Publisher and editor failed to agree both on the term “conspiracy theorist” and the relevance of the interview.
Although I have by no means changed my judgement about the matter, I am glad that we have an editorial team who do what they consider to be the right thing! One of the most important tasks for us as publisher is to cover their back so that they can take their decisions on the basis of their own (very high) competence as to what to publish and what not. Of course we exchange views, but we do not interfere in their work and that is why month for month they produce one of the best education journals available today.
I write this because editorial freedom outside our, in this respect, for once intact Waldorf world is increasingly under threat from commercial pressures, political sanction as in Turkey and a growing number of other countries, but also from the online platforms of “social” media seeking the next scandal to be outraged about.
While it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance well-researched and solidly checked journalism at all (it still exists, even in the often criticised mainstream media), platforms such as Breitbart, Berlusconi’s media empire or Russian “trolls” are intervening in the news with ever greater impunity with targeted or completely obvious lies. We are being habituated to seeing “alternative” and “proven” facts as being completely equal. What remains is a tangle of opinions while the discourse about ideas, concepts and context is left by the wayside.
For democracy that is as deadly as it is for the – inalienable – dignity of each person which, without our highest capacity, the individual struggle for truth in our thinking and feeling, collapses in on itself. When majority opinion consisting of reciprocally validating networks becomes more important than the courage to come to our own conclusions, the longing for new leaders also grows who promise us the guidance we can no longer find in our own souls.
For this reason, too, is it ever more important that children are surrounded by adults whom they can trust because such people truly endeavour to give children access to the world which allows them to understand with their heart, their senses and, of course, also their reason what matters. That is what Rudolf Steiner meant when he referred to the “beloved authority” during the class teacher period. Anyone who understands this – and its transformation into the young person’s independent responsibility in upper school – will hopefully not succumb so easily to authoritarian “public opinion”.
About the author: Henning Kullak-Ublick, class teacher from 1984 -2010 at the Flensburg Free Waldorf School; board member of the German Association of Waldorf Schools, the Friends of Waldorf Education and the International Forum for Steiner/Waldorf Education – The Hague Circle, as well as coordinator of Waldorf100 and the author of the book Jedes Kind ein Könner. Fragen und Antworten an die Waldorfpädagogik.