Download After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society by Ralf Dahrendorf PDF

By Ralf Dahrendorf

The essays assembled during this quantity are a considerate and full of life observation on Europe after the revolution of 1989. needs to revolutions fail? definitely, the open society has its personal difficulties, no longer least that of electorate looking for that means. the nice Society has to sq. the circle of prosperity, civility and liberty. Social technological know-how may help us comprehend what should be performed, and intellectuals have a accountability to begin and accompany swap. All this increases questions for Europe which expand some distance past the all too slim confines of the ecu Union.

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One could return the concept, however, to its original meaning which has to do with pride in the spirit of the laws and the institutions created in its name. One cannot and should not love governments, but I suppose it is possible to feel great affection for a particular way of separating powers, and of enabling and controlling them at the same time. Citizens in Search of Meaning 33 And yet, constitutional patriotism remains a Kopfgeburt, a thing of the mind, not of the heart. It does not satisfy the need of many to live by and pass on to future generations deep structures of life in society.

Both Graham Wallas and Vaclav Havel have made their peace with modernity, but it turns out to be a shallow The Good Society 41 peace because nostalgia for 'the boy who drove the post-ponies' and main streets with 'two bakeries, two sweet-shops, two pubs' is never far away. Walter Lippman may have been wise to be cautious and not tell us of his dreams, but as I pursue three lines of analysis of these images of the good society by critical minds, his own vision begins to look ever more similar. Let me remind you: we have left Utopia and the totalitarian nightmare which it promoted behind, and also the great deception of benevolent gradual collectivism.

Ligatures can be created, but then they have to take root and begin to grow. If I had been offered an honorarium for these remarks, to whom would I give the money in the light of such conclusions? In the end to Catholic charities after all? No, but perhaps to a German Civic Foundation which does not yet exist but which might be set up in order to fill the structures of the open society with the lifeblood of civil society. 3 Citizens in Search of Meaning Address given at the Award Ceremony o/the Toynbee Prize at St Antony's College, Oxford, on 20 October 1990 If a social scientist, indeed worse, one whose profession used to be sociology, receives a prize in the name of a great historian, one must be allowed to wonder.

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