What can the citizen do in the conflict between the “West” and Russia?

Published on Current Concerns, by Karl Müller, April 19, 2014.

A look at the comments regarding Ukraine, Russia and the “West” in recent weeks has shown once again that there are big differences between the published opinion and the opinion of the citizens. There are many signs that the Western campaign journalism against Russian policy and in particular against the Russian President was too obvious and did not hold any credibility. The comments and reports were all too one-sided and unbalanced and hid too many facts, however, in many cases citizens are aware of them … //

… The well-known journalist and author Peter Scholl-Latour wrote: “We live in an age of mass dementia, particularly the medial mass dementia. If you look at how one-sided the media her is reporting on the events in Ukraine, from ‘taz’ to ‘Welt’, then you can really report about a disinformation on a large scale. “Erhard Eppler, the grand old man of the SPD, has written: “the West should not demonize Vladimir Putin, but try to understand his behaviour in the Ukraine crisis. No Russian president would patiently watch as a clearly anti-Russian government in Kiev tries to lead Ukraine into NATO direction. In the Ukrainian government are sitting right-wing radicals now. No-one is talking about this in Germany.”

This has been recognized by many citizens. But there is more. Actually, every citizen in a democracy and in a world that has grown together so much, has the task to bear in mind his own history and culture, the values ​of his country and the people in his country, but then also to understand other peoples and cultures on the basis of his own solid foundation. This requires education, which nowadays is degraded selectively. Again, the question: What is it good for?

I’m not to blame, if I as a citizen know very little about a country like Russia yet. How was I to know it, if no one in the mass media and hardly anyone in our schools and colleges is keen to help.

But still I can do something now. I can pause and be careful, as soon as I only feel the breath of a lack of objectivity. And you can feel it! And I can take the intension to begin with the study. I don’t let it happen, that new fronts and enemy images are constructed in this world and that the access to other cultures, to the history and the values ​of other peoples, to other people is blocked.

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