21st Karlsruhe Dialogues - Speakers
Pluralism in Urban Society: Illusions, Realities, Conflicts
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kaschuba
1. In your opinion, which “enemies” pose the greatest threat to pluralistic societies?
Without going into details about the broad spectrum of organised and ‘activist’ enemies, from the Islamists to the right-wing populists: all those who are unwilling to negotiate about the different social experiences and needs of others as they would about their own; thus, those who want to live in simple-mindedness and disagreement instead of in diversity and openness.
2. Public trust in elites and the media has been declining in recent years. What do you think can be done in order to restore this trust?
Trust can only be restored if the political and economic elite considers itself committed to a social ethos that calls for public spirit instead of self-interest, openness instead of isolation, and investment instead of speculation – we are thus obviously speaking of a utopia…
3. In pluralistic societies, how can awareness of the advantages of freedom – and the appreciation thereof – be raised, in particular when it comes to those who lack experiences with unfreedom?
PEGIDA, Trump, and Erdoğan are currently making sure that we will become much more aware of the significance of social freedom. The words of good old Goethe thus ring true once more: “Travelling broadens one’s mind!” In any case, it does so for those who make it to Dresden, Washington, or Istanbul.