to a military budget of of at least 2% of their gross domestic product. In the case of Germany this would mean almost doubling the military budget.  In this context, Germany has also decided on a special fund for armaments expenditure worth 100 billion euros in 2022. The Russian Federation, which is primarily responsible for the military aggression, is reacting accordingly and is transforming its economy into a war economy, thereby increasing its own arms production, which in turn leads to further calls for armaments in Western countries. The escalation spiral continues to develop within the framework of this war-focused mindset, leading to an expansion and intensification of acts of war with unforeseeable consequences.), and the wars in Syria and Libya, initiated a new rearmament spiral on the basis of regional hegemonic interests instead of primarily resolving conflicts by diplomatic means. In this context, the U.S., China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are continuing their rearmament efforts. The U.S. and NATO are attempting to oblige NATO members to a military budget of at least 2% of their gross domestic product. In the case of Germany this would mean almost doubling the military budget. (143) 
The 2024 Republican presidential candidate and former US president irresponsibly escalated the international situation in February 2024 in the sense of extorting protection money - according to CNN's report:
" 'NATO was busted until I came along,' Trump said at a rally in Conway, South Carolina. 'I said, 'Everybody's gonna pay. They said, 'Well, if we don't pay, are you still going to protect us?' I said, 'Absolutely not. They couldn't believe the answer.
Trump said 'one of the presidents of a big country' at one point asked him whether the US would still defend the country if they were invaded by Russia even if they 'don't pay.
'No, I would not protect you,' Trump recalled telling that president. 'In fact, I would encourage them to do whatever the hell they want. You got to pay. You got to pay your bills.
President Joe Biden said Sunday that Trump 'is making it clear that he will abandon our NATO allies' and outlined the potential consequences of Trump's comments." (Sullivan 2024)
You have to realize this: Trump would encourage Putin to invade Western countries if they did not contribute at least 2% of their gross domestic product to the NATO budget. It should also be borne in mind that US armaments companies in particular would benefit from Western investment in armaments. A clear case of international protection racketeering.

The rearmament spiral is accelerated by the media constructing manipulative enemy images  (e.g., reciprocal U.S. - Russia, Iran - U.S., Saudi Arabia - Iran, U.S. - China) indicating that the counterpart would seek military superiority in a weapons sector, would not abide by international arms control agreements, would adopt a fundamentally hostile and untrustworthy attitude, would have the wrong ideology or religion,  and would plan or fight a war of aggression. (144)

The war in Ukraine has drastically intensified the global arms spiral. Furthermore an escalation of competition between China and the United States can be seen in recent years. This is where a significant global conflict potential is likely to occur in the near future, as China is increasingly catching up with the U.S. in the geopolitical, economic and military spheres and has already achieved superiority in some areas. 

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Global arms race in figures

The facts are as follows: Overall, arms spending is on the rise worldwide. The Swedish research institute SIPRI calculated that global arms spending increased to $1.739 trillion in 2017 (2018: $1.83 trillion, 2019: $1.9 trillion). The U.S. military budget accounted for one-third of total global defense spending in 2018 ($649 billion vs. $610 billion in 2017), 2.7 times ahead of China reaching second place (228 billion). China increased its defense budget by 5.6% in 2017, India by 5.5%, and Saudi Arabia by as much as 9.2%. 
In 2021, global arms spending rose well above two trillion dollars (2.113 trillion). The top five arms investors were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia. They accounted for 62% of global arms spending (SIPRI 2022).
The defense spending of Russia in 2017, however, decreased by 20% compared to the previous year (2017: $66.3 billion) and again in 2018 by another 3.5%. The reason for the decrease in Russian defense spending was due to economic difficulties. Russia had modernized its army in recent years and had repeatedly tested it in various military conflicts. Russian costs for weapons systems and personnel were also much lower than in Western countries, so these figures are not readily comparable.
However, Russian military spending then increased again in 2019 by 4.5% to over $65 billion.  In 2021, Russia again increased its military budget by nearly 3%, using 4.1% of its GDP on defense spending in 2021 (SIPRI 2022).
Russian arms spending then increased significantly again in 2023/2024 in the wake of the Russian Federation's war in Ukraine - SIPRI (2023b) estimates
" that Russia's planned military spending of 12,765 billion roubles (around 140 billion US dollars) in 2024 would be 29 percent higher in real terms than in 2023, which corresponds to 7.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 35 percent of total government spending."
At the same time, and in clear response to the Russian attack, Ukraine has drastically increased its defense spending for 2022 - according to SIPRI (2023c):
"Ukraine's military spending reached $44.0 billion in 2022. At 640 percent, this was the highest single-year increase in military spending ever recorded in SIPRI data. As a result of this increase and the war-related damage to the Ukrainian economy, the military burden (military spending as a share of GDP) rose from 3.2 percent in 2021 to 34 percent of GDP in 2022."
Germany ranked 9th on the global arms scale in 2017 ($47.2 billion) with a slight increase, rising to 8th in 2018 (up 3.8% arms spending) and 7th in 2019. Arms spending by all NATO countries was 52% of total global arms spending in 2017 (about $900 billion in military spending by NATO countries). This increased to 53% of global arms spending for 2018. (145)

Global arms spending for 2019 increased by another 3.6% over the previous year to a total of $1917 billion. The increase for the USA alone was as large as the total German arms budget (SIPRI 2020b). 

The defense budget for 2024 provides for an addition of the normal defense budget and the special assets for Germany - according to the Federal Ministry of Defense (2024):
"Compared to the previous year, the 2024 defense budget has increased by 1.83 billion euros. With 51.95 billion euros from the defense budget and around 19.8 billion euros from the Bundeswehr Special Fund, further important investments in the best possible material and equipment for the troops can also be made this year."
With a defense budget of over 70 billion euros in 2024, Germany will have clearly exceeded the 2% of GDP threshold.
China is arming itself massively. In parallel with its growing economic power, China is increasingly catching up militarily with the USA, and it is estimated that China will be at the same level of armaments as the USA in about ten years if the development continues in the same way. 

China is now building its own aircraft carriers, supersonic cannons, special torpedoes and stealth jets. Although China insists that its armaments are exclusively for national defense purposes, the country is expanding military bases on artificial islands in the South China Sea, which is also confirmed by other surrounding states. 
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis criticized this at a conference in Singapore in June 2018: 

"Despite China's claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapon systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion," (146)

There would be Chinese bombers landing on the islands, and in addition to anti-aircraft missiles, there would be missiles capable of attacking ships within a radius of 550 miles. (147)

Meanwhile, China has the largest conventional missile potential. China also has a large arsenal of combat drones and is now the world's largest exporter of such drones. China is expanding – just as the U.S. publicly declares – capabilities for reconnaissance and action in space, e.g., in terms of destroying enemy satellites. (148)
China is continuously increasing its defense budget, according to SIPRI (2023c):
"China remained the world's second-largest military spender, spending an estimated $292 billion in 2022. This is 4.2 percent more than in 2021 and 63 percent more than in 2013. China's military spending has increased for 28 consecutive years."
The SIPRI statistics of 2020 and 2021 show an increase in the defense budgets of most countries in absolute terms - despite the shrinking gross domestic product (see table 5).


Tab.5: Arms expenditure in international comparison (taken from SIPRI 2021, 2022, 2023c)


  State                2020 in US $                Change in %                            World share in % and
                            billion and (change    (2011-2020)                           (share of nat. GDP in %)     
                            2019-2020 in%)           

  1 United States   778 (+4.4)                       -10                                                       39 (3.7)
  2 China                (252)  (+1.9)                    +76                                                      (13) ((1.7)
  3 India                   72.9  (+5.5%)                  +34                                                     3.7 (2.9)
  4 Russia                61.7 (+2.5)                      +26                                                     3.1 (4.3)
  5 United                 59.2 (+2.9)                       -4.2                                                    3.0 (2.2)
  6 Saudi Arabia       (57.5) (-10%)                   +2.3                                                   (2.9) ((8.4))
  7 Germany              52.8 (+5.2)                    +28                                                      2.7 (1.4)
  8 France                  52.7 (+2.9%)                   +9.8                                                   2.7 (2.1)
  9 Japan                   49.1 (+1.2)                      +2.4                                                   2.5 (1.0)
10 Südkorea            45.7 (4.9)                      +41                                                       2.3 (2.8)
Total                         1.981                             
(world-wide):          US $ trillion                 


Share of NATO countries totalled $1103 billion in 2020. The USA, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Canada accounted for 90 per cent ($995 billion) of total NATO spending and nearly 50 per cent of global military expenditure  

SIPRI (2022): "Total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to reach $2113 billion. The five largest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia, together accounting for 62 per cent of expenditure". 

SIPRI (2023c): "Global military spending rose by 3.7% in real terms in 2022, reaching a new high of 2,240 billion dollars. Military spending in Europe recorded the strongest year-on-year increase in at least 30 years."

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The danger of nuclear war increases

Nuclear disarmament treaties are being abandoned. At the same time, investments are currently being made not only in conventional weapons, but also in nuclear forces and nuclear weapons technologies; there is also a threat of a new nuclear arms spiral – according to the press release of ICAN Germany on the occasion of the Munich Security Conference 2018: 

 "The Stockholm-based peace research institute SIPRI warns about the gigantic modernization programs of nuclear weapons states. According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the United States alone plans to spend more than $400 billion on its nuclear arsenal within ten years. Also Russia is investing heavily in its nuclear forces and testing new intercontinental missiles. China, Pakistan and India are also increasing their nuclear arsenal. The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced last week that the spending on the maintenance and renewal of French nuclear weapons would be almost doubled – to six billion euros a year, a total of 37 billion over the next seven years. In addition, with North Korea the number of states possessing nuclear weapons has recently increased further. All this is taking place in a highly unstable security environment. Never before have there been so great tensions between so many nuclear-weapon states. There is currently no nuclear-weapon state that is not in a situation of crisis or conflict." (149)

In particular, with the development of hypersonic drones and missiles driven by China, Russia and the USA, a new dimension has been reached in the arms race. Due to the speed and maneuverability of the Russian cruise missiles, which, for instance, fly at 32,000 km/h and are equipped with nuclear warheads, defense in the event of an attack is virtually impossible. (150) 

Not only are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council constantly expanding their nuclear armament program – also with regard to a more flexible and limited application. Even extremely unstable states, such as Pakistan, Israel, North Korea and India, already have the nuclear bomb due to the transfer of nuclear technology by the permanent Security Council members. Other states that are considered problematic, such as Iran, are on the threshold of nuclear technology. 

When radical religious practices, political ideologies, economic interests, and ideas of geostrategic hegemony collide in certain regions of the world, possession of nuclear technology or hydrogen bombs leads to a global threat the consequences of which are unforeseeable. 
Conflicts between China and India as well as India and Pakistan (Kashmir conflict) also pose incalculable threats between nuclear powers, some of which cooperate inadequately and non-transparently in the multilateral system. (151)

A new threat arises from the announcementby the former US President Donald Trump that smaller nuclear bombs will be developed and used in military conflicts. 'Mini-Nukes' could be used for a 'limited nuclear strike' in the sense of tactical nuclear weapons. (152) Since the planned 'mini-nukes' are still capable of destroying cities the size of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in terms of their destructive power, these announcements merely further accelerate the nuclear arms spiral and thus also lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons – as confirmed by former US President Trump in 2016 during the election campaign: "If we have them why can't we use them?" (153)
The Russian side also threatened the West with nuclear attacks in 2022 in the course of the war in Ukraine, and nuclear weapons were put into operational readiness.

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The European Union also has massive nuclear armament plans for the future. Here, the focus is on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), which involves a complex system consisting of novel and nuclear equipped combat aircraft accompanied by swarms of drones based on satellite network with armed forces on land and sea. The new 6th generation fighter aircraft is a stealth bomber that is also equipped with cyber warfare capabilities and an air combat cloud and it is by artificial intelligence connected with the other combat systems. FCAS is expected to be operational by 2040 but it is still competing with another similar European rearmament project "Templet". The development cost of FCAS is estimated at 100 billion euros. The acquisition cost is estimated at 500 billion euros. (154)

Anti-personnel mines - a terrible war legacy 

In 2017, 1.7 trillion dollars were spent on the production of weapons worldwide. In 2018 it was already 1.82 trillion dollars, in 2019 1.917 trillion dollars and in 2022 already 2.24 trillion dollars (see Table 5). International rearmament and the associated alarming situation are again accelerating. 

A terrible instrument of violent conflict and dangerous armament are the anti-personnel mines. Although there was a first breakthrough due to the international ban on the use, transfer and development of anti-personnel mines in 1999 with the 'Ottawa Convention', the largest mine suppliers USA, Russia and China have not yet signed the treaty. 

There are currently between 70 and 110 million landmines in more than 70 countries in the form of anti-personnel or vehicle mines, which, when hidden in the ground, pose a threat primarily to the civilian population. This situation has hardly changed between 2003 and 2016. (155)

Triple-digit billions of dollars will be needed in the future to eliminate landmines - if this can be fully accomplished at all.

Threat of escalation through hypersonic weapons 

The Russian Iskander hypersonic missiles with nuclear weapons and stealth technology, which are located in Kaliningrad and elsewhere, can reach Germany, for example, in a matter of minutes. This is a threatening development and an irresponsible measure by the government of the Russian Federation, which must be clearly criticized.
In the war in Ukraine, hypersonic missiles were also used by the Russian side for the first time - fired from fighter jets - and are very difficult to defend against:
"The Ch-47M2 Kinschal ("Dagger") hypersonic missile is one of the most fearsome new additions to the Russian Air Force. The approximately eight-metre-long missiles fly extremely fast and extremely high, but remain maneuverable according to Russian information. According to NATO estimates, they can hardly be intercepted by conventional air or missile defenses in March. The Western alliance has christened the new Russian weapon AS-24 Killjoy ('spoilsport')."  (rnd, 2022)
However, the Ukrainian leadership claims that it recently shot down several Russian Kinshal missiles with the help of the Patriot defense system, even if this was not easy (Rugalla, Lukas, 2024).
The USA and NATO are now threatening a backlash, as there are increasing signs that hypersonic missiles ('Dark Eagle', designation: Long Range Hypersonic Weapon) are also to be stationed in Europe, for example in Germany or Poland (Wagner 2021, Reckmann 2022).

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These weapons travel significantly faster than Mach 5 (= over 6000 km/h) and carry guideable gliding missiles that are difficult to intercept using existing techniques. A reaction is associated with considerable difficulties due to the high flight speed, the great variability of the gliding missiles and their low approach phase below the radar. The US hypersonic missiles currently in the final test phase are equipped with conventional warheads, but could also be converted for 'dual use' with nuclear warheads. NATO denies this, but how credible is this in the event of an escalating conflict - especially as the Russian hypersonic missiles can be equipped with nuclear warheads according to Russian information? 
In the event of a software error or a self-dynamic or faulty behavior of the AI, neither the defense nor the comprehensive testing of an appropriate counter-reaction is possible. Even conventionally equipped hypersonic missiles can trigger a nuclear war. They are designed as a means of combat in the sense of a decapitation strike, i.e. to eliminate the opposing government leadership if it is located in buildings located above ground. One can only imagine how a nuclear-armed state attacked in this way will react.
Therefore, in view of the current aggressive global situation and the (imminent) deployment of hypersonic weapons, an appeal against nuclear armament was launched and a return to disarmament negotiations was called for. (see
The German government is the addressee here. The German government is called upon to veto the future deployment of hypersonic missiles and to advocate the revival or further development of nuclear disarmament treaties. Among other things, the Federal Government is calling for the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which is already in force under international law and which would also put an end to Germany's nuclear sharing.

Exiting the logic of deterrence

Of course, naivety is not an option. There are political and economic interests behind the military escalation. The ominous combination of the economic interests of the military-industrial complex, geostrategic interests, national-religious ideologies and the authoritarian profiling of (mostly male) politicians under pressure is leading to a continuous escalation of the global security situation. But in a nuclear inferno, everyone loses - including the billionaires, the ideologues and the warlords on all sides.

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At present, military violations and aggression are generally met with even stronger counter-attacks instead of abandoning the logic of deterrence and punishment and choosing the path of negotiation with the involvement of the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, such as the OSCE.
The Austrian Nobel Prize winner Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) criticized the blindness and stupidity of the warmongers and the policy of deterrence and escalating punitive actions. She wrote very accurately in this context: 
"It will not occur to any sensible person to want to clean up ink stains with ink, oil stains with oil - only blood, that is to be washed out again and again with blood."  
(von Suttner, Bertha, 1889)

Use of artificial intelligence in military conflicts 

A more recent danger is the use of artificial intelligence via human-robotic systems, e.g. in the use of combat drones and the evaluation of the footage via intelligent algorithms in order to quickly identify and differentiate between humans as the basis of attacks. (156) There are already NGOs that are critically following this development or calling for protests, such as the US civil rights organization Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC). 

According to the EFF (157), the U.S. Department of Defense invested $7.4 billion in the development of artificial intelligence for military purposes in 2017. It becomes particularly problematic when drones use criteria, such as race or skin color to autonomously distinguish between people - according to Kate Conger and Dell Cameron (2018) on the EFF homepage: 

"Maven was tasked with using machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects in drone footage, taking that burden off analysts. Maven's initial goal was to provide the military with advanced computer vision, enabling the automated detection and identification of objects in as many as 38 categories captured by a drone's full-motion camera, according to the Pentagon. Maven provides the department with the ability to track individuals as they come and go from different locations. 

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Artificial intelligence is already deployed in law enforcement and military applications, but researchers warn that these systems may be significantly biased in ways that aren't easily detectible. For example, ProPublica reported in 2016 that an algorithm used to predict the likelihood of recidivism among inmates routinely exhibited racial bias." 

The international Campaign to Stop Killer Robots already brings together more than 60 non-governmental organizations that oppose killing by artificial intelligence-equipped war machines: 

"So far no state has used fully automated weapons systems, but that could change. Major powers like the U.S., Russia and China are already preparing to use "killer robots" in combat. The reason could be the fear of not being able to keep up with a possible future arms race. Although the the German army has so far ruled out acquiring such systems, and the German parliament would have to approve such an operation anyway, German defense policy must prepare for the fact that German soldiers could one day face such systems." (158)

The International Committee for Robot Arms Control (ICRAC) calls for a ban and a development control regarding autonomous killer machines or killer robots, since major powers such as Russia, China and the U.S. obviously are working at a great speed to develop these weapons. Thompson Chengeta (ICRA) therefore calls at a UN hearing: 

"Finally, human control over critical functions of weapon systems and a ban on fully autonomous weapon systems are two sides of the same coin. States are urged to focus on the requirement of human control rather than technical definitions of autonomy. Further, States must move towards negotiation of a legally binding instrument on this issue." (159)
Computer scientist and AI specialist Karl H. Bläsius (2024) sees a threatening development of nuclear weapons systems, particularly in connection with AI. AI will be interposed for rapid detection in the face of ever faster and more difficult to locate missiles with nuclear load, as humans are overwhelmed with the process of perceiving, deciding and commanding in such a short time. However, if AI is ultimately decisive for a nuclear counter-attack, then there is a risk of 'nuclear war by mistake'. AI can never make 100% reliable statements and does not have the moral and ethical standards that responsible humans might have.

To sum up: Instead of disarmament, the arms spiral continues to grow. The USA is verifiable the driving force behind this trend in terms of the volume of arms spending. However, major states such as China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia are also constantly increasing their already high arms expenditures, either overtly or covertly. 
The Russian war in Ukraine shows how a state, in this case Russia, develops aggressively when its substantial arms investments make it feel powerful enough to invade a neighboring state in the wake of a neo-imperialist ideology underpinned by ethnic motives. 

In particular, the risk of a nuclear conflict is growing as nuclear weapons become more widespread and appear usuable due to the development of mini-nukes or in terms of tactical nuclear weapons. This has once again been clearly demonstrated by the war in Ukraine. The deployment of hypersonic missiles, which can be equipped with nuclear weapons, also poses a significant threat in this context.
The combination of AI and modernized weapons systems is currently leading to a particularly dangerous development, which is already being tested in the war in Ukraine.
The deployment of hypersonic missiles that can be equipped with nuclear weapons also poses a particular threat in this context.

This is in contrast to the efforts to preserve peace through diplomatic means, compromises, and in the spirit of a shared global perspective. Moreover, these trillions of dollars are not available to mankind for more meaningful expenditures in the sense of a peace dividend that in the event of disarmament could be used for combating climate catastrophe, for preventive reactions to famine catastrophes, for the fight for clean water and for the elimination of global social injustice. 

- 94 -    Environment, military and war 

One aspect of rearmament and military activities that has been neglected for a long time is the massive environmental destruction caused worldwide by the military, especially during and after wars. But the military is also the largest institutional emitter of climate change gases in everyday military operations and exercises. In addition the environmental destruction and emissions caused by the production of weapons must also be added. 

The poisoning and destruction of the environment with serious consequences for humans, animals and plants are only now gradually getting public attention in connection with the current protests of the environmental and peace movements. But the Norwegian peace researcher Johan Galtung addressed this aspect in a far-sighted manner already in 2004: 

 “One thing is damage to the eco-system and eco-deterioration; another is reinforcement of the general cultural code  of domination over nature, also a part of the rape syndrome. Countless millions watch on TV not only people killed and wounded but also nature destroyed, poisoned, going up in flames. The war is legitimated. The damage may be deplored, not the legitimation.” (160)


History of military environmental degradation 

However, military-related interference with the environment and self-evident legitimizing of destruction of nature in the context of military conflicts and for military use purposes already took place already hundreds of years ago. Ecological destruction by the military was rarely seen as a threat in the past; economic and geostrategic objectives had priority. For example, as early as in the 1st century AD, the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder criticized deforestation and the devastation of landscapes in Italy, Spain, and North Africa in order to extract, among other things, timber, copper, and iron ore for trade and war: 

"One digs through the earth in pursuit of wealth, because the world demands gold, silver, electron, and copper - there for the sake of ostentation, for precious stones and dyes for walls and wood; elsewhere, to get hold of iron, which for war and murder is valued even more than gold." (161)

The consequences of these massive interventions in nature can still be seen today, for example, in the karstification of large parts of the Italian and Spanish mountain landscape. 

Later, colonialism was associated with further environmental destruction and interference with ecologically adapted and functioning subsistence farming systems: Indigenous peasants were forced to leave their land in conquered territories. An intact environment often turned into a monocultural and one-sided plantation desert due to the military intervention of the colonial powers. 

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The two world wars transformed numerous regions into landscapes destroyed and contaminated by remnants of war. 

According to estimates by the Fraunhofer Institute, approximately 1.6 million tons of conventional and about 200,000 tons of chemical warfare materials lie on the seabeds of the Baltic and the North Seas. Sea mines, bombs and poison gas grenades corrode, become porous and release their toxic charge into the environment and the poison enters the human food chain via the fish. (162)

The two atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 caused, in addition to a quarter of a million deaths in 1945 alone, radioactive contamination of these regions as well as numerous cancer deaths and children born with genetic defects. 

There were pesticides used in Vietnam as early as in 1961 by order of U.S. President John F. Kennedy to defoliate the rainforests in order to deprive the Viet Cong of cover and to destroy their rice fields. From February 1967 onwards, the plant poison 'Agent Orange' was used to defoliate the Vietnamese rainforest and to destroy the Viet Cong's rice fields as part of the largest chemical attack in history during the Vietnam War. The dioxin it contained has not been removed until today and is the reason for massive appearances of cancers and genetic defects in Vietnam. In total, 70 million liters of airborne herbicides were spread over Vietnam by the U.S. Army with devastating consequences for nature and human health. (163)

Current environmental destruction by military and war 

The 'International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons' (ICAN), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, estimates that approximately 2000 nuclear weapons tests with the explosive power of 29,000 Hiroshima bombs were conducted underground, in water and above ground. The nuclear weapons tests have caused extensive radioactive contamination of various regions as well as approximately 2.4 million cancer deaths today. For instance, the USA conducted a total of 1032 tests from 1945 to 1992. The Soviet Union carried out 456 nuclear weapons tests alone in Semipalatinsk in the Kazakh area between 1949 and 1991. (164)

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However, nobody knows exactly how many millions of people actually fell ill with cancer and died especially as a result of the above-ground tests. The organization 'International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War' (IPPNW) sets the number of victims even higher than the ICAN study 'Threat to Life from Radioactive Radiation'. The study, led by the Munich biochemist Prof. Roland Scholz, concluded as early as in 1997, 

"that external radiation exposure from bomb fallout alone could cause 3 million additional cancer deaths worldwide by the year 2000. In addition, there would be the consequences through ingestion of radionuclides in food and the air we breathe. This internal radiation could cause an additional 30 million casualties." (165)

Burning oil wells in the military conflicts in the Arab region, e.g. in the Iraq war, caused massive CO2 pollution of the biosphere. Another example is the burning oil wells of Saudi Arabia during the Yemen war. 

But in particular the 30-year bombardment of Iraq should be mentioned here, during which hundreds of thousands of missions of fighter aircrafts with deadly bomb loads caused massive environmental destruction. The U.S. and its allies killed a total of 2.7 million people over 30 years in the course of the 2nd and 3rd Gulf Wars and the subsequent operations and measures, an average of 270 people per day. (166) Furthermore, there was massive ecological damage from bombing, setting fire to oil facilities, and the use of uranium munitions (DU, depleted uranium) – according to the German journalist Jacob Reimann (2021, n.d.): 

"On February 24, 1991, the U.S. began the ground invasion of Kuwait and was able to recapture the entire country within a few days. Retreating Iraqi troops set dozens of oil facilities on fire and opened Kuwaiti oil terminals, causing a devastating environmental disaster in the Persian Gulf. (...) 

In 1991, the U.S. fired 320 tons of radioactive DU ammunition in Iraq. Cancer rates skyrocketed. As with the chemical warfare of the USA in Vietnam using Agent Orange, DU hits the youngest ones the hardest: In just ten years, there was a seventeen-fold increase in the number of neonatal malformations in Basra. (....) The U.S. has virtually created a new category of human misery and suffering with its DU ammunition." 

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Beyond this: 

When U.S. troops leave an occupied territory, they often leave behind an ecological disaster that has serious consequences for the health of the people still living there. According to its own statute, the U.S. Army is not allowed to leave any materials behind, thus, everything that is not taken away is burned in so-called 'burn pits.' These are large pits where oil residues, chemical waste, explosives, batteries, paint, wrecked cars, among other things, go up in flames. The fires often burn for weeks after U.S. troops have withdrawn. The resulting unfiltered emissions release toxic particles into the environment, which effect people and the environment. Groundwater is contaminated, cancer and lung disease as well as increased miscarriages occur in the vicinity of the 'burn pits'. Also those who fuel the fires, the U.S. soldiers, have increased rates of cancer and lung disease. (167)

But uranium ammunition was not used only in Iraq. Uranium ammunition used by NATO in former Yugoslavia, among other places, also poisoned the environment and caused radioactively contaminated areas. Radioactive ammunition was also used in Iraq and today in Syria, especially for armor-piercing offensive weapons. As a result, more and more children are born with massive deformities and are often unable to survive. 

The correspondent Karin Leukefeld, accredited in Damascus for many years, reports on the health consequences of uranium ammunition made from depleted uranium, which - in addition to its directly destructive effect - is highly toxic to the environment, animals and humans, including future generations: 

"The consequences of the depleted uranium ammunition used by the U.S. and its allies in several Gulf wars are still affecting families in southern Iraq and west of Baghdad, in Falluja. Countless children are born dead or with severe deformities: open backs, fused legs, external bladders, one eye or no eye at all, open skulls, to name just a few examples." (168) 

Uranium ammunition is also used in Syria. When fired, the uranium burns at up to 5,000 degrees Celsius to form nanoparticles that are 100 times smaller than red blood cells, and falls to the ground as radioactive fine dust that contaminates the environment. (169)
The Russian invasion and the war in Ukraine starting in February 2022 also brought massive environmental destruction affecting people, buildings and infrastructure as well as the biosphere. Thousands of detonations from bomb and missile attacks, blasts, exploding fuel depots, the danger of radioactivity leakage from attacked nuclear power plants, extensive CO2 emissions from operating thousands of military vehicles and fighter jets, destroyed landscapes and mined terrain are the results of this war. 
In a study by de Klerk et al (2023), it was determined that within one year of war in Ukraine, both warring parties emitted approximately as much CO₂ emissions as in Belgium as a whole in the same year. This amounted to 119 million tons of CO₂ equivalents.

Stuart Parkinson and Linsey Cottrell (2022) also summarize their study on the climate damage caused by the military and wars as follows: 

„If the world’s militaries were a country, this figure would mean they have the fourth largest national carbon footprint in the world – greater than that of Russia. This emphasises the urgent need for concerted action to be taken both to robustly measure military emissions and to reduce the related carbon footprint – especially as these emissions are very likely to be growing in the wake of the war in Ukraine.“

Susanne Aigner (2022) adds another threat to this damage and destruction in her report on the ecological consequences of the Ukraine war:
"In addition, there are other types of radioactive contamination, one of which can be traced back to the war in the Donbass: since the start of the war in 2014, the old coal mines there have not been properly pumped out and maintained. As a result, some 200 mines have been flooded, some of which were dug with nuclear blasts, spreading chemicals such as mercury and arsenic into the groundwater. As measurements by Ukraine's Environment Ministry showed back in 2016, radiation levels in wells throughout the region were ten times above the limit." (Aigner 2022).
The war in Ukraine leaves behind a destroyed co-environment, for which the Russian Federation will have to pay billions of euros in reparations, although ultimately only the shallow damage would then be repairable here. The hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries, as well as the profound impact on human health caused by inhaled emissions, drinking contaminated water and the radiation to be endured, cannot be offset with money. 

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But the military is not one of the biggest global polluters only in military operations, i.e. in war, but also in everyday military operations, i.e. in regions still free of war. As Markus Gelau (2018) writes, using the U.S. military as an example: 

"Officially, 320,000 barrels of oil are consumed daily at the 1,000 military bases around the world. Mainly used by the 285 U.S. Navy combat and supply ships constantly in service. Likewise, some 4,000 combat aircraft, 28,000 armored vehicles, 140,000 other vehicles, over 4,000 helicopters, several hundred transport aircraft, and 187,493 transport vehicles (all figures from 2012) consume lots of fuel. 

In addition, decommissioned ships and their highly toxic cargo are usually not dismantled and disposed of properly, but simply bombed and sunk with torpedoes and missiles on the high seas. This is said to have been done at least 109 times between 1999 and 2012. Only 64 ships were dismantled and recycled in the same period." (170) 

In the U.S. alone, there are, according to Pentagon figures, approximately 39,000 contaminated military training areas, which would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to decontaminate. (171)

Germany, for example, is not an exemption in regard to this problem. This is demonstrated by the massive forest fires on the former training grounds of the GDR army and the Bundeswehr with the associated danger of exploding ammunition in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as well as the bombs that are still being found in major German cities. 

The German peace and environmental activist Bernhard Trautvetter considers the worldwide military forces to be one of the most dangerous institutional climate polluters causing massive destruction already in normal operation – not to mention war: 

"A Eurofighter burns about 3,500 kg of fuel per flight hour, producing about 11 tons of CO2. (...) A tank consumes about 500 liters of fuel per 100 km, depending on the terrain." (172)

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It is assumed that the climate pollution of the U.S. military alone corresponds to the emissions of three countries - this is the result of an enquiry made by scientists at the 'Defense Logistic Agency': 

"Based on this data, the scientists determined that if the U.S. armed forces were a nation-state, they would be the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world if only emissions from fuel use were taken into account. This would mean that the U.S. military alone would produce more emissions than Portugal, Sweden, or Denmark. 

In 2017, the U.S. military used about 42.9 million gallons of oil each day, emitting more than 25 million tons of carbon dioxide. The U.S. Air Force purchased $4.9 billion worth of fuel that year, the Navy $2.8 billion, followed by the Army at $977 million and the Marines at $36 million, emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries." (173)
A study by Dr. Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility and expert reviewer for the IPCC) not only assumed direct CO2 emissions from transportation and exercises, but also included emissions from weapons production, infrastructure construction, and supply chains. For the largest army by far, Parkinson calculated 340 million metric tons of CO₂-equivalents in 2017, and this is unlikely to have decreased at present. For the global situation, Parkinson calculated that 5.5% of the world's CO2 emissions are attributable to the military of all nations. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the percentage of global CO2 emissions caused by the military is much higher. 
Parkinson (2020) summarizes the necessary consequences based on his findings on the military's ecological footprint as follows:
"The key to real reductions in military carbon emissions is thus to shrink the huge military budgets around the world - which totaled more than $1,800 bil-lion in 2018. (...) And the key to shrinking these budgets is to reduce military tensions. So, rather than looking for new, lower carbon ways to fight wars, our governments should be prioritising measures such as diplomacy, international disarmament treaties, fair trade, poverty alleviation and, of course, reductions in carbon emissions right across the economy. Only then can we confidently achieve a more secure world."

Another problem is the ecological contamination from landmines. 

The United Nations estimates that more than 100 million landmines have been planted in more than 70 countries in the past decades. (174) Such areas, for example in former Yugoslavia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam, Cambodia or Chechnya, are thus contaminated with explosives and cannot be used for a long time for housing or agriculture, as the clearing of explosives is expensive and can only be carried out step by step over a long period of time. 

Common interests of the environmental and peace movement 

The above record could be continued with numerous other examples (use of cluster munitions by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, barrel bombs by the Syrian military, sunken Soviet nuclear submarines in the Baltic Sea, CO2 emissions from military operation in the air and on the ground ...) and shows: 

The environmental and peace movements have a common substantive cross point. The demand for an end to environmental destruction by military operations and wars should be addressed by the environmental as well as the peace movement as central political demands. 

This assessment is further supported by the fact that the military is not only the cause of climate damage, but the climate crisis is related to capitalist and geostrategic interests (175) will in turn, be the further cause of conflicts to be carried out militarily and to the destruction of political systems, especially in the poorer regions of the world - according to Michael T. Klare (2015), Professor of Peace and World Security at Hampshire College in Massachusetts: 

„While the strongest and wealthiest governments, especially in more temperate regions, will be better able to cope with these stresses, expect to see the number of failed states  grow dramatically, leading to violence and open warfare over what food, arable land, and shelter remains.  In other words, imagine significant parts of the planet in the kind of state that Libya, Syria, and Yemen are in today.  Some people will stay and fight to survive; others will migrate, almost assuredly encountering a far more violent version of the hostility  we already see toward immigrants and refugees in the lands they head for.  The result, inevitably, will be a global epidemic of resource civil wars and resource violence of every sort.“ (176) 

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This means that global military activities can be both a cause and a consequence of environmental degradation. 

Accordingly, the peace activist Karl-Heinz Peil (2019, 13) (Bundesausschuss Friedensratschlag) demands: "For the peace movement (...) only drastic disarmament will make global sustainability and resource protection possible." (177)

This is equally true for the environmental movement, which should focus more clearly on the ecological threat posed by the military in times of peace as well as in times of war. If a rearmament of Germany and the EU is carried out according to NATO requirements (2% of GDP for military expenditures), then this money will be missing for the existentially necessary fight against the climate crisis – according to the international peace networker Reiner Braun and the environmental politician Michael Müller (2018): 

"But we live in an uncompleted peace in which social inequalities and ecological risks are increasing. Hunger, misery and environmental destruction generate a violence that can trigger wars. In addition, almost 30 billion euros for the military would be lacking for the modernization of infrastructure, social housing, development cooperation or in the fight against climate change. 

Money must flow into the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible. These are investments that are indispensable for peace. “ (178)

In this context, the question of financing the elimination of environmental damage caused by the military must also be raised. In addition to the warring parties causing the damage, the armaments industry would also have to be involved. For the armaments industry in particular, it is not justifiable that the (considerable) profits are privatized while the costs are shared between the state and the taxpayer. Such externalization of costs and internalization of profits in the defense industry are no longer acceptable. It is completely incomprehensible why, for example, the manufacturers of anti-personnel mines should not also pay for their removal and for damages claims from the victims. 

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Above all, the exclusion of the military as a climate polluter from the Kyoto Protocol and  the fact that this was also left non-binding in the Paris Agreement, especially under pressure from the USA, also points to the international dimension of the problem. (179) Here, the United Nations is called upon to include the environmental problems in connection with the military and with war operations in the inventory of international climate treaties. This would be easier for them if an appropriate civil society pressure were built up, e.g. by the Fridays for Future movement and the Easter March movement or other activities of the peace and environmental movement. 

In particular, attention should be drawn to the disproportion between military spending and investment in environmental protection, which is an expression of a the problematic level of consciousness among the political rulers and, of course, also meets the interests of the arms industry. The peace activist Bernhard Trautvetter (2019a) has documented this impressively in figures for Germany: 

"In Germany, too, the indirect environmental impact of armaments becomes immediately clear just by looking at the federal budget: the allocation for so-called defense reached a new record in 2019, jumping from around 38.5 billion euros to 43.2 billion euros. The allocation for the environment, nature conservation and so-called nuclear safety rose from just below 2 billion euros to just below 2.3 billion euros. The relationship between military spending and the budget, which includes environmental costs, is approximately nineteen to one." 

We must appeal to the electorate accordingly: No longer to vote for a party that does not have a clear ecological position; no longer to vote for a party that supports the expansion of the arms budget and arms trade, even if this is justified by the job argument; no longer to vote for a party that is prepared to take part in wars that violate international law and are always directed against people as well as the environment. 

Furthermore: If the growing international environmental movement, which is currently supported primarily by the younger generation, makes contact with the peace movement in regard to the connection between the military, war and environmental destruction, and starts networking with it, thelong-term social relevance will continue to increase. If the connection between the environmental destruction, mainly caused by an unrestrained pursuit of profit and geostrategic interests, and the violent displacement conflicts as well as the migration of fleeing groups of people is also addressed, then such a social movement could possibly in the long term have an even greater systemic significance than the 1968 movement. 

- 102 - Asymmetric wars and 'New Wars' 

Parallel to traditional wars in which individual states or alliances of states fight each other ('symmetrical wars'), changed forms of armed conflicts have been taking place for some time. Terrorist attacks, guerrilla wars, cyber attacks, civil wars, warlord regimes exploiting and dominating the population, and racist-religious riots lead to permanent military conflicts not only in the peripheries but also increasingly in the capitalist metropolises. War returns with a different face to the zones of prosperity also as terrorist threats and mass migrations. 

The political scientist Herfried Münkler (2014) distinguishes between symmetrical and asymmetrical wars. The classic war between states with armies fighting against each other on behalf of a territorially limited nation state, and which tend to proceed with the same military strategies and are based on the same military principles, e.g. the attempt to defeat the opponent in a decisive battle, is referred to as symmetrical war. Asymmetric wars are characterized by inequality in terms of military strategy, by serious difference in military strength, and by undermining the regulations of the Peace of Westphalia, which aims at symmetrical conflicts and, for example, also distinguishes between a the treatment of combatants (members of the army) and the non-combatants (civilian population) with regulations in case of war. Münkler (2002, 2004) predicts for the 21st century in particular three types of violent conflicts, which are already increasingly occurring alongside traditional forms of war and can be described as 'asymmetric' wars: 

·  "Resource wars at the periphery": Local and regional conflicts develop at the edges of prosperity zones, in which warlords with their mercenaries, in conjunction with internationally organized crime on the one hand and multinational corporations on the other, fight for military power over a confined area in order to exploit the raw materials, such as diamonds, oil or tropical timber. At the same time, the local population is subjugated and forced into labor slavery in order to increase the profits from the sale of the raw materials. Examples of this are diamond mines in Congo and opium cultivation in Taliban-dominated regions in Afghanistan.

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Resource wars are difficult to cool down and end with the help of existing means, since sanctions are often shifted to the civil society of the affected region and resource wars are usually linked to the global shadow economy - according to Münkler (2004, 1): 

 "These resource wars are financed by so-called open war economies, i.e. by their linkage with the capital and commodity flows of the world economy. The consequence of this is that these wars do not end as a result of economic exhaustion, or because those involved in them become more willing to make peace as they become more exhausted, instead the low intensity war itself constitutes the economic flywheel." 

 Often, the criminal gangs give themselves a legitimate image by ideologically claiming religious or other cultural differences and discrimination as the motive for their activity. 

·  "Pacification wars": In this case, the prosperous powers, above all the USA or alliances led by the USA, intervene in regional conflicts, e.g. also in resource wars. Also prevention of  proliferation of ABC weapons can be given as a motive for pacification wars. The reasons for pacification wars can be based on economic and geostrategic interests, but also on human rights and international law. There is often a mixture of different interests. 

The second Iraq war is an example of a pacification war. Here, in addition to massive human rights violations against the Iraqi Kurds, the construction or imminent possession of nuclear weapons by Iraq was cited as a reason for the intervention in Iraq by the U.S.-led alliance. 

The claim of a nuclear threat later turned out to be a lie of the U.S. administration led by George W. Bush. Such claims served to forge an alliance and thereby realize economic interests of the arms industry, interests of the oil industry and hegemonic interests of the USA in the Arab region. 

Pacification wars are usually short-lived due to the lack of popularity among the own population, the unwillingness in post-heroic societies to risk dead and wounded, and the high costs involved. Therefore, resource wars can often hardly be ended by pacification, or then it only leads to a change in the power constellations in the affected area. For example, the second Iraq war led to the ousting of the Sunnis from power in favor of a central government dominated by Shiites. This, in turn, was one of the reasons why the terrorist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was founded in Iraq and then also in Syria, whose military core was composed, among others, of some of the Sunni soldiers of Saddam Hussein's former regime, which originally was brought to power by the CIA. 

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· "Wars of devastation against the North." : These are mainly wars of terrorist organizations against the wealthy OECD world. However, in my opinion, this also includes terrorist attacks, e.g. in Russia by Chechen underground organizations or the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 9/11. In contrast to guerrilla warfare, terrorists usually cannot rely on the protection of the civilian population, but use the modern media infrastructure and modern means of transportation in a clandestine manner to carry out their terrorist activities. Organizations such as the IS or the Taliban, use cultural or religious justifications as ideological legitimation. However, the real reasons for such terrorist activities are more likely to be a mixture of religious, power-political and economic interests. 

Terrorist organizations attack pedestrian zones, airplanes or holiday centers in groups or, increasingly, via individual perpetrators motivated by them, in order to spread fear among the population of the rich countries of the North: According to Münkler (2004, 3), this is done to achieve, among other things, a withdrawal of troops, e.g., in the context of pacification wars: 

 "But what they are actually attacking is the unstable psychological infrastructure of the Western world in particular in order to wear down and exhaust the political will of the country under attack. In doing so, they rely primarily on the psychological effects of violence, i.e., terror, which is spread all the more intensively the greater the media density of the country under attack." 

This tripartite division of 'new wars', which already exist and will intensify in the future, has a high degree of plausibility. However, the 'new wars' will not completely replace traditional forms of war and war alliances. Often, there will also be a mixed form between traditional and new wars. This is exemplified by the war between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. In addition to an attack by one state on a neighboring state in the sense of a traditional war - which is hardly considered possible - forms of 'new wars' in Münkler's sense are also being practiced here. Cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns, the use of guerrilla groups, missile terror and fighting mercenary armies lead to an aggressive mixture within a military conflict that can hardly be controlled. 

In addition to the three new forms of war outlined by Münkler, there are also genuine wars of liberation, in which the majority of a population revolts against dictatorial regimes and achieves political system change first through guerrilla warfare, then through massive civil society resistance, and finally through the military loss of support for the regime. With the global rise of autocratic and dictatorial regimes, an increase in wars of liberation can be expected, sometimes in conjunction with international military interventions. Especially if the non-interference in state sovereignty enshrined in the UN Charter is replaced by a right of the UN and military alliances commissioned by the UN to intervene in dictatorial regimes in the event of massive violations of human rights, more regional and national wars of liberation in the sense mentioned above can be expected as also their successes with the support of UN-led and democratically controlled world police forces with a robust mandate. This fourth type ('war of liberation') is, of course, to be assessed differently in terms of human rights and international law than the other three types of warfare described by Münkler. (180) 

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However, it becomes problematic when a self-proclaimed international military alliance, in its own geostrategic interest, acts as a liberation army in order to support resistance movements or to fight autonomy movements. In Yemen, Syria and Libya, we find asymmetrical conflict chains in which a hybrid of guerrilla warfare, counterterrorism, state self-assertion and proxy warfare leads to a devastating situation for the civilian population. 

International legal problems of secret armies and interventions by foreign intelligence services

The existence of secret armies in post-war Europe, built up in Western Europe against communism by the CIA, by NATO in conjunction with right-wing politicians and by groups such as 'Ordine Nuovo' in Italy also represents a variant of asymmetrical conflict. 

The secret organization 'Gladio' in Italy, for example, was originally set up to from behind the lines carry out attacks in the event of a Soviet invasion. Secret military units were established and trained, and hidden weapon storages were set up in Italy. When the Soviet invasion did not take place, the function of 'Gladio' was changed. In cooperation with right-wing terrorist groups and the Italian secret service, brutal attacks were carried out among the population and the Italian Communist Party (PCI) was blamed for this. The intention was to tighten security laws – especially in their application against the Italian left – and to bring about a shift to the right among the population. 

Similar secret armies also existed in Germany, Greece, Denmark, France and Belgium, among other countries – according to court transcripts of interrogations and testimony given by Giulio Andreotti, several times head of the Italian government. (181) 

Noam Chomsky confirms the research of the Swiss peace researcher Danielle Ganser on the destabilization of Italy by CIA-controlled secret operations and extends this to the situation in South America: 

"National regimes that threaten „stability“ are sometimes called „rotten apples“ that might „spoil the barrel“ or „viruses“ that might „infect“ others. Italy in 1948 is one example. Twenty-five years later, Henry Kissinger described Chile as a „virus“ that might send the wrong messages about possibilities for social change, infecting others as far as Italy, still not „stable“ even after years of CIA programs to subvert Italian democracy. Viruses have to be destroyed and others protected from infection: for both tasks, violence is often the most efficient means, leaving a gruesome trail of slaughter, terror, torture and devastation." (Chomsky 1999, 25f.) 

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In addition to traditional wars, new forms of military operations that are increasingly difficult to limit and control are emerging. They take place partly in secret on behalf of governments, as guerrilla activities, as military suppression by 'warlords' in cooperation with multinational corporations, or as terrorist patterns of action. These forms of war are no longer covered by the international laws of war, which are inapplicable to them because of the clandestine nature of the methods. Nor do such actors, some of whom operate undercover, adhere to any regulations of the law of war, such as the Geneva Convention or the Hague Conventions on land warfare. 

International terrorism takes advantage of the lack of territoriality 

Whereas the precondition of the symmetrical wars between states predominantly carried out after the Peace of Westphalia was nation state demarcation, asymmetrical conflicts are characterized by non-territoriality - according to Münkler (2014, 64): 

"The basic prerequisite of symmetrical political constellations is their territoriality, i.e. their comprehensibility and thus vulnerability, which can be seen as a guarantee of political rationality. In comparison , the deterritorialization of political actors is comparable to their acting undercover: they are capable of attack without having to take reciprocal responses into account. This is precisely the situation that arose with the emergence of transnational terrorism." 

International terrorism does not have to expect a counterattack using the same means, since it is difficult to identify, as it uses the infrastructure of a state and has no demarcated territory. If terrorists use poison gas or explosives for their attacks, they do not have to expect a comparable attack on their own territory, since they are internationally organized and act without an assignable nation-state territory. As the so-called Islamic State (IS) became territorially confinable, it was possible to attack it there and, in part, to defeat it militarily. The IS had to react accordingly and went underground again, from where it could exploit the advantages of asymmetric warfare in the form of international terrorism operating with small terrorist cells. 

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Conclusions and perspectives: Asymmetric warfare in a globalized concept are further arguments for a (democratically controlled) world police structure to be installed alongside a UN to be reformed. Whereas conventional wars are to be banned and prevented, the above-mentioned predominantly newer forms of war are to be relentlessly prosecuted as criminal acts of war by the corresponding United Nations world police organs and military units to be installed in the future. 

