Free citizens who stand up against tyranny have nothing against those in power. They do nothing to them. They fight for a more just order, for their right to life, to freedom, peace and security. When nothing else helps, that is the message of Thomas More’s novel “Utopia”, then it helps to do things radically differently. (1) For the humanist scholar, the small island state was a counter-model to the decaying society of England at the time.
For the author, a liberal social order with free people is the counter-model to the present totalitarian form of rule of unfreedom, violence and exploitation. This vision of the future, for which every full-minded and unblinded citizen should fight, was already held by some mature people like Peter Kropotkin and other liberal socialists more than 100 years ago. However, since they had only anticipated and not yet recognised the emotional reactions of human beings and were also vehemently opposed by authoritarian-minded contemporaries, they were unable to put their progressive ideas into practice. Thus, man is still not free today.
Gottfried Keller: Step outside the front door yourself and see what is available!
Every individual is called upon to make his or her contribution to solving the pressing problems of our time. And of course we are able to do so if we are aware that it depends on each and every one of us. Why not muster the courage to use our own minds and not repress the monstrosities of today, but to see them and stand up against them – intellectually, emotionally, politically. Overcome the inertia of the heart and act! Against all odds, muster the determination to seek the truth and thereby preserve our dignity as human beings and create a future worth living for ourselves and our children.
The Swiss poet and novelist Gottfried Keller (1819-1890) put it this way:
“No government and no battalions (…) are able to protect law and freedom where the citizen is unable to step outside the front door himself and see what is available.” (Zurich Novellen)
Albert Camus: Every human being has a more or less large sphere of influence
Shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War, the Nobel Prize winner for literature Albert Camus (1913-1960),