Please note:
You are in the euro|topics archive. For current articles from the European press review, please go to

Home / Index of Authors

Sofsky, Wolfgang

RSS Subscribe to receive the texts of "Sofsky, Wolfgang" as RSS feeds

3 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 23/07/2007

Wolfgang Sofsky on false security and endangered freedom

In an interview with Julia Encke, sociologist Wolfgang Sofsky talks about how the anti-terrorism laws currently under discussion in Germany pose a threat to freedom and the private sphere. "We've had anti-communism and we've had prescribed anti-fascism but we haven't had vigilant anti-totalitarianism. Although we've had two totalitarian regimes on German soil, we have failed to develop a special sensitivity to threats to our freedom. ... [Among ultra-conservatives] freedom is an idyll guaranteed by the state. The truth is that preserving freedom is a continuous battle. One must arm oneself for the sake of freedom - risk conflicts, fight them and defend them to the end. This is a never-ending, strenuous task. We should say goodbye to our delusions about security. There is limited security, but ultimately no one can protect us against the next terrorist attack. This is why we must learn to live with a certain amount of fear. To do this one must recognise the dangers rather than denying them."

Die Welt - Germany | 13/03/2007

Wolfgang Sofsky on the pointlessness of bans

Sociologist Wolfgang Sofsky writes a polemic against the many bans that he says are controlling society- from cigarette bans to computer game bans to bans against parking in city centres: "Once the state takes control of society, citizens lose their freedom. Society is no longer sure of its own power. Increasingly, it wants itself to be monitored. Leniency and tolerance become as impossible as trust in its own ability to regulate itself in the event of conflict. The underlings become so used to the inflation of regulations that they no longer notice it... Bans are meant to reduce fear within society, but they use the fear of punishment to fight the fear of risk. The more bans there are, the more fear they create. And the more fear there is, the more bans are introduced. In this way bans lay the foundation for their own amplification."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 01/03/2006

Wolfgang Sofsky describes an influenza pandemic

In a fear-inspiring essay, social scientist Wolfgang Sofsky describes an potential influenza pandemic which will kill an estimated 180 to 360 million people. "The air we breathe – the medium of infection – has no boundaries. Quarantine and hygiene, the tried and tested weapons against tuberculosis, are almost useless against the flu. Closing the airports and cordoning off individual districts will at best delay the invasion. It will hardly be possible to maintain traffic blockades over a longer term... Smuggling of goods and people will take off, as populations flee to the supposedly virus-free zones. The authorities will have to use local vigilantes to stop the migrants. Although it itself declared the state of emergency, the executive will risk losing its sovereignty and its monopoly on physical force will erode. The police and support staff will desert because the public services will also be decimated by the plague."

» Index of Authors

Other content