On the one hand, this certainly requires a robust mandate for the UN military, which is to be adopted by the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. To a great extent unarmed blue-helmet troops are in this case of little help or are more likely to be used as human shields against attacks by military alliances or interventions by UN-led troops. On the other hand, where terrorist activities are deterritorialized and cannot be assigned to a specific region, a world police structure offers better conditions than nation-state and insufficiently transnationally networked approaches. (182)   Media and 'enemy images' 

'Enemy images' are constructed by the media. They manipulate people and are part of a socio-psychological preparation for war. This can be shown by current examples. (183)

What is the concept of an 'enemy image'?

The term 'enemy image' refers to all linguistic attempts or patterns of social interpretation to extremely discredit other persons, groups of people, ethnic groups or states with the help of negative symbols or negative metaphors in order to deprive them of their human dignity. 
This discrediting is intended to trigger unpleasant emotions toward these groups of people or states, such as disgust, hatred or fear. A prejudiced perception of reality is used with manipulative intent to prove one's own worldview as the only truth and to stigmatize the opponent in such a way that he no longer belongs to the circle of an accepted human community. (184)

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Examples of the development of enemy images 

Already Caesar described the Gauls in the middle of the first century B.C. as characterless, undisciplined and unpredictable. He thus discredited the enemy in order to eliminate reluctance to killing and to motivate the Roman troops. 

The famous novel "Lay Down Your Arms!" (1889) by the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize winner and Austrian peace activist Bertha von Suttner describes the perspective of a young woman who, in the run-up to the Austria-Italy war (1859) (185), critically deals with images of the enemy in Austrian society: 

 | "Such bad qualities, however, as these lust of conquest, love of fighting, hatred, cruelty, guile, were also certainly to be found, and were admitted to be shown in war, but always by the 'enemy'. To him, his being in the wrong was quite clear. Quite apart from the political necessity of the campaign just commenced, apart also from the patriotic advantages which undoubtedly grew out of it, the conquest over one's adversary was a moral work, a discipline carried out by the genius of culture. These Italians! what a foul, false, sensual, light-minded, conceited people! And this Louis Napoleon! what a mixture of ambition and the spirit of intrigue! When his proclamation of war, published on April 29, appeared with its motto, 'Italy free to the Adriatic Sea,' it called out amongst us a storm of indignation. I did allow myself a feeble remark that this was at least an unselfish and noble idea, which must have an inspiriting influence on Italian patriots, but I was soon put to silence. The dogma that 'Louis Napoleon is a scoundrel' was not to be shaken as long as he was  'the enemy'. Everything proceeding from him was ab initio 'scoundrelly'." (186)

This reveals the principle: To discredit the opponent with negative attributions thus depriving him of the protection of humanity. This is a principle that has been used at all times to eliminate people's scruples about killing. Hitler created the image of the 'Slavic subhuman', whom it was necessary to subjugate in the 'struggle for living space (Lebensraum) for the Aryan race'. Communists were described as 'vermins' that had to be exterminated. Kissinger referred to states that wanted to break away from their dependence on the United States as viruses that needed to be killed. Bush Jr. spoke of rogue states, referring to North Korea, Iraq and Iran. During the Cold War the USSR equated U.S. soldiers with murderers and robbers. Chinese police referred to protesters in Hong Kong as cockroaches. 

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Russophobia in the run-up as a pretext for military aggression 


On the one hand, in view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, it is now difficult to call the warning about Russian aggression and about Putin's personality a completely unjustified construction of enemy images. On the other hand, it is also difficult to estimate the share of the effect of the construction of the enemy image 'Russia' on the decisions of the Russian president. 

The image of a Russian was painted in western spy films as that of a brutal person with an ugly accent, who murders ruthlessly and, of course, is always wrong. Former US President Ronald Reagan spoke of the former USSR as the "evil empire". 

The current russophobia was transferred to the media by the USA and NATO via so-called experts. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine daily newspaper editor Kerstin Holm (2019), Russia has "little economic and technological development impetus to offer" to its neighboring states and can therefore only compensate for the loss of influence with military force or the threat of it. Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also cultivates the enemy image of Russia by demonizing Putin as an evil person ("a smart, but a truly evil person"), as a nationalistic former intelligence officer with great power fantasies. (187)  In the context of the NATO image of Russia as an enemy, the extremely dangerous withdrawal from the INF Treaty by the Trump administration in 2019 was also possible without any presentation of solid evidence of a Russian violation of the INF Treaty banning medium-range missiles. 
Barely noticed by the public, by the way, an EU task force was founded in 2016, the justification of which is not unproblematic on the part of the EU Parliament. In the press release of the EU Parliament it says: 

„The resolution stresses that the EU needs to counter disinformation campaigns and propaganda from countries, such as Russia, and non-state actors, like Daesh, Al-Qaeda and other violent jihadi terrorist groups. 

Hostile propaganda against the EU and its member states seeks to distort the truth, provoke doubt, divide the EU and its North American partners, paralyse the decision-making process, discredit the EU institutions and incite fear and uncertainty among EU citizens.“ (188)

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A common enemy image of Russia/Islamist terrorism is thus developed, which treats these two influences equally in terms of their propagandistic pressure. Of course, the information and sometimes disinformation coming from Russia must also be critically observed and attended to. However, no differentiation is made in the statement above by the highest European democratically elected body, and there is an additional discrediting of Russia through the parallel mentioning of the propaganda activity of Islamist terrorists. (189)
Before and during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Putin also brutally devalued the democratically elected President Selenskyj, calling him a drug-addicted fascist. Through this, he wanted to psychologically prepare the assassination attempts on the Ukrainian president as a legitimate measure in the Russian public. 

Putin was a projection screen for enemy images, but he also used the enemy image construction mediated by Russian state television to push through his aggressive geostrategic goals, which were contrary to international law. 

U.S. - Iran: Fabrication of mutual enemy images

A second example can be seen in the Western Islamophobia and the Iranian USA phobia of the USA. There is a media construction of mutual enemy images in both states: USA: Iran as a terrorist mullah regime, as a rogue state that in a discriminatory manner is characterized as a member of the "axis of evil" – according to then U.S. President George W. Bush in 2002 in the aftermath of 9/11. On the other hand, Iran insults the USA as a "great Satan", as an "imperialist devil", as "thoroughly rotten" (see, e.g., Roodsari 2019). The mutual discrediting is an expression of a reciprocal historical influence, the cornerstones of which are marked by the CIA- and British MI6-directed overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq (1953), the installation of the Western-oriented autocrat Shah Reza Pahlavi, the overthrow of the Shah by the Islamic Revolution (1979) led by Ayatollah Khomeini. As a result the Iranian occupation of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the hostage-taking of the staff took place. In the Iran-Iraq War, the U.S. tolerated Iraq's use of poison gas and provided Iraq with plans regarding the deployment of Iranian troops. The story continues with clandestine U.S. arms deliveries to Iran; after all, the deal was not to be missed (from 1985, Iran-Contra affair). Steps toward Iran's nuclear armament and provocations toward the U.S. escalated with the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who also took an extremely hostile stance toward Israel. Since the nuclear agreement was negotiated in 2015, Iran has – according to the International Atomic Energy Agency – complied with the agreement and refrained from unauthorized uranium enrichment. See Roodsari (2019) for a good overview of the chronicle of events as presented here, characterized by mutual devaluations and accusations. People or states discredited in this way become vulnerable to military attack.

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The discrediting serves the dehumanization and the exclusion from the (own) humane circle of values, and becomes the ethical or moral legitimation for all following measures. 

Now that the U.S. and the Trump administration have unilaterally withdrawn the nuclear agreement with Iran, the degrading rhetoric between the two states has again intensified, leading to a dangerous escalation, among other things, in connection with the tanker attacks in the Strait of Hormuz and the assassination by U.S. drones of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Al Quds Brigades, in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in early 2020. 
The Iranian regime's violent treatment of the protests of Iranian women who wanted to shake off the oppression of the Iranian state and male rule contributes to the creation of an enemy image.
The tensions between Iran and the Western camp intensified in 2023/2024 due to Iran's indirect warfare through the attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah on Israeli territory as well as the missile and drone attacks by the Houthis on Western merchant ships - three organizations and groups that are closely allied with and supported by the Iranian regime. By supporting these militant measures, Iran will certainly not be able to lose its enemy status as a member of the 'axis of evil'.

Chinaphobia: The Yellow Peril 

A third example is to Chinaphobia and should also be outlined here in more detail. In the 1960s, the then German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger – a former high-ranking NSDAP member and National Socialist propaganda official – was already warning against the "yellow peril" from the Far East. Emphasizing the foreign cultural and completely different character of the Asians and especially the Chinese, some media portray them as dangerous and barbaric. The Chinese are said to be authority-fixated, collectivist, environmentally hostile, deceitful, ruthless, hostile to human rights, aggressive, hegemonic and competition orientated – all prejudice-laden stereotypes that in a general manner are attributed to the Chinese as such. 

Recent exclusively negative attributions, such as in Kinkartz (2019), can be summarized as follows: 

•     Chinese headhunters are stealing skilled workers from the West. 

•     Chinese steal Western know-how via cyberattacks. 

•     China wants to expand hegemonically (South China Sea, Taiwan). 

•     China is destroying its environment and contributing massively to global CO2 pollution.

•     China brutally oppresses its minorities (e.g. Uyghurs). 

•     China is a totalitarian surveillance state ('social credit system'). 

•     China is destroying the Western solar industry through state-subsidized dumping prices. 

•     The Chinese Silk Road project is an attempt to exploit the resources of other countries (labor, mineral resources, ports). 

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There might be some truth in this. However, positive achievements of the Chinese society are not mentioned, such as the growing prosperity of the average population, the political cohesion of such a large national territory, the infrastructural achievements, the highest rate of solar installations in China or the increasing technological innovation capacity. 

If one believes that trade wars can lead to military conflicts, then the discrediting of the Chinese and the Chinese culture must be seen in the context of the U.S. protective tariffs against China. (190) 

The democratic media as projection of enemy images

Another example presents a reverse point of view. Here the media itself is the enemy image - the 'lying press' or 'fake news'. Enemy images of group-related hostility against migrants, against Muslims or generally against foreigners from the South, have the effect that media that do not act according to these right-wing extremist enemy images is discredited as lying press. Journalists are bombarded with hate and threatening emails or corresponding messages in the social media, or they are denied the floor at press conferences accused of being “fake news” (Trump). The media itself turns into an enemy image – the "lying press" or "fake news“.

The pressure by politicians on the press to produce corresponding enemy images or at least to remain neutral toward the production of enemy images by politicians is increasing. In this way, a mainstream press is being shaped within the frames of which differing journalistic assessments can lead to the end of a journalistic career. 

Socio-psychological functions of enemy images 

The socio-psychological significance of enemy images will now be outlined on the basis of four theses that point to the manipulative use of enemy images out of a systemic interest: 

Thesis 1: Enemy images discredit a counterpart significantly with the help of false or falsified information in the media,. They generate aversion, feelings of threat and hatred in order to overcome humane scruples in dealing with these people. 

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Thesis 2: Enemy images are the prerequisite for considering such discredited people, groups or societies as non-human, so that harming or destroying them is not regarded to be inhumane, but an 'act of social hygiene'. 

Hypothesis 3: Enemy images are meant to distract attention from one's own systemic weaknesses and to direct social aggression away from its causes and toward external opponents. This can lead to systemic stabilization through turning emotionalized attention towards an external enemy. 

Thesis 4: Hate communities are created through enemy images, and their destructive emotional potential is reflected in violent outbreaks that can be politically instrumentalized and directed. 

A critical approach to enemy images does not mean that all verifiable facts contained in the justification of enemy images are to be rejected or suppressed. Russia, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran and China, for example, are certainly problematic in terms of their role in international peacekeeping and war prevention. But the one-sided negative evaluation of facts in connection with pejorative and discriminatory attributions constitutes the concept of the enemy image and its destructive effects. 

Therefore, it is important to also recognize one's own entanglement in the construction of enemy images and to to make efforts to destroy them. 

Everyone should also ask themselves personally:
•       What kind of enemy images do I have?
•       What prejudices are involved?
•       What general discrediting of others do they include?
•       How did these enemy images emerge?
•       How can I erase them again?
•       Is there a way to erase them together

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If one opposes the general discrediting of individuals, population groups or states in the form of enemy images, this does not mean that all clashes of interests and antagonisms should now be harmoniously ignored. These clashes of interests and antagonisms exist, and they should not be kept secret. However, becoming aware of enemy images enables tensions caused by these images to be negotiated in civil society and can also lead to compromises. Manipulatively created and emotionally anchored enemy images, however, aim at the destruction and annihilation of the other counterpart. 

Construction of enemy images as an act preparing for war 

There is already a long historical tradition of constructing enemy images and legitimizing wars with false information or fake news. 

Political, geostrategic and economic interests are concealed and enforced through manipulative, media preparation and also official dissemination of enemy images. 

The Hitler regime's faked attack by alleged Polish soldiers on a German border post , the declared second attack by Viet Cong gunboats on a U.S. warship in the Gulf of Tonkin that never took place (and at the time only was assumed probable), the tearing out babies from incubators in Kuwait, staged by a media company, and the falsified documents on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction presented by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell before the U.N. Security Council are all well-known examples of faked reasons for war and/or fictitious reasons for the intensification of military activities. 

The destructive effects of enemy images enable high growth rates and returns in the arms industry, a branch of industry that profits from 'enemy images' and military conflicts. Without wars prepared and generated by enemy images, there would be no market for the 'economy of death'. Or to put it another way: The demonization of states as the 'axis of evil' is the basis of profits that are otherwise only possible in the drug industry. 

If images of the enemy as an extreme form of cultural violence are not fundamentally erased after a military conflict with the help of rituals and procedures of reconciliation, they continue to exist after a war and prevent peace in a broader sense. Societies thus remain culturally ready for war - according to Johan Galtung (2004): 

 „Any sign that the enemy is still alive will trigger ready-made responses; in the absence of such signs other enemies will be found to complete the Gestalt formed by this type of cultural violence.“ 

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1.4.2                Peace protests and peace Movements             Easter March Movement, protests against the Vietnam War and against the               NATO Double-Track Decision 

The first Easter March with 10,000 participants took place in the UK in 1958 and went from London to a missile research center. The campaign was initiated by the British peace NGO Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). In 1960, the idea of the Easter March was taken up in Germany, and the first march went simultaneously from Hamburg, Bremen, Braunschweig, and Hanover to the Bergen-Hohne military training area. 

The precursors of the German Easter March movement had been pacifist protests in the late 1950s against the rearmament of the Federal Republic of Germany and the expansion of its military power and, in particular, against German Chancellor Adenauer's demand for independently deployable, nuclear-tipped short-range missiles. 

An extra-parliamentary grassroots movement emerged that was unusual for the early 1960s in the Federal Republic of Germany and that, as it grew, paved the way for later citizens' initiatives and the extra-parliamentary protest culture of the late 1960s. 

While the first Easter March in Germany started with 1200 participants, about 300,000 participants took part at the peak of the German Easter March movement in 1968, which was especially directed against nuclear armament. 

In these years, protests focused on protest against the Vietnam War of the USA. Beginning in the mid-1960s, international protests starting in the U.S. led to mass demonstrations, rallies, hearings and panel discussions against the Vietnam War. In particular, the use of napalm bombs and pictures of burning children, the defoliation of the Vietnamese rainforests through the carcinogenic 'Agent Orange' as well as film footage and photos of area bombardments with their devastating consequences led to massive pressure on those in power. The negative publicity in the media led to the ceasefire agreement in 1973 and, from 1975, to the cessation of the Vietnam War and American withdrawal from Vietnam. 

The U.S. attempt to protect ostensibly Western interests against communist influence and to keep a corrupt regime in power that refused to hold free elections for all of Vietnam as agreed upon by the Indochina Conference (1954) cost millions of lives: 

"A total of 58,000 soldiers lost their lives on the American side in the Vietnam War. In South and North Vietnam, about one million soldiers and two million civilians were killed. An additional two million people became permanently disabled, and still another two million suffered permanent damage from the use of toxic chemicals." (191)

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After the number of participants in peace demonstrations in the 1970s had declined following the end of the Vietnam War, renewed, larger, and more forceful demonstrations took place in the wake of the rearmament through the neutron bomb and the NATO double-track decision and the subsequent stationing of nuclear missiles at the borders to the Warsaw Pact states. Because the USSR modernized its nuclear missiles (SS 20), Western politicians, such as Ronald Reagan or Helmut Schmidt, perceived the USSR as a growing threat. NATO threatened to station new nuclear missiles (Pershing II) at the borders to the Warsaw Pact states if disarmament negotiations were not held promptly. In the early 1980s, large crowds, especially in Germany, demonstrated against this logic of deterrence and its potential dangers. Because NATO planned to stop a possible Soviet invasion with a 'limited' nuclear strike in Germany, about two million people demonstrated in Germany in October 1983 against a potential 'Euroshima' in Europe and Germany. (192)

At the same time, the pacifist 'Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament' (CND) in Britain had greater success as well, according to Wernicke (1997): 

"With more than 90,000 national members and 250,000 participants in local groups, CND peaked in 1984, a year after Britain had seen the largest political demonstration since 1909, similar to the one in Bonn's Hofgarten with over a million in 1983." 

These mass protests in various European states had their share in the political pressure that would lead internationally to disarmament negotiations and corresponding treaties, such as the 1991 START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). Contributing factors were of course the fact that the Soviet system was economically and politically finished and that Mikhail Gorbachev, who came to power in 1985, was forced to make reforms and concessions. 

Easter Marches continue to take place and in 2019 resonated with more people in light of global crises and increasing awareness of the connection between environmental destruction, the military, and war. In 2020, Easter Marches fell victim to the corona virus. 

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The core of the Easter March movement remains the protest against nuclear armament and the modernization of nuclear weapons, as well as demands for the withdrawal of nuclear missiles from Germany (Büchel Air Base), for the ending of military attacks in the Middle East via Ramstein Airbase, and for accession to the nuclear weapons ban treaty developed by ICAN in cooperation with the United Nations. Other important demands are a ban on German arms exports, especially to areas of tension, and the disarmament and arms conversion of the weapons industry into peace industries. Recent years have also seen resistance to the militarization of Europe and protests against the interventions of Western military alliances in the Near and Middle East in violation of international law. 
A quote by the political scientist Christoph Butterwegge (1990), who attempts to characterize the Easter March movement in terms of the significance of its social influence, can serve as a summary assessment: 

"The Easter March is the first organically grown mass movement in the history of the Federal Republic that was not appropriated by parties or organizations, but remained independent and non-partisan until the end. Characteristically, the Easter March movement of the 1960s made important decisions in local, regional and central decision-making bodies according to the principle of consensus, without perceiving its minimum consensus (rejection of all nuclear weapons) as a restriction to a single point. Minorities and extreme positions were not excluded but integrated, and heterogeneity and plurality of opinion were understood as the hallmarks of a new protest culture. The Easter March proved that ideological, political, and 'cultural barriers' can and must be overcome if our species‘s interest (in the survival of humankind) in the nuclear age demands the cooperation of all peace forces." 

Because this assessment was made shortly after the successes of the Easter March movement in the 1980s, it must be modified somewhat for the 1990s and the first two decades of the 21st century. Despite increasing numbers of participants, the Easter March movement is still waiting for its renaissance. This will probably happen when, on the one hand, people become aware of the growing danger of war and, on the other hand, the peace movement succeeds in uniting with various other protest movements to form a broader culture of protest. (193)

- 118 - "No blood for oil!" - Protests against the Gulf War 

A distinction is usually made between three Gulf wars. The first Gulf War (1980-1988) took place between Iran and Iraq over territorial disputes regarding disputed access to local oil wells and over aspirations toward regional hegemony. 

On September 22, 1980, Iraqi troops invaded the oil province of Khuzestan and bombed Tehran.  Over the course of the first Gulf War, the world's arms producers supplied weapons of various kinds to the two warring nations without restraint. Iraq, in particular, was able to obtain almost unlimited supplies of weapons from Western sources, which it financed with oil sales and loans from some of the Arab states. China and Russia also supplied weapons to the warring parties. This clearly led to a prolongation of the war. 

Iraq frequently and with devastating consequences used poison gas, which is outlawed under international law. In 1988, the Iraqi Kurdish regions, too, were attacked with poison gas by the Iraqi government. World public opinion took rather casual note of thousands of poisoned Kurds in Halabja. Meanwhile, Iran sent children to the frontlines so that trained soldiers would not be shredded by explosive traps set by the Iraqi. In the first Gulf War, 95,000 Iranian child soldiers died. The environmental consequences of countless attacks by both sides on oil tankers and oil platforms were significant. Figures on the number of war dead vary. The highest estimates put the total war dead at about one million. Numerous mines still lie in the contested area and regularly cause casualties. 

In 1988, both warring parties finally accepted the UN-brokered ceasefire. Saddam Hussein and Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini signed the agreement. The borders remained unchanged. After the end of the war, the UN Secretary General stated that the aggression had originated with Iraq. (194)

The second Gulf War began in 1990 when Iraq under Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and seized its oil wells. Iraq's war debts to Kuwait and other Arab countries were so high that Saddam Hussein saw this as the only solution. There were disputes over the oil claim between Iraq and Kuwait, as well as territorial claims on the part of Iraq. 

Following Iraq's occupation of the much smaller territory of Kuwait, the UN Security Council imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. 

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About six months later, the U.S. at the head of a coalition was authorized by UN Resolution 678 to intervene militarily in the conflict and restore the sovereignty of Kuwait. With its air superiority and deployment of massive ground forces, the U.S.-led coalition was able to destroy most of Iraq's military installations and war machines within about two months. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians died in the first Iraq War. On the Allied side, about 350 soldiers died. Iraq's infrastructure was largely destroyed. Massive environmental damage was caused by burning oil wells, as Iraq had set fire to or blown up over 700 oil wells during its withdrawal—fires that took several months to extinguish. But the environmental damage caused in particular by uranium munition was also immense. The increased number of children born with deformities in southern Iraq in the post-war period has been linked to the use of uranium munition. (195)

Large parts of the Iraqi army fleeing Kuwait were surrounded and a short time later captured in Iraq. Baghdad was not attacked, and Saddam Hussein was left in power. 

While there were hardly any rallies or demonstrations in Western countries during the first Gulf War, the reaction during the second Gulf War (the first Iraq War) was more pronounced, although it did not take on the character of a mass movement. Students walked out of school, chanted "No blood for oil!" demonstrated, and spontaneously occupied main roads. Vigils took place in major cities with demands for the protection of Iraqi civil society, among other things. But as quickly as the second Gulf War was over these protests faded away. 

The third Gulf War took place in 2003. It followed the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the UN because Iraq, particularly in the view of the United States, repeatedly kept weapons inspectors away from military storage sites or failed to meet deadlines for weapons inspections. As a result of the economic sanctions and also of the blocking of food and medicine imports, millions of Iraqis, especially children, died from malnutrition and medical shortages. 

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Whereas in the first Iraq war George Bush had refrained from defeating Saddam Hussein's regime in order to maintain a regional counterweight to the Khomeini regime in Iran, the administration of his son George W. Bush overrode these concerns. Supposedly backed by a UN resolution calling for Iraq to fully submit to international arms controls, the United States and a 'coalition of the willing' attacked Iraq in March 2003 with the bombing of Baghdad. 

The military intervention was justified with the argument that Iraq was on the verge of developing nuclear weapons to attack the USA and Israel. Fake pictures of underground nuclear launch pads were presented to the UN Security Council by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Following the second Iraq War, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that the attack was not covered by UN decisions and was illegal under international law. 

Propagandist lies were thus deliberately deployed to assemble a coalition for the attack. Also, the assessment of the alleged dangerousness of Iraq was contrary to the assessment by the UN arms controllers, who assumed that Iraq was 90% disarmed. Saddam Hussein's alleged links to al Qaeda and 9/11 could not be proven either. (196)

This time, Iraq suffered a devastating defeat, and the Hussein regime was ousted. The destabilization of Iraq led to civil war-like conditions with numerous horrific terrorist attacks in Iraq and ultimately gave birth to the regional terrorist organization 'Islamic State' (IS), which at its core resulted from Sunni former military officers of the Hussein regime having gone underground after the defeat of Iraq and allying themselves with various Islamist terrorist organizations. 

Although on May 1, 2003, U.S. President George W. Bush had announced Iraq's defeat and the end of hostilities on a U.S. warship to the world‘s media, the occupation of Iraq dragged on until 2011, accompanied by numerous attacks and insurgencies. More than 100,000 people lost their lives during this period. (197)

The transparent propaganda maneuvers, violation of international law, torture of prisoners and aggressive interrogation methods, presumed U.S. interest in Iraqi oil wells, and glaringly obvious profits of the military-industrial complex in the U.S. triggered a protest movement in Western countries that was much larger than that against the first Iraq war. Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated all over the world against the attack on Iraq. Russia and China requested that the attack be classified by the UN Security Council as illegal under international law but were overruled by the USA and Great Britain, both permanent members with veto power. 

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Germany, too, saw mass protests against the second Iraq war. In Berlin, for example, about 40,000 people protested against the military invasion. Here are some excerpts from the coverage: 

"Demonstrators in Hamburg protested against the attacks on Iraq with posters such as 'War is mass murder' or 'While Baghdad burns, Georgie Boy takes off for the weekend' and with chants such as 'We don't want your war, Schröder close the airspace.' Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian groups also took part in the protests, as did many families with children. 

In Frankfurt am Main, several speakers at a rally organized by the peace movement, political parties, churches and trade unions called for an end to the war and warned of a humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq. There was harsh criticism of U.S. media for turning the war 'into a glossy reality TV show.'" (198)

In London, several hundreds of thousands demonstrators marched through Hyde Park. In Bern, 20,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the government building. There were also protests in countries in the Middle East, as well as in Asia. (199)

In 2013, the Kassel-based political scientist and peace activist Peter Strutynski summed up the situation created by the second Iraq war in extremely critical terms: 

"The Iraq war of 2003, which the top U.S. commander George W. Bush famously declared over on May 1, 2003— 'Mission accomplished'—only really took off afterwards. Today, Iraq faces the complete disintegration of its state. The northern Iraqi Kurdish regions have long been de facto independent, and the struggle between Sunnis and Shiites over the distribution of oil profits has taken on suicidal features. The only consolation in this situation is the fact that the main warmonger, the U.S., has come out of this war empty-handed, economically speaking." (200)   Current protests against the militarization of the world:
                International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Global Partnership for                                the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC), Peace Brigades (PB)

                ICAN: Negotiating power against nuclear war, Appeals for peace on the war in

The non-governmental organization ICAN was founded in 2007 in Vienna with significant participation of IPPNW (International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War) and has its central headquarters in Geneva. ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its campaign against nuclear armament and for nuclear disarmament in a global context. ICAN is currently (201) supported by 541 NGOs in 103 countries. After ten years of preliminary work, ICAN succeeded in getting 122 states of the United Nations to agree to the 'Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty', combined with a request that individual nations sign it as binding. 

"Since our founding, we have worked to build a powerful global groundswell of public support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. By engaging a diverse range of groups and working alongside the Red Cross and like-minded governments, we have helped reshape the debate on nuclear weapons and generate momentum towards elimination. 

We were awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for our 'work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons' and our 'ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons'." (202)

The 'Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons under International Law', which has been submitted to the United Nations for signature, must be signed and ratified by 50 nations before it enters into force. Of course, it will only be valid for those states that have signed. Critics point out that none of the states possessing nuclear weapons participated in the treaty negotiations and neither did most NATO states. 

Ratification is based on national legislation and means incorporation of the treaty into national law. The treaty contains a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons: 

"The treaty prohibits states from testing, developing, producing, and possessing nuclear weapons. It also prohibits the transfer, stockpiling, use, or threat of use. In addition, the treaty prohibits supporting, encouraging, or inducing another state to engage in such activities. Further, states are prohibited from deploying nuclear weapons on their own soil." (203)

ICAN is working to expand its networking at all levels of society. It puts particular emphasis on convincing states to sign and ratify the treaty. 

We must ask of course how it can possibly convince the nuclear states in particular to give up their nuclear weapons and to no longer produce and spread new nuclear weapons. What kind of social pressure by which organizations and social movements is necessary to support ICAN effectively in its efforts to get the treaty supported? 

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Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC) – a growing international peace network 

GPPAC is an international civil society organization founded in 2003 that works nonviolently for war prevention and peacekeeping. It consists of several hundred NGOs organized in 15 transnational (regional) networks. 


 "Vision: GPPAC seeks a world where violence and armed conflicts are prevented and resolved by peaceful means based on justice, gender equity, sustainable development and human security for all.
Mission: GPPAC is a global network that links civil society with relevant local, national, regional and international actors and institutions to collectively contribute to a fundamental change in dealing with violence and armed conflicts: a shift from reaction to prevention." (204)

GPPAC's work is driven by a common strategy based on the 'Global Action Agenda' (2005), which was drafted at international conferences by over 1000 peace organizations. The organization now adheres to its third 'Strategic Plan' (2015) for the period 2016-2020, based on the fact that the human costs of war are unacceptable—not to mention the environmental and economic costs: 

"Violent conflict destroys lives, assets, infrastructure, ecosystems and social and economic capacities. It disrupts communities, leaving traumatised victims in situations requiring long-term, high investments to support reconstruction and rehabilitation. The global economic cost of violence in 2013 was estimated at US$9.8 trillion, which represents 11.3% of Gross World Product. Measuring the cost of violent conflict often involves analysing human rights violations and the resulting mortality, injury, displacement or disability rates. However, neither the value of human life, nor human suffering can be quantified in any meaningful way. From the outset, we take the normative position that the costs of violent conflict from a human perspective are simply unacceptable." (205)
In numerous interactions during the approximately 15 years of its existence, members of GPPAC have worked on persuading governments and transnational institutions of their pacificist agenda. GPPAC members are also involved in community mediation processes, provide peace education on the ground, draw attention to the situation of women in contested areas and, in particular, try to make heard the voices of communities that have suffered massive damage as a result of war. 

By referring in particular to UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions (206), GPPAC attempts to win over  governments and local communities to engage in more effective war prevention. 

Three key points in the current five-year plan (2016-2020) address the GPPAC agenda: "enabling collaboration, improving practice and influencing policy". (207)

GPPAC hence seeks to inform the public well in advance of emerging conflicts, to conduct conflict analyses, to develop activities that promote solidarity, to share knowledge of war prevention strategies with other organizations, and to establish political contacts from local levels all the way up to the United Nations. (208)

Specific actions taken by GPPAC include: 

·      Promote consideration of women in peacekeeping processes based on UN Security                   Council Resolution 1325; 

·      Convince peace educators and educational authorities to include the topic of                               peacekeeping and war prevention in their curricula; 

·      Initiate intergenerational dialogue in Colombia to promote a renunciation of violence and           develop a culture of peace; 

·      Start a civil society dialogue for peace and social stability for Northeast Asia in                           Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia; 

·      Implement a peace education video project with youth in Kyrgyzstan to build their 
       capacity as 'change agents' for peaceful conflict resolution; 

·      Cooperate with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the development of strategies and         training programs to strengthen civil society organizations, especially in regions of East             and West Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia; 

·      Support and locally implement UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) especially with         regard to the peace references contained therein; 

·      Train 'Peace Champions' in Uganda through projects with youth in 'post-conflict                           communities' to prevent youth re-radicalization. (209)

GPPAC may well be a future candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. The question is, however, whether GPPAC has sufficient civil society power at its disposal both to turn rulers away from violence and toward "peace keeping" and to reduce violence at the structural and systemic level. 

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Peace Brigades (PB): Brigade members alongside war victims and peace activists 

The organization 'Peace Brigades' (PB) was founded in 1982 and is another international NGO committed to peace and human rights. Its special feature is the deployment of Peace Brigades and the support of local peace workers in conflict zones: 

"We provide protection, support and recognition to local human rights defenders who work in areas of repression and conflict and have requested our support. We believe that lasting transformation of conflicts cannot come from outside, but must be based on the capacity and desires of local people. We avoid imposing, interfering or getting directly involved in the work of the people we accompany. Our work is effective because we take an integrated approach, combining a presence alongside human rights defenders on the ground with an extensive network of international support." (210) 

Peace Brigades have worked in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, North America, Haiti, Nepal, the Balkans, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and Nepal. They collaborate with local human rights defenders to open spaces for peace processes, transform violent conflicts, provide targeted legal advice, and save lives through international presence in conflict zones. Their work is shaped by the spirit of peaceful engagement ("non-violence", "non-partisanship") in a civil society. (211)

The work of Peace Brigade members is not without danger, just as the engagement of local human rights activists carries a high level of risk: 

"In countries where communities are subject to violent conflict, intimidation or repression, human rights defenders can be key agents for resistance and change, whose work has the potential to bring about the long-term development of democratic civil society and ultimately peace. This often places them at risk, making them targets for threats, abductions, forced disappearance or assassination, and other insidious kinds of attack, including public stigmatisation, defamation or criminal proceedings on trumped up charges." (212)

To date, the idea of the Peace Brigades is unique in scope, as is its highly professional way to support peace and human rights activists in conflict zones, to attract international attention to conflicts, and to protect threatened people. 

Summary assessment: The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflicts (GPPAC), and Peace Brigades (PB) are three international NGOs that deploy peaceful means in different ways to achieve peacekeeping and war prevention. ICAN fights for an international ban on nuclear weapons in cooperation with the UN. GPPAC organizes projects for preventive peacekeeping, and PB supports local peace activists and human rights activists with its peace brigades. May the world pay attention and provide financial and political support for their valuable peace work, for their commitment and for their resistance against systemic violence.

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Public Denunciation of the Peace Issue -

On the Social Treatment of Appeals for Peace on the War in Ukraine (Moegling 2024c)

Irrespective of the question of whether the Russian Federation bears sole responsibility for the military escalation in Ukraine or whether NATO or influential NATO states, such as the United States or Great Britain, are also partly to blame for the outbreak of war, various peace initiatives attempted to find support in the peace movement and in broader circles of the population with the help of appeals and calls. The means to this end were, in particular, lists of signatories on Internet platforms or websites, sometimes combined with calls for rallies and conferences.
Particularly worthy of mention are Alice Schwarzer's open letter to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with over 500,000 signatures, and the 'Manifesto for Peace' initiated jointly by Alice Schwarzer and Sahra Wagenknecht, with almost 800,000 signatures on the Internet platform (as of April 2023). 
The public reception of this peace action, which reached broader sections of the population, especially by representatives of government policy, political scientists and the media, will be written about in more detail below.
In addition, there was an international appeal by the International Peace Bureau (IPB) at Christmas 2022/23, which was signed by only a few thousand international peace activists. Also a Peace Appeal with first signatories from 10 countries on the internet platform 'Action Network' found so far only a little over 3000 international signatories (as of April 2023).

Appeal for Peace

A German-Austrian appeal, the 'Appell für den Frieden' (Appeal for Peace), found a little more signatures in the international context with over 7000 signatures so far. It features a peace ecology approach and contains three demands:
National governments and transnational institutions should advocate for three peace-political and -ecological measures in particular: 
1. diplomatic initiatives would have to take priority in the war in Ukraine, at the latest from now on. To this end, it is demanded that an international high-ranking and highly legitimized negotiating commission headed by the UN Secretary General would have to clear the way for ceasefire negotiations in Ukraine as a prerequisite for peace negotiations. The German and Austrian governments should strongly advocate such a peace initiative to the UN Secretary General.
2. In future climate protection negotiations, rules and guidelines should be drawn up for more binding consideration of military-related CO2 emissions, obliging individual states to be more transparent. This should include effective controls and strict sanctions for failure to take into account military-related CO2 emissions at home and abroad in national CO2 balances. 
3. The war in Ukraine is currently being instrumentalized for the international arms build-up spiral. In addition, almost all major arms control and disarmament treaties have been terminated or suspended by the USA and the Russian Federation. In contrast, controlled and coordinated disarmament negotiations should be called for through the UN. In particular, the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, successfully introduced by ICAN to the UN, should be signed, ratified and implemented by the states to be addressed in a mutually coordinated and monitored process. (Austria has already ratified the treaty).
Common to all these different peace appeals is that such peace policy initiatives have been subjected to extreme 'shitstorms' in social media, in addition to endorsements. The authors also had to listen to or read abusive criticism and personal insults as well as threats. Here we can see a brutalization of the public debate now also around peace policy content via social media, such as Facebook or Twitter.
One also has the impression that organized forces are using the protection of anonymity and their aliases to discredit people advocating ceasefires and peace negotiations as Putin's servants, traitors to the Ukrainian people, paid by Putin and the like.

Build peace!

The latest peace initiative (in April 2023) was penned by SPD politicians, including the eldest son of Willy and Ruth Brandt, Peter Brandt (historian and retired professor), Reiner Braun (International Peace Office), Reiner Hoffmann (former chairman of the DGB) and Michael Müller (federal chairman of the Naturefriends). This appeal was published in two German newspapers under the title "Build Peace! Ceasefire and Common Security Now!" with 200 signatories, among them the former Bundestag president Thierse, the ex-minister of justice Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, Dr. Margot Käßmann, theologian and former chairman of the council of the EKD, and EX-EU-Commissar Verheugen as well as several political scientists. In this appeal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is asked to form a negotiating commission together with France and in particular the states together with France in particular Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, which should bring about a ceasefire and peace negotiations in Ukraine. The text states " (...) With each passing day, the danger of the expansion of hostilities grows. The shadow of a nuclear war lies over Europe. But the world must not slide into a new great war. The world needs peace. The most important thing is to do everything for a quick cease-fire, to stop the Russian war of aggression and to find the way to negotiations.
The war has turned into a bloody war of positions in which there are only losers. A large part of our citizens do not want to see a spiral of violence without end. Instead of the dominance of the military, we need the language of diplomacy and peace. (...)" [213]
The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany had already attracted attention with his drastic statements (about Chancellor Scholz: "insulted liver sausage") and his exorbitant demands for arms deliveries for Ukraine, which were made with great audacity. He also immediately intervened here via Twitter in a tone that certainly does not help Ukraine. Andrij Melnyk, promoted to deputy foreign minister of Ukraine, wrote on Twitter that Brandt and Co. should go to hell with their "senile ideas" of "achieving a quick ceasefire" and "making peace only with Russia." [214] No further comment on this .... 

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Signing opportunities for ceasefire and peace negotiations in Ukraine:

- Open letter to the German Chancellor
- Manifesto for Peace
- Christmas Appeal
              (ended in early 2023)
- Peace Appeal
- German-Austrian Appeal for Peace: The killing in Ukraine must be stopped!
 Furthermore, similar peace initiatives are known in the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Italy, among others. 


The propagandistic campaign against the 'Manifesto for Peace'.

The Schwarzer and Schwarzer/Wagenknecht campaigns were able to draw on large networks and publication media that had been built up over many years. This explains - in addition to the high profile of the two personalities - the high number of signatories of these two peace texts.
Therefore, especially the 'Manifesto for Peace', which was linked to a large rally at the Brandenburg Gate, was the focus of public reactions.
The 'Manifesto for Peace' spoke out against an escalating continuation of the war in Ukraine and for immediate ceasefire and peace negotiations. It ends with the demand to the German Chancellor:
"We call on the German Chancellor to stop the escalation of arms deliveries. Now! He should lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both the German and European levels. Now! Because every day lost costs up to 1,000 more lives - and brings us closer to a 3rd world war." 
Four examples will now illustrate how attempts were made to falsify the text and the intentions of the two initiators and to discredit them.
1) The authors were accused in the media and by leading politicians of having written in the text of the manifesto that they were fundamentally opposed to the supply of weapons to support the self-defense of Ukraine under attack. (215) 

The former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, accordingly also expressed himself pejoratively: "Hello you two Putin's stooges:inside @SWagenknecht & #Schwarzer, you can roll up your manifesto for betrayal of Ukrainians & throw it straight into the trash garbage can at the Brandenburg Gate." (216)
But the fact is: In the text, the authors oppose the "escalation of arms deliveries," which is a different matter. This is about the crossing of 'red lines' that can lead to an uncontrollable escalation dynamic. Jürgen Habermas addressed this with his naming of tipping points, a 'point of no return'. (217)
2. The authors have been accused of a perpetrator-victim reversal. This accusation is first made by the German political scientist Herfried Münkler (218) and then repeated mantra-like by various politicians. Schwarzer/Wagenknecht are accused of primarily seeing NATO and the West as the aggressor and the Russian Federation as the victim. This is also a misrepresentation, since the text of the manifesto clearly names the Russian aggressor. There it clearly states, "The Ukrainian people brutally invaded by Russia need our solidarity." (219)
Nevertheless, political scientist Münkler denounces the text as an "unconscionable manifesto" and Schwarzer/Wagenknecht "are doing Putin's business with ignorant talk." (220)  (219)
3. Schwarzer/Wagenknecht are accused of wanting to hand over Ukraine to the Russian Federation via a Russian dictatorship peace. According to Foreign Minister Baerbock: "A dictatorial peace, as some are now calling for, that is not peace. Rather, it would be the subjugation of Ukraine to Russia." (220)  But the fact is that the manifesto states:
"Negotiating does not mean capitulating. Negotiating means compromising, on both sides. With the aim of preventing further hundreds of thousands of deaths and worse. That's what we think too, that's what half of the German population thinks. It is time to listen to us!" (223)  Such a formulation, however, is far from acceptance of a 'dictatorship peace'.
4) Schwarzer/Wagenknecht were accused of not distinguishing themselves from right-wing extremism and of accepting that right-wing extremists would take part in the manifesto-related rally. (224). This was also the verdict of 'Der Spiegel': "At the so-called peace demonstration in Berlin on Saturday, the contours of what Sahra Wagenknecht is actually striving for became apparent: a pro-Russian, anti-American, nationally oriented rallying movement. The AfD is reacting delightedly." (225)  Apart from the fact that it is impossible to prevent individual right-wing extremists from mingling with the crowd at a rally attended by more than 10,000 people, however, this accusation is also based on a false statement. For example, it is publicly documented via video recording that Sahra Wagenknecht, in her speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, very clearly distanced herself from right-wing extremist participation with the following words:
"Of course, neo-Nazis and Reich citizens, who stand in the tradition of regimes responsible for the worst world wars in human history, have no place at our peace rally."  (226)
Green Party co-chairman Omid Nouripour also demagogically distances himself in this direction and insinuates that the chairman of the AFD is one of the first signatories of the manifesto: "The chairman of the AfD is one of the first signatories of the manifesto. The Left Party must ask itself how it wants to deal with the fact that one of its best-known faces signs papers together with AfD chairmen." (227)  This statement is also wrong, because the AfD chairman is not one of the 69 first signers, but had mixed himself among the numerous co-signers, which certainly cannot be prevented in an open signing situation like at


Peace activist Bernhard Trautvetter sums up the criticism of society's handling of the 'Manifesto for Peace' and the campaign against the peace movement as a whole in his own way:
"The campaign against the peace movement is based on invalid assertions, it corrodes democratic structures by excluding democrats, it strengthens war profiteers such as the arms corporations in the NATO states as well as nationalists such as those in the AfD, to which it gives attention by claiming that there is an alliance with their participation, it valorizes militarism by taking up its narratives. the campaign against the peace movement goes against the vital interests of people not only in our country, because it increases tensions and the risks associated with the escalation of violence. And it distracts from many worldwide violations of international law in which NATO states are actively involved, for example, with the formulation that one is against war, as if there were no other wars in, say, the wider Gulf region or in Africa." (228)
Despite the repeated denials by Wagenknecht/ Schwarzer and other initial signatories of the 'Manifesto for Peace', the four false statements addressed here are permanently repeated by authoritative politicians, political scientists and the media. In particular, the reporting of this part of the bourgeois press is not an expression of independent and critical reporting, but rather evokes memories of 'embedded journalism'. In contrast, the media, as the self-appointed fourth authority in democracy, must be expected to weigh arguments of contrary peace policy positions independently and critically. All forms of 'embedded journalism' with elements of war propaganda and denigration of dissenters contradict the media's self-claim as the fourth power in a democracy -  on the contrary, this represents an influence to undermine existing democratic structures. (229)

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(Chapter 1.4)

(Bibliography see at the bottom at this page)

(84) The remainder of this chapter draws on, among other things, the remarks in Moegling (2020b) on arms exports in areas of tension, and parts of this contribution are adopted in modified form.

(85) Eisenhower, Dwight (1961)

(86) Cf. on the efficiency of investments in the arms industry: Stocker, Franz (2020).

(87) For example, according to a Greenpeace survey published in 2019, 81% oppose arms exports to countries involved in the Yemen war. Cf., 6/13/2019, 18.2.21. According to another representative poll by the opinion research institute YouGov, 64 percent of respondents generally oppose arms exports. 80% of respondents voted against arms deliveries to war and crisis zones. 83% of respondents opposed the export of armaments to Turkey. See, 5/29/2018, 18.2.21.

(88) Nepo, Sara, 2012, The Iran-Iraq war 1980-1988. the balance politics of the great powers. In: file:///C:/Users/Klaus_neu/Downloads/2222-2770-1-PB.pdf, 1.3.2013.

(89) ATT of the UN, reprinted in German translation in: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) 2020, 49ff.

(90) Data according to, as of February 2024. 

(91), 5/29/20.

(92) For the complete "Common Position of the Councils" (2008/ 2019), see Annex 2 in the Military Equipment Export Report 2019, op. cit. p.43ff.

(93) Vogel (2015)

(94) Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020), 6.

(95) Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020), 10.

(96) Vogel (2015), n.d.

(97) Cf., as last amended 27.6.2020.

(98) Cornerstones for the introduction of post-shipment controls on German arms exports. In: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020, 42f). It should be noted here that, in its own assessment, the Federal Republic of Germany was the only EU country in 2019 to have attempted systematic post-shipment controls at all. Cf. Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020, 14). 

(99) Cf. Wälterlin, Urs, (2018).

 (100) Cf., 12.3.18 and

asia-and-middle-east-lead-rising-trend-arms-imports-us-exports-grow-significantly-says-sipri, 3/13/2018.

(101) See SIPRI data at; 9.12.19, 9.12.19.

(102) Steinberg (2013).

(103) SIPRI (2018).

(104) SIPRI Yearbook (2020a, 13). 

(105) Cf. SIPRI (2020, 12).

(106) Cf. Knipp (2020).

(107) Cf: Libya: the borderless conflict? In:, 19.1.20, 21.2.21.

(108) Cf. Salzen, v. (2020). 

(109) The Left in the European Parliament, 2020, arms exports/ arms exports. In:, n.d.

(110) Cf. SIPRI (2020a, 13).

(111) European Peace Facility. An extrabudgetary EU fund for peacebuilding and strengthening international security. In:, 6/13/2018, 21.2.21

(112) Cf. for a critical examination of the EPF: Bergmann/Furness (2019) and: European Military Facility poses significant risks to peace. Press statement by 'Ohne Rüstung leben' together with 17 other organizations. In:, 8.10.19
(113) Cf. Germany exports significantly more war weapons. In:, 14.7.20, 21.2.21.

(114) All figures tabulated from: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020, 8 u. 22).

(115) Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020, 24), the level of collection permits ibid, p.23.
(116) All figures tabulated according to Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (ed.) (2020,8 u. 22).

(117) Bickel (2018, n.d.). 

(118) Turkey receives more than one-third of German arms exports. dpa report, 6/23/20, in:, 6/23/20.

(119) Turkey receives more than one-third of Germany's arms exports. dpa news release, 6/23/20, in: op. cit.

(120) Die Linke, Business with War Weapons Booming. In:, 16.7.20, 22.2.21.

(121) Cf. in more detail on the Yemen war in Reimann (2020b).

(122) Cf. Bickel (2018, n.d.).

(123) Rüstungsexporte: Deutschland liefert Rüstungsgüter für 1,2 Milliarden an Yemen-Allianz, In:, 1.4.20.
(124)  Rüstungsexporte: Deutschland liefert Rüstungsgüter für 1,2 Milliarden an Jemen-Allianz, In: a.a.O., 1.4.20. 

(125) Reimann (2020b, o.p.).

