Mathias Maurer

So anyone who regrets having brought a child into the world no longer needs to neglect them – they can have them taken care of like luggage in a left luggage locker. The programme is called “KitaPlus” and is supported by the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

That has moved us one step closer to the institutional accommodation of our offspring: off to the children’s ghetto! It already exists for the elderly, as it does for refugees, and in any case for offenders. And we have taken another step in pushing marginal social groups who are unable to work and are not earning, and who are nothing but a financial burden on others, further to the margins and into day-to-day invisibility as if they were an embarrassment.

Indeed, children and the elderly and social problem cases are sand in the spinning cogwheels of the smoothly functioning social machinery which permits no leisure, lingering or downtime. Because its motto says: earn money in the rhythm of economic “need”. Looking-glass world: it is the world of work which determines what needs children will be granted and not the welfare of children and family life. Karl Marx would hardly be able to contain his delight at having his theory confirmed in practice. Such child-unfriendly nonsense is supported on a broad front by employers’ associations, the German Federal Employment Agency, the Trade Union Federation, city and local authorities.

The social policy programme for a better work-life balance therefore does not mean listening to the needs of children and families by, for example, paying an adequate child-raising allowance or basic income, and properly socially recognising and revaluing the work of bringing up children, but by completely delegating or outsourcing the whole problem.

Like social spectres, such families then only any longer exist on paper and in their special “establishments”. And these ubiquitous exclusion processes are a source of good money. Whole armies of social agents are rearing to go and the commercialisation of the social sphere through TTIP continues to be a threat.

The fracturing of social and cross-generational ties is occurring not with a loud bang but is creeping up on us with a whimper – and the people affected are suffering in silence. The elderly above all. Only the children sometimes still vociferously fight back for up to two hours after they have been dropped off at the day-care centre.

Yet we know from as long ago as when East Germany still existed that excessive non-parental care harms children, and their “experience of loss” can come to expression many years later in chronic physical and psychiatric illnesses irrespective of the high quality of the care. We look forward to the first 24-hour Waldorf day-care centre.