The heated German debate about immigration explained to friends abroad

I take the opportunity to point my American and other friends abroad to an excellent NYTimes Op-Ed by renowned German philosopher Jürgen Habermas, who takes on the task of explaining and historically locating the recent debate about immigrants that exploded with a book by Thilo Sarrazin. He also deals with two other important contemporary phenomena (in his words: „attraction to charismatic nonpoliticians and the grass-roots rebellion in Stuttgart“). To German readers, I think the article is still worth the time, linking together seemingly disparate events in a broad frame of interpretation.

His final paragraph strikes a moderatly optimistic tone, and could well be read as an appeal to American voters in the upcoming mid-terms:

The United States has a president with a clear-headed political vision, even if he is embattled and now meets with mixed feelings. What is needed in Europe is a revitalized political class that overcomes its own defeatism with a bit more perspective, resoluteness and cooperative spirit. Democracy depends on the belief of the people that there is some scope left for collectively shaping a challenging future.

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Datum: Samstag, 30. Oktober 2010 23:32
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