Ivan Krastev Explains the State of Democracy in Central Europe

Ivan Krastev Explains the State of Democracy in Central Europe


Demographic imagination replaced
the democratic imagination. Democratic imagination is about
how we are going to change the world. Demographic imagination is how
the others are going to change us. And you have the threatened
majorities as the major factor in Central
and Eastern European politics. These are the majority groups
that start to feel psychologically like persecuted
minorities. And this is becoming, and this
is taking such an important position because also
in Central and Eastern Europe and this is the ironies of
history, in the beginning of the 20th
Century when you see the ethnic composition of societies,
there were two Europes. There was one Europe which was
quite ethnically homogenous and it was Western Europe. And there was one that was very
much multi-cultural and very much ethnically diverse
and this was Habsburg Europe, Central
Europe. Democracy always has a major
advantage over non-democratic society,
and this was a principle advantage. It has a capacity
for self correction. And in my view the major crisis
of democracy, when people are going to ask me when democracy
is in crisis? This is when democracy starts
to lose the capacity for self correction. Paradoxically the political
polorization is awful not simply because it’s awful
at an emotional level but because it does not create
incentives for self correction. You are basically ending with
the political party because of the polorization, you’re
afraid to criticize your own because you believe that this is
going to help the other side. And as a result of it, there is
no self critical capacity which for me is critical for any
democratic societies. This is what makes democratic
society really important. I was always trying to ask
myself how a monument of democracy is going to
look like. Who should be put on the
monument of democracy? And at least in my version, on
the monument of democracy should be put a person who is
ready to change his views on the base
of an arguement. In the absense of such a citizen
democracy can not function.

1 Comment on "Ivan Krastev Explains the State of Democracy in Central Europe"


  1. Western Europe had national homogeneity, Eastern Europe didn't. The result is obvious if we consider the huge development of the west vs poor east. Changing the national homogeneity of West Europe by importing Africans will destroy the very fabric that keeps together a society and secures development and achievement. If that happens and West will have Negropean population instead of Europeans the decline will be imminent. The power of West Europe is based on the quality and skills of its people.

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