What will the shutdown of the federal government do?
federal chancellor dr. helmut kohl stopped at the
plenary assembly of the german engineering day on may 26th
1987 in munich the following speech:
Mr. Prime Minister,
my ladies and gentlemen MPs
of the Bundestag and the Landtag,
dear president becker!
i am very happy to come here today for german engineering day
came to munich because i had the opportunity
wanted to perceive, on behalf of the federal government
to thank engineers of our country.
when we look at the major industrial nations of the world today
belong when we have achieved a high standard of living
if we have a considerable social network
security and if we have future prospects
like few other countries, this is the service
the people of good will everywhere in the federal republic
individual professional groups do a special job in this regard
contribution. this includes the high one
technical performance standard that german engineers always have
prove again. for that I want them
I would like to thank those who built this work and those who
bear responsibility today. this should also be a
to be encouragement for the next generations, the
will continue this work.
ladies and gentlemen, you have your event
under the main theme "research and technology - freedom and
responsibility "- a topic that applies to our
modern industrial society of fundamental and
is of far-reaching significance. it is also a topic
that stimulates thought. who about the future
want to have a say in our society, it would do well to
not only in the inconstant excitement of the
to do with the zeitgeist, but with thoughtfulness and
in my governmental declaration of march 18, 1987 i have
emphasized that knowing oneself and not knowing oneself
can be separated from each other. I think they do too
treated topics fit into this big one
we know - and nobody in this room will deny this
put - that research and technology are our lives, ours
shape everyday life in a way like never before in history
of humanity. at the same time both terms are in the
past years remarkable ups and downs
in the seventies it became a far-reaching one
uncertainty increasingly clear: "limits to growth",
inquiries about nuclear energy, the interactions between
jobs and microelectronics. those raised here
Problems have to - of course, each considered individually
to be taken seriously.
what makes me questionable and what is certainly special
The problem is the unforgiveness with which this
debate has been waged many times, especially the
association with political campaigns with which
polarization and antagonism were talked about with whom
but also in many cases very consciously dealing with fear
before the technology was operated.
the damage that occurred and that occurs again and again,
it is so big because of such disputes
not only cause disorientation in many,
but because they produce a pessimism about the future,
the economic and cultural activities of our country
paralyzed and a widespread hostility towards technology
led theirs at the beginning of the eighties
I have always seen my role in
offensive against this zeitgeist of cultural pessimism
to confront the world in which we live
with all your challenges and problems in
paint unrealistic colors.
we need an open society in all areas,
if we want to be a really free society.
an open society also needs an open climate
in favor of research and technology. we want this
society in which science and research in
freedom to develop. they are in a big one
tradition is part of our intellectual culture and at the same time
origin of new technology and future-proof jobs.
that also always means that our country is on
The elite cannot do without. I say this entirely
consciously and emphatically here in front of so many engineers,
who can also carry a message out into them
companies and many jobs.
a free and democratic society needs more than
any other form of government performance elite. that's the way it is for me
already a strange condition that this yes to
Performance elites are often accused of being one
elbow society has to fight off, although in
specially selected areas - I am thinking of sport, for example -
no objection to top performance and
performance elites are raised.
i am a firm believer in elite sport because
Without top-class sport, no popular sport would be conceivable. and
nobody finds anything with an interesting one
Tennis game for hours the whole
television program is changed. there is nothing wrong with that.
but then why don't we also say that in addition to the
elite in sport also the elite in
in technology, in science, in culture and in
must stand in the economic sector? a country without
the future cannot win the performance elite.
if we are today - four and a half years after mine
Takeover - take stock, then in fact
much changed in a positive way. at the same time I think also and especially
to the research climate. here we are in good shape
progressed. performance and quality in business
and society, in research and culture a higher one
the change from widespread anti-technology to
openness and interest in new technology
overall development is remarkable - a change that we thank
common efforts today than weighty ones
active post for the future of the federal republic of germany
This positive change has in turn been quite crucial
helped make this country a more confident
basic mood could gain the upper hand again and
that the economic recovery is taking off across the board
however, we may make these encouraging changes
do not obscure the fact that science,
research and its technical application is great
offer opportunities, but are also associated with risks. not only
the reactor accident in the soviet nuclear power plant
Chernobyl is now a year ago in our consciousness
The German Bundestag is going to take part for the first time
legislation with such an unusually difficult one
matter like genetic engineering have to deal with that
means with developments that make us extremely sensitive
admonish. Nobody who looks into the world with open eyes,
can with these technical possibilities
Simply put aside associated worries and fears. I
take such fears seriously.
but I add just as clearly: who really makes people
wants to help, must not stop at the fears. at
all respect for these understandable ones
feelings - fear must not be used as a determining factor
our decisions will be. fear is in private
live a bad advisor, and fear is also in
public questions - as the sole decision criterion -
a bad advisor.
we need everywhere and especially with us in the
federal republic of germany technical progress. we need
the driving forces behind our research. this is the only way we are in the
able to secure our economic existence and also
to make real social decisions, because solidarity
with the weaker in society presupposes
that services are provided beforehand. it's just a
misconception - which is obviously difficult to fight -,
one can spend what one has not yet worked out.
