Our social conscience

I know… the journey did not go all the way. But in the end, time was running through my hands like sand on the beach. Basically, after a lot of stress, it all came to an end. It was not perfect, but I am convinced it was the best I could do in the time given. And that there might be a continuation of it next year means it went alright for the people that pay the bills…

A different subject and perhaps more on the lines of our BLS philosophy thinking. On the weekend something very rare happened in Hamburg, Germany. The people there had the possibility to vote against or for a reformation of the school system in Hamburg. (Hamburg is not only a city but also one of the German federal states.) Why is that a rare occasion? Well, usually we don’t get the chance to vote for a lot of things. We elect our government, the government of the state we live in and also the local council. But that is about it. The German constitution gives the people the right to engage in a popular petition. For this to work, you have to get a certain amount of people (min. 1%) to sign the initial petition first. If this works out, the petition will then be legally granted and everyone allowed to vote will have the right to do so. But because the Germans (and a lot of other Europeans) are lazy when it comes to work for their own country, this method of direct democracy is not seen very often.

Lately it won a little more attention as the population of Bavaria voted for a much more stringent non-smoking law than the one in place. (To be honest, they had to vote for the one in place to be finally executed as the lobby of smokers managed to undermine the laws in quite a lot of ways.)

So in Hamburg now, people were asked to vote for or against the reformation of the current school system. The government worked together across all parties – and the usually “natural” boundaries a different party brings with it – and managed to find a decent and up-to-date solution for one of Hamburg’s biggest problems: The ever growing gap in eduction between kids from a poor and rich background. At the moment the pupils go to school all together for 4 year and after that they will split up into three different types of school, depending on their knowledge and skills after these 4 years. This ends in a social gap. A lot of the kids from the poorer end of town basically end up with the lowest educational level. Simply because a lot of them do have an immigrant background. So it was found, that if you would give those kids more time together with others, better educated kids, they would have a chance to also climb up the ladder of higher education.

The government changed the current system for it to be 6 years for all kids together before they would split up and go to different schools. This would give a lot of kids the chance to reach a higher qualified graduation and therefore better chances on the markets of tomorrow.

Well, the people of Hamburg don’t want their kids to stick together for too long. They voted against the new system and it will now not be executed. It seems, they don’t think it will help everyone that we grow together as one society and that everyone we leave behind will in the end be causing us more trouble than helping him to find the right way himself. We push people into their role as the social underdog and the result can be seen in the mega and large cities and metropolis around the globe and in Europe. In Berlin as well as in Paris or London, people with lower social status are forced out of the city. They form their own community, which is then not part of the overall community. People of different skin colour, religion and with different language live together in their own little cities within the city. Is that what we want? Apparently it is…

In Hamburg the people showed no sense for the greater picture. They proved themselves to be self-seekers for their kids. Is it wise to bring up children with such a narrow mind?
Oh and by the way… guess who voted the most? Yes, the population in the richer areas reached 57% voter participation whereas the poorer areas only had around 20%. Interesting, isn’t it? Apparently a lot of the people in the poorer areas lacked the understanding for what they are voting for and in the chaos of options quite a significant amount of people voted for the wrong thing, because they didn’t understand… but I am sure we don’t need higher education for everyone…

Something is wrong with our society