2016 was a year of political and popular turmoil. It was the year the complacency of the post-Cold War era finally shattered and a deep internal animosity erupted within Western nations in which globalist utopianism stands against a hitherto long forgotten nationalism, both seemingly at each other’s throats.
While the situation may seem uniquely strange and gridlocked, certain European and specifically German historical inclinations can shed new light on Merkel’s implosion of European immigration policy which, the source of maddeningly vitriolic debates on globalism and nationalism.
History never repeats itself, but the constant factors of human arrogance and the self-deceiving notion that the current state of society will endure automatically or only evolve for the better make historical comparisons amply useful today.
As a recurring pattern of world history, the West appears to specialize in serial outbursts of mass hysteria with only a few generations of intermittent oblivion. As the calamities of the 20th century demonstrated, two repeating phenomena in international relations continue to haunt the European continent, more relevant today than ever:
- The fragile balance of power in Europe is shattered when a technologically and organisationally ascending Germany attempts to cement its status as a world power after years of comparatively lacklustre performances on the world stage, promoting a delirious self-image of a high-minded nation finally at the forefront of the European zeitgeist.
- At its core, Western civilization seems utterly incapable of being content with itself and its institutions. It seems to defy any long lasting statism seen in Confucian and Islamic civilizations, inevitably taking mankind’s fate on its shoulders. As a consequence of this penchant for change, the highly cherished enlightenment ideals are easily transformed into a fanatical rationalism high-jacked by overeager social planners confident in their abilities to extinguish completely any and all systems of usury embedded in man’s otherwise unspoiled state of nature.
So if today’s spiralling polarisation in the West is to be explained and ultimately reversed, a sober assessment of these two points is paramount, and Europe will have to abandon its blind faith in rationality, or at least accept its limited application to mass psychology.
As both the prodigy and problem child of world history, Germany appears to be a profound wellspring of brilliancy in thought and philosophy while at the same time stooping to the utmost destructive interpretations of said ideas, when Nietzsche and Wagner became instruments of an industrialized genocide in the case of Hitler and a kind-hearted altruism in the case of Merkel could be the kiss of death to the European political integration she believes to be saving.
The comparisons between Hitler and Merkel are striking not in their similarity in specific policies, but in their shared providential view of historical direction and a childishly misguided interpretation of the manual on how to win at European greatness.
Therefore, Hitler’s vision of lebensraum for his master race in Eastern Europe was modelled on and inspired by the Brits’ colonial management of Africa and India. He in fact envied the Brits their effectiveness and ruthlessness, and even proposed a devil’s bargain to abstain from interfering in British possessions if they would give him free reign in Eastern Europe. Luckily for mankind this proposal was rejected, but it underscores a far too overlooked aspect of Hitler’s self-image and vision for Germany: He was enrolling Germany into the glorious scramble for colonial possessions, the novelty of his contribution to world history being a manically paranoid racism.
Thus, Hitler was not inventing the ideas of eugenics, militarism, nor nationalism as these currents were amply glorified throughout all the self-styled modern and rationally planned societies of the 1930s, he was simply misinterpreting them in the extreme adding a touch of personal madness. Even more telling, before the deranged genocide of the Nazis were made apparent, the Western powers saw the problem of Hitler not so much as one of ideology; many in the US saw Communist Russia as a far greater adversary.
Rather, German ascendancy threatened the delicate balance of power in Europe as the continent’s most populous country expanded its territory and military might. As a stable of world history, Great Britain and the US have sought to counterbalance or at great costs aimed to prevent any single power from dominating the European continent or East Asia, and the shock of Brexit draws on this historical power struggle.
And in the same way that Hitler’s expansionism in the 1930’s threatened to isolate Britain, Merkel’s moral imperialism of today antagonizes the geographically peripheral countries in the EU, as Poland, Hungary and Britain grow ever more sceptical of an ideologically assertive and condescendingly ambitious Germany with its avant-garde idea of the most fashionable European ideology of our time: Humanism.
Once again, the peoples of Eastern Europe bear the brunt of German overcompensation for the fiasco of their most recent foray into world war. One can only shudder at the prospect of a culturally fragmented Germany compensating for whatever future fiasco the current unsustainable migration levels will result in, if German ingenuity and stubborn resourcefulness in the face of stark opposition are anything to go by, that is.
Hitler promised to restore Germany to its rightful place in world affairs after the humiliation of the Versailles peace terms. Along this unconscious penchant, Merkel’s self-less bravado of opening the EU’s floodgates to undocumented migration is an attempt at enrolling Germany in the now popular idea of open borders and meagre enforcement of border laws.
Thus, Merkel’s deconstruction of national sovereignty is not a new phenomenon, it is simply the most severe manifestation of an in fashion moral relativism that the left thinks cleanses the soul of Western civilization, and German history needs the most cleansing of all.
Considering these facts and the German penchant for overcompensation, Merkel’s migration policy has to be seen in light of the aforementioned one-sided interpretation of whatever trend other successful countries consider most fashionable, coupled with a blind rationalism found in the darkest corners of German identity.
But as the absurdities of open borders in times of crises reveal themselves, it is clear that this trend will not stay fashionable for long when terrorists and people smugglers take advantage of this continent-wide altruistic experiment.
We see that many of the reasons for our current European debacle are well-known repetitions of a continent thoroughly convinced in its responsibility for mapping out humanity’s shared destiny, but a feminised deconstruction of national identity is an entirely new idea, which constitutes Merkel’s unique contribution, just as Hitler’s contribution to the already popular idea of colonial nationalism was racism.
To be sure, Hitler and Merkel represent polar opposites and we should consider ourselves lucky that Merkel’s version of the great German experiment is a crushing grandmotherly kindness and a debilitating monetary policy directed at Southern Europe.
However, she is more than capable of creating an unexpectedly grievous morass from which Europe will never be the same when an unending kindness leaves room for migrating intolerance and terrorism exacerbated by severe border mismanagement.
One only has to remember: The unprecedented, baffling, and unnecessary horrors of World War I were overshadowed by the unprecedented, baffling, and unnecessary slaughter of World War II, which in turn was superseded by the even worse Soviet gulags and man-made Maoist famines; all within the same century.
In this century however, it has for far too long been assumed that humanity’s darkest hour used up our capacity for unnecessary suffering and stupidity and taught our species a great lesson from which all future generations will learn.
While there is some truth to that, we are fast approaching peak levels of arrogance again in this century’s first major European social experiment, substituting the global military expansionism of the 20th century with a global moral expansionism of this early 21st century, again with Germany in the lead of a nation-game with poorly formulated rules and goals.