Skip to content

Davis Hanson: Poking Germany Leads to War

French President Hollande suggests that intervention might be required in Syria, but Germany's political leaders don't like the idea, explains the Christian Science Monitor. Germany is extremely reluctant and cautious of any military intervention. Libya last year was not an exception, but the rule.

Despite all this, Victor Davis Hanson, a historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, warns in the National Review that Germany might go to war against its EU neighbors:

There is one general rule about the history of the modern state of Germany since its inception in 1871: Anytime Germany has been both unified and isolated, armed conflict has followed.(...)

Of course, all 21st-century Europeans know that nationalism and military preparedness are the fossilized notions of more primitive peoples.

But let's wait and see what happens when Europeans not only default on lots of German-backed loans, but also defiantly announce that they should not have been given them in the first place - and thus should not have to give them back at all. Injury for Germany is one thing; insult on top of it might be quite another.

History is quietly whispering to us in our age of amnesia: "I would not keep poking the Germans unless you are able to deal with them when they wake up."

While Victor Davis Hanson's conclusions from German history are rather pessimistic, he also draws positive conclusions from German culture and mentality, which are also politically incorrect. Writing in Real Clear Politics he argues:

I lived in Greece for over two years and often travel to northern and Mediterranean Europe and North Africa. While I prefer the Peloponnese to the Rhineland, over the years I have developed an unscientific and haphazard - but often accurate - politically incorrect method of guessing whether a nation is likely to be perennially insolvent and wracked by corruption.

Do average passersby throw down or pick up litter? After a minor fender-bender, do drivers politely exchange information, or do they scream and yell with wild gesticulations? Is honking constant or sporadic? Are crosswalks sacrosanct? Do restaurant dinners usually start or wind down at 9 P.M.? Can you drink tap water, or should you avoid it? Do you mostly pay what the price tag says, or are you expected to pay in untaxed cash and then haggle over the unstated cost? Are construction sites clearly marked and fenced to protect pedestrians, or do you risk walking into an open pit or getting stabbed by exposed rebar?

To put these crude stereotypes more abstractly, is civil society mostly moderate, predicated on the rule of law, and meritocratic - or is it characterized by self-indulgence, cynicism, and tribalism?

Categories: European Issues | DISQUS, 0 Trackbacks
Defined tags for this entry: ,

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
CAPTCHA

Form options