The Karlsruhe Lectures presented under the heading of “Open Your Mouth” owe their existence to the realization that innovation and creative design are unable to unfold their convincing and desirable vital forces in the absence of painful processes. The Karlsruhe Academy of Advanced Dental Studies has invited the public and members of the dental profession to these lectures since 1983.
It has always been the case that those persons are held in particularly high regard who creatively add to the ongoing process of value generation by the example they set in life and through the power of their language and their ideas.
“Open your mouth” is the sentence at the beginning of any activity by a dentist. Persons seek the dentist‘s help, and are ready to open their mouth, in order to escape a state of suff ering from pain and fear. By treating his patients‘ teeth, the dentist preserves their mouth, face, self-confi dence, and speech.
Opening one‘s mouth in the dentist‘s chair and doing so in public are ventures enjoying no great popularity, being inevitably associated with some amount of pain, and yet are indispensable. The speakers presenting Karlsruhe “Open-Your-Mouth” lectures, their lifes‘ achievements and their topics of choice assign model character to the “Open Your Mouth” topos. It amalgamates into an impressive symbiosis dental and societal interventions.
Protecting the Global Climate
"A political as well as ethical question arises in my mind. We are living here in a democracy. We prefer democracy to all other forms of government. But future generations whose interests we try to protect cannot express their preference today. How can democracy reach consensus and generate action with regard to the interests of the future? Another question arises - that on climate change and poverty. If we want to save the world, what world exactly do we want to save? It really is a very unequal and unfair world. It would be immoral to aim at preventing global warming by 1.5 or 2 degrees and, at the same time, deny the poor access to energy. On the other hand, expressed in more positive terms, bringing the poor renewable types of energy, in the rural areas of the big developing countries, could be far easier than providing energy in the classical way."
Africa in the New Century
"To tease out alternative possibilities for thinking life and human futures in this age of neoliberal individualism, we need to connect in entirely new ways the project of non-racialism to that of human mutuality. In the last instance, non-racialism is truly about radical sharing and universal inclusion. In this sense, non-racialism is the antithesis of the rule of the market. The domination of politics by capital has resulted in the waste of countless human lives and the production in every corner of the globe of vast stretches of dead water and dead land. To reopen the future of our planet to all who inhabit it, we will have to learn how to share it again amongst the humans, but also between the humans and the non-humans."
Illusions of Truth – the Power of Certainty.
"At first glance this may sound like bad news at the end. Because there is no decision that would automatically lead us to the restful bench of a firm and everlasting truth. And at second glance – at least that’s what I hope – it is excellent good news, because deciding an undecidable question about the good, the right way of living and acting shows us clearly that we are free at that very moment, that we are free, condemned to freedom in a sense, and condemned to responsibility. And we may take the right decisions, or we may be wrong and fall prey to an illusion and believe in a truth that one day may turn out to be an illusion. But however this may be - it all depends inevitably on us, how we see the situation and evaluate the conditions. Each and every one of us counts whenever he opens his mouth."
The Writer and the Cities
"There is only one way of experiencing a city: by walking about it and, to enjoy it most, without any aim. Why aimlessly? Well – because it is so much better if the city is coming towards you rather than the other way round. Taxi cabs and cars are of no use, because a city not only has streets and shop windows, wellkept modern and historic buildings – a city mainly is its people. And people are moving differently in every City."
The Courage, Dignity and the Word.
A Request to Call a Spade a Spade.
"Freedom is not a luxury for some few people or countries. It is a collective dream of mankind. Freedom is much older than democracy and, at the same time, its precondition. A society that values freedom believes in the individual and his/her contribution to that very society and guarantees the privilege of free expression of thought without considering descent, religion or position. Diversity of opinion is a treasure, a luxury good, a child of democracy and freedom. Every democracy should benefit from it to the greatest possible extent."
Health in Germany – a Special Topic
"Thus, the art of politics is indeed to develop fundamental thoughts – and many fail in this already – but if you do have fundamental ideas and thoughts you must then try to transfer them to reality and in doing so not simply ignore people or existing structures. Otherwise politics will change from the basic ideal to an ideology because you think you now must implement what you once thought out at the conference table – cost what it may. That this is not possible in a democracy makes democracy so trying at times, but, in the end, is quite a good thing."
