“Thus the conception of a State Church still remains the centre of the social doctrines of Lutheranism” (Ibid., 516). Lutheranism manifests a passive tendency that predisposes it to support whatever power happens to be dominant and makes it vulnerable to being controlled by the governments to which it is connected, even if they are characterized by brutality and tyranny. Troeltsch views these tendencies within Lutheranism as contrary to the progressive spirit he associates with Protestant countries in the modern era.
The impact of such analysis and stereotyping is what Siemon-Netto is trying to examine.
My own reaction to this is:
Certainly, we who were reared after the wars were encouraged to engage in critique. "Critical thinking" was supposedly the highest goal of education, one of our teachers used to say. To this day, Germans are known to be brutally honest, critical and forward in their speech. This can be very annoying, but also highly constructive leading to correction and innovation.
I don't think that this just happened just as of late.
Secondly, I would not describe the State Churches as particularly "Lutheran", in that I never heard anybody discuss documents from the reformation or any of Luther's books.
I was confirmed in the State Church myself, and I certainly did not learn anything about Luther or the reformation, then and there. We in the ev.luth. State Church knew ourselves mostly in opposition to Roman Catholics. We knew what we did not believe and do better than any teachings of Martin Luther, I'd say. I did not get to know Martin Luther, until I bought my own first book authored by him at the secular University of Alberta. I think, actual words and teachings of Luther are almost a bit of a State Secret.