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Tue May 28, 2019, 12:25 PM

 

Will Merkel Be Followed by Darkness?

Angela Merkel is the Leader of the Free World. In this Der Spiegel article she warns about the rise of dark forces that haunted Europe in 1930s.

Excerpt: Merkel also knows that if he is re-elected, the door will be open for Trump to smash the pillars of world order. The president has made clear more than once that he considers NATO to be little more than an expense for the U.S. He has also described the EU as an "enemy," and views it as a threat to American prosperity. Many in Germany interpreted such statements as being the over-the-top remarks of a former TV entertainer, but Merkel didn't. She believed he would implement his agenda, point-by-point.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/dim-view-of-the-world-will-merkel-be-followed-by-darkness-a-1268003.html

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Reply Will Merkel Be Followed by Darkness? (Original post)
RedParrot May 2019 OP
appalachiablue May 2019 #1
Odoreida May 2019 #2
hedda_foil May 2019 #3
dugog55 May 2019 #4

Response to RedParrot (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 01:19 PM

1. K&R. In depth, interesting article w historic parallels. Excerpt, CHINA,

> During her time in office, Merkel has watched the idea of democracy weaken in places like Europe, Russia and also China, a country where many people though economic success would be followed by a desire for freedom.

It is one of Merkel's greatest contradictions that she has always viewed the dictatorship in Beijing with a certain leniency. She is, to be sure, an advocate for dissidents and hardly a visit to China goes by without a meeting with human rights activists at the German Embassy. Ultimately, though, Merkel's respect prevails for a government party that managed, within four decades, to transform China from a developing nation to the world's second-strongest industrial power. A Chinese politician once told Merkel that the greatest contribution to the protection of human rights was the fight against poverty. Merkel found the argument to be quite persuasive.

Merkel has focused on China like no other German chancellor before her, and she has traveled to Beijing 11 times since taking office in 2005. For her, China isn't foremost a country in which capitalism, surveillance technology and single-party rule have created an entirely new form of oppression -- but an admonishment for Germany to stay vigilant. Merkel has frequently pointed out that for centuries, China was a high culture, a leader in science and technology. But she doesn't say so to illustrate China's failings, but to highlight just how fleeting order and prosperity can be.

On her last trip to China in May 2018, Merkel visited the city of Shenzhen, which has grown within just a few decades from a small town on the South China Sea into a high-tech metropolis with 12.5 million inhabitants. It may have still been the case 10 years ago that China was stealing important intellectual property from the West, Merkel said, but today, the country is flooding the West with patents. "And in 10 years, we'll need people who can read patents in Chinese, because they don't feel like writing them in English," she said.

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Response to RedParrot (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 01:25 PM

2. Angela Merkel is the "Leader of the Free World" -- A pernicious claim.

 

It was bullshit when during the Cold War when it was said of whoever was president of the United States,
and it is extra super bullshit now.

What has she ever been the "leader" of? Not even Germany. They don't go in for leaders any more.

Yeah I get it, a rhetorical flourish to emphasize it isn't Trump, but it's still bullshit.

There is no "free world" and no one is the leader of anything.


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Response to RedParrot (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 01:32 PM

3. The lights are going out all over the world.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/the-lights-are-going-out/

I avail myself with relief of the opportunity of speaking to the people of the United States. I do not know how long such liberties will be allowed. The stations of uncensored expression are closing down; the lights are going out; but there is still time for those to whom freedom and parliamentary government mean something, to consult together. Let me, then, speak in truth and earnestness while time remains.

The American people have, it seems to me, formed a true judgment upon the disaster which has befallen Europe. They realise, perhaps more clearly than the French and British publics have yet done, the far-reaching consequences of the abandonment and ruin of the Czechoslovak Republic. I hold to the conviction I expressed some months ago, that if in April, May or June, Great Britain, France, and Russia had jointly declared that they would act together upon Nazi Germany if Herr Hitler committed an act of unprovoked aggression against this small State, and if they had told Poland, Yugoslavia, and Rumania what they meant to do in good time, and invited them to join the combination of peace-defending Powers, I hold that the German Dictator would have been confronted with such a formidable array that he would have been deterred from his purpose. This would also have been an opportunity for all the peace-loving and moderate forces in Germany, together with the chiefs of the German Army, to make a great effort to re-establish something like sane and civilised conditions in their own country. If the risks of war which were run by France and Britain at the last moment had been boldly faced in good time, and plain declarations made, and meant, how different would our prospects be today!

But all these backward speculations belong to history. It is no good using hard words among friends about the past, and reproaching one another for what cannot be recalled. It is the future, not the past, that demands our earnest and anxious thought. We must recognize that the Parliamentary democracies and liberal, peaceful forces have everywhere sustained a defeat which leaves them weaker, morally and physically, to cope with dangers which have vastly grown. But the cause of freedom has in it a recuperative power and virtue which can draw from misfortune new hope and new strength. If ever there was a time when men and women who cherish the ideals of the founders of the British and American Constitutions should take earnest counsel with one another, that time is now.
-- Winston Churchill, The Lights are Going Out, 1938


There is something in Churchill's remarks here that are chillingly reminiscent of today, except that Mr. Putin is more cunning than Mr. Hitler, and his paranoid puppet resides in the White House.

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Response to RedParrot (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2019, 01:49 PM

4. And for a long while the United States

has been a beacon for democracy, but our current racist, nationalist, illegitimate president has set the stage for other Far Right factions to grow in strength around the world. England, Hungary, Italy, Brazil, have all turned and a dozen more have just barely escaped becoming fascist countries.

In the worst way, we need a full Democratic Congress and President to stem the tide here and globally of this white supremacist bullshit and fascist dictatorships that are gaining in strength.

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