Pascal Bruckner: Europe needs to wake up

January 18, 2024
Europe took a sleeping pill in 1989, and needs to wake up to face the challenge of Russian authoritarianism. Does it have the courage to do so?

Pascal Bruckner, one of France’s most influential philosophers, came to Kyiv in December and participated in a public discussion at PEN Ukraine on December 7th. This episode is the recording of this conversation.

This episode is part of our series "Thinking in Dark Times".

  • Host: Volodymyr Yermolenko, Ukrainian philosopher, chief editor of UkraineWorld and president of PEN Ukraine

UkraineWorld ( is brought to you by Internews Ukraine, one of the largest Ukrainian media NGOs.

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Key topics:

  • How Russia has fallen into totalitarianism
  • Why the West represents something new in the history of civilization
  • The problem of the West is the loss of faith in itself
  • Europe and its colonialism: a critical analysis
  • Russian colonialism today
  • The problem of the West’s «tyranny of guilt»
  • "We have done horrible things but we also invented remedies to cure them"
  • On heroes and victims. Why today everybody wants to be a victim
  • Victim story and warrior story in Ukraine
  • Why the idea of fight is lacking in Europe
  • Why the consumer’s attitude to the Russian invasion is wrong
  • How overprotection decreases responsibility
  • Why did Europe take a strong sleeping pill in 1989 and needs to wake up