24th ilb
5 – 14 Sep 2024 Program
9 – 18 Sep 2024 Young Program

Denken mit dem eigenen Kopf. Freiheit und Selbstbehauptung im Spannungsfeld von Macht


The Friedrich Naumann Foundation cordially invites you to a digital lecture and discussion evening with Peter Schneider, Katarina Popović, Marko Dinić and Sabine Adler (moderator) on 25 November 2021, 6:30 pm.

Writer and author Peter Schneider has been one of the most important intellectuals in Germany for decades. His latest book, “Denken mit dem eigenen Kopf” (2020), collects essays from the past three decades. The values that have always decisively determined the author’s world of thought and his numerous journalistic interventions are also expressed in an exemplary manner: Courage and freedom. It is no coincidence that Immanuel Kant’s question from 1784 “What is Enlightenment?” plays a central role. His wake-up call: “Have the courage to use your own intellect!” is of unbroken relevance.

Enlightenment is not a state, however, but a process. The mere enshrinement of freedom of opinion and freedom of the media in the contemporary constitutions of democratic societies does not in itself guarantee that these freedoms will be exercised and lived. For in the “slipstream of guaranteed freedom of opinion”, according to Schneider, new “communities of opinion” often emerge that closely observe deviations within their community and often try to prevent or even sanction them with various means of pressure. Schneider knows this phenomenon from his own experience as a contemporary witness and central player in the ’68 movement.

Therefore, not only public criticism against authoritarian political elites, but also opposition to self-appointed leaders in one’s own group always requires great courage.

But what are the intellectual-moral prerequisites for resisting the manifold “temptations of unfreedom” (Ralf Dahrendorf)? What effectively prevents the clouding of the critical view of the various phenomena of power? What conditions are needed so that thinking and speaking do not become blackmailable?

In cooperation with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade, the Goethe Institute and the international literature festival berlin.

The event will be held in German with simultaneous translation into Serbian and streamed live on our YouTube channel.