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Where is the progress?
The model of innovation is fading. But progress is so dreadfully complicated. Is that true? No.
The thing that sustains us all is going to seed from pure laziness.

About 50 years ago, a little man wrote a great book. In it, one could read that in spite of all the catastrophes that people had experienced in the first half of the twentieth century, life was still worth living. This book also said that people have a right to happiness. And that they would never let this right be taken from them, no matter what. At least that would apply to most people. Nothing was more important than to fight for this happiness.

The most important ally in this struggle, so it seemed to the little man, was the power of innovation, of technical progress. That was understandable. Even then it was clear that no politician, no ideologue, no religion and no dogma had done anywhere near as much for the good of humanity and for reducing the gap between rich and poor than technological progress. Innovation was the best thing that had every happened to humanity. Only on the basis of innovation could culture arise.

In no other industrial nation did socially motivated fans of progress invest as much hope as in Germany. No wonder, since that country has grown through innovation. Whilst actual military campaigns almost always ended in catastrophe, the battles for better technology were successful. When the industrial revolution began in Germany - almost a hundred years after Great Britain - a surpassing skill for innovation closed the gap in less than two decades. The term "Made in Germany", thought up by the British parliament as a negative byword for cheap German copies, very quickly became the most important trademark world-wide for leading technology, for permanent innovation. But the model of German innovation consisted not only in the commitment to be the first, but in offering the best technically feasible solution: so Made in Germany stands for the maximum that is feasible in terms of craftsmanship and innovation. The best possible blend of progress and reliability. The strength of German innovation has always been its reliability in use.

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Students at the Axel Springer Academy conjured up a politics portal and put it on the web in the space of seven days - "Machtmaschine" ["power machine"] is now online, a convincing presence through strong content and cross-media implementation.