About the german culture

This article will be about the german culture and my experience growing up in germany. One of the 194 tribes on planet earth which has quiet a good image in this world. I’ve come across people who think that germany is a rich country and because of its social market economy everybody lives in wealth.

So I will not only show you that things are fucked up here as well, but also why I can’t see any or only little change emerging in the trade-free direction we at TROM propose.

Of course I will generalize in this article and there’s no way of judging or talking about 83 million people in bulk, so I will talk about the german culture and thoughts I have about that culture based on my experiences. We also should keep in mind that human behavior is a result of the environment, so when I say “germans” I mean people that engage in that typical “german” behavior I’m talking about. This will be a long article full of insights, interesting facts and thoughts I have about this culture.

So let’s get started.

I grew up in a tiny village in southern germany with around 700 people. People live there in their big houses with a garden and a garage with 1 or 2 cars. They go to work, children go to kindergarden or to school and on holidays they usually go on vacation, like so many other germans. There’s a local football club with a football pitch, a church in the city center and some farmers here and there. Since the village is so small, there’s no supermarket or so, but you’ll find some small businesses like a hair saloon, a beverage store and a carpenter’s company.

Here’s a picture of that little village.

There are many more small towns and villages like that in germany if you just move around in openstreetmap at an altitude of 2km: See here.

The next bigger cities around that village are 10 to 20 km away and there are schools, supermarkets, industry and so on.

Now that you have a slight idea how the ‘physical environment’ where I grew up looks like, I want to share some insights and facts of the ‘social environment’ of germany and why it is not that paradise who many think of.

Everyday life

I’m telling you nothing new if I say people are trapped in the Game of Trade. And the Game of Trade is very strictly organized and managed by the german statopus (government) as I will show you.

Children have to go to school by law (yes there is actually compulsory education like in so many other tribes of this world) and ‘grown ups’ have to pay their way through life with a job. Nothing new.

Social system

Now, some may say there’s a good social system in germany. If you loose your job for example, you get unemployment benefits (money from the government). Yes, that is true, however it’s linked to a lot of conditions like you have to endeavor to end your unemployment, you have to be available for the job center and you have to be a german citizen of course. So it is not unconditional (not trade-free).

Basically the german statopus says: I give you these unemployment benefits that you need to rent an appartment and buy food only when you endeavour to find a job. And when you don’t find a job, we will find one for you, so that you can work again and pay taxes. And if you don’t want to do that – well, then find a way to survive.

And that might be one of the reasons why people end up on the street and the fact that there are 860,000 homeless people shows definitively that things go wrong. Especially while at the same time 1,8 million appartments are empty according to this study. Maybe the german statopus cares more about it’s workers (slaves). In the following pictures you can see a guy scavenging through a garbage bin in Stuttgart.

As you can see, he is lighting with a torch light looking for some bottles or cans. Why is he looking for that? Because in germany, there’s a recycling system where you get 25 cents per plastic bottle or can. So if you collect a couple of them you have a small sort of income which allows you to buy things you need or want. While I don’t know if he’s homeless, it’s very likely that he’s affected by poverty, as that’s the main reason why people collect bottles/cans from the street. And if you’re homeless, that’s definitively a good way to earn money to survive.

Insurance

What if you get a disease and can not work anymore?

Since you must have an insurance in germany, you will also get money in this case. So that obligation to have an insurance can be good in the sense, that if something happens (you break a leg, get a disease or get hit by a car), you’re not fucked like in the US, where you have to pay everything by yourself if you’re one of the 30 millions who don’t have health insurance. But it can be also bad, since you have to pay monthly at least around 200 euros by yourself, unless you have an insurance by your workplace (of course you pay it from your wage) or unless you can get insured within your family’s insurance for free up to 25 IF you do an apprenticeship or study something (of course your parents pay insurance) in this case.
Got that?

Basically if the german statopus knows that you will be a citizen, that works and pays taxes in the future, because you get an apprenticeship or university degree, then you can get that free health insurance until you’re 25 years old.

But then if you study at a university, you also need to pay for your rent and food and a fee for each semester (which is around 200 euros or way more). So now you can either apply for a scholarship (which is very difficult to get), get a side job while you’re studying or take a loan which you have to pay back when your study is finished (called BAföG). Generally, the repayments of this loan are capped to a maximum of 10,000 € regardless of the total loan sum that was granted and there are 0 interests, but it’s like starting the game monopoly with a couple thousands in debt.

