What’s the Matter with Germany? (Part II)

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 September 14, 2017|
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In my recent article, “What’s the Matter with Germany?” I argued that under the leadership of Germany, “Europe is committing ‘suicide by Islam.’” Adolf Hitler imagined a Thousand-Year Reich, with Germany dominating Europe and the globe. Today, Germany’s rulers imagine a multicultural world, where Germany and other European nations no longer exist.

This does not represent an about-face from Germany’s imperial tendencies. It is, rather, just a new expression of it. The Germans tried to destroy Europe twice in recent history. Is it so surprising that Germans are welcoming an invasion that is on track to accomplish what Germany failed to do?

It’s very strange. Western history began with the account by Herodotus of the Greeks’ heroic resistance to the invading Persians. Today, Germany is bullying Europe to yield to an ongoing Muslim invasion. The Germans are welcoming the invaders, and Europe is abandoning its 2,500 year project of defending itself from Eastern conquerors.

Though strange, this is understandable, if one first understands Germany. I believe most Americans assume Germany is a Western nation like any other. The narrative would go something like this: Hitler was an unfortunate and tragic anomaly. He was a spellbinder with fantastical rhetorical powers that played on Germany’s historical resentments, and during his time he actually did manage to “fundamentally transform” Germany, changing it into the Hitler nightmare. Since Hitler has exited the scene, however, and the ravages of the Cold War are in the rearview mirror, Germany has returned to being a more-or-less normal Western nation.

But if this version of Germany’s story is true, why is Germany again bullying Europe, this time to yield to the Muslim invasion?

In my previous article I wrote that the Germans emerged from the Enlightenment era as the counter-Enlightenment people. This is not to deny any of the intellectual achievements of the German people. German music during the Enlightenment era, the time of Bach and Mozart, reached a peak which may never be equalled. And Germany’s achievements in science, mathematics, and technology have been of the first order. But in philosophy and especially political philosophy, the definite break between Germany and the rest of the West cannot be denied. Instead of being a part of the ongoing Enlightenment concerning the natural and political rights of man—a project started in England and taken up by America (with much success) and by France (with mixed results)—Germany was the heartland of the rejection of these ideas.

Romanticism, the 19th-century intellectual movement that gave the era after the Enlightenment its name, may be understood in shorthand as a rejection of Enlightenment thinking. And it started in Germany. The German thinkers who opposed the Enlightenment project loomed over 19th and 20th centuries. Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche are perhaps the most influential of these thinkers.

As I have argued, politically, the Enlightenment project was all about rights. But German intellectuals would have none of it. Hegel rejected individual rights and exalted the state. Marx rejected private property and the free market. Nietzsche exalted the will to power.

Unfortunately, German professors read—and worse yet, revered—those German thinkers and taught that reverence to their students. No one understood better than F. A. Hayek how this played out. Hayek, who won the Nobel Prize in economics, was one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. Here is what he wrote about the situation in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century:

For more than seventy years the German professors of political science, history, law, geography and philosophy eagerly imbued their disciples with a hysterical hatred of capitalism, and preached the war of “liberation” against the capitalistic West…At the turn of the century the immense majority of Germans were already radical supporters of socialism and aggressive nationalism. They were then already firmly committed to the principles of Naziism [before the term itself was invented].

German professors prepared the way for that charismatic leader who emerged after World War I to fill the role in German society made ready for him by the German intellectuals of the Romantic era.

​This raises an obvious question: how far down this same path has the United States traveled? The American Left applauds Merkel, and loathes Trump for his insistence that America must regain control of its borders, instead of following Merkel’s example and taking all comers. American professors of political science, history, law, geography, and philosophy have been preaching contempt for America and hatred of capitalism for quite some time. Although American students have not yet taken up the Nazi ritual of book-burning, they have been rioting to prevent authors from speaking, and, of course, attacking statues and monuments.

Perhaps the reason Germany no longer feels it necessary to actively seek to conquer Europe is that intellectually (through their influence on Western thought) and politically (through the EU) it already controls it. They’ve already won. What is left for them, then, is to advance their phalanx in America and other holdouts.

Generals enlisted in this fight include American professors committed to a way of thinking rooted in those same German intellectuals. They have been hard at work in America to make sure the rejection of the American idea continues to gain strength. It’s working. According to a recent poll, for example, a majority of Millennials reject capitalism.

Consequently, it makes sense to say that American politics is no longer a political contest between an American Left and an American Right. It has turned into a twilight struggle between Americans still committed to the American idea of self-government and an anti-American Left intent on “fundamentally transforming” the nation.