The Wisdom of Crisis –
The Essence of Transformation
"In order to understand this process, we must also understand what the difference is between change and transformation. Change always happens under external coercion – as a result of turbulences in the economy, environment, and political conditions. Such events force people to respond, to adjust. Transformation really means something different. It means shaping and designing change proactively based on human insight. We want to develop choices as a result of our own perception of various possibilities. In principle, every human being and every society has a choice as far as the future is concerned. And instead of focusing on situations of increasing gravity and fear, we want to emphasize aspects of imagination and cooperation. We want to put the question in a different way – not why will it definitely fail, but rather how should parents, the government, teachers and students work together to create a school that is able to master the future."
Environment, Democracy and Peace: A Critical Link
"But over and above I think we really need a lot of political will. It’s very easy for us ordinary people to get excited and to feel like we could do it. But political will is extremely important and so we hope that governments will continue to commit to the environment and as I said at the very beginning you can not do that if you don’t have democratic governance with respect for human rights, with respect for the rule of law, respect for diversity. That’s the basis for us being able to manage the resources in a responsible way and in an accountable way."
The Political Responsibility of Europe for Steadiness and Peace on the Balkans
"The Balkans – a region full of wealth. And I believe that, quite generally, this region, the Danube region, described by Humboldt as one of the most exciting areas of the world already 150 years ago, will be among Europe’s most promising economic regions and the most fruitful and productive ones in the next 20 to 30 years. And we take part in it. But we must do something for it. We must be ready to offer young people a perspective. We must make scientific cooperation possible. We must be willing to establish research facilities there to stop the brain drain. It would be a disaster if the young and highly qualified left the region. We in Europe must see to it that the Balkan States do not become a poorhouse but instead a center for the gifted. This, I think, is the unique opportunity that can be offered by the European Union. Therefore I believe we need not be afraid of the future at all. Those who invest into this future now will benefit themselves later on."
The Role of the Banks for Germany Industry
in the Age of Globalisation
"In the global capital market environment the basic challenge is to find a new and stable balance between two opposite poles, i.e. the international capital investors’ profit expectations for ever shorter time horizons on the one hand and, on the other, the companies’ chances for a sustained development. In future this will be a crucial question for German industry closely linked to the role of the banks. As banks we also will have to find the right measure and balance between these two poles in order to enhance the value-added of our national economy and give up obsolete and rigid attitudes at the same time.”
Putting Teeth in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
and Disarmament Commitments
„The longer we delay in placing sensitive nuclear operations under multinational control, the more new countries will seek to build such facilities. The longer we take to protect global stocks of nuclear and radioactive material, the higher the risk they will fall into terrorist hands. The longer effective verification authority is not universally in place, the more the potential for clandestine activity. As long as disarmament measures are not progressing meaningfully, efforts to strengthen nuclear nonproliferation will be poisoned by cynicism, and more countries will try to ”join the major leagues”. And the longer the Security Council is not acting systematically, equitably and effectively, as the guardian of international peace and security, the more its legitimacy will be undermined, and a sense of insecurity will continue to prevail. The irony is that we know the problems, and we know the solutions. What is yet to come is the vision and leadership to overcome the hubris that threatens our mutual destruction, and to build a civilization rooted in the unity of the human family, the sanctity of all human life and the core values we all share — a civilization that is humane and just.”
Asia Sets Foot on the World Stage –
Is there a New World Order?
„The rise of China and India will significantly change the framework of international relations. I would go so far as to characterize the economic modernisation of Asia as the most far-reaching effect of globalisation so far. If we accept this, then what does it mean for today‘s rich countries including the leading European economies? Listening to the pessimists one could think that the collapse of the West was imminent. However, I am not a pessimist. Europe has put its ability to reinvent itself to the test time and again. One should not underestimate this ability.”
Putins Russia - New Global and
Domestic Challenges of a Former World Power
„The second possible path for President Putin – reform of the regime – is riskier, without guarantees of success, and with a likelihood that he might break his neck. If the political steering wheel is not turned wisely, reform could end up in Gorbachevism, with the leader losing control of power and events. But Vladimir Putin could be lucky. If he decided to de-hermeticize the regime and managed to cross thin ice without falling in, he would accomplish what no Russian or Soviet leader ever had: He would begin building a responsible system of governance based not on the irrational and mystic power embodied in the leader but on the rule of law. That would be a new chapter in Russian history. Overcoming the self and finding new impulses or a new destiny is enough to make any nation great and any leader worth remembering.”
