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Take action, but keep a sense of proportion!

Back on track with Ivan Krastev

24. July 2018
Magazine > Voices > Take action, but keep a sense of proportion!

Embark with us on a train ride with Ivan Krastev and enjoy his sober analysis of the facts to consider when acting for change.

“I remember very well the feeling of uneasiness that I felt when I read in the papers about the Polish guy who some months ago set himself on fire as a protest against the policies of the government that he totally disagrees with. He wanted to remind us of Jan Palach in 1969, who set himself on fire to protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. He wanted to remind us of all those Germans who in the 1930s normalised Hitler’s power. He wanted us to see what we see as not normal. But when I was thinking about him, I was thinking also about all these young, idealistic people who joined the Red Army Faction in the 1970s and who never made a major difference between living in a fascist country and living in a Western democracy. For them, there was no difference between Nazi Germany and West Germany in the 1970s. They were behaving as if they were living under Hitler. And they didn’t help democracy – they tried to destroy it. I’m saying this because I do believe that any civic activism is based on having the right political judgement, of getting the proportions right. Not every bad government is a fascist government. And not everybody you disagree with is a fascist. So, let’s not do harm. Let’s get the proportions right.”

This text and video is published under the Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name of the author/rights holder should be mentioned as followed. Author: Jovana Trifunovic and Igor Bararon / erstestiftung.org. Cover picture: Ivan Krastev, film still. Photo: © Igor Bararon / ERSTE Stiftung.


Back on track

As our world is facing major geopolitical shifts and challenges, from the rise of nationalism to increased demands for privacy, from balancing growing human needs with environmental limits, there is undoubtedly space for major improvements. We see civil society as the key driving force in this process and have therefore launched the video series Back on track about social engagement and activism as a clear sign of support to the dedicated change makers in our societies. The Video “Take action, but keep a sense of proportion!” is the fifth episode of the six-part video series.