“55 Voices for Democracy” is inspired by the 55 BBC radio addresses Thomas Mann delivered from his home in California to thousands of listeners in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the occupied Netherlands and Czechoslovakia between October 1940 and November 1945, the Los Angeles Review of Books notes.
In his monthly addresses Mann spoke out strongly against fascism, becoming the most significant German defender of democracy in exile. Building on that legacy, “55 Voices” brings together internationally esteemed intellectuals, scientists, and artists to present ideas for the renewal of democracy in our own troubled times. The series is presented by the Thomas Mann House in partnership with the Los Angeles Review of Books, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Deutschlandfunk.
The example of Thomas Mann should be an inspiration to all of those people currently struggling, as he struggled back in the 1940s, says Stanford’s Francis Fukuyama, a National Endowment for Democracy board member. It is important to realize that there is hope at the end of this process, that people do not want to live under tyrannical regimes, they do want to have the freedom to think, and write, and act. In recent years we have seen uprisings against dictatorship and kleptocracy occurring in many places — in Ukraine, Armenia, Algeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and, most recently Hong Kong.
The video of Francis Fukuyama’s speech can be viewed above.