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Roland Fakler


Thoughts about history

By Roland Fakler

History should be a textbook to us. This textbook has a blemish, however: it shows us above all how people have made mistakes. To act differently and better in the future, we need our reason, our fantasy, our creativity and our moral concepts of a better and more human world.

Whoever wants to draw an end line under a chapter of history does not want to learn and to make anything better. There must never be an end line – whatever that may be – under the Stasi rule the Nazi rule or the Inquisition. History has to find out what happened, whether after ten, after a hundred or even after a thousand years. It is committed to the truth independently whether this truth pleases or not.

What had happened cannot be made undone as much as one might often wish so. It must be assessed repeatedly.

If one looks at the history of the last ten thousand years, it is hard to believe that a wise God had created man or a wise God guides that history. It seems much more likely that he has developed from wildlife because as it is there in the history of humankind it is all about eating and being eaten too. However, one must hold the animals of benefit that no pig would probably get the idea to funnel another its beliefs or ideology under murder threats. Only human beings manage to do that.

The human being is a problem. He is the most serious problem on this planet. If somebody is very strong and he manages to organise great power, the problem usually turns into a catastrophe. One could have even the suspicion that the so-called “Great” of world history considered themselves as greater the more terrible and more extensive the disaster was that they have brought on their blind-obeying followers and their opponents. (Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mao…..). Committing great evil is no sign of greatness.

Other strong men vice versa have been persecuted (Mohammed, Lenin, Luther…) by their fellow human beings, they have been humiliated (Jesus) and rejected (Cezanne). Many great artists have not at all been successful during their lifetimes, (Mozart, Schubert). Many have fled into alcohol (Turner, Toulouse-Lautrec), many have fallen into mental derangement ( Nietzsche, Hoelderlin) and many have committed suicide (Van Gogh, Kleist ).

After their death, they have been celebrated. How could this be explained?

As I am myself a strong but educated and loveable man without dictatorial intents and have also lived through a very difficult development, I believe I can contribute something to the elucidation of the problem. I want to explain and clarify to augment the knowledge about the human being, above all about the strong human being. This knowledge is very important to prevent on the one hand catastrophes and to show a way on the other hand how to develop strength into personality. This is my topic.

Already at school, I have become conscious: the whole plight of world history actually lies in the fact that the ones, who have shaped world history decisively, the sovereigns, dictators, ideologists and also the religion founders, have not been great enough to make anything good, that means that they have not been so great that one would have been able to come to them, that one would have wanted to have them. They do not work liberating but depressing. They do not work tolerantly but are dictatorial. They want to force into line all brains; they do not want mature human beings.

To this, I have the following explanation: the human brain is constructed completely madly. It is constructed so crazily that no human could make it up being more madly. One however only notices that, if one is very strong. One causes a tug-of-war. The other people try to play him all possible antics and they try to make a strong man as small as they possibly can. However, this is not meant evilly. Nietzsche speaks here of the “fight of the herd against the exceptions.” That is nonsense. It is rather a typical reaction to the condition of my brain. They can respond hardly differently. They respond all in the same way or similar, and it seems as if they would have come to an agreement among themselves or would have conspired against me. A strong man works, – as long as he is not yet sufficiently great – dictatorial and depressing on others. One does not want him. In addition, one shows him this. The danger is now that he misunderstands these rejecting reactions, that he feels persecuted and threatened and that he strikes back with all methods available. This can cost millions their lives if one has already managed to come to power. (Think of Stalin’s perecution mania)

The most important qualities that a strong man needs in order not to cause a catastrophe are self-control, self-knowledge and endurance with a lonesome way of life. Usually, the strong man determines the rules of the fight, especially as the others react only to him and imitate him. I can only warn from the dictatorship of strong men, because I know how crazy things are in such a brain and because I know the deeds or better the atrocities of strong men from history. Although I am very thoughtful and reason-oriented, I had to go through a quite dark world of thought for years. At that time approximately between my 20th and 30th year I had lived through an absolute megalomania. My brain was mastered in day- and night-dreams by scenes of fight and force. I can only shake my head over it today, but I had to go through it. Since I have experienced similar things from others, for example from Goethe or Shakespeare, I believe that that has not only something to do with the nature of my brain but that I make a statement with it about the nature and dangers of the human brain at itself.

