In response to ZDF's"German Dream"
Date: Monday, 19 August 05

Lieber ZDF-Team,
I have more than just a "dream", I have a VISION, for Germany (where I lived from 1973 to 2002), for Europe and for the whole world - since we all share just one finite and vulnerable planet, Spaceship Earth.
If we want to maintain and cultivate, rather than continue losing, racial, cultural and linguistic diversity (which is where globalisation and, paradoxically, the ideology of multicultural society is forcing us), we must learn to do so in a civilised, non-threatening fashion, without giving cause for, or fear of, being accused of chauvinism or racism by the ideologues of multiculturalism, who subconsciously exploit our shame of the Nazi's insane and criminal misuse of the concept of "race" and national (i.e. German) identity which, along with slavery and imperialism, still weighs so heavily on the conscience of most ethnic Europeans.
European culture still very much dominates the world, so we Europeans have to be careful how we tread, i.e. how we assert our sense of European identity (and as Germans, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Poles, Russians, etc. and not forgetting ethnic Europeans in other parts of the world), without stepping on other people's toes (African's, Asian's and all the other, far less numerous, native peoples, as well as those of mixed race and ethnicity).
As Europeans we have far more than our fair share to be proud of in the field of human achievement, but are inclined to swing from one extreme, of being intolerably arrogant about it, to the other extreme of feeling that we have to deny or apologise for it. We need to learn to combine pride with humility.
We also need to recognise that there are native Europeans and non-native, native Germans, etc. and non-native, and stop pretending that race (i.e. ethnic origin) doesn't matter, when it evidently does. It must be faced with caution, not with the fear that is currently causing us to deny its importance. Suppressing it, far from avoiding trouble, makes future trouble inevitable. We have to face up to the importance of race (ethnic origins) for individual, national and European identity, while at the same time preventing it from being misused again, as it was in Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.
There are two urgent and fundamental issues facing mankind (particularly Europeans), both of which we are currently struggling to/not to face up to. The first is the imperative of achieving SUSTAINABILITY on our finite and vulnerable planet, before a ruthless mother nature does it for us. The second is PERSONAL IDENTITY, encompassing local, national, European, racial, ethnic, and (although not in the sense usually understood) religious identity.
Most importantly, we (Germans as much, if not more than most) are in denial of the fundamental non-sustainability of our growth-dependent economy and the grossly materialistic way of life it engenders, along with many of the values, attitudes and aspirations which underlie them both. We do not see it, 1) because it is what we have grown up with and are familiar with (what I call the "insanities of normality"), and 2) because we are so completely dependent on it. This is why we are finding it so hard to come out of denial and face up to. But unless we do, the future, for our children and coming generations, looks very bleak indeed (unless we make some very radical changes, we are the real "no-hope" generation).
The root cause of non-sustainability is, again, something we are not facing up to, although it has been known (but not recognised) for well over a century, i.e. since Charles Darwin taught us about our animal origins, and the extent to which society, the economy and our individual behaviour is, naturally enough, rooted in and determined by our animal nature. Our modern, free-market economy has developed and been honed to take advantage of it. Granted, our human nature has sought to make it more just and humane, mainly by diverting some of the immense wealth created to such ends, but it is still rooted in and dependent upon our animal nature, making it fundamentally inhumane, unjust and unsustainable.
Man’s social behaviour evolved over millions of years to serve the survival and advantage of individuals and family groups in the natural environment ; there has been no time for it to adapt to the much larger social units of human civilisations, which only arose in the past few thousand years. In addition to which, the natural environment has effectively been replaced by an artificial "socio-economic environment ", where, still driven by our primitive programming, we continue the struggle for survival and advantage. In the modern world this largely boils down to making money in the local, national or global economies, which explains why, at terrible peril to ourselves (certainly to our children and coming generations), we persist in giving the economy (the household of man) priority over ecology (the household of our planet).
It is European thought, science, technology, economics and lifestyle aspirations that have largely shaped, and continue to shape, the modern world, in which Germany played a major role, and which got us into this mess. It is thus incumbent upon us to lead the way out of it. Leaving it to mother nature, as effectively we are doing at the moment, would be an absolute tragedy - for Germany, for Europe and for the whole world.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Roger Hicks
Barkingside, London