Organised non-culture

Mass movements as a manifestation of an antithetical trend

"German culture, where does it still linger? Certainly not at that McDonald's dump", reads a line in a song by Endstähe, a German rock band formed in Bremen in 1981. After all, the fast-food giant with its ubiquitous chain of fast-food restaurants around the globe is the epitome of a common culture, very much in the spirit espoused by the globalists who are so eager to encourage the mobilisation of both financial capitals and human resources roaming the planet as hired wage slaves. This rootless human mass belonging to the big capital must be made feel "at home" no matter where they go. Evolved and mature nations and cultures seem to stand in the way of this trend.

As those who have happened to talk to German patriots can attest, whenever the subject of the conversation switches to the roots of the decline of German culture, one would likely be exposed to references to the process of "re-education", or, simply put, Americanization, of the German nation that was put in motion right after 1945 and was eagerly lauded initially, especially Germany's Western part.

This may explain a great deal, but it is still far from exhaustive. It would be too shortsighted to confine the years of Germany's cultural decline to the years that followed 1945 and attribute it exclusively to the United States' influence (which has been immense, without a doubt).

Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) was a German artist and sculptor who heralded art's ultimate decay with his famous affirmations that "every man is an artist" and "everything is art". According to Beuys, everyone should be given an opportunity to create their own art for the sake of a "new social order". In reality, this would be tantamount to dismantling any form of social organisation.

Organised non-culture
Joseph Heinrich Beuys [bɔɪs][1] (born on May 12, 1921, in Krefeld; died on January 23, 1986, in Düsseldorf) was a German production designer, sculptor, medalist, draftsman, art theorist, and professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.

There are objective standards for something truly beautiful, namely harmony through the organisation. Masterpieces composed by such greats as Beethoven or Bach are notable for their extremely high degree of musical organisation that is so very much in tune with most people's yearning for harmony.

Not least of all, proper attention should be paid to 19th-century Germany. The nation's high-paced technological development and explosive industrialisation paved the way for the growth of its numerous cities, where wage-dependent masses started consolidating.

They were increasingly alienated from nature and their traditional habitats, rural areas and small towns with their unique living and cultural environments. The critics, such as the journalist and culture historian Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl (1823-1897), warned against "the onslaught of the modern civilisation" while advocating the preservation of the inherited traditional values, which, according to him, could be best achieved in rural areas.

Organised non-culture
Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl, von Riehl since 1883 (born on May 6, 1823, in Biebrich near Wiesbaden, Hesse; died on November 16, 1897, in Munich), was a German journalist, writer and culture historian. His writings emphasised the role of early social structures. He was one of the 19th-century founders of the field of folklore studies and left a tremendous impact on the development of 19th-century folkloristics.

In about 1880, a multifaceted countermovement sprang to life, composed of, inter alia, the Naturopathy Movement, associations focusing on preserving local architecture and on promoting decent housing (and the idea of garden cities) and organic farming. Some other clubs and unions dedicated their efforts to folk art, local history, literature, or amateur drama. The youth movement that took root in Germany also traces its origins to this period.

But what about today? No decree or directive, however well-intentioned, is capable of giving the Germans their rich culture back, especially considering that culture as a sum of folk life's manifestations often originates at the grassroots level and is revived in the same way, too.

YouTube may boast myriad "spiritual" products of our decadent and backward civilisation. In addition to the videos that are worth watching, it also offers a cornucopia of quality music. Just think about those who represent the classical era of music, the likes of Beethoven, Mozart, or Schumann. As for those who prefer something funky and uplifting, they can always benefit from tuning in to one of the video service's marching song channels.

Channels such as Dr Ludwig and Der Michel offer various German songs on YouTube. In contrast, Eric Boulanger and others let you play Minnesang songs, specimens of love poetry that evolved along with the culture of knights and courtiers that emerged in the latter half of the 12th century. They have been a smashing success, with the number of viewings hovering in the upper six-figure range.

Beautiful pieces of original fine art have been displayed by Stefan Kellerbauer, whose website is worth a visit. He showcases his own works of art spanning several genres, from still life to landscapes to paintings of edifices. His oil paintings can convey "calm, contentment, and warmth", as advertised by Kellerbauer himself on his website. In turn, the paintings of Leipzig's Michael Triegel (born in 1968) explore the roots of Christianity and Salvation in the history of antiquity and ancient myths.

On the other hand, if you happen to stumble upon the webpage of artists representing the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, you might get the impression that it had been christened by none other than Josef Beuys himself, as his motto of "everyone can be an artist" sounds all the more fitting here, by Western standards.

Organised non-culture
Art picture Michael Triegel: Deus absconditus, 2013.

Architecture, too, has its own rightful place among other arts. As an architect, ideally, your objective is to help gradually develop further and build upon what exists already. In reality, however, megacities tend to feature soulless glass and concrete buildings in the cities' downtown areas, often accompanied by equally dull and monotonous-looking residential projects on the outskirts.

This is certainly the case of Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, and, of course, the US. But where there is a shadow, there is a light, too. Founded in 1973, the Farmers' Protection Association (IgB) aimed at preserving historic rural buildings and their surrounding landscapes. It is the largest of its kind in Germany and has close to 6,000 members. Restoration of old houses is performed using eco-friendly and natural materials.

Regrettably, these examples of grassroots figures and initiatives are but scarce exceptions amidst the (still?) largely uncultured and ignorant masses of the Germans wallowing in primal materialism, very much in the spirit of our time. But as Friedrich von Schiller once so aptly wrote:

"Twere meet that voices should be weighed, not counted.

   Sooner or later must the state be wrecked,

   Where numbers sway and ignorance decides."

(An excerpt from Demetrius, 1805 (premiered in Weimar on February 15, 1857, Act I, Leo Sapieha.)

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