In "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (June 13, 2009), professor Sloterdijk characterized the welfare state as "institutionalized kleptomania" in a "semi-socialistic" society - a state which in a manner similar to Robin Hood steals half of the productive citizens's resources through its tax system. Conversely, Sloterdijk called for a "tax strike" and a "class struggle from above":
Sloterdijk: "Die Revolution der gebenden Hand"
Professor Axel Honneth, who belongs to the third generation of the Frankfurt School, responded on Sloterdijk's article in "Die Zeit" (September 24, 2009). Honneth gives a general critique of Sloterdijk's philosophical work and his Nietzschean approach:
Honneth: "Fataler Tiefsinn aus Karlsruhe"
(English translation here. A shortened version of Honneth's article has been translated into French and published in "Le Monde" October 24, 2009, entitled "Pauvres classes dominantes".)
The editors of "Die Zeit" invited Sloterdijk to write a reply to Honneth's attack, but in an open letter to the editors Sloterdijk declined to participate in a discussion. The letter was published in "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (September 27):
Sloterdijk: "Das elfte Gebot: die progressive Einkommenssteuer".
In his letter - which in fact is a response to Honneth's critique - Sloterdijk claims that he has been misunderstood by Honneth. Sloterdijk states that his main point was that it would be more "social psychological productive" if the state would finance its activities through voluntary donations instead of compulsory taxes.
Further contributions to the debate:
- Jürgen Kaube (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 25)
- Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (Die Zeit, October 1)
- Christoph Menke (Die Zeit, October 15) (excerpts here)
- Karl Heinz Bohrer (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, October 21)
- Harry Nutt (Frankfurter Rundschau, October 22)
- Peter Sloterdijk (interview in Der Spiegel, October 26)
- Martin Seel (Die Zeit, October 29)
- Peter Sloterdijk (Cicero, November 2009) (excerpts here)
- Franz Sommerfeld (Frankfurter Rundschau, November 4)
- Paul Kirchhof (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, November 7)
- Christian Schlüter (Frankfurter Rundschau, November 10)
- Ulrich Greiner (Die Zeit, November 12)
- Harald Jähner (Berliner Zeitung, November 18)
- Albrecht von Lucke (Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 12/2009).
Interview with Jürgen Kaube on the Sloterdijk/Honneth debate in Radio Bremen (September 29, 2009) here.
Interview with Axel Honneth in Radio Bremen (October 26, 2009) here.
- Axel Honneth (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, December 17, 2009)
- Rüdiger Safranski (Deutschlandsfunk, December 20, 2009)
- Michael Hartmann (Frankfurter Rundschau, December 29, 2009)
- Peter Sloterdijk (Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 6, 2010)
- Lutz Wingert (Die Zeit, January 7, 2010)
- Jens Jessen (Die Zeit, January 21, 2010)
- Oskar Negt (3sat, January 28, 2010)
- Albrecht von Lucke (Deutschlandsradio, February 15, 2010)