The Department Political Education (Referat Politsche Bildung) takes over the task assigned to the student body by the ThürHG to promote political education and the sense of civic responsibility of the students.
We try to organize numerous panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions among other things, which mostly relate to current or historical topics.
(First of all: Every reference is also a literature recommendation!)
Enlightenment is man's exit from his self-inflicted immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's mind without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-inflicted when the cause of it is not the lack of understanding but the resolution and courage to make use of it without guidance from another. (Immanuel Kant: Answering the question: What is Enlightenment?)
At the latest since the transfer of power to the National Socialists it has been obvious that Enlightenment has failed. This is reflected in fascism's unconditional will for power and domination, which must be followed by equally unconditional obedience, and which thus intends to eliminate man's ability to form a judgement about himself and his environment, in short the "liquidation of the individual". Following Kant's concept of the Enlightenment, we would like to offer a platform to strengthen Enlightenment thinking. In our opinion, education is a suitable means for this.
The real thing is the whole thing. (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Phenomenology of the Mind)
The term education that is commonly used today - even at our university - is one that only means training for a later profession. Nothing is relevant except what is important for the later career. Mind, knowledge and education have degenerated to mere means and competitive advantage.
We would like to counter this with a concept of education that enables reflected, critical thinking and decision-making rooted in it. This requires not only the fight against the lack of concepts but also the learning of the ability to grasp contents and experiences in their entirety, instead of perceiving them as mere atomized and interchangeable information that has to be accumulated.
Critique of Ideology
[Psychoanalysis] The intention is to strengthen the ego, to make it more independent of the superego, to expand its field of perception and its organization so that it can acquire new pieces of the ego. Where It was, I shall become. (Sigmund Freud: New Series of Lectures on the Introduction to Psychoanalysis)
Ideology is "objectively necessary and at the same time false consciousness". Objectively necessary is it due to socialization that promotes a desired behavior or consciousness. This consciousness in turn justifies the current ideology and society and thus also the suffering and misery existing in the latter. This consciousness is false because its thinking does not correspond to reality. In order to avoid confrontation with the truth, it bends into illusion and thus reproduces the self-inflicted immaturity of man.
Man feels overwhelmingly that he is self-determined. The emergence of psychoanalysis, however, brought about the revolutionary insight of its time that the level of consciousness known as free will and "I" is not the only thing that works in the human mind. Early childhood imprints, (sexual) suppression and drive substitutions are mental scars that unconsciously determine life, thinking and acting as the "superego", as a moral authority that threatens to become increasingly strict. Drives and their demand for fulfilment are attributed to the "id". The ego emerges as the instance that must mediate between the "superego" and the "it".
The continuing self-inflicted immaturity is expressed, among other things, in the continued existence of what is also called second nature. It and ideology in general appear independent and natural (and are defended for their apparent objectivity). We want to respond to this with a critique that embarrasses the object in its difference between concept and thing; that names the context of delusion and allows access to reality.
Hitler imposed a new categorical imperative on the people in their lack of freedom: to arrange their thinking and acting in such a way that Auschwitz would not be repeated, that nothing similar would happen. (Theodor W. Adorno: Negative Dialectic)
Following Adorno's categorical imperative, we see one of our main focuses in anti-fascist work. National Socialism was mankind's relapse into barbarism; the barbarism that was only made possible by industrialization. The barbarism in which millions of people were industrially destroyed as "unworthy of life". Anti-fascism is therefore not only the driving back of stupid thugs, the hunt for those who "[stand out] without protection" (Adorno/ Horkheimer), but also enlightenment about fascism. Even today, because "Fascism is not a political party, but a certain view of life and attitude towards people, love and work." (Wilhelm Reich)
Based on the assumption that the central moment of National Socialism was anti-Semitism, we want to take a closer look at anti-Semitism from its emergence - from various theoretical perspectives - to its transformations into the present day. In recent years, statements against "banksters", "usurers of interest", or "those up there" have become louder and more frequent, and the structural proximity of these patterns of argumentation to anti-Semitic ones deserves closer examination.
In Buchenwald's oath it says: "The destruction of Nazism with its roots is our slogan." And we are in this antifascist tradition That means for us above all also clearing-up work and educational work, thus the promotion of critical thinking, over fascism and its roots, for example by organizing lectures, discussions or film presentations.