So you see, in germany there are many rules, laws and a maze around these things, but I have to say it is way better than in the US or other countries where you end up having more debts for example. But I also want to mention that 80.000 people do not have insurance. Probably because they can’t afford it or have problems with the next thing which is connected with all that.

Bureaucrazy

You might realize, all these things like insurance, unemployment benefits, studying and so forth are a huge administration effort. Things need to get decided case by case: Who gets unemployment benefit, how much depending on the age, years he/she has worked already, does he/she has a child, who gets BaföG and how much (that depends on the parent’s income) etc. etc.

These are some of the bullshit jobs in an office where people work 8 hours per day to keep this inefficient system running. And this is just one aspect of the bureaucraziness in germany. Each and every aspect is dominated by it and there are so many rules and regulations that it is ridiculous. As an example: “Margarine is defined according to the definition laid out by margarine law,” and “Postal regulations contain some of the most outstanding examples of bureaucratic jargon going. ‘A postman’s sack is a bag, which, due to the fact that it serves as a tool for delivering mail, is not referred to as a postman’s bag but as a postman’s sack, since its content actually consists of several bags,’ reads one Deutsche Post memo – allegedly.” (source)

Gibberish.

To give you a clue, there are 1,924 laws and 3,440 regulations with a total of 76,382 articles and paragraphs (source). And that doesn’t even include the laws and regulations of the 16 states in germany.

All these laws and regulations must come from somewhere? But from where?

Politics

Of course all of that is created by politicians/the political system. And politics is quiet popular in germany I’d say. Sure, there are people who know this system is bullshit, but many people are very into it. They might think they live in a country with freedom and democracy, but don’t realize they are enslaved to the trade system. Many even defend that system. They say: You have the freedom to choose the work you do, the place you live and the things you wanna do.

Well okay maybe some can afford to choose what type of slave work they want to do, but eventually you have to make money somehow and that depends a lot on your education (degrees and grades) and you can only live where you can afford it and do the things you can afford to do.

But you have the freedom to elect partys which represent your opinions, they say. Well, if you want to choose between Burger King and McDonalds, then please, call that a democracy. We all know how politicians and business work together (statopus and privatopus working hand in hand), they lie, take advantage of things and in the end the richest benefit from it, no matter what.

Watch this for one minute to get a perspective about the inequality in germany:

But well, having political discussions about this party or that one, about the left wing and the right wing, about elections and democracy is a mess, confuses people completely and nobody is aware that they are just different hats on top of the trade system. Then add the fact that if people have good intentions (like the Alliance 90/The Greens once had when they formed), and even if they get elected into the government, they get polluted by this corrupted system, change nothing and from their good intentions in changing the system is little to no left.

I personally once asked some of the greens in Stuttgart about the system and if they try to change it. They said no, because they can’t change the structure of our economy. They too are aware that the whole system is fucked up, but they are also just a little wheel in that big trade machine.

Okay, and what about the media? Is there some science?

Media

So in germany there are a couple public-service broadcaster which are financed by the german citizens (yes, you have to pay 210 euros per year for that if you live here). That is to be economical and political independent, have the latest news, be critical and diverse.

As you can see in this graph about the audience market shares of selected TV stations in Germany in 2019, the 2 most popular ones (ARD and ZDF) have a market share of 23,9 % of all the people watching TV and a market share of 12,1 % from people between 14 – 49 years. The other ones are all private.

Okay there seem’s to be some good intentions coming from the public-service broadcaster ARD and ZDF, so let’s look at their program:

In both ARD and ZDF you will find news, a lot of series, talk-shows, entertainment-shows, some sport and movies of course (be it crime-movies, romances or the like). Documentaries make only a little part of the programs and science news are also rare from my experience. I honestly have to say there are some fantastic documentaries made by or supported from ARD and ZDF and you can find all of them online (here and here for example) and there are even channels where documentaries and science are the main part of the program (like ZDFinfo), but the market share from ZDFinfo is only 1%.

On a positive note I also have to say that kurzgesagt and mailab are some great science youtube channels for example, which are supported by funk – a public service content-network – but on a negative note these 2 are only some of the few channels who talk about science. The rest is entertainment.

