For our country a year of commemorials comes to an end, in which the historical experiences of the events of 1315, 1415, 1515 and 1815 have been far too little reflected regarding their significance for the political present. Instead, various contemporary historians questioned the events, diminished their relevance or completely negated them. This (de-)constructivism of today‘s historiography, as René Roca characterises it aptly in his view of the commemorative year, leaves behind especially the following: a mental vacuum in the dispute over the question of imperial, from top to bottom organised versus self-determined liberal – sovereign – forms of human coexistence. Precisely here lies the value of closer examining our country’s history as René Roca clearly points out: a history in which despite all difficulties not the dictate from above, not a monarchist rule has been the central agent of development, but which originated in the cooperative principle of self-organisation and collectively securing the existence, and in which the will to preserve self-determination always remained decisive. And this was only possible when equipped with the will for common defense against claims of third parties the self-determination of the confederates was respected – an idea that today is just as crucial as it used to be in all the conflicts of the Confederates through the centuries as the contribution of Professor Hans Köchler on the dialogue of civilisations shows. Respect for beliefs and ways of life of other civilisations and cultures is on a larger scale to the same extend a requirement of peaceful coexistence on our planet as mutual respect for the eight Cantons of the Confederacy.
Seen in this way, the historical (de-)constructivism intellectually supports a form of imperialist thinking that has been dominating the attitude of Western policy in many areas of our world. Even if the arrogance is rhetorically covered up and tries to hide when speaking of democracy and human rights. An example of such policies is the history of the Congo which in turn is an example of the history and situation of a whole continent that is nowadays more brutally bled to death and exploited than ever serving the interests of Western powers. The fact that African rulers – mostly educated in the West and always supported by the West – can be employed as henchmen does not discharge the Western powers in any way from their responsibilities, on the contrary.
It would be about time to reflect on the simple but fundamental message of our history: people do not want to be dominated and ruled by arrogant elites – this contradicts human nature, as freedom is the foundation of human dignity. The realisation of the „democratic world revolution“ (Martin Kriele) may be still far away for many. However, Kriele’s idea of the awareness of the fundamental equality for all the people is gradually breaking ground. It cannot reasonably be disputed. This is also proven by the human rights rhetoric that covers up their accompanying propaganda for any claims of power or even the most brutal wars. Power politics and war are always accompanied by a restriction of freedom also in the war-mongering countries. This again is another historical experience and logic of power.
But we humans can act differently: we can learn the lessons from our history, we can realise that not striving for power and competition, but cooperation, a sense of togetherness and caring for one another creates values, allows for developments and often finds new solutions to problems that previously seemed hardly solvable.
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