So we have to take the chances of the scientific-technical
Make use of progress in the future too. but the more we
advance into areas that address fundamental questions more humanly
touching existence, the clearer it also becomes: there is
limits that we are not allowed to cross. in science
and technology always has to be moral as well
taking responsibility and ethical principles.
we need both: the courage to progress, because we do
otherwise against misery, hardship and illness not that
humanly possible to do. watch over the past few months
I related to the terrible disease aids,
that some people who were so vehemently opposed before
scientific research and its practical
application is beginning to understand that we are without
research on this disease as well as other problems
cannot become master.
but we also need cautiousness so that the
progress does not grow over the head. in a free
society with free science is an ethic of
scientific and technical civilization, research and
puts technology at the service of people, the foundation for it.
that means that in the first place the respect for the dignity of the
people, the responsibility for creation and for
future generations stand. we must be possible
advantages of new knowledge conscientiously against conceivable
weigh disadvantages and risks. in this sense we are
we are well aware that not all that is scientific
and appears technically feasible, also for people
allowed or from a humane point of view at all as
is desirable to look at.
In genetic engineering, for example, this means that the
personality of the person from any manipulation
is to protect. so maybe many will win again
a new approach to the law of the unborn life,
because here, too, the personality of the person is very much
is addressed in a fundamental manner.
When it comes to the civil use of core technology, we know that
the safety and health of the citizen have priority
must before all others - including economic ones -
considerations. but at the same time it must also be acknowledged
that we will meanwhile for the next decades
- how long exactly nobody knows at the moment - none
have a real alternative to nuclear energy.
you just can't shut down nuclear power plants and
at the same time against the burning of fossil fuels in
power plants come in, their exhaust gases in our forests, yes
cause considerable damage. you can't either
against the reprocessing plant in wackersdorf
demonstrate and at the same time additional demands
raise in favor of coal. because still applies: the
use of nuclear energy remains cheap by its
production costs indispensable prerequisite for the
electricity generation from domestic coal. for our energy supply
we need an overall concept, and only one
such an overall concept can also be identified by those responsible
these notes underline that the appraisal and
assessment of technological consequences large, yes very large
is important. However, it must not be forgotten that
only those who set and enforce ethical standards
can, who at the same time has courage and a willingness to research
who is at the forefront of research.
that we - state and economy - have been the
Considerable effort for research and development
have strengthened is an encouraging signal for me. the
expenditures for this have last year the
record sum of 56 billion dm reached. have in particular
also the efforts of business and companies
2.9 percent of the gross national product is thus invested in the
future viability of the federal republic of germany
invested - an order of magnitude that compares with
withstood other leading industrial nations.
we will continue this effort in the coming years
years consistently. they are more likely to be
must be intensified, because our competitors too
on the world markets, especially the usa and japan
your research investments increased sustainably.
But, ladies and gentlemen, it is not alone in that
money done. if we are with top performance
deal, then we have to ask at the same time
whether, for example, our school system - and by that I mean everyone
types from schools to colleges and universities -
is up to these demands. here has our
dual system of vocational training in recent years
years with the admission of the baby boom years
proven great. also the german universities
can show considerable achievements. that research and
teach you to be able to fulfill your tasks fully in the future,
remains an important concern of our politics.
and something else: the future of our country does not depend
only depends on that technical innovation is conceived and
is implemented in practice. can take advantage of the opportunities that lie therein
only then develop and achieve their full effect,
if that was too technical and responsible
economic renewal also broad support and
is recognized in our society.
Progress has been made along this path, but it is correct
is also that we have not yet reached the class goal.
that is why we need broad support from
Citizens, employing over 500,000 engineers
precious capital that we depend on. because
they are especially good for those who are not specialists,
from my own knowledge and experience
convincing and credible the importance of technology and
convey research for the future.
this is of the greatest importance because it is only understanding
really creates trust - and trust only in this
of the citizen in the scientific and economic
institutions is research and technology friendly
climate possible that we want to secure our future
country need. here we are in a special way on theirs
cooperation instructed. knowledge, understanding and
trust - in my experience, this triad offers
at the same time also the best protection against any shape
in this sense, dr. becker, I especially greet you,
that the vdi is part of an engineering day for the first time
student forum. so they show the practical
example of how to address young people and how for a
technology-friendly climate can be specifically advertised.
ladies and gentlemen, that's for research and
technology is always a job and yes
employment. because both belong closely together.
it has been repeated over the past decade and a half
the claim has been made, technical progress
and with it the increase in productivity
decisive causes of job loss.
