Notes, dec 5 2007
December 5, 2007 § Leave a comment
From Scott Horton Imperial Hubris
But then Stern turns to give us the material for a really stunning parallel. There are a lot of people around today pointing to the rise of Fascism in Germany as a point of comparison. Because of the unique historical nature of that phenomenon and the horrendous evil associated with it, such comparisons are cheap political fodder and quite dangerous. But Stern suggests that the parallels to the swan song of the Wilhelmine Empire are very strong. I say “swan song” because it turned out to be that, but as Stern notes in our interview (below), Germany then stood at the cusp of world-historical greatness. It had assumed a leadership role in science and industry, without a doubt the strongest power on the Continent. Everything turned sour in the end; it was a classic “wrong turn” on the historical path. And a number of powerful personalities had a hand on the wheel. Stern examines a number of newly published historical documents to give us a glimpse of the personality of Kaiser Bill himself, Wilhelm II. He weaves a rich tapestry, but let me just pull a few threads:
the quote is quoted from Lapham’s Quarterly.