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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...

Theodore Dalrymple


May 17, 2010 - 12:09 am
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The second great advantage of the strategy I have proposed is that the hostility it evokes in the Germans would be thoroughly reciprocated in those countries to whose rescue the Germans population, against its will, would supposedly have come. This is because, along with the German rescue, will come hard and even harsh conditions, such as that governments should reduce the number of drones that they employ. The Germans will be seen to have thrown their weight around precisely because they are Germans; and self-pity will not permit the “rescued” to see that they and their own governments are to blame for their sorrows.

With a little luck and attention to detail, the situation might evolve into war, first civil and then international.

It was interesting to read the French press during the evolution of the crisis. With its habitual Cartesian clarity, the French political class has spoken, all but unanimously, of the need for European solidarity with Greece.

What does solidarity mean in this context? Who is supposed to have solidarity with whom, given that four fifths of the German population (and a majority of the French) never wanted the common currency that was imposed on them, and that the majority of the German population sees no reason why it should pay for the ouzo of useless Greek civil servants?

The solidarity is that of the political, bureaucratic, and apparatchik class of Europe against everyone else. That class is reacting like someone who, hearing deep and ominous rumbles in the ground below below, tries to paper over the crater of a volcano.

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Theodore Dalrymple, a physician, is a contributing editor of City Journal and the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His new book is Second Opinion: A Doctor's Notes from the Inner City.
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