Keep Calm in Dangerous Times

Earth exhausting out fumes against black background
Many have the sense that the world is changing much more rapidly than before. Photo: Getty Images
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    History shows that in response to times of great change, democracy and liberal systems are forced into retreat. The wish for predictability becomes so overpowering that autocratic governments are elected.

  • Facts


    • Worry over rapid change might also be due to the fact that the post-war order in Europe was very stable for more than a half-century.
    • Social networks and obscure news websites of all kinds amplify certain fears.
    • The refugee issue reveals Europe’s helplessness in preserving its perceived importance in a new, multipolar world, writes the author.
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Historical eras don’t always proceed at the same pace: Sometimes a lot happens quickly. Other times, very little changes for years.

Austrian pop singer Falco, for instance, once said that “whoever can remember the ‘80s didn’t experience them!” And certainly from a Western European and American point of view, most of that decade might seem forgettable.

By contrast, the preceding decade is remembered in Germany for momentous developments, including the student movement, terrorism, emerging environmentalism and nuclear energy protests.

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