Skip to comments.Germany's reluctant hegemony and misguided Calvinism
Posted on 04/01/2012 4:07:45 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
If the purpose of monetary union is to tie down a "European Germany" with silken cords, the Kohl-Mitterrand legacy has gone horribly wrong.
Germany's glistening new capital on the Spree - capped by Sir Norman Foster's Reichstag dome - is the throbbing heart of a reborn First Reich, a secular and democratic variant of the Imperium Romanum Sacrum or Hohenstaufen Empire. Brussels has become a backwater again.
Half of Europe lives in trepidation of the mercurial Wolfgang Schäuble, the crippled idealist and mastermind of reunification whose own tortured emotions have become a Continental curse, and who entirely conformed to his reputation for irascible outbursts when I met him last week in the forbidding board room of Hermann Göring's Luftwaffe headquarters. The euro has delivered a "German Europe" after all.
Uber-austerity is the political cover Wolfgang Schäuble needed to clear the way for Mario Draghi's monetary blitz at the ECB.
This hegemony is as deeply troubling to the Germans themselves as it is to the rest of Europe. They too have been swept along by an EMU process that they do not fully understand, and that has left them with a string of awful choices.
"This is not what we aspired to," said a senior official. "The German political class has no aspiration to be number one. It is not our reflex to stick out and lead policy. We have done extremely well by not being in the forefront."
Ulrike Guerot from the European Council on Foreign Relations said Germany came dangerously close to rupture with Europe last year as the full shock of EMU debt crisis hit home. Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) flirted with raw nationalism. "We were like a car flying out of control on two wheels, and we nearly had an accident,"
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Too bad AEP doesn’t understand Calvnism and that his economics is stuck at the level of hydraulic Keynesianism.
Compared to his no-nonsense work on Clinton, OKC, etc. here in the US, AEP now appears to have run off the rails and is plowing through the wildflowers...
What does this have to do with Calvinism?
(asks Persevero the Calvinist)
That in this matter at least, Germany steadfastly refuses to deceive itself. The Keynesian believes the government should constrain in good times and indulge in bad times to manipulate history into a linear progression. But by the sweat of our brow shalt we eat bread, till we return unto the ground; for out of it we were taken: for dust we are, and unto dust we shall return. Some call such undeniable truth: "austerity" but "calvinists" call it undeserved providence!
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Calvinism is briefly described by the acronym TULIP, to wit:
T Total Depravity of Man
U Unconditional election of the saved
L Limited Atonement
I Irresistible Grace of God
P Perseverance of the Saints
I think this headline is strange; I see no reference to any uniquely Calvinistic thought in the article.
A bigger fool has never been born!
Germany will have an aging crisis and three million Alzheimer's patients within five years. The Germans themselves will soon need Europe's help as history plays its trick.
Germany is the most solvent state in Europe. When it goes tits-up, how are the others, in even worse shape, going to help?
The whole idea is strange. Other nations are pissed off that Germany has disproportionate influence because it's paying the way. There's a very simple solution to that. Pay your own way and the German influence will go away.
doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Calvinism at all...
The headline makes sense to me in the sense that "Calvinism" is an epithet often used against any philosophy or course of action that contains the idea that reality does not derive from the will of man. Prosperity and even survival does not come from stimulating "consumer confidence", it comes from hard work and delayed gratification (austerity).
As the rest of Europe eats it's seed corn they complain the Germany aggregates power because it won't eat it's seed corn. As someone else pointed out, the sad truth is that Germany has also ceased to make it own most important economic provision for the future: children.
But I agree with you that the author probably does not really know what Calvinism is.