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Liberal_Jihad_Cover.jpg Forward USA

Thursday, March 17, 2005

German Social Engineering

Once noted for hard work, prudence, and top-notch engineering, Germans have been transformed into socialist ciphers.

In Deutschland Unter Alles?, an op-ed article in today’s Wall Street Journal, Richard W. Fisher provides worrisome details regarding the deterioration of the German economy and German society.  Mr. Fisher is the incoming president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Germany was devastated by World War II.  Housing, roads, railroads, factories were leveled by Allied bombing and artillery.  Yet, in the first decade after the war, Germany pulled its act together, rebuilt, and became the economic powerhouse of Europe.  This rejuvenation was under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard, both of whom took their cue from the United States and instituted a free-market economy.

Unfortunately, it was a free-market economy with a German twist, what theoreticians at the time called a social market economy, that is, a welfare state that supported private business.  German cultural traditions of collectivism were too deeply ingrained to move all the way to the 18th and 19th century English and American prototype of complete individuality.  In the intervening decades, the “social” has overwhelmed the “free-market.”

The result is described in Mr. Fisher’s article and in the articles linked in Will the Nazis Make a Comeback?

One of Mr. Fisher’s recommendations, however, is scary:  “Germany will not have the fortitude to follow through on reform without bold leadership from both the party in power and the opposition. I understand the German fear of strong leadership, but it’s high time to get over it.”

This is exactly the kind of rhetoric heard in the streets of Munich and Berlin in the early 1930s, when economic conditions were about the same as they are in Germany today.  Hitler offered his leadership, and the German people joyfully accepted it.