geändert / updated: 17/04/08


 ... unabhängige Analysen für die globale Polis ...

(Political education; 02-02; p.2)

Herfried Münkler, a political scientist working in Berlin, remarked that because Germany lacks a strategic community politicians deny themselves the establishment of political concepts. Thus, they clear the way for self-empowerment of the military. One may ask: if society does not, do at least soldiers know why they are sent abroad? The example of officers' education may show, how politicians set the rules for informing and thereby integrating the military into civil society and politics.

To avoid misinterpretation a reminder of the basic given circumstances seems useful: political education in the armed forces addresses the very individuals that have to be willing to defend their countries if needed with their lives; besides, the main characteristic of the times in question has been the Cold War.


The West-German Bundeswehr and von Baudissin

As early as 1950 Viscount von Baudissin expressed the aim of western-democratic educated soldiers. Political education that way should lead to an inner strength against undermining by anti-democratic tendencies. This at first so-called concept of "inner fabric" (translation of: "inneres Gefüge"), later to be known as "inner conduct" (translation of "innere Führung"), thus had a clear military-functional component.
Regarding the broader field of civil societal politics, von Baudissin as well as some political scientists like Arnold Bergstraesser gave reasons for the necessity of "citizens in uniforms": after having experienced Prussian militarism and its consequences for the Weimar Republic a high degree of identification of soldiers with their now democratised society ought be achieved. Especially Bergstraesser claimed that mere emotional manipulation or training of behaviours were insufficient for that.

Adenauer and his government however did not put the concept into practice; instead they clung to the idea of "psychological armament" from 1958 to the late 1960s. According to that the main aim in (officers') political education was not a citizen capable of critical reasoning but nonetheless convinced of democratic virtues. More important became the learning of democratic "plights". (read on here)

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