And then you have the private funded broadcaster like RTL, ProSieben, Sat1 and more. As you can see here different TV-Channels belong to one media group – shit in multiple flavours. They consist of news, soap operas, scripted reality shows, entertainment and sport. As an example take I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! So called ‘stars’ spend time in a jungle in Australia and have to do challenges like eating camel penis, turkey testicles and ostrich anus. This is one of the dumbest TV-Show with an average of 6 million germans watching that. Of course that TV-Station wants attention from people so it can show ads and therefore it promotes any kind of dumb or shocking content. Dima wrote a great book about todays entertainment industry.

Children watch Disney-Channel, Nickelodeon or SuperRTL which tell them fantasy stories about non existing things. And the new media like Instagram, TikTok, Netflix and Co. train kids and teenager to be a dumb worker and consumer, leaving them with little to no curiosity about the real world we are living in. Take a look at the most subscribed YouTube Channels in germany – Kurzgesagt is the only good one, the rest is bullshit.

I also want to briefly mention alternative news like KenFM with almost 400.000 subscribers. I didn’t spend too much time to check them out, so I don’t want to judge them but I stumbled across some non-scientific statements. As an example take the interview with Wolfgang Wodarg. Wikipedia states: “Various German media examined Wodarg’s claims for accuracy and concluded that his statements would largely contradict the verifiable facts, some statements were neither refutable nor verifiable, but on closer examination proved to be misleading. It would mix up facts that had nothing to do with each other.”

In another article on KenFM you can read the following: “There is an old natural Indian / Ayurveda medicine, Curcumin, that comes in capsules as C90. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound that has been successfully used to treat cancer, infectious diseases and, yes, coronaviruses.” completely bullshit. It seem’s like KenFM is against everything what the mainstream says. Even if they are good people and want to question and think critical about things, please be scientific and do not promote unscientific bullshit which is against the mainstream to gain attention.

EDIT 09.05.2020: KenFM is promoting any bullshit to gain attention, like conspiracy theories and wrong informations about the coronavirus. (source)

So I would say many germans are completely misleaded and confused about the media. You don’t know what is right or wrong, left or right, up or down. Who to trust and who not? What’s a conspiracy and what fact? Who tells the truth and who not? It’s a chaos.

At least there are some investigative, independent and non-profit organizations like correctiv, Netzpolitik (about state surveillance, open source software, telecommunications laws, as well as creative public goods and a free knowledge society) and MedWatch (about false reporting and misleading advertising in the medical field – like healthnewsreview.org). You also got world leading climate science experts like Stefan Rahmstorf who contributes to a website about climate science and you might also know Deutsche Welle who makes some great documentaries for example. So there is good stuff out there in german and I curate that on the TROM curated news in german, but it’s like a drop of sanity in an ocean of confusion.

Cars

At least germans know how to build cars. And they are very good at it. They actually keep producing and producing and sell them to tribes like china and others. As if there are not enough cars in the world. In germany alone there are around 46,5 million cars registered (and there are many more cars unregistered standing around unused). That leads to traffic jams (especially on highways and big cities), air pollution, and a huge inefficient use of resources since cars are parked basically 23 hours a day. Jen wrote a great book about the cars craziness in this world.

Despite the fact that more and more young people are aware of this problem and use bikes, buses and trains more often and Germany has a good public transportation system I’d say, you are still more flexible with a car. Especially on the countryside where I grew up, it is not only cool to own a car, but also more comfortable to get to your job, visit friends, go shopping and such. So I know young people who are excited about their cars, tune them, take care of them and treat them like a baby. Just 1 hour from where I live there is a big car exhibition with around 100.000 people. But that’s nothing compared to the biggest motor show in Frankfurt, the International Motor Show Germany, with 800.000 visitors. Add the fact that many people depend on the car industry (car manufacturing, car parts supplier, car insurance, car repair shop, car renting etc.) and you know why many germans love cars.

As a fact, there have been 3.607.258 new car registrations in 2019 and 1.127.611 of them were SUV’s. You know SUV’s are these big cars like that one, which you need in a highly urbanized area like germany ;). Instead of getting smaller, electric and self driving, the cars in germany seem to get bigger, remain fossil fuel based and manual – okay maybe the transmission is automatic. Electric cars with a market share of 1,8 % don’t make a dent.

Beliefs

It seems like not only romanians, but also germans believe you get a cold, when you go outside into the cold with wet hair. I think that one is prevailing in so many heads in the world haha. (Video)

So let’s talk about another typical belief many germans have – homeopathy.

