Andreas Rhodes and “21.0: A Brief History of Contemporary Times”

  This is Rod’s basic position on social science research in “21.0”. First of all, at the level of theoretical enlightenment, you can see that his analysis of “value transformation”—including the subsequent discussion of the image of Germany and the EU—is an integration of the following historical and social science perspectives and methods: focusing on the world of collective representation The history of mentality and basic order assumptions, the historical semantics (Historische Semantik) that examines the use value and internal meaning changes of concepts and expressions in public communication, and the “public opinion” that explores the power dimension and contention elements of the majority and the minority in public communication (?FfentlicheMeinung) theory, dedicated to the framework analysis (Rahmenanalyse) to understand the validity and variability of the collective cognitive structure, as well as the distinction between beliefs, attitudes and values Political and cultural studies. Here he showed excellent theoretical application and comprehensive analysis ability. Secondly, at the level of application of results, Rhodes certainly used a lot of social science statistics, but at the same time, he was also soberly aware that the results of public opinion polls “to a large extent depend on the questions raised and Given the answer options”, “Social data is always affected by sociopolitical interests”, so “suspicion is an appropriate form of treating a clear contemporary diagnosis and confident future prediction.” Thirdly, at the level of scientific history research, he is devoted to analyzing the “reality defining power” possessed by empirical social science. For example, consumption research in social science affects people’s self-cognition and social classification. The dissemination and penetration of knowledge of humanities and social sciences in society will regulate and control the concept of social order, social behavior and social processes in different ways: this is the dual identity of social science as both a scrutinizer and a participant. In the analysis of social cultural and structural changes, we may oppose Rohde’s specific views, but we have to admire his acumen and precision in controlling various theories and materials.
  In “21.0”, Rohde’s other core view is that the core historical elements that have influenced the development of Germany, Europe and even the world have shifted. He only briefly outlined the disasters in Germany in the twentieth century, including the failure of the two world wars, the Holocaust, and the split between the two Germans, while focusing on the contradictory opposition between German self-cognition and external perception. The conclusion: “Germany has once again become the strongest power in Europe. This is the real special feature of German history in the twentieth century: the force that overcomes all difficulties is so powerful.” This judgment on German history can be extended: ” The era of world wars and dictatorships affects collective memory as always. But this era is losing its significance as a reference period for understanding the present. On the contrary, with the experience of acceleration, globalization and digital world, two new references have emerged Time: The 1970s and 1980s when the power of World 3.0 was released and the era before 1914 when World 2.0 was formed.” Therefore, 1914 and the Bretton Woods system when the First World War broke out The collapse and the outbreak of the first oil crisis in 1973 became two key years of the 20th century.
  In fact, since the beginning of this century, the 1970s has been generally regarded as an important watershed for development in the 20th century. Anselm Doering-Manteuffel (Anselm Doering-Manteuffel) and Lutz Raphael (Lutz Raphael) in “After the Prosperity” (NachdemBoom, 2008) pointed out that German history since the 1970s Development has shown a different face. In “Age of Fracture” (Age of Fracture, 2011), Daniel Rodgers of Princeton University in the United States also regarded the economic transformation of the 1970s as the beginning of a major tear in the ideological and cultural atmosphere of the entire American society. Of course, scholars have different opinions as to which year can be considered a “critical year”. Frank Bösch, director of the Research Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam, Germany, believes that the starting point of the world today is in 1979 (Zeitenwende 1979, 2019), because the power of Islam and China has played a new role in the world since this year. character of.
  Therefore, what Rhodes’s point of view can be explored is not the time node he chooses, but first of all: whether the factors that affect collective memory and the factors that understand the current reality can be distinguished from the perspective of the “base period”. Opposition? Europe’s response to the refugee crisis proves that the actions of actors have always been influenced by the historical experience of their respective nation-states—especially the historical experience of the twentieth century—whether for Germany or other EU countries. Said it is all true. Therefore, when Rod points out that contemporary development is showing a trend of “disappearance in the twentieth century,” perhaps a big question mark should be added at the end. Perhaps even more controversial is, Nazism and the re-emergence, which one is the core feature of German history in the twentieth century? Of course, as contemporary history research advances in the “rhythm of generations”, Nazi history will inevitably lose its core position in the field of contemporary history under the trend of “farewell to contemporaries”. When an era changes from “contemporary” to “past”, due to intergenerational differences in the perspectives and positions of researchers, the descriptions of it may be very different. In the final analysis, this is not a factual judgment, but a question of value judgment. Furthermore, this is a question closely related to the presupposition of the purpose of contemporary history writing. Looking back at the tradition of contemporary history research in the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II, it can be seen that its specialization is first of all a product of social politics. When the “German Institute for Contemporary History” was established in East Berlin in March 1946, and when the U.S. Occupation Control Commission clearly requested the German side to conduct a thorough study of Nazi history in 1947, the task of contemporary history writing In fact, it was forced to fall on the heads of Federal German historians. Therefore, prior to the mid-1970s, contemporary history research around Nazi history did not settle down in an isolated and neutral posture. It is first of all the answer given by history in the face of realistic political challenges. It attempts to construct a historical writing that points to the future by consciously facing the past.
  The future direction of contemporary history is far from the aim advocated by Rank to “educate the present and benefit the future” without writing history. But this is precisely what makes it unique. In a sense, contemporary history is a kind of “historical futurology”. Contemporary historians’ views on the future can be roughly divided into the following categories: First, the future is promising. Here, the historical space is a homogeneous, often linear space. Second, the future is malleable. Historians put more emphasis on human intervention and action. Third, the future is full of risks. What pervades here is a kind of historical pessimism. Fourth, the future is open. Historians emphasize the joint effect of various trends and the uncertainty of their forces. Rod is a supporter of openness. In the conclusion, he summarized five new events in the early 21st century, five historical patterns and three general trends that began in the nineteenth century. Perhaps it was when he looked back at the twentieth century with such a future-oriented posture, and when he judged the various forces of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the influence on the future, he would write that the re-emergence is ” “What is truly special in German history in the twentieth century”. The theory of future openness is not new in contemporary history studies in German academic circles. Edgar Wolfrum (Edgar Wolfrum) of Heidelberg University supports this view (DieGeglückte Demokratie, 2006). Interestingly, in recent years, Rhode, born in 1967, and Wolfrum, born in 1960, have gradually become equal opponents: the latter’s “A World Split” (Weltim Zwiespalt, 2017) Similar to “The Climber” (DerAufsteiger, 2020), it uses thematic system analysis—not time course—to deal with the problems of world history and German history in the twentieth century. Of course, between Rod and Wolflum, there is not only the difference between researchers who focus on “framework” and those who focus on “memory”, but also the expert advisors of the CDU and the Social Democratic Party ( SPD) Differences among members of the Bureau History Committee.