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Reawakening Germany’s Nationalism: What Could Go Wrong?

If for some inexplicable reason you wanted to reawaken German nationalism, how would you go about it? Theodore Dalrymple suggests a three-part strategy. And good news: current events have already set the ball rolling...

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Theodore Dalrymple

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May 17, 2010 - 12:09 am
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If for some inexplicable reason you wanted to reawaken German nationalism, how would you go about it? I suggest a three-part strategy.

First, you would replace the rock-solid German currency by one with very shaky economic foundations, against the wishes of almost the whole German population (which, of course, you would not deign to consult).

Second, you would make sure that same population paid for the gross and dishonest profligacy of the Greek government: a profligacy that was rendered possible by the adoption of the very currency that the German population did not want in the first place.

Third, you would do everything possible to ensure that the crisis will spread, last for a long time, cost a fortune in failed attempts to solve it, and fall mainly to the Germans to pay for.

It goes without saying the second and third parts of the strategy should be against the wishes of the German population whose opinion, however, should be bulldozed aside as being of no account.

There are two great advantages to the strategy I have proposed. The first is that it would achieve what many people might otherwise have thought impossible: it will morally justify and render respectable German nationalism in the eyes of all reasonably impartial observers. Why, indeed, should the Germans, who have practiced economic prudence and providence for sixty years, at least relative to everyone else, pay for other people to live above their means and to retire early on high pensions?

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