“A Visit With the Green Party” or “No Liberty Without Safety?”

The Time Bomb Internet

Götz Hamann  and Thomas Fischermann wrote a book. The title is a little “outstanding” (in German, you would perhaps call it “reißerisch”): Time Bomb Internet. I have not yet read it, but what I hear about it gives me the impression that they researched well and that they tried to outline the problems which, of course, an important new technology brings with it. It also seems that they tried to point towards the potential crises caused by this technology.

Last Wednesday (November, 16th, 2011) evening, Thomas Fischermann (deputy head of the business editorial department at ZEIT) spoke at an event sponsored by the Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN. After the presentation, there was to be a podium discussion with the audience.

Besides the three members of Bündnis90/Die Grünen Jerzy Montag (legal spokesman of the Parliamentary Party), Malte Spitz (member of the Federal Board) and the anchorman Thomas Pfeiffer, member of the Green Directorial Board at KV München-Stad, there were Sandra Mamitzsch of the Digitale Gesellschaft e.V.  and, of course, yours truly, sitting on the podium.

After a short and – as I found – rather well-done report by Thomas Fischermann on the content of his book “Time Bomb Internet” the podium discussion started. Its calibre was rather authoritative. At the beginning, no questions at all were permitted. The questions they allowed later were usually not answered, because the anchorman kept turning the discussion around to facebook and data security. In doing so, he assigned Herrn Montag as legal spokesman and parliamentary representative of the party (!) a particularly large share of the speaking time.

Said representative made extensive use of the time assigned to him. He kept mentioning data security, underlining the important role of the EU in legislation and, last not least, giving his comment on twitter with excellent rhetorical skill and long sentences but unfortunately without any competence of his own.

Yet these were rather harmless contributions. For me, it always got bad when he demanded more laws and more serious punishment. It got unendurable when he postulated the sentence “liberty needs safety“ as an unalienable truth. Let me remind you of the following citation:

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. «

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)
(According to  wikiquote Benjamin Franklin actually said this.)

Yes, it was a wasted night. What a pity that the excellent presentation by Thomas Fischermann did not lead up to an exciting discussion in truly democratic calibre (for instance as fish bowl). I am sure it would have rendered quite some added knowledge.

As it is, all I learned is that you probably no longer can vote for Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN. Isn’t it a pity?


On the next day, I saw a picture of Jerzy Montag in the newspaper. Allegedly, he was on the “death list” of the rightist terror group that is currently confusing us all. Along with Herrn Gauweiler.

🙂 Now all that remains for me to hope is that these two gentlemen are not V-men infiltrated into the  CSU and Bündnis 90/DIE GRÜNEN.

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