Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bush = Bismark (!)

Excerpt from a comment by Steve Gimbel, online academic philosopher at large, which he made over at Majikthise. I may not be a student of the Weimar myself, but by Jove I think Steve's got it:

I've always thought that comparing Bush to Hitler was horribly misguided, but that comparing him to Kaiser Wilhelm II may be eerily on target and Wilhelm did exactly what you worry about in ramping up what became WWI.

Wilhelm believed that, because he came from a royal family, he ruled by the will of God and, despite the fact that he never served in the military himself, he believed that militarism was an essential property of the German character and that German militarism and industry ought to be seen as one and the same. God made Germany strong and German industries ought to profit from the militarism as much as possible. He was a terrible diplomat, being not at all tactful and strained relations in many directions. Further, like many Germans at the time, he believed that the time had come for Germany to be the Great European Power. Portugal, Spain, Britain, France, Turkey, the Austro-Hungarian empire had all had their turn. Now it was Germany's day and they could do as they pleased. So, claiming it to be an act of pre-emptive defense, Wilhelm invaded Belgium in what those on the left saw as starting an unnecessary war. The German nationalistic right denied that atrocities were committed against Belgians and thought that in the eyes of at least the Flemish Belgians, they should be greeted as liberators.

You may be right that a weak government may be ripe for the picking when taken over by our pathetic version of the Social Democrats. . . .
Re: "Social Democrats" see Wikipedia here. SteveG means back in the day, and not the modern SDP under Gerhard Schröder. SteveG did not however address German scholars "Ich bin ein Weimaraner." That is a myth. One further note: Even Bush supporters enjoy likening Bush to Bismark.

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