June 9, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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“Is this mandatory?” It is a permanent echo in society and this destroys democracy

Els van Doesburg is an Alderman in Antwerp on behalf of N-VA. Her column appears every two weeks, alternating with Marc Van Ranst.

Els van Doesburg

Remember Hans Rimmer? Of course you know him, you might as well be yourself. the man who enters Al Jazeera For each proposal answer with the corresponding question ‘is da binding? Everyone knows Hans, and everyone actually is little Hans because we all have Frankie in our lives. Such an unpleasantly disguised type who can never motivate, but only pushes through his will. The Frankie of all of us is the government and inspires the same feelings of disgust. It’s a potion, Frankie. potion boy.

“He is da mandatory? This reaction stems largely from an understandable aversion to this endless stream of patriarchal government obligations, but we often use it as an excuse to turn our backs. Because secretly we prefer to be busy with ourselves, with our rights and freedoms. Individuality, life in our little world.

And if “politics” does not function as a rights-giving machine and fulfills the needs of our little bubble, we wonder if “democracy” is not “collapsing” and say things like: “Politicians don’t listen to the people.” We actually mean the people in our bubble. Because we don’t really know what lives there. This concerns us only in moderation.

I thought of Hans in all of us when I read the revised edition of Anxiety in democracy For the American philosopher Michael Sandel. Progressives often hug Professor Sandel, but I also regularly felt like giving him a kiss on the forehead while reading. Such a conservative kiss is followed by a cross.

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In his book, Sandel talks about, among other things, the slippage of American democracy. The republican idea of ​​liberty as participation in collective self-government was given an individualistic liberal interpretation of liberty. Or how the citizen has gone from being a co-ruler of a self-determined political community, to a consumer of individual rights in a globalized world where he has little control. I’d love to give a kiss to that kind of reasoning, because, of course, Sandel is right. This is how democracy really breaks down, not that it’s not about our bubble for a while.

Democracy weakens without solidarity, solidarity and a sense of duty. Individuals who decide fate in their worlds next to each other do not constitute a living democracy. The path that we walk together should be our path, on which we have worked on ourselves. You cannot separate freedom from society. You are not born with freedom, you develop it through autonomy.

Hans Fina says you are free when you don’t have to care about anything, you have nothing to do with anything and nobody comes to ask you for anything. Hans is just a narrow-minded man though he engenders sympathy in his distaste for Frankie. True freedom is having the space to really care about something and work with it. Democracy is a group activity. Freedom exists only in society. It is largely due to that.

No, it is not mandatory and if that is the case, then there is no need to participate anymore.