Following the Nikitin incident was another, much bigger festival, a celebration not of a certain kind of music but oft the omnipotence of the self − the Olympics. Despite the fact that German athletes generally underperformed by gaining half the amount of medals they were expected to achieve, the real scandal was the case of Nadja Drygalla, a young German sculler. She had to leave the German rowing team after media coverage showed that her partner was and still might be a neo-Nazi. While this decision by the German Olympic Sports Committee has been questioned in public, what was also questionable was once more the difference or distance between the private and the public realm, i.e. sports and politics. It is this distinction that was almost undermined by the existence of an athlete who fell in love with a Nazi. Or, to put it more symbolically and ideal-typically, a young, innocent goddess whose fiancé is the devil.
Unfortunately, this summer’s scandals in Germany did not end there. Despite the fact that the German society has for decades been very careful to consider Jewish sensitivities as a result of the Holocaust, a German District court in Cologne ruled in a singular case that circumcising young boys would represent grievous bodily harm and would in fact be illegal. It was a decision that provoked an outcry, especially, but not only, in the Jewish community since it is interpreted as a threat to religious freedom. A discussion about how much religiously motivated violence against children should be tolerated by the German law has already begun, which in itself is considered to be a scandal by some religious communities. And once more, what is questioned here on a general scale are again the limits and boundaries of social subsystems: the religious and the legal sphere.
So what follows?
Three things: Firstly, that the supremacy of the economic system is now being accompanied by hegemonial demands of other social subsystems. Social spheres − not only the economic one − attempt to extend or even destroy their boundaries and confinements. At least they do not accept these boundaries anymore; Secondly, since this development appears in the form of scandals it becomes clear that it happens in and is triggered by the media. In other words, now social change seems to be triggered neither by individuals nor by theories (like Marxism) but by the media; The third and potentially most important consequence: If the depiction of modern Western society as one partitioned in autonomous sub-systems is no longer adequate, then what this summer showed to be at stake in Germany is nothing less than the shape and appearance of modernity.
We will see.