National Strike!

I’m not really sure if I understand this correctly. A student started with a completely simple action. She set herself in front of the Swedish parliament and went on strike. She was advocating for something. Many of us acknowledged that more and more young people were following her example – but the media discussions were not concerned with addressing their plea. Instead, we discussed whether or not students should be allowed to stand up for something. Should they perhaps be reprimanded, for example by expelling them from school, for their social engagement?

Tell me, are things going well for us? Apparently! We allow politicians to badmouth these children in order to distract us from their own incompetence. We don’t support these (our) children by requesting our unions to go on strike or at least to finally start a dialogue within our society. No, we prefer to allow ourselves to be sidetracked.

The flow of immigrants continues to be heralded as a sinister threat rather than finally realizing that Europe and the USA have, over the course of hundreds of years, ensured that it has come to this. We in the so-called “developed” nations are the reason these people make their way here. We export weapons that are used to oppress women and children in those areas. Our governments destabilize entire regions in order to guarantee a supply of cheap oil, thus polluting our atmosphere as well as indirectly degrading those people whose human rights we do not help protect. We talk about fair trade while knowing our jeans are made by child labor.

Seehofer wanted (and still wants) to protect the German borders and attacked the established government in a political power play to please the old-fashioned thinkers. With the delusion of believing that if the CSU were only a bit farther to the right than the AFD, voters would prefer the CSU. All this to apparently distract us from the fact that his job is to ensure a domestic policy that everyone in Germany – and above all women – have the same opportunities. His role as Interior Minister would be to create a political climate in which more women hold higher positions, where more women become CEOs and more women are given decision-making roles.

At the same time, we are also aware that our educational system is antiquated. Elites have long been sending their children to private schools and yet the ministry for education still prefers spending money on more teachers rather than fundamentally reforming the existing school system and changing the ways we teach. We are distracted by digital initiatives that don’t go far enough. Go into a school and you will see that many teachers have no idea about digital media (and yes, naturally there are thousands of others who try to use these tools). Do we really believe that technology can be used to change the culture in our authoritarian, patriarchal schools?

But we the people allow all of this! A few weeks ago, a friend told me that only today’s teenagers will be able to change something. They must engage themselves as an entire generation.

As if he were predicting it, a young student not only shook her head, she sat down with a poster in front of the Swedish parliament. Just like Greenpeace in the 1980s, actions started changing the mindset. And lo and behold, 13 weeks after Greta’s first protest, 1.5 million students worldwide took to the streets to bring attention to climate change. Greta has already accomplished a lot.

Let’s join in! What if teachers participate? If the entire country would quit working for six hours on Fridays? If no cars would drive, the planes stayed on the ground and no more parcels would be delivered?

A few decades ago, weren’t the unions the ones that made sure we got more humane working conditions? Couldn’t the unions join forces and solidarily advocate for all people? Because it affects all of us.

And by the way, it is a disgrace that there are children and elderly living in poverty in Germany. Germany is one of the richest countries in the world. Where does all the money go? That’s right – we taxpayers need to save ruined banks, ensure the affluence of coal power plants for the next 30 years and help automobile corporations keep their obsolete technology viable. And our generation, the 40- to 60-year-old, are happy stockholders when VW sold more air-polluting cars in 2018 than ever before.

This is simply absurd! We maintain the status quo at the cost of our children. It’s time for the children to revolt so Germany finally takes the necessary action to modernize its infrastructure, democratizes the power grid, brings education up to date with modern pedagogy, tackles violence against children within the family and finally steps up in the international arena.

Because Germany is the only alternative to the political systems of the USA and China. No other nation has the possibility and no other nation has the history that forces us to stand up for those people in need, the indigent and the persecuted (worldwide) and do what is morally right. In this respect, we all know that Merkel acted correctly back then. But we do not want to admit this, because it would mean we must take action and finally do something fundamentally different.

The crazy thing is, if we would quit worrying whether it will turn out well for us, whether we will maintain our standard of living and instead do the right things, then we would be also be better off ourselves. Because there is a law, a wisdom that is thousands of years old:

Prosperity increases when you invest, when you share and take risks. It doesn’t multiply if you sit on your savings and maintain the status quo.

Keynes economically demonstrated this in the 1930s. So, let us share and invest. Let us invest billions of Euros in projects that will lead us out of the crisis (with zero percent interest, this makes even more sense). Only so will we all have more, only so are we maybe able to save our climate and maybe stop the gigantic immigration waves that are coming our way.

Foto: pixabay, geralt