Jews in Germany – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
„The nice and admirable fact is that this generation, the post-68 generation, at last has faced up to the past; that there is now a whole network of institutions in the Federal Republic which are facing up to the past; that people say, let us not sweep anything under the carpet, let us tell our children open-mindedly in order to learn that Jews were not only victims but ordinary German citizens, bright or stupid, fat or slim, rich or poor, like all the others.”
A Future for the East.
German Unity Seen in a European Perspective
„The economic situation especially in the new German states is complicated, troubling, contradictory. Actually, the eastern and the western parts of Germany are undergoing a fundamental process of change which we have not coped with by far, also in the western part of Germany. For this reason, there is cause neither for resignation nor for any kind of western arrogance. I would even say that East Germany no longer can learn a lot from the West. However, it is also a fact that nothing will work without the West.”
Common Value Concepts – Are They Necessary even in 2001?
„There is almost nothing as bad as the randomness of a world without stability, for the way from anomie to tyranny is short. We need pro-active efforts seeking common value concepts, even in the 21st century. This means, above all, that we need those who take the trouble to keep the public debate about such value concepts going. Providing such a reason year by year is the achievement of the Karlsruhe Academy of Advanced Dental Studies. We owe thanks to this institution.”
The Dentist of the Future – 40 Years of the Karlsruhe Academy of Advanced Dental Studies.
“The more freedom a society enjoys, and the more individuality it has, the more it needs to consider how to fill these forms without the government machine. I am impressed by the Karlsruhe Academy, which is self-supporting, and where I am asking myself what grants-in-aid it would need if it were a public institution.” (Lothar Späth, April 4, 1987)
The Millennium and the Soul of Europe
„But the law of God has to be internalised. It is not simply a matter of how we act: we must first and foremost be willing to transform the way we think. When the law is no longer lodged in the human heart, its chances of being observed and implemented are greatly reduced. When the absolute character of ‘thou shalt‘ is called into question, the prospect begins to open up of a slide towards moral darkness.”
Euroe and the Islam
„We all thought in our country that it could never happen to us. A philosopher said that between a normal man and a criminal there are five meals – missing meals. So, a human being is capable of everything. It is too bloody to be healed by cynic realpolitics. It is just not human to apply to Bosnia what we usually apply to natural catastrophes. It is not a natural catastrophe. It is a manmade catastrophe.”
The Fight against Organized Crime:
Fighting the Symptoms or Going to the Roots?
„Crime, quite generally, can be considered a disease affecting not only citizens but, sometimes, also institutions of the economy, government, and society. If that crime is organized, it may assume metastatic proportions, like a cancerous growth. I think we have every reason therefore to take the problem of organized crime very seriously.”
The Way to a European Germany –
German Foreign Politics in the Experience of an Ambassador
“Europe is no substitute for the old nation state, but remains an ongoing experiment in search of new forms of political organization, political innovation, which are up to the challenges of our modern world. An honest attitude vis-à-vis its history remains essential for Germany and our position in the world. This implies a culture of restraint in pursuing narrow national aims. We know that our past and our critical size otherwise would become stumbling blocks on the road to cooperation in Europe.”
Bosnia and Hercegowina – Challenge and Trial for Europe
„Man does not live by bread alone. That is a sentence, a thought that one can read, understand or not understand. In Bosnia we understood it perfectly. Those who killed people in Sarajevo and in Bosnia for three and a half years – perfectly young men, well fed, strong, not hungry – killed people in cold blood in broad daylight. But they were hungry of soul.”
* This paper was not presented because the speaker had become a victim of the war in Bosnia before the date of his lecture."
My Experiences with Women in the Middle East
„Yes, women must be liberated, though not from Islam. In today‘s world, women must be liberated from archaic, paternalistic tribal rites which have nothing to do with Islam. Many people use Islam as an excuse for being allowed to preserve archaic customs although these contradict Islamic doctrine.”
Prospects of Peace in the Middle East
„The founding fathers of the State of Israel dreamt not only about independence, but wished for this state to be a country of supreme moral, scientific and human quality. A just society, built on democracy, on law, on justice. In order to materialize all this, we need peace with our neighbours. Peace which will free us all from the nightmare of tears, destruction and bereavement, and will enable a new dawn to rise in our skies.“
Between History and Prophecy
„It will be good, therefore, if those responsible for the lives of peoples make no exclusive choice between history and prophecy. While their feet stay solidly planted on the ground of history, the tinge of prophecy stemming from a comprehensive view of mankind and its history will lend distinction to what they do and, finally, approval to the most profound reality of human beings which cannot be achieved by the lessons of history alone. This is also a wish for politicians and for the world.”
