Stand up for Democracy. Give me a D. Yes, we are passionate for democracy. Even if we are not singing Beethoven‘s “Ode an die Freude” every day, we are well aware that we have to defend democracy at numerous places. The essay in the New Yorker by Jill Lepore from January 2020 on the manifold risks to democracy and the way forward is a great inspiration. Democracy is always a “work in progress”. It improves and in most cases rises with the challenges. However, this demands to stay alert and wither the beginnings of threats to its functioning. Beyond the external threats, internal threats to democratic values are abound. The discursive element that is highlighted in the essay remains crucial. Debating in public is key. Transparency of arguments, reasoning and values are constituent parts of democracy. Clandestine ways of corruption, bribery and threatening of violence become apparent when fractions of society retreat from the public to form insider groups. Defenders of democracy need to speak out in public, publish they work, expose and perform their arts, challenge school curricula and be active in any policy field. This is a lot to do, but we have to prevail and rise to the continuous challenges to the democratic way of life. Too many dictators and autocrats around the world would like to see democracy fail. Worse, they work actively, like in “Qatargate” in November 2022 in Brussels to spread illicit practices of corruption. We have to strengthen our “antennas” and sensors to detect such practices. Prevention is key. Tough reactions with the force of the legal system to stop the spreading is also indicated. Let’s rise to the challenge, again and again with the latest technology.
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