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Why shame and spontaneity are so important in politics

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Klaus Brink Bäumer is program manager at the MDR in Leipzig. You can contact him by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brinkbaeumer

A feeling and an ability have risen to prominence these weeks, embarrassment and spontaneity, and before I get to the relevant issues, a quick reminder of the younger years.

re Spontaneity: The hero of my youth, volleyball coach and German teacher, taught us that the meaning of daily training is liberation. The more experienced, the more confident I am in the basics, the fitness, the technique, the understanding of the game, the more I enjoy playing, that is, with confidence and freedom, and with match point in the fifth set against a monstrous block of three , something that has never been practiced can be successful.

[Alle aktuellen Entwicklungen zum Ukraine-Krieg lesen Sie hier in unserem Newsblog.]

d Shame: After the home games, the coach and manager of the glorious FC Bayern, Jupp Heynckes and Uli Hoeneß, received the Munich sports journalists in a smoke-filled VIP room in the Munich Olympic Stadium. I was the new kid, I still remember how dizzy I was, I can still feel today how I couldn’t breathe back then. My colleagues later told me that if I had fallen, I would have swept the wheat beer glasses off the table. From the beginning, it was the most embarrassing moment in the life of a journalist.

Shame ensured that slavery was abolished in North America

Shame can remain and shame forms; Shame is a feeling of our times because social media empowers us and makes us powerless at the same time: we can shame others, we can be exposed. Shame is the fear of disappearing, Vivian Gornick wrote in Harper’s, and it is essential to social order, said Confucius, and also to ethical behavior, Aristotle believed. If significant parts of North America had not been ashamed, they would not have abolished slavery.

You can get a lot of practice in politics, speech and appearance anyway, the best ones become humorous through relaxed security. No one in this government can explain why Olaf Scholz and his federal government had not thought about how they would ideally react if Volodymyr Zelenskyj gave a historic speech in the Bundestag. You already know: Prophylactic scenario analysis helps.

Scholz gave a historic hour of collective embarrassment

But even without preparation, a reaction is possible. It’s called empathy: something touches me, I empathize, I react. The fact that Scholz did not respond to Selenskyi, that the Bundestag stuck to its agenda (next point: two birthdays), unfortunately became a historic hour of collective shame.

The unplanned is exciting and risky, which is why spontaneity and shame are so often intertwined. Time: we don’t have. Act: we must, now. So Scholz does what Scholz has always done (but not on that Sunday when he defined a turning point and took over the leadership of the country): he prefers not to dare and this time he is ashamed of it.

It is fatal that the federal government is relaxing the corona measures

And now the entire government, including Karl Lauterbach, is sticking to the FDP-mandated relaxations, as planned, even though refugees arrive unplanned, many people die unplanned, many get sick unplanned, more than ever. This inability to react wisely on the fly will imply the inability to meet the vaccination requirement, as this will no longer be explainable.

Is Lauterbach ashamed? Certainly he knows better.

Does Putin also know shame? Yes, but not in the way we would like.

And can Putin really react spontaneously? correct you? What he is doing to Ukraine is an alleged multiple war crime. Putin should already know that his plan was absurd because none of his basic assumptions were true.

He or she is embarrased? Yes, but unfortunately because of Russia’s supposedly shameful role in the world, that’s why the war started.

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