Power – ‘Where From’ and Why? – Ways Out of the Vicious Cycle

beautiful-still-life-with-water

Politics make me extremely mad sometimes, and this is my way to express my thoughts:
Men are at the bottom of power being considered a desirable asset, so it seems, more precisely: Patriarchy is. The idea of man being the “crown of creation”, the reigning principle, as it were.

It’s rather painfully obvious that in turn at the bottom of that is the emotion of empowerment, which in turn can be set in relation to sexual experience directly, alas. People sometimes even admit to that in front of cameras: below you find a particularly unusual statement to that effect, ©rbb and arte.tv.

Why? Why would it be a bad thing – feeling powerful?

Because people confuse it with self-confidence!
Self-confidence in turn can have a number of reasons, shortly summarized: it comes from being confident that we exist and behave according to the standards we were taught as children and adolescents.
That’s why people in such societies feel self-confident, when they are powerful (men) or beautiful (women).
But it’s neither power nor beauty that makes us attractive and desirable – it’s self-confidence. First and last.

If we base our self-confidence on new and more stable values than power or beauty we may find this earth turning into a finer place – every day.

Because too many people, and the majority of them men, are led to believe that being ‘successful’ makes you attractive – and being attractive leads (at least in most male fantasies) to more sexual encounters with willing women.
At the bottom the idea of simpletons that a ‘real man’ is defined by his ability to entice women.

There are rather disgusting examples, which I wouldn’t want to mention if I hadn’t to to be quite clear, such as the late Italian politician Berlusconi, the hopefully soon to be sentenced Trump in the US or the dictator of Russia, Putin.

Even the Russian politician Alexei Navalny – may he rest in peace  and his possible if not for-sure murderers be brought to justice – or the Ukrainian president Zelenskyy are no exception alas, apparently if not obviously driven by their adoration for their wives, who both are counted by modern standards among the ‘attractive desirable ones’…

I beg the pardon of all who know them better than I could using official reliable sources, should this appear blunt and unkind, in view of their achievements, too… But I also think that their connections and some actions due to their drive for political success at least deserve looking into.

On the side: No, of course, not every man on this earth is like that, thank heaven – and their smart parents. But too many of those that are in power – or want it badly – are like that, more or less.

All this seems perhaps blunt, but to me it’s to the point at issue, namely war and destruction and suffering and hunger created too often for no real reason – and there’s a lot of evidence in the documentations, reliable newspapers and scientific research in anthropology as well as history and social sciences to make this a very likely point of view.

(The video-clip is a very short extract. Please be aware that I chose it carefully for the abovementioned statement that is contained here. Otherwise you would want to watch the full documentary here.)

Quiet vs Talk? – Talk and Quiet!

sunset trees lake

Times can be tough, I have seen many and gone through a lot of such times. I still consider myself lucky, in many respects.

I find that talking can be overestimated. But so can quiet. As has been said similarly elsewhere:
there’s a time and place for everything.

Sometimes we talk to others in order to exchange ideas, or information.

Sometimes we talk to others to feel close by being understood and listened to.

Sometimes we talk to others so we can make the heart’s burden lighter, or to let off the steam of anger.

Sometimes we talk to others to clear up things or answer questions.

But often, there’s nothing of the above necessary. We are at one with ourselves and our emotions and ideas.

In such times, being quiet can be the order of the day. Know that our near and dear understand.

In hard or sorrowful times, a good cry can help. Or letting off steam by punching something

Hugging near and dear helps.

Work helps.

And laughter helps. Always.

War, Propaganda and Cruelty – Diplomacy has a Choice

Mural of the Picasso painting ‘Guernica’ he painted after the attack on the Spanish town – the painting an epitome of war – Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Practically no conflict we see around the world today is without past, without a history – and without precedence. The power factions in this world are known as well, since the middle of the last, the 20th, century. There’s a western faction, with mainly the US, the NATO members to it – and an eastern faction, with Russia and China as the biggest nations.

What is it about? Power. Money.

The apparently surprising attack on October 7th in a region that is fighting since the end of World War II is too dreadful to be true: The best secret service of the world, the Mossad, was completely unaware…? Is that credible?

Looking into recent as well as ancient history of mankind we find the repeating patterns – and as long as we do not learn from them, as long as we take only the news for granted, we will end up in more fights, more wars – and more pain, suffering and death of so many who are innocent!

The bible as well many pieces of art, writing, painting, singing/music is full of it: Why should the innocent suffer?

The bible is full of wisdom as well as full of contradiction. But when you take its wisdom from the place of the new testament that puts human life, the neighbourly love, at its centre, which says: “Love thy neighbour as you love thyself”, things become abundantly clear.

