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November 28, 2011



This is interesting. I have several German web-pages about the changing democracy in Germany and Europe, i.e. http://nachdemokratie.de ("afterdemocracy") or http://demokratie-ist-wichtig.de ("democracy-is-important"), and I read a lot of German blogs and a good part of the German online press. But due to the language barrier and the affinity to 'the German viewpoint', English web-pages like these have mostly evaded me, and that will be the same for many. Which, I would think, gives a good head-start and competitive advantage to those who think multinational, probably mostly big media companies like Bertelsmann and all those spin-doctors. It's a kind of pre-existent 'divide et impera'. On holiday in England a short while ago, I had a breakfast-talk with a nice English couple staying at a B&B, and they told me about the changing England, pseudo-politics, debts, privatisation, surveillance infrastructure, everybody blaming the Greeks, etc., and I suddenly realised: This is happening everywhere! And those who make it happen know that, but those whom it happens to think it's mostly a view of their own country. And I'm not talking about the petty bourgeois who carry it without understanding or caring for the consequences. At least in Germany, with the history of the Nazi-time and East Germany, it seems we learned little to nothing. Pretty scary and Orwellian. Even the fact that typing this makes me realise somebody paid to read this may do just that is scary. But if we are that far down the road, it is even more necessary to post and blog and voice ones opinion, I think. After all, we are not living in a state like North Korea or China. Yet.

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What Is One-Way Street?

One-Way Street [Einbahnstrasse, 1928] was Walter Benjamin's first effort to break out of the narrow confines of the academy and apply the techniques of literary studies to life as it is currently lived. For Benjamin criticism encompasses the ordinary objects of life, the literary texts of the time, films in current release, and the fleeting concerns of the public sphere. Following Benjamin's lead, this blog is concerned with the political content of the aesthetic and representations of the political in the media. As Benjamin writes in One-Way Street, "He who cannot take sides should keep silent."