Others may experience these aggressions in other or softened forms. I would call this phase apt: the fight-war-death phase. Besides fight and war, the continuous thought of death plays an important role too. (Longing for death of Jesus)

Every strong man is in the first place a big problem, a problem for himself and for his fellow men. One must not be mistaken, there will be strong men repeatedly and this problem will appear again and again.

How can it be solved?

If one is very strong there is actually only one right and there are countless wrong ways of living. The right way is to retreat into loneliness and to lead a concentrated life on oneself. For most of my life, I have been living many hours a day with earplugs often lying on my backside. That is the strongest way of living that I can think of and that is the way of living with which I develop most quickly to a personality. In this position, my brain is as tense as it is never the case while standing or sitting. So and only so, one can succeed maybe in finishing the struggle. This will namely go as long as one has archived to become so great that others want him, respectively one can come to him. Only then, he can make something really good and lasting.

However, whoever has completed that? Who survives that?

In the-course of world history, only a few people have achieved that goal, but I cannot tell any names. They are relatively unknown because they have done nothing that would have had continuance until today. The philosopher Diogenes, who is said should have lived in a barrel, could have been that. I can express only suppositions over it. The greater one is, the smaller he wants to be and vice versa; if Louis XIV had been greater, he would not have needed such a big palace. Now as he was not such a great person he needed Versailles to appear great. If somebody has archived to rest in himself – that is what I call greatness – he does not want any more but to have his peace and silence. The greater I grow, the smaller I want to be.

The ones, who have shaped world history decisively, such as Buddha, Alexander, Jesus, Caesar, Mohammed, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao… have not been so great, that one would have wanted to have them. They could never be that judging based on their way of life. There is no greatness without loneliness. Greatness is relative of course. Anyway, one cannot succeed in becoming so great that the others can come to someone. That is the crucial point that has to be archived. One had to have them, with the entire scare, the sorrow, the terror, that they needed, in order to come to power and to hold on to power. One did not want them, one had to have them.

The epithet “the great” before Alexander, Constantine, Charlemagne, Otto, Frederik, Peter, Catherine …tells nothing about the greatness of the personality but must be rather understood in the sense of “important.” I suspect that Constantine and Charlemagne got this title from the church because they helped bring the church to power in the Roman – as well as in the Frankish empire. In retrospect, many, like for example Richard Lionheart, who in reality was a bloodthirsty beast, were stylised as heroes. The truth is often sobering very much, why people rather believe in legends. They believe what they wish. The need of the people to entrust in a leader and their victim-willingness on the one hand and the imperfection and unscrupulousness of these leaders, on the other hand, have often led to gigantic catastrophes.

I also consider it dangerous to put down a monument to a man like Napoleon, who has primarily prepared an all-European disaster. That could have tempted Hitler to believe that he would receive another even bigger monument if he prepared for an even bigger disaster. Similar is applied to Fredrik the Great, who has plotted wars, from pure greed and power-greed in the middle of peace that have cost the lives of thousands of young men, women and children. One should raise no monument for him but should make him the process before a war-criminal tribunal late.

Of course, we must make use of the past, not only of the Nazi past but of the whole past. There may never be an inquisition, a Gestapo or a Stasi in Germany again. The people should be allowed to speak and believe freely what nobody harms.

In Germany, there have been not only two dictatorships but three: the Catholic church, the Nazis and the Communists. All three of them have in common their intolerance and the persecution of dissidents. If I hate the Gestapo, then also the NSDAP, if I hate the Stasi, then also the SED and if I hate the Inquisition, I must probably hate the church, in its name and commission it has pursued people. One must admit that the church has improved itself under the pressure of the Enlightenment. One may forgive sins; – history however may never be forgotten.

The intolerance of the church towards the Jews, already in the first centuries of our calendar, and Luther’s hate speeches have smoothed the way for the Holocaust. The authorities-state education, the education to blind cadaver obedience and the militarism were very favourable for a smooth execution. If people march in step, one has to assume that only the trunk-brain is active, – and that is dangerous. (SS, SA) The militarism in Germany and with it that brain- and heartless form of heroism was developed in the Prussia of the soldier-king Fredrik William and was exported by the predominance of Prussia to Germany and into other continents. (Japan, America)

The craziness of world history consists of that, that always one man or a party or a religion has tried to stipulate to all human beings how they have to live and to think. The solution is called tolerance in a pluralistic society. People are not identical but different. They can become happy in very different ways and because much we don’t know but can only suspect, it must probably be allowed to think differently. Whoever would like to bring all people under a hat, rapes the best part of them, namely the ones that have their peculiarity and think independently.