In that context it is also clear that there is yet another part in it which makes it clear just as much:

The idea of human responsibility.

For centuries the reading of the quote: “But you, be fruitful and multiply; spread out over the earth and multiply on it.” was that mankind had the eternal assignation, even mission to reign. But it seems that the original Hebrew text talks about:

“You may.”

This means that we have a choice! All of us, every day, in every place and position we work and serve.

You may – you have a choice – for good – or evil. Death and destruction and inflicting more pain on the innocent – or love and life.

 

War is Not an Option: War is Death

Buddhist monk walking rose petals barefoot
We can go there – if we really want it… Peace.

War is  wholesale murder.  Charlie Chaplin was not the first to point it out. He was not the last one either.
War is not a solution: War is the sign of failure to really try and find a solution.
War ist not heroism either: War is the ultimate cowardice in the face of – thoughts, life and difficulties.

Because: Anyone faced with the question at one time or another in the course of their lives if they were prepared to lose their own life for the sake of a cause – as long as they consider the cause to be ‘good’ – will come to the conclusion that as a fine human being you would have to.

But the point is: War is no ’cause’! War has a cause, not to say multiple causes. But they are never heroic, wonderful or sublime – whatever anyone tells you.

They are driven by interests, of lobbies, of industries, of companies, all those that will make money by selling things for those wars:
The weapons
The ‘units and kits’
The cars and vehicles
The ships
The phones and radio transmission devices
The food and shelter

All this makes a lot of selling to do. A lot of money, for those who provide the goods. The jobs…

Anything you want to sell needs marketing. That’s equally true of war: They will sell it by making it the only possible way out of a ‘fix’…presenting no alternatives anymore.
But that’s propaganda.

War is not a heavenly or sublime cause! Never was, never will be. War is about money. First and last.

 

Talks and Decisions – Let Them Hear Our Voices

image showing swarm of birds at sea shore
Seagulls’ calls are impressive – Image courtesy unsplash.com – free license

Politics are no games; they are power plays and diplomatic arenas as well as sometimes ‘hunting’ grounds. If as voting individuals in a democracy we want to stay that, namely have a choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to some party’s politics – we need to stay put:

Bother the wrong choices – each and every day. Raise our voices additionally to voting, to stop them, whoever they are: In Brazil (Bolsonaro, recently lost 🙂 ) the US (the last but one president till 2021 and his followers) or Italy (sadly extreme right won this time; but Italy may change their government again soon) in China, Russia or the Ukraine, or any other place:
There are always those that hunger for more, more wealth, more power, more attention. And never have enough. And those that don’t.

Let reason and free thinking prevail – by keeping to be bothersome.

The voice of reason is the voice that can be heard in the United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration – and all who make it their task to remind those other ‘hungry’ ones of those rights.

Each day and any day: Let’s keep bothersome! Push them into the right direction by letting them hear our voices.

Peace and Conflict Studies – How to Avoid or Minimize Conflicts…

Image courtesy pixabay.com – Free license

Peace and conflict studies have been a part of social science since the 19th century, started apparently in Sweden and were furthered by the US civil war of the 1860s. The basics say that there are patterns to conflicts, the larger as well as the smaller ones.

One thing I learned early in life: Conflict usually starts somewhere and somehow – and if you are not careful, it can escalate and before you know it, things become unmanageable or even unbearable.

My father was what these days is called a ‘coach’. As academic, scholar and a degree in law as well as strong background in psychology he was well known in a large international company: He sometimes told details and explained to us as kids how easily people in offices can get into almost insolvable hassles like Gordian knots that he used to solve with his colleagues, in some cases after years of silence between members of a team.

In private life I observed and suffered from rifts. So, if anyone, I am one who knows. I have read a lot and one thing I’ve learned by studying and my own experience:

Few things in this life are really so big that they deserve angry arguments, conflicts or actual rifts.

Very often it is not so much about the conflict or argument as such – but the consequences. Pride, one of the hardest, immovable and ‘stubborn’ reasons for sometimes dreadful fallings-out, is only one aspect.

That is why I think it is well worth my and other people’s while to think twice before starting – a conflict.

 

The Language of War – Ukraine – Talking Peace

Image of two hands shaking in front of a world map

Talk peace! Now!

You, me, we: if we don’t do something against it – we are just as responsible as the perpetrators themselves. Peace is the order of the day – any day!

Remember: Behind all those diplomatic corps, ‘suits’ and all those wars are just people – each with their helpings of fear, vanity and pride.

War follows patterns: in its creation, starting points – and ends. The patterns of human behaviour can be found when looking at history. The war in the Ukraine and the aggression seen these days on all sides are not new – and they did not start yesterday – or the day before that.

