Last Friday, in many countries around the world, millions were out on the streets to protest for action against climate change. In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in more than 500 towns. Over the weekend, newspapers and social media buzzed with photos showing large crowds in public places; many of my friends and acquaintances posted their own snapshots from the protest marches.
In many ways, our shared emotional landscape is a commons that needs to be cared for by our joint effort. However, this perspective restricts the scope of emocracy to clearly delimited communities who then still face the challenge to define – and subsequently uphold – the principles and practices to govern the emotions populating their shared spaces. Following a more recent historical trend, a broader – and potentially global – approach would be to include emotions in the basic set of human rights: the French Revolution’s and American Independency’s way of describing universal characteristics valid for everybody on this planet. What if there was an article saying: “Everyone has the right to freedom of emotions and their expression”, similar to the existing article 19: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression”?