(126) Cf., 8.10.2019.

(127),RXsavKn, 1.8.2019, 1.8.2019.

(128) Greenpeace (ed.) (2020, 29).
(129) Former U.S. Vice President Cheney was vice president of the Halliburton corporation from 2001-2009, which profited through its companies as equipment suppliers and transportation contractors from the 2nd Iraq War taking place during that time.

(130) "Furthermore, a long-term contracting relationship can lead to the 'capture' of the contracting process by the private firms and even to corruption. The close relationship between contractor and customer can create a 'revolving door' between government and industry, with senior personnel often moving from one to the other, and can result in a high degree of lobbying power for firms intimately connected with government activity." (Perlo-Freeman/Sköns 2008, 15).

(131) Cf. Vogel (2015, n.d.).

(132) Cf. Danner (2019); in the meantime, by the way, Kujat fell victim to a power struggle between two major investors and had to leave this position again.

(133) Cf. Eglau (2019) 

(134) The following quote comes from a 2008 interview with Joseph Stiglitz by Stephan Kaufmann in the Berliner Zeitung (Stiglitz 2008).

(135) Naím (2014, 118).

(136) Cf. Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008, 1).

(137) Cf. Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008, 2).

(138) Perlo-Freeman/Sköns (2008, 13).

(139) Cf. also the corresponding chapter 'War sells': The Bundeswehr. in Engartner's book (2016, 109ff.).

(140),o.D, 23.5.18.
(141) Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

(142) Among other things, the Conflict Prevention Center (CPC) and the CSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) were established in Vienna.

(143) Cf., p.1, n.d., 5.4.2018.

(144) Cf. in more detail ch.

(145) In:, o.D., 2.5.18, cf. tab.1.
(146) Root (2018).

(147) Cf. Wurzel (2018).

(148) Cf. Schiltz (2021).

(149) In:, 2/15/2018, 3/3/2018.

(150) Cf. Rötzer (2019).

(151) Cf., 5.3.2018.
(152) Cf. Saalmann (2021) 

(153) In:, 5.3.2018.

(154) Cf. Wagner (2021)
(155) Cf. for 2003:, 7/24/2018 and in comparison for 2016:, 7/24/18.
(156) See, e.g., the U.S. 'Project Maven' in which Google employees are cooperating with the U.S. Department of Defense, according to the New York Times and Taz: -US-Militaer/!5510134/, 3.6.2018.
(157) Cf. the article by Conger/Cameron (2018).
(158) Adani (2018).
(159), 9/4/2018, 4/6/2018.
(160) Galtung (2004).

(161) Sonnabend (2010).

(162) Cf. Fraunhofer Institute (2018).

(163) Cf. Langels, Otto (2017): The largest chemical attack in history., 7.2.17, 9.7.19.

(164) Cf. ICAN (n.d.).

(165) Retrieved from:, No Date, July 13, 2019.

(166) Cf. Reimann (2021, n.D.)

(167) Cf. Leukefeld (2019, 162f.).

(168) Leukefeld (2019, 163).

(169) Cf. Leukefeld (2019, 164) on an analysis carried out by Frieder Wagner of the 
Mode of action of uranium munitions.

(170) Gelau (2018).

(171) Cf. Braun (2019, 4).

(172) Cf. Trautvetter (2021)

(173) Cf. Krebs (2019)

(174) In:, 12/2015, 30/11/2019.

(175) See Klein (2012, 2019) for more detail on the connection between capitalism and climate destruction.

(176) Klare (2015).

(177) Peil (2019).

(178) Braun/Müller (2018), cf. also the lecture given by Michael Müller (Chairman of the Naturefriends of Germany, NFD) in December 2018 at the 25th Peace Council in Kassel (Müller 2019).

(179) Cf. Braun (2019, 3).
(180) Cf. on the establishment of UN-controlled global police structures chapter 5.6.
(181) Cf. on the use of CIA-controlled secret armies in Latin America and in Europe Chomsky (1999, 24ff.) and for more detailed evidence of the operation of secret armies in Western Europe the doctoral thesis by Ganser (2005/2016). While Ganser later formulated partly unsubstantiated theses, e.g. on 9/11, his approach here is transparent and can be regarded as scientifically appropriate.
(182) In the 1995 Bosnian war, 400 Blue Helmet soldiers were abused by the Serbs as human shields against NATO attacks (see, e.g., the documentary at, July 31, 2006, 8/20/2018).
(183) This chapter is based on Moegling (2019 d); the article has been revised and expanded on the basis of additional reader comments. I would like to thank the corresponding readers for their contributions to the discussion, which have led to some further considerations.
(184) With regard to the definition given here, I have referred to my own reflections as well as to corresponding thoughts in Pörksen (2000), among others.
(185) This was the second Italian war of liberation.
(186) From: Suttner (1889), chapter 1.
(187) Cf. Ultsch/Vieregge (2016).
(188) EU Parliament press release justifying the task force, after Hofbauer (2019).
(189) See also Trautvetter (2019b) on the discrediting of Russia in the media. 
(190) Cf. Listl (2019). 
(191) In:, 30 Apr. 2000, 29 Oct. 2019.
(192) See, among others, Vensky (2009).
(193) In addition to my own observations and categorizations of the Easter March movement, the following sources were used: Butterwegge (1990),, 8/13/2019, 10/28/2019 and, 2019, 10/28/19 and, n.d., 10/28/2019.
(194) For figures used here, see, 9/22/2010, 10/29/2019,, 10/14/2019, 10/29/2019 and, 8/20/2008, 10/29/19.
(195) For facts used here, see, Feb. 1992, Oct. 29, 2019,, May 19, 2005, Oct. 29, 2019 and, Feb. 24, 2001, Oct. 29, 2019.
(196) Cf. Bittner/Drieschner (2003).
(197) Cf., n.d., Oct. 30, 2019.
(198), 22 MAR. 2003, 30 OCT. 2019.
(199) Cf., 22 Mar. 2003, 30 Oct. 2019.
(200) Strutynski (2017b, 177).
(201) Data extracted from ICAN English language home page (, n.d., on 30 Oct. 2019.
(202) In:, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019.
(203) In:, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019.
(204) GPPAC (2015, 4).
(205) GPPAC (2015, 6).
(206) Z.B. UN Security Council Resolution 2171 on Conflict Prevention, UN General Assembly Resolution 66 /290 on Human Security.
(207) GPPAC (2015, 11).
(208) Cf. GPPAC (2015, 11ff.).
(209) See for a fuller account of these GPPAC activities, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019.
(210) In:, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019.
(211) See, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019. 

(212) In:, n.d., Oct. 30, 2019. 
(213), o.D., 1.4.2023. 
(214), 1.4.2023, 1.4.2023. 
(215) See, e.g.,, 2/24/2023, 3/31/2023, or, 2/25/2023. 

(216),11.2.2023, 30.3.2023.
(217) See his interview in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, where he argues for parallel political, humanitarian, and military support for Ukraine and for pushing ceasefire and peace negotiations in the sense of a dual strategy:, 2/14/2023, accessed 3/6/2023, (behind a paywall).
(218) Cf., 2/14/2023, 3/31/2023.

(220), 2/14/2023, 3/30/2023.
(221) Matthias Kreck critically examines Herfried Münkler's theses and concludes with the following summary: "Mr. Münkler's criticism does not stand up to scientific analysis. And when, in response to his very thoughtful article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, he wishes his esteemed colleague Habermas were "a bit more of a political scientist," the question arises, in view of the scientific errors I point out in this article, whether colleague Münkler should attend the basic course on good scientific practice."

(222), 2/10/2023, 3/30/2023.
(224) Cf., 3/4/2023, 3/31/2023.
(225) 26.2.2023, 31.3,2023.
(226) Quote from YouTube original recording: extremists&aqs=chrome. .69i57.19759j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:7c9181da,vid:I0AwgCYNz5s, 25.3.2023, 30.3.2023.
(227) , 2/24/2023, 3/31/2023.
(228) Quote from an as yet unpublished manuscript by Bernhard Trautvetter (3/2023): The Strategic Communication of the Military Lobby and the Campaign against the Peace Movement.
(229) In contrast to this, the journalistic approach of Malte Lehming in the Tagesspiegel, who poses five important questions to the peace policy opponents to be weighed up, is to be mentioned positively. Cf., 16.2.2023, 31.3.2023. 


An end to the planet in nuclear war: does the UN's nuclear weapons ban treaty offer a way out of this global danger?

Global warming is man-made. Nature is starting to fight back.

Stopping the littering of the oceans - When will this process finally begin?

1.5  Ecological Crises


1.5.1     The battered biosphere turns against humans

The persistance of the planetary ecosystem, i.e. its resistance and resilience, has been under unprecedented attack since the 19th century. Although climate fluctuations have occured in the past, the changes have never happened as rapidly as in the last 200 years. This is a clear indicator that global warming has been caused by human influence. There is an increasing danger that disturbances caused to the ecological interdependencies by outern factors will overwhelm the processing capacity of the ecosystem and the biosphere although serious warning signs and emerging ecological crises can be registered, but the 'point of no return' cannot be precisely determined. [1]
In its synthesis report published in March 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made clear the seriousness of the situation, but emphasized that there are still opportunities to contain the climate crisis. For example, Dr. Oliver Geden (2023), a member of the core author team of the synthesis report of the 6th Assessment Report of the International Panel Climate Change, assessed the climate policy findings as follows: 

"We need to start getting serious about the world beyond 1.5 degrees temperature rise, because that's what we're heading toward. The synthesis report says that quite clearly. And the question of what that means for the climate system, what that means for the impacts, risks, adaptation and what it means for climate protection. Dealing with this does not mean that we should or should not be paralyzed by it. Even if we go above 1.5 degrees, even if we don't get back down to 1.5 degrees: Every tenth of a degree will matter, at whatever level. We first have to manage to stop the temperature rise, to stabilize the system, at least in terms of temperature rise. And that means we have to get to net zero emissions. That remains the right goal. And for that, it's important that we manage drastic emission reductions, and we have to do that already by 2030. Because at some point, certain things will no longer be possible in terms of achieving the goal."

Climate development: Ecological tipping points and feedback effects
In this context, we must not assume that the climate will change slowly and thus possibly could be controlled by accompanying adaptation measures. Ecological tipping points and ecological, economic and social feedback effects will lead to an abruptly accelerating dynamic of the critical climate development. Ecological tipping points are defined as climate changes that can no longer be controlled when a certain point of climate degradation has been reached:
"With large scale global warming in the range beyond 2-3°C, [...] there is a growing risk of qualitative changes in the climate system. Such strongly nonlinear responses of system components are often referred to as 'tipping points' of the climate system. What is meant here is a system behavior in which, after a critical threshold has been exceeded, an own hardly controllable, dynamic of the system sets in. Large-scale components of the earth system that could exceed a tipping point are called 'tipping elements'." [2]
There are a number of known tipping elements that are currently undergoing highly problematic change due to man-made climate gas emissions.
Tipping points and corresponding feedback effects can take place in connection with the following changes: ·         
"* Melting of sea ice and decrease in the albedo in the Arctic. ·         
* Melting of the Greenland ice sheet and rising sea levels ·         
* West Antarctic ice sheet instability and sea level rise ·         
* Disturbance of the ocean circulation in the North Atlantic ·         
* Increase and possible persistence of the El Niño phenomenon. ·         
* Disturbance of the Indian Monsoon Regime ·         
* Instability in the Sahel zone in Africa ·         
* Dehydration and collapse of the Amazon rainforest ·         
* Collapse of boreal forests ·         
* Thawing permafrost soil and release of methane and carbon dioxide ·         
* Melting glaciers and decreasing of albedo in the Himalayas ·         
* Acidification of the oceans and decreasing in the absorption capacity for carbon dioxide ·          * Release of Methane from Seafloors." [3]

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The ecological development in the 'Holocene', the period of about 10,000 years before the industrial age, could be considered relatively stable for human development possibilities. The 'Holocene' was characterized by the ecological self-regulation of the planet. With the Industrial Age, the 'Anthropocene' dawned, in the context of which humans have increasingly become the dominant planetary shaping force - according to Röckström/Steffen/Noone (2009, 472): 
"During the Holocene, environmental change occurred naturally and Earth's regulatory capacity maintained the conditions that enabled human development. Regular temperatures, freshwater availability and biogeochemical flows all stayed within a relatively narrow range. Now, largely because of a rapidly growing reliance on fossil fuels and industrialized forms of agriculture, human activities have reached a level that could damage the systems that keep Earth in the desirable Holocene state. The result could be irreversible and, in some cases, abrupt environmental change, leading to a state less conducive to human development. Without pressure from humans, the Holocene is expected to continue or at least several thousands of years." 
Due to the sanction free, and so far mainly flagrant climate policy of the United Nations, which is free of sanctions, and the attempt of individual nation states, including the U.S. government, to undermine or even reject the UN minimum targets, it is not possible to implement a climate policy oriented towards 'sustainable development', the aim of which is to prevent irreversible socio-ecological consequences. The UN climate policy is striking because the United Nations cannot agree on effective sanctions for failing to achieve climate protection targets. It is therefore to be feared that humanity will not take serious action to protect the climate until the first socio-ecological catastrophes, already observable, have become the rule and threatening to all. 
Initial ecological adaptation measures - generated by civil society pressure - at the national and international levels are not yet sufficient to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius or even below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century in relation to pre-industrial times. Even though the European Union's climate policy measures are very far-reaching and also the most binding on an international scale, they are also not sufficient to take the necessary steps on the part of Europe. The European Green Deal, which was adopted by the EU Parliament in 2022, is already being massively criticized - so Schöneberg (2023):
"With the climate vote, however, the EU parliamentarians have in this case not only half-baked, but also the climate revelation oath absegnet. Greenhouse gas emissions between Lisbon and Tallinn will fall by more than 3 percent per year - without new disasters. But that is simply too little to slow global warming at 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial times."
The EU climate change service Copernicus has determined that 2024 will be the warmest year measured since pre-industrial times. For 2023, Copernicus measured an average value of 1.48 degrees compared to pre-industrial times. February 2024 was 1.77 degrees warmer than the pre-industrial reference period from 1850 to 1900. (Blume 2024).

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But the biosphere is vindictive, it does not wait for human corrective measures when the climate catastrophe is already on ist way. Storms and thunderstorms of gigantic proportions, devastation of wide planetary regions and associated mass exodus, flooding of entire regions near the sea, heat, drought and uncontrollable forest fires, as well as destruction of crops by hail and continuous rain are only a few reactions to the currently observable man-made global warming.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also determined that 2023 would be the hottest year since records began at around 1.45 degrees and stated that this would not only cause environmental destruction, displacement of people, military conflicts, but also billions of dollars in damage and famine crises for particularly affected regions. WMO head Celeste Saulo therefore makes it clear that the climate crisis is not just about weather change:
"The climate crisis is THE defining challenge that humanity faces and is closely intertwined with the inequality crisis - as witnessed by growing food insecurity and population displacement, and biodiversity loss" (World Meteorological Organization 2024)

Jonas' appeal [4] at the time to take preventive responsibility for conceivable negative scenarios is once again supported by the world's leading climate experts. According to the IPPC report, a change of course is still possible if the intensity of climate policy measures is increased enormously. Otherwise, mankind will have to go through an extremely difficult history of development in order to finally be able to respect the biosphere and to overcome the priority of economic exploitation interests, the greed for profit as a measure for ecological behavior, the priority of gasoline-powered combustion engines and coal-fired power generation, the pollution of the oceans as well as environmentally unfriendly mass consumption. 

Also in the energy supply from nuclear power plants no solution can be seen. The planetary danger posed by these plants has long been downplayed. But with the terrible reactor accidents and maximum damage among others in Harrisburg, Chernobyl and Fukushima, the consequences of which have not yet been eliminated, it became clear that the civil use of nuclear power is not safely controllable. In addition, there is massive environmental damage caused by the extraction of uranium and the unsolved problem of nuclear waste disposal. The most toxic substance on earth can still be used for energy production and for the construction of nuclear weapons  without the disposal issue being solved. The problem is postponed to future generations.
The war in Ukraine also shows a further danger situation when Russian military occupies nuclear power plants, stores military equipment and weapons there and harasses the technical personnel. At the same time, the danger is increased by artillery fire from the Ukrainian side. Here, the nuclear power plant itself does not have to be hit at all, but the interruption of the cooling chain or the power supply is enough, so that a super-GAU can occur. The German natural scientist and author Karl-W. Koch (2023) therefore warns urgently of a war-related meltdown in Ukraine:
"A meanwhile very clearly recognizable war goal in this context is the destruction of the technical infrastructure of Ukraine, decisively the electrical infrastructure. The easiest way to destroy this infrastructure is to destroy the nodes of the high-voltage long-distance lines and the feed-in points to the medium-voltage networks. The main problem is that the necessary transformers are not available in reserve, either in Ukraine or in the rest of Europe. On the contrary, they have to be built from scratch, precisely tailored to the respective location, and this takes several months in each case. 
However, Ukraine's nuclear power plants are also connected to these nodes and transformers. If they are disconnected from the power grid, then the nuclear power plant must be switched to emergency generators (diesel) for cooling. These have a maximum runtime of 3 to 10 days and are not designed for continuous operation. If they also fail, the cooling of the reactors will fail. And these MUST ALSO be cooled when the reactors have been shut down. And the storage pools of the replaced fuel rods at the nuclear power plants (and at Chernobyl, Ukraine's large interim storage facility) must be cooled permanently. Otherwise, each is at risk of a meltdown with the release of huge amounts of radioactivity."

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Animal cruelty and meat marketing
As man deals destructively and exploitatively with the nature surrounding him, so does he treat the animals. The diversity of wild animal species is in extreme decline. Most of the animals held and caged by humans for meat consumption are tortured in a variety of ways within the framework of industrial farming before they are slaughtered. Pigs and cows are kept between metal grids and crammed in without room space to move,they are manipulated with hormone injections and antibiotics for undisturbed and rapid meat growth, and their manure floods are then disposed of in the fields, which in turn poisons the drinking water with nitrates. People, in particular in the rich countries of the North, consume meat products to an alarming extent, so that a large percentage literally bloat their bodies and become morbidly overweight. At the same time, many people in the poorer countries lack the possibility to take in enough calories through their diet, which means that hunger in the world has by no means been defeated yet.[5] There is a disastrous ecological connection between the carbon dioxide and methane emissions and the industrial mass animal husbandry, the animal cruelty connected with it and the average meat consumption as well as the environmental poisoning released thereby, in particular the pollution of the drinking water. The burning of the ecologically valuable rain forest is also to be seen in a connection with the thereby resulting pasture land for cattle, the fodder cultivation for cattle (soy) and the meat consumption.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2019, 17) summarizes the relevant research findings as follows:
"The level of risk posed by climate change depends both on the level of warming and on how population, consumption, production, technological development, and land management patterns evolve (high confidence). Pathways with higher demand for food, feed, and water, more resource-intensive consumption and production, and more limited technological improvements in agriculture yields result in higher risks from water scarcity in drylands, land degradation, and food insecurity (high confidence)."

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Ecological thresholds for the planet
V. Weizsäcker/Wijkman (2017) use the term planetary boundaries, which refers to ecological thresholds limit values of the Earth. They argue that if these limits are exceeded, there is a risk of irreversible environmental change.
With regard to the following nine factors, a crisis-stricken development can be indentified, whereby above all genetic diversity as well as the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles are already in the high risk range, i.e. beyond the uncertainty range. The most complex danger with consequences for the entire ecological system comes from climate change, which has already exceeded its planetary boundaries. [6]
Nine ecological determinants of planetary boundaries: [7] ·       
* "Stratospheric ozone depletion ·         
* Biodiversity loss and species extinction ·         
* Chemical pollution and release of novel compounds ·         
* Climate change ·       
* Ocean Acidification ·       
* Land Use ·       
* Freshwater consumption and the global hydrological cycle ·         
* Nitrogen and phosphorus flow into the biosphere and oceans ·         
* Atmospheric aerosol pollution" [8]
It must be noted that individual factors must not be considered in isolation, as they are interconnected and interact with each other. Only by taking a holistic view, which allows for both complexity and differentiation, can the scope of the ecological and social damage that has already occurred be understood:
"Although the planetary boundaries are described in terms of individual quantities and separate processes, the boundaries are tightly coupled. We do not have the luxury of concentrating our efforts on any one of them in isolation from the others. If one boundary is transgressed, then other boundaries are also under serious risk. For instance, significant land-use changes in the Amazon could influence water resources as far away as Tibet. The climate-change boundary depends on staying on the safe side of the freshwater, land, aerosol, nitrogen-phosphorus, ocean and stratospheric boundaries. Transgressing the nitrogen-phosphorus boundary can erode the resilience of some marine ecosystems, potentially reducing their capacity to absorb CO2 and thus affecting the climate boundary." [9]

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The destruction of forests - the lungs of the earth
The study of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2019, 3) clarifies the urgency of a change of direction also in the forestry and agricultural dealing with the biosphere ("loss of natural ecosystems ( e.g. forests, savannahs, natural grasslands and wetlands) and the declining biodiversity (high confidence)"). Due to settlement and agro-industrial use, areas of CO2-absorbing and oxygen-producing forests are increasingly being lost. As the UN-commissioned IPCC states:
"Land use change and rapid land use intensification have supported the increasing production of food, feed and fibre. Since 1961, the total production of food (cereal crops) has increased by 240% (until 2017) because of land area expansion and increasing yields. Fibre production (cotton) increased by 162% (until 2013)."  [10]
The massively accelerated deforestation of the rainforest, the lungs of the earth, under the right-wing populist Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in favor of soybean cultivation areas, cattle pastures and land speculation, intensifies the climate crisis. The preferred method of slash-and-burn cultivation is additionally releasing significant amounts of climate-damaging carbon dioxide. Also the cultivation standards, e.g. with regard to the use of pesticides, generally do not meet the requirements of ecologically oriented agriculture. Considerable parts of the Brazilian rainforest are being cleared or burned with the sole perspective of land speculation in order to be able to market this land later on as cultivation land or even as building land, or in order to use it for the exploitation of mineral resources. [11] The former Brazilian president Bolsdonaro, who was voted out of office in 2022, fatally promoted this development:
"Bolsonaro has repeatedly spoken out in favor of gold miners and loggers in his speeches, but he makes disrespectful remarks about indigenous peoples ('like a zoo') and civil service environmental officials ('ticket industry'). In the Amazon, this was understood as an incitament even before he changed the law with decrees. Just two weeks ago, the murder of the chief of the Waiãpi people made international headlines. In some places, buildings belonging to the Amazon Indigenous people‘s protection authorities as well as to the environmental protection authorities went up in flames, and unknown persons shot at a civil service helicopter in a deforestation hotspot. Not a week goes by anymore without reports of invasions into Indigenous people‘s territories and of displaced or even dead people. Result: Preliminary official satellite data show that the rate of tree cutting in the Amazon in June was 88 percent higher than in the same month last year, in July it was as high as 212 percent. Currently, the deforestation rate is three soccer fields per minute. Since the 1970s, when large-scale deforestation began under the military dictatorship (1964-1985), about 20 percent of the entire Brazilian Amazon forest has disappeared, an area twice the size of Germany." [12]

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Instead of reacting with a higher taxation on beef and soy exports to the EU, if these result from deforested rainforests, the EU decides the opposite: There will be an international free trade agreement between the MERCOSUR countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and the EU and it will have no such restrictions. Instead it will generally significantly facilitate the interstate trade with beef and soy products. This is a direct invitation to further destroy the rainforest and accelerate the climate catastrophe – not to mention the increased need for intercontinental transports of goods by sea and air, which additionally pollute the biosphere.[13]
Such measures are clearly contrary to the ecological claims of the EU and the climate goals of the United Nations. As long as the EU does not adopt a different trade and environmental policy, its ecological claims will be exposed as empty phrases.
Due to the postulate of national sovereignty, the UN is currently not in a position to intervene. This would require an amendment to the UN Charter, so that in the event of a massive ecological damage with consequences for the global climate, an internationally controlled intervention, e.g. in the form of economic sanctions, would be possible.
The 'Responsibility to Protect' should be extended to include responsible intervention by the United Nations. This would first be done by diplomatic means, then by economic pressure and, if these measures were unsuccessful, by world police intervention, giving priority to civil mediation methods and just policing in contact with local citizens' initiatives and indigenous peoples groups. If all this, in case of a massive damage, is not working, the UN military with a robust mandate for ecological peacebuilding would have to be deployed.
The atmosphere, the slim gas layer that surrounds the earth, is so thin and vulnerable, and already massively damaged, that future tolerance is no longer possible. It must be considered that the troposphere, the atmospheric layer closest to the earth and particularly important for our continued existence, is only a few kilometers high and accordingly has hardly any compensation possibilities. A development spanning billions of years has been brought to the limit of its ecological resilience in just a few decades by human civilization and its unrestrained economic growth thinking.
Attempts to reach multilateral or bilateral trade agreements, such as TTIP [14] or JEFTA, also show that this is about an unrestrained increase of economic growth without taking natural resources into account. It is about the establishment of international 'free trade zones', which will lead to an increased consumption of natural resources due to increase in production as well as increased transport of goods between the continents. There is also a risk of lowering international standards in the field of environmental protection.
The neoliberalization of the economy reinforces the global injustice between the richer and the poorer part of the world, already historically created by colonization and the postcolonial period, also with regard to climate development. While the rich countries have been able to enrich themselves further by externalizing climate damage, the poorer countries have not been able to accomplish this development themselves due to the inequitable world trade relations. The rich and industrialized regions burdened the earth's atmosphere with CO2 emissions for over two centuries, with the poorer regions in particular now having to suffer the consequences of the climate catastrophe. This critical assessment must then naturally also have consequences for the demands for future financing of the necessary climate protection measures. 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2023, 5) also made clear the double injustice in the global context in its summary analyzing synthesis report based on climate science data: 

„Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred. Human-caused climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. This has led to widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people (high confidence). Vulnerable communities who have historically contributed the least to current climate change are disproportionately affected (high confidence).“ 

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Business with the water
Furthermore, there is an attempt to further privatize natural resources within the framework of these agreements, especially the privatization of drinking water, which indisputably leads to an increase in prices and a decrease in the quality of drinking water.[15]
Through multilateral trade agreements, world capitalism tries to secure itself on the contractual level and to create the most favorable conditions for the overexploitation of natural resources and the valorization of nature. But also transnational institutions, such as the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, are working on the preconditions for a neoliberal-oriented privatization of resources, such as the freshwater sources available for the production of drinking water. The conflict over access to drinking and process water is intensifying as a result of climate change and the world population growth, which is being used so that international agreements in the future are intended to give priority to multinational corporations:
"Water - from a source of life to a source of profits
This policy can be traced back to the Washington Consensus (1990), which encompasses a set of economic policy measures to promote economic stability and growth worldwide and in which economic processes are to be liberalized and economic activity largely privatized. This, according to the economic liberal idea, creates the basis for resources to be better allocated and used more efficiently. The Washington Consensus concept is being promoted by the IMF and the World Bank. This includes, among other things, the liberalization of trade policy and the privatization of public institutions. The IMF acts as a lender to central banks, and the World Bank performs this function for private banks. In addition, an international network of regional development banks is linked to IMF, the World Bank and WTO, such as the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Islamic Development Bank. Global water companies, the World Water Council and the Global Water Partnership, work closely with WTO, the World Bank and IMF. They are united by the aim of classifying water as an economic good so that it can be freely marketed. Officially, the policy of water privatization and - in connection with it - the construction of dams is justified with the eradication of poverty. That this argumentation is only a fasade is shown, for example, by the fact that the organizations and corporations involved do not advocate decentralized solutions, such as the use of rainwater. Instead, they promote large dams and capital-intensive infrastructure projects, which are often financed by development aid organizations. A network of lobbyists and industry associations working hand in hand is promoting this method of global water policy." [16]

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The lobbyists, politicians, groups and corporations behind the decisions inspired by the 'Washington Consensus', such as Coca Cola or PricewaterhouseCoopers, work for the most part covertly and non-transparently in order to avoid disruptions to this process, for example via civil society resistance.
The Nestlé Group will now be used as an example to illustrate the problems of water privatization.
Resource conflicts are unavoidable with regard to water. The conflict between the ex-Soviet republics of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, states located on the Chinese border, over access to and control of a water distribution point is an example of this problem:
Fight for drinking water
"The Kyrgyz Health Ministry in Bishkek said, based on consistent reports, that 31 people were killed and 154 injured in the fighting. On the Tajik side, there was talk of 10 dead and about 90 injured, the internet portal Asia-Plus reported. The authoritarian regime country did not confirm the figures.
The conflict escalated in the middle of this week when Tajik officials wanted to install a video camera near a water distribution depot. Kyrgyz citizens resisted. They first threw stones, as the media reported. Then both sides reinforced their border troops, which then fired at each other.
The water distribution depot is located in Kyrgyz-controlled territory at a canal outlet that fills a reservoir in the Batken region. For the people there, this is the main access to drinking water. Tajikistan claims the area, based on older maps." (17)
The disputes in Central Asia are one example of interstate water conflicts. Another example is the conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia over Nile water. Egypt has already threatened Ethiopia with war several times. Egypt obtains 90% of its drinking water from the Nile and sees its drinking water supply threatened by Ethiopia's planning of dams. Israel, for example, has also, in the course of various military conflicts, managed to divert 90% of the Jordan water to Israel and water is now lacking in regions with very little rainfall in Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territories. Thus, Palestinian farmers are forbidden to drill new wells, while Israeli settlers in Palestinian areas are easily given permission to drill them. [18]

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But there are also internal struggles over the  resource of water. More than one billion people have no access to clean drinking water. Springs are drying up and there is less rainfall due to climate change. Furthermore, large-scale agro-industrial projects and the mining of raw materials, e.g. for the extraction of rare minerals for battery production in Chile, claim huge water resources that are then lacking local farmers and robbing them of their livelihood.
Domestic disputes in Kenya, for example, illustrate the dynamics of such an issue. Here, nomadic cattle breeders are fighting against export-oriented agriculture, which claims former pastureland for this purpose. Both the increasing population pressure and the rainfall delays caused by climate change are exacerbating this conflict. Conflicts in northern Kenya are no longer fought with spears but with Kalashnikovs imported from Somalia and lead to increasing numbers of victims in this conflict over the precious resource. Thus, Western consumer needs, such as the increasing demand for roses and tulips, intensify internal conflicts in an African state. In addition, this problem is loaded with ethnic tensions.
Using the Nestlé company as an example, the problem of international attempts to privatize water will now be described.

„Nestlé is a predator, a water hunter" (Maude Barlow)

The multinational Swiss corporation Nestlé is - according to its own presentation - the world's largest food and beverage company, with subsidiaries in 189 countries. The Nestlé group of companies includes brands such as MAGGI, Thomy, Nescafé, Nesquick, Kitkat, Smarties, After Eight, Bübchen, and bottled water, such as the brands S. Pellegrino, Vittel, and Nestlé Pure Life. [19]
A key business ideas of Nestlé is to drill deep wells and market drinking water portioned into plastic bottles. Nestlé, according to the company itself, has recognized its responsibility with regard to the ecological importance of water:
„Water is life. It is essential, but is in short supply – already now – in many places around the world. ... At Nestlé, we unequivocally believe that access to water is a basic human right. Everyone, everywhere in the world, has the right to clean, safe water for drinking and sanitation.“ [20]

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Nestlé thus has a business idea that seems promising for the future, because a dramatic water shortage is looming in many regions. Buying up water sources and obtaining drilling permits for deep wells in order to market drinking bottles filled with water in portions guarantees unimagined profits, even if the water sources have to be guarded from the locals by military security services.
In 2012, the film by the Swiss filmmaker Urs Schnell and the Swiss-born journalist Res Gehriger entitled "Bottled Life" was released, which takes a critical look at Nestlé's water business. The Swiss magazine 'Tagesanzeiger' writes about this:
"Journalist Gehriger did not let himself be turned away. In Ethiopia, he visited a refugee camp for which Nestlé had provided a water treatment facility in 2003 amounting to 750,000 dollars. Two years later, the company withdrew from the project, and since then the facility has been functioning poorly, and water shortages are once again a daily problem. In Nigeria's capital Lagos, Gehriger finds out that families spend half their budget on water in canisters. Those who can afford it drink Pure Life from Nestlé. Or consider the village communities in the U.S. state of Maine that are fighting the pumping of groundwater and spring water by Nestlé. The right of the strongest pump applies: whoever owns land can pump as much water as he wants. Nestlé extracts several million cubic meters a year and transports the water by tankers to the bottling plants. ‘They want to make profits with our water, paying a fraction of a cent per liter,‘ says one small outraged businesswoman. 'They sell the water we use for the toilet and for washing our hands as expensive spring water,' scoffs another. But because Nestlé brings taxes to the communities, many authorities welcome with open arms the corporation, which is supported by an armada of lawyers and PR consultants. In the film, the battle between David and Goliath boils down to a deadlock: in one place Nestlé wins, in another the local opposition." [21]
Nestlé itself is trying to improve its image on its homepage, talking about sustainable water management, ecological responsibility and its commitment to humanity in the poor and drought-prone areas of the world. 

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However, former UN chief advisor on water issues and Canadian water activist Maude Barlow exposes this PR claim by the corporation as media propaganda to hide its highly problematic activity. In her book 'Blue Future: Protecting water for the people and the planet forever', Maude Barlow (2014) analyzes the profit maximization oriented activities of water corporations, such as Nestlé. In the film 'Bottled Life' she sums up her criticism of Nestlé: “They’re predators, water hunters, looking for the last pure water in the world.“ [22]
Nestlé has a turnover of seven billion euros for bottled water and is the world market leader in this segment. The journalist Rabea Weihser (2013) from the magazine 'Die Zeit' reconstructs the criticism of the producers of the film 'Bottled Life' and characterizes the more exploitative nature of Nestlé's activities:
"They show how the Pure Life brand, through targeted advertising, became a status symbol in Pakistan, and one of the few reliably clean sources of drinking water in Nigeria. No beverage is as widely available as Pure Life. In 27 countries  it consists of filtered tap water infused with artificial minerals and it tastes the same everywhere. Where corrupt governments let the public water infrastructure fall apart, Nestlé fills a market gap and makes money on the poorest." [23]
Selling drinking water promises growing profits in the future. As long as the legal framework and the associated understanding of economics allow business with - next to air - the most important resource, water, this will be a growing business field with above-average returns in the future. The lowering of the groundwater level and the exclusion of large parts of the population from clean water supply will be pursued in terms of economic policy by following the 'Washington Consensus' - and, if necessary, with military protection.

The 'Washington Consensus' as an obstacle to ecological governance
The 'Washington Consensus', which stands for privatization, deregulation and tax cuts for corporations, is an expression of a neoliberal understanding of capitalism. Neoliberalized capitalism is a major obstacle with respect to the climate crisis that is already occurring and which relies on massive regulation and it is the precondition for even more extreme exploitation of natural resources.
The Canadian activist and author Naomi Klein (2019, 30) clarifies the fatal connection between the historical enforcement  of neoliberal deregulated capitalism and the simultaneously intensified need to intervene in a regulatory way against the destruction of nature:
„We have not done the things that are necessary to lower emissions because those things fundamentally conflict with deregulated capitalism, the reigning ideology for the entire period we have been struggling to find a way out of this crisis. We are stuck because the actions that would give us the best chance of averting catastrophe—and would benefit the vast majority—are extremely threatening to an elite minority that has a stranglehold over our economy, our political process, and most of our major media outlets. That problem might not have been insurmountable had it presented itself at another point in our history. But it is our great collective misfortune that the scientific community made its decisive diagnosis of the climate threat at the precise moment when those elites were enjoying more unfettered political, cultural, and intellectual power than at any point since the 1920s.“
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact states, systemic competition for the capitalist West fell away. Capitalism claimed to be the superior system and dropped its socio-ecological mask. With the emerging climate reaction, capitalism developed in a neoliberal direction that favored unhindered profiteering and increasing exploitation of resources, and a consciousness industry that was supposed to divert attention from this was installed.

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Denial of the anthropogenic part of the climate crisis as business
Contrary to the earlier publications of the IPCC and the IPCC synthesis report published in 2023, in which the leading climate scientists analyzed more than 9000 scientific studies on climate development and assessed their consequences, politicians, such as Trump, Putin or Bolsonaro, deny the existence of the climate crisis and can also rely here, among other things, on bought scientific opinions.
 The scientific denial of the climate crisis or the occurring climate catastrophe is well paid by parts of the fossil industry, such as oil and gas corporations. Some corrupt scientists are not only paid by the corporations for their greenwashing but also for denying the man-made climate crisis so that the exploitation of resources can continue.  In contrast to 97% of scientists who would analyze the facts about the climate situation based on scientifically correct data, millions of dollars are, for example, by branches with vested interests paid to US think tanks that speak of climate hysteria and natural climate variability and deny the man-made part in climate development. [24]
They claim, for example, that global warming is not anthropogenically caused, but is related to increased solar activity. But exactly the opposite is the case: Measurements of the 'World Radiation Center' as well as the 'Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics' have come to the result that in the last 35 years the solar radiation on the earth even decreased, whereas we during the same period had the fastest increase in climate warming since the beginning of the industrialization. [25]
Interested climate skeptics also claim that the currently observed terrestrial warming of 1oC is not a problem at all, since there have always been climate fluctuations that the earth had to cope with. Also there was no increased CO2 concentration during such warm periods. The warming is a natural tendency after a smaller ice age and is not man-made.
First and foremost the objection to this is that the current rapid warming is not comparable to the much slower warming after ice ages. Also it was investigated that with all climatic changes, which took place abruptly, e.g. with volcanic eruptions on a larger scale, massive escape of climatic gases, like carbon dioxide or methane were involved. According to Scientists for Future:
"But there have been several times in Earth's past when Earth's temperature jumped abruptly, in much the same way as they are doing today. Those times were caused by large and rapid greenhouse gas emissions, just like humans are causing today.
Those abrupt global warming events were almost always highly destructive for life, causing mass extinctions such as at the end of the Permian, Triassic, or even mid-Cambrian periods. The symptoms from those events (a big, rapid jump in global temperatures, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification) are all happening today with human-caused climate change.
So yes, the climate has changed before humans, and in most cases scientists know why. In all cases we see the same association between CO2 levels and global temperatures. And past examples of rapid carbon emissions (just like today) were generally highly destructive to life on Earth." [26]

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Nature is only interesting for capitalism if it has an economic value
Therefore, worldwide counter-movements and initiatives, such as the NGOs Attac, Transparency International, World Commission on Dams (WCD), Lobby Control or Water Aid are clarifying the connections between overexploitation of resources, privatization tendencies, transnational agreements and capitalist profit maximization. The question also arises whether this particular link between neoliberalized capitalism and the threatening civilizational destruction of humanity by the looming environmental catastrophe in fact will lead to a more radical reorientation and a systemic reorganization.
It is true that Soviet-style state socialism also exploited nature to the utmost and irresponsibly crossed ecological boundaries, but there also seems to be a connection between the exploitation of nature and capitalism. Nature is only interesting for capitalism if it has an economic value. Here a mentality prevails that nature is inexhaustible, available for free and usable without consideration of the consequences for the creation of economic value. The overexploitation of nature corresponds to the human greed for the accumulation of wealth that is lived out in capitalism. Therefore, despite all well-intentioned international resolutions, it is questionable whether drastic measures for the preservation of the biosphere can actually be implemented in a rigorous world capitalist system.
The historical development towards the disembedding of the economy (Polanyi, 1957) led to the economy becoming independent and detached from human needs in favor of a the dominance of the economy over social life. The 'great transformation' then also meant the transformation of nature into an economically restricted and anthropocentric human-nature relationship. This process, which has accelerated over two centuries, should now be slowed down again and reversed since it destroys the ecological preconditions for life on earth.
Often the emissions from industrial production and traffic are in the foreground of the climate discussion. Therefore, the once that are skeptical about the negative anthropogenic influence on climate development should finally be presented once again the summarized results of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regarding the greenhouse gas (GHG) triggered solely by agricultural and forestry economic use published in the climate report in 2019. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consisting of scientists from all regions of the world and cooperating with the United Nations analyzes and evaluates the available research results worldwide on climate development and summarizes the human impact of land use on the climate for the period from 2007-2016. If one knows how, for example, emissions of carbon dioxide and methane in agricultural production processes as well as deforestation affect the amount of forest activity as a CO2 sink as well as oxygen producer, one should be shocked by the following results of the IPCC - unless one ruthlessly represents the interests of the fossil fuel industry or is simply not willing to take note of verified scientific results:
"Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) activities accounted for around 13% of CO2, 44% of methane (CH4), and 82% of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from human activities globally during 2007-2016, representing 23% (12.0 +/- 3.0 GtCO2 yr-1) of total net anthropogenic emissions of GHGs21 (medium confidence). The natural response of land to human-induced environmental change caused a net sink of around 11.2 GtCO2 yr-1 during 2007-2016 (equivalent to 29% of total CO2 emissions) (medium confidence); the persistence of the sink is uncertain due to climate change (high confidence). If emissions associated with pre- and post-production activities in the global food system are included, the emissions are estimated to be 21-37% of total net anthropogenic GHG emissions (medium confidence)." [27] 

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Five constellations in East Africa
The impact of climatic changes on people's lives will now be described by looking at conflict situations and violent confrontations in East Africa. SIPRI researchers Malin Mobjörk and Sebastian van Baalen (2016, 1 ff.) use the example of East Africa to develop five constellations in which climate change leads to violent riots or armed conflicts of different kinds:
·         "Worsening livelihood conditions": droughts, dwindling rainfall, degraded soils and reduced vegetation cover due to climate change lead to poorer livelihood conditions in a region and increase the susceptibility to survive or to secure livelihoods by using violent means. This leads to participation in actions of armed groups and to chronic insecurity in regions affected by natural disasters. [28]
·         "Increasing migration": When people migrate in large numbers from a devastated region to another region that has better ecological and also economic conditions, violent clashes can occur between locals and migrants in the struggle for resources. Groups with a strong sense of identity are also generally better at mobilizing people for violent purposes. Migration is often a result of a mixture of ecological, economic, social and cultural as well as religious factors.
·         "Changing pastoral mobility patterns": when the routes of pastoralists moving with their herds change significantly, e.g. in Kenya, Ethiopia or Sudan, due to drought and associated water scarcity, this leads to fierce competition between pastoralist groups familiar with these routes and to the use of violence to defend the ancestral routes against the newcomers.
·         "Tactical considerations": Weather and short-term climatic changes can influence the behavior of armed groups, such as cattle raiding. For example, it can be observed that during rainy seasons, cattle theft by organized groups increases in certain regions of East Africa. During this season, the stolen livestock have sufficient food and water while being illegally transported. Also, the thicker vegetation during this season provides improved protection against detection.
·         "Exploitation by elites": In Sudan, and similarly in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda one can observe how ruling elites exploit the struggle for resources between different groups to enrich themselves through corruption, to eliminate political opponents, and to consolidate their own power through hardly noticed constitutional amendments.
The SIPRI researchers summarize their analysis between climate change and violent conflict:
"The relationship between climate-related environmental change and violent conflict does not exist in a political and social vacuum. Political processes permeate every link in the causal chain from environmental change to an in-creased risk of violent conflict. A group's access to natural resources or vulnerability to climate change is determined by both political and biophysical processes." [29]
This means that a climate policy is also a peace policy. Climatic change robs people of their livelihoods, as illustrated here by the example of East Africa, and leads to displacement conflicts and wars.

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To sum up: In its synthesis report published in March 2023, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2023) clearly blames human influence for the current climate crisis. Human influence has warmed the atmosphere, the oceans and the land, a development that can only be contained by drastic and immediate measures.
From this follows: Peace with the biosphere on a global scale will only be possible if the relationship between ecology and economy undergoes a paradigm shift. Unrestrained economic growth must be fundamentally restructured in favor of social and democratic control over the most important means of production and the associated forms of enterprise in the sense of a reorganization of production and consumption that is oriented toward the common good and in particular, toward ecology. Companies and collective production facilities must feel responsible for the preservation of the biosphere in a sustainability-oriented sense and be bound by an correspondingly structured and binding international framework for decisions and sanctions. Governmental steering and control activities must set up a calculable planning framework for agricultural and industrial activities within such a restricted market-based scenario.
The prerequisite on the socio-economic level is a revision of the privatization and deregulation tendencies of neo-liberalized capitalism, which is systemically opposed to the necessary interventions and regulations, brought about by worldwide civil society pressure, for the purpose of combating the environmental crisis. A system based on basic neoliberal economic assumptions and on trust in a self-regulating, uncontrolled market is not suitable for ecological regulations that can still prevent or effectively reduce the occurrence of tipping points and feedback effects. The necessary global ecologically oriented measures to avoid the climate catastrophe on a scale destructive to human civilization and the biosphere must therefore be accompanied by the fundamental restructuring of the economic and political system.
The example of the Nestlé corporation was used to clarify the criticism of the profit-oriented dealing with the vital resource of water and to illustrate the dangers if corporate activities are not regulated and limited.
The further example of conflict situations and disturbance of social peace due to climatic changes in East Africa made it clear that climate development and social peace are interrelated. This can, of course, also be applied to the connection between climate escape, migration movements and the resulting societal social conflicts in the rich countries of the North.
A global economic system characterized by a lack of regulation and unrestrained profiteering deprives people worldwide of their livelihoods.
However, not only the systemic and structural level has to be considered, but also the consciousness of the actors within the system. The prerequisite for this on the personality level is that people learn again to understand themselves as parts of nature and to observe the same laws which nature around them is also subject too. It is not enough to want to achieve necessary changes on the structural level if the individual behavior related to the climate contradicts the requirements that others have to face and are required for the structural changes. 
This means that the changes on the macro level must in advance also correspond to associated changes on the micro level. Personal changes in awareness of the world around us and further developments in personal lifestyle behavior must go hand in hand with structural changes.

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1.5.2   Resistance and protests against ecological                                 destruction    The resistance of indigenous peoples 

In the course of colonization in recent centuries, indigenous peoples have had to experience what it means when a destructive civilizing power invades their living environment and tries to assert its interests with superior force of arms. The enslavement of African people and their deportation and exploitation in the countries of the colonial powers, the genocide of the Mayas and Aztecs who perished by the introduced smallpox, by mass executions and fights or the destructive work in the Spanish gold mines, the murder of the largest part of the indigenous original population of North America by the US military and settler militias as well as the hunt for the Australian original population of the Aborigines are characteristic for this. Today's ecological devastation of indigenous homelands through giant boreholes, devastation caused by open-pit coal mining, lunar landscapes left behind after open-pit gold mining and poisoned with mercury, the poisoning of groundwater through fracking, nature-destroying oil extraction from tar sands, lithium mining that devours groundwater, and slash-and-burn clearing of contiguous rainforest areas represent the modern continuation of colonial ecological and humanitarian destruction of indigenous peoples' livelihoods. 

For economic and geopolitical interests, the inferiority of indigenous races was proclaimed, and they were devalued to 'animals' and 'savages', so that they therefore did not need to be granted human rights. 

Indigenous peoples were murdered, their women raped, labor enslaved, their natural environment destroyed, and all of this was given religious legitimacy or disguised by church missionary activity. Many indigenous communities were destroyed by introduced diseases, such as cholera and smallpox. Their resistance was brutally crushed by the superior weaponry of the white invaders. 

Indigenous peoples were later partly forced into reservations, their children were taken away from them, their identity was stolen in Christian boarding schools and schools. The consequences of the cultural and life-world uprooting were then a high suicide rate or also alcoholism and other drug abuse as well as a clearly lower life expectancy among the indigenous people. However, some indigenous communities, particularly in North America, succeeded in securing treaty rights for the use of their natural living environment. It is possible that these were granted to them to appease them, without any belief at the time that they needed to be honored. 

