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Propaganda and the political system
Albrecht Müller, founder of the website “Nachdenkseiten“, former chief of the planning departments in the Brandt and Schmidt administrations
Interviewed for JPoX:
14 March 2009 in Pleisweiler-Oberhofen, Germany
by Jan Lachenmayer, Florian Popp, and Stefan Rupp
Interview questions
  1. How can the political awareness of individual citizens in a democracy be assured?
  2. What opportunities do citizens have to exert influence on the political system?
  3. What is the situation like in other democracies, espeacially in Europe?
  4. What consequences could Obama's success have for the German political system?
  5. What opportunities are there for discussing actual political content within the political system?
  6. How do you evaluate the consequences of the current crisis on politics in general?
  7. Do policymakers perceive the illustrated problems as problems?
  8. Is there a place for political agents where they can systematically reflect on their actions?
  9. What opportunities do you see for changes within and improvements of the political system?
Abstract
Albrecht Müller is a long-time member of SPD, the German social-democratic party, former chief of the planning departments in the Brandt and Schmidt administration. He’s the founder of the website “Nachdenkseiten” which aims at providing reflected information to an interested public. He is a pundit of neo-liberalism and points out the dangers of propaganda for the political process.
In this interview, Müller provides a thorough assessment of the current state of politics in Germany out of his rich experience.
His analyses of the role of contemporary media in the political process shows discontentment, as too many possibilities for propaganda exist. The media tend to be intertwined with private interests – a dangerous situation according to Albrecht Müller.
Müller criticises the functioning of political parties in Germany. In contrary to former times, today’s parties do no longer actively support internal debate and reflection, but tend to nod through whatever their leadership decides upon.
Furthermore, he takes a look at the current financial crisis and its triggers. He strongly opposes the prevalent view that the crisis was a product of the financial industry in the United States alone. Instead, he argues that it is the result of a systemic malfunction of the financial system as such.
All things considered, Albrecht Müller comes to the conclusion that democracies in all of Europe are in a rather sorry state of affairs, and points out a few possibilities for the improvement of that current state to the better. The first of these should be to countermand the fully-fledged privatisation of the media, in order to prevent private interests from exclusively shaping public opinion.
Recommended Citation
Müller, Albrecht. "Propaganda and the political system", interviewed by: JPoX, Berlin (March 14th 2009)
Available at : http://jpox.eu/component/streams/view,content/cid,217/