How do you stop being a cynic

politics and society : Power, morality, cynicism

An interesting phenomenon can be observed right now, which is spreading even in Europe. In France, still more in its infancy, in Germany more so, there is a renewed unease among the citizens, voters, about the state of politics; and a concern that inevitably deals more deeply with the classic type of politician. Eduard Spranger, the philosopher and psychologist, portrayed him in the last century as a man of power, who puts emphasis on himself and self-assertion above everything, and thus as someone who is not a warm-hearted philanthropist. The good thing about the argument is that a society that is increasingly reassuring itself obviously no longer wants to let such behavior go through, at least not unconditionally.

Now the whole ruling class is not bad, no, the efforts to expose the mere striving for power have become stronger. None of the powerful, Horst-Eberhard Richter predicted years ago, will be able to be more sure that someone would help him to keep silent about untruths or machinations. That's how it happened. Over time, the standards for state representatives have been readjusted, whether their name is Francois Hollande or Christian Wulff, or, or, or. Hans-Peter Friedrich ff., To call him that, also falls into this category. Anyone who is supposed to represent the rule of law, but seems to trample it (even if only because he is dumb), strengthens suspicion that a sense of social responsibility is not far off, but that egotistical power thinking prevails.

Richter concluded at the time that a new ethic was needed. A big word! Especially since he was thinking of one that is not only dealt with in terms of the leaders - who we have also looked for ourselves. Accordingly, this ethic has not yet materialized, far from it. But a step has been taken: There is growing skepticism towards the officials, to whom authority was previously granted in abundance as a matter of course. However, since they are often questioning their authority themselves, social development follows this. One could say: A school of skepticism is emerging.

Every day and evening we encounter new messages, new statements, new formations, wrote the great author Robert Walser. Though thoughts, things, and deeds seemed to be alike for centuries and even more so for weeks. But, asked Walser, should that lead us to inattentiveness? Just not. Because today, in view of the abundance of interesting facts, the following applies all the more: The criteria for what is good, preventive, democracy and rule-of-law policy are subject to ever new scrutiny, even if their original reason has remained the same. Translated into a requirement for politicians, this means that more than ever, power demands the defense against cynicism, which often creeps up in influential offices.

Where rules change - and should change - a social debate must take place about them. That is the self-assurance I was talking about. But such a debate does not inevitably lead to calm, but can also lead to further protests: among those who will soon be in demand as voters, in France, in Germany, in the European elections. Let no one be surprised, the politicians last.

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