Dr. Spiesshofer also writes frequently for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazine Einspruch!
(online) on themes of corporate governance, sustainability, and its
inevitable relations to systems of trade and political governance across
borders. Though these essays are produced for a German audience, she
has kindly agreed to translate some of them for re-publication here.
Earlier translations include (1)"Responsible Ownership" or "Benefit Corporation"; (2) "And
Who Asks the Supply Chian"; (3) "Fridays for Future, Siemens or the Australian Government -
who decides?"; (4) "Green monetary policy - "whatever it takes"?"; (5) "What is "sustainable"?" ; (6) "The Hour of the Nation-State" (see also here).
Dr. Spiesshofer has now agreed to the translation of a recent essay--Twitter & Trump - the spirits I called forth? , published originally in German in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazine Einspruch! (online). The essay considers an important issue, one quite politically sensitive at this moment in the United States. Essentially the question can be reduced to an essence, one which is only a small slice of the many essences contained in this drama that are the forms of American politics at the start of the third decade of this century: what does a liberal democracy do about the speech of its elected officials when an important faction of the electorate finds it unacceptable and an even smaller portion of that electorate, through the institutions they control, can manage or in the case of the 45th President of the United States, amplify or shut down the vehicles through which such speech is now conveyed in (otherwise) ordinary course. Americans are incapable of this discussion now; emotions are too raw, too many political agendas are still in play; and too much realignment of political partnerships and battle lines are still being drawn. From outside the U.S., certainly, it highlights not merely the special character of law and politics in crisis, but also the way in which networks of law and norms enmesh key actors--in this case economic enterprises and political officials, in quite distinct webs of law, of norms, and of expectations well beyond the local and the contextual (e.g., here). In this case human rights expectations appear to cut in all sorts of directions simultaneously for key participants.
I have no view on these matters; it is, as mentioned above, still far too early to have anything of value to add about the march of historical forces that are even now constructing the contours, founding premises, expectations, the assessments of history, and the rectification of now fatally deviant and reactionary elements of society that are even now being deployed by the nation's vanguard elements to propel the state forward into what is likely the new era of American political development. But perhaps Europeans have something that might be worth considering, at one's leisure, once passions have died down, and the new master narrative is more decisively articulated for the United States. Whatever it is that is decided by those who control American political culture it is not enough to dismiss the vents of the last several years as exceptional, as sui generis and something that will never recur. But what is seen can not be unseen; what is done cannot be undone; what is The United States, since its founding, has been the incarnation of the constant state of exception. The exception is the ordinary in this place.
One can see that the essay provides much useful fruit for thought. The essay and Dr. Spiesshofer's brief bio follow.