HUMANISTIC DISCUSSION ON THE DEGRESSIONS OF CIVILIZATION
Bernhard Waldenfels / 22. 3. 2022
Der Krieg, der seit dem 24. Februar die Ukraine heimsucht, kommt nicht aus heiterem Himmel, er wurde sorglich geplant. Ich erinnere mich an meinen früheren Besuch in Kyiv im Oktober 2004. Bei der Tagung, die von der dortigen Universität und der Akademie der Wissenschaften veranstaltet wurde, ging es um “Phänomenologie und Kultur”.
Bernhard Waldenfels / 22. 3. 2022
Seit dem 24. 2. Februar 2022 herrscht Krieg in der Ukraine. Krieg? Moskau berichtet von einer militärischen “Sonderaktion”; wer “Krieg” sagt, macht sich im Lande des Kriegsführers strafbar. Doch ob Krieg oder nicht, es bedarf eines Vorwandes.
Dr. Erhard Busek / 17. 3. 2022
Erhard Busek war Humanist, Demokrat und ein Mensch, der sich mit Herz und Seele für die Freiheit, Demokratie und den Frieden eingesetzt hat. Er war ein erfahrener Politiker von Format mit großem historischen, Kultur- und Rechtswissen.
Dr. Erhard Busek / 17. 3. 2022
Erhard Busek was a great humanist, a democrat, and a man who stood heart and soul for the freedom and democracy of all. He was a politician on a grand scale, with an extensive knowledge of history, culture and law, and rich political experience.
Harald Heppner / 11. 3. 2022
No detailed scientific explanation is required to establish that the human being’s characteristics include the will to survive and the ability to devise or create the best possible framework conditions for his or her existence by employing the brain. With the help of body and mind, it is a matter of reconciling two goals – the striving for security in favour of survival and the urge for freedom in favour of controlling existence.
Florian Kührer-Wielach / 6. 3. 2022
Podcast „Ukraine Updates“ (für die Deutsch-Verstehenden) von Interesse. Wir lassen Betroffene in und aus der Region zu Wort kommen.
Unsere Hilfsaktion findet sich unter www.ikgs.de/bukowinahilfe.
Werner Wintersteiner / 3. 3. 2022
Even after the Russian attack: peace is the only option
Ten points on Ukraine from a peace policy perspective
Harald Heppner / 3. 3. 2022
The large and small violations of humanity that can be perceived every day are causing permanent irritation and indignation. The merry-go-round seems to be spinning faster and faster, and we are watching helplessly, not knowing what to do.
Jean Grondin / 28. 2. 2022
The turn towards autocracy in the last decade is worrisome. Autocrats are however nothing new. The most important leaders of world history,–one can think of Ceasar or Napoleon, to say nothing about its absolute worst villains, Hitler and Stalin,–were of the autocratic sort, bordering on megalomaniac craziness, and their autocratic regimes caused unspeakable suffering and millions of deaths.
Letter of invitation for a humanistic discussion
In what follows you will find a letter from a colleague from Belarus, who is informing us about the dictatorship and the violations of human rights and basic freedoms in that country.
Even as we report from Belarus, we are facing the looming “drums of war” in Europe, in Ukraine, and the rise of autocratic authorities and totalitarianisms, which are multiplying and gaining strength the world over. And just like the authorities in Belarus, all of these autocrats are hindering the values of civilization that are being implemented in countries that have accepted liberal democracy and the rule of law as the bases of their constitutions and ways of operating.
Precisely these horrific messages from Belarus provide a sound reason for opening a new humanistic discussion at the Forum for the Humanities on the degressions of civilization – just as we did at the outset of the COVID epidemic in another Forum discussion (https://www.for-hum.com/the-covid-19-pandemic/).
Though the need to discuss the proposed topic remains acute, it remains on the margins, despite the fact that it pertains to our civilizational coexistence, both locally and globally. There is much talk about rights and much less about responsibilities and duties.
Solutions to existential themes of coexistence are more or less left to politicians, who make decisions according to their own interests and to pragmatics. By doing so, however, their tolerance of civilizational degressions is all too often ignorant of the democratic values they are supposed to establish and represent.
Critical views and opinions of those who could show the true state of affairs with their knowledge and behaviour, as well as their own historical experience, find no place in the mainstream media, which are increasingly shallow and superficial in their populist ways. Their servile service to interests of authorities and elites, who have influence and power, is also palpable.
Given the above, in democratic societies that are a model for the welfare state and for the coexistence of civilization, we are confronted with insensitivity, indifference, lethargy and egotistical excuses that disguise a desire to serve oneself. Asocial individualism is becoming a universal way of living.
Hannah Arendt wrote: “Comprehension, in short, means the unpremeditated, attentive facing up to, and resisting of, reality—whatever it may be or might have been.”
Perhaps we can follow her with our humanistic discussion of civilizational degressions, shift the topic from the periphery to the forefront.
If you think that you would like to take part in this discussion, which we are opening in the Forum and which represents a challenge, namely, of reflecting on the present and the future, I invite you to send your paper to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
All contributions will be published on the website: https://www.for-hum.com/.
I address you on behalf of the International Association for the Humanities.
We call for signing a letter in support of the Belarusian philosopher Vladimir Matskevich.
On August 4, 2021, Vladimir Matskevich was arrested and has been held in pretrial detention center No. 1 in Minsk for more than 6 months. The investigating authorities charged him with “organizing actions grossly violating public order” (the Article 342 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus), however, over the past time, no significant evidence of his guilt has been presented to Vladimir and the public, the investigation of the case is being delayed, and the terms of detention are constantly extended. All these circumstances indicate the deprivation of Vladimir Matskevich of freedom was due solely to his public intellectual activity.
On February 4, 2022, Vladimir Matskevich went on a hunger strike, refusing to eat. His requirements are simple and doable:
- Change the measure of restraint to a recognizance not to leave.
- Complete the investigation and take the case to court.
- Set a trial date.
After 10 days, if these requirements are not met, Vladimir Matskevich goes on a dry hunger strike. The price of such an action is the life of a Man, a Thinker and a Citizen.
You can find the full text of the letter and sign it here —
Please, share this information with your colleagues.
With sincere hope for your support and solidarity,
Institute Nova Revija for the Humanities
+386 12444587 (Andrej Božič)
Forum for the Humanities (FORhUM) operates under the auspices of Institute Nova Revija for the Humanities (INR; Ljubljana, Slovenia), the activities of which are financially supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS; Ljubljana, Slovenia) within the research program P6-0341, the research project J7-8283, and infrastructure program I0-0036.