Archive for the ‘political/politisches’ Category

Die Subsistenzperspektive – eine Umorientierung zum Guten Leben für alle

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Im vergangenen Sommer haben Johanna Biesenbender, Sigrid Gerl Monika Thuswald und ich in transatlantischer Zusammenarbeit einen Artikel zur Subsistenzperspektive (Die Subsistenzperspektive – eine Umorientierung zum Guten Leben für alle) geschrieben, der jetzt endlich bei der Grünen Bildungswerkstatt erschienen ist. Für alle, die es noch nicht wissen: Die Subsistenzperspektive ist ein wesentlicher Schwerpunkt meiner wissenschaftlichen Arbeit und  dieser Artikel gibt eine gute Einführung zu dem Thema.

Festrede zum BOKU-Ball – Bildung: Befähigung zum kritischen und emanzipatorischen Denken und Handeln statt Wirtschaftshörigkeit.

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Am Freitag, den 31. Jänner 2014 fand wie jedes Jahr der BOKU-Ball statt. Als GastgeberInnen hatten wir vom Vorsitzteam der ÖH BOKU die Ehre, eine Rede zu halten. Da die fremdenfeindliche Reaktion des Österreichischen Bundesminister für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft, Andrä Rupprechter noch für Gesprächsstoff sorgen wird, habe ich mir gedacht, dass es sinnvoll wäre, die Rede, auf die sich BM Rupprechter bezogen hat, hier wiederzugeben.

“Von der großen weiten Welt wollen wir jedoch den Blick wieder zu uns nach Österreich schwenken.
Vor der Ökonomisierung der Bildung warnen Studierende schon seit Jahren. Doch spätestens mit der Eingliederung des Wissenschaftsressort in das Wirtschaftsministerium dürfte allen klar sein: Die Wissenschaftspolitik in Österreich hat vor den Interessen der Wirtschaft kapituliert. Nicht, dass dem in den letzten Jahren anders gewesen wäre. Es ist nur ein symbolischer Schritt, aber eben auch ein sehr deutlicher.

Wenn wir heute einen Universitätsball feiern, dann jedoch um die wahren akademischen Tugenden zu feiern. Und diese sind eben nicht Wirtschaftshörigkeit – oder gar mensurschlagender Elitarismus – sondern das humanistische Ideal des kritischen und emanzipatorischen Denken und Handelns.

“Donau – Ein Fluss der verbindet” ist das Motto dieses Balls und bietet gleichzeitig ein hervorragendes Beispiel, dass die Fähigkeit zu kritischer Reflektion und das über den Tellerrand hinausschauen auch in den technischen Disziplinen von äußerster Wichtigkeit sind. Ohne diese Fähigkeiten würden AbsolventInnen der BOKU heute immer noch Fließgewässer begradigen und verbauen statt sie zu renaturisieren. Als 1984, also heuer vor 30 Jahren, der geplante Bau eines Wasserkraftwerks die Hainburger Au stromabwärts von Wien bedrohte, waren es zu einem großen Teil kritische Studierende der Bodenkultur, die dies verhinderten und so die Grundlage für den Nationalpark Donau-Auen schufen.

Lasst uns als Universität des Lebens diese Tugenden hochhalten und verteidigen, damit in Zukunft die Wissenschaft in Österreich wieder den Stellenwert einnimmt, den sie verdient.”

And suddenly they called me chairperson

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Looks like it took me 6 months to write another entry on my blog.  Not like I’ve been lazy, far from it. I’ve just been caught up with tons of stuff, I didn’t even remember I had a blog. Sort of…

The single most exciting event was the election for the Student Union parliament. The election itself was exciting, but so was the preparation and aftermath. Admittedly, our green student group (bagru*GRAS*boku) was pretty much in a state of coma since the last election in 2011. We didn’t die, the heart was still beating, we were just dozing. That is to say, me and a fellow student were members of that student’s parliament and did get involved there, but other than that, it was pretty much green radio silence. Anyway, something must have struck us, as we decided to run again this year and even do some campaigning. A small group as we are, I confess it was one of the most intense campaigns I took part in. But it was great to see our group become alive again and even better, we managed to maintain our two seats in the student’s parliament. Still better, we were suddenly a much asked for coalition partner for the two bigger student’s group. Therefore, no relaxation after the election but coalition talks! I tell you, that stuff is exciting. Everything went pretty smooth, though, and now, hooray, we’re part of the executive coalition with the so-called Unabhängige Fachschaftsliste, a rather odd collection of campus activists, that came together in deadly terror of joining any party-affiliated group. Nice bunch of people, though. Long story short, I’m now part of the chairteam of our Student Union, which is not far from a full-time occupation. It’s going to be extremely intense, busy and challenging plus awesome. So I assume. It was interesting to realize, how nice and polite suddenly everyone becomes, once you’re get into some sort of exposed office. Wonder how long that will last…
Another year, another challenge.

Apart from all those political activities, I also managed to make some progress on my studies. I’m like on the finishing line of my Bachelor graduation. The most interesting part was the field research for my Bachelors thesis (more on that, once it’s proof-read, handed in and graded), which took my to the Vinschgau in South Tyrol, Italy. It was quite a relief and change to get out of Vienna for 2 weeks.

