8.01.2015

Marx Was Right

Lots of Greece/Germany jokes are published on the web right now, one of them an old Monty Python clip. It's the sketch where Greece and Germany compete in football (soccer) having philosophers as players. According to Washington Post's Max Ehrenfreund, it can be used to explain the differences in opinion and actions between the two countries, and he summaries the clip like this (spoiler alert!):

"In the match, the two countries are represented by their foremost philosophers. For much of the game, the two sides do nothing but talk. Then, in the final minute, there is movement. Socrates scores on the German goalie Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who lived from 1646 to 1716, to win. The German philosophers G.W.F. Hegel, Immanuel Kant and Karl Marx then dispute the goal with the referee, Confucius.


"Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics. Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination," the announcer says. "Marx is claiming it was offside.""

As a former football player (and innovation advisor), I think what is most relevant is to point out is that Socrates went from idea to action. He had an epiphany, acted upon it and successfully engaged his team mates in the scheme (although I agree with Ehrenfreund and Marx that in the rerun Socrates seems to be offside, although you actually can't see the whole field).

When I was in Berlin in June, I went to the Humboldt University. In the lobby is a quote from former student Karl Marx:
From Berlin 2015
As pointed out by Nobel laureate Thomas Piketty, Germany did not repay the debts from neither WW1 nor WW2. Instead they received lots of help, including the Marshall Plan and the Luftbr├╝cke to Berlin during the cold war. They acted to rebuild their country, instead of debating (or paying back, at least in the assigned way). Will Greece do that too? And will they mind the step?

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