Could a matriarchal life improve society?
Live or survive
How are you? One lives. It's that simple. Is it that simple? How many people can there be who are content to just live, to live somehow? Where the consciousness of one's own freedom is not completely buried, the question of the good or the beautiful life can hardly be suppressed in the long run. Even where people are preoccupied with pure survival day in and day out, it presents itself in fleeting moments of pause, at night before falling asleep, on the way home from work, in a moment of disappointed hope or a moment of sigh of relief.
It also arises with those who live in abundance, whose first thought is "Buy!" That is, when they feel uncomfortable, when the nagging desires come forward. Those who live in abundance have many opportunities to seek their happiness, to satisfy their needs, or to miss them at great expense. He also has many opportunities to run away from himself and his existential problems. But then, in an unoccupied, open moment, the question suddenly arises: How should I live? Is what I do, what I think I have to do every day, what I really want? Is my life a full life? The unreasonable demands of such questions can be a nuisance to us. Can I even take responsibility for my own life? Am I not entangled in dependencies that do not allow me to ask such ambitious questions? In order to escape the disturbing self-examination, we have learned to make ourselves small. But it doesn't help if the fear of being questioned about one's own way of life disguises itself as humility. The question of the good life is fermenting in us, and when the limits of our individual power of action come into view, the question of a fulfilled life almost inevitably becomes a political one:
Is our world, with its fleeting promises of happiness, its constantly accelerating change, its unjust distribution of life opportunities, its globalization pressures and the growing social, technical and ecological risks, an adequate framework for a good, a beautiful life, just as I would like it to be? How can you, how should you set yourself up in it? Or are the unreasonable demands, the constraints, the tempting pseudo-solutions that are being forced upon us from all sides, themselves part of the problem that needs to be solved? Can we even change the conditions in which we live our lives? And, if so, to what extent, in what timeframes?
Viewed less fundamentally, there are probably three main reasons that make the question of how we can give our life a meaningful shape so explosive today: the increasing de-traditionalization and cultural pluralization of society, the declining importance of gainful employment as a regulatory and Meaningful power and the enormously growing technical and organizational possibilities of people.
Could it be that our epoch is more mistaken than others about what is in people's well-understood self-interest? And what would it mean if we actually set out to uncover the self-deception? In philosophy, questions about the practical way of life, which had long been marginalized, have for some time been attracting great interest again. The word of the "ethics boom" goes around as if we were dealing with a market event in which demand and sales, the turnover of bookstores and publishers and the security of university jobs are decisive. What is more important: The ethical discourse has been picking up the question of the good and beautiful life again for some time and is thus setting out to close the gap between the demands of morality and the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment that has existed since the 18th century , especially since Immanuel Kant, was typical of European philosophy.
What is a happy, a fulfilling life? First and foremost, one that presents itself as a meaningful whole despite all its inadequacies and contradictions. A mature consciousness constitutes a mature consciousness that effort, failure, and disappointment are necessary in order to understand this. But what is decisive is that the bond that binds the episodes of life together is not just a biological one, but a spiritual, cultural, moral, aesthetic or ideological one. Only when the various aspects of our life fit into a context of meaning can we speak of a happy, fulfilled life.
It can already be seen now that a contradiction is being heard. But what chance does he have of being heard, of transforming himself into historical practice? Among the critics of globalized capitalism there are quite a few who, fascinated and overwhelmed by the power of circumstances, cannot believe in the possibility of the better. Adorno's gloomy prophetic phrase "There is no right life in a wrong one" (which, by the way, he later withdrew) still weighs on many minds today. This can then easily lead to that sterile radicalism that Herbert Schnädelbach ("The Cultural Heritage of Critical Theory") says comfortably goes hand in hand with political apathy. What should you do with Adorno's information if you really want to live, to live properly? Should one postpone real life until later, until the time after the general upheaval in circumstances? Is life postponed to the future alone the right life?
The question will be examined in the following. First of all, however, it is important to come to an understanding about the course of the front line of the coming conflicts. Even if one rightly rejects the cheap assertion that the distinction between "left" and "right" has become irrelevant, one will have to admit that with the orthodox socio-political alternatives the old camp divisions have become largely unusable. From my point of view it is still about the universalism of freedom, i. H. about the mutual conditional connection of freedom, justice and solidarity, and thus about a left-wing project in the broadest sense. This also includes the redistribution of power and material wealth, because a life in freedom and dignity is also linked to material conditions.
But I can no longer believe that the perception of the immediate material interests of a group, a stratum, a class at the same time adequately promotes the general interests of mankind, the ideas of the good life and the good society. The reintegration of those pushed to the margins of society is an important task, but even more important is the struggle for society as a whole, its value bases, its spirit, its ratio. The focus of this discussion is the concept of human dignity and the question of a humane future. With this, however, the major political dispute that lies ahead of us is essentially a cultural one, in which the aim is to assert humanity against the threatening barbarism of unleashed capitalism and science and technology that bursts the boundaries of humanity.
The humane, of course, which appears here as a point of orientation, is more than pure reason, which at the end of the Age of Enlightenment in German idealism claimed to be the sole political principle of order in society. For us late-born, who have also got to know the terror of reason, humanity, if it is to serve as an orientation again, must be thought and practiced more comprehensively. Our manifesto of freedom could be - modest and self-confident at the same time - perhaps as similar as Joachim Koch put it in the conclusion of his book "Neither - Nor": "We want neither Plato nor Hegel's philosopher's state, we want neither theocratic from faith nor oligarchically from Rule of reason, neither patriarchal nor matriarchal, neither gerontocratic nor infantile. We also do not want the rule of the economy. Nothing against them, but their image of life is too limited for us. Their goal, wealth, too poor ... We have one different conception of life. " (Koch 2001, p. 414f.)
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