THE RETURN OF THE GHOSTS
     
NEXUS Institute's website
Gatherings of the Nexus Institute are of excellence and catches more and more wider attention. On 11 November 2010 the Institute organised a symposium on present political societal developments in international and historical context. Due to the limits of the location, hundreds of those interested had to be disappointed. The good news is that 700 hundred people were able to participate. They went through the discussions by politicians and scholars about haunting and not welcome spectres and were abled to form themselves a more profound and critical opinion about prospectives of the civilized world.

According the Institute's brochure a spectre is haunting: the spectre of populism, but also that of nationalism, communism, fascism (difficult to define in fixed terms. It was not an unambiguous, but an eclectic movement), antisemitism, and fundamentalism. It matters: it concerns the question what the characteristic features are of the trends, that make field in Europe. In the Netherlands, but also in the rest of Europe and in the entire Western world, phantoms we thought we had conquered when the twentieth century came to an end, rear their heads once again. Why do these ghosts return, and why now? Has our democracy entered a crisis? Can we exorcise these ghosts, or are they bound up with the West inextricably? Will history repeat itself, or can we learn from the past?

Fanatic muslim terrorists and xenophobic political parties: after WW-II, the world was relieved, but totalitarianism by the Sovjet Union tempered this feelings till the Sovjet Union collapsed in 1989. Again there was too much optimism: more or less at the same time, a new threat for the culture of freedom arised in the Middle and Far East in the shape of muslim fundamentalism. Monsters were not disappeared, but fully alive.

Nevertheless, it is clear that immigration should not only still be accepted, but also promoted, because countries could hardly maintain its standard of life. Immigrants has the right to practice religion and habits, as long as they are in harmony with democratic institutions, laws and principles.

Go along with principles against civilized conscience could mean an enormous step back for the culture of freedom. By this, moods and feelings can take care of a revive of racism, xenophobic groups and nationalistic feelings, of which we thought it was disappeared.

Make law, no war.

Panel en publiek

Can we do something against the return of the monsters to meet them? Of course. Acting. Making the world more human. Of this will happen, is not for sure. There is a cynical attitude to politics, based on a view you can do nothing, only resign oneself. But everything what is soundly, idealistic, noble and of love of liberty shall finally get the upper hand. Only when we will find love of life again and we will devote our lives to everything what gives truly life, truth, goodness, beauty, friendship, justice, compassion and wisdom, only then and not before, we will become resistent against the deadly bacillus.

We can speak of a situation of populists against elitists. Next to it, values as freedom of religion and freedom of education (without divided schools, because it will deliver divided societies) are one of the basic principles of western civilization. Right-minded, reading, liberty loved citizens should revolt against the monsters.

Together and in harmony, there should be created a new vision for the 21st century.