Some interesting, ridiculous and even scary facts about homeopathy in germany:

  • It is “supported by massive lobbying following the example of the rest of the pharmaceutical industry” (source).
  • According to this representative survey (they asked 1.503 germans) 60% of them took a homeopathic drug.
  • “In Germany, private health insurances cover the costs of homeopathic treatments with all physicians. Private supplementary insurances also cover the costs of homeopathic treatments with alternative practitioners (if necessary, less an agreed deductible). In most cases, the costs of homeopathic medicines are covered.” (source)
  • There are currently about 60,000 doctors in Germany who regularly prescribe homeopathic and anthroposophic medicines. (source)
  • The revenue from homeopathic medication was 666,1 million euros in 2018 (luckily only 1,2 % of total revenue from all medications).
  • Homeopathy was invented by a german.

Of course, many doctors and scientists in germany (and all over the world) criticize homeopathy, but since there is a profit to be made, companies and doctors will promote it. A perfect example how trade pollutes science.

And yes, I personally know people who also believe in that, plus a homeopathic doctor, and they are nice people, but they believe in all kinds of ‘mystical powers’ and ‘higher forces’. Speaking of that, let’s look at religion.

Religion and Tradition

Religion is a part of the german culture and they do all kinds of rituals.

Almost every village in my area has a church and also a cemetry. All churches in germany (including 2800 mosques) amount to 48.400 in total. (source)

That’s 25 times more churches than hospitals.

The church in the small village I grew up in.

That’s a cemetry in the neighbour village:

So it is no wonder that religion is a big part of that culture and you got 28,2 % catholics and 25,5 % evangelics of the total population. That amounts to 44,4 million people or 53,7 % of all germans. 5% believe in something else and the rest is non religious.

I know some people who would be counted as a catholic or evangelic and they don’t believe in god, but then I also know people who strongly believe in god. In any case, religion is strongly ingrained into the culture and even every day life is based on it like holidays (christmas, easter and pentecost) for example or sunday which is the so called “Day of the Lord”. Not surprisingly, even the strongest political party, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany, is religious and represents so called ‘christian values’.

I do not say being religious is good or bad, but to base your world view on imaginary things instead of science and facts can lead to harmful thinking, as we explain in one of our books. It’s a tricky thing and religion might make you accept things the way they are (“it’s goods will”), on the other hand one might draw strength from religion and get inspired to help others or even do science. As we argue in “The science vaccine”, it depends on how religion is interpreted.

However, as an interesting fact, 70 % of church revenues come from church tax (Kirchensteuer). This was about 9,2 billion euros in 2010 (source). See how religion is connected with the trade system and even depends on it? Maybe people would believe less in a good or spiritual being if they are more educated and their necessities are taken care of in a trade-free manner.

Carnival

I also wanna bring up a special tradition from my area which is Carnival (it’s called Fastnacht). That’s an event to which many people look forward for the whole year, since they basically work as slaves the whole year and this is a kind of freedom where people gather and celebrate. The origin of Fastnacht was to ‘hunt and expell the winter spirits’, then it adapted to Catholicism and turned into a huge bender/drinking party today. It is ridiculous as I will show you.

Look at this, I mean people are seriously dressing up like witches, demons and in other costumes and walk in a parade through the streets. What’s the difference between the so called ‘primitive tribes’ dancing around a fire?

I don’t care what people do or how they dress like, but we should not forget that this tradition may be uphold by our trade-based system since carnival is a period of time where people come together, celebrate and feel some kind of community. I ask myself if that would still exist in a saner world, where people are not enslaved the whole year so they have more time and leisure to be together and to learn and think about the universe.

But carnival is not only in germany, it’s all over the world.

Let’s move to the last thing that is connected with that.

Party and Alcohol

Maybe you’ve heard about the famous “octoberfest” in munich which is a huge drinking party with a few million visitors every year.

More than 7 million litres of alcohol are servered every year.

This is not an exception, since drinking alcohol is a part of the culture. Be it a beer in the football stadium or a beer after work, a glass of wine in a restaurant or cocktails and long drink in the bars and clubs. With around 11 litres of pure alcohol consumed per capita, germany is in the upper middle field compared to other tribes in the world.

