Interview with journalist Ulrich Wickert

Interview with journalist and author Ulrich Wickert on family businesses, values and old virtues

Can traditional virtues still have a meaningful effect on a modern civil society?
Ulrich Wickert: Yes, virtues are more modern than ever. They arise from insight and are constantly changing as a result of new insights we make in the context of society. The most important political values of a republican society, whose origins lie
in human dignity, are still those of the French Revolution: liberty, equality, fraternity. Liberty is just as important a value as peace or the individual, but they are not inferior in moral importance to justice, as we would call equality today, and solidarity, which developed from the concept of fraternity. The last two values can also be called virtues. Unfortunately, the public has come to regard morality as an outdated term, virtue as dusty, and duty as out.

How can values such as moral courage, tolerance, justice or solidarity be filled with content in daily life?
Wickert: The content of values is shaped by our actions. In many cases, this is achieved through role models.

Ulrich Wickert
is a German journalist and author. He was born in Tokyo in 1942 and grew up in Heidelberg and Paris. Wickert lives in Hamburg. He worked as a presenter for German ARD news show “Tagesthemen” for over 15 years and made a name for himself through the publication of numerous books and magazine articles.