For several decades now, remaining indigenous peoples have begun to reflect on their cultural identity, to take up forms of protest and resistance in modern society and, above all, to sue for their once treaty rights - according to Canadian environmental activist and author Naomi Klein: 

"Many non-Native people are beginning to realize that indigenous rights - when aggressively supported through legal actions, protest rallies, and mass movements demanding their observance - are now the most effective barrier to protecting us all from climate chaos." (30) 

Naomi Klein describes how indigenous communities in North America and Canada in particular, such as the Althabasca Chipewyan First Nation, the Mi'kmaq community, the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, the Lakota Nation, or the Elsipogtog First Nation, began a long struggle for their rights against the profiteering of the fossil fuel industry. This would be literally David fighting Goliath, as the indigenous people with their lawyers take on the legal departments of large corporations with vast financial resources. But the support of the indigenous people by non-indigenous initiatives from the environmental protection movement strengthened them in their partly quite successful fight against the companies from the oil, gas and coal industry. (31)  

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The Sioux struggle against pipelines in North Dakota: Standing Rock 

In particular, a conflict in Standing Rock (North Dakota, USA) between Native Americans and the activities of the fossil fuel industry, which received a great deal of media attention, can illustrate the complex problems and the intensity of the conflict. There, the Sioux, with the support of other tribes, fought against a fossil project in which oil pipelines (Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone Pipelines) were to be routed through their tribal territory. The operator of the billion-dollar project is an oil company backed by the capital of numerous international banks, such as Goldmann Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bayern LB, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, and Bank of America. (32) Sioux feared environmental pollution of their territory due to the gushing of oil from pipeline leaks, which is common in comparable cases, and the impairment of their sacred sites, e.g. burial grounds and cemeteries, due to the construction of the pipelines. (33) 

The indigenous inhabitants set up a protest camp with tents on the area designated for the installation of the Dakota Access pipeline, where several thousand protesters stayed for a while before the camp was cleared by the police. There were repeated occupations of construction equipment by the 'Native Americans' living there and altercations with security guards. The National Guard was activated and arrests were made. The protesters undertook a march to the White House to demonstrate against the pipeline in front of President Obama. 

Indigenous activist Eryn Wise tells of her resistance: "It was war. They had helicopters circling over our camp for days, installed stadium floodlights at night, smuggled in informers. They brought weapons to hurt us. People were seriously injured and had to watch the bones of their ancestors being dug up by excavators. When we left Standing Rock, it was not as if we had left a protest march, but as if we had come out of the war - which, unfortunately, we did not win. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. They are aggravated by the fact that the attacks on our country continue. (…) Once again, stereotypes and lies were spread about us. For example, it was claimed that we shot at the authorities with bows and arrows and tomahawks. At no time did we have any weapons with us. It's demoralizing not only to be attacked physically, but also to be beaten mentally and spiritually - by people who style us like cartoon characters." (34) 

While former U.S. President Obama finally decided against the construction of the pipelines due to the protests of the indigenous people and their supporters, the current U.S. President Trump has already reversed this on his second day in office and allowed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline. In this, he is accused of a conflation of interests. He himself is said to be involved in the pipeline operating company Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N) and in the holding company Phillips 66 with his own investments. (35) 

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The Sioux, Gros Ventre, and Assiniboine tribes then prepared lawsuits in several U.S. federal courts to have the permit revoked and the pipeline construction halted. (36)

Although the pipelines were built, a tremendous politicization of indigenous tribes and their supporters took place, with many protesting people experiencing firsthand the connection between the capitalist fossil fuel economy, government-backed environmental destruction, and the climate crisis. It has become clear to many people that the struggle for the environment and for the climate against the interests of the fossil fuel industry has entered a decisive phase, which - despite the temporary defeat - is not yet over. So once again, for the time being, the indigenous activist Eryn Wise, who was injured in the clashes, impressively demonstrates her unbroken humanistic and ecological basic attitude: 
"But I think the broad resistance across society is underestimated. People have been fed up for decades with the images the United States conveys. Police violence against minorities, unchecked investment in extractive industries, the everyday racism. All of this became visible through Standing Rock. Now something has to be done about it. (...) Everything I do is a tribute to my ancestors. They've been through a lot more than I have. As a Laguna Pueblo woman, it is my obligation to advocate for the next seven generations. I have to make sure there is hope and a home for the children who are not even born yet." (37) Fridays for Future (F4F) 

The environmental movement has a long tradition, but never before have there been so many young people on the streets worldwide trying to stop the destruction of the planet. 

  "What is Fridays for Future? #FridaysforFuture is a peoples movement following the call from @GretaThunberg to school strike. Why are kids striking? School children are required to attend school. But with the worsening climate destruction this goal of going to school begins to be pointless.
- Why study for a future, which may not be there? -
Why spend a lot of effort to become educated, when our
governments are not listening to the educated?" [38]


The Fridays for Future movement unquestionably began with Greta Thunberg, the then 15-year-old Swedish girl, who started a climate strike of her own in August 2018 and stopped attending school on Fridays while standing in front of the Swedish parliament with her plywood sign 'Skolstrejk för klimatet', a strike that then turned into an international school strike movement based on this model. 

In different rhythms, school children strike on Fridays, suspend school attendance and go public with their demands. 

Fridays for Future is a grassroots movement that is mainly organized locally, but has reached the media through various well-known young personalities, most notably Greta Thunberg. The organizational structure is not representative democratic, but a mixture of grassroots democracy and supraregional networks gathered for major and international protest activities. 

These local movements, that organize demonstrations, sit-ins, encirclements and rallies, are accompanied by international protest activities amounting to several million participants. Contact is established via homepages, blogs, Twitter messages, etc. This is also used to register displaced people. It is also encouraged worldwide to register the various activities on the F4F homepage in this way. 

The climate policy demands of F4F have been concretized, for example, in Germany in cooperation with Scientists for Future (S4F) and are scientifially based and focus on the implementation of the 1.5oC target of the Paris UN Climate Conference of 2015: 

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 "Fridays for Future calls for the fullfillment of the goals of the Paris Agreement and the 1.5oC target. We explicitly demand for Germany: - Net zero emissions in 2035 - Coal phase-out by 2030 - 100% renewable energy supply by 2035 Crucial to meeting the 1.5oC target is to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible. Therefore  we are by the end of 2019 calling for: - The end of subsidies for fossil fuels. - Shutdown of ¼ of coal-fired power plants - A tax on all greenhouse gas emissions. The price of greenhouse gas emissions must quickly become as high as the costs imposed on us and future generations. According to the German Environment Agency (UBA), that is 180€ per ton of CO2." [39]

"How dare you?!" 

In the meantime, Greta Thunberg has been received by many heads of government and has been able to raise her climate policy demands at international conferences. Her speech in September 2019 to the United Nations, in which she emotionally read the riot act ("How dare you?!") to the delegates and heads of state gathered there, and accused them of complicity in the destruction of the planet, remains unforgotten. She was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize ('Right Livelihood Award') and was a promising nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

In the wake of the youth protests, national governments began to put the climate issue back on the agenda; the first climate policy decisions were made, although they are still far from the F4F demands. 

With the success in regard to policy decisions and with the at least partial success of the Fridays for Future movement, counter-movements of course emerged, trying to discredit the movement, denying the climate crisis and attacking Greta Thunberg personally but also the F4F movement as a whole. 

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"Unite behind the science!": Scientists for Future (S4F).

Against this background, it was important that scientists were approached by pupils for supportive collaboration. In response to the F4F movement, an international movement of scientists engaged in climate policy issues was founded: Scientists for Future - starting from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. 

 "Scientists for Future (S4F, also Scientists4Future) is a noninstitutional, nonpolitical and interdisciplinary coalition of scientists – committed to a sustainable future. Scientists for Future responds to the historically unprecedented climate, biodiversity and sustainability crisis that poses global challenges to humanity. The necessary processes of change require decisive and immediate action at the political, economic and technical, social and cultural, scientific and private levels. Because time is pressing. Time is pressing. As scientists, we therefore see it as our duty to raise our voices publicly and proactively." [40]

Perspectives of the climate protest movement F4F 

In the further course of the climate protests, it will depend on whether the movement 'Fridays for Future', consistently continues the process already started and also raises other issues, such as peace policy and the question of social justice. Accordingly, networking with other protest movements and opening up to other generations would be the prerequisite for an international protest movement to emerge that not only emphasizes the climate question, but also the system question. The resistance against the planetary destruction by the fossil industry attacks the global economic and trade system, which is based on fossil energy management. The fossil industry will not allow the economic exploitation of oil, gas and coal to be taken out of its hands so easily and without resistance. Therefore, it will be important that the systemic influence of corporations is significantly limited and that their economic and political power is restricted through political networking, including with the trade unions, and through international politically organized activities. 

Of course, the importance of political experiences for young people is also important in this context. The exchange with similarly minded children and young people, the making of banners and signs with climate policy demands, the creation and experience of protest chants, the listening to lectures and the exchange of opinions about them, as well as the local and supra-regional organizational and networking activities, will be an effective break in the political socialization of children and young people, which they will not easily forget and which is likely to have impacts on the next biographical phase of political and professional commitment. 

Last but not least, there are other support movements besides Scientists for Future, such as Students for Future, Teachers for Future, and Parents for Future, which show that the youth protest is successful in reaching the commitment of further generations. 

- 147 -     Extinction Rebellion (XR) 

Extinction Rebellion ('Rebellion Against Extinction') is like Fridays for Future an international climate protest movement, but with a much smaller number of activists. XR activists partly work with F4F, give speeches at rallies and participate in F4F actions. However, XR has its own movement core and signature in terms of its activity. XR also differs from F4F in the higher average age of its actors. XR's actions are also more planned, ritualized and rehearsed. Likewise, the actions of the XR resistance against the climate crisis are characterized by a combination of an intensified perceived climatic threat, a warning of the climate-induced elimination of human civilization, as well as greater emotionality, and in some cases deliberately challenging the limits of legality. Nevertheless, XR is at least according to its own publicly repeatedly presented claim, a peaceful civil society protest movement: 

"Extinction Rebellion (XR) draws, through peaceful disobedience, attention to the threat of climate collapse and massive species extinction." [41] And further: 

"We do not want to use verbal or physical violence in actions or elsewhere. Our strict non-violence applies both online and offline. Discriminatory behavior, insults and any kind of misanthropic statements and actions are unacceptable to us." [42] 

Extinction Rebellion originated from organizations in Great Britain, but is now - despite attempts to exert influence from Great Britain - primarily organized in a decentralized and grassroots manner in local groups around the world. It is ultimately decided on the spot how an action will proceed. However, central activities are agreed upon via international communication, such as the two international weeks of action to blockade various capitals in October 2019. 

The ecological and political objectives of XR become clear by the following quote from the XR homepage: 

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 "We are an international socio-political movement. Our goal is to bring about a comprehensive and profound change needed for the climate. In doing so, we want to reduce the risk of human extinction and the collapse of our ecosystems. Through nonviolent civil resistance, we aim to persuade our governments to declare a state of ecological emergency and to create a legal framework to implement our demands. We act out of love for life and for a livable future for all living beings on this planet. We call on all to join the rebellion for survival, regardless of religion, origin, class, age, sexuality, gender as well as political inclination." [43]

The actions of XR are criticized within the more traditionalist-oriented political science or political scene arguing that XR is irrationally legitimized and based on fears of loss and on grief, as well as merely aiming at emotions. [44] 

If you take a closer look, you will discover that XR tries to combine rational argumentation patterns and the inclusion of emotions in a holistic sense. In this context, drastic doomsday scenarios are indeed used, but of course one does not know whether or when they will occur in this form. Nevertheless, in the sense of a comprehensive and also emotionally perceptible warning signal, it can, in the event that climate policy fails, make perfect sense to describe negative ecological scenarios. Some typical types of actions on the occasion of the international climate action weeks in October 2019 will now be outlined by some examples, which illustrate that the actions of XR are about information and reflection as well as more emotional, creative and sensual experiences, such as singing, dancing, yoga, sitting meditation or planting trees: 

- London: "Many trees were planted in Westminster today." 

- London: "instead of car engines, choirs and samba bands; instead of throngs of busy strangers, free food and open dialogue." 

- Paris: "occupation at the Place de Chatelet": "hold free classes on climate change by experts, and hold debates on solutions to combat our climate and ecological crisis. And of course, Parisians gather to dance"; 

- Paris: "Gazette d'Extinction Rebellion which appears almost four centuries after the first newspaper, the Gazette de France": "revives rebels' spirits and conversations at the end of the day, and the beautifully designed paper is en-thusiastically distributed and shared around campsite"; 

- Dublin: "Stop the Shannon LNG Terminal (45) plus any new fossil fuel infra-structure!", "a symbolic funeral of the Earth, a samba parade with a pink 'Tell the Truth' boat, a planting of seeds, and some passionate speeches; 

- New York: "They blocked the entrance to City Hall by staging a seated meditation, a peaceful act of resistance rooted in historic acts of civil disobedience"; 

- Berlin: "Tell the truth at last! was the main topic on Friday, when about 3500 rebels gathered in front of the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in order to address our first demand, "Climate Emergency. Now!". We read a letter to the Federal Ministry of the Environment, requiring the ministry to take a stand." 

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- Buenos Aires, Santiago, Islamabad, Dublin, Cape Town, London: "Last year, 164 activists were killed in the Global South for trying to defend their lands from corporate extractivism. Yesterday, rebels all over the world held vigils to honor them, coming together in a global solidarity action"; 

- Santiago: "Chilean rebels held a family friendly die-in at Persa Bío Bío, a blockade at Alameda Av., one of the busiest streets of the city, and a protest against the fast fashion industry in Costanera Centre Mall." 

- Capetown: "XR Cape Town and XR Winelands took non-violent direct action yesterday against the 'Africa Oil and Power' conference. The die-in performance involved rebels suffocating in vibrant clouds of 'toxic' gas, and was staged to draw attention to the crimes against humanity and the ecocide that the conference is facilitating." [46] 

These types of actions, which - in addition to rallies, blockades, leaflets and demonstrations - are characterized by dance, yoga, qigong, theater performances and alarming role-playing, disguises, symbolic actions such as die-ins as well as songs sung together, are viewed critically and degradingly by the traditional political establishment and the media associated with it. But shouldn't protests also be based on the qualities which the protesters want to preserve for the future? Shouldn't resistance and protests also be defined by joy, sensual experience, and creativity? Thus, the transformation designer and author Harald Welzer demands: 

"A social movement for a different society must - I almost said: rock. No, that's antiquated, it comes from my generation, with 'street fighting man' and so on. Now a new political generation is emerging, a new movement. It will develop a new political sound, resistance will feel like fun, be irritating, and it will make you want to belong to those who make this utopia a reality. It will itself already be a glimpse of that other reality it wants to achieve. That's the way to do it. And what a way!" [47] 

XR activists show - parallel to the creative actions and partly connected with them - a considerable commitment to the climate protests and also risk arrests e.g. because of street blockades, actions in front of parliaments or square occupations. For example, according to XR, approximately 550 XR activists were arrested in London during the two climate action weeks in October 2019. 

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Conclusion: to what extent the Extinction Rebellion movement is now evolving into a grassroots climate action movement involving larger parts of the population has not yet been decided and remains to be seen. To call XR a "doomsday cult" well-fed with "hierarchy, intransparency, gurus, and esoteric ideology" (Dittfurth 2019) seems to me exaggerated and misguided. In any case, XR succeeds in winning people for an unconventional, sensual and creative as well as decisive engagement for climate protection, which is oriented towards the principle of non-violent civil and collective resistance.   Professionalized environmental Non Govermental Organizations: Greenpeace and                    Mighty Earth 


Greenpeace, an NGO that has long been professionalized, is probably the world's best-known environmental organization. Founded in 1971, Greenpeace is present in 26 countries and is active in 55 countries. Greenpeace has three million supporting members worldwide. [48] 

Typical for Greenpeace are non-violent blockade actions in connection with massive environmental damage caused by corporations or governments: 

 "Non-violent actions against environmental crimes In order to point out problems, to draw attention to grievances and to demand and bring about positive changes, nonviolent direct action is an important means for Greenpeace, in addition to other forms of public relations. Greenpeace uses nonviolent means to confront those who cause or are responsible for environmental damage - if possible at the site of the environmental crime. The provocative, combative and, if necessary, confrontational character, the uncompromising, courageous but always nonviolent action with full personal commitment and risk is what is unusual about Greenpeace." [49]

Especially the actions against the nuclear tests carried out by France in the Pacific, against the disposal of oil platforms in the Northeast Atlantic, against the slaughter of baby seals, against whaling and against the patenting of human embryonic stem cells had an impact and brought Greenpeace manifold social recognition. 

On the one hand, Greenpeace fights against environmental destruction and for climate justice with non-violent, often spectacular actions; on the other hand, the NGO also presents technological and conceptual proposals for improving the ecological situation: 

- In 1993, Greenpeace developed a CFC-free refrigerator ('Greenfreeze)'; 

- In 1996, Greenpeace presented a converted Renault Twingo suitable for series production in order to show that it is possible to develop a passenger car with a gasoline consumption of less than three liters per 100 kilometers (economy car 'SmILE'); 

- In 2015, Greenpeace presented a roadmap for climate neutrality, using Germany as an example, without any supply bottlenecks ('The Plan'). 

'The Plan' consists of an energy scenario that calculates how a combination of energy conservation, renewable energy supply, improved power grids and storage options can ensure a complete supply of climate-neutral electricity and heat by 2050, while simultaneously phasing out nuclear power and the fossil fuel industry. [50] 

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Although Greenpeace advertises that it is independent of corporations, Greenpeace has been criticized for speculating on the financial markets with some of the millions of euros of funding it receives each year. Therefore demands have been raised that the surplus money should be invested to a greater extent in ecological projects. [51] 

For some Greenpeace is not radical enough, which caused splits (e.g. 'Robin Wood' or 'Sea Shepherd Conservation Society'), for others Greenpeace goes too far with its actions. The fossil fuel industry is also trying to deny Greenpeace the status of a fiscal tax relief by the discrediting public relations work of an NGO founded especially for this purpose, the organization 'Public Interest Watch' founded by ExxonMobil. 

There is also criticism in regard to the Greenpeace structures, which are perceived as undemocratic and within which the 2400 employees worldwide are active. Important decisions are made primarily in a small, unelected leadership circle, and the activists on the ground have too little influence. Greenpeace, on the other hand, maintains that Greenpeace activities would require quick decisions and a high degree of secrecy in the run-up of an action. [52] 

In summary, - despite the criticism levelled at the NGO – Greenpeace was in retrospect an important factor in the fight against environmental crimes committed by corporations and states. Without Greenpeace activities, commercial whaling would not have been largely ended, oil platforms would still be sunk unhindered in the Atlantic, nuclear weapons testing would be conducted on a larger scale and the discharge of textile chemicals into waters of poorer regions of the world would go undetected. Furthermore, movements such as Extinction Rebellion or Foodwatch have certainly  learned from the direct and effective activist culture of the NGO Greenpeace in terms of their types of action. 

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Mighty Earth

In the USA in particular, many environmental NGOs, that were once quite committed to the protection of the ecological foundations of life, have strayed far away from their original goals. Naomi Klein reports in detail about the financial contributions, especially from the fossil fuel industry, that have led to this. Not only have some environmental organizations apparently been paid by corporations and engaged in greenwashing, i.e. the ecological labeling of environmentally harmful behavior, but they have themselves to some extent invested in the fossil industry. So this is about positions, income and available capital. [53] 

In contrast to this, the NGO 'Mighty Earth' represents a very effectively working American environmental protection organization, which thematically and comprehensively deals with ecological issues in a committed manner: 

"Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect the environment. We focus on the big issues: conserving threatened landscapes like tropical rainforests, protecting oceans, and solving climate change." [54] 

With its critical reports, Mighty Earth relentlessly exposes ecological grievances caused by international corporations: 

·         Social and environmental problems in the operation of rubber plantations in southern                Cameroon; 

·         The analysis and labeling of the corporation 'Cargill' as the "worst company in the world"             [55] 

·         The continuation of deforestation in West Africa for cocoa plantations; 

·         The environmental coal footprint in steel production; 

·         The failure of the food industry to address the climate crisis; 

·         Deforestation, arson attacks and violation of human rights in Argentina and Paraguay                 for meat production; 

·         Criticism of biodiesel production. [56] 


In this regard, the Mighty Earth team, led by a CEO and a chariperson, often first tries to inform the concerned actor of the result of its research when a critical report has been prepared. At the same time, a deadline is given to stop the harmful behavior. If this is not done, the report is published internationally with all the image consequences for the group concerned - probably fair enough ... 

Summary: Professionalized NGOs, such as Greenpeace or Mighty Earth, represent a necessary control body and regulator in order to enable a socio-ecological path in the world community. In particular, their courage and their ethically based level of reflection combined with publicly perceived actions against those who cause socio-ecological damage – be it governments or multinational corporations – are to be evaluated positively. Particularly important is their financial independence from companies of the fossil industry, which have already occupied many environmental protection organizations, especially in the USA [57], and instrumentalized it to an adapted behavior and to a prolongation of ecological extractivism occurring through 'greenwashing'. 

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(Chapter 1.5)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] Cf. Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (2006, 33 ff.).
[2] WBGU (2007, 77).
[3] Federal Environment Agency (2008, 4f.).
[4] Jonas (1979/2015, 64).
[5] On the extent of world hunger, see Ziegler (2015), among others, who speaks of a cannibalistic world order in this context.
[6] Cf. Röckström/Steffen/Noone (2009, 473).
[7] The German-language translation of the factors based on Rockström/Steffen/Noone et al. (2009, 472), in V. Weizsäcker/Wijkman (2017, 44f.).
[8] = Air pollution via e.g. CO2 or SO2 emissions.
[9] Röckström/Steffen/Noone (2009, 474).
[10] IPCC (2019, 4).
[11] Cf. Fischermann (2019).
[12] Fischermann (2019).
[13] The MERCOSUR agreement has already been adopted by the EU; however, the necessary decisions at the national level are lacking.
[14]TTIP = Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, JEFTA = Japan-EU Free Trade Agreement.
[15] See Lieb (2009) for further details and evidence.
[16] Lieb (2009).
[17], 30.4.2021, 1.5.2021.
[18], o.D., 1.5.2021
[19] Cf., n.d., 9/23/19.
[20] In:, n.d., 9/23/19.
[21] In:, 17.1.2012, 23.9.2019.
[22] In:, 12.9.13, 23.9.19.
[23] Weihser (2013).
[24] Cf. in more detail Klein (2019, 61ff.) and Rahmstorf (2016).
[25] Vgl. hierzu, o.D., 24.10.19.
[26] Quote taken from Scientists for Future fact collection:, author Howard Lee; n.d., 1 Nov. 2019.
[27] IPCC (2019, 7).
[28] In my opinion, this does not only apply to countries or regions that are already struggling with poverty. Even in rich countries, natural disasters can lead to an increase in crime and violence, e.g. the flooding of New Orleans in 2005 in connection with massive looting of stores and houses:"Flooded New Orleans threatens to descend into anarchy, with gunfire at a military helicopter and arson delaying the evacuation of the Superdome on Thursday. Mayor Ray Nagin, faced with increasingly unrestrained looting, pulled police officers from the rescue mission and ordered them to keep order instead. Another 10,000 National Guard troops have been detached to the disaster area."  (, 1/9/2005-1/19/2019). [29] Mobjork/van Baalen (2016, 2).
[30] Klein (2019, 457).
[31] Cf. Klein (2019, 454ff.).
[32] See NGO 'Food & Water Watch' listing of bank holdings at's-banking-dakota-access-pipeline, 9/6/2016, 11/18/2019.
[33] Cf., 25 Jan. 2017, 18 Nov. 2019. 

[34]  Eryn Wise in conversation with Jutta Schilly:, 4/26/2018, 11/18/2019. 

[35]  Cf., Feb. 23, 2017, 18 Nov. 2019. 

[36]  In:, 11 Sep. 2018, 18 Nov. 2019. 

[37]  Eryn Wise in conversation with Jutta Schilly:, 4/26/2018, 11/18/2019. 

[38] In:, n.d., 10/21/19.
[39], n.d., 10/21/19.
[40] In:, 9/2019, 9/23/19.
[41] Lead sentence on XR home page:, n.d., retrieved Oct. 13, 2019.
[42] In:, n.d., accessed Oct. 13, 2019.
[43] In:, n.d., Oct. 13, 2019.
[44] See, e.g., the controversy surrounding the TAZ article by Anke Richter (2019) on XR and the comments published online about it in:!5629071/, 12.10.19, 14.10.19 as well as Ditfurth (2019).
(45) The Irish government plans to build a fracking terminal at the mouth of the Shannon River to receive U.S. fracked gas.
[46] Cf. info emails sent by XR on 12 & 13/10/19 and on XR homepage, o.d., 10/16/19.
[47] Melzer (2019, 294).
[48] Vgl., o.D., 10/25/19.
[49] In:, n.d., 10/25/19.
[50] Cf. Greenpeace (2015).
[51] Cf. Greenpeace (2015).
[52] Cf. for overview of criticism of Greenpeace with differentiated source evidence, 18 Oct. 2019, 25 Oct. 2019.
[53] Cf. Klein (2019).
[54], n.d., 10/23/19.
[55] Cf. chapter 1.1.1 in this book with the report on the multinational enterprise Cargill.
[56] See detailed reports at, n.d., 10/23/19.
[57] Cf. the examples of corrupt environmental NGOs given by Naomi Klein (Klein 2019, 233ff.). 

"Be a part of the solution - not part of the pollution" -
The Fridays for Future protests have already made a big difference. Who is allying with the children and young people?

1.6 Cultural Crises


1.6.1   Culture and art in Capitalism



The concept of culture

Etymologically, the term 'culture' can be derived from Latin (colere = to cultivate). The 'Cultura' derived from this refers to the maintenanceof an agricultural area and livestock. Ultimately, this term therefore refers to that what distinguishes humans from animals in their maintenance of life and social interaction with nature. Culture refers to the human beings becoming a part of society, to production and reproduction. Even today, one speaks of the cultivation of a natural area meaning, for example, the removal of stones and the tearing out of roots so that agriculture becomes possible there. It was not until the 17th century that the concept of culture changed. 'Cultura animi' then also meant "education for social life, knowledge of the liberal arts, and a decent life." [1]

Already this change of meaning shows the ambiguity of the concept of culture, which then leads to a distinction between a narrow and a broad concept of culture. 

Culture in a broader sense refers not only to the classical segment, such as theater, music and fine arts, but includes all social achievements that past, present and future generations produce. In addition to art, this includes language, all sciences, pedagogy and didactics, religions, professional skills and abilities in various occupational fields, technological development, culture of conflict resolution, cultural use of natural resources, but also digital communication and use of artificial intelligence (AI). 

What nature produces on its own is not to be understood as culture. Culture arises only through human access to nature in an attempt to survive better and better (extended understanding of culture) and to shape it artistically (narrow understanding of culture). 

Human cultural access to nature has long since reached its limit. Two tendencies in particular lead to humans interaction with nature, which destroys the prerequisites for human life on earth. On the one hand, it is the greedy extractive access of humans to natural resources and, on the other hand, the simultaneous multiplication of the human species. The combination of largely unrestrained capitalist valorization of nature and growing population pressure overwhelms the resilience of the planet and is endangering or already destroying the future opportunities of the next generations. 

Therefore, the central question is how to achieve a cultural reversal in production and reproduction that protects future generations from the extrahistic culture of the present generations. 

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Based on a critical analysis, this book attempts to provide numerous answers to the question of a new preventive and healing culture of protecting future generations from the generational egoism of presently living people.
 We are in a serious cultural crisis, which, due to the characteristics of a private economic system that values nature in money in order to exploit it, is increasingly moving towards a global situation that can no longer be controlled in terms of life as we know it.
 This is the central aspect of the cultural crisis of humanity, a crises that must be solved through cooperation between peoples and through civil society commitment of billions of people. The role of the United Nations in connection with social movements and organizations is dealt with in detail in chapter 5 of this book. 

In the following, some aspects of the narrower cultural understanding will be pointed out: 


Social preconditions of culture as art 

Culture in a narrower sense is subject to pressure to adapt to average public taste in a society in which cultural achievements are subject to a profitability requirement. If cultural performances in the classical cultural segment of theater and film, concerts, poetry and writing, music, dance and movement culture as well as visual arts can only secure the livelihood for the artists when their performance becomes a commodity and it is financially exploitable, this kind of culture has its systemic limits. In capitalism art is only recognized when it can achieve the highest possible price as a commodity. Art also becomes an investment and speculative object on the art market. Paintings that reach prices of over 100 million euros or dollars are an expression of this cultural rottenness towards cultural decay. 

In 1944, Horkheimer/Adorno developed a radical critique of the culture and entertainment industry, some elements of which are still relevant today. They address the cultural offer and the connection between work and leisure, between production and psychologicalreproduction. Culture in late capitalism had the function to promote withstanding the alienation of work processes in order to enable exposing oneself again the next day - distracted and recovered – to work structures characterized by exploitation. 

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Culture in the sense of a narrow concept is submitted to the character of a commodity and to the compulsion to exploit qualifications and competencies in a capitalist manner. 

The 'free artist' in this sense does not exist, since all those who want to make a living from art must find customers and successfully sell their qualifications. In this respect, cultural competence is subject to the structures and constraints that now apply in a largely neoliberalized society. 

Culture is also subject to a partly obvious, partly subtle uniformization - according to Horkheimer Adorno (1944/ 1996, 148): 

„Because of his ubiquity [2], the film star with whom one is meant to fall in love is from the outset a copy of himself. Every tenor voice comes to sound like a Caruso record, and the “natural” faces of Texas girls are like the successful models by whom Hollywood has typecast them. The mechanical reproduction of beauty, which reactionary cultural fanaticism wholeheartedly serves in its methodical idolisation of individuality, leaves no room for that unconscious idolatry [3] which was once essential to beauty.“ 

As plausible as some of the statements of Horkheimer/Adorno may still be today, they seem very stereotypical. The characteristics and variability of art and culture depend on the very different political constitution of societies - even if all societies were subject to the comparable (capitalist) economic system.
 The freer and more democratic a society is, the greater is the scope for content for the performing arts. Innovative and society-changing impulses set by artists such as actors, singers, painters, dancers or poets can unfold especially in historical phases in which the systemic grip on culture loosens or the impact is weakened. This is especially the case in times of structural upheavals in a social system, which can then be supported by cultural innovations. Sometimes the cultural awakening also runs ahead of the upheavals in the economy and politics and thus offers an important contribution to social change. 

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The aesthetic approach of the Düsseldorf artist Joseph Beuys, who emphasized and realized the revolutionary and reality-changing power of art, can be seen as an example of this. He left his mark on the term 'social sculpture' in art and tried to implement or view social transformation as art through his projects. His Kassel space-time sculpture '7000 Eichen - Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung' (7000 oaks - city forestation instead of city administration) is an ideal example of this approach. [4] His team and he changed the cityscape and also its ecology by planting 7000 trees paired with a basalt block in the city of Kassel on the occasion of the documenta exhibition 1982. But also the public remelting of a gold cast copy of the crown worn by Czar Ivan the Terrible into a peace hare was part of these aesthetic actions that were aimed to intervene in social and political life. He sold his works of art expensively, exploiting the art market to finance further projects and social sculptures. 

Thus, future social changes often appear years or even decades in advance in artistic performances or in literature that critically examine social conditions and anticipates social developments. For instance, the 'Organ of critical arts' writes on its website: 

"We understand art as a plow for cultivating the socio-political field in the sense of a civil, autonomous society, against reactionary tendencies such as racism, militarism, sexism, dogmas and fascism and all their inhumane forms of expressions!" [5]

Authoritarian systems have recognized the power of culture to shape and change society and are trying to ban critical approaches to art and to establish and subsidize ideological art that serves the stabilization of the authoritarian regime. This means the decline of the cultural substance of art. Art critical of the system is then persecuted as 'degenerate' or 'bad'. Artists are imprisoned, tortured and sometimes murdered. This was the case in the Nazi 'Third Empire', as well as in Stalinism, and in Chile, when the military carried out the coup with CIA support. After his arrest by the fascist Chilean military, the singer and poet Viktor Jara had his fingernails torn out by his torturers, his fingers were broken and he was forced to play the guitar shortly before his subsequent murder.

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Culture and art in times of pandemic crisis 

Here it will be discussed how society has treated art and culture during the Corona pandemic. 
Certainly, sensible restrictions for live events by artists result from the viral danger of the pandemic. Nevertheless, it becomes clear that culture in the narrower sense - art - does not seem to be relevant to the system. Artists, e.g. in Germany, are pretty much the last group to get a chance to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. Also, state support for artists is low and extremely slow, wherever it is granted at all, in the course of cumbersome bureaucratic procedures. Numerous art related livelihoods and activities have been disproportionately restricted or even destroyed. 

In times of pandemic crisis, art, as acting, musical performance, cabaret or the display of visual art, seemed to be dispensable if it requires presence. It was blocked across the board in the course of pandemic precautionary measures, without looking for and allowing alternative live performances, such as outdoor concerts in compliance with hygiene rules. Artists were furthermore declared to be a rather superfluous and marginalized group, dependent on handouts from society, e.g. family allowances. 

Here, the pandemic also highlighted the social interaction with art, as in other areas, where there were deficiencies in the list of priorities of the society. While automobile production, for example, could continue undisturbed, art related events requiring physical presence of the audience were rigorously banned. 


The so-called 'social media' 

Digital media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and online magazines such as 'Telepolis', 'Rubikon', NachDenkseiten' or 'Der Freitag', offer an insight into the level of cultural exchange existing in society. On the one hand, it is now possible to enter into communication on central issues of cultural development, both internally and internationally, for example to exchange ideas and discuss possibilities for social realignment. This cultural and political potential of digital media should not be underestimated. On the other hand, digital media also offer access to communication for people who lie, discriminate, manipulate, bully and threaten. 

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In particular, the possibility of anonymity reveals the true face and, from an ethical point of view, the still underdeveloped psychological and social condition of part of humanity. If certain groups of people can express themselves publicly without having to expect to be identified, they lose all respect, all esteem for the communication partner and for society. 

The Internet thus has negative and positive effects at the same time. Appropriate rules and sanctions must ensure that communication is humane and ethically acceptable in order for the positive sides to dominate. This is a difficult balancing act between freedom of the press and the media and necessary regulation.
But when the Internet is used by state persecutors in weak democracies or autocracies and dictatorships to oppress opposition forces, this tool becomes part of a repressive system. This is revealed when people who, for example on Facebook, liken or comment positively a critical remark referring to the authoritarian regime in Turkey, are arrested already at the airport during their next visit to their Turkish homeland, imprisoned without a due process of law and exposed to suspicion of terrorism. So-called IMSI catchers also ensure that the police in such states can identify participants in (legitimate and absolutely peaceful) demonstrations and filter out their data. The arrest then takes place the next day. 

The installation of vulnerabilities in software and the possibility of targeted hacker attacks also serve to suppress a cultural development in repressive societies that would like to achieve more democracy and more freedom. In these cases, digital media reinforce the cultural crisis of the society and is used by the police state as an oppressive tool. 

The most negative example is provided by the People's Republic of China, that tries to spy on its 1.4 billion-strong population via a comprehensive digitally anchored 'social-credit-system'. Millions of digital cameras equipped with facial recognition and artificial intelligence identify people, rate them, and cause positive and negative sanctions on human behavior. This leads to a culture of fearfulness and conformist behavior. 

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The generation of fear via movies and video games 

The culture of a modern society includes the quality of audiovisual media and the social interaction with it. A society with a peace-oriented culture will want to cope without films and video games that glorify violence. However, the cultural crisis in society is currently reflected in exactly the opposite trend: films, 'streamed' series and video games are becoming increasingly violent. The killing and torturing of people is shown in ever more detailed and extensive manners, violent conflict resolution - even by heroic figures portrayed as positive - is presented as a legitimate and even glorifiable way of advocating social interests. The most brutal scenes are provided with appropriately threatening music that reaches the human brain directly without any possibility to reject it. Violent means to destroy human beings in combination with threatening music, sometimes also sub-consciously applied, on the one hand make especially young people insensitive to the use of violence, on the other hand they increase the fear potential in humans. Both - the insensitivity and the latent fear - lead to an inclination amongst people to violent conflict solutions. The inhibition threshold to violence becomes lower, and fear or lack of sensitivity can lead to the use of violent means. 

Especially the heroic war films reduce peacefulness among peoples, also in their modern versions, in which the actors, in their commitment to supposedly better social values and systems, disregard international law in wars against 'villains and rogue states' and also accept civilian collateral damage for the good cause. Villains are often characterized by people with Russian, Eastern European or Arabic accents. Such films are based on the image of a better (Western) human being and a negative (un)human being from another culture. The viewers are trained to embrace enemy images, which are the psychological prerequisite for waging war against other nations and cultural groups. [6] 

Furthermore, the consequences of young people participating in virtual reality games and not living a larger part of their time under the conditions and limitations of real action sequences are unforeseeable. Spending time in a virtual reality generates more intense impressions and feelings than is the case with usual movies and video games. What does this do to a person that regularly kills and rapes in virtual reality? Is normative restraint still at all possible in real life when virtual reality enables the experience of unbounded behavior? [7] 

What influence do films glorifying violence and spending time in violent virtual realities have on young people who turn up shooting wildly as assassins in schools and stores, murdering or seriously injuring people?

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1.6.2 The cultural problem of churches and religions 

According to historically mediated construction, religions are elaborated cultural ways of trying to percieve and interprete the world in an attempt to create a sense of security in dealing with the dangers of life. 
 What cultural contribution can religions currently make to solving crises, such as the ecological crisis, the crisis of democracies or the crisis of conflict culture secured by international law, exacerbated by the neoliberalization of capitalist system structures? 

In the course of cultural crises, which are associated with the loss of traditional identifications and with considerable identity insecurity, many people tend to submit to political and religious ideologies that simplify social conditions. This takes place through political extremism, but also through religious movements that offer a social gathering place, a spiritual logic of identification and subordination to a religious authority. 

However, a distinction must be made here between ethics, philosophy and religion. 

Religions are characterized by the fact that they are fixed on a one god or several gods with whom the follower of a religion is in direct conversation or who is/are worshipped by him. Religious practices are offered in a ritualized manner in an institutional context that usually makes itself independent and exploits the inner control of people's thoughts and feelings for the benefit of the religious institution in terms of accumulation of social power and wealth. 

Religions in connection with political and economic power have hindered the spread of enlightened knowledge and thinking in all regions of the world. Religious devotion to a supernatural power, whose representatives on earth, be it in the history of mankind popes, imams, tennos, emperors or kings, who declare the entry into war as a 'sacred duty', can hardly be reached by rational argumentation. Wars of all kind were blessed and legitimized by the respective representatives of the religions. Even the same God was prayed to for protection on both sides of the warring opponents. People marched to their deaths in the name of the same God or Allah, dropped bombs on civilian populations, used poison gas and mines, blew themselves up or killed in symmetrical and asymmetrical warfare. 

The characterization of the various directions of Christianity, Islam, Shintoism, Judaism or Hinduism as religions is possible without difficulty, since God, gods or the divine are at the center of the faith. The idea of enlightenment, which strives for the self-confident and mature human being who can think and act independently without the guidance of another transcendent authority, stands against the religious presumption that man is unfree and fundamentally in sin, subject to a god or gods, and obligated to obey ecclesiastical institutions. 

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The current Dalai Lama and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, born Lhamo Dhondrub, relentlessly criticizes the role of religions historically and globally: 

"For millennia, violence has been used and justified in the name of religions. Religions were and are often intolerant. In order to push through political or economic interests, religion is often misused or instrumentalized - even by religious leaders. That's why I say that in the 21st century we need a new ethics beyond all religions."[8] 

Jiddu Krishnamurti, originally established as a religious leader and world savior by the Theosophical Society, consciously distanced himself from all religions, religious hierarchies and religious leaders in his third decade of life. Religious leaders and institutions were obstacles on the way to self-knowledge. Only an  unprejudiced view leads to inner development, which cannot be separated from the outer - so Krishnamurti (1972/1995, 52):
 „To go inward very deeply, the outer must also be understood. The more you understand the outer - not merely the fact of the distance between here and the moon, technological knowledge, but the outward movements of society, of nations, the wars, the hate that there is - when you understand the outer then you can go very deeply inwardly and that inward depth has no limit. You do not say, `I have reached the end, this is enlightenment.' Enlightenment cannot be given by another; enlightenment comes when there is the understanding of confusion; and to understand confusion one must look at it.“ 

The traditional religions, such as Islam, Hinduism, Catholicism, Judaism, Shintoism, as well as Protestantism, have already been adequately analyzed and critically evaluated in terms of their anti-Enlightenment content and their claims to power and ideologies.[9] 


On the role and crisis of religious institutions 

The monotheistic grip on reality has promoted the development of powerful social institutions in almost all cultures. This led to a competition for the sovereignty of cultural interpretation between the various churches and religious cultures, which was rather a hindrance to world peace. Examples of religiously based violent cultural conflicts in the past that continue into the present: Christian Crusades and slaughter and subjugation of Muslim populations, brutally waged Muslim wars of conquest, the religiously connoted 30 Years War, the murderous confrontation between Hindus and Muslims in India that led to the creation of two separate states, the misanthropic system of IS, terrorist Islamist attacks, the annihilation of the Muslim Rohingyas by Buddhist rulers in Myanmar ... 

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In the past, also Christian churches have generally given their blessing to wars in their amalgamation of warring states and national-church organization - from church leaders to military chaplains. Negative climax was the non-intervention agreement between the pope with and Hitler up to even encompassing the escape assistance of leading national socialists after the 2nd world war ('ratline'). [10]

But one must be careful not to subject all church groups and initiatives to this ruthless criticism. One would not do justice to many committed church members who work for social change - often against the resistance of their churches. 

The originally Catholic, now ecumenically oriented movement 'Pax Christi', for example, occupies a certain exceptional position here. Although it is still committed to the church and a monotheistic image of God, it nevertheless, despite these preconditions, after World War 2 found its way to peacemaking activities and acriticismof the social foundations of war. In 2017, however, 'Pax Christi' was denied eligibility for funding by the Association of Dioceses of Germany, which means that the subsidy from church tax funds are no longer applying. [11] It is also questionable whether many of the people who are undoubtedly committed to peace policy in 'Pax Christi' could not work more effectively in other contexts of the peace movement - and without the conflicts with the church - and would be more appreciated there. 

Also the peace policy initiative of the Protestant church 'Rethinking Security' has another exceptional position. Here, security is not equated with rearmament and military engagement. The focus is on a new security order, through which wars should be prevented as far as possible and peace should be secured or established with the help of political diplomacy, civil society engagement and world police operations. [12] 

Despite these positive approaches originating from church movements, the misuse of (primarily male) power and the sexual assaults as well as the cover-ups in the church context must above all be considered. This concerns, for example, both Christian churches worldwide. But it can also be found, for example, among the predominantly Buddhist soldiers in Myanmar who use rape of female Rohingyas as a weapon, or in the case of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq who that abusing the name of Allah killed or enslaved people.

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 It is however, completely wrong and morally unjustified to place the majority of Muslims under a general suspicion of terrorism. Behind this is the attempt by nationalist and racist political groups to trigger people against another population group in the sense of group-related misanthropy [13] in order to win them over for their own right-wing populist or even right-wing extremist goals. However, the Islamist calls by various groups and organizations in the present and past for 'holy war' and the associated striving for hegemony are certainly not an expression of peaceableness and tolerance, but an attempt to recruit activists for a warlike conflict the war motivation of which can be steered in the desired direction via religious domination to the point of self-sacrifice. Behind this - in addition to cultural prejudices - are ultimately political power interests and economic interests in the context of conflicts in the struggle for sources of raw materials, sales markets and population groups to be taxed or exploited. Devotion to a religion is exploited on the basis of ruthless calculation by profiting groups and individuals. 


The cultural significance of philosophies for a social reorganization 

Philosophies are cognitive systems, cultural achievements that relate to the analysis and interpretation of the world and thereby focus on the question of the meaning of life. In order to distinguish between philosophies and religions, as said, the existence and the use of a concept of God should be considered. For religions it is essential that religious people see themselves in a man and god relationship. Humans worship a god or gods with the aim of becoming immortal, at least as a soul. A superior almighty divinity and the promise of a paradise or eternal life in culturally different forms - from reincarnation to communion with God after death represents the essence of every religion. 

Philosophies go beyond this narrow cultural construction of transcendence, which was ultimately born out of insecurity in regard to worldly dangers, incomprehension of natural phenomena, and fear of one's own death. In contrast the Greek philosophy of Socrates, of his disciple Plato and of his disciple Aristotle offers more profound reflections on the perception and interpretation of reality, allowing multiple interpretations of the meaning of life. 

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Plato's famous allegory of the cave alone, visualized thousands of years before our philosophical culture, provides us with the central foundations of the constructivist philosophy of today. In an ingeniously conceived example, Plato makes clear how people put on cultural chains in their perception of the world, which give them security and with which they ultimately identify themselves. They have learned that their narrowed and tailored perception of the world is the real world. They feel comfortable and safe in this cave, chained and motionless they are looking at the shadows of the figures passing by behind them illuminated by a fire on the opposite wall. The situation then becomes dangerous for those who want to free themselves from the chains in order to step out of the cave of cultural darkness and to communicate their new experiences and knowledge to the culturally chained so that they can free them from their inner chains. 

Ancient philosophy was essential for thinking in the western cultural area, especially for the cultural achievement of the Enlightenment. It is a source of knowledge that should again be in the focus of school education, since it offers opportunities for cultural self-reflexivity and the shaping of a reflective identity. 

In the course of a social realignment, it would therefore be desirable if the traditional religions were replaced in favor of philosophical self-reflexivity, since only here can a cultural empowerment be seen that allows people to become independent of superior powers that are easily misused by institutions in the society. This independence and autonomy from inner chains and submission to divine authority is the prerequisite for the cultural liberation of humanity, which can lead to a fundamental social reorganization. 

In addition to the reference to the achievements of the Greek ancient philosophy, two philosophies from the Far Eastern cultural area should be mentioned and from which also the Western philosophy can learn: Daoism (namely Daoism in its highly cultural form as in Laodse (Lao Tzu), Dschuangdse (Chuang Tzu) or Liädse (Liezi) and the Zen Buddhist form of Buddhism - not to be confused with the main currents of religious Buddhism. Concerning Daoism and Zen Buddhism one can no longer speak of religious currents, since their foundation is predominantly philosophical, and in their philosophical heyday in the 7th/6th century B.C.E. they were created to get along without an image of God, a god or several gods and a promise of an afterlife. [14] At the center of their spiritual intention is the maturation of the human being to mindfulness, awareness and peacefulness - an educational process, which in turn should not only be understood individualistically, but also lead back into the human community. [15] 

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Therefore, at least these two traditional and philosophical world views in their pure form are significant for a culture of conscious peacefulness, which means a cultural reorientation in the West, and in Asia a cultural return to its own philosophical heritage - without immediately submitting again to a spiritual superfather and his worldly representative and surrendering to correspondingly repressive social structures. 


Substitutes for religion in monetarily oriented spiritual movements 

Now it is instructive to look at various social movements or groups that pretend to serve world peace, have a distinctive philosophy, their own practices of consciousness and publicly accessible ethics. 

Here, spiritual movements should be mentioned that have roots in ancient religious systems but are either organizational start-ups and/or attempts to respond to newer social developments. Even if, for example, the Self-Realization Fellowship according to Paramahansa Yogananda is to be evaluated differently than, say the Scientologists, they do have some things in common. 

What organizations such as Scientology, the Self-Realization Fellowship or the Baghwan (Osho) movement have in common is that they were conceptually developed and organizationally founded by a spiritual-religious leader who is perceived as charismatic. 

In this context, they are hierarchically structured and not democratically organized. As a result, these movements or organizations, at the core of their thinking, come into conflict with the Enlightenment requirement to develop one's own maturity in the sense of inner independence and autonomy of thought. Their followers surrender to spiritual leaders and fall into an inner dependence on them, which in turn blocks free perception and thinking. Therefore, they cannot be expected to make a decisive contribution to social transformation, which is tied to maturity, ability to criticize and capacity for democracy. 