Since I grew up in this environment, I also drank a lot of alcohol when I was in school and I wanna share some reasons why I did that:

  • I was not happy with my life. I was stuck in that little village and had not much that was exciting. Going to school was boring so getting wasted with your friends is “fun” and makes you forget the daily hamsterwheel.
  • Social pressure. If you would not drink while going out with other people, you would be the weird one. Some might make jokes about you or ignore you. It’s just normal to drink alcohol, because you know, almost everybody drinks.
  • Didn’t know what else to do. If you grow up in that environment, and your curiosity about the world got never really sparked, then you feel bored and don’t know what to do in your life. You might watch some movies, play some games on your playstation or computer and get your attention soaked out of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Netflix. You dream about how to get rich one day, how to get famous or be the next football star. These are illusionary values promoted by our trade-based society where everything is about attention, looks and artificial values.

Of course that doesn’t apply to all young people and there were students who didn’t drank at all. But they were a minority and the ‘outsiders’.

So luckily I was travelling and exploring the world which widened my mental horizon a lot and made me curious and furious about this world we are living in. I saw not only the poverty in tribes of asia, but also learned about the possibility of providing a wold of abundance with technology. Eventually that made me open to new ideas and projects like TROM which are beyond these little cultures and tribes we are living in today.

I wanna bring up two more things which are essential for the german culture.

Football and weapons

Actually I don’t want to talk too much about this, but I just want to state that football is the most popular sport in germany. And while the slaves in the companies get distracted by either watching football or playing by themselves, the german statopus approves for a record high in arms exports. A staggering 8 billion euros in arms exports were approved in 2019 alone.

What about these “christian values” in the biggest party of germany (CDU) now?

There is hope… maybe

We are still in the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, and what I realized from that for example is how exponential growth works. Be it a virus, the climate or an idea. Things can change very fast with this exponential growth thing. People might realize faster and faster that things are fucked up and will be ready for change. But I would say there is a chance of 0,almost non existent. Here’s why:

People don’t know the problem

People are pushed by the trade-environment without recognizing it like the fish in the water which are pushed by the water current without recognizing the current.

So many people know that there’s ‘something’ wrong, since there are so many problems – even my parents know that. That’s obvious for many, but the thing is, nobody knows exactly what this ‘something’ is. Is it the politicians, the lobbyists or big companies who fuck things up? Is it the banks, the asset managers like Blackrock or the big coal and oil companies? Is it people in general, because they are greedy and selfish?

You can get so confused by the school education, media and opinions from other people, that it is very difficult to figure a way out of that. Even scientists believe in freedom and democracy, just because they are taught to think that way and it just sounds good if people have the power (like in a ‘perfect democracy’), right?

People in sustainability movements/social organizations

That’s why many people focus on solutions directly without having the enemy in sight, since they are not aware of it. An example is ONE. I joined that organization a while ago just to get to know an organization like them and try to talk to them about trade. ONE is a “nonpartisan, non-profit, advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support policies and programs that are saving lives and improving futures.“ (source)

So to put it simply, they educate the public about poverty and with the support of the public they demand statopus to help poor people in africa. A form of good lobbying you might say.

The problem here is that statopus has its interests of course, so when you ask governments to help people, they might provide education (schools and books) for these poor people in africa about how to start a small business. And so they become the next players in the Game of Trade. Of course, maybe it’s better to have a small business and getting some money with that, than dying because of not being able to pay for food, but well, we know the problem with business and how it might makes people to charlatans.

Add the fact that ONE is financed by big corporations like Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Google and Johnson & Johnson, and you can imagine how little their interest is to change something on a structural level, but rather help these people to be the next consumers of the products of these big corporations.

I was one of their Youth Ambassadors and of course I knew I was one their puppets used to promote them, but I saw it as an opportunity to meet young people and educate them about trade and what we talk about at TROM. Unfortunately I was not that successful.

That was in Berlin in the subway on the way to a demonstration. I’m smiling but inside I feel ridiculous. The sign says “only when all have the same rights we all are really equal”.

I met people there with good intentions and they believed in what they do at ONE, so it is really tricky to try to make them aware that they only tackle symptoms of our trade-based society and do patchwork.

Same goes for social entrepreneurs who try to make the world a better place with combining commerce with social issues. Ben & Jerry’s is an example. I mean, they try to be more eco friendly, to give their workers better wages (fair-trade) and to help other people in poverty by giving them access to things they need, but in the end they are are not addressing the problem. It’s like trying to be nice in the game monopoly and you might achieve that for a while, but in the end you depend on people landing on your streets. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s they depend on people buying their ice cream. And if people go for other ice creams which are cheaper, they also have to lower their prices and give up on some of their good intentions. It’s a slippery slope.

