● “There is no longer a single conservative education minister in Germany outside Bavaria and the federal government; they have all been voted out” crows Jürgen Trittin of Germany’s Greens, former environment minister under Schröder and potentially up for power in a possible coalition after the September elections.
Well, naturally. The German teaching profession, like the British one, is overwhelmingly left-leaning in outlook. The interventionists have had takeover of the cultural institutions in their sights since the sixties, and by now have more or less succeeded.
And now they’ve won, there is little scope for a shift since they are far more ruthlessly exclusive than their predecessors. “You’re a conservative? Sorry – we’ve decided to hire someone more qualified. Goodbye.”
Education is of course the area of culture where you can have most influence, especially once your world view has become dominant. You get to shape young minds, and hence to determine the position of society thirty years later.
“German society is a centre-left society” says Mr Trittin. Yes, rather as Louisiana is a Christian society. It’s a question of what ideology is conveyed in the classroom.
● It is sometimes argued that Germany’s past compelled it to seek a left-wing path, or at least one which accepted the basic principles of left-‘liberal’ ideology. This argument – to the extent the logic is not spurious anyway – depends on the highly questionable assumption that Nazism (Nationalsozialismus) was right-wing.