Fear is a bad companion if one tries to find the right way or the truth. People, who fear hell, the concentration- camps or the Stasi, speak differently than they think. Dictators often cannot assess themselves correctly, because the people respond differently, as they feel because of fear or minority. With many thinking people, it can hardly be done that all think the same. Same thinking can only be archived, if one dictates and the others stop to think. Propaganda is always suspicious: what is convincing must not be propagated.

Every dictatorship is bad. I would even go so far as to say that even the dictatorship of Roland Fakler would be bad.

The foundation of the United Nations, the Charter of the United Nations and the erection of the International Court of Justice in the Hague are big advances in the history of mankind. War criminals do not believe in a divine judge, therefore, it is important that they must pay for their actions with real earthly penalties. Values and goals must be set up. The world may simply no longer be left to the coincidence and to the capriciousness of individuals.

The liberal democracy offers the best guarantee that no longer whole people are sacrificed to the power greed of single megalomania dictators. The history of Germany after the war is a success story. Humility often shows better ways than arrogance. Democracy is the state form in which a strong individual can develop himself best. Weak people make the variety of orientations in a multicultural society feel uncomfortable. The deputies in a democracy however are also not as independent as they might believe. They must think of their party career, of interest groups and of the next elections. Therefore, there must be also independent spirits, artists and authors. The authors are signalmen. Unfortunately, they have often been victims of the propaganda themselves (for example Stalin’s) and are only suitable to detoxify derailed trains on the scrap metal place of history.

Man is neither good nor bad but he is weak, therefore he is quite a big imitator in the good as in the evil. The spiritual surroundings and the models are decisive for his behaviour and thinking. The educational value of a positive model weighs a hundred times more than a negative model. If one shows a child a hundred times how the pigs have behaved (Nazis), one may not assume at the end of this education, that they now behave in a courtly manner. Much more likely is, that they fart and will grunt, as the pigs. (Neonazi) How otherwise should they behave? They have no positive model.

Democracy must be strong and defence-ready too, inside and outside. He who wants to preserve his human rights must fight groupings in originating that want to restrict these. One should not be tolerant towards people, who aim to abolish freedom. Outside the defence-systems become only then superfluous, if there is a world-police. Unscrupulous dictators understand only the language of the force and if one cannot speak this language one loses everything of value: freedom, human rights, and the peace. Nato has preserved peace and freedom in Western Europe during the Cold War.

Democracy is always in danger of incitement or people-seduction because most people are not strong but weak and underage in reality. It gave nothing for what people could not be excited about. One could win them for the total war with equal enthusiasm, like for Jesus’ crucifixion. There is nothing more stupid than an incited mass.

The goal of humankind must be to create a just and live-worthy world for all people. Only that means world peace. Nobody should be allowed to be exploited and suppressed. Capitalism and the unfair distribution of goods cannot be the last word of history. Extreme waste here, poverty, and hunger there should no longer be allowed. The environment is no longer allowed to be exploited and further destroyed at the expense of future generations. We must strive for a stable balance, not for economic growth. The population explosion must be stopped. The more people there are, the more difficult it becomes to create a just world for all.

Everyone should have the right to decide on his living and thinking himself. Whoever limits the freedom of thinking prevents an advance of thinking too. Everyone is a sovereign individual within a liberal democracy and has to respect others as sovereign and mature individuals. Nobody may dictate, everybody should have the possibility to contribute to the thinking and shaping. Privileges are always bad the worst however are those, which are granted by birth. It is no merit to be the son of the father.

There will always be dispute. Maybe it is not at all desirable that there is no more dispute, because dispute can work enlivening and development promoting very much. It is crucial how dispute is delivered: with words with sticks or with bombs. One recognises the level of a culture by it.

It is good if as many people as possible think about how the state is reigned best and it is good if they may express these thoughts frankly. If people would think more over the right action in the present then they need not constantly manage their past. But considering only what will cause headache to the next generation is not enough – there must follow actions.


Zählmarke 10 / ID 68644de168464f34bab503a70af2d083 / 11.01.2018

Copyright © November 1999 Roland Fakler