My book: Projekt Sozialdemokratie: überholt, gescheitert, zukunftsweisend has finally come on the market. It seems to sell well. The official presentation will be at the “Kreisky – Forum” on January 12th

Here is the invitation

Bruno Kreisky Forum für internationalen Dialog, Armbrustergasse 15, 1190 Wien Anmeldungen per e-mail: einladung.kreiskyforum@kreisky.org

Das Projekt Sozialdemokratie
Gescheitert? Überholt? Zukunftsweisend?

Einleitende Worte:
Markus Marterbauer, AK Wien und Benedikt Kautsky Kreis

Es diskutieren:
Maria Maltschnig, Leiterin des Renner-Instituts
Thomas Nowotny, Dozent für Politikwissenschaft an der Univ.
Wien, Autor und Diplomat

Moderation:
Robert Misik, Journalist und Autor

Die europäische Sozialdemokratie war einst von der aufsteigenden Arbeiterklasse nach oben getragen worden, Anfang der 1970er Jahre stand sie am Gipfel politischer Macht. Seither haben aber andere Leitvorstellungen und Ziele jene der Sozialdemokratie verdrängt, wodurch deren Einfluss sukzessive geschmälert wurde. Die Versuche der sozialdemokratischen Parteien, sich dem neuen, von Individualismus, Egoismus, Entsolidarisierung und Gewinnstreben geprägten Zeitgeist anzupassen, haben deren Niedergang sogar noch beschleunigt. Verstrickt in politische Taktik haben sie viel von ihrem einstigen Gestaltungsanspruch verloren.
Das „revolutionäre Subjekt“ einer kampfbereiten Arbeiterklasse ist nicht länger gesellschaftliche Grundlage der Sozialdemokratie. Aber weiterhin könnte die Sozialdemokratie nunmehr sehr unterschiedliche gesellschaftliche Gruppierungen um ein optimistisches und realistisches Zukunftsprojekt scharen. In der Zeit zwischen 1950 und 1980 war sie darin erfolgreich. Die so sozialdemokratisch geprägten Staaten waren und sind daher die im weitesten Sinn besseren und menschlicheren. Mit neuen Werkzeugen ließe sich dieser Erfolg fortsetzen. Keine andere breite politische Bewegung kann das in Aussicht stellen.

Thomas Nowotny:
Das Projekt Sozialdemokratie. Gescheitert? Überholt? Zukunftsweisend?
Studienverlag, November 2016
ISBN 978-3-7065-5588-3; 24.90 € EUR

HERE IS OUR 2016 CHRISTMAS LETTER

Eva and Thomas Nowotny

Dear friends near and abroad,
Those we know and feel close to provide us not just with a sense of continuity, but also with the sense of togetherness and warmth. So do recurring rituals of sharing, like hauling the highest possible Christmas tree, or writing these Christmas letters.
And certainly: the last year has made these anchors of our existence even more precious. The world we have lived in – the “Post World War II World” is crumbling, with the mightiest tremor originating from the US presidential elections. The integration of Europe has gone into reverse, with the suicidal UK BREXIT vote being the most visible symptom of a widely shared return to a narrow nationalism that we thought had become extinct in light of the sufferings caused by the European civil wars of the 20th Century. Not just European unification is at stake, but even democracy as democratization too, has gone into reverse; openly so not just in Russia or faraway places, but even in Central Europe – in Hungary and Poland.
For the time being Austria has managed to avoided joining in this backlash with the presidential elections of December 4th delivering a solid defeat to the nationalist/ populist candidate Norbert Hofer and the election of a pro – European and liberal new head of state.
The news of this outcome reached us when we were just gathered for our traditional Christmas caroling at our apartment behind the “Karlskirche” (pictured on the card enveloping this letter ). Looking out at the church, and the idyllic Christmas market in its front, and amidst our friends and relatives we were and are very much aware of our privileged position – having lived in an era of peace; of rapidly rising wealth; of solid, rational politics; of abating social tensions and of expanding tolerance. We were and are also very much aware that life had dealt us very good cards: uniquely rewarding professional careers, many friends, and of a mutually close family.
As for the latter: daughter Katinka works at a prominent position at the Austrian ( public ) television. Her husband, Eric, is managing editor of the prominent, liberal Austrian newspaper “der Standard”. Grandparents are notorious for eulogizing their grandchildren. But in truth – we have solid reason for doing so. Isabel, the elder one, has just finished her bachelor studies in Amsterdam with a “summa cum laude”. Gideon who had successfully had passed the “Matura” with very good grades in June of this year, is now doing his military service ( which still is obligatory in Austria ).
With the addition of new spare – parts, i.e. hips, both of us are in good health. Both – and in particular Eva – are also very active still. The most time consuming intense and challenging of her jobs is the position as president of the board (“Universitätsrat” ) of the 90.000 student Vienna University. As president of the Austrian UNESCO Commission, she also has to venture into tricky terrain on occasions, as for example when addressing the politically charged question of defending the “World Cultural Heritage” character of this or that Austrian site. Added to these two are quite numerous other positions on board of associations engaged in either humanitarian affairs (such as CARE) or foreign policy ( such as the Austrian Foreign Policy and United Nations Association ).
Lecturing at the Vienna University has petered out for Thomas, though he still is active in tutoring various master thesis and doctoral dissertations. The book he has been working on the last two years and that has been very important to him (Das Projekt Sozialdemokratie…) “) has finally appeared this very December. The official presentation will be at the “Kreisky – Forum on January 12th.
We had a beautiful long summer at the house of our family in Altaussee; had visited Naples, Pompei, the gulf of Naples, the coast of Amalfi and the Greek temples at Paestum in April; had been deeply moved by some musical events such as the chamber – music festival in Lockenhaus, or the full cycle of all Beethoven piano concerts in Grafenegg. Invitations for lecturing extended to both of us provided us with the chance of returning to a ( a now visibly spruced – up ) London in November.
The coming year will be challenging. We wish all of you strength and resolve in face of off these threats to our commonweal; but also good health and happiness in the circle of family and friends.

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