2010 November 15 Monday
Angela Merkel Wants To Prevent German Decline

Merkel is inspired by Catherine the Great.

If Kohl taught Merkel anything, it was to focus on the end result. Visitors to Merkel's office on the 7th floor of the "Washing Machine", as the startling modern chancellery with its huge round windows is nicknamed, are immediately struck by her ambition. One clue, standing on a shelf behind her desk, is a small portrait of Catherine the Great, the German-born Russian empress with whom she seems to share a vision of transforming her country. "I want to ensure that in 2050 Germany and Europe are still taken seriously by the world, not just considered sanctuaries to the arts and beautiful old things," Merkel told Reuters when asked to define her ambitions.

If Merkel really wants Germany to be a formidable country in 2050 then she ought to take counsel from Thilo Sarrazin. Yet for the the trouble of trying to prevent the decline of Germany Sarrazin was forced to resign from a top position at the German central bank. No doubt some of that pressure to resign came from Merkel herself. Sarrazin sees Islam in Germany as a threat to the nation:

Mr. Sarrazin says his book can be boiled down to a few main ideas. To begin, ethnic Germans are having too few children, while Muslim immigrants are having too many. In a population of about 82 million, there are about four million Muslims (a number he said he calculated partly by looking at census figures for families with lots of children. Big families must be Muslim, he concluded). Within 80 years, he said, Muslims will make up a majority in Germany.

Second, Mr. Sarrazin believes that intelligence is inherited, not nurtured, and since Muslims are less intelligent (his conclusion) than ethnic Germans, the population will be dumbed down (his conclusion).

Sarrazin's best-selling book (in Germany), “Germany Does Away With Itself,” has changed the political landscape there. The Germans are willing to take its arguments seriously in spite of their elite mostly acting like the rest of the Western elite when it comes to realism about human nature: George Orwell's Crimestop:

"The faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. In short....protective stupidity."

To prevent the decline of the West our elites must stop engaging in the practice of Crimestop. It is that simple. Problems must be thought thru rationally. Evidence must be followed thru to its rational conclusions, however much one might want those conclusions to be untrue.

Catherine the Great was unimpeded by Crimestop. She could ruthlessly pursue the expansion of Russian power and influence because she didn't need to believe the falsehoods about human nature that have become the modern day liberal mythology. If Merkel wants to cast a big shadow in history she's got to go a lot farther than she has so far to reject Crimestop. The whole West neeeds to turn away from the belief that Ignorance Is Strength.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 November 15 08:11 PM  Cultural Wars Western

tanabear said at November 15, 2010 9:16 PM:




"You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper, and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings."
Catherine the Great to Diderot

Rohan Swee said at November 16, 2010 5:42 AM:

To prevent the decline of the West our elites must stop engaging in the practice of Crimestop.

You assume that they wish to prevent the decline of the West. I see no evidence of that. Treason is often very lucrative, and greed is as effective an incentive for adopting "protective stupidity" as any. In fact, once a universalist ideology has matured, to the point where particularist loyalties are deemed heretical, it seems inevitable that elites in such a system will sell out their nations. The temptation to engage in behaviors that are both personally lucrative and morally comfortable is pretty much irresistible. It is not as if any products of the current Western "elite training system" are likely to have been instilled with any cultural concepts (e.g., concepts of honor, loyalty, duty - hell, what used to be called "decency") to provide any counterweight to this.

(How the worm turns. Catherine was a "modern", a child of a new, secularizing age, ready to embrace reality against old falsehoods about what the world was and what human beings really were. Yet now we live through the corrupted denoument of this once reality-embracing view, saddled with venal leaders as hidebound in their perverted Enlightenment-descended ideology as any cleric of the ancien regime.)

Black Death said at November 16, 2010 7:08 AM:

Sarrazin is a lifelong member of the SPD, the German socialist party. The NYT article about Thilo Sarrazin is interesting:

WHAT he did not discuss, his critics say, was how it has been well documented in Germany that prejudice and discrimination have made it difficult — nearly impossible — for Muslims to get jobs, find housing or advance in education. A government official in Berlin said recently that many immigrants and their children were given an inferior education that did not prepare them for the work force. Mr. Sarrazin dismisses those factors as secondary, or irrelevant.


So all the problems that Muslims experience in Germany are the result of discrimination. The facts that Muslims often speak German badly, assimilate poorly, have little interest in German history and culture and have low educational attainment make no difference - every bad outcome is the result of racism, discrimination or economic exploitation:

“The fact that he scapegoats a religion and associates failure and inferiority with a faith, has ruined the integration discourse in Germany,” said Antje Scheidler, director of the Berlin office of the group Humanity in Action Deutschland. “We are hearing comments and a harshness and, I think, openly racist claims we haven’t seen before.”


And, of course, surely as the sun rises in the east, we can't have an article about "racism" and "discrimination" in Germany without invoking Godwin's law:

Still, it seems that what has made Mr. Sarrazin so popular, or notorious, is not just his attack on Muslims, which is certainly not the first. What he seems to have accomplished is blasting open a door many thought was sealed shut by Germany’s Nazi past. As a lifelong Social Democrat, and not some fringe far right extremist, Mr. Sarrazin has made it acceptable for the German everyman to criticize a specific minority group, and to make sweeping statements about that group’s intellectual capacity.

Randall Parker said at November 16, 2010 6:44 PM:


I simplified Catherine. She was more complex and idealistic while also being ruthless. But she was more realistic than Merkel.

Our elites do not want to give up their model of the world even if holding onto it causes decline. That's the tragedy. They are deluded.

Wolf-Dog said at November 17, 2010 6:15 AM:

>>So all the problems that Muslims experience in Germany are the result of discrimination.

Black Death,

This is not entirely true. The kind of Muslims that immigrate to Germany have a lot less education and affluence than the ones who used to immigrate to the United States (although this advantage of the US has declined because of the family reunification loophole that allowed less educated relatives of Muslims to immigrate.) After WW II, Germany intentionally imported the least educated foreign laborers to be used in coal mines and manual factory jobs. But recently, the new generation blue collar workers of Germany need a lot more education to operate robots and automated systems, etc, and the less educated (and less educable) groups are obviously no longer needed (in fact, the new generation of German blue collar workers, mostly white, are far better trained than their American counterparts), and they are thus even more constrained to ghettos than after they were imported to Germany two generations ago. THUS this is a breeding ground for more Islamic terrorism in Europe. Remember that some of the 9/11 terrorists were organized in Germany.

hbdchick said at November 17, 2010 5:32 PM:

@randall - "Catherine the Great was unimpeded by Crimestop. She could ruthlessly pursue the expansion of Russian power and influence ...."

yeah, but she did that in part by importing a lot of germans to russia. was that a win situation for the russians? maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. but i don't recall that she asked the russians about that first. afaics, she was promotin' her own ethnic genetic interests possibly at the expense of the russians.

JJ said at November 17, 2010 8:32 PM:

Germany has already stopped immigration and is actually experiencing negative immigration of Turks, who
are the main non-Western, Islamic ethnicity. The problem is that Germany continues to have low birthrates
for the ethnic majority and high birthrates for the Muslim minority. The end result is that Germans are being
outbred and will become a minority in their country in the very longterm. In the short to medium term, however,
Germans will remain a super majority. So I suppose if Germany could somehow pay the Muslims to go home or to stop
having so many children, then the situation is salvageable.

The Germans have at least closed the door - something we have yet to do in the U.S.

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