In addition, it is often not sufficiently clear in such organizations, as different as they are in terms of individual aspects, to what extent there is a connection between spiritually determined aims and economic motives and where the priorities are actually set. These organizations demand a considerable economic contribution from their members and in some cases they have a large share capital with which they participate in the capitalist economy.
Here parallels become apparent with the traditional churches, which in the past and at present have repeatedly discovered ingenious ways to provide themselves with capital from people, from indulgences trading to the Catholic Church's involvement in the arms industry and, at least indirectly, in the arms exports associated with it. [16] 

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In summary, therefore: Although traditional religions and religious organizations as well as the above mentioned spiritual movements and organizations like to claim that they contribute to the peacefulness of their members and thus to world peace, this claim must be critically questioned. In the old religions, their historical role, hierarchical organization and almighty image of God stand in the way of enlightened peacefulness and democratic commitment. In the newer movements mentioned, it is likewise the hierarchical forms of organization, often the dependence on a spiritual leader and the existence of business practices that must be questioned. 
This shows an increasing influence of church-orthodox circles on the political 'elites' ruling in the various states. The rise in power of Christian national-chauvinist movements and institutions can be seen in many countries, e.g. the Evangelical churches and many of their members in the USA, who unscrupulously support the right-wing populist ex-president and presidential candidate Donald Trump, or the Russian Orthodox Church, which is calling for a 'holy war' in Ukraine and victory over the West, which has "fallen into Satanism", at its 'World Council of the Russian People' in 2024 (Focus 2024).  Orthodox Christians are thus joining the ranks of warmongering Orthodox religious representatives, which already include Orthodox Muslims and Orthodox followers of the Jewish faith.

Universalist ethics instead of religions 

If however, religious motives are not in place, what then replaces possible identifications? In this context, the philosopher Friedrich Voßkühler critically asks the question: 

"What then, if the 'community-founding' love of God is not accepted, if his power of redemption is no longer valid? What if, as a result, the 'courage' to 'transcend to the needs of others' is lacking? Are love and trust then not enough to save human relations from 'war' and from destroying the future of the earth and our descendants?" [17] 

It is difficult for man to endure that the great creation of meaning was not there at the beginning of all being, but that in the search "for the divine eye" the world stared at man " from an empty bottomless socket" (Jean Paul). [18] 

A New ethics of a responsible realignment should have such psychological and philosophical attractiveness and charisma that it is suitable for identification based on a free decision - and this after thorough and critical examination. This ethics aiming at a peaceful, ecological, democratic and socially just new order must be as strong and impressive as a religion, but without an image of God, religious leadership, spiritual programming, economic exploitation and inner and outer subjugation. 

The fascination of this universal ethics must be acquired through motivation and identification with regard to a socio-political commitment that is oriented towards a meaningful and responsible future in a global context, while at the same time linking present behavior with a positive vision of a human future. Such an ethic gives people who are committed in their minds the strength to independently and networking with one another engage in civil resistance against the destruction of our planet, against increasing social injustice, against the dismantling of democratic structures, and against war mongering powers. 

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In light of the destructive mentality of the current human civilization, U.S. journalist and author Roy Scranton (2015, 19) calls for the civilization, not the individuals, of predatory capitalism to learn to die so that humans are liberated to embrace a new attitude toward life. This would require a new philosophically based humanism: 

"In order for us to adapt to this strange new world, we're going to need more than scientific reports and military policy. We're going to need new ideas. We're going to need new myths and new stories, a new conceptual understanding of reality, and a new relationship to the deep polyglot traditions of human culture that carbon-based capitalism has vitiated through commodification and assimilation. Over and against capitalism, we will need a new way of thinking our collective existence. We need a new vision of who 'we' are. We need a new humanism - a newly philosophical humanism, undergired by renewed attention to the humanities." 

This means a philosophically based ethics, behind which there is a positive and radical vision of human development in an ecological and social context. It is about overcoming the 'Subdue the earth!' in favor of a peaceful, just, democratic and ecological world order. 

Monotheistic religions must indeed be endured in the sense of religious tolerance and the necessary freedom of religion, if they do not become aggressive and hostile to people. However, they usually stand in the way of the necessary social transformation and represent past pre-democratic epochs and times of exploitation of nature. Historically, but also from a current perspective, orthodox interpretations of religions are associated with the risk of religious racism, which leads to the devaluation, exclusion, and sometimes even annihilation of people with a different or non-religious or secular orientation. 

However, the reflective examination of ancient philosophy, the philosophical achievement of the Enlightenment, e.g. Immanuel Kant up to today's representatives of the critical theory, as well as experiences with thoroughly spiritual transformation practices rooted in traditional cultures, such as Daoism or Zen Buddhism, can be helpful on the civilizing path to overcome the disastrous cultural mentality characterized by egocentrism, greed and desire. Meditating in this case also means being observant in regard to narrowly drawn boundaries of the ego. Enlightenment, secularism and meditation could in this sense complement each other in a meaningful and ethically justifiable manner. [19] 

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1.6.3 Cultural upheavals

Growing up in a certain cultural space can be accompanied by the development of cultural identifications and an emergence of values that lead to a rejection of cultural innovations. 


Equally, however, this can turn into its opposite if the traditional culture and the values it represents can no longer offer answers to the questions posed by social development. 

Cultural perspectives and practices can entail a potential for structural conservatism, for reactionary actions, but also for structural change. Dominant religious cultures, for example, once established, usually aim at structural preservation, while cultures of change, such as in the context of the social upheaval of 1968/69 in the Western industrialized countries or in the democratic milieus of the 'Arab Spring', carried strong tendencies toward structural change. Many cultural achievements with an art connection, and which can be considered socio-critical, often have a tendency to change if they have a creative core, which is defined by the generation and development of new and original ideas. If creativity is combined with innovation, social change occurs when this connection opens up identifications, value systems that create meaning, and also existential advantages and perspectives. However, cultural upheavals that involve, for example, a transformation from material to post-material values or from religiously determined to secular values only become effective if they can reach or engage the social mainstream or significant parts of openly available opinion-leading, often also ruling circles. 

The concepts of culture and society should not be seen as something rigid and fixed, but rather as being in constant motion. Cultural transfers - as intra- and intercultural transfers - ensure the liquefaction of solidified social structures and, of course, in their interaction, represent a threat to structurally conservative social forces, which rather insist on the existence of a native leading culture and want to 'protect' it from 'foreign cultural' influences. 

Cultural transfers take place at all historical times, but cyclicals and epochs can be distinguished. Only through such transfers can history become European (or even global). Parts or accumulations of these transfers can be understood as a transcultural history of Europe and, more in the sense of a conclusion, as Europeanization. The units of transfer can be concretely defined as Kultureme and Struktureme. In many cases, a wide variety of cultural references are available, making concrete transfers easier and more efficient. Through cultural transfers, new coherences continuously emerge, which in certain cases connect wide-ranging – forming macrocoherences or clusters of coherences, as they are found in the context of the processes called Europeanization. But these coherences can just as well remain locally limited without leading to further "infections" (contagions). Cultural transfer research makes the moments of the rigid, the linearly limited, the strictly systemic permeable and the hybrid and the composite of any cultural phenomenon visible. (Schmale 2012) 

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The task of a cultural transfer, for example via schools, is not only an existential task for a society, but also has a fundamental importance for the orientation of the individual in a society - Fend (2008) again describes this impressively with reference to the aspect of enculturation: 

"The main task of the school is to ensure that adolescents do not remain strangers in their culture, that they are 'at home' in it. 

The piled-up treasure of knowledge detained in a system of symbols, and of skills and cultural products is dependent on resubjectification, on decoding and being enlivened in the new generation. Anyone who has ever stood in an Arabic library not managing decoding has experienced the power of the task of acquiring the code to decrypt the symbolic structures of a culture that have emerged over centuries." 

(Fend 2008, 48) 

However, the resubjectivization of culture is only one perspective on the necessary transfer of central cultural systems (Kultureme) in a society or social hemisphere, such as the "West," the "Far East," or the "Arab region": Systems that want to survive in the longer term must have a certain degree of structural conservatism as well as be capable of innovation. This is a matter of reaching the right balance between systemic strength and flexibility. If, for example, democracies want to survive under the conditions of rapidly advancing globalization and the distortions of a constantly changing economization of social conditions, they must change permanently (and also defensibly) without losing their core values based on Enlightenment. This requires structural safeguards, especially orientation toward human rights and constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights, as well as the ability of citizens living in democracy to innovate, often triggered by a combination of life-history experiences and institutionalized educational processes. 

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Summary of considerations. In a broader sense, culture is to be understood as the totality of social achievements that are essential for human development. In a narrower sense, culture is to be understood primarily as art. Culture in the narrower sense forms a cultural space in which future developments and problem solutions can be anticipated and aesthetically presented. Critical art tries to intervene in social development in order to bring about change. In the same way, on the other hand, art can be misused as state propaganda.
With regard to the culture of communication digital media should be viewed ambivalently. It can serve the totalitarian surveillance of people. It can however also enable communication, consultation and political activism across regional and national borders. 

Film and television show phenomena of a cultural crisis when they stimulate collective fear by increasingly focusing on violent scenes and threatening situations that are presented in ever more detail and forcefully in broadcasts and films. Virtual reality games as entertainment art are to be classified as highly problematic because of the danger of psychological manipulation and disinhibition. 

Religiosity and church are esentially to be understood as pre-rational cultural phenomena that people fall back on, especially in times of crisis, in order to be able to process with the confrontation with an overwhelming social reality. Despite some ecclesiastical approaches, such as the church initiatives Pax Christi or 'Rethinking Security', obstacles can be seen in the churches and in the religions on the way to an epoch of an extended Enlightenment, oriented toward emancipation, inner liberation and critical ability, but which is only in the process of emerging in the history of ideas. In this process it would be helpful and beneficial if religions more and more would step aside in favor of a universal ethics of responsibility for humans and nature. 

The movement towards a social realignment is based on a social cultural capacity that is characterized by critical analysis, independent judgment and self-confident action in a context of solidarity. This also includes a cultural development in the artistic field that is not hindered by repressive state interventions, but which, especially in democracies, can benefit from the state funding of a wide-ranging creative potential. 
 It is therefore important, for example, to follow closely the discussion about state controls on a code of conduct for the largest international exhibition of modern art, the Documenta, which takes place in Kassel (Küster 2024). 

Nevertheless, the cultural integration of the visual and performing arts into the mechanisms of a capitalist art market cannot be overlooked. Therefore, the fixation on the art market as well as on individual art products recognized by the market must be replaced by a democratization of art, which especially sees the creative potential of the individual human being, understands him/her as an artist, as a creative producer of his/her social and aesthetically shapeable world. 


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1.7  Mental crises:                      Enforcement of instrumental rationality and mass neurosis 

Already Marx/Engels draw a clear connection between mental structures, ways of thinking and social relations of domination: 

"Is it necessary to have profound insight in order to understand that with the living conditions of people, with their social relations, with their social existence, their ideas, views and concepts, in one word also their consciousness, change?
 What does the history of ideas prove otherwise than that intellectual production is transformed with material production? The ruling ideas of a time were always just the ideas of the ruling class." [21] 

With the developing industrial society - and this is even more true in the digital society - a type of human being is created, which is characterized by a shaped perception of the world, which Horkheimer (1947/1986) characterizes as instrumental reason. The elimination of empathic feelings and the narrowing of thinking oriented to instrumental efficiency means to consider the natural and social world only in regard to how far it is useful for the realization of egoistic interests. Here the yardstick is the effective use of means in order to achieve a purpose, e.g. an appropriate return. All considerations and means used are subordinated to this purpose. Disturbing thoughts and feelings are suppressed, partly pushed into the subconscious.
The application of the rational choice theory in economics shows ideal-typically how this instrumental reason has to function. Possibilities for action are selected and rationally weighed according to the extent to which they offer the optimal possibilities for maximizing utility without the personal costs exceeding the benefits. This is based on the human image, the 'homo oeconomicus', who acts in a self-interested, self-centered manner and suppresses emotionality. Personal benefit is maximized, costs are passed on to others as far as possible. The interpretation of situations and the selective perception of a situation are thus based on which perception offers the greatest benefit. [22] The focus of the 'homo economicus', who acts rationally and decisively in this sense, is personal economic success. He - who can as well be a woman - tries to control social situations in such a way that his own assertion of interests and satisfaction of needs are not endangered. He is primarily competition-oriented, but is also able to cooperate with others if this serves his personal benefit maximization. He can even be empathetic if this serves his interests. At most, he is concerned about social problems only if they jeopardize his return on investment. He is the globalization profiteer whose imperial way of life is ruining the planet. The 'homo oeconomicus' is the prototype of the capitalist socialized human being.

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Marx/Engels already described that in the 19th century the capitalistic system would brutally tear apart all previous relations and ties and produce a certain type of human being. The class that benefits from capitalism primarily economically and politically, the class of capital owners, would dominate people's thinking and: 

"…and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, callous 'cash payment'. (…) It has resolved personal worth into exchange value. (...) In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation." [23] 

Instrumental thinking has - according to Horkheimer – in the background a subjective concept of reason, i.e. how the single individual can act in an optimized way within the framework of means-end thinking. On the other hand, according to his conceptual distinction, objective concepts of reason are directed towards aims of a culture that are considered valuable. Here the individual behavior is - in contrast to technical-instrumental thinking - oriented towards a way of thinking that understands these goals, considers them critically and, in case of positive acceptance, makes them the guideline for one's own actions. The developed and matured human behaviour is therefore not exclusively reflected in a technical-instrumental understanding of reason, but is above all discerned in a reason that is directed towards the critical and independent considering of the aims of living together and is oriented towards responsibility for thesuperordinate entity.
 Max Horkheimer draws the connection between technical development and dehumanization, which has now gained yet another new variant through digitalization and the human-tech hybridity: 

“Advance in technical facilities for enlightenment is accompanied by a process of dehumanization. Thus progress threatens to nullify the very goal it is supposed to realize – the idea of humans.” [24] 

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Of course, this cannot be a plea against technical progress in general, namely not when it serves the human beings or the human-environment relationship. It is, however, a matter of preventing the human being (and his environment) from being overwhelmedby the human technology he employs, and of criticizing a reason that is not based on critical and theory-guided thinking but rather a submission to a rigorous means-end thinking - according to Horkheimer: 

„When the idea of reason was conceived, it was intended to achieve more than the mere regulation of the relation between means and ends: it was regarded as the instrument for understanding the ends, for determining them.“ [25] 

Accordingly, an objective reason in the sense meant by Horkheimer is a reason that is purposefully connected to certain values, such as justice, tolerance, and happiness.
 Herbert Marcuse refers in this sense to the connection between social structure and individuality. Society is becoming more and more one-dimensional and forms the structures of needs of the individual accordingly. Critical thinking and liberated as well as liberation serving actions are replaced by a psychological subjection to the needs of the society. Such needs are primarily consumption and status needs, the pervasiveness of which would replace brutal subjugation in the sense of subtle social control: 

"The people recognise themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment. The very mechanism which ties the individual to his society has changed, and social control is anchored in the new needs which it has produced. (…) 

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No wonder then that, in the most advanced areas of this civilization, the social controls have been introjected to the point where even individual protest is affected at its roots. The intellectual and emotional refusal “to go along” appears neurotic and impotent. This is the socio-psychological aspect of the political event that marks the contemporary period: the passing of the historical forces which, at the preceding stage of industrial society, seemed to represent the possibility of new forms of existence.” [26] 


If instrumental thinking is combined with authoritarian personality structures, a type of personality emerges which by Theodor W. Adorno et al. is described as the authoritarian personality that bows from the waist up and kicks from the waist down, discriminates against minorities, devalues entire groups of people. [27] This personality type fits in a functional manner into hierarchical structures and is the product of oppression and subjugation in socialization processes in the society as well as corresponding hierarchical structures in politics and economy. Social structures are transformed into character structures and are related to personality processes to be considered psychoanalytically: 

"In order to achieve the 'internalization' of social coercion, which always demands more from the individual than it gives in return, the attitude toward authority and its psychological dominance, the superego, assumes an irrational path. The individual can accomplish his own social adaptation only if he finds pleasure in obedience and subordination; the sadomasochistic urge structure is therefore both a condition and a result of social adaptation." [28]

The psychological situation in structures of dominance

The identification with alienation may well also apply to formally democratic societies which for a facade creating purpose declare democracy to be a constitutional principle, but which in reality, e.g., in family structures, companies, schools, or in the party system, represent only covered up authoritarian societies.

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Dieter Duhm shows in his 1972 published 'left bestseller' ('Angst im Kapitalismus'/‘Fear in Capitalism‘) how real fear, which arises from physical violence e.g. in the parental home, transforms into neurotic fear in the course of human socialization. Neuroses are the "conserved real anxiety" (Duhm 1972, 35), in which one's own needs are repressed into the subconscious and neurotically retained there. This, he argues, is a psychological adaptation process, so that humans function by themselves in hierarchical structures and usually can refrain from the use of open violence.
 Duhm analyzes almost 50 years later that especially in Corona times the fear dose is increased once again and the global fear potential is increased. And: Corona aggravates the psychological problems of fear, depression and isolation, increases the already existing psychological pressure: "Corona is the condensation of a latent field of fear through which all of humanity is moving today." [29] 
Psychologist and cognitive scientist Rainer Mausfeld (2019a) also makes clear that the buildup of latent fear is an effective instrument of power for the rulers at any given time: 

"Power and fear belong closely together in the political world of society. Power means the ability to assert one's interests against others and to submit others to one's own will. Power therefore has many advantages for those who have it and many disadvantages for those who are subject to it. In those subject to it power often triggers feelings of being overwhelmed by power and of being powerless to cope with it. Thus, power generates fear. Since fear itself in turn exerts power over the ones in fear, those who know how to create fear have a very effective method of stabilizing and expanding their power in this way." 

According to the U.S. psychologist and therapist Arthur Janov (1971/2016), neuroses develop in the phase of life in which a child recognizes that it cannot assert its needs, e.g. of a sexual nature, in society or is negatively sanctioned for this. As a result, the child develops a fear of its own needs, in this case suppressing its needs in favor of a psychological deformation and an adaptive behavior that can be characterized as neurotic. Unfulfilled childhood needs, such as the need for human warmth, the prohibition to touch oneself sexually, or the prohibition to scream when frustrated, are associated with pain and become physically stored as tension. These needs are perceived as threatening, repressed and disruptive. This leads to a split of the personality into an adapted part and a part that has been pushed into the subconscious for fear of its painfulness. If a child suddenly realizes through a key event that it has to adapt to the expectations of its parents or does not receive warmth and recognition from them, then there is a risk of entering into a neurosis as the final point of a previous development. When a child encounters irritable and aggressive parents who force a certain behavior by threat of punishment, a child develops a latent fear of meeting his or her own needs. The child erects an inner barrier against him or herself out of fear for the reawakening of the own needs. In the future, everything that is experienced as threatening, including social changes, is fearfully rejected and repressed in favor of an adapted normality. This learned behavioral pattern then extends into adulthood, creating a obsessive, anxious personality and can also be the cause of physical illnesses. [30] 

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With fearful people, it is difficult to build a real democracy in the sense of a society that is free of fear and willing to change. However - according to Mausfeld - a "capitalist democracy" can certainly work under the conditions of a subtly internalized fearfulness of its citizens. Capitalism and democracy would find themselves in a fundamental contradiction and would only function through the neurotic fear of its citizens, who would not dare to raise the question of property, i.e. the question of the abolition of private control over the means of production.[31]
Of course, this also immediately raises the question of whether this is indeed a psychological phenomenon specific only to capitalism. In the real socialist countries, a combination of real anxiety fear as well as neurotic anxiety was also used. The real fear of being arrested, imprisoned, violently interrogated, killed, developed into a latent neurotic anxiety/fear, into a psychological orientation and also there in the direction of a system adaptation.
Fear is a suitable means of securing power for all hierarchical forms of governance, as long as there is no real democracy, i.e. a significant participation in all socially important issues for the majority of society.
With fearful people who themselves strive to build up official authority and to induce fear in the social institutions, it is problematic to build up and further develop a genuine democracy. Moreover, with authoritarian socialized and neurotic personalitiesit is difficult to build a peaceful society and to maintain peace in the world.
In this respect, especially the militarily drilled and nationally entlisted young people in the armies of the world represent a highly problematic potential of authoritarian disciplined personalities and of instrumental reason, who, without expressing any doubts, are used to obey and to carry out orders concerning death or life.
The increase of instrumental and authoritarian socialized people should be seen as a psychological crisis phenomenon. Adorno's analyses of the sexually frustrated authoritarian personality, whose frustration and accumulated urges are reflected in violent eruptions, must also be taken into account.
Recent work by Hans-Joachim Maaz on the narcissistic personality and its exaggerated desire for recognition also makes it clear that the narcissistically disturbed personality - especially in the case of responsible politicians - attempts to compensate for their actual insecurity with a striving for power and bellicose behavior, even to the point of "belligerence" (Maaz 2023).

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Wilhelm Reich: "a highly problematic potential of authoritarian disciplined personalities". 

 In his speech to the 'little man' in 1948, the Austrian physician, psychoanalyst and sociologist Wilhelm Reich characterized the 'little man' as an authoritarian socialized sick person who will continue to do terrible things until he succeeds to in recognizing and developing himself:
"You had just come back from overseas, you were a little drunk, and I heard you describe the the Japanese as ‘ugly apes’. And then you said with that certain facial expression… ‘You know what ought to be done with those Japs out on the West Coast’ Every one of them ought to be strung up, not quickly, but slowly, very slowly, another turn of the rope every five minutes, very slowly, this way… Have you ever held a newborn Japanese baby in your arms, Little Patriot? No? For centuries to come, you will string up Japanese spies, American fliers, Russian peasant women, German officers, English anarchists and Greek Communists; you will shoot them, put them on the electric chair or into gas chambers; but nothing of all that will change the constipation of your guts or your mind, your incapacity for love, your rheumatism or your mental illness. No shooting or hanging will pull you out of your morass. Take a look at yourself, Little Man. It is your only hope." [32] 


Wilhelm Reich rightly sees the way out in becoming conscious ("look at yourself"). Only when people make themselves the reference point of their own critical thinking, they have the chance to step out of the given normative boundaries and to enter new psychological territory. Structural change and self-work must mutually develop and complement each other.

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Conclusion: People who psychologically submit to structures oriented towards exploitation, alienation, violence and warmongering through identification processes cannot become the historical subject of a peaceful world and social development. Only people who have learned to discover and develop their human potential can finally become carriers of a social movement aimed at emancipation and peacefulness.
In particular, the neurotic mental structure appears as an obstacle to a real democratization of society, which is more than a pseudo or a facade democracy. Also the instrumental thinking dominating the psyche and the associated habitus of the 'homo oeconomicus', who prioritizesthe egocentric benefit maximization, represent an obstacle to a social reorganization oriented towards solidarity, ecology and the common good.
The increasing remilitarization of the world and the return of military discipline and national-chauvinist thinking promoted by the growing national armies and military coalitions are again increasingly shaping the youth of the world. This is - apart from the convinced and the volunteers – related above all, either to state repression, to psychological manipulation or to a lack of prospects in society. Where young people in wealthy societies are free to choose, e.g. in Germany, armies have recruitment problems.
The military needs authoritarian socialized personalities who willingly submit, the military itself also works in this direction. Individuality and critical abilities are not required in the command situation. The soldier deployment in the military chain of command is forced to give up his individuality and become a cog in the military machine. Soldiers must submit to be degraded to an instrument in the chain of command. They must be prepared to kill, but also to take the risk of being shot, burned or blown up. The price they have to pay for their military existence is high. The consequences of their behavior for others are also deadly.

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1.8  The crisis of masculinity

Since Vinnai's book "Das Elend der Männlichkeit" ("The Misery of Masculinity") (1977) as well as the book "Jungen - Kleine Helden in Not - Jungen auf der Suche nach ihrer Männlichkeit." ("Boys - Small Heroes in Need - Boys in search of their masculinity.") (Schnack/Neutzling 1990), Theweleit's two-volume work on Male Fantasies (1977/ 1978) as well as comparable international publications, it has become clear, at least in the middle classes of Western countries, that patriarchal conditions are not only unjust but also dangerous for world peace.  


Patriarchal structures are characterized by the influence of authoritarian personalities, adjustment upwards and oppression downwards, masculine aggressiveness, dominance behavior, muscularity, rigidity in thought and feeling, obsessive character structures, and masculine megalomania. This, of course, can apply to both men and women, but for the most part it was the male human beings who led millions of young people to their deaths. For clever women the inhibition threshold was on the average substantially higher to send young men to war since it was the women in former times as a rule, who primarily changed the diapers, fed the children, held them by the hand during their first steps, taught them arithmetic, writing and reading as well as accompanied them into puberty. Since men are now increasingly taking on these tasks in the course of equal rights, it is to be hoped that this inhibiting effect will also occur here. On the other hand, women who have climbed their way up under patriarchal conditions and have been socialized accordingly are often also characterized by male-aggressive dominance behavior. Women who have been socialized accordingly can behave in the same patriarchal, dominant and aggressive way as men do. They then simply adopt the negative aspects of the traditional male role because they have experienced that this has positive connotations in a male-dominated hierarchy. 

Also, there are still women in various parts of the world who raise their children to 'serve the fatherland' and in terms of military socialization. Therefore, Wilhelm Reich does not spare the 'little woman' who brings up the 'little man', keeps him away from his needs, makes him psychologically small, so that he becomes useful for society, applicable and dangerous for the world around us – thus addressed to the 'little woman': 

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"You had the happiness of humanity in your hands, and you have gambled it away. You have borne Presidents, and have endowed them with pettiness… You had the world in your hands, and at the end you dropped your atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; your son, I mean, dropped them… For you did not have the humanity to warn the men, women and children in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You did not manage the greatness to be human. For this reason, you will silently disappear like a stone in the sea. It does not matter what you now think or say, you Little Woman who produced idiotic generals. Five hundred years from now, one will laugh and marvel at you. That one does not do so already is part and parcel of the misery of the world."[35] 

In Western countries remnants of patriarchal structures are still present and they must be taken seriously. In some cases they are getting stronger again due to the identity problems especially of uneducated people who do not understand the complex processes of globalization and international relations. Male insecurity and pressure lead to a reduction in the complexity of mental structures and to a relapse into a male role that has long been outdated - authoritarian, incapable of communication and violent, sometimes even right-wing extremist. Images of masculinity of a militant manliness are desired and strengthened in the military, even if one would wish for a little more intelligence here. 

In armed conflicts, especially in Africa and Asia, girls and women often become victims of male sexual violence. Targeted mass rapes then become a military means of humiliating and demotivating, the counterpart often in asymmetrical conflicts. 

"Memory revives/brings back pain and humiliation: How soldiers rounded up women and girls in order to rape them. How mothers had their clothes ripped off in front of their children and could not protect their daughters from the violence. These and other atrocities were described by Rohingya refugees who fled Myanmar's army to Bangladesh. 

The brutal act was ordered, organized, and perpetrated by the military, according to the U.N. Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten. Border police officers and militias were also involved in crimes such as gang rape and sexual slavery, she said. For this Tuesday, the German government has put the protection of women in conflict on the agenda of the UN Security Council, which Germany currently chairs." [35] 

Patriarchal structures are also still evident in numerous cultures and religions, where massive oppression of women and girls takes place, including gender mutilation, permitted corporal punishment by men and the so-called 'honor killing' of women in traditional Muslim families. 

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Women resist 

In Western countries in particular, however, many women have long since set out to rebel/stand up against male violence and the massive discrimination against women, and to gain social participation in an emancipatory sense. In many areas however- especially where social skills and communication are important – they/women have overtaken above all those men who correspond to the traditional, authoritarian, less flexible and non-communicative image of men. 

But even today, women are not allowed to become priests in the Catholic Church, some Orthodox Jews, and certain representatives of an arch-conservative Christianity or Salafist Muslims in principle do not shake hands with women, women in conservative Muslim societies are not allowed to show their faces in public. Resistance to this is brutally repressed; in these institutions and societies, men fight a gender war for social power against their own wives. 

But women are fighting back here too. As part of the church movement Church 2.0, they are setting civic signs of protest against the traditional interpretation of the Catholic religion. They are calling for an end to celibacy and for women to be considered for all church vacancies, including women priests and bishops. The patriarchal image of God is also being challenged within the framework of feminist theology. 

Women are also increasingly resisting autocratic or dictatorial regimes. In particular, the resistance of women against the Belarusian dictator Lukashenko was the focus of media attention for months until the male security forces arrested the leaders and other women en masse using brutal force and deprived them of their freedom. 

In Finland, for example, there is a group called 'Women for Peace', which opposes the destructive use of social resources for military armament and war. This group of Finnish women demands, among other things, the abolition of the Ministry of Defense in favor of a Ministry for Peace and Sustainable Development. [36]

In the movemets „Fridays for Future“ and „Black Lives Matter“, it is mainly women who are active and who bring their vitality to these movements together with similarly minded men. 

Not only in the church but also in politics, in a global context, emancipation is not established in many places, men dominate the political institutions, and women do not hold enough significant political positions. Accordingly, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of UN Women, made the following three demands to prevent male-dominated political systems: 

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"First, we have to remove the obstacles that keep women from participating effectively: mobility, finances, access to information, lack of public safety, and coercion, intimidation and violence. 

Second, we must recognize that participation is one thing but real voice is another. Are women able to articulate and voice their rights, needs and preferences? How far are political parties internally democratic? Have women in civil society had the opportunity to debate common positions on the constitution, electoral law, safety during campaigns, and other issues? 

Third and finally, democratic institutions have to be held accountable to women, and held accountable for meeting commitments to women's rights. 

If a democracy neglects women's participation, if it ignores women's voices, if it shirks accountability for women's rights, it is a democracy for only half its citizens." [37] 

A secret and sometimes open struggle has broken out, not only between men and women, but also between men, wherever competition for social positions is at stake. Men with higher sensitivity, intellectual critical ability and discursive communicative skills are in conflict with those men who try to assert their social position and their interests (often covertly) in a violent and authoritarian way. These conflicts can be observed in all areas of society, such as the economy or even international politics. 

Additionally, it must be considered that the exclusive division of humanity into men and women, combined with the corresponding role constraints, excludes people who do not see themselves as either men or women, i.e. transgender and intersex people. Moreover, in many cultures people who are attracted to the same sex are at risk of stigmatization and prosecution. 


Possibilites for a changed role attribution 

In a free and tolerant society, there is less emphasis on adhering to gender role discipline and a standarized sexual orientation. The more authoritarian societies are and/or the more compellingly their self-image is based on traditional religions, the more clearly racism can be observed in these societies in regard to sexual deviance or sexual freedom. 

A traditional masculinity in crisis should seize the opportunities offered by the emancipation of the sexes. The reinterpretation of the male role also allows emotional behavior, such as crying in front of another person. Men learn to cook and devote themselves more intensively to raising children without giving up their professional commitment. The new male role allows men to also enjoy dancing or practicing yoga and yet still enjoy playing soccer. The changed male role provides for a partnership relationship with women. Such men have a higher sensitivity for the problems of others and are more empathetic. They are less subject to gender-related role constraints and more free in their gender role interpretation. 

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A social realignment is based on equal opportunities for men and women, including, of course, equal pay for the same work. It also allows for intermediate recognition of neither male nor feemale gender as well as new gender identities and provides the prerequisite for equitable participation in social life opportunities for people of different gender identities. 

Accordingly, Piccone (2017) summarizes research findings on the relationship between gender equality and the quality of democracy: 

"Overall, research shows that democracy and gender equality form a mutually reinforcing relationship in which higher levels of liberal democracy are a necessary but not sufficient condition for higher levels of gender equality and physical security of women. In addition, higher levels of gender equality are strongly correlated with a nation's relative state of peace, a healthier domestic security environment, and lower levels of aggression toward other states. Strategies to strengthen democracy and human rights, therefore, should emphasize women's empowerment, accountability for violence against women and girls, and closing the political and economic gender gap. Similarly, efforts aimed at achieving gender equality should emphasize more inclusive societies, including attention to such factors as race, age, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation." 

Of course, the restructuring of gender roles towards emancipation is also of significance for the peacefulness of the male part of humanity: If more and more men change the diapers of their babies, feed them, make them laugh by tickling them, teach them their first words, play with them as children and accompany them responsibly from childhood to adolescence, they will by caring for their children become thoughtful, probably resistant, if national-chauvinistic agitation for war takes place and the children they love, educate and support together with their partner are to go to war. 

In the future, the category of sex or gender is likely to play an increasingly minor role if a democratic reorganization with an emancipatory perspective were to occur in the society. In this context, an already meaningful intersectional approach would gain even more importance and the connection of the gender issue and the connection to other social characteristics would play a role for the analytical classification with regard to social opportunities - according to educational researcher Katharina Walgenbach (2012, 81): 

"Intersectionality is understood to mean that social categories such as gender, ethnicity, nation, or class cannot be conceptualized in isolation from one another, but must be analyzed in their 'interweavings' or intersections. Additive perspectives are to be overcome by focusing on the simultaneous interaction of social inequalities. Accordingly, it is not only a matter of considering several social categories, but also of analyzing their interactions." 

In the course of a social reorganization, it will be even less necessary to specifically ask what gender someone represents, but rather how the being a man or a woman, or something in between or something newly formed, corresponds with other social characteristics, such as social situation, violence, or language. 
Societies with a more traditional and authoritarian structure will want to strictly maintain conservative gender roles and defend them with all the power at their disposal against the differently structured LGBTIQ designs. In innovative and free societies, the crisis of masculinity tends to be used constructively, leading to a reinterpretation of gender roles that makes them seem less significant when viewed from an intersectional perspective of different and interrelated features of discrimination. 
The approach of a feminist security policy in particular therefore calls for an intersectional and inclusive understanding of peace policy that helps to overcome the wars but also security thinking within patriarchal structures (Lunz 2022).
Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, who had to leave Russia in April 2022, summarizes the connection between gender and peace politics from a feminist perspective:

"So, despite all the progress of feminism, the fate of the world is still decided by old men who represent the ethnic majority of their countries: in the USA as well as in China and in Russia. We should really opt for more diversity in the future. Or at least prevent men from having a monopoly on decision-making, because that is too dangerous."  [38] 
The dominance of older men in central political decision-making positions is certainly to be criticized. But even the arrival of women in central positions alone does not ensure more security and peacefulness. Margaret Thatcher (Falklands War), Maria Zakharova (Kiev regime will "soon disappear into space"), Victoria Nuland ("Fuck the EU") and Annalena Baerbock ("We are at war with Russia") show that women are also capable of bellicosity when they adopt male attributes. 
Irrespective of this, it has to be demanded as a matter of course that no one may be discriminated against because of his or her gender. Men and women are to participate equally in decision-making positions, are to be educated equally, are to receive equal pay for the same work, and must be equally protected by the law and executive bodies. People who locate themselves between the sexes or queer must not be at an existential disadvantage. A society is as free as it extends freedom to sexual minorities.

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(Chapters 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8)

[1] Kluge (1989, 492).
[2] Independence from a location.
[3] Image worship.
[4] Cf. in more detail, o.D., 12.5.2021
[5], o.D., 12.5.2021
[6] Cf. in more detail on the enemy image topic chapter
[7] Cf. in more detail chapter 2.4.
[8] Dalai Lama (2015, 9).
[9] Cf. among others on the critique of Christianity and the Christian churches from different perspectives, e.g. Weber (1904/2006), Moser (1980), Flasch ( 2013), Drewermann (1990).
[10] Cf. the analysis of church support for the flight of Nazi criminals 'Exodus of the mass murderers' in:, 9.8.2017, 11.5.2021
[11] Cf., 1.11.2019, 20.11.2019.[12] Cf. in more detail, n.d., 12.5.2021.
[13] On the syndrome of group-based misanthropy, see, among others, Heitmeyer (2012).
[14] This then changed later in Daoism, which partly transformed in the sense of a philosophical level drop and emphasized 'gods, bells and bells'.[15] Cf. in more detail chapter 3.4.
[16] "Die Zeit" reports on activities of the Catholic Pax Bank in recent years: "According to the report, the bank had invested almost 578,000 euros in shares of the arms company BAE Systems. The company produces missile systems and combat aircraft, among other things." (, 7/26/2018).
[17] Voßkühler (2017, 42).
[18] Cf. Voßkühler (2017, 45).
19] Cf. in more detail in section 3.4.
[20] This section has, in a somewhat modified manner, been taken from my book 'Cultural Transfer and Educational Innovation' (Moegling 2017, 26f.).
[21] Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 44).
[22] Cf. Hill (2015, 29ff.).
[23] Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 26).
[24] Horkheimer (1947/1986, 13).
[25] Horkheimer (1947/1986, 21).
[26] Markuse (1964/1980, 29).
[27] Adorno's investigative approach is similar to the theoretical approach of 'group-based misanthropy' in Heitmeyer (2012).
[28] Adorno (1950/1996, 323).
[29], 11.2.2021, 4.5.2021.
[30] Cf. Janov (1971/ 2016), especially the chapter 'The Primary Theory'.
[31] Cf. Mausfeld (2019 a u. b).
[32] Reich (1948/2013, 104f.).
[33] I am very grateful for the proofreading of this chapter in particular by the international peace activist Ulla Klötzer. Her wise translation and supplementary notes have greatly enriched the chapter.
[34] Reich (1948/2013, 96).
[35] In:, 23.4.2019, 20.11.2019.
[36], 3/ 2021, 28.3.21
[37], 5.5.2011, 21.4.2020
[38]  Schulmann, Ekaterina (2022): Was haben wir übersehen. Interview., 9.5.2022, 9.5.2022. 


(Complete bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

To what extent is the human being changed by algorithms?

Chapter 2

Impending global scenarios - Disorder as a principle of order

The continued development of the present crisis-like conditions analyzed above and the ensuing negative future scenarios do not have to occur in this form. However, there is a real possibility that they can occur if mankind does not come to a paradigm shift and continues its destructive behavior.

The rapid worldwide spread of the Coronavirus in the spring of 2019 made one thing clear: the world has become a global village due to increasingly efficient transport links and the associated travel activity. A hazard or aberration in one global location can also pose a threat to people who living far apart in a short period of time. At the same time, the handling of the Coronavirus makes it clear how quickly freedoms can be restricted, and how important it is to work together again afterwards to ensure that this does not remain a permanent state.

The philosopher Hans Jonas developed a so-called 'heuristic of fear' and meant by this that possible undesirable developments must be described in all sharpness and threateningness in order to look the potential risks directly in the eye and to decide to recognize one's own responsibility for the planet and the fate of future generations - according to Jonas (1979/2015, 7):

"What can serve as a compass? The foreseen danger itself! In its weather glow from the future, in the appearance of its planetary extent and its human depth, the ethical principles from which the new duties of new power can be derived become discoverable for the very first time."

Of course, this negative vision must be connectable to the developments already analyzed, it must not be taken out of the air. Also, beyond Jonas’ demand for a heuristic of fear, a positive vision of humane development in the sense of a new order should be presented following this. Of course, fear of a catastrophic planetary scenario can motivate global redirection. But the exact direction of a global reorientation and constructive impulses for identity formation can only be conveyed by a positive vision generated from the interplay of socio-theoretical analysis, scientific investigation, ethical maturation and the experiences of alternative political practices as well as a changed approach of working and living together.

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2.1 The military annihilation       scenario

If serious disarmament on a global scale does not succeed and military nuclear and hydrogen technology, as well as biological and chemical warfare agents, continue to proliferate, humanity will no longer be safe from an apocalypse. For hundreds of generations, much of planet Earth will be uninhabitable.

Disarmament negotiations on nuclear weapons technologies are currently no longer a serious issue for the existing nuclear powers. On the contrary, all nuclear powers are in the process of modernizing their nuclear weapons and increasing the number of situations in which they can be utilized. If either at present or in the future all nuclear disarmament treaties or nuclear development bans are in effect terminated, the use of nuclear weapons is foreseeable. No region of the world will be spared from this.

The use of biological and chemical weapons can have incalculable consequences for life on this planet. Once harmful bacteria and viruses are developed and released, it will be difficult to destroy them again or to develop antidotes. The spread of the coronavirus shows the danger of contamination by viruses, even though much more dangerous viruses than the coronavirus are conceivable here.

The events in Syria show how difficult it is to prove the use of chemical weapons in a contested area or to attribute it to a warring party.

Weapons from the 3D printer pose a threat to peace within society and to world peace that can hardly be assessed. In this case, registration and weapons control is no longer possible.

All major powers are currently working intensively on the development of killer robots that, equipped with artificial intelligence, can autonomously decide whether or not to kill people. Even the selection of the groups of people to be killed is left to them. Will humanity be threatened in the future by machines equipped with artificial intelligence? The Geneva Convention and the Hague Regulations on Land Warfare, as well as other stipulations of the international law of war, will become obsolete in the course of the use of killer robots. Everything that moves and is identified as hostile is shot at.

Why is this being worked on? Is there no limit and ethical guideline at all anymore, which protects humans from technologically steered self-destruction? Have the people in power gone mad?

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Furthermore, the means of hybrid warfare will lead to an escalating dimension of warfare if no countermeasures are taken in time. Unthinkable are the consequences if cyber attacks lead to the hacking of nuclear technology or trigger nuclear first strikes. 

The spread of propaganda and fake news via the Internet, cyber attacks to cripple national infrastructures, targeted intrusions by terrorist groups, and the subsequent use of means of conventional warfare are also likely to be used more often beyond Crimea and eastern Ukraine if international peace resolutions with appropriate sanctions are not reached.

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia has shown that future wars can only be won with the massive use of drones. Kamikaze drones swoop down on battle tanks. AI-controlled swarms of drones ('loitering weapons') linger in the air for hours and then attack scouted targets in a swarm that can no longer be defended against.

If the UN does not succeed in becoming capable of acting worldwide with regard to the various conflict regions, major powers with hegemonic ambitions will assert themselves in the existing power vacuum and divide the global spheres of influence among themselves again. These are likely to be the United States, China, Russia and possibly Saudi Arabia.

As long as the United Nations has inadequate structures which prevent it from taking effective action against illegal wars, secret armies, human rights violations and staged terror, the destruction of the peace order envisaged by the UN Charter must be expected.

There will increasingly be the formation of 'failed states', more proxy wars of great powers or their alliances. For example, NATO countries have for some time been increasingly weakening the principles and institutions of the UN - according to NATO opponent and controversial Swiss peace researcher Daniele Ganser (2017, 328):

"The historical facts of the last 70 years clearly show that NATO countries have repeatedly attacked other countries and violated the ban on the use of force enshrined in the UN Charter. NATO is not a force for security and stability, but a threat to world peace."

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But - it must be countered - it is not only NATO activities that are problematic. China is trying to strengthen its hegemonic influence in the South China Sea, poses a threat to Taiwan, has long since seized Tibet and destroyed it as an independent state. The Russian Federation is fighting a brutal war of aggression in Ukraine with worldwide consequences. Russia further militarily supports the Syrian dictator, while the U.S. supported the opposition Syrian Armed Forces as well as part of the Kurds. NATO member Turkey is invading Syria and fighting the Kurdish regions in violation of international law. Israel expels Palestinians from their allotted territories, and Palestinians fire rockets at Israel. Saudi Arabia and Iran are waging a proxy war in Yemen with the cooperation of Western states. India and Pakistan are in military conflict regarding the bombing of terrorist camps in Pakistan and the disputed province of Kashmir. In Mali, West Africa, German and French troops are fighting Islamist terror there. The situation in Venezuela will soon show whether there will be U.S.-led military intervention there. 

Also, the emergence of a new bloc situation is already foreseeable. Russia, which has been rejected by the West, is increasingly turning to the PRC and concluding economic and military agreements there. In the future, the USA/Europe/NATO on the one side and Russia/China, as well as allied states on the other side, will be hostile to each other. Such a confrontation and the associated military disruption are then in the interest of the respective military-economic complexes as well as the aggressive-nationalistic forces present in the respective states.

If the UN cannot be strengthened and democratized at the same time, then a chaotic state of affairs is foreseeable in the future, where nationalist states, as well as alliances of states, oriented toward regional hegemony permanently wage wars to enforce their interests. Here, the most modern and effective war technology will be used. Above all, the civilian population will suffer. A nuclear conflict is foreseeable - even if the nuclear chain reaction would be triggered by a hacker attack or accidentally.
Apart from this, the globally deployed nuclear power plants pose a latent threat. Not only by the uncertainty of a GAU associated with their operation, but also about the possibility of terrorist attacks or the risk of their operation in war zones, such as in Ukraine.

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Example of the danger of an accidentally triggered Nuclear War

The event at hand occurred during a time of growing political and military tension and could also be relevant to a future military scenario. [1] 

In January 1981, Ronald Reagan, then berating the USSR as the "evil empire", took office as U.S. president. While the Soviet Union had built up the SS-20 nuclear missiles in Eastern Europe, the Americans wanted to deploy Pershing II missiles in Western Europe in accordance with the NATO Double Decision (adopted in December 1979). Military escalation was then within the realm of possibility when a South Korean passenger plane was shot down by Soviet air defense on September 1, 1983. All 269 people on the plane were killed.

In this historically tense situation, 44-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov, an engineer, goes on duty on the evening of September 25, 1983, at a USSR satellite surveillance facility 100 kilometers south of Moscow. Shortly after midnight, at 0:15 Moscow time, a missile alarm goes off. A launch of a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile in North America toward the USSR is reported by the computerized early warning system. Petrov, knowing that the anticipated attack scenarios assume a hail of missiles from various missile bases, decides to report the warning as a false alarm.

But during his phone call to the General Staff, he sees that the computer indicates four more missile launches. He must now decide again whether to report a real attack. This would trigger an immediate massive nuclear backlash from the USSR, which in turn would send nuclear-tipped missiles towards the United States. Petrov is not quite sure but again decides to tell the General Staff that it is another false alarm and that he wants to find out the causes. 

With this, he saved the lives of millions of people. Afterwards, it turns out that his decision was correct and that there was an error in the computer-controlled early warning system. The system had interpreted reflections of sunlight on clouds above a U.S. air force base as missile launches.

It was only after the fall of the USSR that this nuclear risk case became known. Stanislav Petrov later made clear the explosive nature of the situation at the time in his 2006 speech to the United Nations, saying, "The worst thing about that night was that I had massive doubts about whether my decision was right. But fortunately, it was."

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In the future, an accidental nuclear strike is still possible, triggered by either technical or human error. If nuclear arsenals continue to be upgraded in the future, if more states acquire nuclear weapons, then the latent danger of accidentally triggered nuclear war also increases.

Petrov warned until his death in 2017 that a nuclear war would break out and wipe out humanity.

Conclusion: The world is increasingly getting into disorder, respectively economic, political and cultural differences of interest are increasingly settled with violence and military means.

If the UN does not find its true purpose, the international situation of the future will be determined primarily by war, military annihilation of people, environmental destruction and mass exodus. The negative military scenario will assume apocalyptic proportions for billions of people if weapons of mass destruction that can no longer be controlled are used. A spiral of violence will emerge that will hardly be controllable.

2.2 The ecological                  devastation scenario

"People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?!"

Greta Thunberg (2019) at the UN General Assembly.

If it is not possible to keep the warming of the Earth's atmosphere below 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the 21st century, or even prevent it from rising by two degrees Celsius or more, serious consequences for life on planet Earth are to be expected. [2]

As early as 2008, the German Federal Environment Agency warned of the impending climate crisis with a nuanced reference to ecological tipping points and feedback effects:

"Tipping points carry the risk of drastic, sometimes abrupt climate changes. As a consequence, adaptation measures might not be taken in time, or might be associated with very high effort and extremely high costs. It is therefore imperative to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. By continuing to emit greenhouse gases, humans are conducting a global experiment with the air envelope of their planet that they do not know exactly how it will turn out. Tipping points in the climate system may occur as early as this century. This is cause for swift and focused action." [3]

How little has happened since then. The danger of abruptly triggering tipping points, with the complex and dramatic consequences, is now much closer. And: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 6th Assessment Report (IPPC 2021a) summarizes the long-term nature of the environmental damage that has already occurred:
"Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millenia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level."

