“Save Liberal Democracy” aims to be one voice dedicated to fight for and to defend the values of Enlightenment. As many countries all over the world face a new wave of right-wing, nationalist or religious populism that nurtures itself by derogating the achievements of this era, voices to defend Enlightenment must rise. They need to make themselves heard and pick up the battle. Enlightenment is a process and an assignment for every generation. Its benefits and its gains are not hereditary.
Amongst these fine and noble achievements of Enlightenment are: the freedom of expression, of speech, of the press, from religion, known as secularity. Any given society that acknowledges the principles of freedom for its members in effect is open to diversity, gender-equality and pluralism. Western societies embrace and guarantee this open order through their constitutions.
Constitutionalism is the mark and foundation stone of todays world. When populist movements, autocrats and dictators shoot at the liberal democratic society they try to alter or even abolish their constitution: The people of Poland, Russia, Turkey have seen this. In the Unites States of America nominee Donald Trump promises to destroy the constitutional protection of freedom of speech on his behalf, calling this doing to the libel laws sarcastically “to open” them. In Germany the right-wing conservative Bavarian party CSU aims at the Constitution, claiming that the right for asylum therein shall not longer be fully applied.
Constitutionalism on the nation state level is mirrored with multi-lateralism, in policies as much as in economy, trade and cultural exchange. The European Union is the finest example of a fixed, stable, secular body that is administered through harmonization of law as well as synchronization of the nations’ vital interests. The United Nations reflect this endeavor on a global stage. The success for the peace order succeeding the devastation of the Second World War and the horror of the Shoa is mostly due to established orders such as the UN and the EU. While right-wing populists in Europe claim the European nations could be friends without being in a Union, claiming we are bound by history, economic interest and common religious heritage, they are proven wrong by history: before the European Union, Europeans were at war despite being Christian, Humanist or enlightened nations. Only since the establishment of the EU has the old world seen a prolonged era of peace and prosperity.
The challenges that humanity faces are only to be solved in a global context. Closing boarders disentangles countries from the check and balances of international interactions and commitments. The main characters in the British Brexit vote, Mr. Farage and Mr. Johnson, aimed openly for the disconnect from the European Union, by invoking either unilateralism or the praising of the Commonwealth, a quasi-colonial concept that seized to function more than half a century ago. After having left the European Union, the people of England will remain only with their unilateral, inward-looking government that answers to no one and can do with the electorate as it pleases.
Globalization is met by Regionalization. Only if this longing and working for your home, your turf, your village or region is exploited by populists there seems to be a contradiction between the two. Most people in today’s world still live in a rather narrow radius. There interest is preserving their habitat, their social order, their language, their customs and their cuisine. Europe is a vivid example for this. As the separatist movements on the continent gave up fighting for their cause violently, it becomes clear that European diversity and plurality is compelling and one of the Unions most vibrant and unique selling points. However, still speaking about this region of the world, European societies still homogeneous, generally speaking – by ethnicities, by denomination, often by income. Hence, these societies struggle in particular with global migration and any perceived threat for their own preserved cultural identity. This makes them prone to populism that aims against the “alien”, today for many of them embodied in Muslims.
“Save Liberal Democracy” wants to be part of the many initiatives, in media, in politics and elsewhere alike, that strive for open, liberal, secular societies that up-hold knowledge and wisdom and place facts over guts. We will speak about identities, liberal values, the strategies of the populists and how to combat them. And we shall praise Enlightenment above anything else.
“Save Liberal Democracy” does not lean toward a certain political party – every voice that wants to tune into a reasonable discourse about the future of liberal societies is welcome.
“Save Liberal Democracy” is not anti-religious per se. However, religion with its claim for truth obviously is in rigid contradiction to the claims of pluralism, which is paramount for the success of liberal democracies.
“Save Liberal Democracy” aims to highlight and work according to the measures of good and profound debate-journalism. It is, however, not a news outlet: authors and contributors represent their views, their opinions, based on their research, experiences or their particular insights. They are responsible for their accuracy and the pledge to act truthfully while interacting with “Save Liberal Democracy” and its readers.