It is true that unemployment is a key problem
our society is and that their defense is complete
at the top of the political agenda is - and that we
have to do what is humanly possible here.
but if we want to make real progress, we have to
we first carefully analyze the causes. and
this includes first and foremost
-The slump in growth in the crisis years of 1980
until 1982, during which time around 800,000 jobs were created
- the significantly increased demand for work in the
entourage of the baby boom years and the taller
interest of women in the
-as well as a slowed down structural adjustment with a
overall rather too hesitant use and application
in contrast, there is ultimately no convincing one
evidence of a connection between increasing
unemployment on the one hand and high
productivity increases through the use of modern technologies
on the other hand.
on the contrary - and these experiences are in the
Public discussion far too little acknowledged:
Jobs are most likely to be lost wherever
the chances of technical progress least
because an open economy like ours, the round one
a third of their goods and services are exported and
which is always new in international competition
must exist, global technical innovations and
do not ignore changes. would we do that like that
this definitely meant economic decline and
decline and the loss of many jobs.
conversely, the past years have shown that
yes to research and the application of new technology
as a result, has in no way hindered employment.
Over 600,000 new additional jobs speak here
a clear language.
So for us it can only be about new technical
to develop and use opportunities without prejudice -
not in a blind belief in progress, but in
acting responsibly and ethically.
ladies and gentlemen, for responsible progress in
research and technology are solid education and
qualification decisive prerequisites.
I'm not only thinking of the many young talents who
we take part in competitions like "Jugend forscht" every year
distinguish. I would like to especially remember them
provision of the many additional apprenticeships for the
baby boom years. we have this problem together
mastered - from the spirit of freedom.
we did not rely on government regulations,
but on the citizenship of a large number of
responsible in companies, associations, unions and
chambers. this understanding of freedom has developed here in
proven particularly wise. the big offer
Additional apprenticeship positions is indeed an achievement on which
we can rightly be proud - not just because we
this gives young people career prospects
have made possible: we also have one for you at the same time
opportunity opened for your personal lifestyle.
the success of these joint efforts can be seen
now read from an important number. youngest
Research shows that - as measured by the
total number of employed - the share of those who are over
have completed vocational training in which
72 percent on the last seven years
a record 79 percent has risen. this is a
important mark for the future of our country.
Their importance is shown not least in the fact that the danger
unemployment is particularly high for those who
do not have any qualified training. their share
among the unemployed has now reached 60 percent.
Last but not least, this number proves that further training and
qualifications are of the utmost importance. both - state and
economy - have important tasks to fulfill here.
so the federal institute for work has made its efforts
significantly strengthened to unemployed with professional
educational measures the return to a
to facilitate employment.
I can also call on you to do this today, in your businesses
to take precautions so that broad strata
our workforce in good time to new jobs
be able to prepare requirements. doing the
Demographic development clearly shows that it is here for the
companies looking for a future investment of the very highest order
goes: the proportion of young workers in old age
25 years, currently with about 20 percent for a steady
The influx of new training directions will ensure up
1995 lost around a third. this requires
inevitably the more flexibility and further qualification
for those who are already working.
on the part of the vdi is in this context of
"lifelong learning" and the need for one
common concept of business, universities and the free
educational institutions have been spoken of. I want this
expressly support and hope from such a
cooperation important further impulses.
because one next to one another or one against one another from
We simply do not know each other about economics and science
Afford. we face too many challenges that
can only be managed together.
i would like to mention a particularly important example
environmental Protection. the word is getting around that
we achieve this goal less with demonstrations than rather
get closer with the help of new technologies, and
not - as was occasionally heard in the past -
by rejecting them.
the federal government has had quite a few very since 1983
far-reaching decisions to protect the environment
met - but they have one thing in common: theirs
practical implementation is only possible with new technology
this applies, for example, to large combustion systems
regulation as well as for the revision of the technical
instruction air and for the introduction of the catalytic converter car.
By 1993 we will achieve a reduction in the
sulfur emissions by 75 percent and a reduction
the nitrogen oxides by about 72 percent. similar
We make every effort to keep the
waters, waste disposal and soil protection.
my ladies and gentlemen, all this clearly shows
that we without a responsible yes to the technical
progress is not an important goal of our generation
can achieve: namely a reasonable and defensible one
middle way between the necessities of economy and
ecology. I am quite overly mistaken and
failures of the past in the clear. just like that
but also significant is the knowledge that it is based on this
important field is not about dream ideas.
because what we do in the field of environmental protection
wanting to and having to achieve happens in a dense way
populated land, in an industrial landscape, where only by good
economic performance the prerequisites for this
be created in order to protect the environment
necessary and desirable progress
enforce. it is about a "long march" with which we im
interest of man and nature beneficial and
want to achieve responsible relationships.