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Different climate scenarios

Assessments of the extent of, for example, temperature rise in the coming decades as well as by the end of the century, or analyses regarding the expected rise in sea level, diverge between the estimates of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other climate researchers. According to climate scientist David Spratt and emissions trading specialist Ian Dunlop (Spratt/Dunlop 2019, 5) in classifying different research findings:

"In one example, the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report in 2014 projected a sea-level rise of 0.55-0.82 meters by 2100, but said 'levels above the likely range cannot be reliably evaluated.' By way of comparison, the higher of two US Department of Defence scenarios is a two-metre rise by 2100, and the 'extreme' scenario developed by a number of US government agencies is 2.5 metres by 2100.

Another example is the recent IPCC 1.5°C report, which projected that warming would continue at the current rate of ~0.2°C per decade and reach the 1.5°C mark around 2040. However the 1.5°C boundary is likely to be passed in half that time, around 2030, and the 2°C boundary around 2045, due to accelerating anthropogenic emissions, decreased aerosol loading and changing ocean circulation conditions."
If it is possible - according to the IPPC (2021 b, 18) - to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C by 2040, then this would also be possible by the end of the 21st century if the right decisions relevant to the climate are made. However, if the right climate policy decisions cannot be made, escalating global warming with apocalyptic consequences can be expected - according to IPPC (see table 6):

Table 6: The best course and the very likely range in the most negative climate scenario (IPPC 2021b, 18), in degrees Celsius
    Scenario          near term, 2021-2040          mid-term, 2041-2060          long-term, 2081-2100
                              best             very likely           best            very likely          best             very likely
                              estimate      range                 estimate     range                 estimate     range

   SSP5-8.5           1.6 C.           1.3-1.9 C.          2 .4 C.           1.9-3.0 C.          4.4 C.           3.3-5.7 C.

Determinants of a negative climate scenario

Of course, these differences cannot be decided here. However, in the context of a negative scenario, the more pessimistic assessment should be used. From this, the following developments can then be derived from a holistic perspective that emphasizes thinking in terms of connections and contexts:

One consequence of man-made climate change is the already observable melting of the poles and glaciers, the warming of the oceans, and the incipient flooding of coastal areas, riverbanks, and low-lying regions, especially in the poorer regions of the world, which lack the resources for ecological adaptation measures, such as building dams or changing building standards. 
This is how the World Meteorological Organization (2024) alarmingly summarizes this development for 2023/2024:

"Weather hazards continued to trigger displacement in 2023, showing how climate shocks undermine resilience and create new protection risks among the most vulnerable populations." 

If this development continues, the low-lying regions of the earth will become largely uninhabitable. 

There is no doubt that the melting of the poles and the warming of ocean waters will cause the seawater level to rise. 

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However, the average possible rise of 2.5 meters by 2100 does not represent the extreme points of the water level. Especially during storm surges, the increase in seawater level can be several times this value and lead to flooding deep into continental areas. 

Islands and coastal regions, as well as deeper inland areas, will be flooded, destroying the living conditions there and in turn triggering migration. Not only groups of islands will disappear, but also countries, such as Bangladesh and India, will be flooded in large areas and trigger mass migrations. Here, the rise in seawater levels combined with the monsoon rains, which are already increasingly devastating in this region, will have a particularly dangerous effect. [4]

The shift in climatic conditions towards droughts, wildfires, violent storms and massive rainfall will also lead to a change in life on Earth. Vast regions will become uninhabitable. Future average temperatures of 50-60 degrees are expected in the Persian Gulf, so that human life will no longer be possible here for the average population, or will only be possible in artificially cooled rooms. [5] 

Spratt/Dunlop (2019, 6) predict that even if the Paris climate treaties were adhered to, no stable climate development can yet be expected. In particular, climatic feedback effects would make the Earth largely uninhabitable for human civilization by the end of the century:

"With the commitments by nations to the 2015 Paris Agreement, the current path of warming is 3°C or more by 2100. But this figure does not include "long-term" carbon-cycle feedbacks, which are materially relevant now and in the near future due to the unprecedented rate at which human activity is perturbing the climate system. Taking these into account, the Paris path would lead to around 5°C of warming by 2100. Scientists warn that warming of 4°C is incompatible with an organized global community, is devastating to the majority of ecosystems, and has a high probability of not being stable."

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A negative scenario of such an increasingly heating biosphere must expect increasing forest fires. Large areas of the planet will begin to burn. Rolls of fire driven by massive storm gusts will engulf everything in their path: Trees and bushes, houses, animals and people. Such firestorms will be impossible for humans to control and fight, and will rely on massive rainfall, which we don't know will fall in the very regions that are burning due to climate shifts. The desertification of entire swaths of land is the result of humanitarian, environmental and financial problems on a global scale.

The thawing of the Arctic and Siberian permafrost will lead to a massive increase in global warming through the associated release of carbon dioxide and methane, abruptly intensifying all the processes that interact with it.

If the UN does not succeed in dissuading unscrupulous governments from the generation-egoistic destruction of the rainforest for the purposes of cattle breeding, soy cultivation or land speculation, then this too will not only destroy the lungs of the earth but also cause a drastic climate shift.
Globally raging wars, consumption of nature and emissions from weapons production and emissions from explosions and fires are worsening the climatic development and at the same time preventing effective measures against the climate dystopia from being taken by the affected regions.

Catastrophic impact on social and political development on a global scale

Mass migration in the sense of mass exodus or migration of peoples will be triggered by the climate shift. In this sense, migration to date can at best be regarded as the tip of the iceberg if billions of people set out to flee in the event of further unhindered global warming. It is not difficult to imagine the conflicts and military confrontations that will result from these upheavals in the struggle for ecologically intact regions. According to the International Peace Institute SIPRI:

"Climate Change poses a new class of security challenges that are confronting societies worldwide. Increased risk of famine, destroyed infrastructure, houses and shelter, and violent conflicts might all be consequences of climate change through gradual changes to ecosystems and extreme weather events." [6]

Global warming will lead to massive crop failures and associated famines. The global agricultural food system will collapse. The struggle for food and survival will lead to massive price increases, looting and military conflict.

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The struggle for drinking water will intensify on the one hand due to increasing droughts and on the other hand due to the prevailing profit-oriented privatization of water sources. Privatized water sources will be guarded by militarily organized security services against raids by groups of thirsty people. In drought areas, people will die of thirst, especially those who no longer have the financial means to buy the scarce and thus more expensive commodity of water.

In other parts of the world, the climate shift will lead to the collision of air masses with extremely different temperatures and to correspondingly devastating storms in the form of tornadoes and hurricanes. Houses, cars, animals and people are whirled through the air and shattered. Skyscrapers collapse, the infrastructure of electricity, internet, water and gas lines is irreparably destroyed. Radioactivity will be released from destroyed nuclear power plants, which will travel around the earth in the atmosphere, rain down and lead to increased cancer rates and deformities in humans and animals.

So far, only a few developments have been mentioned here. Dangers such as temperature change and the resulting redirection of the Gulf Stream, the release of methane bound in the seabed, insect mortality due to the increased use of pesticides in agriculture, the destruction of clean drinking water due to the overfertilization of fields, as well as plastic pollution of the oceans and the death of all life in increasingly larger marine regions are likely to represent additional negative scenarios that will exacerbate the massive problems mentioned.

The question thus is, when the point will be reached from which there is no return to ecological balance spanning over many generations. Here, scientific assessments certainly differ as to whether this point has already been reached or whether this will only occur after a few generations. For example, the renowned scientists and Club of Rome presidents Weizsäcker/Wijkman (2017, 194) summarize in the current Club of Rome study, especially with regard to the connection between ecological disaster, population growth, and irresponsible military and economic behavior:

"There is great urgency. System collapse is a real danger. Evidence of human impact on the planet is evident. Radioactive residues from atmospheric nuclear bomb tests are found everywhere today. CO2 from fossil fuel combustion has changed the chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans: (...) let's not fool ourselves. We are facing enormous challenges due to rapid population growth, overexploitation of resources and the associated pollution, loss of biodiversity, and overall we are experiencing a creeping loss of livelihoods.

The crisis is brought to a head by the ideological belief that the loss of high GDP growth will lead to economic collapse."

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The progression of overpopulation with unchecked growth thinking and consumerism leads to increased ecological exploitation of the Earth system under the conditions of an increasingly overcrowded planet. Hereby decreasing any scruples to use climate-damaging and dangerous resources of the earth, like for example, brown coal, oil or radioactive material. Approaches to organic farming and species-appropriate animal husbandry are being pushed back due to the population pressure from increased factory farming, i.e. the mass torture of animals, as well as the associated nitrate poisoning of soils and groundwater.
Here, however, it is to be expected that it is not population pressure that is primarily responsible for environmental destruction, but in particular the irresponsible consumption of resources by the richer part of the world's population.

Tab. 7: Global income groups/ annual income in purchasing power parity in US dollars | Projected per capita CO2 emissions in 2030 | Factor in relation to the maximum CO2 emissions required for the 1.5-degree target (2.3 tons per capita)  

(compiled according to Roettig 2021) 

| Richest 1%/ more than 172,000 | 70 | x 30
| Richest 10%/ 55,000-172,000 | 21 | x 9
| Middle and lower income 40%/ more than 9,800-55,000 | 5 | x 2
| Poorest 50%/ less than 9,800 | 1 | x 0.43


According to an OXFAM (2021) study calculating into the future, the richest one percent of the world's population will emit 30 times as much CO2 into the environment in 2030 than it is likely to in order to meet the 1.5-degree target. By contrast, the poorest 10% of the world's population will have an extremely small environmental footprint (see Tab. 8).

Tab. 8: Environmental footprint and global income groups 
            (compiled according to Roettig 2021)

Global income groups/              Projected per capita CO2 emissions            required for the 

annual income in purchasing    in 2030 Factor in relation to the                    1.5 degree target 

power parity in US dollars          maximum CO2 emissions                              (2.3 tons per capita)

Richest 1%/                                                       70                                                                x 30    

more than 172,000 

Richest 10%/                                                      21                                                                x 9


Middle and lower incomes, 40%/                      5                                                                 x 2

more than 9,800-55,000 

Poorest 50%/                                                        1                                                                 x 0,43

less than 9,800

This trend can be predicted in the absence of drastic climate protection measures and, in particular, curtailment of the lavish lifestyles of the richer part of the world's population.

The violent competition for the use of resources is increasing, the more people have to be satisfied in their basic needs as well especially as in their luxury needs. Not only the struggle for clean drinking water and food but also the struggle for lithium and comparable raw materials, lead to violent conflicts between different groups of people and regions - according to Hans-Jürgen Burchardt:

"Natural disasters and environmental damage have been at the top of the list of causes of flight in recent years, and many forecasts predict that the number of climate displaced persons will rise sharply. Here, too, it is clear that the industrialized nations, as the main perpetrators of climate change, share responsibility for the fact that people are fleeing. Nevertheless, they continue to try to achieve progress and prosperity at the expense of nature. This is particularly perfidious in North-South relations, where nature is often destroyed in the name of environmental protection. For example, after the nuclear phase-out, the German energy turnaround is also made possible by cheap coal imports from Colombia. There, mining is carried out in highly polluting opencast mines, entire communities are forcibly displaced, and human rights violations are commonplace. Even the much-vaunted green economy, which relies on electric mobility, would not be possible without the lithium reserves in the Andes. On the ground, however, lithium mining robs local residents of their livelihoods." [7]

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Spratt/Dunlop (2019, 9) also describe the societal consequences of a climate shift at the 3-degree level. States and societies will be overwhelmed and come under extreme collective stress:

"Massive nonlinear events in the global environment give rise to massive nonlinear societal events. In this scenario, nations around the world will be overwhelmed by the scale of change and pernicious challenges, such as pandemic disease. The internal cohesion of nations will be under great stress, including in the United States, both as a result of a dramatic rise in migration and changes in agricultural patterns and water availability. The flooding of coastal communities around the world, especially in the Netherlands, the United States, South Asia, and China has the potential to challenge regional and even national identities. Armed conflict between nations over resources, such as the Nile and its tributaries, is likely and nuclear war is possible. The social consequences range from increased religious fervor to outright chaos. In this scenario, climate change provokes a permanent shift in the relationship of humankind to nature."

To summarize: Next to the military threat scenario, the ecological threat scenario is the closest and most tangible, which will be exacerbated via the rapidly developing population growth. What appears particularly threatening here is that the negative consequences of climate change will occur with a time lag in terms of their causation. The factors of these negative developments can also only be changed to the positive again with a time lag. The inertia of climate change means that it is not so much the generations that cause it that feel the consequences, but rather their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. These, in turn, will also no longer experience the drastic positive changes of their possibly changed behavior due to the planetary climate inertia. This fosters a generational egoism that is harmful to the climate and once again emphasizes the need for the current living generations to have a forward-looking responsibility for future generations. This responsibility can be brought into focus by analyzing likely negative scenarios in the absence of radical redirection and reorganization.

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How can politicians and societies still think about increasing budgets earmarked for armaments and the military and for promoting economic growth when such ecological challenges loom in the future? How short-sighted and generationally egotistical must we be if we do not pool all our forces and resources as quickly as possible to avoid the impending ecological collapse?

How strong must the agro-industrial lobbies and interests be that so-called free trade and investment protection agreements are concluded by the EU, such as with the MERCOSUR states or also with Canada (CETA), which - despite protestations to the contrary - represent a de facto carte blanche to damage the biosphere?
And from a peace-ecological perspective: How much time is left to prevent a new world war or permanent war in the context of ecological displacement conflicts?
Will wars in the context of symmetrical and asymmetrical conflicts become increasingly threatening in relation to the fight against the climate catastrophe that is occurring?
How much power will the global counterforces still have to effectively counter such madness?

It turns out that the holistically conceived context, if it is applied in the context of a negative development, has just as effective a systemic effect in a negative sense, as it does in the case of the interaction of influences towards a positive development. Even in the negative scenario, everything works in conjunction with each other and therefore unfolds a very effective and global development dynamic. 
After reading this chapter, perhaps the despair and fears as well as the assumed responsibility in the actions of the 'Last Generation' become more understandable - even if one does not want to endorse their forms of action.

2.3 Failed states and the          helplessness of the              international community 

There is an increasing number of examples of collapsing state systems. ‘Failed states' or 'collapsed states' arise primarily in the peripheries or economically poor countries in the global context. Hussein M. Adam uses the devastating example of Somalia in the early 1990s to describe the characteristics of a failed state:

"The visible collapse of the Somali state has lasted half a decade. In some aspects the country appears to have reverted to its status of the nineteenth century: no internationally recognized polity; no national administration exercising real authority; no formal legal system; no public service; no educational and reliable health system; no police and public security services; no electricity or piped water systems; weak officials serving on a voluntary basis surrounded by disruptive, violent bands of armed youth." [8]

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In such collapsed states, the state monopoly on violence breaks down, and violence is exercised decentrally by different groups. The trust of the groups holding a society together in the state's ability to regulate is destroyed due to its longer-term and structurally applied distortions, such as corruption, dictatorship and extreme social differences. This can lead to violent uprisings, regional military revolts, regional rule by warlords or terrorist gangs that oppress and exploit the population. The difference between this and a change of system or a crisis leading to a successor government is particularly the serious destruction of identification with a state system as such and the failure of civil society standards - according to Zartman (1995):

"What distinguishes this scenario from other instances of government change is the inability of civil society to rebound: to fill positions, restore faith, support government, and rally around the successor. The maimed pieces into which the contracting regime has cut society do not come back together under a common identity, working together, sharing resources. The whole cannot be reassembled and instead the components of society oppose the center and fend for themselves on the local level. Organization, participation, security, and allocation fall into the hands of those who will fight for it - warlords and gang leaders, often using the ethnic principle as a source of identity and control in the absence of anything else." [9]

Certainly, it must also be asked whether the collapse of states is not also a postcolonial reaction to the arbitrary drawing of state borders regardless of tribal areas and cultural affiliations. It is also possible that the system of the Western nation-state is not the globally generalizable and appropriate model for every region and culture. Here, then, the critique of imposed nation-building and the postcolonial critique meet.

In any case, the breakup of states and the emergence of 'failed states' lead to a longer-term state of insecurity and fear for large parts of the population, to mass murder and torture, and to the subjugation and exploitation of large parts of the population of the original state territory. After a longer period of time, this can lead to new and also regional, smaller state formations, but it can also be left for an unforeseeable period to those who succeed in arming themselves, forming hierarchies and terrorizing regions.

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The United Nations has not yet found a way to respond adequately to the case of collapsing states. The horrific massacres of the Hutu majority against the Tutsi minority in Rwanda, the Islamist-oriented attempts at regional terror in the Arab region, the interference of foreign powers fighting for regional hegemony in Yemen, the unspeakable situation in Afghanistan, and the collaboration of corporations interested in raw materials with rebel groups in Central Africa show the helplessness of the United Nations in dealing with the situation of 'failed states' and 'killing fields'. But robust world police interventions by the United Nations or mandated alliances are necessary to prevent massacres, mass rapes, and uses of torture against civilians, as well as a stay of UN intervention forces until new viable political structures respectful of human rights have formed [10] - according to Michael Walzer:

"An independent UN force, not bound or hindered by the political decisions of individual states, might be the most reliable protector and trustee - if we could be sure that it would protect the right people, in a timely way." [11]

The example of Afghanistan, however, shows in a negative sense what can happen when interventions are conceived primarily in military terms. If, in parallel with military intervention, e.g., by an alliance of states mandated by the UN, appropriate resources are not provided to rebuild a country, human rights problems will only be shifted into the future, conflicts will not be dealt with in civil society, terrorist activities will be nurtured, and the system of the state will collapse once again.

2.4 Religious fanaticism and  terrorism

Terrorist organizations use religious fanaticism to assure total loyalty and self-sacrifice to their organizational members. Increasingly, religious fanaticism is replacing extremist political ideologies because leaders of such organizations can more easily assure their allegiance in this way.

This was the case with the disastrous Christian Crusades, when predatory conquest and geostrategic thinking were cast with Christian motives. This is likewise the case with the Islamist terrorist organizations IS, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, so that after the terrorist mission and suicide bombing, the reward is promised in paradise. The supposedly divine mission removes any inhibition in killing and justifies any cruelty - after all, it is carried out against devalued and excluded unbelievers or those of a different faith.

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This is a terrorist counter-model to the Enlightenment project, which is oriented toward secularization, human rights and humane values. If it was believed for a while that modernization oriented to the Enlightenment would encompass all parts of the world and also eliminate religious traditions, it must now be feared that religiously legitimized dictatorships with a global claim to omnipotence will increase.

If this is coupled with the possession of the atomic bomb, the consequences are incalculable.

Normally, Iran, whose state religion is the Shiite version of Islam, is quite rightly mentioned here. The traditionalist Sunni-oriented and highly armed Saudi Arabia should also be mentioned here. But government activities by the Israeli state can also be observed in this context. Here one must be very careful - especially as a German - when criticizing measures of the Israeli government and look closely and argue in a differentiated manner. In particular, a distinction must be made between the government, the state and the various groups within the Israeli population. Between orthodox Jews, militant settlers in the West Bank and Israeli representatives of the BDS movement [12], there is a big difference to be made in terms of political and cultural assessment.

Israel possesses the atomic bomb in an extremely conflict-ridden and crisis-ridden region full of hatred and religious reservations. A militant Orthodox Jew assassinated Jewish peacemaker, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It would be a very threatening scenario if militant factions of the Jewish Orthodox, whose religious fundamentalism, like the fundamentalism of all corresponding religions, is antithetical to the values of the Enlightenment and human rights, were to gain power in Israel. It would be even more problematic if they were to have a significant share in government power and displace moderate, democratic-minded Israelis in their claim to cultural validity and from positions of sociopolitical relevance.

But the most explosive constellation in terms of world politics is rooted in the spread of orthodox or Salafist influences of political-militant Islam, which, in addition to people of other faiths, make people of other orientations of the Islamic faith, i.e., Muslims as well, the victims of their attacks and mass murders. These extremist influences are already at work worldwide and are clearly directed against the achievements of the Enlightenment, such as the emancipation of the sexes, human rights, the faith-independent rule of law, and democracy. The negative scenario of worldwide development must be based on an increase in the activity of these Islamist extremists, some of whom are clandestine and operate in separate branches and cells in global Islam, and who also seek to suppress or destroy pacifist currents of Islam and those based on charity, such as certain groups of Sufism.

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These aggressive Salafist and terrorist-oriented currents and organizations of political Islam strive for a worldwide state of God and the subjugation or annihilation of dissenters or non-believers. Pluralism in the sense of tolerance in life plans, world views and political concepts is alien to them. They place their religious ideology above state legislation. They are morally on a pre-medieval level but possess modern technologies. This is what makes them dangerous.

This fact must be analyzed soberly and not glossed over or played down. However, the threat should not be exaggerated either, because then right-wing extremist groups would gain momentum worldwide, and states would tighten their security mechanisms in such a way that the democratic freedoms of citizens would be suppressed. Both tendencies can already be observed at present: Armed right-wing extremists attack and murder Muslims, and Islamist terrorists carry out attacks. States are increasingly restricting democratic freedoms so that what they claim to protect - freedom and democracy - are compromised.

In the present negative scenario, however, it can be assumed that right-wing extremist attacks on Muslims or fellow Jews and Islamist attacks on non-Orthodox Muslims and people of other faiths or non-believers will increase in a mutual spiral of violence and shake the foundations of democratic societies. In this context, the right-wing extremist and racially motivated attacks in Norway, the USA, France, Germany and New Zealand, to which Muslims, Jewish citizens and supporters of a multicultural society fell victim, are probably only the beginning of an - albeit avoidable - development.

It is to be hoped that this negative scenario will not come to pass. This can only be achieved through a well-coordinated and consistent criminal prosecution of the perpetrator groups in a worldwide context via the UN and the transnational or regional security authorities. The perpetrators must also be deprived of their recruiting base by preventing social, economic, political and ecological conditions in which religious legitimations for terrorist acts fall on fertile ground. Democratization in a local, regional and global context and tangible evidence of the benefits of this democratization for human coexistence will also play a decisive role here.

Once again, it becomes clear that the phenomenon under consideration, religiously camouflaged terrorism, can only be understood through a multitude of interacting factors, and that only by working through these various levels will it be possible to find an effective solution to this problem.

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2.5  Collapse of the world            economy, overpopulation and famines

The economic negative scenario to be presented here first assumes the end of free-market competition in favor of a monopolization of central industries in the hands of huge economic groups, which are economically active worldwide and in the course of a fusion of industrial, banking and speculative capital. In this process, every relevant industry is dominated by a few companies or even by a single corporation.

Corporations, such as Walmart, Nestlé, Goldman Sachs, Coke, VW, General Motors, AT&T, Cargill, Apple, Shell, Amazon, Google, Bayer, Unilever, Shell and BlackRock, have now finally asserted themselves in this negative scenario and prevent free-market competition in their industries. As a result of the domination of the industries, prices generally rise and the quality of the products falls. The political course for this is set, among other things, by bought politicians in government offices. The corporations' own media departments generate the corresponding awareness among politicians who cannot yet be bought and among the electorate. Huge legal departments of the corporations successfully fend off any lawsuits. The right of class and collective action has been abolished in many states or has not even been installed. Multilateral economic treaties have installed the right of corporations to sue before special courts representing their interests. The corporations' contractually agreed right to sue is used by them worldwide in the event of impairments to their investment and production activities, for example as a result of a state's environmental laws. The world is in the hands of the corporations, and in this negative vision, any democracies that still exist are only formal and disguise the actual conditions. The democratic state becomes a facade.

But even this system is not stable: The economic success of the privately producing bourgeoisie or the capitalist class - according to the Marxist analysis - however also creates massive economic crises at the same time, which occur due to the rapid technical development of the means of production in the relations of production which become too narrow for this. Highly developed capitalism with modernized means of production and concentrated economic power is able to produce more than can be sold in the form of usable goods and services, i.e. affordable for people. This leads to trade and sales crises. Marx/Engels analyzed the economic chain reaction triggering further crises:

"Bourgeois relations have become too narrow to contain the wealth they produce. – And how does the bourgeoisie surmount these crises? On the one hand, through the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other through the capture of new markets and a more thoroughgoing exploitation of old ones. How exactly? By preparing more comprehensive and devastating crises and diminishing the means for preventing them.” [13]

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World economy as global financial speculation of anonymous actors

Financial speculations with listed securities, mortgage securitizations up to high-dollar risk bets on political and economic developments are already carried out on a gigantic scale. Since profits from the production of goods and the creation of services - exceptions here are the business with drugs, armaments and digital products such as 'war games' - is limited, international finance capital is increasingly turning to financial speculation in a wide variety of forms. Instead of banks investing in real value creation and, for example, providing small or medium-sized businesses with the necessary loans, they tend to speculate with their investors' money and equity capital, as they expect this to result in much higher and faster loans.

Already, the speculative capital that is being moved around the globe digitally is developing many times the volume of capital invested in real value creation.

This trend will intensify in the negative scenario that may occur and will become even more confusing than it already is at present due to the emergence and use of digital currencies or cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ether. In this context, digital currencies will increasingly be used for money laundering in relation to drug deals or protection rackets or illegal arms deals due to the use of pseudo names.

In addition, cryptocurrencies reduce the state's influence on monetary policy, for example, making it more difficult to steer the economy.

Financial speculation represents the postmodern variant of the 'rottenness' of late capitalism. Speculative bubbles are regularly created but are not secured by anything. When they burst, the overlapping involvement of the actors causes them to spill over into the real economy, resulting in the destruction of social order. [14] 

The negative scenario for the globalized economy, which is further developed here, assumes that the crises triggered by financial speculation will become ever more violent and entail ever-greater dislocations in the real economy. If the world community does not succeed in containing global financial speculation, the economic system of world capitalism will become even less regulable than it already is. Societies will be left to the financial speculation of anonymous powers whose only concern is their own profit.

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Capitalism, social inequality and world hunger

Although there is tremendous productivity in highly developed capitalism, the available resources are not enough to feed the growing world population. Human rights activist Jean Ziegler (2015, 50) attributes the fact that, according to World Bank estimates, approximately one billion people currently live on less than $1.25 per day, that is, in extreme poverty, to the hegemonic nature of capitalism, to its cannibalistic character:

"The massacre of millions of people caused by malnutrition and hunger is today, at the beginning of the third millennium, a scandalous expression of the struggle of the rich against the poor, a monstrosity, an absurdity that cannot be justified by anything or legitimized by any policy. It is a crime against humanity repeated countless times.

Today, a child under the age of ten dies every five seconds from hunger or a disease caused by malnutrition. In 2014, more people died from hunger than in all the wars fought that year."

Studies by the NGO Oxfam make it clear that the gap between rich and poor is widening. In a study published in 2018, Oxfam summarizes the data collected 15]:

"Globally, seven out of ten people live in a country where income inequality has increased. Wealth inequality has worsened dramatically at the global level, as Oxfam has shown: The richest one percent of the world's population owns more wealth than the bottom 99 percent combined. In 2002, the share of total wealth held by the richest one percent was still 43 percent. (...) 

For its analyses of global inequality, Oxfam uses the figures of the World Wealth Report of the major Swiss bank Credit Suisse and the annual listing of the world's billionaires by Forbes. These show an unbroken trend of growing global wealth concentration. According to the most recent information, only 42 people had the same wealth as the world's poorest 3.7 billion people in 2017."

There is no evidence yet that this unequal wealth distribution will reverse, so it is likely that social inequality in this regard will continue to grow in the future. Even if extreme poverty has declined in recent decades, too many people still live on the brink of starvation, and it is unacceptable that once again social injustice particularly affects women and children in the countries of the poorer South, who - if they have work at all - have to work under worse conditions with inadequate pay than men.

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Oxfam sees the cause of social inequality in an economic system that lacks solidarity, in the greed and the desire for enrichment of the small percent of internationally wealthy:

"The structural causes of growing inequality are similar worldwide: our economic system puts the profit interests of a small group above the welfare of the vast majority. This is particularly evident in the fixation on stock profits, tax avoidance, excessive austerity policies and privatization, and the restriction of the rights of civil society and workers. The fixation on short-term profits and dividend payouts has increased sharply in corporate headquarters. In Britain in the 1970s, 10 percent of corporate profits were passed on to shareholders; today the figure is 70 percent. Globally, $1.2 trillion in dividends alone were paid out in 2015." [16]

Moreover, it would be quite possible to feed almost twice the current world population if we did not burn millions of tons of corn and wheat for biofuels, favor the meat industry, engage in land speculation, and turn fields into pastures, as well as destroy food that cannot be sold - according to Jean Ziegler (2015, 52):

"The annual Food Insecurity Report of the Food and Agriculture Organization shows that, with the level of productive forces it has reached, agriculture worldwide could normally feed - by supplying 2200 kilocalories a day for an adult - 12 billion people, almost twice the current world population. Therefore, the massacre of millions of people caused by hunger today is not related to the fact that too little food is produced, but to the access to food. Those who have enough money can eat and live; those who do not have enough money suffer from malnutrition, the diseases that are a consequence of it, and from hunger. A child who dies of hunger today will be murdered."

If this trend is not curbed, the consequences for the future are foreseeable: People in rural areas will be increasingly dispossessed via 'land grabbing', evicted from their properties, and then end up in the slums of the big cities, where they can expect an unsecured existence, mass unemployment, unsanitary conditions and diseases, crime and child prostitution. At the same time, the rich must isolate themselves in areas protected by walls and guards, in enclosed, gated areas that look similar all over the world. Extreme structural heterogeneity as a vision of the future - unalterable? [17]

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Global population growth and growing ecological footprint

The latest major Club of Rome study to date (v. Weizsäcker/Wijkman et al. 2017) on overpopulation concludes that the Earth is full. The population of the earth will multiply to about 10 billion by 2050 [18], making it difficult for the earth to develop in a way that is oriented toward sustainability. The consequences will be further climatic changes, violent conflicts and flight movements to other regions of the earth. 

The proportion of the world's population living in cities is rising steadily. Between 1900 and 2017, the world's population increased fivefold, but at the same time, the urban population increased 18-fold. By 2030, five billion people will live in cities and suburbs. But the ecological footprint of cities is incomparably greater than the environmental impact of people living in rural areas. The Club of Rome estimates that the ecological burden is four times higher.[19] 

The struggle for raw materials, drinking water, basic foodstuffs and energy, which is also being carried out violently, will intensify drastically if no change is made here. Also, more and more people will try to flee from the impoverished and ecologically devastated areas of the world to regions of the world still spared from this. The counter-reactions, i.e. the measures to defend the indigenous rights, are foreseeable and currently already noticeable in many places.

Refugee camps of people fleeing Venezuela are being attacked by locals in Brazil. In the Mediterranean, European countries are drowning refugees in the sea to deter further refugees. In Libya, refugees are kept in camps under inhumane conditions; some are sold as labor slaves or forced into prostitution. In Australia, refugees are intercepted and taken to islands offshore and far away in the Pacific Ocean, where they are imprisoned under guard. In the U.S., children of Mexican refugee families have been separated from their parents and incarcerated separately. These are just a few examples or the harbingers of conditions where multiplying refugee movements will occur as global crises increase.

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2.6 Cyber wars

It is possible that after the U.S. elections in 2017, for the first time in human history, a president came to power in part because of a cyber attack carried out through social media. The corresponding investigation led to results, which were, however, denied by the government elected through this attack.

The same picture emerged when Great Britain left the European Union. The vote required for the 'Brexit' was also manipulated by targeted false reports in the social networks.
Moegling/Bläsius (2024) therefore urgently warn of the danger of manipulating digital media in connection with AI: 

"With the help of deepfake techniques and generative AI systems, masses of texts, images and videos can be generated that communicate supposed facts. Such disinformation can be used to manipulate people and destabilize societies. If more and more media content is generated automatically without the possibility of verifying its truthfulness, political action in democratic states will become increasingly difficult. Chaos with social upheaval, riots and possibly civil wars could be the result." 

A newer form of bellicose aggressiveness is evident in cyber attacks, the serious consequences of which should not be underestimated and which may be the dominant form of war in the future. Hacking digital networks, traffic monitoring, electricity supply, nuclear technology or water supply, as well as military technology networks, can have serious consequences ranging from power outages in hospitals to the collapse of private and public transport, to manipulated military attacks and missile launches.

Large-scale digital crimes, such as the tapping of user data from social networks or the digital manipulation of elections and votes, such as the 'Brexit', have already occurred and are difficult to prevent.

Combining cyber espionage with conventional military attacks will lend itself to aggressive nations, both to spy on sensitive data from a nation's defense and security sectors and to be able to shut down that nation's infrastructure in the event of a military incursion.

These are not spontaneous hacking attacks by one country, but long-term hacking attacks by skilled hacking groups subsidized by an aggressive state.


"This is how 'Snake' works.

The Russian cyber espionage group 'Snake' has been active since 2005. According to an analysis by antivirus specialist Kaspersky, it is one of the most complex ongoing cyber espionage campaigns.

Snake targets mainly government agencies (ministries of interior, economy, foreign affairs, intelligence agencies), but also embassies, military institutions, research and educational organizations, and pharmaceutical companies.

In their attacks, the hackers try to infect their victims through so-called watering hole attacks. To do this, the spies first spy on websites that are of potential interest to the victims. Fake emails are then used to redirect the victims to a manipulated web server that looks confusingly similar to the original. The victim's computer is then infected in this way.

Thus, keyloggers can also be installed that record every keystroke and forward them to the attackers." [20] 


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An example of the beginning of cyber wars was the attack on the federal government's networks that became public in the spring of 2018, in which sensitive data from the security sector of the Federal Republic of Germany was taken via very complex malware by highly professional attackers. [21] 

Cyber attacks are part of hybrid warfare, in which propaganda on the Internet, the targeted use of fake news, and threats in the sense of disinformation campaigns are first combined with destabilizing hacker attacks on the infrastructure of a country or region and then, in the most negative case, with military intervention.


Artificial intelligence and cyber war

These previous notions of cyber war were based on deliberate human intervention in the international system, but do not yet take into account the possibility of software in computer systems taking on a life of its own as artificial intelligence develops. What if the frantic activity in the field of research and installation of artificial intelligence by Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Co. leads to its interfering with digital networks and becoming active in terms of military attacks and corresponding defensive reactions? Is this completely out of the question and utter nonsense?
Computer science professor and AI expert Karl H. Bläsius (2024) confirms that the dangerous future trends mentioned here are certainly realistic threats:
"Nuclear weapons can also act as a deterrent against other threats. Military strategies sometimes provide for this, e.g. in revenge for serious cyber attacks. However, such a nuclear deterrent could only be effective against other states. This would be of no use against risks posed by systems such as ChatGPT. Nuclear deterrence is also ineffective against terrorists or other groups that carry out serious cyber attacks with the help of AI (ChatGPT or similar), for example. Nor can such a nuclear deterrent protect against systems such as ChatGPT getting out of control, becoming active themselves and possibly achieving Internet dominance with worldwide chaos. On the contrary: in such situations, there is a high risk that nuclear weapons will be used without such weapons systems still having a deterrent protective effect."

Neurobiologist and physicist Christoph v. d. Malsburg, who otherwise has a rather sober attitude toward artificial intelligence utopias, states: 

"I still think you have to take the danger of artificial intelligence very seriously; it's worse for humanity than the atomic bomb." [22]

Even such a process, if it does occur, is likely to happen rather insidiously and barely noticed at first. It becomes especially dangerous when the software used for military control purposes becomes independent and develops its own initiatives in military terms, e.g. falsely documenting the firing of enemy nuclear weapons against its own national territory.

How implausible is this development in such a scenario?

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Information scientist Werner Meixner believes that there is a fundamental contradiction between the globally networked system of 'Big Data' and a successful security concept for networked computers, which becomes an uncontrollable threat to humanity:

"Networking becomes a mortal danger, however, when a building block of the autonomy of warlike attacks acts from the Internet because algorithms command to avert a presumed danger. This may sound like science fiction, but this building block is already being developed. (...) It enables autonomous preemptive cyber warfare and is necessary because response times are too short to allow a human decision-making process to precede it.

Responsible hackers and whistleblowers have shown what we should fear. A rapidly growing cybercrime is emerging. Nuclear plants, energy supplies, water supplies, hospitals, public transportation, government agencies are all at risk of attack and espionage. The livelihood of every individual is in danger of being destroyed.

Because of the already existing risk situation, all critical facilities must be taken off the Internet immediately. Universities must sound the alarm. Politically, it must be asked whether oaths of office are being violated.

The worldwide networking of the "world of things" with central data processing is a dangerous aberration. It means the loss of the sovereignty of all nation-states because the nation-states can no longer guarantee their own security. Inevitably, a centralized surveillance state will emerge because it alone is expected to provide security.

But even the central state cannot provide the hoped-for security and will gradually abolish all the freedoms of its citizens because it is no longer clear who the enemy is in a cyber war. Why should peoples allow the livelihoods of future generations to be gambled with on the roulette tables of research and development?" [23]

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2.7 Digital empires and the         medial transformation of       the Human

As early as the mid-19th century, Marx/Engels saw the permanent need for the owners of factories and service enterprises to further develop the technical, organizational, legal, and political means to survive in regional and global competition:

"The bourgeoisie cannot exist without continually revolutionizing the instruments of production, hence the relations of production, and therefore social relations as a whole. The continual transformation of production, the uninterrupted convulsion of all social conditions, a perpetual uncertainty and motion distinguish the epoch of the bourgeoisie from all earlier ones." [24] 

The extent of future digitalization represents one of these revolutionizations of social relations described by Marx/Engels, the scope of which is probably still underestimated. In the context of a negative scenario, the digitalization of society can make people superfluous as working beings and leave them to the digital control of the rulers. The digital transformation of work processes releases people from work processes, but relies on controlling them digitally so that they do not rebel against this system.

Total digital transparency: Google knows us better.

In the present negative scenario, the digital revolution is a form of social transformation whose driving force is the unrestrained greed in capitalism for ever greater profits at the expense of the human.

Negative scenarios of an overpowering digital age or digital hegemony in the interest of economies and political power relations geared to this in utopian literature have in part already been caught up with or overtaken by social reality. The threat to humanity, i.e. the human core, via the digital coupling and domination of individuals into a human-digital hybrid, a cyborg, is increasingly recognizable. A symbiotic relationship of life consisting of digital watches, smartphones, Alexa and Siri, chip implants under the skin, digitally networked audiovisual systems and human substance leads to the loss of subjectivity. Total digital transparency enables the annihilation of individual freedom margins, any privacy and also the possibility for systematic doubting and practiced maturity and critical faculties. The 'antiquated human being', i.e. a human being who adheres to the goals of the Enlightenment, becomes the counter-image to be pursued of a digital modernization that wants to exclude and destroy enlightened antiquatedness. [25]

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Man is no longer able to keep up with his technical inventions, no longer overlooks the consequences of the digital surveillance of subjects in individual, social and socio-political relations. Günther Anders (1956) focused above all on the nuclear threat and the planetary apocalypse related to it. This threat scenario is now joined by the digital apocalypse, via the merging of the human with the digital.

The German computer scientist and committed representative of scientific ethics, Werner Meixner, warns of a development that has already occurred and will continue to intensify in the future, in times of legally adopted state Trojans, controlling apps, as well as security loopholes already built into smartphones, tablets and other PCs during production, which endanger or destroy the human private sphere:

“Our privacy is at massive risk, and there is every reason to address the causes and originators of the threat. In an article for the news channel CNN, Marc Rotenberg has called the invasions of privacy by the Internet company Google 'one of the greatest violations of the law in history'. Rotenberg was president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an independent nonprofit research center in Washington, D.C., that works to protect basic civil liberties.

And Google chief Eric Schmidt boasts that Google knows us better than we know ourselves (...). One wonders if any further proof is needed that our privacy is at risk. Incidentally, both data theft and government surveillance are largely invisible to those affected.

An upheaval is taking place. Step by step, the Basic Law is being changed or rendered ineffective. The essential social decision-making processes are being taken away from parliament and shifted to undemocratic outside bodies. The maturity of citizens is systematically undermined by no longer openly discussing parliamentary issues (...).

The upheaval we are talking about here is nothing less than an attack on the constitutionally guaranteed foundations of our state.” [26]

Individuals are allowed to finance the costs of this digital domination to a large extent themselves, since the digital age and the corresponding media are made palatable to them via manipulative advertising strategies as well as via computer games, beginning already during childhood. 

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The human being between algorithms and values

Seen in this light, the digital age also offers gigantic returns for the digital economy, which is increasingly spreading and at the same time concentrating in huge media corporations that are trying to propagandistically and manipulatively implement the new image of man and the digital understanding of the modern into people's thinking and feeling. Similar to the way religions used to seek manipulative access to people at an early age, even small children are being accustomed to the displays of digital media and are being transformed step by step into a digital-human cyborg. The increasing entering of virtual worlds ('virtual reality') also by children and adolescents with the help of VR glasses mixes the real reality with the virtual world without the certainty that both can still be kept apart or without the knowledge of how they influence each other. The age of digital hybrid humans has been ushered in.
If Facebook's 'metaverse' becomes established, it can be assumed that the virtual world will become so important that the real world will lose more and more of its value. Then social crises and catastrophes in the real world will also lose their threatening nature from the perspective of gambling addicts - after all, escape into virtual worlds is possible, where life can be lived in real time thanks to 5G and blockchain.

In the course of the enforcement of digital access the relationship between artificial intelligence and the specific nature of the human being must be clarified and the extent to which artificial intelligence can still be controlled in the future. It will be decisive when politicians become aware of this problem, whether they support it or are resistant, and whether they develop binding ethical guidelines for the development of artificial intelligence in cooperation with the scientists involved. 

The prerequisite for this is that a discourse takes place about what actually constitutes a human being. Is it the ability to love, the ability to understand or the ability to empathize, the ability to be ethically critical? Are these the qualities that distinguish humans from intelligent machines? In the same way, it must be asked what the technologically possible reaches of artificial intelligence are, and what threats to the continued existence of humanity are to be seen in this - according to Ulrich Schnabel (2018, 39):

"Whether all the abilities of Homo sapiens - love, empathy, art, susceptibility to error, flexibility, innovative strength, moral thinking, and confidence - will ultimately be sufficient to keep machines under control in the long run remains to be seen. But if we don't start thinking about differences, we've already lost."

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The AI information system ChatGPT ("Generative Pre-trained Transformer") is an app that enables access to information resources on the internet when the corresponding questions are asked digitally. ChatGPT can easily be used in schools, universities and training centers. At first glance, this sounds as if it would make it easier to obtain information. All of humanity's knowledge could be available with just a few clicks.
But appearances are deceptive. With a little thought, it becomes clear that this could also lead to a negative vision of human development. If knowledge is constantly and easily available, if pre-formulated answers to most questions can be obtained by anyone without much effort, what does this do to the human being as a learning and receptive individual? The result could be a person who is lazy and incapable of thinking and who relies on their ChatGPT app. The result would be a hermaphrodite who becomes dependent on a digital program that defies critical evaluation. Your own creativity in thinking no longer seems worth the effort. The program already provides everything - but only the knowledge that is available on the Internet and cannot distinguish between correct and incorrect information. Imagine a world of knowledge that only reproduces what is available, is in the hands of the private sector and, of course, is constantly threatened by hackers from authoritarian systems who want to manipulate human knowledge in their direction.
Marie-José Kolly (2023) warns accordingly:
"That's why the content is always wrong. Sometimes obviously, sometimes only subtly. And that's why the guard rails that are supposed to protect the bot from manipulative users can also be manipulated. This means that every response from the bot is a priori unreliable. It cannot be trusted.
Half-truths, untruths and absurdities are now circulating in various corners of the Internet. You can see this on some pages. Sometimes it takes several clicks to check a piece of information. But you can't tell the quality of a chat with a bot. And what bots write sometimes sounds so right that even professionals are dazzled. For example, former Google employee Blake Lemoine thought that Google's language model had a consciousness. Chatbots pretend to be something they are not. No wonder, we believe that someone - something - is thinking behind them.
This mixture - the bot writes more convincingly than many people, but it can't care whether what it writes is true - is extremely dangerous."
Moegling/Bläsius (2024) warn of AI developing independently on the internet, e.g. via ChatGPT. It could only be a matter of time before a superintelligence is formed on the internet that becomes independent and there is a danger that an intelligence superior to humans will interfere in civilian critical infrastructure, especially in military defense or attack systems:
"There have been some surprises in civilian AI applications in recent years, with unexpected capabilities being achieved, most recently with generative AI systems such as ChatGPT. In 2023, the world's leading AI scientists and heads of major AI companies issued urgent warnings about the potential risks of this development. Superintelligence that far exceeds the level of human intelligence is also considered possible in the coming years."

China's 'Social Credit System'

Hundreds of millions of digital video cameras are expected to achieve absolute transparency and control over people in China in the future. Regional test programs are currently underway in China to implement the Chinese 'Social Credit System,' under which China's citizens will be seamlessly monitored and sanctioned.

The recordings from the video cameras are mixed with digitally ascertainable information, e.g. from digital networks or official records on individual persons, the judicial file situation, financial data as well as school and professional assessments, and together they result in an evaluation according to points, the evaluation criteria of which are to be the same for all Chinese.

In the current pilot test, positive behavior is still sanctioned positively, which can of course change quickly after full implementation, so that deviating behavior is generally considered negative and leads to points being deducted.

All of a sudden, a citizen receives the message that he or she is no longer allowed to travel by train, that treatment of him or her in a hospital is no longer possible, or that no one responds on a dating portal because the score displayed is too low.

A society is thus digitally controlled down to the finest details of social behavior on behalf of the state. This goes far beyond Orwell's or Huxley's Dystopia. [27] 

A current variant of such a negative scenario, which may come to pass but need not occur, is the digital health dictatorship. The Corona crisis has shown how quickly people can be influenced and their freedoms massively restricted in the face of health threats (bans on going out and assemblies, abolition of freedom of demonstration, restriction of freedom of the press). There is a danger here that future pandemics will be exploited to basically abolish civil liberties and to control this, among other things, with mandatory digital apps in communication media that must be used.

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2.8 Mass crises of                     meaning, psychological         distortions and escapes

In his "Speech to the Little Man," first published in 1948, Wilhelm Reich also analyzed the psychological distortions of people identifying themselves through authoritarian personalities and national greatness, whom he sees as dangerous and sick:

"That is why I am afraid of you, little man, irrepressibly afraid. Because on you depends the further fate of the world of men. I am afraid of you because you flee nothing so much as yourself. You are sick, very sick, little man. It is not your fault, but it is your responsibility to free yourself from your illness. You would have shaken off your real oppressors long ago if you had not tolerated and often directly supported oppression. No police force in the world would be powerful enough to oppress you if you had an ounce of self-respect in practical everyday life." [28]

If democratic claims become more implausible and political systems become more authoritarian and intolerant, then resistance movements against them will also arise. There will be mass protests in the streets, refusals to vote and the election of extremist parties, as well as an increase in terrorist activities. The mainstream of a society, however, will possibly neurotically duck away, adapt or even partly participate in the organization of an authoritarian society. In the negative vision of social development, educational institutions foster authoritarian traits with an extremely limited and neurotic personality profile. Blind obedience, opportunistic behavior, a latent fearfulness and an insufficient awareness of one's own thinking, feeling and acting are then the consequences of such an education. Parallel to this, therefore, massive disturbances of well-being occur on the part of those affected by such sociality - according to health scientist Annelie Keil (1988, 115):

"Oppression can be exerted on the individual in many ways - through poverty, hunger, social injustice, and political violence, or through the family and personal contexts in which violence tends to have a psychological impact. The affected person tries to compensate for the experience of oppression: by dulling the consciousness, by adaptation, by substitute allowances, much less often by revolt and struggle. However, the most frequent difficulty in reacting to the experience of suppression is precisely in the disturbances of well-being: the causes of suppression and thus the causes of the disturbances of well-being are misunderstood. There is confusion about the essence of oppression. To misrecognize this origin is not only to be unhappy without knowing why but something much worse: it is to assume that it is our fault if we are unhappy."