Propaganda is the way in which people talk about something – or somebody. The principle, any time, being:
“It’s their fault. We are nice, we didn’t do a thing. If they do it that way, we’ll hit back.”

If we use the language of war, we should not be surprised to get an answer.

Stopping negotiations is just one of those steps known throughout history as being part of a war.

If we want peace, we have to talk peace – and negotiate. Negotiate again. And again. And again. And again. Until a satisfactory result is reached for all concerned.

The 17th century saw one of the most cruel wars in human history: The Thirty Years’ War. It took 5 years of negotiations to end it. The population throughout Europe was reduced to a 3rd of its previous number; whole regions where laid to waste. Hunger, starvation and sickness were present everywhere.

That one was a war of ‘conventional’ weapons. The next war we may not live through, any of us.

Talk peace! Now!

Iran 2022 – The Protests for Civil Freedom and Equality

Image of Iran windcatchers in Yazd province
Windcatchers in Iran, Yazd province, an age-old system of cooling houses using wind (free license online via Ecosia.org)

Iran: A wonderful country of thousands of years of culture, tradition and cuisine, as well as a highly developed sense of community; a unique, Indo-European language; some of the most wonderful poems by world-famous poets come from there. Almost all of them were largely apprehended and adopted in new forms by European poets, such as Goethe and his “The West-Eastern Divan”.
Hafez who inspired it, also is widely known all over the country of Iran. People put the book of his poems in a central place on the highest festival of the year, ‘Nowrooz‘ – the spring festival dating back over 3,000 years. Or the epicurean poems by Khayyam, to name only two larger-than-life figures.

The main language ‘Farsi’ (Persian) has been preserved over centuries of being conquered and occupied.

Architecture, crafts, painting, music, hand-knotting of rugs – the finest worldwide – there’s almost no field you could mention in arts and crafts that hasn’t great works to offer.

One of the oldest religions, root for all theologies that are monotheistic, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, comes from there: Zoroastrianism

Compared to the long history of all of it the Islamic Republic is comparatively young: A little over 40 years ago now, the clerical part of the society took over power. Clerics had always been one part of the power factions throughout Persia’s – or by its younger name ‘Iran’ – long history, especially since the 16th century AC by Western reckoning.

The people now protesting in the streets of Iran and risking their freedom and even their lives have been raised to another movement of protest by the death of a young woman; a student, who was detained by the police for not wearing the ‘hijab’, the headscarf mandatory to wear for women in public places or in the company of men other than close family.

The civil rights in Iran have been a sad story to say the least ever since the revolution of 1979. Things hadn’t been easy before. The Savak, the Shah’s secret service was present everywhere.

But things became worse, in many respects, after 1979.

This is a reminder to all who care: Iran is worth it, every day. More civil rights and the basic human rights would be a start.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N97ZLq1Y-dE

The song above states the reasons for the ongoing protests. Hashtags as sources the singer assembled the Twitter-posts of protesters and made this song called ‘baraye’ = ‘for’…

It was published originally on Twitter or Instagram. It has been retweeted 153 million times, so the information on another retweet I have a URL to. Since I am not a Twitter member myself, I use this post that adequately translates the Persian words with English subtitles on youtube. The singer has been arrested.

Cruel Attack on Salman Rushdie – Award-winning Writer

Image showing Salman Rushdie discussing with mic in hand
Image courtesy Ecosia Search Engine – Free license

After all this time someone managed to hit, cruelly: Salman Rushdie, wonderful poet and writer of award-winning books was attacked on Friday with a knife and hit 10 times. At the moment of this writing he seems to  be out of danger. I hope he will recover and heal mind and body to come out even stronger than before.

The darker side of any religion sometimes is revealed in such acts: Manipulated simple-minded people who actually believe that freedom of press, opinion and religious following could be considered a sin, exist. They existed in ancient history when Muslims and Christians killed each other in the ‘Holy Land’ apparently over who would own it.
When it really was about power in that region and trade ways as well as roads.

In ancient times and these days: Any religion can be abused to manipulate people into cruel deeds, into following someone for the sake of simple solutions in words, in order to feel special, in a dangerous, deceptive safety of woolly-headed idolatry.

The only way out of what Plato described in the cave allegory: People sitting in a cave, with the entrance behind them, a slight elevation and a light on it between, watching the cave walls. Life and its figures passing by the entrance outside, to such humans appear like flickering shadows on that back wall.

To leave that cave of misinterpretation and age-old manipulation means: Train your mind.

Learn about thoughts and ideas. Understand that humans need to respect each other in order to be able to live in a world of peace and joy. To be able to even let their dreams come true which might be just – to live and let live in peace of mind.

To watch over human rights as declared in the Human Rights Declaration of the United Nations – is without alternative!