Category Archives: Germany

Europeans fear for the future

screen-shot-2017-02-22-at-23-19-21The people of Europe, says Dalrymple (from 30:19),

are not just nostalgic — they’re worried about the future.

They see themselves

as being part of a vast experiment.

Experiments

have been tried on the population — experiments over which they have not been consulted.

For instance, Angela Merkel’s acceptance of a million refugees:

She didn’t consult any German people.

Founder of modern bacteriology

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-22-37-09

Dalrymple points out that there was much hostility towards Robert Koch in India, as the scientific agent of German expansionism. Attempts to disprove Koch’s theory continued in India until 1897.

Eure Schuld!

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-23-02-29Germany’s, ah, particular historical situation

There is, Dalrymple points out (from 1:09),

a particular historical situation in Germany which the Germans have been trying to overcome, unsuccessfully, for the last 70 years.

Taking in a million economic migrants

was an opportunity for the Germans to be better than everyone else.

The Scandinavians, he says, are the same.

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-23-07-04Dalrymple does not think that Merkel

will take in another million migrants in a hurry.

He examines the argument that Merkel took this catastrophic step

because Germany’s population is declining, so they need workers, they need immigrants. But in that case, why not take in the unemployed of Spain or of Greece? Why not recruit there?

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-23-08-46No, says Dalrymple, this is not the real reason. The real reason the Germans took in so many economic migrants is that

they still feel tremendous guilt, and are trying to demonstrate they they are not as they were before.

screen-shot-2017-01-01-at-23-10-13

L’union fait la force

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 08.57.05Dalrymple reports that Arnaud Montebourg, who was Ministre de l’Économie, du Redressement productif et du Numérique under François Hollande, accepts that the EU is bankrupt. Montebourg suggests

  • a return to real national borders
  • the reduction of the number of European bureaucrats by 97%
  • the ending of the tendency to regulate the cocoa content of chocolate or the market for goat’s cheese
  • the return of money-issuing powers to the various countries’ central banks (while keeping the euro)

Montebourg also calls for an alliance of the grasshoppers (France, Spain, and Italy) against the great wicked ant, Germany. Dalrymple comments:

What a wonderful way to promote peace and harmony between France and its neighbour across the Rhine!

Le Carré’s Muslim zombies

Screen Shot 2016-05-21 at 07.59.38In A Most Wanted Man (2008), Dalrymple explains, a half-Russian, half-Chechen illegal immigrant to Germany with a past as a Muslim activist becomes the object of the unfair and unscrupulous attentions of German, British and US spies.

As usual in John le Carré,

the spies are as much concerned with doing each other down as with the ostensible object of their investigation.

The illegal immigrant

Edward Said: would have complained of reprehensible orientalism

Edward Said: reprehensible orientalism

is befriended by a radically, though not implausibly, humourless German female civil rights lawyer and an unlikely and unlikeable British private banker, both of whom are ‘turned’ by the intelligence services of their respective countries.

Dalrymple notes that le Carré

is clearly sympathetic to the Muslim characters in his story, making them morally superior to the Westerners.

However, the Muslim characters

are unrealistic and almost ­zombie-like. No doubt Edward Said, if he were alive, would accuse le Carré of orientalism, in this instance with some justice.

Monotony and feebleness of Eurofederalist argumentation

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.34.53The best hope for the European Union, writes Dalrymple,

would be for it to eventually evolve into an enormous Belgium. More likely, it will evolve into an enormous Yugoslavia circa 1990.

The European political class and its intellectual cheerleaders

appear determined to produce one or the other. Whenever I listen to the defenders of the European Union I am astonished at the thinness of their argumentation and the ruthlessness of their determination.

Here are just three of the feeble and sketchy arguments:

1. European civilisation is superior to all others, for it is the only one that has ever accorded adult status to individuals. From now until 2020, 130m children will enter forced marriages. Without the indispensable infrastructure that is the European Union, Europe will be swept away by ill winds that blow from all directions.

Dalrymple:

Preposterous and cowardly. European civilisation predated the European Union by some years. The malign trend does not reach Europe from all directions—not from North or South America, for example, or Russia. The words are directed against Muslims, though there is not the courage to say so. There is no danger or prospect of forced marriage becoming general in Europe, nor is there any reason to suppose that a Europewide state would be better at preventing or prohibiting it among Muslim minorities than the present nation states are.

