ada-wilsonQ. What lessons can the young people of today draw from the book?

I think what might be striking to some younger readers is the fact that among the intelligentsia of West Berlin and elsewhere there was already so much anti-capitalist sentiment and abhorrence of materialism. This was almost fifty years ago, and it hadn’t even started! There was no McDonald’s or anything resembling it, the brands had yet to take any kind of hold, television and even central heating had yet to become common. It was only a few years after rationing in Britain and most of Berlin was still a bombsite. Yet there was this resistance; a recognition of the shallow rewards being offered. Was it Luddite? Hardly.

There was fierce opposition to the manipulation and excesses of the press too, and particularly newspaper baron Springer. Multiply those manipulations and excesses by a million and you’re somewhere near to where we are now.

Most important of all though, is the feeling of connectivity and the potential for positive change that existed. Kommune 1 and the greater student movement in Berlin and West Germany knew that what they were being sold wasn’t good enough. They quickly became adept at reading between the lines, and long before the internet, were opening up channels to counter the attempts of the powerful to exercise even tighter control over the many.

The daring and originality of much what happened back then should be inspiring. But everyone knows much more now – and not just those seeking change, but the small minority unwilling to share too.

They really have the power to make the world fantastic, for everyone, without giving up very much at all. People like Bill Gates have to be lauded for recognising this. I really wish the rest would consider it soon, before it ends in tears again.

Click here for details on Red Army Faction Blues.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6