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Furthermore, if Western societies develop seemingly and primarily on a formal level democratically in the sense of an entitlement or façade democracy, with pervasive digital state control, with a simultaneous late-capitalist predatory economy, then the human psyche is also threatened with significant problems over the lack of a positive vision and perspective on life. If goals and possibilities to get out of a life lacking meaning and real happiness are missing, then psychosomatic reactions, like depression and psychosomatic diseases, like migraine, sleep disorders, chronic anxiety or cardiac arrhythmia are threatening. The number of people suffering from depression worldwide has increased by 18% in the last 10 years, according to a study published in 2017 by the World Health Organization (WHO). 322 million people worldwide currently suffer from depression. In this case, depression often combines with a neurotic disorder, especially an anxiety disorder. [29]

Suicides in various forms

Chronic illnesses with a psychosomatic background arise from the suppression of the living in a person, from not living life due to over-adaptation and the thus suppressed possibility to search for and develop a positive meaning of life for oneself. [30] Not lived life and subjectively experienced meaninglessness within corresponding social structures lead not only to the described form of psychosomatic illness but also to life-destroying susceptibility to drugs, such as hallucinative chemical drugs as well as the compulsive and permanent dwelling in virtual realities. It is possible that the future for many people will be a combination of biochemical manipulation and virtual escape as part of a negative development scenario. Billions of gamers, some of them under the influence of drugs, will kill, have sexual experiences, humiliate and elevate themselves in virtual spaces.

The world drug report [31], which refers here not to alcohol and nicotine but to chemical drugs, particularly opiates, shows the following figures and marks the seriousness of the problem:

"About 275 million people worldwide, which is roughly 5.6 per cent of the global population aged 15-64 years, used drugs at least once during 2016. Of those, 31 million suffer from use disorders, meaning that their drug use is harmful to the point where they may need treatment. Initial estimations suggest that, globally, 13.8 million young people aged 15-16 years used cannabis in the past year, equivalent to a rate of 5.6 per cent. Roughly 450,000 people died as a result of drug use in 2015, according to the WHO. Of those deaths, 167,750 were directly associated with drug use disorders (mainly overdoses). The rest were indirectly associated with drug use and included deaths related to HIV and hepatitis C acquired through unsafe injecting practices. Opioids continued to cause the most harm. PWID - some 10.6 million worldwide in 2016 - endure the greatest health risks. More than half of them live with hepatitis C and one in eight live with HIV."

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According to a WHO study published in 2014, 3.3 million people died each year from alcohol addiction.[32] Furthermore, 7 million people die annually worldwide from nicotine use. Over the course of the 21st century, the cumulative number of nicotine deaths could reach one billion people.[33]

Several million people are currently already trying to take their own lives, and 800,000 people actually commit suicide each year. Every 40 seconds, a person on earth kills themselves.[34] 

Escape by way of drug consumption, as well as gambling, and all the way up to the loss of control and suicide already characterize the psychological instability of a large part of the world's population and the situation will certainly worsen considerably in the case of a negative scenario of social development.

Using crises as an opportunity

If, on the other hand, a psychosomatically experienced life crisis is seen as an opportunity to search for the cause of an illness and is accompanied by an honest search for meaning - possibly also in a therapeutic context - then positive possibilities open up and paths to recovery can be taken.

This makes it all the more important to resist societal structures and the norms and values associated with them, individually and in solidarity with others affected worldwide. Such structures based on excessive pressure to conform lead to neuroses and often force people to over-adapt, to loss of meaning and unlived happiness in life.

For such resistance, a positive vision of social development is necessary in order to know in which direction a collective path to happiness in life is laid out for oneself and for other people.

Liberated and meaningfully ordered social conditions then represent a favorable prerequisite for subjective search for meaning and for the necessary identity experiences for a happily lived life. When the pressure of domination subsides, when meaning in life - oriented to people's own needs - emerges, then neurotic basic attitudes lose their social function. People then no longer have to be kept down and locked up in psychic prisons so that the economic exploitation of existing power relations can be secured. Drug dealers and drugs of all kinds then have a much smaller chance to poison people. Medially staged fear inductions then lose their psychosocial basis in people. Upbringing and education then do not produce fearful and over-adapted children but promote their individual potential on the way to a liberated humanity.

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2.9 External planetary               threats to the future

When addressing external threats-that is, threats from outer space-there is, of course, a danger of exaggeration and fiction. One must think carefully about whether to address this, lest one fall under suspicion of unscientific speculation.

Nevertheless, when considering the use of financial resources, realistic external threats must be included that have demonstrably affected planet Earth in the past and have a serious likelihood of playing a role in the future. Humanity can no longer afford - apart from the associated humanitarian and ecological catastrophes - to wage wars of various kinds against each other or to use its resources to build up armies, missile systems and NBC weapon systems as a deterrent. If not in 10, 30 or 50 years, in any case in the centuries to come, mankind will face global threats for which it must be prepared.

The planetary threat of impacting asteroids

First, the Earth has been shown to be repeatedly targeted by asteroids from space with devastating consequences for flora and fauna. It cannot be excluded that in the medium future, e.g. in the next 50 to 500 years, another asteroid will hit the earth. Mankind must prepare for this situation in the interest of its continued existence. Resources of financial means, experts and material must be made available worldwide, in order to be able to deflect an asteroid becoming dangerous to the earth e.g. over an explosion at least. Everything else would be negligent and would override the interest of the following generations on the planet earth generation-egoistically.

Asteroids often fly dangerously close to Earth. In mid-April 2018, for example, a 650-meter-diameter asteroid passed by Earth at 4.6 times the Moon-Earth distance, relatively close. In 2027, NASA predicts that an asteroid ("1990 AN10") will pass by Earth only 380,000 kilometers away, much closer still.

If an asteroid of this magnitude hits the Earth, the consequences are almost unimaginable: tsunamis, atmospheric pressure waves, darkening of the sky, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes. 

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The United Nations is making it clear that these are not ideas just for future novels or science fiction movies:

"To bring the issue further into the public eye, the United Nations General Assembly last year proclaimed June 30 World Asteroid Day. The date marks the anniversary of the largest asteroid impact in recent history: on June 30, 1908, a hit in the Tunguska region of Siberia had devastated some 2,000 square kilometers of uninhabited territory. According to researchers' estimates, the asteroid had a diameter of 30 to 40 meters.

Should such a chunk in its trajectory set course for Earth again, there are only two options for the European space agency ESA: deflect it or destroy it. There are many proposals, from solar mirrors to hydrogen bombs. However, most of them are not technically or financially feasible. More realistic, he said, is the use of impact projectiles to deflect orbits.

Kinetic impactors, or simply "bouncers," is what Wünnemann calls the objects that would be actively placed in the path of an asteroid on its way to Earth. The joint ESA and NASA "Aida" mission, which is aimed at asteroid defense, is expected to provide insights into this."[35]

It was quite telling that former U.S. President Trump saw space exploration only from a military point of view and called for U.S. military dominance in space and had appropriate funding allocated for that purpose. Trump called for a sixth arm of the U.S. military in the form of a space army ('Space Force'):

"When it comes to defending America, it's not enough to just have an American presence in space. There has to be an American dominance in space" [36]

Space exploration, contrary to these militaristic statements, would have to prioritize the purpose of being able to repel asteroids from space. NASA's DART mission, successfully carried out in October 2022, shows that the need for future defense against dangerous asteroids has been recognized here. [37]

Of course, it must also deal with other civilian purposes, such as the influence of solar activity on Earth's digital networks.

Threat from shifting poles

Also of note are the currently observable shifts of the north and south poles and the associated changes in the planetary magnetic field. There may also be a complete reversal of the Earth's polarity in the medium or long term. This has already happened several times in the history of the Earth. This naturally has a considerable impact on digital communications and corresponding infrastructural networks on Earth. Precautions must be taken to prepare for this.

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"For centuries, the Earth's magnetic field was stable, but since 1840 it has been weakening, by one-sixth by now. The magnetic field, which extends far into space, still shields the Earth from radiation from outer space. How much longer?

An animation by the U.S. weather agency NOAA shows what's going on: the magnetic pole, which is located near the geographic North Pole, is shifting from Canada toward Russia at a rate of about one kilometer per week.

Pole migration is symptomatic of the Earth's changing magnetic field. Compass needles still point north, and the magnetic field protects the Earth - but the rapid shift of the pole has researchers asking, "Is a dangerous pole reversal looming?" [38]

Third, further research is needed on the impact of major solar storms on global infrastructure, and appropriate precautionary measures need to be developed for these events. Solar storms have already occurred in our lifetime, some of which led to the grid failure of larger regions, e.g., in Canada in 1989 and in South Africa in 2006.[39]

No more waste of resources

When these external threats are combined with internal global threats, such as the onset of global warming and the increasing danger of war, the conclusion must be reached even more decisively that existing resources must no longer be invested in the arms industry and military technology. 

In addition, the Club of Rome calls for a stabilization of the earth's population on a full earth.[40] Increasingly, research resources must be used and strategies developed on how to avoid further rampant multiplication of humanity (2018: 7.6 billion people). The overpopulation of the Earth leads to accelerated resource depletion and accelerates climate catastrophe. It also leads to a widening gap between rich and poor and to corresponding social disasters and also, of course, migration movements and the associated social conflicts.

Also in the health sector, for example with regard to the problem of the threatening ineffectiveness of penicillin or antibiotics or also the possibility of the occurrence of planetary epidemics, which so far can still be confined locally, research must be intensified, suitable medicines developed in global cooperation and prevention strategies planned. The Corona pandemic provides a glimpse of the potential magnitude of a planetary threat from pandemics.

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This list of massive internal planetary threats could certainly be continued (dominance of artificial intelligence, insect extinction, plastic littering of the oceans, drinking water shortages, air pollution, etc.), but it already makes it clear: humanity can no longer afford to destroy its ideas and creativity, its financial resources and its people for violent conflicts of various kinds or for the construction of weapons systems for use against other states or groups. All surplus resources, which are not necessary for global peace, which is secured by the world police measures, must be used to combat the threatening dangers to the planet earth and the coming generations of mankind.

The former Club of Rome presidents von Weizsäcker/ Wijkman (1917, 195) therefore make an energetic and well-argued plea for a radical shift toward planetary reordering and oppose pessimists who believe that nothing can be changed anyway:

"There is a way to a better future. It is the obligation of all of us to try to create this better world. It is possible for humanity to avoid collapse. But for this to happen, there is one thing that is more important than anything else: a new direction, or even a new 'narrative', or more profoundly, a new enlightenment to counteract what has put us on the speeding train. (...)

A new narrative would explain how to realize flourishing lives within ecological limits, how to realize universal well-being that meets all basic needs, and how to achieve sufficient equality necessary to maintain social stability and provide the basis for genuine security."

However, in my view, global power structures and economic interest groups that will try to work against this vision should not be overlooked here. The hegemonically mediated imperial way of life (Brand/ Wissen 2017) that a large part of the earth's population aspires to, which people especially in the global North have already developed, is also a major obstacle. Therefore, the demand for radical change must then also always specify who should be the bearers of this change and how this can be achieved through educational processes, civil society engagement, and regional and global organization in solidarity resistance to the tendencies to plunder the earth and exploit people, especially in the poorer regions of the world.

In this sense, in the next chapters a reorganization in holistic terms, i.e. taking into account the different levels or dimensions of human existence and understanding the interrelationships of these levels and the influencing factors, will be sketched and the first steps on the way to it will be outlined.

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Intermediate reflection

At this point in the book, the critical analysis and also the heuristics of fear envisioned by Jonas now end and give way to a positive vision of social development in a global context. To be sure, the negative scenarios in particular are not always easy to bear. But looking at a possible catastrophic future can bring about a jolt to oppose this possible development. 

Within the last 20 years, the resilience of the planet has reached its limit or has demonstrably exceeded it in some areas. 

The Doomsday Clock makes this clear: "The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains" and: We are - according to the doomsday clock founded and calculated by Albert Einstein in 1947 - 100 seconds away from the destruction of planetary foundations. In 1991 it was still 17 minutes until destruction.

But in dwelling on a negative vision and without a positive vision of social development, this rebellion remains stuck in the negative and destructive. A jointly developed and supported positive vision is necessary in order to work with commitment, inner drive and joy on a successful future - together with similarly minded people - in different contexts of social engagement.

In this context, one cannot accuse such a vision of being visionary, just as one cannot accuse a utopia of being utopian. That is precisely its character and its peculiarity. A vision that is not visionary is no good.

Nor can a vision rightly be accused of not being directly linked to current world events and of not dealing with their limitations and restrictions. A positive vision of social development must free itself from this and clarify in ideal-typical terms where the journey is to go - even if it may take several generations.

Only then is it worthwhile to consider what initial steps can be taken in the direction of this unfolded vision, based on the current state of society.

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(Chapter 2)

[1] Reconstruction of events is based on, 9/26/19, 10/1/19, and, 9/19/17, 10/1/19.
[2] Parts of this negative scenario are based on the climate scenario of Spratt/Dunlop (2019) as well as on the current UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) global climate report, in case the 1.5 degree target is not reached and climate warming of two degrees or more should occur, cf., dated 8.10.2018, 6.4.2019 and IPCC (2018, 2019).
[3] Federal Environment Agency (2008, 22).
[4] See, among others, Germund (2017).
[5] See, among others, Läubli (2015) and Stoller (2015).
[6] Cf. Dellmuth/Gustafsson/Bremberg/Mobjörk (2017, 1).
[7] Burchardt (2017).
[8] Adam (1995,78).
[9] Zartman (1995, 8).
[10] See the arguments in favor of humane interventions in Mills (2002), Walzer (2002), and Ignatieff (2002).
[11] Walzer (2002, 31).
[12] BDS = Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: international movement started by Palestinian activists and even some Israeli opposition activists, which opposes the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli state and in particular the settlement of the West Bank. Here, the Israeli government is accused of apartheid and colonialism against the Palestinian population. The BDS movement is politically controversial, condemned for example by the German Bundestag as anti-Semitic and brought close to terrorist activities by the government of Israel. However, the movement defends itself against this, rejects the accusation of anti-Semitism and emphasizes its legitimate civil society character (cf.,_Divestment
_and_Sanctions, Dec. 1, 2019, Dec. 1, 2019).
[13]  Translation of Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 31) by Carver (2015) 

[14] See, for example, Altvater (2006), Wagenknecht (2008), Scherrer/Dürmeier/Overwien (eds.) (2011), and Scherrer (2015).
[15] Oxfam Germany (2018, 4).
[16] Oxfam Germany (2018, 6).
[17] Cf. Ziegler (2015, 53)
[18] Cf. v.Weizsäcker/Wijkman et al. (2017, 68).
[19] Cf. v.Weizsäcker/Wijkman et al. (2017, 73 ff).
[20] Hessisch-Niedersächsische Allgemeine, March 2, 2018, p. 18.
[21] Cf., 2.3.2018.
[22] Cf. the statement by v. d. Malsberg in: Die Zeit, 28.3.2018, p. 39.
[23] Meixner (2018).
[24]  Translation of Marx/Engels (1848/1983, 25 and 27) by Carver (2015). 

[25] On the concept of human antiquatedness, see in particular Günther Anders (1956) with the title 'Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen. On the Soul of Man in the Second Industrial Revolution'; and Morat (2006).
[26] Meixner (2018).
[27] On China's Social Credit, see e.g. System Gruber/Kühnreich (2017) and Hennig (2018).
[28] Reich (1948/2013, 22).
[29] Cf., dated 23.2.2017, 27.8.2018.
[30] Cf. in more detail Keil (1988, 112ff.).
[31] In:, n.d., 27.8.2018.
[32] In:;
jsessionid=D855D8C4D60FA04FF15083420802C288?sequence=1, 2014, 27.8.2018.
[33] In:, from 30.5.2017, 27.8.2018.
[34] In:, dated 4/9/2014, 8/27/2018.
[35] In:, dated 6/23/2017, 8/27/18.
[36] In:, dated 6/18/2018, 8/28/2018.
[37] Cf. Nasa: Dart-Sonde hat Flugbahn von Asteroiden erfolgreich geändert. In:, 11.10.2022, 13.10.2022.

[38] Bojanowski (2018).
[39] Cf., dated Aug. 1, 2016, Aug. 27, 2018.
[40] v.Weizsäcker /Wijkman et al. (eds.) (2017, 34ff.).

Being together requires clarity about oneself.

Chapter 3

The basis for a   reorganization of international  relations also    lies in the   psychosocial education of the individual

"It is necessary to find a concept that endeavors to operate in a new way all that has passed and to deliberate in a new way what is to come." (...) that helps to see to the end."

Ernst Bloch (1918/2018, 383): Geist der Utopie.

3.1  Inner worlds, sociality          and international                  relations: Those who are        not clear in their                  relationship to                    themselves also do not          have clarity in their              relationships to others

Positive peace in the holistic sense

The Norwegian conflict and peace researcher Johan Galtung argued, within the framework of his conception of positive peace, that peace should not be understood merely as the absence of war between societies. Positive peace is more comprehensive and represents an approach that can be described as holistic. This understanding of peace refers to both interstate conflicts and intra-societal disputes. Here, it is important for him to emphasize that conflicts between two opposing parties are usually related to conflicts within these parties and, of course, to psychosocial problems of the people involved in them - according to Galtung (1998, 12):

"Thus peace and violence must be seen in their totality, at all levels of the organization of life (and not human life alone). Interstate violence is important, more important still than that between the sexes and between generations. Not to forget intrapersonal violence, as spiritual (e.g., as repression of the emotions) as well as physical (cancer, for example)."

If the problems that continue to exist, e.g., due to the existence of enemy images, are not dealt with psychologically and pedagogically, at best a ceasefire will last for a certain time after a war before mental patterns again make their way to a renewed outbreak of violence.

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Plea for a universalistic ethics

In this context, Immanuel Kant already referred to the connection between lack of human maturity, cosmopolitan unreasonableness and destructive action on the world stage of political events in his essay "Idea for a General History with a Cosmopolitan Intention," written in 1784:

"Since people in their endeavors do not proceed merely instinctively, like animals, and yet also not, like reasonable cosmopolitans, according to an agreed plan, on the whole: so also no planned history (as, for example, of the bees or the beavers) of them seems possible. One cannot help feeling a certain displeasure when one sees their doings set up on the great world stage; and, with now and then apparent wisdom in the individual, yet finally finds everything on a large scale woven together out of folly, childish vanity, often also out of childish malice and destructiveness: whereby in the end one does not know what concept one is to form of our species so conceited of its merits." [1]

The technologically advanced development of mankind stands in an obvious disproportion to its underdeveloped ethics, the often only weakly developed consciousness in dealing with itself, the immaturity in everyday life context and its dangerousness in the international context. Here, among other things, the fundamental question arises of how future generations can be protected from the immaturity and dangerousness of a large part of the people living at present. It is possible that the following generations will later think just as negatively about the generations living and acting now as the post-war generation of German youths did about their (National Socialist) parents and grandparents in the cultural revolution of 1968.

Religions, too, are generally not helpful in shaping peaceful thinking and feeling. On the contrary, religions have served to legitimize violence and 'holy wars' for millennia. Because of their penetration into the psyche of people and the divine claim of being representative of rulers, they are suitable to be used for the economic and political enforcement of interests of the respective rulers. As a consequence of his basic criticism of religion, the Dalai Lama therefore calls for a universalistic ethic for the 21st century, which should take the place of religions:

"I am talking about a secular ethics that is also helpful and useful for over a billion atheists and for an increasing number of agnostics. More essential than religion is our elementary(fundamental) human spirituality. This is an inherent inclination in us humans to love, kindness and affection - regardless of what religion we belong to." [2]

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The urge to change conditions and structures through politics must have psychosocial and ethical prerequisites in the individual. Without this, a more of democracy, which thrives on the interplay between the protection of individual interest and solidary participation and altruism, will not be feasible. Political empowerment usually ends in personal enrichment and concentration of power if humane maturation processes cannot keep pace with political power gain.

Such processes of maturation must be laid out in the context of family and school socialization. The importance of formal and informal education cannot be overstated here. Schools would have to become a field of experience characterized by mutual encouragement and support. Later informal learning processes in life and work contexts would also no longer have to be characterized by competition and pressure to perform. Psychosocial growth, based on constructively resolved conflicts in alternative community forms and cooperation in projects of solidarity-based economies, enables maturation processes which are hardly possible in forms of sociality based on compulsive demarcation and hierarchy. But also the further development in adulthood due to continuing education as well as self-experiences in the context of humanistic therapy methods as well as by taking meditative ways of experience seriously can play an important role here.

How does one want to change the world, international relations, authoritarian structures, the handling of conflicts, the ecological behavior in dealing with our planet as well as the serious disparity of wealth, if the spiritual and emotional development of human beings lags far behind their technical-civilizational possibilities? [3]

Likewise, participation in citizens' initiatives, peace initiatives, political institutions and community experiences of various kinds are both training fields for psychosocial competencies and the application of the same. In particular, people who work for peace should also deal differently with one another in social conflict situations and show how to demand what one wants on a large scale can already be achieved on a small scale.

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Processes of inner civilization

Again Immanuel Kant recognizes far-sightedly the necessity of the inner civilization and moral cultivation of man, since only on this basis can peaceableness and cooperation in the international context develop:

"But as long as states devote all their forces to their vain and violent intentions of expansion, and thus ceaselessly hinder the slow effort of the inner formation of the way of thinking of their citizens, depriving themselves also of all support in this intention, nothing of this kind is to be expected; because to that a long inner working of every common being is required for the education of its citizens. Everything good, however, that is not grafted on a moral-good attitude, is nothing but mere appearance and shimmering misery. In this state the human race will probably remain until it has worked itself out of the chaotic state of its state relations in the way I have said." [4]

Inner civilization means working through one's own ego structures, existing enemy images and the behavior associated with them. This can be done through the individual processing of one's own biographical experiences, through educational processes, through psychotherapies or through mindfulness-based meditations, or through the combination of several of these possibilities of self-awareness. This is because a more altruistic attitude, which is the psychological prerequisite for an individual to behave peacefully in the world, rarely occurs on its own. Furthermore, because of numerous structural obstacles that hinder personal development and the unfolding of maturity, education and support must always be sought that as well endures against structural resistance.

Socialization processes can also be promoted via role models and an altruistically oriented social mainstream, which help to overcome the self-image of the exclusively 'private person' who sees only himself and his own interest in favor of a stronger social orientation. The interest in realizing one's own needs and altruistically motivated ways of acting have to come into a different balance than is currently the case.

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The role of therapy and meditation

In this context, ways of mindful practice that initiate, accompany and secure personal transformations take on a special significance, as they can be made possible in their own way in many yoga styles, e.g. hatha yoga or vinyasa yoga, and also in practicing qigong, tai chi and zazen. [5]  

Peacefulness in the heart, love for oneself as the basis for affection for other creatures, and receptivity to personal transformation in a mindfulness-based and world-facing sense are the prerequisites for one's own peacefulness in individual and social behavior. Meditation, seen in this way, works here in a certain sense on a collective self of the world community as an opportunity for a globally lived peacefulness.

In order to prepare and stabilize the transformation of war-mongering and militarized structures on the psychological level, a self-work of the people and efforts in the pedagogical, spiritual-mental and therapeutic fields are necessary at the same time. People can only develop further on the collective level if, parallel and interlinked with this, a self-assurance and the recognition of one's own place in the world happens through meditation and therapy as well as education and training. Global peacefulness is not only dependent on the peacefulness of international organizations, institutions and groups, but is rooted in the peacefulness of the individual, in his knowledge and his inner mood that there are many people who think and feel similarly to him. Then this power can radiate and have an effect in one's own life-worldly social relations as well as in cultural and political commitment.

The death of a destructive civilization

The U.S. journalist and book author Roy Scranton (2015, 27) therefore calls for human civilization, which is characterized by the destruction of nature and wars, to learn to die:

"We cannot escape our fate. Our future will depend on our ability to confront it not with panic, outrage, or denial, but with patiance, reflection and love.

Our choice is a clear one. We can continue acting as if tomorrow will be just like yesterday, growing less and less prepared for each new disaster as it comes, and more and more desperately invested in a life we can't sustain. Or we can learn to see each day as the death of what came before, freeing ourselves to deal with whatever problems the present offers without attachment or fear.

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If we want to learn to live in the Anthropocene, we must first learn how to die."

Of course the dying of a destructive civilization also means that individuals should let the destructive civilization die within them and open up to a new vision of the humane.

Without the personal transformation of many people uniting worldwide, there will be no lived peace in and with the biosphere.

Nevertheless, it should be reminded once again at this point how the self is integrated into social structures and mechanisms and is to be considered in its interrelation between system, structure and personality – according to Horkheimer (1936/1992, 47):

"The purer bourgeois society comes to rule, the more unrestricted its effects, the more indifferent and hostile people are to each other as individuals, families, economic groups, nations and classes, the more the originally progressive principle of free competition on the basis of intensifying economic and social antagonisms acquires the character of a permanent state of war within and without. All who are drawn into this world form the egoistic, exclusionary, hostile sides of their being in order to maintain themselves in this harsh reality."

Yet we cannot wait for social structures to change, but are forced,because of the threatening situation and out limited life span, to begin immediately to resist, to change structures, to change ourselves, and to live differently. Theodor W. Adorno's point, "There is no right life in the wrong one," was intended to say that a change in the existential conditions of life is necessary for the right way of living. The social whole and how it is structured prevents the right life of the individual. [6] This is certainly consistent thinking, but still too compelling and too negative if taken literally.Perhaps he also wanted to provoke just this realization with this statement. Furthermore, in a newly ordered society, there are also problems and new conflicts developing. [7] Seen the other way round, capitalist societies are usually – with the exception of fascist societies – just not totally administered systems, but contain structures that allow political leeways and islands of alternative life. The numerous worldwide mass protests for peace, against the destructive excesses of the world trade system or against climate destruction and the manifold existence of alternative forms of work and life show that there can also be a 'right life in the wrong' to a certain extent. Also, the self-work and further development of the personality cannot wait for the 'right life', because without this no qualitative change of the social structures and the whole can succeed as well.

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Wilhelm Reich in his speech to the 'little man' (and to the 'little woman') makes it very figuratively clear in himself and in us that this self-work is not about the unattainable, but about the recovery of the living. In his vision of a life well lived, he combines self-perception and world-perception with the hope that this will result in social changes fought for together towards a more peaceful and happy world. Thus his address to the 'great' woman:

"And you are great when you say to your friend:

'I thank my fate that I was granted to live my life free of dirt and greed, to experience the growth of my children, their first babbling, grasping, walking, playing, questioning, laughing and loving; that my I kept my sense of spring and its mild wind, of the murmur of the brook by the house and the singing of the birds in the forest pure and free; that I kept away from the gossip of evil neighbors; that I was happy in the embrace with my spouse and felt the current of the living in my body; that I did not lose the direction of my being in confused times, and that my life had meaning and duration. For I have always listened to myself, and I have always followed the quiet admonishing voice telling me: There is nothing but this: to live life well and happily! Follow your heart, even if it leads away from the path of anxious souls. Do not harden, even if life torments you. And when on quiet evenings, after work, I sit with my beloved or my child on the meadow in front of the house, feeling the breathing of nature, then the song rises in me that I like to hear so much, the song of the many, the song of the future:

... Be embraced, millions ...! Then I pray to this life that it learns to administer its rights, to convert the hard and the fearful who sound the music of the cannons. They do it, after all, only because life escaped them.' " [8]

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(Chapter 3.1)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] Kant (1784, 41).
[2] Dalai Lama (2015, 12).
[3] Cf. also Adorno (1971, 126) on this discrepancy.
[4] Kant (1784, 49).
[5] Cf. chapter 3.4.
[6] Adorno (1951/1997, 43) and, interpreting, Roth (2002).
[7] Cf. Seel (2014).
[8] Reich (1948/2013, 123).

Tamera: Ecologically and philosophically oriented living community in southern Portugal



3.2  Education and the work          on the social self: Via            empathic community              Experiences to the                educated self

Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to change himself.

Leo Tolstoi

Habermas' [1] theory of communication and the associated discourse ethics represent the basis of communicative community experiences that can be described as peaceable and can also be considered the basis of international relations. On the one hand, communication processes based on equal speaking opportunies and on a discursive culture of deliberation and decision-making presuppose a certain level of education of the actors involved. On the other hand, they also represent communicative experiential situations that can emerge  and contribute to the further development of the communication partners.

An empathic civilization

Central to the nature of communicative experiences which are mentioned is the  term empathy.[2] Empathy in emotional and cognitive respects towards a communication partner is the psychosocial prerequisite for community experiences that can  educate. The U.S. economist and publicist Jeremy Rifkin considers the concept of empathy to be so important that he speaks of "empathic civilization" as the necessary social form of the future, which is characterized by the fact that  someone puts himself/herself in the place of another person, seeks to understand him and, on the basis of this impression, examines his own thinking, feeling and acting with an open mind.

Rifkin is convinced - and elaborates on this with numerous examples from the history of mankind - that man is not only egocentric, aggressive and power-driven, but that he also has a natural capacity for empathy:

"What does this tell us about human nature? It is possible that human beings are not inherently evil or intrinsically self-interested and materialistic, but are of a very different nature - an empathic one - and that all over the other drives that we have considered to be primary - aggression, violence, selfish behavior, acquisitiveness - are in fact secondary drives that flow from repression or denial of our most basic instinct?" [3]

However, it must be noted that there is an interaction between socially dominant developments and psychological effects on the people in a society. Social structures, economic developments, pandemics, ecological catastrophes, migration movements and flight or military threats change the way people think and feel. This weakens or strengthens the human capacity for empathic communal experience, depending on the central intentions of a social structure, a person's character, or also dominant tendencies that occur.

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The importance of education

In the same way, the institutions of education are subject to historical andsocial developments. Pre-military education in toughness and the development of enemy images in school are requested in other social formations than this is true for the promotion of social empathy. Just as societies create their own typical schools, social forces that are interested in changing society should change schools.

A vision of a peaceful world community needs people who are promoted and empowered to be peaceful in freedom and who have overcome their enemy images.

The transformation of global structures and the resolution of international conflict situations often have a counterpart on a small scale, in the micro-societal sphere. If change does not succeed there, it will hardly succeed in the macro-societal sphere. If an identity formation oriented towards solidarity, pacification and ecological commitment succeeds through educational processes, an important prerequisite for appropriate action within the subjective possibilities of the individual and the social scope of acting collectives, like political parties, trade unions and other civil society organizations, is given. In other words by using the example of 'sustainable development': Education for sustainable development enables a lifestyle, a peaceful and an ecological social coexistence, which can also exert social influences on the supra-regional level, change attitudes and ways of acting, which can certainly result in a political and economic power to be taken seriously in socio-political disputes. This is certainly a long-term process that requires courage in civil society, creativity and persistent social commitment.

Education in the sense meant cannot be prescribed or ordered in an authoritarian way. It can only be a matter of self-determined educational processes, of self-responsible learning in the balance of freedom and responsibility. The goal lies in liberation from tendencies of subjugation and aggressive destruction - according to Theodor W. Adorno (1971, 126):

"The thesis I would have liked to discuss with you is that barbarization is the most urgent question of all education today. The problem that arises is whether something decisive can be changed about barbarism through education. By barbarism I mean something very simple, namely that in the state of the most highly developed technical civilization people have lagged behind their own civilization in a strangely unformed way - not only that they have in their overwhelming majority not experienced the formation which corresponds to the concept of civilization, Not only have they, in their overwhelming majority, not been formed in a way that corresponds to the concept of civilization, but they are filled with a primitive will to attack, a primitive hatred or, as it is called in educated terms, a destructive instinct, which contributes its share to increasing the danger that this whole civilization, to which it already tends by itself, will blow up. However, I consider it so urgent to change that I would subordinate all other specific educational ideals to it."

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According to Adorno (1971, 137), educational processes must be characterized by a renunciation of authoritarian behavior; the "formation of a rigorous, rigid, and at the same time externalized superego" must be prevented in education. Educational processes must therefore be oriented toward the postulate of maturity and create the possibility of self-determination and critical faculties. [4]

The development of universalism and self-identity

The development of social empathy is a central educational goal.

Rifkin directly relates the concept of empathy to the humane civilizing process when he formulates:

"A heightened empathic sentiment also allows an increasingly individualized population to affiliate with one another in more interdependent, expanded, and integrated social organisms. This is the process that characterizes what we call civilization. Civilization is the detribalization of blood ties and the resocialization of distinct individuals based on associational ties. Empathic extension is the psychological mechanism that makes the conversion and the transition possible. When we say to civilize, we mean to empathize." [5]

Empathy is certainly a central psychosocial ability; if one examines the interaction process more closely, as is the case in symbolic interactionism, four prerequisites can be determined, at least in the sense of sociologist Lothar Krappmann's identity analysis, for high-quality role action in the attempt to develop a balance of social and personal identity in social situations:

·         Role distance - the ability to distance oneself from role expectations;

·         Ambiguity tolerance - the ability to tolerate other opinions;

·         Empathy - the ability to think and feel one's way into another person;

·         Identity presentation skills - the ability to show and contribute as an authentic personality in interactions. [6]

The promotion of these four abilities via correspondingly formative social experience and reflection of situations in educational processes increases the likelihood that people will be enabled to achieve a largely self-determined and consciously created balance of personal and social identity in corresponding interactive situations. 

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It is a matter of overcoming the dilemma of role constraint, of being like no one else and yet being like everyone else - a structural requirement in social situations for which identity solutions must be found anew again and again in every new interaction situation.

The social self, i.e., a capacity for self-identity that is both principled and open enough to renounce psychic simplifications, is the psychosocial prerequisite for a world society with universalistic values and structures aligned with them. The morally founded inhibition threshold to regress in a national-chauvinistic, authoritarian and racist way must be built up in the personalities via educational processes of the most diverse kind, in order not to succumb to the seduction of simplifications in the face of highly complex social demands in an increasingly interconnected world society.

In this context, it is important in a holistic sense that the educating person learns to see himself as part of a whole and also to take responsibility for the whole in his everyday behavior, as far as this is possible for him.

The human personality that is resistant to the seductions and manipulations of national-chauvinistic thinking, nature-devouring nonsensical consumer needs and aggressive military strategies and that, equipped with a universalistic morality, feels itself to be a democratically oriented and committed citizen of the world, inclined to altruism rather than egocentrism, can only be an all-round educated person. An ethically guided education in its various facets is the key to the further development of the human. This does not mean the knowledge-fixated cramming school, but means an understanding of education, which understands school education as skillful initiation to self-education in responsibility for the whole. Schools and training programs should promote problem-oriented competencies that prepare learners for the present and future of responsible globalization and thus for a life oriented toward sustainability, respect for human rights and peaceful coexistence. [7] The continuation of an imperial way of life (Brand/ Wissen 2017) can no longer be a goal of school education.

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Central role of political and historical education

This includes the central role of sociopolitical education in the schools of the future, which have to be  allocated considerably more time. Political and historical education attempt to use the controversy of topics and materials to enable learners to make their own political judgments as well as their own historical narratives. Within the framework of an interplay between teacher-structured and project-oriented teaching phases, the most independent possible analysis of, among other things, violent conflicts and cases of ecological conflict, the assessment of state and supranational political structures as well as peacemaking and ecological possibilities for action in a globalized context and their historical genesis are to be worked out.
In the context of critical political education, even the Chat GPT app can play a constructive role. In this case, it is not a matter of carrying out a convenient and quick information research, but rather the critical examination of the answers received from the app is in the foreground. It is therefore important to sensitize the learners to the use of this app through their own discoveries of untruths, misrepresentations and fake news, or to dispense with it in favor of their own investigations and research.

Democracy is not something that lasts, not something that is secured once and for all, but must be learned anew again and again with regard to its ethically founded goals, its opportunities for participation and its significance for human coexistence, as well as the historical struggle for democracy and the sacrifices made for it in every generation.

High-quality political and historical education on the scale necessary for this is an important basis for learning in democracy for the preservation and further development of democracy, where it should be improved.

Statements that claim that historical catastrophes should finally put to rest can be countered that by dealing with past injustice in schools, people can learn from people regardin disaster prevention. It must not be forgotten how many people have been oppressed, tortured and killed when social structures developed destructively. Almost every nation has a history of invading other nations and oppressing its population. When you start at the existential importance of the social interlocking of democracy and the rule of law can be recognized.

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Schools in democracy must be different

In this context, the structure of the school must not contradict the meta-goal of maturity. If maturity is to be associated with independent and critical thinking and action, schools must also take learners seriously and give them opportunities for co-determination within the framework of school structures as well as the participation concerning the content to be worked on and the methods used.

The possibility in a democratic school to experience democracy in a lifeworldly and practical way through co-determination possibilities and with perceptible consequences represents the necessary supplement to the education taught in political and history lessons. If, in this context, students are willing to participate in the organization and implementation of the Fridays for Future demonstrations, democratic schools should actually find ways to support this commitment. In any case, learners should not suffer any disadvantages as a result.

The creation of controversial public spheres within the school that stimulate critical reflection in the form of student assemblies, exhibitions, expert hearings and self-organized panel discussions also represent important elements of democracy learning.

In many regions and countries, innovative educational concepts and alternative schools are being developed dependent on public financial resources if they do not only aim to be schools for children from wealthier families in the form of private schools. [8] All the more important is the renunciation of armament spirals or the increase of defense budgets, so that the corresponding resources are available for the education sector and for the inclusive promotion of all children in all regions of the world.

Important social experiences can be made in the official social educational institutions, such as day care centers, schools, vocational training centers and universities, but also through nonformal learning experiences in the life contexts, such as in private families, in political initiatives, but also in alternative forms of living and working. The latter will now be the focus of attention.

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Alternative forms of life and society as a germ cell for changed educational processes?

The parcelling of human communities into isolated families or single households is to be countered by the counter-model of communitarian living communities. Communitarian groups, housing cooperatives, ecovillages and neighborhood networks represent solidary forms of human togetherness, which are politically (and also peace-politically) much more capable of action than parceled-out forms of social life.

Living together on a locally delimited living area combined with consensus-oriented participatory forms of communication, with regenerative energy production as well as community facilities for working together, with cultural offerings, opportunities for meditation and with forms of action towards the outside can increasingly become a counterweight to the destructive tendencies of world society, which are increasingly defined by authoritarian violence, exploitation of nature, social inequality and a lack of democracy.

Already existing supra-regional and international networks[9] of communitarian communities and ecovillages are also to be financially supported by the public authorities upon request and application, socially respected and taken into account in the civil society sense.

The network of the 'Global Ecovillage Network' (GEN), united in five transnational alliances[10] and encompassing about 10,000 ecovillages worldwide, shows that this is not just a matter of a few attempts, but that there is already a comprehensive global movement of ecological and solidarity-based ways of life. The self-conception of a community as a GEN ecovillage is defined as follows: 

 | "An ecovillage is an international or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all four dimensions of sustainability (social, culture, ecology, economy into a whole system design) to regenerate its social and natural environment. Ecovillages are living laboratories pioneering beautiful alternatives and innovative solutions. They are rural or urban settlements with vibrant social structures, vastly diverse, yet united in their actions towards low-impact, high-quality lifestyles." [11]

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GEN has a consultative status as NGO at the UN-ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) and is partner of the UNITAR-CIFAL [12] initiative. The worldwide network is aware of the need for alliances and partnerships in the 'normal society', so that on the one hand the influence has an impact there and on the other hand social security strategies can become effective. In this context, GEN can develop connections between socio-ecological innovations and rooted indigenous culture:

"Through the sharing of best practices and innovative solutions and the honouring of deep-rooted traditional knowledge and local cultures, GEN builds bridges between policy-makers, academics, entrepreneurs and sustainable community networks across the globe in order to develop strategies for a global transition to resilient communities and cultures." [13]

In this sense, the I.L.A. Collective (2019) also develops in a groundbreaking publication a socio-politically founded conception to overcome the imperial way of life in production and consumption, and points to numerous approaches and concrete projects for a solidary way of life. The necessary social transformation is on the one hand the prerequisite for turning away from the imperial way of life, which puts people in competition against one another in an unsolidary way, makes the good life possible for some people at the expense of the poor, is based on profit thinking and capitalist production and destroys the ecological foundations. The solidary way of life, on the other hand, is characterized by participation and co-determination, by care for fellow human beings, by ecological agriculture, by a healthy lifestyle and corresponding health institutions, by environmentally sound mobility, solidary production and use of the goods produced, a changed energy infrastructure, and by a different design of living space and housing. This already exists as an active factor in the desired social transformation, which should be seen in a context with other, similarly directed civil society and political activities. [14]

This approach is compatible with the concept of the common good economy developed by Christian Felber (2018), among others, which has already been implemented in many international corporate projects. [15] Here, companies make a verifiable commitment to design their production or the creation of services based on ethical principles, such as solidarity or sustainability. This is linked to the demand that these companies be given tax relief and privileged treatment in the context of lending.

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In my opinion, the political communities that already exist worldwide meet the requirements of future problems best, the need for radical socio-political transformation and the demands for a way of life based on solidarity. Political communes can be classified as political in two respects: Through their way of living, deciding and working together, as well as through their political commitment - also in terms of peace policy - to the outside world:

"The political communities want to change social conditions. We already contribute to this to a certain extent through our alternative way of life. The long-term goal is egalitarian (free and equal) structures that make an emancipatory, solidary and ecological life possible. In this way we set a sign against an increasing isolation in a society strongly oriented towards consumption, purchase and exploitation of nature and for a human togetherness and sharing. Individuals in the communities are also active in different political fields, such as anti-fascist work, anti-nuclear policy, BUKO, free media work, international solidarity work, commitment to the preservation of crop work and against genetic engineering." [16]

An encouraging example: the Niederkaufungen commune (Germany)

The commune Niederkaufungen in Hesse near Kassel [17] is one of the oldest and largest communitarian living communities in Germany (since 1986). There  live and work 80 people (59 adults and 21 children). It is an ecological and radical democratic community project that has been functioning well for decades and has a high recognition in the municipality of Niederkaufungen. 

About the self-image "The English-language generic term for living communities like ours is 'intentional community.' This means that the people who decide to join the community as communards share the principles, goals, intentions, reflections, values, etc. that the community has given itself and continues to develop with each other. The Niederkaufungen Commune sees itself as a living experiment in an alternative lifestyle. We want to learn to live and work together in a more solidary and ecologically sustainable way without hierarchy." [18]

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The members of the Niederkaufungen commune live on a large farm with main houses and outbuildings in various residential communities, have various social facilities in plenary and discuss their problems, projects and plans in small groups, and they have developed a number of decidedly successful economic projects and collective forms of enterprises. Attempts are made to involve all commune members in decision-making through various communicative strategies and according to a modified consensus principle. There are a number of collective enterprises of the commune that have an impact on the region, such as a day care center, a care initiative, a building project, a farm store, ecological agriculture, a meeting house, and an organic catering service.

The commune of Niederkaufungen sees itself as a decidedly political municipality, committed to non-violence, ecology, development projects and against racism: 

"In addition, on some topics such as Castor transports and the construction of the A 44, political activities more or less community-wide result from themselves. The cooperation in the Action Alliance against the Right, in the ecology and women's movement, the BUKO, the Free Radio Kassel, the Transitiontown groups in Kaufungen and Kassel, the Solidarity Agriculture, as well as in more conventional forms of political work such as designing and distributing leaflets, painting banners, organizing demos, contacts to local politics, etc. are, however, left to the interest and commitment of individuals. For many years we have been donating about 3% of our livelihood to projects in the global south and organizations that support such (Medico International, ASW). [19]  [20]

In particular, through its communitarian way of living and working, the Niederkaufungen commune represents a successful political counter-design to life in nuclear families and working within the dictates of business-organized private economic structures or in the service of the state. These kinds of life collectives possibly hint at the utopia of communitarian ways of life, which are not prescribed but develop in an increasingly networked and very individual and self-determined way. A new culture of life cannot be prescribed, but emerges from within itself and, with social creativity and imagination, develops new social ways of life that may prove superior to conventional forms of living and working in the future.

 A serious approach is being taken to the fact that there can certainly be rudiments of a right life even in the wrong one, a right life that can also have a transforming effect on the wrong.

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Another encouraging example: Salecina (Maloja/ Switzerland)

Another positive example is the alternative education and meeting center Salecina in Maloja (southern Switzerland/Upper Engadine). At the beginning of the 1970s, the farm was acquired by the couple Theo Pinkus and Amalie Pinkus-De Sassi among others in order to provide an initial refuge for unjustly persecuted political activists in times of uncertainty regarding the rule of law, e.g., in Italy or Germany. After the persecution of the European left finally did not take place to the extent anticipated, the foundation was transformed into an international meeting and seminar center. There it was possible to go on holiday in a solidary framework, there were numerous political seminars - also with ecological topics - there were various cultural offers, many meetings and political discussions between people of different nations took place.

A graduated pricing model for accommodation, meals and seminar fees also enables people with lower incomes to participate in events.

The foundation is managed and supervised by an international board of trustees ('Salecina Council') in conjunction with various commissions. Four caretakers support the guests in Salecina. The guests take over the different house services together, clean and cook together. As a rule, guests spend the night in shared rooms. In the evening, during the day coordination, these services are discussed, there is often current political information, joint activities are arranged.

In Salecina numerous well-known political personalities discussed questions of a more democratic, peaceful and ecological future. Herbert Marcuse and Max Frisch, for example, were sought-after discussion participants in Salecina.

Salecina tries to be a part of the ecological movement in the Upper Engadine and to network with activities there.

The international seminar and meeting center Salecina is a successful example of a different communication culture, as a self-managed meeting and education center part of the alternative economy and shows forms   of solidary coexistence for the future. [21]

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Tamera - a socio-ecological settlement project in southern Portugal

The settlement project 'Tamera' [22], located in the south of Portugal and based on solidarity, empathy, closeness to nature and interpersonal love, counting about 200 people, is also an expression of the collective attempt to find other forms of living, loving and working already now. [23]

The communitarian settlement project 'Tamera' is a center for peace research and education, so in its own self-image, but also with regard to the actual peace-political action activity. It is part of the 'Global Ecovillage Network' (GEN), in the framework of which, as described, about 10,000 ecovillagers worldwide have connected with each other.

'Tamera' was conceived by Sabine Lichtenfels and Dieter Duhmin the context  of the student movement. He is the author of the widespread work 'Angst im Kapitalismus' (Fear in Capitalism [24]) and some other co-founders in an originally very barren landscape. Through permaculture projects, the karstified landscape was transformed into a water landscape with numerous lakes, riparian biotopes and irrigation systems for ecological self-sufficiency in food. There are various projects, such as the aforementioned ecological agriculture, the permaculture project, projects of solar energy production, an alternative school, research, among other things, on regenerative settlements, a publishing project (publishing house Meiga), a guest center, academies, courses and congresses, among other things, with peace-political content, as well as so-called grace walks to global conflict hotspots and the attempt to ensure international attention and peacemaking mediation there. The literary and also theoretical justification of this communitarian settlement work is presented in detail in the publications of Lichtenfels and Duhm [25] as well as on the Tamera homepage.

The settlement project already had various communitarian precursor projects in 1978 and was then continued on a larger scale in 1995 at the current location in southern Portugal. What is interesting here is the combination of political, philosophical and spiritual worldview, which does not lead to a retreat into private worlds, but with the attempt to connect inner and outer healing, also steps outward and tries to achieve changes on a global scale. Work is being done decidedly on the draft of a new post-capitalist world ('Terra Nova'), which is characterized by a different way of dealing with each other and the surrounding nature:

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"We are working for global system change: From war to peace, from exploitation to cooperation, from fear to trust.
We work for a future without war - for Terra Nova - by building healing biotopes:
futurological centers, in which the foundations for a future planetary culture of peace will be
are researched and developed in an exemplary way. Tamera supports people all over the world in building renewable, non-violent centers - through:
on the ethical, social, sexual, ecological, technological and economic foundations of such a society
and support of people who want to cooperate in the "Plan of Healing Biotopes
Building a planetary community that comes together in the spirit of Terra Nova." [26]

The subject of sexuality is not ignored either, but is reformulated in the sense of an empathic and liberated relationship between lovees. Serious initiatives for a global networking of similarly minded communities and groups are undertaken with commitment. With the Grace Pilgrimages, 'Tamera' also goes into conflict-laden and problematic areas and tries to promote mutual understanding and empathy there - according to Duhm (2011, 129):

"The tears that an Israeli mother cries over her killed son are the same as those of a Palestinian mother. Many tears have already been cried, the pain was too great. Accusations and condemnations no longer serve any purpose, for they only prolong the spiral of violence. The young demonstrators in Cairo or Tripoli were as old as the policemen who shot at them. They could have been friends. The peace workers in the Colombian peace village of San José de Apartadó and the murdering paramilitaries could also be friends if they could leave the constraints of a terrible system."

