Background Briefing: December 8, 2021
The American Political Philosopher the New Chancellor of Germany Consulted
We begin with the election today of the new Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz and speak with an American political philosopher who was contacted by Scholz back in December who asked for his advice on winning back working class voters who had moved to the right in support of populist politicians like Trump in the U.S. and the AfD party in Germany. Joining us is Michael Sandel, who teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His books What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? were international best sellers and have been translated into 27 languages, and his course “Justice” was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and has been viewed by tens of millions. His BBC series “The Public Philosopher” explores the philosophical ideas lying behind the headlines with participants from around the world, and his latest book is The Tyranny of Merit: What’s Become of the Common Good? We discuss whether the Democrats will take a cue from Scholz’s success in winning back alienated working class voters and whether they will borrow what was the centerpiece of Scholz’s campaign that showed respect to workers and celebrated the dignity of work.