We’ve been influenced by one – you know who – for over a year now. While things are developing well in some countries, in others they are stagnating. In the latter places, there is increasing dissatisfaction with government policies and inaction, accompanied by the fear that humans are being turned into test rabbits. Although the majority of people are sticking to the guidelines, the infection rates are continuing to rise. Due to these increasing rates, new measures are continually being put in place by governments. If one doesn’t work, another takes its place. It is precisely this chaos, confusion, and indecision on politicians’ part (and the fact that many media outlets and influential personalities stifle criticism) that has led to almost 50 German artists starting a campaign. With much irony and cynicism, this campaign is aimed primarily at politicians and the inadequate coverage of the commercial media. The campaign is called: #allesdichtmachen (#closeeverything).
With their personal, often ironic videos, the German crème de la crème of the film industry is not questioning the hazards of the Covid pandemic.
However, what they are doing is criticizing the chaos, as well as the actions of the politicians, who try to enforce repetitive lockdowns to control the increasing infection rates, yet who have no broader plan for the future.
Thus, less has changed during the past year. Because the responsible ministers didn’t even have a plan last year either. Then, they discussed the fastest vaccine rollouts of all time. Smart people, and professional companies, developed the vaccines within such a short time as it never happened before.
However, the politicians forgot to subsidize production facilities. Instead of ensuring adequate production conditions and capacities, they haggled for a few euros! Even courts like the Federal Constitutional Court consider some of the political decisions to be unconstitutional or check the plausibility of new decisions and restrictions.
Past week, the minister of the economy talked about a stable business. However, by doing so, he talked, of course, about the titans of the industry. But he disregarded the countless people who have lost their jobs and businesses, as well as the many artists who haven’t been able to earn money for over a year.
So, it has been a long time coming for them to finally make their voices heard.
Maybe, some people consider themselves perfect, or they haven’t the courage to stand up for tricky things? Howsoever, quickly some people started to criticize the artist’s campaign. They cover the ironic statements of the actors with harsh criticism.
However, in their criticism, they forget that one of the highest goods of any democracy is freedom of speech and expression.
It is a matter of fact that for over a year now, anyone who expresses even the slightest criticism of these questionable political measures has been denied their free opinion.
Worse still, factually correct critics are grouped among conspiracy theorists, or even being called ‘Covidiots’. These claims become bitter and even more unfair when the opponents of free opinion accuse the critics that these are not interested in the suffering of those who were or who are affected by Covid-19.
DIALOGUE IS A PART OF DEMOCRACY
We have known, since the Dialogues of Plato, that setting up a dialogue between two or more sides is the best method of finding good, balanced solutions. Chaos creates uncertainty. Having no discord between the people and the power in charge breeds this chaos.
As children, we found it unfair to be sent to our rooms without having done something bad. Now, some are stuck in their rooms for over one year, without any perspective that it will change in the near future.
And nothing else is at stake in the campaign by the German artists who, with much irony and cynicism (sometimes excellent, sometimes less successful) have given their opinion and voice a stage.
Unfortunately, some of the actors deleted their videos after the first reaction, which is certainly worse than saying nothing or the wrong. You either stand by your opinion or you don’t.
Because this is the biggest problem in many countries, that people try not to offend and to please everyone with no conflict. But conflicts – carried out openly and fair – lead to progress and solutions. But that takes courageous people and time.
It makes sense to take a look – even if you don’t understand the language – and form your own opinion. However, stifling any open and constructive criticism in the bud is a reminder of the old times Germany and other countries had to go through.
But we are happy to live in times when democracy is one of the highest values. Democracy means the power of people, not of some narrow-minded rulers.
Therefore, let’s listen to people from all countries, let’s discuss problems as well as solutions, and let’s keep an eye on an acceptable future, not just for the all-time rich, but for everyone!
Text and firm conviction: Marco Kokkot