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Frank Biess' Republic of fear on the policy of the feelings

"I want you to panic that you feel the fear that I feel every day,“ said the 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg at the annual meeting of the Davos world economic forum in January. They focused on the motivational force of an Emotion, which can also cause paralysis and shock. If, on the last Friday in the student demonstrations of the "Fridays for Future" in 1200 cities around the world, rallies were held and 12 000 scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in support of the concern with your Petition of "Scientists for the Future", you can feel the large demonstrations in the 1980s.

the Germans Have a special tendency to fear? Frank Biess is disputing that. In fact, the term "German Angst" was only the beginning of the 1990s, as a polemical label for the security policy of the reunited Germany, first of all, in relation to the first Iraq war. "Republic of fear. A history of the Federal Republic of“, nominated for the prize of the Leipzig book fair, is a clever analysis and illustrative book. That fear can be an Emotion, the difference and how each Emotion takes historical forms and functions, demonstrates not only the commitment of the Swedish activist and initiated by her youth and the climate movement. Frank Biess sees the fear of a "radically context-dependent form of communication" and used it as a kind of probe, with which the history of the Federal Republic of Germany is a new way to tell.

Growing importance of subjectivity and individuality

The 1966-born Schwabe, Professor of European history at the University of California, San Diego, exposed in the Preface to his autobiographical Motivation. Politically socialised in the 1980s – in the years of large-scale demonstrations and human chains against Nuclear power plants and the Nato double-track decision, is it the omnipresence of the fear still clear in my memory. Can you tell the story of West Germany to be a real success story, so his question is, if millions of people have experienced "apocalyptic Fears" and in mass demonstrations also showed? With the methods of the now broad-based history of emotions in the back, he sets out to describe the history of the old Federal Republic as a result of anxiety cycles.

fear was not, at various times, the Federal Republican history in the same way artikulierbar. With reference to William Reddy, Frank Biess makes clear that each Emotion is also determined by their Articulation. In the post-war period it came to sobriety. Emotions were discredited by its misuse under national socialism. Impressive to Biess’ presentation is the way he loops associated with various Description. Well-known terms, year, and stations of the Federal Republic's history to be incorporated in patterns that leave room for new findings as well as recognition effects. It is not just the anxiety. An important pattern of the different importance of feelings at all, to the growing importance of subjectivity and individuality, and finally, the female or male connotation of a feeling to the Erosion of male self-images.

fear of the next

a follow As can be, and the same phenomenon can cause different Represent a blow to new effect. For example, if the demonstrative sobriety of the national socialist, operates symbolically-loaded post-war justice in the Auschwitz-process in the years 1963-1965 in an Argument against the surviving victims: they are personally affected and emotionally, and therefore they were unreliable witnesses. Dominated in the immediate post-war period, the fear of retaliation, it came in the Adenauer Era, a strategic containment and mobilisation of Fears: The fear of a new war was held by the fear of communism in chess. In spite of the Berlin wall in August 1961, the year in which the threat of world war was so great as never before, the decade between the mid-1950s to mid-1960s as a transformation of the time describe, in the memory of the Second world war have lost their potency for the conceivable future designs. At the same time, the shift from outer to inner Fears, began in the 1960s.

The Grand coalition came in 1966, 1966/67, the first recession followed. The accelerated modernization and automation, more Fears were as to the civilian use of nuclear energy. With the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem and the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt of the national socialist past returned to the public consciousness. At the same time, there was a shift from social science to psychological Knowledge. The debate on the emergency laws in the years 1965-1968 was one of the incubators of the student movement. A very interesting aspect is the ratio of the left and civil forces of the state.

The fear of a repressive state played after the mirror affair, the emergency laws, and finally, after the brutal actions of the police during the Shah's visit to Berlin on 2. In June 1967, the Student Benno Ohnesorg by a police officer – and, as it turned out in 2009, Stasi-employee – was shot, a larger and larger role. Up to the assassination attempt on Rudi Dutschke on 11. April 1968 had screwed the student movement in a "dialectic of Paranoia and utopia", in the Federal Republic as a "präfaschist of the state" was perceived. The actions and murders of the RAF, culminating in the German autumn of 1977, should tear the Federal Republican state, the democratic mask from the face.

We do not need a "democratic sense of politics"

discredit The fact that some Feared has not materialised, can be afraid of. Their function as an early warning system is not to be underestimated. It is possible that the fear of a totalitarian state, which had been fomented by the radicals, let the SPD/FDP government in 1972, has been an important corrective. The state has been in place since 1968 for all to the left of the conservative spectrum as a source of danger, today, by contrast, left-wing and bourgeois forces to identify with him, is one observation of the book.

The fear of history of the old Federal Republic of Germany came in the 1980s to their peaks. Fear was for positive Emotion. The cultured sensibility of the ' 70s, trained in WGs with countless relationship, organizational and children's shop-talks, coupled with an awareness of invisible dangers such as radioactivity and toxins in air and food resulted in the environmental and peace movement of the 80s to the widest protest movement not only of the Bonn Republic.

The focus of the book lies on the West German history. The Fears in the GDR were different (read about Ines Geipels "Contested Zone"). A detailed epilogue leads into the presence of the re-United Germany, and describes the rise of right-wing populism as a fear of movement. Unlike in the 1970s and 1980s Fears in men not lead to increased sensitivity. The threatened masculinity is stabilized by the use of violence, rage and anger. Nevertheless, the author rightly warns of the Abqualifizierung of Fears. And instead of worrying about a "democratic sense of policy".

The paradoxical advice of with a more than hundred-page annotation, and literature apparatus is well-equipped book, we should consider well, "what we want to frighten us". Because it is exactly these Fears could prevent "the kind of future they imagine". The sounds magic, would it not be also a plea for active political Action. The pupils and students to go now on the street, have understood this clearly.

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Frank Biess: Republic of fear. A history of the Federal Republic of Germany. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2019. 613 pages, 22 euros.

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