“My Generation” or “UPZZDA and Rondism” ♫

These are the kinds of ideas I have when on vacation, while thinking back upon my life a little:

I was born in 1950. We were a generation on the move, wishing to get rid of the post-war ballast. But each day was a day of financial improvement for us.

We were idealists and loved utopias. Some of our parents’ values and opinions were incomprehensible for us. Consequently, we sought refuge in smoky cafeterias and pubs. Drinking red wine and beer, we discussed God and the world, often in circles. Rothändle and Gauloises were a matter of honour, Sartre and Camus were our favourite authors. We had little or no inclination towards baroque or romanticism, or lost cultures.

Even in those days, we were fed up with the established parties. And when, early in the 1960ies, Karl Jaspars wrote about the oligarchy of the parties as a threat to democracy, he echoed our sentiments.

The irrationality of war – not just in Vietnam – was an abomination for us. We considered the overkill of the long-range missiles with their nuclear bombs the highest possible absurdity imaginable. We were pacifists. Compulsory service and irrational demands were anathema for us and we wanted to avoid being drafted for military service at all costs.

For us, corrupt business games were just as evil as the intrigues of the “political elite”. To us, it was obvious that everything was going rather wrong and that it was high time for social change – regardless of us being extremely well off. There was, indeed, a huge yearning for social upraise.

Terrorism, however, like a minority around Baader and Meinhof practiced, was something we were strictly opposed to. Trying to work in a party as a functionary seemed too dubious. We were toothless tigers who, although knowing what would have been the right thing to do, bent to the inevitable and chose the bourgeois way for decades.

But at least we always questioned everything. And there was always time for silliness and fun and nonsense. The important thing was that it had to be intellectual and humorous.

So we established a fun-party of our own: UPZZDA. That is short for “Universale Partei Zum Zwecke Der Anarchie – Universal Party In Order To Create Anarchy”. Somehow, anarchy seemed the best way for us to put a stop to the daily nonsense around us. Today, I would say that anarchy and evolution are two words that seem to be related in some way. Yet wanting to be universal and abbreviating ourselves with UPZZDA does not sound to bad either, does it?

In between, we also created a very simple philosophy. We called it “Rondisms“. There was only one rule: all is round. Now try to falsify that!

(Translated by EG)

Those were the days, my friend …

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