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There have always been two Germanys
While early medieval western Europe was developing its unique signature, the power-sharing of international Church and national-state, the lands beyond the river Elbe were still populated by pagan, illiterate tribes. No real attempt was made to exert German control and settlement beyond that point until 1147; Cologne had already been a flourishing western European city for 1,200 years when the first German conqueror-farmers reached Berlin.

[...] psychologists, philosophers and sociologists can all be wrong and often are. Electoral maps, however, do not lie. They show that ever since Germans have had votes, eastern Germans have voted very differently from western Germans.

[...] when the deluge finally came in 1933 it was, again, only thanks to heavy votes in the East that Hitler got 43.9% nationally, enabling him (with support from the rump DNVP) to seize power by semi-constitutional means. If the whole country had voted like the Rhineland or Munich, he could only have attempted an armed coup, which the Army would have crushed.

by das monde on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 09:29:40 AM EST
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"Electoral maps, however, do not lie."

But if you are cherry-picking election data to get his desired pattern, you get a lie. And he does.

He is also rather inconsistent, for example:

"Religion in Germany is really just a sign of the Germany you come from: the one which partook centrally of western European civilisation right from the start -- or the one which has a completely different trajectory. The classic line between these two Germanies is the River Elbe, which the Romans thought the natural limit of Germania. Charlemagne's restored "Roman" Empire ended there, too."

So, does the dividing line between Catholicism and Protestantism go along the river Elbe? I don't think it does.

Or perhaps he is consistent, Germany can be divided along many lines, and any of those lines will be used for him to argue his thesis.

Most annoying:

"If the whole country had voted like the Rhineland or Munich, he could only have attempted an armed coup, which the Army would have crushed."

Hitler was appointed Chancellor by the Hindenburg government and since von Papen had already couped Prussia's social democratic dominated government (and, pray tell, where does the social democrats fit in this dualism?) that gave the nazis power on the streets in Prussia which they used to let SA run free. This is nowhere in his story-telling. Then they used SA to intimidate the parliament to ban the communists and gain a majority they where not elected into, also lacking in the story presented. With a lower voter share they would have needed more intimidation and banning more parties to get a majority, but they would have. It was a coup from above and the Army stood by and their leadership accepted it, indeed in many cases welcomed it.

And if Nazism could spread across the Elbe in the 30ies - as it did - why wouldn't it be able to now?

It feels like I have argued against this author's ideas before, but then he was more focused on economic structure and now its more culture.

by fjallstrom on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 02:42:12 PM EST
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