New PDF release: After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society

By Ralf Dahrendorf

ISBN-10: 033371959X

ISBN-13: 9780333719596

ISBN-10: 1349256536

ISBN-13: 9781349256532

The essays assembled during this quantity are a considerate and vigorous statement on Europe after the revolution of 1989. needs to revolutions fail? definitely, the open society has its personal difficulties, no longer least that of electorate looking for which means. the great Society has to sq. the circle of prosperity, civility and liberty. Social technology may also help us comprehend what should be performed, and intellectuals have a accountability to begin and accompany swap. All this increases questions for Europe which expand a ways past the all too slender confines of the ecu Union.

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Extra info for After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society

Sample text

If man can make his will conform to that of God he is master rather than slave of the laws governing human life' , I noted from Toynbee' s 1949 lecture, not without question marks of faint disapproval even by the 20-year-old. My remarks today are inspired by events which are relevant to such observations. There are times when history itself seems to become social science. This is a cryptic statement. What I mean is that certain events raise issues of such fundamental significance that they defy the normal skills of story-telling.

Now there is nothing wrong with cultural homogeneity - or is there? Is it perhaps Japan's greatest problem on the road to liberal democracy that the assumption of homogeneity (stated with brutal explicitness by former prime minister Nakasone when he said that Japan had no human rights problems because it was a homogeneous country) is built into the foundations of the state, with immediate results for Japanese Koreans and indirect consequences for all? Does perhaps one of the weaknesses of the often-quoted example of Scandinavian countries lie in the assumption of homogeneity which has made it very difficult for Swedes to deal with relatively small immigrant communities?

Such virtues, he argues, have always been practised, though not by enough people and not to a sufficient extent. Still, they have been shown by 'enough men in great enough degree to have given mankind here and there and for varying periods of time the intimations of a Good Society'. Individual human beings clearly can be good, and they can be evil. Moral philosophers may differ on what exactly this means, but in everyday life we have a fairly shrewd idea of what is good and what is evil. The man who The Good Society 43 killed the woman commuter did an evil deed, and the person who looks after dying aids patients is doing good deeds.

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After 1989: Morals, Revolution and Civil Society by Ralf Dahrendorf

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