Mediate

In a pluralistic society full of differences and conflicts, it is necessary to convey to others your own desires, concerns and wishes, but also the knowledge and insights you have already gained. This means making them understandable, promoting them, explaining them, and giving access to them in the understanding that other people are different from me, that they have different ideas, wishes, and backgrounds because they come from a different matrix. For example, this ABC is an attempt to convey post-patriarchal thinking to a public that comes from other traditions of thought. 

In order for mediation to succeed, it is not enough to have good arguments or even to be able to „prove” one’s own points of view according to what are considered objective criteria. It is necessary to find a bridge between my own perspectives and concerns and the environment and desires of others. This will only succeed if I engage in a real dialogue; if I open myself up to the contentions of others and risk losing my own certainties at the same time. For such a dialogue—in the sense of an intervital dialogue—always has an open, unpredictable outcome. I have to take the risk that in the end it might be me whose mind has been changed. 

In a concrete situation there is often a certain temptation either to sweep differences under the carpet ”for the sake of peace,” or to represent one’s own position so harshly that the relationship is in danger of being hurt. Mediation is a different option. It means challenging the other as much as possible with arguments, without at any point denying the relationship between you and me.

The search for mediation is an alternative to invoking a „neutral arbitrator” (such as courts) or a „higher authority” (God, reason, historical materialism) to get one’s own concerns affirmed. As a political practice, mediation is more difficult and more protracted than changes that have been enforced with the help of power. Sometimes the effort of mediation is unsuccessful. But if it succeeds, the result is much more sustainable.

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