Peaceful coexistence in cultural diversity

The result of the Austrian general election in 2017 shows a significant social tendency to perceive “the other” as a threat. Does being different automatically imply being evil? A quarter of the voters decided to vote for the right-wing populist FPÖ.

Philosopher Michael Pauen explains in an interview that one’s desire to assimilate to dominant culture is strong, even without applied external pressure. He emphasises that everyone can become a follower (Bruckmoser, 2015). Groups can have a strong influence on individuals’ opinion formation and actions, and often this influence is subconscious. One look at the historical dynamics and events of the Second World War is enough to explain the importance of creating active awareness and a countermovement towards a peaceful coexistence that embraces cultural diversity in order to avoid the marginalisation of new scapegoats.

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