About the Author:

Robert Curry
Robert Curry serves on the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute and is the author of Common Sense Nation: Unlocking the Forgotten Power of the American Idea from Encounter Books. You can preview the book at: http://www.amazon.com/Common-Sense-Nation-Unlocking-Forgotten/dp/1594038252 He also serves on the Board of Distinguished Advisors for the Ronald Reagan Center for Freedom and Understanding.
  • Wolfie the Destroyer

    Very well said.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Wolfie,
      Thanks and thanks for taking the time to comment.
      Best wishes…

  • Dan Schwartz

    RELATED: The Fourth Reich is here — without a shot being fired… (May 15, 2016; five weeks before #Brexit)

    The arsenal of fear must almost be nearly exhausted. Those daring to vote to leave the EU will inflict on Britain collapsing house prices (according to George Osborne and Christine Lagarde of the IMF, who should worry about the EU’s unemployment-soaked economies); a “technical” recession (Mark Carney, a “technical” Irish-Canadian with a long record of error, who for this disgraceful political interference should be kicked back to Ottawa); and, of course, the Third World War (Mr Cameron). It’s clearly a Corporal Jones moment for the Remainers, though any cries of “don’t panic” come far too late: they are manifestly drowning in it.
    [:]
    Five years ago I wrote a piece referring to the control Angela Merkel exerted over Europe as “the Fourth Reich”. I was accused of a horrible breach of taste. However, when one looks at German power today one realises that, when I wrote, she had hardly even started. The key to German success is this: it participates in a weak currency (whose value would collapse without it) enabling its exports to sell far more cheaply than had it retained the Deutschmark. Therefore, it continues to grow in economic strength relative to its partners – including us – but especially those in the eurozone, notably France and Italy, who would benefit greatly from restoring the Franc and the Lira.

    Any net exporter in the EU – which we are most certainly not, given our £24bn trade gap with our partners in the first three months of 2016 – also benefits hugely from the vast and incomprehensible welter of EU regulations on products and employment law, which keep external competitors at arm’s length and pile costs on them if they wish access to the single market. Germany is so rich, and getting richer at the expense not least of its partners, that it can afford to pretend globalisation isn’t happening. We are not so fortunate, and leaving the EU to avoid all these regulations and take proper advantage of the wider world is not the least reason why we must vote to get out. (more)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/15/the-fourth-reich-is-here—without-a-shot-being-fired?utm_source=TheDeplorables

    • Robert Curry

      Thanks, Dan for this interesting addition.
      Given the opportunity, I would have voted for Brexit, no question.
      All the best…

  • Peter63

    I think your perception of what is at the heart of the German Destructive Impulse is very profound.

    Being a devout Christian, I see an inevitable tendency. If one be super-talented (and the Germans are) BUT prideful, then a deep itch to destroy everything comes to the fore.

    Only the humble-spirited can be ultra-gifted without ruining themselves and others.

    Look what happened to Lucifer, not ‘merely’ an angel but an Archangel who was entrusted with nothing less than the supervision of Light, i.e. perception.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Peter63,
      Thank you for your kind words, and for your thoughts about the GDI.
      Nietzsche announced the death of God and predicted the European nihilism that would result.
      Europe has abandoned Christianity, and is abandoning itself.
      When Tocqueville visited America he was struck by the faith of Americans and the vigor of the Republic. They seemed to him to go hand-in-hand.
      With best wishes…

      • alfred5

        All true , but the West’s foundation myth of Christianity has been slowly undermined by science and Darwinian Evolution ..we cannot put that genie back in its bottle, unfortunately ; the best we can hope for is to accept the facts of the matter and pragmatically promote intelligent design , insomuch that ”God” is working through the process of evolution to create mankind …as a convinced atheist I don’t believe it , but if god never existed it would be necessary to invent god .. or to misquote Churchill in regards to the necessary use of propaganda during crisis, or wartime ..” when truth is destructive it may be necessary to protect it with a bodyguard of lies ”

        • Robert Curry

          alfred5, here’s a wow! This site discusses the Churchill quote today, and does so in the context you offer!:

          http://onecosmos.blogspot.com/

          Best wishes….

          • alfred5

            Atheism, like opium is an acquired refined taste , not for the rank and file and never for the great unwashed who interpret it as ”no boundaries ”…fear of the Lord/Law is the beginning of all wisdom ..take away religion from rednecks and you may be left with those deranged hillbillies from the movie ”Deliverance” …but who would care to meet them on a walk in the woods ?

