Zur Aktualität des Verfassungsdenkens von Helmut Ridder anlässlich der Veröffentlichung seiner Gesammelten Schriften
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His Selected Writings show Helmut Ridder as an expert in constitutional law. He comprehends the constitution as a legal form of a historical compromise which consists of heterogeneous normative elements. It is the obligation of the constitution to correct and change the conditions of a society and not vice versa. The legal interpretation and application of the rules of the constitution has to maintain its rules correctly and must not be influenced by social circumstances. The German »Grundgesetz« is a constitution which rules the state and also the society. It contains competences for the government and freedoms and political rights for the citizens, the people. So it constitutes a social order for the various fields of doing things. A constitutional freedom, for example the freedom of the press, demands the organisation of the special social field (the press) by laws. Democracy is not limited to the sphere of the state, the government, but begins in the society, with the free formation of the opinions and wills of the citizens. Powerful institutions in the society, as there are political parties and trade unions, must have democratic structures. Persons employed in big companies should have a democratic participation and representation. Democracy is an open and public process which starts at the free formation of the political will of the individual citizen, permeates political parties and other associations and ends in the parliament where it creates acts of law. The will of the ruling majority, the law, has to be respected by minorities, by all individuals. So the democratic law is the medium to improve the conditions of society and establish a just social order. Of course the law itself has to respect the constitutional rights of the minorities, of all citizens. The constitution of the »Grundgesetz« is only allowed to be changed in the constitutionally ruled legal process by the parliament, not by the Federal Constitutional Court or by any other institution.