and for this "long march" we need completely without
doubt more research and more technology. this applies to the
more environmentally friendly combustion of coal as well as for
Reliable security techniques to protect our
environment - to name just two important areas.
we therefore got involved in research and technology after 1982
Set appropriate priorities, and it is a
important point of the program of those led by me
Federal Government to move forward on this difficult path.
our aim is to integrate environmental protection in
our technical and economic everyday life, namely
on the way of gradual changes - i.e. in
similar to this, beginning in the 19th century,
succeeded in the "social question". at that time it was believed
in the social integration of broad layers of the
population in the industrial society is a
unsolvable problem. much of what is for us today
It goes without saying that it was unthinkable at the time. and
It may be similar with regard to our relationship to
Environment and behavior towards environmental protection.
But it is crucially important that we too
rethink yourself. because it is a strange state
that many people have very high expectations in the private sector
start, but if it comes down to a contribution to the
Protecting our environment is often seen as one
task viewed for the general public for which one is oneself
is not responsible. each individual can and must in his own
own area of life his personal contribution to
protect nature and the environment.
ladies and gentlemen, the brief reference to the
beginning industrialization and the memory of the
the working and living conditions of that time still call for something
something else in our consciousness: namely, research and
technology has a lot to do with freedom and quality of life
the use of research results and the breadth
application of modern technology have the people of
many physical burdens free and everyday life
made bearable. so the changes in
demographic structure of our society - for example the higher
share of older citizens - including scientific ones
advances in medicine and geriatrics to be done.
Just the fact that life expectancy is around today
is twice as high as in the middle of the previous one
century, shows what far-reaching changes are taking place
have performed here.
At the same time, new personal open spaces were created -
and not just because of the shift between
working hours and free time, but also, for example, through
development of traffic engineering. railroad and car
about for the first time for broad strata of the population
the opportunity opens up outside the home
to gain new experiences and perspectives in the area of life
and with it new standards for personal action
this was tremendous progress - made possible by
research and technology in the service of people.
but for our industrial society today it is not only possible
freedom in the sense of better health, more humane
working conditions and greater mobility. thats also okay
and last but not least, freedom from political and political
two oil crises in the last 15 years have made us drastic
brought to mind that we are in the wake of worldwide
business relations also in completely new dependencies
can guess. and in doing so, two factors have made us whole
decisively helped these newly emerged
to shake off dependencies again: namely our yes to
technology and the market economy. both
together has brought us forward decisively.
With the help of research and technology, we have succeeded in
to tap a "new source of energy" as it were, namely
the energy saving. our market economy order
has led to these new savings opportunities in
Markets and buyers found themselves in no time at all
were able to enforce a broad front. today we can
find that economic growth and energy consumption
could be decoupled from each other - in
a mass, as it was not for a few years ago
could have been held.
the repeated assumptions of the
future energy needs are almost with
predictable regularity of modern technology and of
market has been refuted as too high and unrealistic.
this close connection between research and
technology on the one hand and our freedom
social order on the other hand - this connection
appears to me for the future of the federal republic of germany
of the utmost importance. he describes - far beyond
beyond the challenges of energy policy - that
field of tension in which we can mobilize the forces that
we need to make our country sustainable
to secure beyond the day.
this key word future always has to be in the
to be seen in connection with science and technology. and
I add that the future is always an effort
belong. a society in which, for many, leisure
becoming more and more the most important value is difficult
to make it understandable that the future is more important than leisure
and that the future cannot be secured without effort
it was now exactly 100 years ago that the one at that time
british government importing german goods labeled
"Made in Germany" from interesting sales markets
wanted to keep away. our ancestors attempted this
targeted discrimination - there is another way of doing this
probably not describing the process - the correct conclusion
pulled: they have done everything to get out of the marking
"made in germany" a concept of quality and value
make - with the greatest success for our export to the
last 100 years.
ladies and gentlemen, from this small example
you can learn a lot. because the wealth of ours
country are not natural resources or geographic resources
advantages. our wealth is rather the diligence, the
wealth of ideas and the creativity of our citizens.
in order to make this wealth fruitful for the future
we need both equally: research
and technology, but also freedom and responsibility. and
We not only have to take this experience into account ourselves
but we also have to wear them to the next one
generation - the generation of our children and grandchildren -
if we act like this, then we can also do the above
face tasks with confidence and then has
the federal republic of germany, the free part of ours
fatherland, a good future.
In this sense, I wish that at the end of this
german engineering convention 1987 further suggestions
stand that these suggestions will not remain without consequences,
but that they are taken by them into the
many companies in which they are active and that they are there
talk about it especially with the young people. because
this would be an important contribution to the future of our country.
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