These social businesses (more examples here) also give the consumer a illusionary feeling of doing good by consuming: “Ohh if just everybody in the world would buy fair-trade and eco-friendly products, the world would be a better place”. Well, many people can’t afford these products since they are usually more expensive. And as we argue in “The origin of most problems”, there’s no way of making the Game of Trade fair.

I also came across people who think growing your own food and getting off grid with a self-sustainable community will change the world. Permaculture is a way of doing that, but in the end there’s no way of us going ‘back to the roots’, growing our own food and ‘living in harmony with nature’ like thousands of years ago. As we explain in “The money game and beyond“, the Kibbutz in Israel live that way, but they don’t even make a dent in the world.

I personally joined some other youth panels in germany for the same reason I joined ONE (to make people aware of trade and show them TROM’s ideas). One was a youth advisory board by the state I grew up in and it was about sustainability. Youth advisory board may sounds important, but you can imagine 20 young people from the south of germany sitting in a circle and talking about nothing really. I tried to talk with them about TROM ideas, but nobody seemed interested. We talked about politicians, about our role in this advisory board and about our ideas of how to make the state more ecofriendly, like for example more bike ways for bicycles or a lower price for public transportation. Also about regional and seasonal food production and new ways of growing food like Hydroponics and Aquaponics. Even insect burger were a thing. In the end only patchworking the system, as long as we don’t keep trade as the problem in mind.

The other youth panel was made of around 23 people from all over germany. I also tried to talk to them, I hold some workshops and presentations about TROM, but in the end, I don’t know if some of these participants checked out our project.

One of some presentations I did about TROM.

And then there’s the Fridays for Future movement with a couple of thousands members. These are mostly young people who strike every friday on the street for climate justice. They basically want the statopus to stick to the paris agreement.

Pictures from here.

I am sharing here and there some books, articles or tools we at TROM create, but usually you get ignored.

Then you got people who don’t have to be necessarily in an organization, but they think going vegan is the way which makes the world a better place. To buy regional, seasonal and plasticfree is the way to go. Of course that might support local businesses, instead of big corporations, who grow food in an sustainable way, but that’s also not the way to go. As long there is trade, there’s a slippery slope. Maybe these around 9 million people (eating a vegan + vegetarian diet) are not aware that many fruits from the supermarket are coming from places where people work under terrible conditions.

So to summarize that point, I’d say that people in these ‘sustainable movements’ are so engaged in their project, trapped into patchworking the system without realizing the real problem, or simply being not aware of it.

Values from old people

Then there are old people who just can’t keep up with the world. Of course old people are capable of understanding new technology and ideas, as the human brain is so malleable, however the fact that they come from an environment which was quiet different 50, 60 years ago or more makes it really difficult. Take my grandparents. They were born during 2nd world war and grew up in a time where everything was destroyed, cities were bombed and people were poor. They were happy to have a job, so they could buy things they need. They come from an era where they grew a lot of food by themselves and had some chickens and pigs. They worked their whole life, are now in pension and do not too much. Here and there they go on a day tour with a bus, my grandpa loves to drive with his car in the area and my grandma knits some socks. They have no computer, no smartphone, only a TV and a telephone. They are nice people but they don’t know much about the world. Open-source? Decentralization? Automation? It is very tricky to even talk with my parents about these topics, let alone my grandparents. Of course there are exceptions and people who might get the trade-free idea immediately, but if you don’t educate yourself with a platform like we at TROM provide, these new seeds (values) are never being planted in your head or brought to flourish if they have existed already. So what I want to say is that a generation like theirs has different values and these values are so deeply rooted as they lived already their whole life with them and the ideas from TROM are just so ‘out of their minds’. I hope you get this point.

People are trapped

People are trapped in their everyday life. In the so called modern world, most people are busy all the time. They work, they might have some children, maybe some pets like a dog (there are 34,3 million pets in germany – that’s more than 1/3rd of the population), they gotta take care of them and feed them, maybe they have to take care of grandparents or other people. Then there are relatives and you gotta see them once in a while, there are birthdays and holidays. You got to do daily tasks like cleaning the house, go to the supermarket to buy some grocery, cook and do the dishes after that. You might want to see your friends here and there and watch TV at prime time. Ohh germany’s next topmodel (or any other kind of bullshit) is coming – how exciting.