Deine Meinung zählt (nicht) oder Vom Unterschied zwischen Stadtsbürger und Staatsbürger

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

In Wien findet im März eine Volksbefragung statt, auf deren Inhalt ich jetzt gar nicht eingehen will. Ich darf eh nicht wählen. Gut, ich bin auch nur mit Nebenwohnsitz in Wien gemeldet, verständlich. Aber mehrere hunderttausend andere, die hier teilweise schon seit vielen Jahren leben, dürfen auch nicht wählen. Warum? Weil Sie keine Österreicher_innen sind. Die Plakatkampagne der Wiener Stadtsregierung – Deine Meinung zählt – kommt da wie Hohn daher. Wieso ist jemensch eher Wiener, wenn sie oder er vor einem Jahr aus beispielsweise Vorarlberg zugezogen ist, als jemensch aus Bratislava, schon 15 Jahre in Wien lebend? Das erscheint mir wenig einleuchtend, diskriminierend und undemokratisch. Würde es sich um ein rechtsverbindliches Referendum handeln, könnte ich es aus verfassungsrechtlichen Gründen VIELLEICHT noch nachvollziehen. Aber es geht hier nur um ein unverbindliches Meinungsbild, dass hätte die Wiener Stadtregierung auch individuell, jenseits der verfassungsrechtlich fixierten Instrumente lösen können.

Hackers and Lefties unite!

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

Due to the on-going debate on Wikileak’s publication of the US diplomatic cables, it seemed overdue for me to make up my mind on hacking and the ethics behind.Calling for absolute freedom – that is accessibility – of information, hackers stand in the tradition of liberalism. To be more precise, an egalitarian liberalism as supposed to neo-liberalism, which is a liberalism for an elite – in our capitalistic society, the rich.
Agreeing that we live in an information society, asking for free access to information is the modern shape of the old Marxist claim for the collective ownership of the Means of Production. However, the hacker’s revolution is far less radical (in there means, not in there long-term utopia) than its 19th century counterpart, since no expropriation is involved. There’s a difference in taking a steam machine from a private factory owner and socialise it and sharing secret cables from the US Department of State. Whereas the factory owner lost his property,  the US Department of State doesn’t.
As a result, leaking secret information, writing open source software and gathering open knowledge are different forms of direct action for a more social society. Unfortunately, this thinking is pretty much limited to the (relatively) small community, as the classical (in fact, I’d preferred the term “vintage” here) political left – trade unions, socialist and social-democratic parties – are still thinking and acting in the old patterns of the industrial age, which is (at least in most western countries) history. Not to talk about the near, post-peak (oil) age. Until this, “vintage” left and the hacker community teamed up to the new left movement of the 21st century, direct action remains a major tool for social change.

sonification of a paper plant

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Piteå is surrounded by two paper plants, which on same days smells like… hard to explain… I tried to make this unique smell audible…

(the smell of) kappa by Johann Strube

climate protection after COP-15 disaster

Monday, December 21st, 2009

The 2009 UN Climate Change conference – better know as COP 15 – ended with a surprise. Many expected the conference to fail, but even the notorious naysayer  was staggered by its apparent collapse. Though I can not hide my satisfaction about COP-15s triumphal disgrace, the “outcome” of the conference was a disaster for the planet. Basically, there’s no agreement on any limitation of CO2 emissions, no roadmap how to support each other to combat climate change nor even the will, to achieve any kind of binding agreement in the new future. To say, we don’t want the global average temperature to rise by more than 2 degree until 2100 won’t bother the climate at all. Considering, that most states and scientist were frankly aware of the dimension of the threat of global warming before the summit, the result is the more embarrassing. It’s like Spock asking “Captain Kirk, our starship is about to crash into that huge rocky planet in front of us. Do you want me to slow down and change direction?” And Captain Kirk answering “Thank you for that information. Please, open another bottle of wine.”

So who has lost? Most obviously, the victims of climate change – that is future generations, third world countries, peace – are the main losers. But as I will point out later, there’s still hope for them. However, the idea that the climate crisis can be controlled on a governmental level has shown to be false. Not only that the so called political leaders had been unwilling and incapable to seriously fight against global warming and climate justice, the problem was way too complex and the positions to diverse to be solved by one huge summit. This fact challenge the role of the United Nations to host a framework in the fight against the climate catastrophe. If the UN fail to develop new forms of global governance, there historical doom is inevitable. Moreover, both the United States of America and the European Union passed up a chance to take a leading role in the global struggle against global warming. Consequently, they missed a chance to increase political, international influence and to open new markets. As a result, the saving of the planet will take place without  governments, or it won’t take place at all.

