German Chancellor to Putin: Stop "Appropriating" Kant

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.23 - 2024 2:46 PM CET

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin's appropriation of philosopher Immanuel Kant.

Trending Now

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has publicly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for referencing German philosopher Immanuel Kant, asserting that Putin's aggressive war in Ukraine stands in stark contrast to Kant's philosophical principles.

This comes after Putin expressed admiration for Kant, claiming him as his "favorite philosopher."

Putin's Misuse of Kant's Philosophy

"Putin has no right whatsoever to cite Kant... However, Putin's regime remains committed to appropriating Kant and his works at almost any cost," Scholz remarked, as reported by Zeit.

While Putin has referred to Kant, who was born in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), as his "favorite philosopher," the German Chancellor highlighted that Kant's concepts of human rights and human dignity, as well as his ideas about war and peace, are fundamentally at odds with Putin's practices in Russia and his aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Scholz criticized Putin's regime for trampling on individual dignity and autonomy through censorship, digital disinformation, and surveillance, suggesting that these methods are used to suppress dissent in Russia.

Kaliningrad's Controversial Claims

Kaliningrad's governor, Anton Alikhanov, had previously linked Kant's philosophy to global chaos and the war in Ukraine. He claimed that Kant's ethical principles influenced Western culture, leading to violations of agreements and contributing to the start of World War I and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Alikhanov's statements sparked concern among Kaliningrad residents, who feared that his rhetoric could lead to repression against them. They organized individual protests, expressing their concern that the governor's remarks could be used to justify Russian aggression in Ukraine by misrepresenting Kant's philosophy.

In response to Alikhanov's comments, some Russian residents cited Mikhail Bulgakov's satirical work, "The Master and Margarita," to ridicule the absurdity of blaming Kant for global chaos.

Kant was born, lived, and died in Königsberg, which became part of the Soviet Union in 1945 and was later renamed Kaliningrad in 1946.

Most Read