The childern are at school, come home, watch some TV or Youtube Videos, then there is TikTok, the dog and in the evening there’s germany’s next topmodel – how exciting.

And other young people may be busy with their apprenticeship or learn in their economics studies the basics of the trading system so that they become ingrained with that religion and some of them become the next professors to teach this system to new students.

There are people who are addicted to sport and want to become a star, people who are addicted to shopping and people who want to be famous and successful. People who work at the police, at the army or in the law system and they are indoctrinated early on by the system.

People also depend on the trade system. To get food, water, shelter, healthcare and comfort, you need money and you only get money if you trade for it. So as long as there are no alternatives like trade-free housing, food and so on, you are bound to the trade-based system.

Yes, there are people like Sasha, who prove that it’s possible to live without money or very little of it. And there are communities and projects which live off the grid, not depending at all or very little on this system, but they are in the minority and for many people it might be uncomfortable to give up on their comfort zone in which they are in. By that I mean that homeostasis thing.

I brought up the thought that COVID-19 might be a game changer and people finally realize, since many people loose their business or a lot of money (hotels, restaurants, bars and more). But what’s the reason for them to blame the economy if that virus is ruining their business? They might think: “This virus is bad for the economy. I had my business, my income and my status. Now I can’t work anymore to get money to pay for my bills and food. We need to get rid of the virus, so I can work again”. I am sure economists also think that way instead of questioning the trade-system.

And last but not least, let’s not forget about the holy aspargus in germany. You know that there’s a worldwide lockdown these days because of COVID-19 right?

So what the german statopus did, was to take 50 children out of the horrible Greek refugee camps to help them – and to bring 80.000 harvest workers into the tribe to harvest aspargus and other vegetables. Because what could be more important than saving german asparagus from rotting?

If that doesn’t say all about the german culture, then I don’t know. Trade above human concerns.

Summary:

The common thinking in the german culture is labour for income, a strong state and freedom and democracy. It is very tricky to go against that.

So many people have just no time, space or motivation to get educated about the world, question the trade-game and even do something about it.

Therefore it is a very very tricky situation. Based on all that I’d say, we’re fucked haha

Pseudoscience is confusing people, social media is grabbing attention and the daily trade-life keeps people trapped in the hamster wheel. Of course that all sounds very pessimistic, but I’d say we have to be realistic. The more we know, the better our decision making might be. Take this as an insight of the german culture and don’t expect too much from the “land of engineers and inventors”.

No doubt, in germany are some great projects like foodsharing, an estimated 16 – 24 million volunteers and dozens of NGO’s/Non-profit organizations + a majority of people which doesn’t deny climate change and knows about the problems in the world as you see problems in the news all day. They know something must change, but they just don’t what. It is very hard to navigate through this world if you don’t get this trade thing and see it from this perspective, because things make no sense. I remember when I was in school, staring out of the window and thinking about humanity being able to fly to the moon, but not being able to provide everybody with food, safe drinking water, shelter and medical care. TROM is a tool that provides you with scientific answers and to focus on trade as the origin of most problems hits the nail on the head.

I started this article about the stereotype of germany being a rich tribe and people living in wealth. Yes germany has compared to other tribes a lot of money and some people are living in extreme wealth. But there is a huge inequality and even the rich people are trapped in the everyday hustle of our world wide trade-based society:

  • THOUGHTS

Just a human being who likes to do trade-free things 🙂 I manage tromsite.de and translate our materials into german.

  • Working in the Game of Trade

    As almost everybody in this world I have to play the game of trade every now and then. I have to trade my time, energy, skills and attention in a job to get some money which allows me to buy and do things I need and want. A couple weeks ago I finished my latest working experience in Switzerland and I’ll tell you about that plus other experiences.

  • About the german culture

    This article will be about the german culture and my experience growing up in germany. One of the 194 tribes on planet earth which has quiet a good image in this world.

