How does one define a society in Austria with its norms and values?
How can the modern and globally oriented society in Austria define itself with its norms and values and at the same time do justice to all its inhabitants? Which values and norms make a multicultural society acceptable to everyone, so that it can exist as a stable social structure and develop according to modern conditions?
The Treaty on European Union (as amended by the Lisbon Treaty) mentions the values in Article 2: "The values on which the Union is founded are respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to all Member States in a society characterised by pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men".
"It's generally the loss that teaches us the value of things."Arthur Schopenhauer
In an open society, an intellectual exchange of views is necessary to facilitate cultural change. Therefore, freedom of expression, association and assembly, as well as strict religious neutrality are essential to establish or maintain a consensus on fundamental values.
In a democratic society, however, there is also a need for a culture of debate that knows how to use the relevant and productive forces of oratorical debate. A reasonable culture of dispute is measured by reasonable rules which must be followed: on the one hand, the other party must be allowed to have a different opinion and, on the other hand, it must be guaranteed that this opinion is also represented by means of rhetorical argumentation.
Parliamentary democracy thrives on political conflict, conflicting interests and the search for a balance between these interests. The promotion of a reasonable culture of debate also basically means the promotion of democratic society.
The problem areas and threats to the open society were defined by Sir Karl Popper (1902-1994) in 3 Paradoxes:
- THERE IS A PARADOX OF FREEDOM:
It is only possible within limits. Boundless freedom cancels itself out.
- THERE IS A PARADOX OF TOLERANCE:
Unlimited tolerance, which includes the intolerant, involves the danger that the intolerant will abolish tolerance.
- ES GIBT EIN PARADOXON DER DEMOKRATIE:
If the majority of the people elect an undemocratic party, democracy is lost.
Establishment of a debate culture that takes the dangers of a divided society for the open society seriously and discusses opinions rather than attacking the bearers of an opinion.
Overcoming the polarisation in public debate through freedom in conversation, freedom in discussion, respect in the mutual exchange of different points of view in order to be able to agree on a common denominator again, self-critical and turned towards the people.