Thus, 'Tamera' can be considered as one of the most exciting communitarian projects that, due to its duration, scope, different levels, research approach and international outreach, can play a significant role in the search for a human-ecological reorganization in the future.

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Rudolf Bahro's Rescue Logic - a social theoretical shipwreck?

The former GDR dissident and author of the internationally acclaimed work 'The Alternative', Rudolf Bahro, has undergone a rapid political and ideological development after his imprisonment in the GDR prison Bautzen II and his extradition to the Federal Republic. As a founding member of the 'Greens' in the Federal Republic, he initially tried to implement a rather radical ecosocialist policy. Encounters with philosophers, his own meditation practice, as well as a longer stay in the Bhagwan commune in Oregon led him to turn away from a more political-science-based viewpoint directed toward democratic change in social structures. Thus, from a more spiritual perspective, he criticized the Green Party as an exterminist party striving for a technocratic ecodictatorship, resigned, lived in communitarian contexts, and developed a social philosophical approach in which responsibility for the planet would emerge from inner change. In his two books 'Logic of Salvation' (1987) and 'Return' (1991) Bahro analyzes the psychological crisis of humanity as the cause of ecological and military destruction.

In Bahro’s opinion the industrial-capitalist mega-machine can only be stopped if a policy with a spiritual and moral claim is pursued in the sense of ego dismantling:

"A politics of conversion in the metropolises - as I call en bloc the countries of the First World - begins with the willingness of the bourgeois individual to change himself, even, in a certain sense, to give himself up" [27]

Bahro demands a radical restriction in consumption and nature consumption, which is the expression of a different attitude of mind, without which the apocalypse of planet earth cannot be stopped:

"Let's not just withdraw our electoral vote from the Big Machine and its servants. We must stop playing along at all, wherever possible. We must gradually cripple everything that runs in the old direction: Military installations and highways, nuclear power plants and airfields, chemical factories and large hospitals, supermarkets and learning factories.

Let's think about how to feed, warm, clothe, educate and keep ourselves healthy independently of the Big Machine. Let us begin to work on this before they have us fully run through, concreted in, poisoned, suffocated, and sooner rather than later totally atomized." [28]

Bahro creates a concept of communitarian development within the framework in which people should network globally as a new spiritual order. The theme is an inner orientation or a heart formation towards the divine order folded in the cosmos as a prerequisite for an activity in the world. The salvation could only lie in the spiritual change of the human being and would have thereby a priority political relevance:

"Only from there there is a radical and, in the exact sense, fundamentalist response. The bomb, Chernobyl, the misery of the world that grows with the expansion of our civilization are only impulses, but inescapable ones. We must trace the logic of self-eradication to the human heart, because only from there can the logic of salvation take its starting point." [29]

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Up to this point, one could possibly follow Bahro in one or the other position. But the further explanations let recognize where Rudolf Bahro's thinking then drifts and takes problematic features: No new order could save mankind if the spiritual foundations of greed and the associated will to destruction of man were not eliminated. Bahro therefore calls for the foundation of a worldwide network of communes, new monastic communities, the return of the prince of an ecological turn [30] and the return to the divine in man and in the world or to God:

"The ecological crisis, I say, is only the external impulse to cancel the nevertheless inevitable inversion that lies in this herostratic position of the would-be omnipotent I, from which we want to dispose of the world. This recovery of the heart so that it can see God, who is everything, including us, is that second birth that Jesus put on Nicodemus' heart in that night scene of John's Gospel." [31]

Bahro does not refer to a personified God, i.e., a spiritual supreme father, as in the monotheistic religions, but associates with the term 'God' the whole in every part, the universe, which also pulsates in man, if he can still perceive it. He understands by this the great balance in the cosmos as well as the folded-in divine order, which is there by nature and threatens to get lost in man.

It has to be asked critically why he works with the concept of God if he wants to distance himself from the monotheistic religions. Even if he was increasingly interested in Daoism and the Far Eastern paths of experience, it remains incomprehensible why he speaks conceptually of "seeing God" and the "recollection of the divine.

His promotion of authoritarian solutions in a global context and his ambivalent attitude towards National Socialism as well as Soviet-style Stalinism led to his being assigned - against his own self-image, of course - rather in retrospect to the 'new right' or to representatives of "folk-esoteric state doctrines" [32]. The following statement by Bahro suggests this:

"I consider the question of the positive, which was perhaps narrated in the Nazi movement and then perverted more and more thoroughly, to be an enlightening necessity, because otherwise we remain cut off from roots from which something saving could now grow." [33]

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Although it would be worth considering to cover the world with a network of communes and to promote these also with public funds. From Bahro's point of view the question arises whether more drastic measures would not be necessary in order to still be able to stop the military and ecological apocalypse. In this context, Bahro speaks of a "salutary tyranny," a sword to be wielded selflessly, of "a group of people" who overcome the distance "that separates every 'king of finitude,' and every queen too, from the original Great Order (...)" [34]

Bahro distances himself from left-wing intellectualism, from a "religious-political pedagogy burdened by the conceit of 'educators'", from a Western "ideology of emancipation" even from various varieties of democracy and democrats and calls for a "salutary tyranny", "ecodictatorial measures", the "prince of light" [35]. He openly puts the institutions of democracy to disposition - when he formulates:

"I mean, first of all, that no achievement of our civilization may now have the right of veto against vital changes, because exterminism is a disease of the whole organism; democracy and monetary economy are most closely connected; those who now even want to see certain institutions preserved at all costs, as is usually done, and not merely the democratic principle, and have nothing to put forward as justification but the negative experience of the Nazi period, are simply blocking any fundamental institutional change, and as a rule want to do so." [36]

Bahro sketches a utopia of a rescue society, in which a House of Lords ("House of Divinity") as well as an Ecological Council composed of wise men would have to seek the way out of the apocalypse. Here he does not exclude authoritarian state solutions, corresponding constitutional changes and despotic exercise of power in order to implement the "great order". [37] Here he is in close proximity to Heidegger, who only too gladly wanted to be the philosophical advisor of Adolf Hitler and fully supported the leadership. [38] 
The left, which is critical of such solutions, discredits Bahro as pubescent:

"The mentality of the Western left, which on principle persists in a negative relation to authority, in an adolescent saying no to the father until one's hair has turned white, does not now stand up to criticism by the facts." [39]

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By using these formulations Bahro demonstrates that he lacks, for example, an intellectual examination and engagement with the works of the 'critical theory' or the 'Frankfurt School', which he possibly biographically skipped or missed due to his GDR life history, which he at best hastily dismisses as an ideology of emancipation, but does not concretely take note of. His political perspectives in the ecological and military doomsday scenario do not go in the direction of a timely democratization, but in an eco-dictatorial direction. With his call for a "measured revolution from above" and a "state above the state," [40] he shows that ideologically he was ultimately unable to break away from authoritarian state models or authoritarian models of Stalinism. Here, however, he does not argue Marxistically, but with a diffuse mix of formulations in spiritual-religious and socio-economic terms.

Although Bahro has some important things to say about the connection between inner experience and outwardly directed behavior as well as civilizational crises, he ultimately strays into quasi-religious formulations and into authoritarian claims of world salvation with a spiritual perspective. This is an expression of a fundamental distrust of democratic processes and of the power of an Enlightenment oriented toward the political and psychosocial demands regarding maturity, critical thinking, and socially emancipated behavior in structures that continue to be democratized.

Communitarian living communities may well be suitable for fostering social empathy and even further - ego-identity - in a different way than is the case in living conditions aiming at individualization and privatization, but also in the communes authoritatively functionalized by Bahro's visions. Finally, it is much more radical to ask about the communal and lifeworld preconditions of social love - a love that knows how to take into account both its own happiness and that of the other.

The development of social love in the triad of I-Thou-We shows a reference to the organization of social life, but contradicts a utopia of technocratic and instrumental personality formation. Thus, the social philosopher Friedrich Voßkühler (2017) examines the essence and the relationships between the triad of I-Thou-We and understands love between people as interpersonal truthfulness, which depends on social preconditions: "To perceive the other in his otherness and to do justice to his otherness, this is what I understand by interpersonal truthfulness." (p. 304) The ideal human community is built on truthful interpersonal relationships. In this context, the realm of necessity designed by Marx must first be reached, in which man no longer allows himself to be dominated by nature, but instead he controls the metabolism with nature communally, so that he comes closer to his own potential development and the actual realm of freedom. (p. 331 ff.) 

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Only in the ideal human community in this sense love as interpersonal truthfulness finds its conducive social background. This community cannot be a technical utopia or vision of "technical self-empowerment" (p. 379), which slides into the transhuman. The ideal human community is characterized by responsibility for each other. Only then does love find a social framework that fits it: "Love is the elementary form of the 'ideal human community'. It is elementary fellow humanity." (p. 391) The ideal human community, according to Voßkühler, is certainly not a capitalist society based on private property:

"What, then, is called for? Humanly sovereign abstinence from the crypto-religious promises of capitalism. The abstinence from the seductive forces of false happiness. The courage to want to do without this promised happiness" (p. 482).

In conclusion and to summarize Friedrich Voßkühler: "Love and the struggle for social emancipation belong together." (S. 484)

Psychoanalyst and sociologist Dieter Duhm supports this assessment with his experience gained in various communitarian projects over 40 years. According to Duhm (2015, 67), the growing communitarian movement, which is based on interpersonal love and living in harmony with nature, gives rise to the hope that a planetary networking of such human healing biotopes will occur:

"The new planetary community will spread rapidly once the first working models exist. The construction of healing biotopes, model universities, regional centers, new settlement models with water-retention landscapes, of ecological city districts and futurological desert cities, global forms of communication and networks of a new kind - these are things we are likely to see worldwide as early as the next two to three decades."

In summary can be stated: Education and work on the personal and social self in the sense of promoting social empathy and self-confident identity development depend on community forms that are conceived in solidarity and responsibility. These forms of human socialization offer the prerequisite for the formation of personalities who resist the destruction of ecological order, the militarization of the world, the dismantling of democracy and unjust living conditions. Here then - in the case of the success of a communitarian project - the processes of inner experience triggered in social coexistence prepare for the responsible change of external structures.

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The historical experiences of real socialism, on the other hand, have made it clear that a society oriented towards solidarity, humanity, environmental preservation and distributive justice cannot be achieved via power-hungry, authoritarian socialized and intolerant personalities and their state terror. Over the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' there will be again only an unfree society. Structures of rule, once built up with authoritarian and undemocratic personalities, will not pass by themselves into a liberated social formation, but will try to maintain themselves through the establishment of state-bureaucratic dictatorships.

This means that a commitment oriented toward changing external structures would also have to have an equivalent in terms of inner experience in the sense of education-oriented self-work. Nor can one's own social environment remain exempt from this; the conscious shaping of interpersonal relationships - whether in the form of communal communities or relationships and assistance within good neighborly networks - are part of identity formation and thus also of empathy development.

Allies against structural violence

Structural violence always has an internal view and a subjective component that needs to be addressed – once again Johan Galtung (1998, 12):

"Conflict is not exhausted in what the naked eye recognizes as 'unrest,' as direct violence. There is also the violence frozen in structures and the culture that justifies that violence. Incidentally, the most important task in trying to transform a conflict between parties is not just to find a new architecture for their relations, but at the same time to help the parties transform themselves so that their conflicts do not reproduce themselves forever. Most conflicts between parties have intra-party aspects."

A new order cannot wait for the right world, but must be fought for and experienced now and in the near future in first comprehensible steps, otherwise it will remainonly a mental construction.

All over the world, alternative communities of life are currently forming in different cultural contexts with forms of common good-oriented economy and peaceful forms of communication based on discursive participation and empathy. A reorganization in the global context begins already from the basis and could become the nucleus for a replacement of the social structures based on economic growth, profit orientation, environmental destruction, on sham democracy and autocracy as well as on armament and wars. Such intellectual and practical approaches encourage people to try out new things and to open themselves to new living conditions. Here, in living through conflicts, in working together within the framework of an economy oriented toward the common good and ecology, and in the interpersonal experience of humane love, the future can already begin.

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However, according to Bahro (1991) problematic developments are also possible if communitarian development leads to spiritual autocracies. Therefore, democratic structures and the implementation of an economy oriented to the common good are essential for the communitarian ways of life meant here as germ cells of a global reorganization.

A structural change towards a global reorganization does not happen inevitably and automatically, but  means a tough and long-term struggle of the developing alternative communities and networks with those societal inertia forces that expect a political and economic advantage from the existing destructive structures. Therefore, communitarian networks need to find alliance partners in the local, national and international political system with whom to work together on a global reordering. The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) with its networks and partnerships in the social environment and also with the United Nations is on a promising path here.

The time is becoming increasingly scarce due to the occurring climate catastrophe, the increasing armament and the thus growing danger of world war, still existing social impoverishment as well as the growing irreconcilability of cultural differences. All the more important is the worldwide growth of these alternatives of socio-ecological life as germ cells of a new global order.

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(Chapter 3.2)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] Cf. Habermas (1981).
[2] See also Moegling (2019a).
[3] Rifkin (2009, 18).
[4] Cf. Moegling's (2017, 32-49) reconstruction of critical theory in the context of educational concern.
[5] Rifkin (2009, 24).
[6] Cf. Krappmann (1971 and 1978).
[7] See, among others, Moegling (2017).
[8] For international examples of educationally innovative schools, see Moegling (2017, 504ff.).
[9] See, e.g., Dice (2014), Kommuja (Network of Political Communities) (2014), and Global Ecovillage Network:, n.d., 10/26/19.
[10] GEN's five networking regions are: Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia, and Oceania. More details on the individual regional networks at:, n.d., 10/26/129.
[11], n.d., 10/26/19.
[12] Vgl., o.D., 24.4.20
[13], n.d., 10/26/19.
[14] Cf. in more detail I.L.A. Collective (2019).
[15] Cf. in more detail chapter 4.1.
[16] Redaktion Kommunebuch (2014, 130); BUKO = Bundeskoordination Internationalismus,, n.d., 25,918.
[17] In:
[18] In:, n.d., 30.7.2018.
[19] ASW = Aktionsgemeinschaft Solidarische Welt e.V.,, n.d., 25.9.2018.[20] In:, n.d., 30.7.2018.
[21] Cf., n.d., 8/28/2018.
[22] Address: Tamera, Healing Biotope 1, Monte do Cerro, 7630-392 Reliquias, Portugal,
[email protected].
[23] While I could make my own experiences and observations in the community projects 'Salecina', 'Kommune Niederkaufungen' as well as with Rudolf Bahro/'Kommune Niederstadtfeld' (see further on), I can only describe 'Tamera' from within its system, through conversations and on the basis of video recordings, book publications as well as conference live-circuits.
[24] Cf. Duhm (1972).
[25] See, e.g., Lichtenfels/Duhm (2015), Lichtenfels (2017), Duhm (2015), Duhm (2011).
[26] Taken 8/23/19 from the home page of Tamera at
[27] Bahro (1987, 10).
[28] Bahro (1987, 17).
[29] Bahro (1987, 19).
[30] Bahro (1987, 459).
[31] Bahro (1991, 90).
[32] Schölzel (1998, 74).
[33] Bahro (1987, 461).
[34] Bahro (1987, 472).
[35] Bahro (1987, 472ff.).
[36] Bahro (1987, 481).
[37] Bahro (1987, 493).
[38] Ellenberger (2018, 401).
[39] Bahro (1987, 495).
[40] Bahro (1987, 480).

3.3 Humanistic                psychology and        therapy methods


"We talk to each other about your life. 

People are terribly unhappy, insecure, miserable, unemployed by the millions, in poverty, hunger, suffering, pain, just like yourself; they are no different from you. You may call yourself Hindu or Muslim or Christian or whatever you like, but in your consciousness, inside, you are just like the rest of the world. You may be dark brown, you may be light brown, you may have a different government, but every human being participates in this terrible world. 
We made this world - do you understand? 
We are the society. If you want society to be different, you have to start, you have to create order in your house, your house, which is yourself." 

(Krishnamurti 1992, 59) 

When formal and informal educational processes in schools, families, work and life contexts, or among friends do not help, therapeutic procedures can be used to alleviate, perhaps even eliminate, for example, aggressiveness, authoritarian fantasies of submission, sexual fixations and social both internal and external destructiveness, depression and neurotic anxiety. 

The importance of corporeality 

The procedures of humanistic psychology [1] point to the relevance of the corporeal. Biographical experiences in a society stand out in the corporeal, just as the annual rings of a tree say something about its age. A trained therapist can tell from a person's postures and gait what basic biographical problems he or she is dealing with. For example, a person who has spent a large part of his life in dependence and submission tends to bodily abduction, retraction of the head, shortening of the chest muscles, and confinement of the heart muscle. The French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has made clear in his work how a social structure habitually incorporates itself into human beings through processes of personalization ("social order made body") (Bourdieu 1987, 740). 

Leibanthropology, e.g. Plessner's (1928/1975) distinction between ‚Leib and Körper‘, also provides starting points for considering the bodily positionality of the human being in the world as body (Leib)-being, against which body(Körper)-having, i.e. the availability of the corporeal, is to be examined. ‚Leiblichkeit‘ in German usage denotes something other than the concept of the body. A body-oriented medicine, for example, reifies the corporeality of the human being and considers, for example, the heart or the gall bladder under a scientific-medical perspective. This can sometimes be useful, but it finds its limits where the psychosomatic causes of problems with the heart or gall bladder are concerned. The heart, for example, from a bodily perspective is an expression of the emotional subjectivity of a person, his biographically significant experiences and includes the psychological and life-world-social dimensions. 

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Therapies based on the physical 

Especially approaches of the bioenergetic therapy, which are based on Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, use this knowledge with intentions of liberation. Through experiences opened up in postures, breathing, crying, touching and movements, a bodily access to the human being is opened up, so that psychic problems and problems embodied in the human being are freed for reflexive processing. 

Gestalt-therapeutic methods based on Fritz Perls, which start with the person's perception and ability to imagine, also include the bodily in the therapy. The person undergoing therapy is brought back to his or her own present experience. Perls calls a person who cannot decide on priorities because of his latent anxiety, who is torn between different social demands, a neurotic: 

"The neurotic has lost (or perhaps never developed) the ability to reconcile his behavior with the necessary hierarchy of needs. He literally cannot concentrate. In therapy he must learn to discover and identify with his needs; he must learn to be fully involved in what he is doing at every moment, to persist in a situation until he can close the gestalt and move on to other business." [2] 

Questions can be asked of this: How neurotic then is the majority of people, who grind themselves between the various consumer needs, career desires, family expectations and manipulative offers of the media, without recognizing where the real priorities are to be set? Democracy, freedom, protection of nature and peace should be the top priorities for the life of every human being. But where does the energy of man go? Through which mechanisms of fear building and manipulation is man prevented from setting the right priorities? 

Threats and split-off needs, such as in sexuality, are often repressed, seemingly erased in perception, but return on the bodily level as perceived illnesses. Neurosis arises via surrendering oneself to social expectations in structures of domination, without being able to find a meaningful balance between accepting and rejecting expectations in the context of priority decisions. 

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In particular, Integrative Therapy, developed and disseminated in Europe by Hilarion Petzold, incorporates an even broader range of bodywork into whole person therapy, such as dance therapy, massage, play-back theater, and sitting meditation. Integrative therapy also seeks to relate bodily, social, psychological, and socio-ecological levels and expose the person to his or her subjective question of meaning - according to Petzold (1988, 342): 

"Therapeutic work is about the unmasking and elimination of meaninglessness in the individual and the social reality of the human being, it is about the constitution of meaning in the intraorganismic, intrapersonal and interpersonal relations as well as in the relations to the closer and wider social and physical environment. (...) Because of these anthropological premises, every therapy is ultimately body therapy and placed in a social and ecological context, that of the lifeworld." 

In particular, the storage of body tensions due to sexual repression is addressed by Alexander Lowen following Wilhelm Reich. Through postures, touches, ways of moving connected with different ways of breathing, sexual needs and feelings are exposed and brought to a therapeutic processing. 

An exaggerated aggressiveness can - according to Lowen - be related to repressed sexual needs, when the split-off sexual energies in the body lead to muscular imbalances and are then discharged in interpersonal aggression: 

"A neurotic person maintains equilibrium by binding his energy through muscle tension and choking off his sexual arousal. A healthy person does not strangle his sexual sensations and does not block his energy by bulding a muscle armor. Therefore, he can devote all his energy to sexual activity or other creative self-realization." [3] 

The living out of a rich and at the same time responsible sexuality is a cultural achievement that takes place with the consent of a partner and is characterized by sensitivity, cordiality and affection. This can unfold between man and woman as well as between same-sex partners. Also the erotic devotion to oneself can be part of this responsibly lived sexuality. 

In the case of war, however, the body is suppressed and destroyed in the clash of bodies or by their technical aids. How important it is that people feel at home in their bodies, that they respect and value them. All the greater will be the resistance against warmongering and against the authoritarian attempt of being pressed into military service. 

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Foundations of a wholesome interrelationship 

The repression of the sexual, the disregard of emotionality, the bodily aggressiveness outwardly and inwardly and the associated lack of development of inter-bodily empathy would have to be dealt with within the framework of holistically designed educational processes - and in extreme cases - in therapies starting with the body. Appreciation and sensitive attention to one's own body are certainly two of several peace-building factors on the personality level. 

When chaos has occurred, however, it is too late. Every bodily order is destroyed in case of war, the human being is deprived of his body - according to Gert and Till Bastian (1986, 307): 

"Being at home in the world and in one's own body sinks into the chaos of war. Boundaries dissolve, contours evaporate, what is firmly established melts away. Like no other event, war threatens to dissolve the continuity of bodies by burning, tearing, fragmenting, shattering the soldier. This maximum threat to the body is anticipated in an inner continuity decomposition: thinking evaporates, the boundaries of feeling melt. (...) Also in the interior of the warlike man energies are released which have no less destructive effect than bombs and shells on the debris landscape of the battlefield." 

In chapter 1.7 the frightening figures from worldwide statistics on drug addicts and deaths, on depression and chronic anxiety, and on suicide attempts and deaths by suicide were named. Social conditions of excessive exercise of power and structural abuse of power as well as often connected with it a failed biographical search for a justifiable and realistic meaning of life were held responsible as a substantial cause of these mass diseases of the human psyche. The feeling of being at the mercy of domineering structures leads to depression and neurosis. Here, therefore, we shall argue that a positive vision of social development can help stabilize the human psyche. When people increasingly identify themselves with what they can work for socially, their lives make sense again. Contact with like-minded people in socio-political commitment in particular is likely to have a healing effect, freeing people from latent fears and creating new life connections. The positive effects are very likely to be: People take fewer drugs, fall ill psychosomatically to a lesser extent, and commit suicide less often. Healing is possible in the shared commitment to a free, peaceful, just and ecologically sustainable world. Conflicts between committed people also occur here. But mature people would have to deal with conflicts differently and be able to emerge strengthened after the joint conflict management. 

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In the case of success achieved in solidarity, both influences mutually reinforce each other in a direction that strengthens health: the human maturation process, the joint commitment and the world that can be changed for the better could be the basis of a healing interrelationship - according to the positive vision. 

A longer and recurring process 

The understanding of peace advocated here, as already mentioned, is therefore based, among other things, on the reflections of the peace and conflict researcher Johan Galtung, who warned against confusing ceasefire and peace. An understanding of positive peace is more than absence of military conflict. Cultural forms of violence may still be present, manifesting themselves in images of the enemy and cultural reservations about entire societies. If such expressions of cultural violence are coupled to forms of structural violence within the context of a society that is obedient to authority and authoritarian, then peace cannot occur, at best a ceasefire for a period of time before war breaks out again. Galtung (2004) describes the path of a comprehensive (positive) peace as a recurrent and longer-term work on social civilization: 

"Generally speaking, the direct, concretely visible use of violence may come to a vaunting end, but on the other hand, structural and cultural violence increase in the process. Violence therapy must learn from disease therapy: including prevention - one builds on structural and cultural peace – and include rehabilitation, i.e. one builds anew on structural and cultural peace. And again and again." 

Reconciliation instead of a spiral of hatred: the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission 

An outstanding example of a culture of reconciliation within a social conception of positive peace, which is about more than the absence of intra-societal war, can be seen in the work of the South African 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' supported by Nelson Mandela. 

The colored South African population would have had the power to take brutal revenge on the white population after the long years of inhumane apartheid in South Africa. Under the influence of the later Nobel Peace Prize winner and South African President Nelson Mandela, the 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' (TRC) was founded after a corresponding parliamentary resolution (1995), whose task was, among other things, to deal with trauma in personal encounters between victims and perpetrators, to promote insight and remorse, to grant amnesty, and to initiate processes of forgiveness despite the terrible experiences under the apartheid regime. 

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The TRC was initially established to provide for the public identification and documentation of crimes committed during the apartheid era between 1960 and 1994. It consisted of two chambers. The Human Rights Committee was responsible for victims' petitions and public hearings. The Amnesty Committee facilitated an amnesty following full disclosure of past crimes and a debate with the victims of those crimes. 

Traumatic experiences in the course of violent situations suffered can burden a surviving person throughout his or her life if they are not brought to consciousness and consciously processed. Often traumatized people become perpetrators of violence themselves again because of these unprocessed traumatic experiences. [4] 

TRC member Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela [5] , a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Cape Town, looks back on the TRC's reconciliation work: 

"In the era at the beginning of the 21st century, marked by the pursuit of revenge through nefarious murder and bloody massacres, where cruel wars are waged with weapons of mass destruction and peace treaties between former enemies are abrogated and end in the endless cycle of bloody conflict, where heads of state are not above publicly expressing their desire to target other leaders and 'wipe them out,' I am proud to be a South African. South Africa today serves as a cautionary tale of how political leaders can overcome hate and embody a vision of dialogue, peace and reconciliation." [6] 

Through the encounter and communication of perpetrators and victims, it was possible to a great extent that traumas could be overcome, no new hatred was generated and forgiveness on one side, insight and remorse on the other side emerged. In this process, both sides had to learn to perceive themselves as human beings - on the one hand not as inferior blacks and on the other hand not as violent white monsters. 

However, it must also be noted that not everyone shared the TRC's intentions and work without contradiction. Some victims of the apartheid regime demanded stricter punishment of the perpetrators; perpetrator circles, in turn, saw the TRC's committees as an act of revenge by the black population against the whites ¬ in other words, exactly the opposite of the TRC's humanitarian intentions. Nevertheless, on the basis of the many experiences of debate and reconciliation, the TRC's activities can be regarded as a historically unique success that has been decisive for the transformation of South African society toward a more democratic structure, which still has to be fought for. 

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela wisely sums up the work and intent of the commission: 

"Ordinary people are capable, under certain circumstances, of committing far worse crimes than we ever thought possible. Likewise, we are capable of far greater virtue than we would ever suppose. To restore the humanitarian spirit in our society, to open the door to the possibility of transformation, we must be guided by the compassion that unites us as human beings. We can only achieve this goal - to regain our humanity - through ongoing dialogue about our past." [7] 

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(Chapter 3.3)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] In outlining the therapeutic approaches, special attention should be paid to methods that are based on the body. Of course, methods of psychoanalysis or conventional behavioral therapy are also helpful with corresponding indications. The bodily point of reference is to be emphasized, since the body is the anchorage of man in the world, so that also military interventions are connected with the dressage of one's own body and with the destruction of the body of the others.
[2] Perls (1982, 37).
[3] Lowen (1984, 9).
[4] See Gobodo-Madikizela (2006) for a more detailed discussion of the relationship between collective traumas suffered and social pacification.
[5] Member of the TRC from 1996-1998.[
Gobodo-Madikizela (2006).
[7] Gobodo-Madikizela (2006).

Every person can become the power source of a change.

3.4  Meditation As Experience         of self and world


On the present understanding of meditation (1) 

There are various significant ways of a holistic processing of biographical experiences and an opening of consciousness for new life perspectives and social developments. In this context, besides institutional educational experiences, life shared in solidarity, therapies and systematic conflict management in the context of social transformation processes, meditation plays a significant role - even (or perhaps because of) this is a path that does not primarily originate from the Western cultural area.
In Zen Buddhist and Daoist tradition, meditation is to be understood as the experience of alertness inwardly and outwardly. It is about a complex and at the same time differentiating attentiveness towards all processes of the living. Here, meditation is not seen as drifting into nirvana and as mystical speculation or even as an experience of deity. Therefore meditation loses its appropriating religious grasp. Meditation, thus understood as an intensive experience of mindfulness, keeps in a holistic sense connection to carefully worked out ways of practice of ancient cultures as well as to methods of humanistic psychology [2], to ecological demands, to peace-political as well as health-scientific approaches. [3]
Becoming attentive to one's own psychological structures, to one's own corporeality as well as to the environmental conditions within the framework of a meditative path of is a good prerequisite for a political commitment in a regional and supraregional context. Meditative mindfulness is the core of any body-ecological practice. Here an ecological approach to the world comes into harmony with one's own approach to the body. Both approaches are about mindfulness as well as respect.
Precisely in the re-sensitization for the corporeal in the sense of a bodily-ecological understanding, could lie the consciousness key for the respect and careful use of nature in the extracorporeal realm.
Even if Krishnamurti (1992, 131ff.) is right in saying that in the prevailing meditation methods, e.g. to meditate sitting for half an hour every day, the actual goal is not laid out, but it is founded in the everyday becoming attentive to one's own perceptions, thoughts, feelings and actions, some suitable meditation practices shall now be briefly introduced. They can at least help to find oneself and to become attentive, but they are not an end in themselves and can be replaced by comparable ways of practicing.
Attention is a priority decision for the here and now. What I do, I do consciously. This contradicts both the professional demand for 'multitasking' and media productions that want to manipulate and prepare for social purposes.
Various non-religious and philosophically based meditation practices that start from bodily experience can point the way to attention and mindfulness here: [4]

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Zen Buddhism must not be confused with religious currents of Buddhism, such as Shintoism. Zen Buddhism is a teaching of mindfulness - not a religion characterized by the fictitious presence and worship of God. Zen is associated with the conscious perception of the everyday - according to the Japanese professor of Zen Buddhist philosophy and practicing Zen Buddhist Daisetz T. Suzuki (1984, 50):
"For Zen has no God to worship, has no ceremonial rite to observe, no future in the hereafter to which the dead are consigned, and, finally, Zen has no soul whose salvation must be considered by any other, and whose immortality other people must concern themselves with. Zen is free from all such dogmatic and 'religious' burdens."
Therefore, Zen Buddhism is connectable to enlightened Western thought. The Zen Buddhist practices - similar to the Daoist practices - are a strict and precisely ordered system of knowledge, which with its experience-oriented methods, such as zazen and kinhin, trains people to be attentive to the present.
There is nothing spectacular in this and there is no exaggerated mysticism:
"Zen seeks to take hold of life where it flows. There is nothing extraordinary or mysterious in Zen. I raise my hand; I take a book from the other side of the desk; I hear the boys playing ball outside my window; I see the clouds drifting over the nearby woods: with all this I practice Zen, I live Zen. (...) I don't know why - and it doesn't need any explanation, but when the sun rises, the whole world shouts with joy, and all hearts are filled with bliss. If Zen is at all comprehensible, it must be grasped from here."
(Suzuki 1984, 103)
The main method of practice in Zen Buddhism is very simple - zazen. During zazen, one sits in a precisely constructed posture in calmness and composure. Thoughts that arise are contemplated like passing clouds in the sky and are also let go. At some point it occurs: Thoughtless presence. It is complete attention and complex perception while sitting.
A phase of meditative walking is often inserted between two phases of zazen. Here a space is traversed in slow motion on a fixed path with the hands in front of the heart area (e.g. in a circle or square). Here, deep breaths are taken into the abdomen and the feet are placed and rolled very slowly and attentively.
This mindfulness-based understanding of meditation can also be found in other Zen arts. In Zen archery, after a long period of inner contemplation and concentration on the target, the shot of the arrow takes place without willful firing ("It shoots"). This presence is also found, for example, in the art of flower arranging, the tea ceremony or in calligraphy understood as meditation.

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Zen Buddhism also includes riddles that are difficult or impossible to solve ("Do you hear the clap of one hand?"), so-called 'koans', into which one can immerse oneself and thereby step out of the normal tracks of thought. Conversation with the meditation teacher or Zen master ('sanzen') is also part of Zen practices.
The spiritual state in the awareness and unity of day-consciousness and subconsciousness, in the meditative connection of self and world is called 'Satori' in Zen. The attainment of a higher form of consciousness, characterized by peacefulness and maturity, takes place without a god and without metaphysical experiences that enter via divine guidance. Once again, the essence of Zen is practical practice and can be seen in everyday things,
"because Zen can experience an unfathomably deep thought just by picking up a finger, by a good morning greeting to a friend we meet by chance on the street. In the eyes of Zen teaching, the most hidden is at the same time the most practical and vice versa. The whole teaching system of the Zen school is only the reflection of this basis of experience."
(Suzuki 1984, 45).
Through Zen, a way is given to step out of lack of selfawareness and to leave one's inner prison constructed by the unconscious and cultural constrictions. It is a matter of learning to look into one's own being, to become aware of it and to live it - so again Suzuki (1984, 59):
"If Zen is understood in the deepest, the mind attains perfect peace, and a person lives as he should. What higher do we want?"

Qigong was originally described in the earliest texts as Tui-na (推拿), breath exercises, and Dao Yin (导引), or exercise postures. It was also used in Taoism as a way of attempting physical and spiritual immortality. It is a term that describes a very complex and diverse tradition of spiritual, martial and health exercises from China. The word Qi Gong is a modern term that categorize over 1500 different styles of these exercises into a meaningful context.
Qigong is a meditative movement art, which can be assigned to Daoism (Taoism) and NeiJing (内经)/TCM theories, among other things. Qigong promotes the observance of the Yin-Yang principle, the principle of not wanting to force ('Wu-Wei'), through the relationship between breathing and energy in the understanding of 'Qi' and the orientation to the movement quality of slowly flowing water. Like Zen-Budhism, such Daoism is not a religion, but a philosophy that is very close to nature and peace-loving.

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The central Daoist work of Laodse (Laotse, LaoTzu, Laozi or also Laudse), the Daodejing (also Tao te king or Daudejing) - translated 'The Book of Meaning and of Life' (in the translation made by Richard Wilhelm) - was written with its 5000 characters and 81 verses in the 4th century before the Western calendar. Two excerpts from the verses of the Laodse make clear the peaceful background of the work in a time of numerous warlike conflicts between the different empires - so first an excerpt from the verse 31:
"Weapons are ominous devices, all beings hate them.
Therefore, who is with the Dao does not want to know anything about them. (…)
Only when he can't help it, he uses it.
Calm and peace are the highest things for him. (…)“
Cleverly, the issue of war and peace is also addressed in verse 46:
"When the Dao reigns on earth,
this is how you breed the race horses for work at the field.
When the Dao is lost on earth,
so war-steeds are bred on the Anger."
Accordingly, health oriented Qigong is usually peaceful. Slow and flowing movements that, because of their softness, cannot and will not inflict pain on anyone.
Qigong (translation: traditional exercise system for the care of breath and energy, also Chi Kung) is a Chinese exercise tradition, which is differentiated into inner or silent (quiescent) Qigong(内功)and outer (dynamic) Qigong(外功). In silent (quiescent) Qigong, commonly sitting or standing meditation postures are assumed and invisible breath and energy adjustments are made. Through e.g. regular breathing in the small energy circuit, among other things, an inner calm and balance is created. 桩功 is a good example of this form of qigong.
The imagined directing of energy, qi, for example in standing post qigong, is an example of internal qigong.
The external qigong also includes internal processes, but is mainly characterized by visible movements. The Baduanjin (Pa Tuan Chin), the 8-fold elegant movement series, with its eight positions and healing gymnastically justifiable movements is a very well-known example of external qigong.

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There are numerous and very different styles of Qigong and a widely differentiated Qigong movement culture. But all Qigong exercise paths serve the inner calming, the alertness inward and outward, combine breathing and movement with each other and are therefore also part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). [5]
Here, Qigong is based on a relationship of human to nature, which consciously sees oneself as part of nature. The study of the yin-yang principle in nature was the basis of qigong exercises, where, for example, tension (yang) and relaxation (yin) are in balance. It is precisely in this respect that such a body-ecological system of exercises as qigong is of considerable importance for modern man, who often no longer perceives himself to be in harmony with nature. The Hungarian sinologist and expert of Far Eastern meditation practices, Stephan Pálos, referred to the aspect of nature integration in Qigong, which is native to TCM:
"Accordingly, bodily processes are inseparably connected with the elements, forces and processes operating in nature. Behind this conception there is also the realization and experience that man cannot be detached from nature, that he stands in a close dependence with the whole cosmos, since he himself forms a part of this cosmos."
(Pálos 1980, 29)
The separation of man from his surrounding nature, the lack of awareness of his inner and outer nature and of their connection to each other is one of the foundations for the planetary destruction of nature. Those who value their breath will want to pay attention to clean air. Who has learned the alternation of tension and relaxation, will not want to overstrain himself and his environment continuously. These are also the consequences of a holistic approach to perception.

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Taijiquan (often called Tai Chi in the West) is also to be understood against the background of Daoism and TCM. Taijiquan consists of slow and flowing movements, which - correctly and regularly practiced - have attributable healing gymnastic effects and can be understood as movement meditation. Here, too, in a decelerated quality of movement, it is a matter of being very attentive, centered inwardly and awake outwardly, to experience mindfulness. Taijiquan is divided into Taijiquan solo forms and partner Taijiquan. Taijiquan solo forms consist on the one hand of various 'hand forms' as well as weapon forms, which are also performed in slow motion in fixed sequences of movements. Thus, the Taijiquan sword is also called the 'peaceful sword'. The partner Taijiquan consists on the one hand of fixed movements in pairs, which are performed together in hand-arm contact and partly with steps and turns, like a meditative dance. Very advanced students then also go into free partner Taijiquan with each other, where the point is to point out to the other person in a friendly way that he or she was not attentive, e.g. by a push at the elbow or a gentle tug on the arm got out of balance. It is, as the ancient people on the Pearl River in Guangzhou (Canton) in southern China practiced every morning (and the author was able to experience firsthand), a peaceful togetherness in playful competition and great mindfulness. [6]
The description of the postures and ways of moving are to be seen in a context with the experience of self and world that characterizes these movement systems. It is about peaceful and meditative experience of self and world, even if this is of course threatened by competitive sporting and movement colonial appropriation - also in China.
Above all, however, Tai Chi means pausing and lingering because of the slowing down of the movements. The slowing down of the movement opens the possibility to become attentive to oneself. It is a counter-world to the acceleration culture and to rushing around in pressure-filled working conditions.
With reference to the ecological understanding [7] possibility of the 'Five Transformational Phases' contained in Qigong and Taijiquan, the Osnabrück Taiji and Zen teacher Klemens J. P. Speer (2019) formulates regarding a spiritual-social engagement against the climate crisis:
"This is where the spiritual martial art of Taiji would be called upon. Since Taiji has spread worldwide, it could also act and advocate worldwide (a 'new boxing uprising, this time worldwide'), as of course could many other national and global organizations. Couldn't Taiji practitioners actually, with their knowledge of the phases of transformation, provide a helpful understanding easily understood by all people towards a global socio-ecological-economic balance?"

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Yoga (translation option: uniting) consists of very diverse traditions, from, for example, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Raja Yoga, Integral Yoga to Kundalini Yoga. Yoga does not necessarily have to be connected with the Hindu religion, but can be a body-oriented way of experiencing oneself and the world, which can lead to inner peace and psychosomatic balance with the help of stretching positions (asanas), fluid changes of position, breathing exercises (pranayama), concentration exercises and also mantra chanting. [8]
Yoga is embedded in the traditional, philosophically based culture of Ayurveda (Sanskrit: knowledge of life) and has a firm place here in the Ayurvedic art of healing.
Here, the approx. 2000 old sutras of Patanjali, consisting of 195 verses, are an important philosophical background - to be transferred to today's conditions, of course - without re-integrating the practitioners into a religion and committing them to an image of God.
The 'Salutation to the Sun' (Surya Namaskar)[9] and the so-called 'Rishikesh series' [10]are very famous combinations of asanas that involve intense concentration and breathing exercises, while stretching, strengthening and activating the cardiovascular system. All movement sequences, postures and positions of yoga are performed in mindfulness and sensitivity to one's own body, experienced in a basic meditative posture.
Certainly there are other meditative practice paths that are similarly structured and can have comparable effects, such as Kum Nye, Polarity, Acupressure, or Tantric Shiatsu ('Tantsu').
All of these philosophically and ethically based practices are about being grounded, mindful, and calm in order to meet others peacefully and with human maturity - psychosocial prerequisites that are likely to be conducive to peaceful and non-violent coexistence.
What is also sympathetic about these paths of practice is that they are not based on inner isolation in the sense of 'false inwardness', but rather, after a sufficient phase of meditative self-awareness, call upon the practitioner to get involved in social life again. The story of the Zen monk who rides the buffalo, plays the flute and turns to the people in the marketplace is a good illustration of this attitude of mind.

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The former co-founder of the taz, television journalist and yoga teacher, Gudrun Kromrey, concretizes the socio-political reference of yoga from her point of view in the interview:
"Ahimsa, the first rule of Patanjali, means non-harming or compassion. Harming people, animals and all living things is excluded here. Social Darwinism, factory farming and unecological behavior do not correspond to the yogic idea that we are not detached individuals, but are connected with everything that surrounds us. Exactly the opposite is what the capitalist system has always told us. Phrases like 'subdue the world,' 'Every man is the architect of his own fortune,' or 'Survival of the Fittest' lead us directly into the mindless hamster wheel, into the hell of hopeless dependencies, and into further ecological destruction." [11]
These Far Eastern methods receive their possible connectivity to the achievements of the European Enlightenment through the renunciation of the subjugation and worship of a god.[12] The spiritual maturation path to peaceableness and sociality takes place through the psychosocial performance of the individual, often also in common exercise with spiritually similarly tuned persons. Teachers on this path do not build themselves up as authoritarian masters under the conditions of a society with democratic self-demands, but are experienced companions who can guide and advise in partnership and increasingly let go when a person begins to develop further.
Especially in the meditative practices, body-oriented ways of experience, which were developed for the most part already 2000 to 3000 years ago in the Far Eastern cultural area (China, India, Japan), an important cultural transfer from the East to the West can be seen. Here it is necessary to learn from the achievements of another culture with regard to a peaceful way, which starts at the physical. Meditation paths are opened, which are to be met respectfully, and which can show the great gain when cultures meet and exchange with each other in peace.

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Meditative movement practices could also be a part of the cultural life practice of communitarian living communities. Here, the separation into leisure and work would have to be abolished and the practice of meditation would have to be seen as an existentially relevant contribution to the community of life. Here the alternative forms of living and working fit to the consciousness and body-ecological intention of these movement practices as part of an alternative culture of movement [13] in the context of communitarian, democratic and solidary life communities.
" 'Yogas chitta vritti nirodha' ", says Patanjali, yoga leads to the coming to rest of thoughts in the mind. And then, and only then, are we able to look at the world with an unbiased, unmanipulated view and to look at ourselves. Only then can we make decisions that are good and prosperous for us and others. With breathing exercises and meditations we reach places in our consciousness where fear is not yet present. So we go in front of the fear. Here we can dissolve thought patterns that limit us and are harmful to us. This is the place where gender or social role patterns do not yet exist. Here lies the true knowledge of ourselves and the role we should and want to play in this world. If one recognizes this, then one can deal with acquired and social constraints much more confidently or even free oneself from them completely. Fear is the fuel of our social and economic system. Those who are afraid do not make demands. So let's imagine what a society might look like in which individuals act free of fear, serene and calm, and walk through life upright and stable with poise - physically and intellectually." [14]
My proofreader and Taijiquan/ Qigong practitioner Sharon Rose rightly comments here:
"It would be wonderful for our world to come together to create and live in such harmonious society. Can we accomplish this through meditative practices alone? I think these practices are good vehicles to get us to a place of peace and freedom within ourselves. However, the spiritual benefits from these meditative practices can only be fully realized if the driving principles/philosophies behind them are fully understood and absorbed. The unification of mind and body will enlighten and empower us as individual, as well as a society as a collective when such individuals come together as a whole."

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Finally, the wisdom of the Daoist teachings is once again made clear in two excerpts from the Daodejing with references to the topic of peace and responsible policy-making - first from verse 13:
"He who in his person honors the world,
you can probably entrust the world to him.
Who in his person loves the world,
I guess you can hand the world over to him."
The message of the Daodejing is also quite political in other places of the work and connected with a positive vision, when it is formulated in the 54th verse:
"Whoever shapes his person, his life becomes true.
Whoever creates his family, his life becomes complete.
Whoever shapes his community, his life will grow.
Whoever shapes his land, his life becomes rich.
He who shapes the world, his life becomes wide." [15]
How farsighted these sentences are formulated! They virtually challenge to a socio-political commitment and establish the connection to the quality of one's own life. The 81 verses of the Daodejing, along with the sutras of Patanjali and the classical Zen texts, are a very suitable philosophical basis for practicing the meditative paths of self-experience that begin with one's own body.
And lastly, in wise summary, Sharon Rose:
"My understanding is that what these three ancient philosophies have in common is the emphasis on individual cultivation, responsibility and respect for laws of nature. Ultimately, living in harmony with nature to seek and obtain balance is the premise for health and happiness. Meditations and martial arts practice are physical expressions of such philosophy in action. They are good vehicles to help one learn and cultivate self-awareness and therefore, find self-enlightenment. When every individual achieves health and harmony within oneself, the society will become so as a whole. That's the Dao of nature."

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(Chapter 3.4)

(bibliography see at the bottom of this page) 

[1] Many thanks to Sharon Rose for English-language proofreading this chapter, for adding the Chinese characters and also for suggesting supplementary content considerations.
[2] Cf. e.g. on the relationship between Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis Fromm/Suzuki/de Martino (1971).
[3] See also Moegling (2019b).
[4] Only those meditation practices from Asia are presented here with which the author has firstly several years of personal experience and secondly which are based on the approach of mindfulness education meant here.
[5] See in more detail, e.g., Zöller (1986) and Pálos (1980).
[6] Cf. on the cultural meanings, the subjective constructions as well as the movement quality of Taijiquan among others Scientific Advisory Board of the DDQT (2009) and Landmann (2005) as well as for the different exercise methods of the most widespread style worldwide, the Yang style, Yang (1991) and Song (1991).
[7] Sharon Rose adds: "Concurrently, the natural law by the Confucian School of Philosophy emphasizes the idea that the individual had responsibility for self cultivation or development as very important for the wellbeing of one's own life and therefore a society as a whole."
[8] See, among others, Yesudian/Haich (1990) and Lysebeth (1982).
[9] Cf. Lysebeth (1982, 273ff.).
[10] Cf. Lysebeth (1982, 103ff.).
[11] Kromrey (2019).
[12] Of course, religions also try to incorporate these practices into their system, but this is not necessary from the practice material and is quite avoidable.
[13] Cf. on the understanding and principles of an alternative movement culture Moegling (1988).
[14] Kromrey (2019).
[15] Both verse excerpts come from the Daodejing by Laudse again in the translation by Richard Wilhelm (1982). Sharon Rose added to the 54th verse: "This verse is about governing by the principle of relative balance (平衡法) so that harm could be avoided for individuals, families, communities, countries and the world. It is about the importance of this natural law (dao) and how it could benefit all if followed. "

Education is the decisive measure for social change