Written by

Aaron

Just a human being who likes to create/share trade-free things :)

4 thoughts on “About the german culture

  1. Hello! I listened to the discussion on TROM about UBI today with Scott S. and that’s how I found out about this webpage. I have to say that I loved this article you wrote! A little bit about why I wanted to read this article: My great grandparents on both my mother’s side and my father’s side came from Germany to the U.S.A. in the early 1900’s, so I grew up learning a lot about my German heritage. My mom was in the Air Force, and got stationed in Germany in 1980, so we lived there from 1980-1987. I went to school on the military base in Zweibrucken, but we didn’t live on base; we lived in a few different towns (Neunkirchen, Kirkel, and Altheim), and I visited and had friends in many other towns and cities in Germany. I loved everything about Germany: the people, the culture, the language, the food, the festivals, the country side, the castles, the rivers, taking the train everywhere, the snow, the indoor swimming pools and outdoor heated ones, and yes, even the beer! Haha! But I was just a young girl (10-17 y.o.), and I didn’t know anything about the politics, the government, or the trade system. All I have are great memories; I had the best times of my life in those 7 years, and ever since coming back to the U.S. I have dreamt of returning to Germany. Sadly, though, I know you are right, and I agree with you about how Germany really is, and what the trade system has done and continues to do to it. I have also met many German people in the state where I live (Texas) and they all have told me that Germany isn’t the same as I remember it, and that they don’t want to go back (but why they want to be here puzzles me even more). From reading your article it sounds just like the U.S. trade system (Capitalism), but just on a lesser scale in Germany. However, it doesn’t seem to be a much lesser scale than what we have. They both are founded upon the very rich and powerful and those people and their businesses and corporations have to have the very poor in order to sustain their wealth; who else would work for them. Trade systems can not function without both the very rich and the very poor, and that in my opinion is a very sick and broken system that makes for a very sick and broken society, but like you said people are too busy with working themselves to death and watching reality tv, and netflix to take the time to learn the truth. I especially like what you said about how individual people and organizations that want change will patch (what I call Band-Aid) the problem, but unless they are trying to get rid of the root of the problem (trade systems), nothing ever changes, and I fully agree with what you said about, “social entrepreneurs who try to make the world a better place with combining commerce with social issues”, and that’s why I don’t think that UBI will work in the U.S. bc as long as we live in a capitalist society, those two issues will never be separated; we have to get rid of the capitalism system in order for UBI to work in the long term, and honestly I don’t ever think that will happen, at least not in my lifetime, but I certainly hope it will happen one day. I could go on and on bc I agree with literally every single point you make in your article…. What saddens me the most is it seems that Germany is following our model of government step by step, and if you think the despairities are bad now, just look at our society, over here, to see where Germany could be headed if they don’t end their trade system society soon. I don’t hate the U.S., nor the people here, and we do have happiness and celebrations, and love and family, and we do help each other and do good things just like any other people, in any other country, but I do hate capitalism, bc it is rooted in greed and excess and only grows stronger by people stepping on top of people to get where they are trying to go, and only exists by keeping and making the rich richer and the poor poorer. I have felt this way for a very long time and its sad that I feel like I really cant talk about it to people here bc they will immediately say that sounds like socialism and/or communism (and in the U.S. for a lot of ppl, socialism is as bad of a word as communism). My point being that it’s refreshing to be able to read and hear and talk about these issues with ppl who won’t view me in a negative light for believing in a trade-free society/country/world. Thanks again for your article, and if you read this far, I hope you enjoyed reading my response at least half as much as I did reading your article! Thank you ~Cynthia

  2. Wow, thank you very much Cynthia. I appreciate your comment and I enjoyed reading about your thoughts, experiences and also about what people in Texas say.
    Yes patching the system is not only a big thing in germany, but worldwide. For example the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals) is a big patchworking program from the UN. They want to end poverty, provide clean water and healthy food for everybody and so forth, but at the same time their goal is “decent work and economic growth” and “responsible consumption and production”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_Development_Goals#Goal_8:_Decent_work_and_economic_growth
    So it seem’s that not only germany, but the whole world is moving into a direction where inequality gets bigger and problems are emerging all the time since the root problem is not addressed. Because, as we argue, there’s just no way of making this unsustainable, unjust and predatory trade game sustainable, fair and equal. On the one hand it’s nice to hear from you that you got very well what we are talking about, but on the other hand it’s sad to hear from you, that you are pretty much alone with that thinking. And that as soon as you talk to people, you get labelled as a communist and/or socialist, as it allows no further conversation since you get pigeonholed (in german there’s this saying of putting one in a drawer which means to get sorted into a certain group – in this case as a socialist/communist).
    So I’m honestly happy that you liked this article and commented on it, since I think we want this website to be exactly about that. To be a place where we can write about some facts, our perspectives, experiences, ideas + projects and share it with other humans like you 🙂

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