The European Significance of a
United Germany in a Unified Europe
"I know that a lot of soul-searching is going on in Germany about whether an amendment to the constitution should allow, for instance, units of the federal armed forces to be deployed within the framework of the United Nations. As a result of their economic strength and their political situation, but also their military strength, the Germans are an important partner in Europe. I would like to encourage the Germans to take on board the responsibility which goes with these positions, and do so in the interest of an accelerated unification process within the framework of the European Union.”
The Stream of Knowledge and Its Banks
„If I were an omnipotent Manchu Emperor of the kind known in China in the Middle Ages, I would say: Immediate attenuation of the inflation of knowledge is absolutely imperative. Of course, everybody will see this as a dystopia. However, I can only say: True knowledge is wonderful and broadens the mind; empty knowledge is fatal, it suffocates the mind. As Adam and Eve are known to have been equipped – not by God – with the ability to recognize what is good and what is evil, we should have no problems in distinguishing the two.”
The Ethical Explosiveness of Genetic Engineering
„The ethical explosiveness of genetic engineering is based essentially on the concept of the relation between the natural sciences and medicine. If, in analogy with the activities of a physician, we perceive also science as being related to people, I see no problems with the outcome of the ethical debate about genetic engineering. However, if medicine were to see itself only in analogy with, and as a diffuse point of intersection of, „truly“ exact and objective sciences, i.e. physics, chemistry, biology, this would mean that all barriers have already been destroyed at the price of sacrificing the humane aspect.”
The Challenge of Africa
„Today, due to the apartheid, we are seen as oppressors. We therefore have to face the most difficult trek of all – away from any discrimination. I am sure we shall succeed. We are of Africa – the pale-skinned catalysts that help to make things work. My message to the West is: Please do not turn in upon yourselves. Your future too lies in Africa. We need you now. ‘Southern Africa is like a zebra’, Chief Buthelezi, the leader of the great Zulu nation, recently said: ‘If the white parts are injured, the black parts will die too’. I agree and say: ‘If the black parts are injured, the white parts will die too."
The Federal Republic Facing New Challenges –
Do We Need a New Concept for the Social Welfare State?
“Politics reflects the state of society. What I wanted to suggest is the need to resume this fundamental debate. A society in which only individual groups want to protect their rights and defend them unconditionally against the other parts of society is precisely the egotistical society clinging to yesterday which is unable to develop the individuality, sense of freedom and, ultimately, the inner substance which are prerequisites for a modern, peaceful future society.”
How to Maintain Worldpeace in the Years to Come?
„The common defense organization of the North Atlantic states to this day has been the most important contribution to the preservation of peace in the world. However, in a realistic assessment, one thing should always be remembered: The Supreme Commander must always be an American, while the Secretary General must be from Europe. You will understand my preference for a politician from one of the smaller European states for this politically highly important office.”
Will the 21st Century Become the Pacific Century?
“Yet it is a fact that interest in Asia has grown immensely in the United States over the past few years. This interest is not altogether new. What is new is the fact that U.S. interest in Europe seems to decline at the same time. The Americans are disappointed in Europe. They do not know what course Europe is steering. They themselves are carried on a wave of huge optimism about the future. What they perceive in the Old World they derisively refer to as ‘europessimism’ or ‘eurosclerosis’, a general lack of confidence in the future, and inflexibility. From their point of view, the Europeans for years have caused them nothing but worries and frustration.”
The Federal Republic of Germany –
Performance-oriented or „All-Risks-Insured“ Society??
„As entrepreneurs, we are used to developing strategies for different courses of the future. I am worried that there may be no strategy for leading society through a longer period of time with unusually low, or even no, economic growth without political and social conflicts arising. Growing recognition of the need for structural change is necessary in order for the economic citizen to realize that managing change is the biggest, in fact the real challenge to be faced in the years to come.”
Ecology plus Economy – Economic Growth for a Clean Environment
„The idea became more and more widespread that nature could be controlled without taking into account the organic connections which constitute the base of our life. The profound statement by the real father of technically oriented natural sciences, Sir Francis Bacon, that ‘nature to be commanded must be obeyed’, this foundation of our life and work, has more and more sunk into oblivion.”