German Historian On Schellnhuber/WBGU: “We’re Dealing With Fanatics Here – Revolutionary Messianism”

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Online FOCUS magazine interviewed German historian Wolfgang Wippermann on the subject of the WBGU and Hans Schellnhuber’s “master plan” for transforming global society: World in Transition – A Social Contract for Sustainability.The WBGU acts as Angela Merkel’s science advisory board (believe it, or not). Schellnhuber, its director, is also director of the Potsdam Institute For Climate Impact Research (PIK).

The Wippermann interview is the latest in a series of intense criticisms by German mainstream media aimed at the worrisome anti-democratic and authoritarian views expressed by factions of the German scientific community such as the PIK, WBGU and the German government lately, see here, here and here.

Wippermann, who is an expert on authoritarianism, fires extremely harsh words at the WBGU and its seemingly out-of-control Professor Schellnhuber, calling the authors of the WBGU social contract “fanatics” and the language “worrisome”.

What follows are summarized excerpts of the FOCUS interview.
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FOCUS: What does the language in the paper remind you of?
Wippermann: The language is scary and it makes me afraid. Those who speak like that behave the same way. It is a negative Utopia, a dystopia. When Utopian minds are at work, it is always dangerous.

FOCUS: What world view do you see in the text?
Wippermann: Here we are dealing with scientific fanatics who want to assert their ideas. It makes me wonder that we are discussing this for the first time, and how little it has been discussed in the public up to now.

FOCUS: What about the role of science in politics?
Wippermann: First off: the German government should have distanced itself from the WBGU long ago. It just cannot be. In short, you just cannot say that you demand some other democracy, a different state and a different world order. It is unacceptable.

FOCUS: How could scientists write such a paper?
Wippermann: I’m afraid this is not just thoughtlessness. It goes a lot further than how to make the world a better place. The authors are suggesting a climate dictatorship, the Climate State – and one that is truly extensive and far-reaching. For example, they want to abolish national states.

FOCUS: But this paper was written by leading scientists.
Wippermann: Also a science can become a religion. When they demand a transnational democracy – whatever that may be – it’ll be a dictatorship.

FOCUS: But they claim it’s for democracy
Wippermann: From history we know of enough people who wanted to make the world a better place after having prophesized the end of the world and bringing an undemocratic system that forces others to accept their views. And why is it that the Germans again have to save the planet, and not only prophesize its downfall? Does the world always have to be measured using a German yardstick? Who do the authors think they are? Such arrogance.

FOCUS: What spirit does the call to action radiate?
Wippermann: The paper disastrously follows the tradition of “Revolutionary Messianism“, which was analyzed by Norman Cohn. There’s a line of “Revolutionary Messianism“ from the Medieval Times to modern totalitarian movements.

FOCUS: Aren’t humanists more prone to all this than natural scientists?
Wippermann: Natural scientists deal directly with people. Think for a minute what emerged from “eugenics”. These scientists here can actually do politics.

Wolfgang Wippermann is a professor at the Friedrich-Meinecke-Institute at the Free University of Berlin. He also teaches at the University of Arts in Berlin. He was a guest professor in Innsbruck, Peking (Teachers College), Indiana University, University of Minnesota and Duke University. Wippermann’ s main area of research is ideology history. His primary areas include antiziganism, theory of fascism, history of communism, anti-Semitism and the historical role of demonology and demonization of societal fringe groups.  Wippermann is the author of numerous publications.

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15 responses to “German Historian On Schellnhuber/WBGU: “We’re Dealing With Fanatics Here – Revolutionary Messianism””

  1. biggreenlie

    What amazes me is that the World has more than enough sickening evidence of how these idiots have destroyed lives and lands throughout history and this Schellnhuber should be jailed, not listened to! Isn’t there a law in Germany against promoting Genocide?

  2. Ulrich Elkmann

    “a law in Germany against promoting Genocide”: well, sort of. What you are thinking of is this, I suppose: “Although freedom of speech is mentioned by Article 5 of the Grundgesetz (Germany’s constitution), said article basically protects any non-outlawed speech. Restrictions exist, e.g. against personal insults, use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations, or Volksverhetzung. It is a common misconception that Volksverhetzung includes any spreading of nazism, racist, or other discriminatory ideas. For any hate speech to be punishable as Volksverhetzung, the law requires that said speech be “qualified for disturbing public peace” either by inciting “hatred against parts of the populace” or calling for “acts of violence or despotism against them”, or by attacking “the human dignity of others by reviling, maliciously making contemptible or slandering parts of the populace”.
    Volksverhetzung is a punishable offense under Section 130 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Germany’s criminal code) and can lead to up to five years imprisonment. Volksverhetzung is punishable in Germany even if committed abroad and even if committed by non-German citizens, if the incitement of hatred takes effect on German territory—that is, the seditious sentiment was expressed in written or spoken German and disseminated in Germany (German criminal code’s Principle of Ubiquity, Section 9 Paragraph 1 Alternatives 3 and 4 of the Strafgesetzbuch” (Wikipedia). This is usually invoked by the courts to curtail Nazi propaganda (but even then you can get around it, by doing it in Turkish or Arabic) or vitriolic xenophobia spewed forth by Germans. If it is done against Germans, Westerners, especially Americans (and, of course, “Zionists”), other considerations tend to overrule it, such as “preserving order” (always dubbed as “social peace”). And though the wording of the law is broad, de facto it extends only to the Holocaust, not to the Armenians, the Ukrainians, the Tibetans… All of which is Besides The Point, since Schellnhuber & Co. are really saving humanity from itself, just in time – that needs a few stern measures by now. Trust these AGW deniers to get everything wrong and twist it into hysteria. Shows just what sick minds they must have…

  3. DirkH

    Wippermann is interesting. The German wikipedia says
    http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfgang_Wippermann
    He was the only German historian to take Goldhagen’s side (who argued that the Holocaust was enabled by the willingness of the German population – i agree with that); and he was called an “old leftist wrong-way driver” (Altlinker Geisterfahrer) for one of his books. I think he’s an example for the fact that AGW against sceptics is not a left-right conflict but a confrontation between authoritarianism and libertarianism. (This is often hidden by the statist tendencies of leftism) Wippermann seems to be a leftist i could like.

  4. GregO

    It is great to hear intellectuals like Wippermann recognize and speak out against intolerance – particularly the unique intolerance of the so-called AGW climate consensus.

  5. DirkH

    Remember U K L Lee, the guy who signed Obama’s bith certificate? Well, maybe he’s the guy who decided to use about 20 different typewriters when typing it…
    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=308397

  6. Jimbo

    Many sceptics have said that the Warmists’ aim is for world government. Many Warmists laughed at the idea. Today, it is clear this is what they are trying to nudge us towards.

  7. DirkH

    Environmentalists support mass killing of unwanted life – camels – to save the climate.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/8/club-a-seal-save-the-planet/

    Why not just kill every animal? That would save the planet even more, as animals eat plants; de-sequestering carbon. Vegans don’t need animals anyway…

  8. R. de Haan
  9. R. de Haan

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