TransAct 11

TransAct statement

The concept of democracy is currently being walked over in our country. In the same way as if two no's make a yes, it is seen as democratic when an undemocratic party gets itself into power by undemocratic means. It is a simple lie when it is asserted that the majority of Austrians supports this government. This government is far more a betrayal by the Austrian People's Party of the majority of its voters, as can be seen from opinion polls before the formation of the current coalition. On the other hand, and this seems to me to be important, our disastrous political situation can be traced back to our inability to come to terms with our past effectively. Under the apparently tried and tested motto 'he who forgets is happy', Austria wanted to expurgate itself from its guilty involvement in the biggest collective crime in human history. It is known that whoever cannot remember a trauma must repeat it. With this in mind, the current situation should be seen in the light of a return of what has been repressed. It is to be hoped that this repetition will only be a short-running farce and that we will manage to attain the sensibility which is necessary to come to terms with a trauma. May our friends, both inside and outside the European Union, help us in our efforts in this direction.

August Ruhs, Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, University of Vienna

Vienna, 14 February 2K