More in-depth reflection is needed

by Urs Graf

There is a need for deeper reflection on the direction of social development.
  Individual events make visible or raise the question why political decisions of great importance are withdrawn from democratic discussion and decision-making. It seems that influential actors only make such decisions among themselves.
  Over the decades since the Second World War, a tendency – and an implicit image of humanity – has become increasingly clear, which corresponds to a regression to the rule of force.
  Market radicalism dominates economic life worldwide, and throughout society we are witnessing a tendency towards social Darwinism and the safeguarding of undeserved privileges, as already claimed by the colonial barons of the 19th century.
  But the “world economy” is not a subjectless undertaking. There are actors therein “with names, addresses and faces”, who by no means act in a covert manner and who cannot avoid public opinion. They must therefore make their interests appear in harmony with the common good.
  The era of colonialism is over, when people could still unashamedly indulge their lust for power on the militarily inferior peoples.
  This is why the field of opinion-forming has become increasingly important. However, it should be about an honest presentation of the facts.
  Various political developments in Switzerland clearly violate the interests of the sovereign and thus reveal the effects of socio-technological interventions. The list is only roughly sketched and therefore incomplete.

  • This process has become strikingly obvious since the efforts to legalise narcotics. The market is being opened up more and more for a product which harms its consumers in every respect, deprives them of the power of disposal over their own person and thus of their freedom and dignity, and disrupts the entire social fabric. But the initiative Youth without Drugs, of all initiatives, has been fought by business circles as “inhuman”.
  • In 1995, in the newly founded WTO was decided to sell off provision with basic supplies worldwide via the GATS agreement. Since then, so-called reforms, for example in the education and health sectors, have led to the privatisation of state tasks and enabled the establishment of global monopolies over the supply of essential goods.
  • The People’s Initiative on popular sovereignty rather than official propaganda, apostrophised as a “muzzle initiative”, was rejected, but had the consequence that “propaganda by the authorities” is now commonplace as an accusation which must be avoided. Executive members are therefore holding back and are now increasingly using specialised lobby groups and think tanks.
  • After the turn of the millennium, in rapprochement with the EU, the so-called “Cassis-de-Dijon” principle was adopted unilaterally, i.e. unconditionally, by Switzerland. The referendum narrowly had not come into existence because too many believed that they could “conquer the European market as niche producers”. This opened up the Swiss market in all sectors to foreign suppliers whose products do not have to meet the standards we have decided on to the same extent as our domestic producers. (After all, the term “technical barriers to trade” covers all non-tariff requirements, i.e. of an ecological, social or health policy nature).
  • In order to counteract such developments, the Initiative for a state treaty referendum was launched. The referendum right should be extended to international treaties. The advocates of globalisation fought it successfully with the slogan: “Important developments would be blocked. [...] Everyone cannot have a say in what they do not understand ...”.
  • Subsequently, the Swiss law, not foreign judges was an attempt to protect our Federal Constitution against the legal imperialism of large states or powers such as the EU. It was dismissed with the obvious lie that Switzerland (the SVP) wanted to “abolish human rights ..., break treaty compliance [...]”.
  • In the course of this campaign, “Operation Libero” was also launched, a campaign with very eloquent people (mainly of the young, cheeky and female variety) to fight against the “reform backlog” and strive for Switzerland’s accession to the EU.

In this twilight, the debate about the popular initiative For responsible businesses – protecting human rights and the environment or how to deal with the COVID pandemic is now also being discussed.
  People are insecure in their self-concept and in their understanding of living together. And in this hopeless confusion, determined actors have a free hand to pursue their selfish interests.
  A calm reflection is urgently needed. Modern anthropology provides us with a picture of human social nature, which is often given too little consideration in political life. From the perspective of the human sciences, the lines of movement of social development with the interests involved could be carefully viewed and examined for their relevance to life.
  Perhaps we are now using the slow movement of public life caused by the pandemic as an opportunity to do so.  •

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