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Plea for a cultural renewal

In its current form the Western culture is neither generally applicable nor is it viable for the future:

  • The life style which consumes a vast amount of resources destroys the natural basis of existence.
  • Society's ability to function - job market, social security systems, guarantee of a free democratic order - is suffering.
  • Social cohesion is crumbling.

A pre-condition for a culture which is generally applicable and viable for the future is a basic change in awareness, a cultural renewal. The present understanding of prosperity must be freed from its material restrictions and expanded by non-economic areas of culture. Music, sport and artistic occupations, interest in history, philosophy and politics, cities worth living in, the maintenance of the cultural landscape, conscious nourishment, social commitment, mutual help and responsibility can contribute to a lasting improvement in well-being even if material wealth declines. Or, in the words of the former German Federal President, Horst Köhler:  Not "having a lot" but "living well" must be the maxim so that "the Earth also remains habitable for our children and our grandchildren".1