For most people, the New Year also includes good resolutions. Here are some suggestions for 2023.

Nothing really new about the new year – if you disregard the new calendar. The old worries and problems don’t go away at midnight on December 31st. The world will remain as torn and divided on the first day of the new year as it is today. Nevertheless: Because hope dies last, as is well known, we like to make good resolutions at the turn of the year. Here are a few suggestions – not necessarily politically correct and without guarantee for any side effects.

There is a lot of trouble in this country. A tattered infrastructure, insufficient digitization, a half-hearted entry into renewable energies with a simultaneous dual phase-out of coal and nuclear power, a blatant shortage of skilled workers, the financing gaps in the pension system: the paint on the former Germany model is peeling in many places.

But the country will not progress by complaining. So let’s also look at our strengths – at our scientists and inventors, at our well-trained specialists, at our far above-average financial resources. Only those who believe in their own strengths can tackle what is necessary.

Regardless of all wars and crises, don’t overlook the positive things in the world. The war criminal Putin has welded the West back together. The United States, Europe, the NATO countries – all are closer together than they have been for a long time. That gives strength and confidence.

It is also worth looking at developments in undemocratic, dictatorial states. Many people are running away from Putin, especially academics. In China, the regime had to largely relax its repressive corona policy because of the people’s protests. In Iran, the mullahs have to recognize that the people’s desire for freedom is becoming increasingly difficult to suppress. The good news: Democracy is by no means obsolete.

Also read: Commentary by Hugo Müller-Vogg – From the LNG coup to the botched levy – my Habeck balance sheet 2022

Our parliamentary democracy works and is resilient. Nevertheless: Our freedoms are not guaranteed for all eternity, they must be defended. Because the enemies of freedom are active – on the far right as well as on the far left.

Our pluralistic society is not only threatened by violent extremists. Attempts to restrict public discourse in a “politically correct” sense are at least as dangerous. The “cancel culture” is spreading, especially in the public service media and at universities.

When certain words and terms are no longer allowed to be used, when authors or students are forced to use “gender-appropriate language”, when only so-called minorities can have a say in political discourse, then democrats have to take a stand. A “woke” society would no longer be a free society.

If you know which devices at home use how much electricity, you can make targeted savings. Our e-paper shows which devices use how much electricity for all common household appliances, from ovens and hobs to refrigerators and washing machines to TVs and WLAN routers. There are also a number of instant power-saving tips.

Justice and law are the cornerstones of our coexistence. However, even a constitutional state like the Federal Republic of Germany is no guarantee of all-encompassing justice. But only a constitutional state can protect the individual from state or private arbitrariness.

The rule of law sets rules – and it demands compliance with them. No political or social goal justifies flouting the law.

The Basic Law says: “All Germans have the right to resist anyone who wants to abolish the free and legal basic order.” An – actually or supposedly – wrong economic, social or climate policy does not lead to the abolition of the free and legal basic order. This makes attempts such as the “climate glue” to force the government and parliament to adopt a certain policy, i.e. to blackmail, illegal. The following must apply: resist the beginnings.

What is not forbidden is not automatically allowed. The hint, “You don’t do that,” may sound old-fashioned. In reality, this principle guarantees a reasonable and fair coexistence.

A free society cannot be held together by laws alone. This also requires unenforceable behavior. Fairness is just as much a part of this as solidarity, honesty and decency, and last but not least, tolerance that is understood correctly. The latter is not a one-way street. Tolerating other opinions and views cannot only apply within one’s own political spectrum.

A little more of these “old virtues” and our country would be less aggressive and much more tolerant. A different social climate cannot be decreed. Each individual must contribute to this.

According to the ZDF political barometer, almost two thirds (64 percent) of Germans believed that 2020 was a good year for them personally. And even more than 80 percent expect that 2023 will be similar or even better for them than this year.

So let’s go into the new year with confidence. We intend to do our part to ensure that these expectations are fulfilled. And let’s remember: Realistic optimists are better off than apocalyptic pessimists.

With this in mind: Happy New Year!