Why Germany is Once Again a Threat to the West
In the mainstream media, the policies of the German prime minister, Angela Merkel, are often portrayed as a form of atonement for Germany’s past sins of imperialism and genocide.
Letting in a million refugees is supposedly the absolute negation of the Holocaust, and pressing for further European cooperation is seen as the opposite of Germany’s old attempts to violently bring the rest of Europe under its control.
And for these very reasons, progressive politicians and intellectuals around the world are now looking up to Merkel as the defender of pluralistic Western values.
At first sight, this praise for Merkel doesn’t seem so far-fetched, even for conservatives who fundamentally oppose her policies. After all, she is acting out of genuine goodwill and charity towards the downtrodden of the Middle East, isn’t she?
And we may disagree about the feasibility and consequences of further European integration, but given Europe’s bloody past it seems perfectly understandable that Germany’s prime minister is calling for more harmony among European nations.
Nonetheless, it is important to point out that the popular image both of Angela Merkel and of modern Germany is deeply flawed. Because far from representing a negation -- or a misguided attempt at negation -- of past German policies and attitudes, the modern German mentality is in many ways a mutation or an update of the same mentality that has guided Germany since the eighteenth century, and especially since the unification of the country in 1870.
Let us begin with the more obvious parallel: German support for further European integration. Despite all the German talk about subordinating narrow national interests to the European project, careful observers must have noticed the coincidence that the Germans always see themselves as the leaders of this disinterested project, and that the measures deemed to be necessary for further European cooperation always seem to be German-made.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.