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24.11.2016
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The ordinary state of emergency

Varlik discusses emergency and self-censorship; Blätter interviews Jürgen Habermas about the task of the Left; Vikerkaar shines the light on reactionary populism; Merkur considers citizenship still the best guarantee of freedom; Transit honours Charles Taylor; Multitudes enters the shared world of refugee camps; springerin examines the aporias of solidarity; Esprit addresses France's prison problem; Kulturos barai talks about neoliberal higher education policy in central Europe; Wespennest goes back to the USSR; and Glänta tours Retrotopia.

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Peak democracy?

13.07.2016
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Critical junctures


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Heftbeschreibung Merkur 5/2012


Das Maiheft (Nr. 756) macht mit zwei Beiträgen auf, die unterschiedlichen Charakteristika der zeitgenössischen Arbeitswelt nachgehen. Zunächst plädiert die Philosophin Beate Rössler angesichts der massiven Unterrepräsentation von Frauen in der Wirtschaft und im öffentlichen Dienst dezidiert für bindende Quotenregelungen. Die Historikerin Nina Verheyen wiederum untersucht, seit wann das individuelle Leistungsstreben als gesellschaftliche Tugend empfunden wird und wie es zu dieser Wertbesetzung gekommen ist.

Der Philosoph und Kunsttheoretiker Harry Lehmann stellt "Emmy" vor, das faszinierende Projekt des amerikanischen Komponisten David Cope: ein Computerprogramm, das den Stil beliebiger Komponisten so täuschend nachahmen konnte, dass selbst Kenner die "Werke" für Originale hielten. Lehmann zeigt, inwiefern dieses überraschende Ergebnis das landläufige Verständnis von künstlerischer Kreativität und Originalität in Frage stellt. Kenneth Minogues programmatisch anti-egalitärer Essay führt aus, weshalb jede am Ideal vollkommener Gerechtigkeit orientierte Politik tendenziell zu weniger Gerechtigkeit führt als eine, die lediglich die unterschiedlichen Interessen innerhalb der Gesellschaft zu moderieren versucht. Bodo Mrozek bricht eine Lanze für den in letzter Zeit zunehmend in Misskredit geratenen Begriff des "kollektiven Erinnerns", wobei er unter anderem gegen die Thesen argumentiert, die Egon Flaig im August vergangenen Jahres im Merkur stark gemacht hat.

Kathrin Passig erklärt in ihrer Internetkolumne, weshalb so viele Menschen "Selftracking" betreiben, also aus allen Lebensbereichen Daten über sich sammeln – die den von Nina Verheyen beschriebenen Leistungstests des späten 19. Jahrhunderts nebenbei erstaunlich ähneln – und weshalb sie diese Daten so häufig öffentlich machen. Horst Dreiers Rechtskolumne geht der langwierigen und verwickelten Verfassungsgeschichte der Religionsfreiheit in Deutschland nach. Hans-Peter Müller erkundet, welche Spuren Max Webers Amerikareise im Jahr 1904 in seinem Werk hinterlassen hat. Und Cord Riechelmann stellt die soeben erschienenen späten Schriften des materialistischen Philosophen Louis Althusser vor.

Otfried Höffe bezweifelt, dass die Geschichtsphilosophie tatsächlich abgewirtschaftet hat, und empfiehlt eine erneute Auseinandersetzung mit Immanuel Kant. Der Politikwissenschaftler Stefan Schulz nähert sich dem politischen Phänomen der Piratenpartei und fragt nach den Gründen für deren momentanen Erfolg. Zum Schluss schließt die Psychoanalytikerin Vera Kattermann noch einmal indirekt an Bodo Mrozeks Beitrag an: Sie erläutert, welche psychoanalytischen Grundannahmen zwangsläufig mit ins Spiel kommen, wenn von "kollektiver Vergangenheitsarbeit" die Rede ist.


Nina Verheyen
Unter Druck
Die Entstehung individuellen Leistungsstrebens um 1900


Dass wir in einer Gesellschaft leben, die das individuelle Leistungsstreben ihrer Mitglieder dezidiert fordert und fördert, bedarf angesichts europaweiter "Pisa"-Tests und kostspieliger akademischer "Exzellenz-Initiativen" keiner langen Beweisführung. Auch dass es in einer Welt globalisierten Wettbewerbs für jeden Staat von Vorteil ist, wenn er bei seinen Bürgern die Bereitschaft zu ständiger Selbstoptimierung selbstverständlich voraussetzen kann, liegt auf der Hand.

Aber seit wann ist das eigentlich der Fall? Seit wann wird individuelles Leistungsstreben als gesellschaftliche Tugend empfunden, und wie ist es zu dieser bemerkenswerten Wertbesetzung gekommen? Die Historikerin Nina Verheyen sieht die Wurzeln dafür in den sozialen Verwerfungen, aus denen Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts die moderne Massengesellschaft geboren wurde. Sie widerspricht damit der landläufigen Lehrmeinung, Leistungsbereitschaft sei eine genuin "bürgerliche" Tugend. In Wahrheit, so Verheyen, ist die Verinnerlichung des Leistungsstrebens als kollektive Norm ein relativ junges und zugleich von Beginn an ein schichtenübergreifendes Phänomen.


 



Published 2012-05-04


Original in German
© Merkur
 

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