2. The only way of combating the kind of nationalism that led to catastrophic European wars is European federalism.

Dalrymple:

Absurd. There is no reason to believe that, but for the European Union, Portugal would attack Estonia, Ireland Luxembourg, or Greece Denmark. The only plausible candidates for a serious military conflict on the continent are France and Germany. What is really being said is that the European Union is necessary to contain Germany. This is to subscribe to the view of the Germans as eternal militarists, the inevitable enemy of France. I do not believe that but for the European Union, Germany would attack France.

3. The countries of Europe must unite politically in order to compete in the world. Large countries such as China, India, and the USA have clout; there is no place for small countries. In order to be of any account, European nations must forgo sovereignty and become part of a heftier entity.

Dalrymple:

This ignores

  • the political difficulties of union
  • the impossibility of making a functioning democracy of so many different nations
  • the inevitable clashes of national interest that federalisation would entail

It also ignores the evidence that many of the most successful countries in the world are small. There is no reason why countries cannot cooperate, including militarily, without pooling sovereignty; such pooling as has occurred in Europe has held its prosperity back. The currency union without any kind of fiscal union has proved disastrous for several countries, and is economically deleterious for all. But the further step of fiscal union could only be imposed by an unelected, authoritarian bureaucracy upon countries unwilling to comply, and whose interests might not be served by compliance. Sooner or later, a federation would lead to war, or at least to revolution.

The arguments of the federalists

are trotted out with monotonous regularity, like the stories of someone with Alzheimer’s, and anyone who raises objections, however obvious and unanswerable, is immediately compared to a rabid nationalist, as if to be attached to a national identity were a symptom of hating everyone else. There are such rabid nationalists, to be sure. Forced federation is the best way of ensuring their increase in numbers and influence.

The badness of an idea

does nothing to halt its progress. Europe is sleepwalking (yet again) to cataclysm.

Bad old habits of the Germans

Screen Shot 2016-01-10 at 07.16.57Dalrymple writes that a common European identity

has to be forged deliberately and artificially, and one of the imperatives for attempting to do so is the need of Germans for an identity that is not German. And since the Germans are very powerful in Europe, by weight of their economy, their need to escape from themselves by absorbing everyone into a new collective identity will sooner or later be perceived in the rest of Europe as the need to impose themselves— as a return to their bad old habits.

The shame of being German

Cologne is noted for its vibrant nightlife

Cologne is noted for its vibrant nightlife

The European Union, writes Dalrymple, is

a bureaucratic monster, unaccountable to anyone resembling a normal human being.

It is also a

vast pension plan for ageing or burnt-out politicians who cannot any longer face the inconveniences of having to be elected.

Why are the Germans so keen on it? Why do they yearn so much for a European identity? Dalrymple’s answer:

So that they can stop being German. This, of course, will deceive no one.

Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 07.12.44

A chilling epigraph

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 07.58.21It is contained, Dalrymple writes, in Jürgen Thorwald’s The Dismissal: The Last Days of Ferdinand Sauerbruch (1960). It is by Josef Naas, director of the Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, and reads:

In the coming struggle of the proletariat, in the clash between socialism and capitalism, millions will lose their lives. In the face of this fact it is a trivial matter whether Sauerbruch kills a few dozen people on his operating table. We need the name of Sauerbruch.

Sauerbruch, Dalrymple explains, was

a brilliant but arrogant surgeon who began to dement and did not realise his powers were declining. He persisted in operating, though he started to kill patients. He did this with the complaisance of the authorities because, after the war, the East Germans were pleased, for reasons of propaganda, that he continued to work in Berlin.

The German longing to travel

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 08.04.20For several decades, writes Dalrymple.

it was impermissible for Germans to allude publicly to their sufferings during and immediately after the war, much of which must have been innocent, unless it be considered that all Germans were equally guilty ex officio.

The impermissibility of publicly expressed complaint was

a powerful stimulus of the Wirtschaftswunder.

It also left

a legacy of emptiness that all the reflective Germans I have met seem to feel. Perhaps it explains the German longing to travel, greater than that of any nation I know.