Forum Newsletter #32 – Wrap-up from the New Economy

Why german economic liberalism still has its work cut out for it.


Dear friends and colleagues,


Are liberals allowed to complain about liberalism? What seems to be somehow difficult in Germany, is instead possible in the USA and Great Britain – without immediately originating suspicions of communist instincts. The great thinker Timothy Garton Ash has just explained how this can be done, in a long essay that is well worth reading. The tenor: the technocratic economic liberalism of the past decades has failed miserably. But this does not mean that there cannot be a better, new liberalism that is more empathetic and aims at stopping the drifting apart of societies. These are ideas that are yet to reach the leaders of the liberal parties in Germany.

What something new could look like in German practice will be discussed at the end of May in our next big New Paradigm Workshop – second part of the series on the future of the German model. The event page including a large part of the programme is available – on our website. So is the commitment from Dani Rodrik, Joe Kaeser, Isabel Schnabel, Jörg Kukies, Adam Tooze, Monika Schnitzer, Martin Hellwig, Nora Szech, Jakob von Weizsäcker, Mark Blyth, Moritz Schularick, Philippa Sigl-Glöckner and others. And then we can find out how Germany can reduce inequality, face the climate challenge and deal with Corona debts. Certainly, if necessary, we will ask Tmothy Garton Ash. And we now firmly assume that by then we will be able to meet real people again. Not just screens. Click here to register.

When we talk about a new paradigm, we imagine that there are a few major guiding principles without which politics cannot function in practice – and which (see above) urgently need to be redefined after the failure of cold, technocratic liberalism. But then it is also a matter of finding concrete new answers to the greatest undesirable developments of our time (there is a British historian who has summed this up well). Since the first preparations for its launch, the Forum New Economy has commissioned a number of papers for this purpose, which can now be found together for the first time – here. Not all the answers are in there yet, and most of them are still work in progress, but they could one day be building blocks for what constitutes such a new paradigm. Perhaps also for a new liberalism.

Best regards,

Thomas Fricke 

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