    • CincyGal

      I prefer to remember that the Greeks warned of hubris. The Greeks deserve a lot of credit for putting man at the center. Christianity also focuses on the individual’s relationship with God, thereby stressing the importance of the individual. I think the establishment of human rights owes a great deal to the respect of the individual. To me, the two – rights & focus on he individual feed each other.

  • conservative_302

    Great article. In the end, I believe America will triumph. It’s our history. It’s in our genes. This fight isn’t easy, but no fight ever is.

    • Robert Curry

      Dear conservative_302,
      Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your faith in America.
      America is worth fighting for. The Founders put their trust in us to take care of their gift to us.
      With best wishes…

    • CincyGal

      I suppose I’m the pessimist in the crowd. Given the situation with the antifa and the total lack of control at our universities, I am not at all sure our republic will survive. Even in our little neighborhood book club, I see the fear on the faces of anyone associated with the public school system when “sensitive” subjects are brought up, such as homosexuality. Perfectly competent women stare at the ceiling or their eyes glaze over as they pretend they know nothing of the subject. That would include the RN in the group. At our last meeting, a woman with a PhD in education found it necessary to mention that we have to remember how difficult our society is for blacks. We were discussing a book on witchcraft. Bizarre!

  • BayouKiki

    At the ripe age of 58 I have some learning to do. I have never thought deeply about Germany and, after reading this article and it’s predecessor, I obviously must. Where to go??

    • Robert Curry

      Dear BayouKiki,
      Must you? Please don’t delve into a deep study Germany on my account.
      To me, once you understand that the wave of nihilism sweeping across our country comes from Germany and Europe by way of our American universities, the task becomes deepening your understanding of the American idea. That way you can be part of the solution.
      I would rather see you read deeply in Common Sense Nation, and then take your direction for further study and deep thinking from it.
      With best wishes…

  • Eurodoom

    And what is the matter with the USA?

    • Robert Curry

      Dear Eurodoom,
      Nothing that couldn’t be cured. We only need to restore the American idea to its rightful place in American life.
      Best wishes…

      • Eurodoom

        Dear Robert,
        That would be great news for the Germans, as Germany is nothing more than a puppet state.of the USA.
        I hope you’re right. Best.

  • carl Jung

    seems like a good thing then, that the muslims will kill off germany once and for all.

  • AtTheTable

    Thank you Mr. Curry for what I hope is only the beginning of a deeper analysis of
    what ‘ails us’. If what you say is true, what do we make of Westphalia, where the structure of the modern world and I dare say some of liberalism’s fundamental principles (separation of church and state, self determination, etc.) helped usher in the modern age?

  • ADM64

    Good article. I must point out, though, that Ayn Rand identified the German philosophical roots of the anti-Enlightenment generally and post-modernism in particular decades ago. If one reads her essays from the late 1960s on the so-called New Left without knowing when they were written, you’d swear it was a report on current events.

    Rand’s obnoxious, self-proclaimed intellectual “heir,” Leonard Peikoff, wrote a book in the 1980s titled “The Ominous Parallels” about how we were at risk of going the same way as Germany, and for the same intellectual reasons. He got some things wrong – especially his mischaracterization of some figures on our political right – but the thesis holds up a lot better now than it might have seemed then.

  • alfred5

    This is the German Problem again for the third time in a century ; they started WW1 in their desire to become ”master of Europe” and then tried again 20 years later with a vengeance ; they terrorised much of Europe, committed the Holocaust and now, filled with guilt are trying to rehabilitate Germany’s horrific image by inviting so called refugees from Muslim countries ; in reality, they have triggered a migrant invasion by the Third world and have no practical way to stop it ….this is a slow avalanche of peoples that is unstoppable without a political revolution ..Merkel is the Gavrilo Princip of this historical event ; she didn’t cause it , anymore than Princip caused WW1, she merely triggered it
    The EU is like an old dying elephant being overrun by soldier ants

  • alfred5

    There are two sides to the German mind ; the rational and the romantic, but the romantic is the natural default position ..Germans are a very tribal people and when they come together as a group they like to think tribally and emotionally producing the romantic worldview ..Germans find it difficult to detract emotion from the thinking process and think rationally ….it is the emotional/romantic side of their minds that has triggered this immigration crisis ..specifically guilt about WW2 and the Holocaust

  • JCH

    I’d stop b!tching about Germany. They seem to be doing just fine.

    We’re the ones that just elected a braying racist-bigoted jacka$$ to run our country.