Dear readers, esteemed customers, dear colleagues,
The time for Kaleidoscope has come again. I am dictating this section at the end of a spectacularly warm midsummer 2018, which raised grave concerns for farmers due to the drought and crop failures while being enjoyed wholeheartedly by the majority of the population. Summer, vacation, freedom to travel from the Balkans to New Zealand: a real dream come true.
As an 83 year old, I bore witness to the Second World War. The soldiers were often separated from their families for many years as prisoners of war, if they survived at all. Today we are truly blessed to live during the most peaceful 70 years in the history of Europe. We are filled with gratitude to be able to live freely and in peace here in the European Union, and yet there are dark clouds rising on the horizon. Right-wing separatists are wreaking havoc in Germany as well, with violence erupting recently in Hamburg and Chemnitz.
I believe that it is worth talking about this issue sensibly during times in which hooligans and right-wing extremists are able to rally hundreds or even thousands of citizens onto the streets within just a few hours to participate in demonstrations, often unexpectedly. The government is still lagging far behind and is largely powerless against the rapidness of this terror and violence.
Dear readers, one dare not even think where this trend could lead – namely, to a partial dictatorship elected democratically and without objection. Even Adolf Hitler’s rise to power was completely democratically legitimate, leading Germany to ruin.
The right-wing extremists in the European Union are primarily consumed by xenophobia and are therefore able to drum up sympathy among many otherwise unpolitical citizens: But what kind of interpretation of human rights is that? It is interesting that many citizens who behave xenophobically have never set eyes on a refugee themselves. How would we feel if we were to be persecuted as vacationers or business travelers in Johannesburg, Shanghai or Windhoek because of our blond hair??
Both before and after the migration period (from 375 to 568 AD) there were unexplained migrations of entire tribes on every continents, even in North and South America long before the European colonization, away from home and into the unknown. In 1790, we still had 1,600 different government, customs, measurement and legal systems in today’s Germany; we were basically foreigners just over the next bridge. To this day, there are also vestigial remains of such aversions and small city rivalries from the age of the religious wars within Germany.
“IF I AM ABLE TO INSPIRE YOU TO REFLECT ON AND PONDER THESE ISSUES, THEN I WOULD BE DELIGHTED AND GRATEFUL.”
As the city of Villingen in Baden was merged with the city of Schwenningen in Wuerttemberg to form the city of Villingen-Schwenningen during the Baden-Wuerttemberg territorial reform, there were reportedly bumper stickers that read: “Stop animal testing, use Schwenningers.” There is a fine line between slapstick comedy and xenophobia, antisemitism and Muslim bashing, simply because of a vague subconscious feeling that something could be taken away from us, that we could lose something. All of these dark and hazy fears from the early days of humankind are now well protected by fundamental law and the independent judiciary, especially in Germany, to such an extent that we can readily welcome our refugees, particularly as we can integrate them extremely well into our workforce.
It is imperative that we substantially strengthen the European Union and extend its political scope in the months to come. Otherwise, if we were to make room for the extreme-right groups and destroy the European Union, what would remain? Europe would be divided up into spheres of interest between the major superpowers in the USA, Russia and China and we would become subordinate vassals, with President Putin wooing the Visegrad Group, and with China constantly expanding its influence into Europe from the Port of Piraeus, building new streets and highways and even reviving the Silk Road. President Trump wishes to finance Italy’s increasing debt in order to facilitate a tasteful “Italexit” for the country in an extreme scenario.
Let me ask you something: Is it not time to exercise reason and realize that we Europeans together could be the world’s fourth superpower? That is why I always come back to the same conclusion: We are in desperate need of a United States of Europe with a European budget, a European Ministry of Finance, and a European Ministry of Foreign Affairs. What good does it do for Belgium, Lithuania, Germany or Finland, along with all other EU countries, to maintain their own embassies in Washington and umpteen other world capitals? We could save billions in euro on diplomatic resources if there were just one European embassy in Washington, Tokyo and Peking, basta.
Esteemed readers, if I am able to inspire you to reflect on and ponder these issues, then I would be delighted and grateful. I almost forgot all about our business.
I would like to thank all of you who are our customers wholeheartedly for each and every order. Regardless of how this trade war develops, we hope to continue offering our customers around the world in over 80 countries excellent product quality and the best-possible service in the field of assembly and fastening technology. With our modest resources, we aim to carry on with and expand on the outstanding successes and advances that were achieved throughout the world over the last 50 years through fair trade.
I wish you all success for the months to come with the highest sales of the year and sincerely hope that you are able find appropriate workers.
Thank you very much and kind regards,
Yours truly, Reinhold Würth