Peter Sloterdijk on Europe at the Austrian Integration Fund Pentecostal Dialogue

More+Events ♦ Published: May 31, 2023; 06:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

As part of the 11th Styrian "Geist & Gegenwart" Pentecost Dialogue held at Seggau Castle, the renowned German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk appeared as a guest speaker of the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF). Sloterdijk elaborated in the panel on Europe, Ukraine, and the challenges of nation-states.

The renowned German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk was again a guest on the ÖIF panel. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons/ Fronteiras do Pensamento/ CC BY-SA 2.0 (

In a conversation with the European correspondent Thomas Mayer from "Der Standard," Sloterdijk discussed European values, identity, the Ukraine war, and historical influences on current events in Europe. The ÖIF is a cooperation partner in this important dialog, which deals with the major challenges currently facing Europe.

Sloterdijk, considered one of the most important intellectuals in the German-speaking world, spoke about the nature of nation-states, calling them a "relic" of territorial expansion from the time of monarchies. He emphasized that European nation-states in the 19th century had taken advantage of the possibilities offered by the industrialization of war to wage more efficient warfare. This, he said, ultimately led to the development of the formula: "I harm you from afar." Nowadays, after the end of the Cold War, Sloterdijk observes a new arms race and the formation of new formations of this formula.

In terms of European identity, Sloterdijk emphasized that a European is someone who participates in this post-imperial project. He called for rejecting imperialist structures and striving instead for coexistent, peaceful cooperation among European states. He criticized, among other things, the political developments in Turkey under Erdogan, in Iran with its religiously influenced attempt at empire, and on Poland's eastern border, which leads into imperialist territory. Given the historical context and the current situation in Ukraine, Sloterdijk also discussed the importance of European defense policy.

Sloterdijk also commented on the current political situation, emphasizing the need for ecological reform of all political structures. He argued that most states are wrongly formatted and that there are no more foreign countries to conquer. Instead, states should be run as fiscal plantations for their people. Sloterdijk believed that the familiar form of statehood had no sustainable future and for the time being saw the European Union as a possible solution.

Already in the morning, a panel discussion took place at Seggau Castle, where an insieme group spoke about the labor market and migration. Moderated by Rudolf Mitlöhner (Kurier), the participants agreed that regulated immigration was necessary and should not be mixed up with the asylum issue. The question of Europe's attractiveness for highly qualified people willing to perform was also discussed.

About Peter Sloterdijk

Peter Sloterdijk is a renowned German philosopher and internationally successful author who regularly takes a critical look at current developments in society, religion, and the economy. Sloterdijk himself is a cultural scientist and publicist. He taught philosophy and aesthetics at the State University of Design Karlsruhe, Germany until 2017.

For many years, he hosted the ZDF discussion show "The Philosophical Quartet" together with Rüdiger Safranski. Since 2005, he has held the Austrian Decoration of Honor for Science and Art. In recent years, Sloterdijk has participated several times in discussion rounds organized by the ÖIF.

Austrian Integration Fund