Political Education – FES and HSS

Political Education – FES and HSS

Political Education (Politische Bildung ) is still something sponsored by the current Federal Government yet forgotten often and by many. And perhaps it is also anachronistic. After all, the real process of forming your opinion no longer happens in the parties and their “foundations”, but in barcamps “on the streets”.

I know two foundations with close connections to a party: the parteinahe Stiftungen, das ist die Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung (HSS – CSU) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung(FES – SPD). Both of them invite me at regular intervals and once in a while, if the topic looks interesting to me, I actually attend.

Incidentally, the difference between the meetings organized by the two groups is that the HSS is better organized and the meals, too, are very delicious. At the FES, you mostly get no meals and the organization is not quite as perfect. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why the CSU has such a huge majority in Bavaria while hardly anybody votes in favour of the SPD.

On Tuesday, November, 4th, I accepted an invitation by the FES (SPD). They showed the film “WORK HARD, PLAY HARD.”. It is a documentary by Carmen Losmann about our modern work life I have wished to see for a long time. Moreover, they had promised that the producer Carmen was to be present herself.

I wanted to meet her in person in order to tell her about the project “Augenhöhe”.

In a nutshell: WORK HARD, PLAY HARD is a great film. Considering that it is a documentary, it is extremely exciting. And the Arena (Hans-Sachs-Straße 7, 80469 München) Cinema in the wonderful Glockenbach-District was absolutely the best setting. And Carmen Losmann, the producer, was also there, as promised.

Afterwards, there was a discussion that had both strengths and weaknesses. For me, it is always hard to have a confident discussion after an exciting event. Regardless, it was a nice evening. Especially because Carmen was able to give us her evaluation of the status of our economy in a very charming and striking manner.

However, we had to leave rather quickly, because, after all, the cinema had to switch to its normal business. Due to the flow of incoming cinema-goers, it was not possible to have a discussion with persons who had struck me as those with the reasonable arguments during the discussion. In fact, that is something I would have found truly useful.

Well, but this is only meant as a feedback for the organizers. Perhaps, next time, they want to make a reservation for a few tables somewhere in the neighbouring pubs and thus motivate the audience to continue with their discussions?

However, the event was also remarkable in that the “old world” truly was lit up again. On arrival, you had to sign your name on a list. As opposed to some data-security protagonists, I have no problem with this. As I see it, I should actually be prepared to stand by it and accept that all the world might know about me attending an event of the FES – which is close to the SPD and unions. The same is true when I accept an invitation by the competition (HSS).

When he welcomed us before the film started, the presenter said the signature was necessary because the FES, as we all know, is an “opinion-forming” organization and as such federally subsidized. Consequently, in order to continue being eligible for subsidies, they have to document that “now politically educated persons” (my wording) attended. Incidentally, said presenter was a freelance “dialectics trainer” who often works for the FES and some unions. Well, we all have to make a living, don’t we?

In my opinion, these subsidies of “political education” should either be terminated, or else they should give the money to those who work towards developing social context. And I know quite a few well-attended barcamps and similar events for citizens where many people meet, regardless of the fact that they do not show such great films and serve such delicious meals as the HSS.
These days, much is done to remember the times of “we are the people”. It is quite possible that the reigning parties and their appendages in the Federal Republic of Germany will soon also hear the call: “we are the people”.

First and foremost, however, I am happy to have made new acquaintances and found new insights during this evening. In my next posts, I will include the occasional idea from this beautiful evening.

(Translated by EG)

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