ten workpoints of an author in this divided world

Every word that I write down and submit for publication is political. It is intended to make contact with a large audience and to achieve a definite effect. I turn over my writings to one of the communications media, and then they are absorbed by the consumers. The way in which my words are received depends to a great extent on the social system under which they are distributed. Since my words are but a small and ever-diminishing fraction of available opinions, I have to achieve the greatest possible precision if my views are to make their way.

The choice of the language in which I write has only a craft function. I choose the language I best master. In my case this is German.

The advantage in using this language lies in the fact that each word is immediately put into sharp focus. The division of Germany into two states with diametrically opposed social structures reflects the split in the world. The declarations of a German-speaking author are at once put on to a scale, where they are exposed to and judged by the two different value systems. This simplifies my task. Whatever I write is always at the focus of opinion. However, it should be noted that the problems and conflicts I describe are not peculiar to the German language-area; they are only some of a number of themes that are treated in all languages today.

Although the split in the world entails many smaller splits, with complex and often conflicting tendencies, nevertheless two distinct power blocs emerge. In one bloc are the socialist forces, partially established and in part emerging, as well as the liberation movements in formerly colonial or subjugated areas. In the other power bloc is the social order premised on capitalism, rooted in the entrepreneurial spirit of unlimited free competition, and giving rise to the highest imperialist concentrations. Inside this bloc, particularly in the Scandinavian states, there are pockets of far-reaching democratization where the class struggle has forced certain social changes. Ultimately, what trade union movements and ‘labour’ governments can do is restricted by the forces of monopoly capitalism, which will never willingly relinquish its property. The most developed welfare state is quite simply a class society on a higher level, where the erstwhile revolutionary proletariat tends to assume the norms of the bourgeoisie.

It is my task to find out how both sides of the debate in this divided world will receive my words.

Experience has shown me that within the bloc calling itself the free western world a welcome awaits each artistic expression that is imprinted with subjective experience and formal experiment, while social criticism is also esteemed, insofar as it does not break through the boundaries of the social order camouflaged with humanism and democracy. Aesthetically, no boundaries are established, and in this area each new discovery will find both capable middle-men and consumers; socially, however, attacks are most strictly controlled. The author has the greatest difficulty in discovering these social limits, since he often mistakes the freedom promised him for an absolute freedom. He has to go back a long way before he reaches the point where his freedom ceases to be undangerous for society.