Is democracy a solution to political problems?
A few weeks ago I was at a panel discussion of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, which was about citizen participation and eDemocracy. When asked by the audience, several people in the audience didn't want to hear about their political engagement dealing with existing institutions or parties, because “it's all going too slowly!” At the get-together afterwards, I talked to Christopher for a while Lauer, who had also sat on the podium. He said something very interesting: the problem with politics is now that we Germans have learned to live in a service society. We expect things to happen immediately - ideally, the Amazon parcel arrives in an hour, the bank transfer is done with a click of the mouse, and the trouble-shooting on the computer is done immediately. And it is precisely with this attitude that people come to politics and want that too.
Second, at SaveDemocracy Day in Hamburg last weekend, but also at many other meetings, I experience that a lot of people are just starting their own political association or even a new party, and are very much inspired by what they are now on this "bare." Sheet of paper ”, which is practically in front of you, will create something great. What they unfortunately do not do on the other hand: join existing associations and contribute their energy and creativity.
Thirdly, in the current Martin Schulz interview by Richard David Precht, there is a very interesting passage by Precht at 16:16, which finally leads to this statement:
“[...] The great visions that have forced change from our societies in recent years were all technical visions. And this technical thinking is extremely pronounced in the vast majority of people. So this digital coding in “Like” and “Dislike”. And that is reflected in the fact that people expect politics to solve problems. For example, the problem that Google doesn't pay taxes. I find that a frightening narrowing of politics. If you ask: what problem did Konrad Adenauer solve in the 1950s? Or: which problem was solved by Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik? Then we would say: that is not an accurate description. [...] Today it looks like people expect politics to solve problems. Solving the refugee problem. Solve the terror problem. In fact, we are dealing with processes that are not problems at all. A problem - the Greek word 'problema' - is something that is put forward for solution. A math problem disappears when I have calculated the problem correctly. And so people expect: Politics solves problems. That's how politicians talk too. There is talk of problems everywhere. But politics is not a problem solver. Politics is about shaping social processes over the long term.”
Fourth, at many events and dates where people come together who want to make a difference politically, I meet a surprising number of communication and advertising people. (That may be because of my past.) What many of these people have in common is that, very often, they have surprisingly little interest in fundamental political discussions. One evening I experienced a kind of two-group formation - some wanted to "quickly do something like a campaign, somehow against the AfD, not talk so much, prefer to do something now." The others - and I was one of them - wanted to talk about it where the real problems lie in understanding what actually has to happen in order for our societies to move in the right direction again. We were then even a little condescendingly referred to by the “campaign group” as the “debating club”.
I would now like to note four things:
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- Why do people want to know things
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