Monday, March 14, 2016


The results achieved in yesterday's state elections in Germany saw, as predicted, strong support for the protest party Alternativ für Deutschland, the AfD. After a bit of soul searching I find that I cannot write off the voters as witless dupes, seduced by a cogently articulated but simplistic popuits agenda. 

The initials AfD are letters to be found in the word afraid. In 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his inaugural address said the following: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself... nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

And yet change is always scary. The party headed by the feisty and eminently plausible Frauke Petry has as deputy leader Beatrix, Duchess of Oldenburg, by profession a lawyer. I see her as defence cousel, pleading for the right of her clientele to express their fear... perhaps not rational but nevertheless real... of a changed Germany, an increasingl alien Heimat.

There is a conundrum here. Advancing echnologies and especially the internet hade thrust us abruptly into an entirely new societal environment. And yet I would suggest that even the majority of AfD voters see their smartphones as a trusted friend! Hence the challnge: How are we to package 'Radical Discontinuous Change'... a phenomenon that will surely continue to accelerate... to reduce the fear factor and make RDC as cuddly and desirable as an iPhone?

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