Part 2: What is to be done? Videos

Citizens’ Truth Forum

In Part I, we present a permanent Truth and Reconciliation Commission for every rule-of-law state as one solution to the crisis of democracy. In connection with it – and to call for its establishment – a wide-ranging public debate is needed.

The Truth Forum is a platform for debate in which the search for truth is an end in itself. Issues are considered in the overall interest of humanity and evaluated from an ethical point of view.

The designation ‘Truth Forum’ is paradoxical – the overall interest of humanity, the “truth” in this sense, is sought on a “forum”, through a debate open to all currents of opinion.

The Truth Forum requires citizens to commit to a civilised discussion culture and to learn the rules of fair debate. The idea of the Debating Encyclopedia is, in one respect, an application of the philosophy of justice to discussion culture.

Over time, the Truth Forum (or some part of it) can become a significant new channel of influence for citizens to be involved in “delivering justice”.

The premise of the Forum is that humans can learn from their history. Established democracies are capable of renewal if they are challenged by enlightened public opinion.

The purpose of the Truth Forum discussions is to create public opinion that puts pressure on states, parties, international organisations, and companies to abide by laws and agreements and to make reasonable decisions for the overall benefit of humanity.

Recommended Quotes

Nationalism is negative and patriotism is positive in quality. The former is based on hatred of others, while the latter is based on love for one’s own nationality.

The themes of the Truth Forum

The Truth Forum has four themes:

1. The past era

History does not begin with us. The most important new ideas in the history of philosophy have always been created by overturning the central views of the greatest thinkers of previous generations while upholding the core of those views in a new form.

How to look for the “truth” about the past era? We need to look at the opposing ideas that have had the greatest influence on the development of the era and find out what in them is sustainable and distinguish it from what is outdated and wrong. Which of the current problems are entirely new and cannot be answered by any past ideas? A new overall vision must be built on the basis of such an analysis.

Different schools of philosophy give a different weight to the concept of the past era. The period covered by the concept also varies. Such differences of opinion are among the debate topics on the Truth Forum.

By the concept “past era”, we mean the period in which the worldviews of current ideologico-political trends, movements, and parties were formed.

We are looking for an answer to the question “How did we get here?” What was essential, for example, in the birth of capitalism? Why has it become the dominant economic system? What are the different stages in the development of capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism? What caused the rise and fall of socialism in the last century? How have the predictions made in the past era about the future of humankind come true?

The Past Era Truth Forum builds a bridge between learning from history and political influencing. It is a means of changing the world philosophically.


2. Recent history

The Recent History Truth Forum assesses the most important events and related ideological and cultural policy debates in recent history from an ethical standpoint.

Who or which movements in recent history have gone against the current and criticised politics that has subsequently been proven wrong? Who have been able to predict future developments correctly? Who have been self-critical? Who have defended the rights of those discriminated against because of their opinions? Who have suffered because of their views and attitudes?

What kind of recognition should the state grant to such persons and organisations? What kind of financial compensation would be appropriate?

Even the most democratic states are rarely able to admit their mistakes and apologise to those who have been wronged, and even then, it usually happens many decades later.

When debating opinions relating to current politics, the debaters’ ethical attitudes are generally not at the forefront. But when it comes to the most heated ideological debates and major events in recent history, the question is not just about who was ethical at the time. The discussion is primarily about who at the moment wants to acknowledge and compensate for injustices in recent history, and who wants to water down or belittle them, or to counter the debate on them in one way or another.


Recommended Reading

William G. Howell & Terry M. Moe

Presidents, Populism, and the Crisis of Democracy

3. Juridical forum

The role of the Juridical Truth Forum is to bring to light the illegalities of governments, political decision-makers and officials which have become, or are about to become, a custom in the country; in other words, issues that are neglected by the judicial authorities.

The principle of legality includes public proceedings, which is to ensure that citizens and the media can control the exercise of jurisdiction. In today’s complex society, this has become difficult.

We need a return to the basics, and at the same time, a new kind of civic education. Therefore, the Juridical Forum will also discuss the history of the philosophy of justice and the stages through which the current rule of law has evolved. Otherwise, exposing illegalities and finding the culprits may turn out disruptive.

The new forms of injustice, for which legislation should be reformed, are an important topic. The development of international law is also one of the themes of the Juridical Forum.

4. Human nature

In “delivering justice”, the starting point in some way is always how human nature is understood.

This Truth Forum asks: Is there a general, unchanging human nature? Can it be defined? What is the difference between humans and animals? What is human “good” and “evil”?

As for sciences, human nature as a theme falls within the scope of philosophical anthropology, theory of knowledge, moral philosophy, and psychology. Other relevant fields are cultural history, fiction, movies, religions, myths, etc.

Pertinent descriptions of human nature are collected from the literature. Together with personal life experiences, they form the basis for discussing the fundamental problems of being a human.

These discussions can be combined with the panels in the Human Path Debating Encyclopedia, that is, to the debate on human nature’s historical formation.


Eino Leino (1878–1926) was a Finnish poet and journalist who is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poetry and a national poet of Finland. He is beloved and widely read in Finland today. More about Leino in English Wikipedia.


Otto Toivainen paints a graffiti for the Truth Forum. VIDEO: Erno Kaunela. 

OUR VIEW: Humanity first! Towards an ethical civilization.


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