Psychologist Martina Lackner is convinced that Germany’s politics have helped to produce the kind of behavior that was recently seen on Sylt. The country of poets and thinkers has become a country with a low level of education – because the egalitarian approach has led to disastrous developments.

If we take a closer look at the recent incidents on Sylt, we see young people, some of them students, shouting Nazi slogans while drunk. In a celebrity club on an elite German island. Young people who have no personal experience of National Socialism and have not experienced its horrors. On the contrary: They are partying in a club in a bubble of prosperity. They have no awareness of what they are actually saying. Unquestioning, unreflective, obviously drugged with alcohol. But let’s look at this scene as one of many possible scenes in Germany. What motivates these people?

A possible answer:

Democracy is something you have to learn, it is not an innate characteristic of a society – it has to be taught and trained. Hostility towards democracy arises when children are not raised to be democratic. Are these people hostile to democracy because of their slogans? We don’t know. Just because someone spouts Nazi slogans doesn’t mean they are Nazis. You could also say that they lack emotional intelligence and perhaps suffer from a kind of affluent neglect. They are obviously unable to classify the consequences of their actions, cannot reflect, cannot think things through. The main reasons are probably the binge drinking, a lack of ability to reflect and ultimately a lack of education.

Martina Lackner is a psychologist, psychological psychotherapist and author. In her articles and thought-provoking pieces, she regularly comments on current career and socio-political issues. Lackner is the owner of the PR agency Cross M.

Possibly not a lack of professional qualifications. Education is not just about academic knowledge. There is a lack of awareness of right and wrong, good and evil, appropriate and inappropriate, values ​​and democratic thinking. And there is a lack of self-discipline to discipline oneself in a group dynamic that is heated up by alcohol consumption.

Education is no longer a high priority in Germany: a notorious shortage of teachers, poor technical equipment in schools and universities, cancellation of classes, too many refugee children without language skills being placed in very large classes, declining expectations of children’s performance levels, the increasing number of children and young people with behavioral and learning problems, no uniform educational standards in the federal states, few support options for low-achieving children and a leveling of children who are not equally gifted. The country of poets and thinkers has become a country with a low level of education (see the last PISA study).

Democracy must be taught, as a subject, but also by bringing people to a different level of consciousness. Exploiting their intellectual capabilities, promoting talent and not subjecting them to egalitarianism because everyone should be the same, which they definitely aren’t. Because we also have to educate children in schools to be disciplined, to think independently, and teach them the consequences of their actions, make them responsible citizens who don’t cry out for citizen’s income because it’s simply more convenient for some people.

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It is also more convenient not to assert oneself against parents. In Germany, teachers are now more afraid of parents than the other way around. That doesn’t mean that they should work with fear, but that respect is lacking.

The education system is an administrative apparatus that manages and organizes children in a socialist sense – but does not educate them to become responsible and mature people. Because the ideology of human inviolability has taken over.

No one is allowed to speak plainly, no one wants to take on responsibility anymore. A watered-down climate has also been created in schools. And so we are no longer raising children to achieve, nor are we raising them to be empathetic and compassionate people. The emotional part of the personality remains underdeveloped.

Well, we know the weaknesses. And the politics too. One wonders why there is so much resistance to changing the system?

One possible answer: it is exhausting to bring about a system change. To do this, our education ministers would have to sit down at a table and, as a first step, discuss uniform educational standards. But the road from Bavaria to Bremen is a long one. In between lie personal ego and power issues.

And a fatal error in thinking: even democracies are not immune to the power interests of their decision-makers. Anyone who wants to exercise power always needs someone who will submit to them. The less educated a people, the less status, the less income, the easier it is to control, is the error in thinking. But the idea is incorrect. The less educated, the more susceptible to populism and the violence that goes with it. What is not diametrically opposed to the polls is that educated people are not supporters of right-wing extremist ideologies. Only they strive very quickly to regain power in these forms of government. They use an ideology to benefit themselves.

A poorly educated people cannot tell the difference between democracy and populism; they believe in simple recipes because they have not been taught to think in a reflective way. A people who are too educated and reflective are also a danger in democracies. Because they question political decision-makers and thus become inconvenient for the ruling political and economic elite. The example of Corona has shown how to deal with people who have a different opinion and who have questioned things. Those who think outside the mainstream and can justify it professionally are tolerated, but they do not make friends.

“Out of the regiment of role assignments” by Martina Lackner

Germany has a hard time dealing with professional criticism, even though it would be an opportunity for real change. I stick to this: this country needs experts, intellectuals, talent and a high level of education. Under these conditions, we do not attract talent. Talent seeks interesting, intellectual and intellectual environments. And we only have marginal amounts of these in Germany.

The fact that you are not allowed to use the word elite because it is inappropriate is evidence of a mindset in which there should be no intellectual high achievers. Because everyone, at least in theory, should have a right to be a high achiever. Which is illogical because we will always have a part of society that, despite support, will never be able to become high achievers.

But to get around this fact, everyone is levelled to a lower level of education so that everyone else can keep up. Quite weird, don’t you think? Psychologically speaking, we are dealing with a paradox here: people want and need talent, but do everything they can to avoid getting it.

This text comes from an expert from the FOCUS online EXPERTS Circle. Our experts have a high level of specialist knowledge in their subject area and are not part of the editorial team. Find out more.