Happy 80th Birthday Jürgen Habermas!

Jürgen Habermas, whose powerful account of deliberative democracy every one should study at some point, turns 80 today.  Here are some remarks they got from him about current events:

‘Politics ridicules itself if it moralizes, instead of basing itself on the coercive right of the democratic lawmaker”

‘In most countries of the continent there are sleeping majorities in favour of further consolidation of the EU,’ Habermas said in 2007.

Habermas said, Bush had made the world ‘less safe.’ However he has always stressed that his criticism ‘doesn’t have the slightest overtone of anti-American sentiment.’

Western and Islamic leaders have paid attention to Habermas’ views on the role of religion and state.

‘Tolerance and the separation of state and religious power certainly demand an act of adjustment by the large religious communities,’ Habermas said.

The philosopher said Islam had enough vitality to tackle this challenge, but warned, ‘any intercultural dialogue is futile if it comes without the clear willingness to bring political justice to the globalized economy.’

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