Treacherous Friends (2): Status Quo (en/de)


No, I’m not talking about the band. I’m talking about our present state of development, our way of life, our condition, shape. A dirty cunning lad, this Status Quo.

He tells us the tale of eternal growth, new opportunities, valuable increases in sales or breasts. He promises updates of our prestige and look – once my house, my butt, my car is right. His flatteries are honey-sweet and seductive, he promises a paradise on earth, showing us any possible wealth of the world if we only do what he will tell us: up, up, up, higher, further, faster, more.

Because we all know how pleasant it is to be worshiped and to own power, money, land and real estate, SQ has a pretty easy game with us. We are just way too happy to be flogged and driven up one step higher on the ladder of prestige. And maybe one more. And one more. And so forth.

Blessed are the meek, for they will own the land.

Matthew 5:5

The exuberance of an intoxicating upswing blinds us. Hardly anyone notices anymore who it is we’re actually dealing with. Not even Christians. We’re getting totally unaware of prominent Bible passages such as the beatitudes, telling us very explicitly that it’s not corporations or enterprises, it’s not rulers or landlords, no, it’s the humble who will own the land. I repeat: the land. The country. They will own it! We totally seem to forget this one. Which means, if even prominent Bible passages like the Sermon on the Mount fade pale in our memory, what’s happening to less prominant passages? It wouldn’t be surprising that lesser-known Bible verses have been forgotten completely. Like this one, for instance:

He humbled himself to death.

Philippians 2: 8

Of course, we are talking about Jesus, the role model for all Christians. He set a completely different trend: downwards. That’s the opposite of upwards. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m noticing here some incompatibility with SQ’s contemporary message.

SQ knows that too, of course, and therefore, probably like a precaution, SQ prefers to conceal what his “name” really means. Status quo goes back to the Latin expression statu quo res erant ante bellum, or simply statu quo ante. It actually means “the previous state,” that is, to restore an entire country to the state it had before a war and destruction: Status quo refers to reconstruction and repair, means back to the roots, back to the old splendor, yet purified, smarter, better.

As I see it, nothing would be more hip in our days than the original meaning of status quo. For all contemporary women and men with vision agree that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to the level they had before the industrialization. And that would be net zero. In that sense, the status quo could become our best friend again.

“The climate emergency is our third world war.”

Joseph Stiglitz

It would be wise if we could still learn from past wars and that World War III, as Nobel price winner Joseph Stiglitz puts it, did not even get the chance to cause as much damage as is to be expected. True intelligence and vision would be proven by a back to the roots model, by reconstructing, and restoring as much as possible what industrialization has already destroyed to this day. Some recently extinct species will never recover anyway. Of course, all of this would require radical rethinking. Probably regression. But SQ, meanwhile obsessed by at least one legion of demons, goes ballistic by only hearing the word regression. Abstinence is the unpardonable sin for SQ.

Too bad (or should I rather say “shocking”?) that so many Christians were infected by economic fundamentalism and prefer to worship SQ more than the Messiah. Sure, we all make mistakes, but when mistakes are becoming obvious, especially obvious to everyone repentance is the thing to do. Metanoia, as the New Testament calls it, reversal, transformation, change of course. Or simply conversion. Conversion is not a one-time-solves-it all phenomenon. The first conversion is only the beginning of daily acts of penance – for the rest of your life.

It has never been more impactful to live the plain and simple yet so impressive Jesus way-of-life. Plainness and frugality have never been a more influential, cool, hip, hopeful, timely, future oriented and above all liveable witness.