The COP-15 conference showed clearly, that the support of the civil society wasn’t welcome. The number of NGO delegates has been reduced from day to day and the peaceful demonstrations faced with police violence. On the other hand, the politicians and delegates who felt to be in charge, failed as mentioned above. As a result, we – the civil society -  have to claim leadership. It’s our last change. We have to build local communities to fight against global warming. We have to inspire and empower each other to find creative and working solutions, we have to exercise non-violant disobedience to stop the building of new coal-power stations, highways etc. and we have to organise climate protection bottom-up. If we lead the turn of our carbon addict society into a zero-emission society, our elected representatives will follow.

warming up for COP-15

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Piteå – Copenhagen, 20 hours time to sum up my expectations for the Climate Summit COP-15, the reason of journey.

A lot has been said in the run-up to the summit, at which nothing less than the future of our planet will be negotiated. If mankind fails to decrease carbon-dioxide emissions dramatically in the next 4 decades, climate change will cause unimaginable disasters and destroy most of the basic conditions of human life. Already now – after two centuries of reckless economical growth and constant increase of CO2-emissions – many regions in the developing world are suffering from climate change. And what ever result COP-15 will bring, the world wide average temperature would raise for a while, causing even more suffering and destruction. Therefore, COP-15 won’t just discuss how to limit climate change, but also who will have to pay for its consequences.

Hence, COP-15 is basically a summit about justice. Whereas most of the western countries can look at the climate question from a pure economical point of view, developing countries have to fight for there survival. It’s the developed part of the world which stands for the vast majority of CO2 emissions, but it’s the developing part, which suffers most. Whether this gross injustice can be solved, will to a great extent determine, if the summit was an success or not.

But, of course, sharing the costs of climate change is not enough. The summit will have to decide a road map for the transformation from our emission extensive economy to a sustainable, low-to-zero emission one until 2050. This is true with any branch of economy and every country in the world. Most obviously, the developed countries will have to manage the turn to renewable energies and higher energy efficiency. Though the energy need of these countries is insane, they have the best conditions (money and know-how) to master these tasks.

However, that won’t be enough. The poorest countries in the world will have to find a way to develop their economy in a sustainable way. As there’s not a lot to transform, this is a relatively easy problem. Given, the west provides green know-how and link its foreign aid with strict ecological conditions.

The biggest problem will be the newly industrialising countries, though. They already emit ridiculous amounts of CO2 (China for instance, is the biggest CO2 emitter in the world) and they are determined to continue their partly rapid growth in the future. They will have to find a way to both replace their old, dirty power plants and to base future investments in sustainable, green technology. Again, the west will have to provide know-how, but a great effort has do be done by the emerging nations itself. To find a way, how to combine sustainability and economical growth, will be a key question.

If the COP-15 conference agree on such a road map, it will be a success. In my eyes, the question is not, which country emits how much carbon-dioxide in 2020, 2030 and 2050. They question is, how every country reduce their emissions to the most possible extend and how they can help each other in that enormous task.

 

9th Nov. 1989: history as a call to action

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

The fall of the Berlin wall, today 20 years ago, has often been described as a turning point in history. Rightly. Freedom defeated oppression. It was the basis for Germany’s reunification and 15 years later, the enlargement of the European Union into Eastern Europe. With no doubt, this process led to a more peaceful, freer Europe. But the fall of the wall has also been a turn in many personal biographies. Suddenly, millions of people were able to visit old friends or relatives again, to travel (almost) freely within Europe and last but not least, to live without fear of political prosecution. In fact, the 9th of November was the birth of my generation, the Generation Europe. The freedom to live and study in England, Iceland and Sweden gave me so more than my parents generation could ever dream of. I’m incredibly grateful for their successful efforts to overcome separation and suppression.
However, Europe hasn’t learned its lesson. With every stone taken off from walls within Europe, new walls has been built around it. Not to keep inhabitants from leaving, but to protect it from the rest of the world. The freedoms mentioned above, are freedoms of an elite group. The rest of the world, mostly living in Africa, Asia and South America, but also Eastern Europe, has no chance to ever experience them. That is, frankly, a shame for a (group of) people, which often calls itself the avantgarde of democracy, freedom and human rights.
When Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel asks the political class to break down the walls of today, it is up to herself and her fellow heads of state, to open Europe. She owes that our history. The 9th of november 1989 wasn’t just a historical turn, its anniversary is also a call to act today.

Obama deserves another award

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Barack Obama will be awarded with the Nobel prize, the Norwegian nobel-committee  declared today. That’s nice for him, but may I ask why? Neither Guantanamo has been closed, nor is there piece in Afghanistan or between Israel and Palestine. It doesn’t seem that the United State will insist on a powerful climate regime at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen nor does the turn of the G8 into a G20 mean a strengthening of the United Nations. Obama is still the leader of the biggest and most powerful army in the world and of a country which still exercise the death penalty like almost no other country (apart from China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan). To sum up, the short reign of Obama is not yet characterised by peace.
To be honest, Obama certainly raised hope for a better and peaceful world all over the globe. Moreover, he seem to be very committed in many fields regarding multi-polar diplomacy and climate change, but he can’t proof any success. Let’s hope that his award with the Nobel prize will support him in his ongoing struggles with the congress.
However, this day proofs again, that Obama deserves one prize most of all: The award for the most overrated politician in the world.