By awarding the Swift Prize to Jürgen Kaube, the jury highlights the work of a journalist who, using his particular feuilleton-style perspective, has devoted twenty years to the genre of economic satire. Through an unconventional choice of subject matter, the deputy features editor finds interesting topics that stimulate reflection about economic relationships. Through his work, Kaube has provided a broad audience entertaining insight into complex economic events and has aroused interest in debate. In doing so, Kaube has drawn substantial attention to the genre of economic satire.
The Market Economy Foundation awarded the Swift Prize to Mr. Kaube on May 4, 2012 in Kronberg im Taunus, Germany. The Swift Prize is endowed with a monetary award of €10,000.
The prize, named after the Irish satirist Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), strives to highlight creative discourse that furthers human dignity and a free, market-based social order based on the fundamental values of freedom, competition, and individual responsibility.
Dr. Theo Siegert, Chariman of the Market Economy Foundation’s board of trustees, holds the laudatory speech celebrating the prize winner, who, just as the eponym of the prize did, uses satire as a genre of contemporary reflection.
“Satire is a mirror wherein every man will commonly discern every face but his own.” (Jonathan Swift)
Jürgen Kaube, winner of the 2012 Swift Prize, finds it difficult not to write satire – “Difficile est satiram non scriber.” How is it, asks Kaube in his response to the laudatory speech, that one has earned a prize for satirical prose when one can simply not avoid writing satirically? The absurd hope of every work of satire is ultimately “to use prose to help people repudiate foolishness and simply laugh it off.” For Kaube, Swift was a giant in this field:
"That you are so gracious to give a prize awarded in his name to a non-giant makes me proud. I want to try to do justice to the prize with more maliciousness on the side of moralizing!“