The age of totalitarian ideologies in Europe is drawing to a close. The belief in the historic mission of one race or class has proved to be the most devastating fallacy of this century: millions of innocent people fell victim to its sway. Karl Popper ceaselessly fought this fallacy. He is among the most significant champions of the open society; his arguments contradicting his enemies retain their validity and power of conviction.
His strongest weapons are utmost intellectual clarity and integrity. The conviction of the basic fallibility of human insight is expressed not least in his great personal modesty: mankind must never give up the quest for truth, but must beware the illusion of ever being able to possess the truth.
A commitment to such convictions requires courage – the inner strength to swim against the tide and resists the “Zeitgeist”. The triumph of freedom and democracy in Europe demonstrates that Karl Popper was right. His message for the future is that we must remain alert; critical rationality is the precondition for the coexistence of people and nations in dignity and peace.