The Baerbockisation of the West

By William Mallinson
Athens, 18 September 2023

Some of the main causes of the West’s current institutional instability can be detected in how individuals behave, which is then reflected in group and corporate behaviour. This in turn undermines the quality of our alleged leaders, who no longer seem to have the space to reflect on reality. The speed of digitalisation, greedy globalism, ambition, egotism, and addiction to opioids and narcotics are undermining traditional morality in society. This whole moral maelstrom has resulted in a lack of awareness of history. The teaching of history in western universities is indeed dying. Smartphones are replacing books.

The irrational rantings of the likes of, for example, Victoria Nuland, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss do make one wonder about the mental capacity of such people to have wielded power responsibly, particularly in inter-state relations.

But let us get down to some specifics, citing Germany as an example, and its foreign minister Annalena Baerbock in particular. I have chosen this person, since she is clearly completely out of her depth, given not only the words of some of her public statements, but the way in which she expresses them. An example of stupidity is her recent statement that no matter what her voters thought, she wanted to ‘deliver’ to the people of Ukraine. She also came across as illogical, since she is a member of the Greens, once a party claiming to be democratic and peace-loving.[1] The party has now transmogrified into a war-mongering one. The Greenshirts have become the Blackshirts. More recently, she again made a complete fool of herself in front of the camera, by saying: ‘We help Ukraine 560 days a year.’

In her message on Germany’s 50 years of membership of the UN, Baerbock wrote: ‘Germany has initiated the return of artefacts looted during the colonial era. Doing so will not heal all of the wounds of the past. But it is an important step in efforts to address our dark colonial history.’ These empty words are unlikely to be taken seriously: the 8,600 ancient objects and 500 paintings stolen during the Nazi period from Greece have not been returned. A Greek ambassador, Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, writes: ‘Shame on Germany who steals, and shame on the Greek authorities who do nothing.’[2] On top of this, Germany’s compensation payment in 1960 — a fraction of what Athens had sought — did not cover the atrocities and destruction of property committed by Nazi soldiers or the billions of dollars that the Bank of Greece was forced to lend to the enemy. Germany has constantly stonewalled on the question. Yet worse, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, was particularly harsh on Greece over the debt crisis, displaying a total teutonic lack of flexbility. It is not surprising that the late Greek foreign minister, Theodoros Pangalos, decribed Germany as a’ giant with bestial force and a child’s brain.’

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Before elaborating on what is happening to Germany, let us, in the case of Baerbock, hypothesise about what George Orwell might say: ‘Baerbock uses tired and meaningless terms such as ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’ and ‘shared values’. There is a danger here that those who rely on and use such terms are turning themselves into machines. Certainly, the appropriate noises come out of their mouths, but their brains are not as involved as they would be if they were choosing words for themselves, rather than using catchphrases. And if they are repeating the same words, they can even become unconscious of what they are saying. This reduced state of consciousness naturally encourages conformity among the purveyors of this kind of language, the hegemonolinguistic terminology of globalisation. These poor man’s sophists, these creators of ‘shared values’, by sleepwalking into a state of utter conformity, naturally influence the audiences, who can themselves eventually be seduced into automatic acceptance that their values are shared by everybody else. In short, independence of thought is flushed down the lavatory bowl, while redundant shibboleths rule the pseudo-linguistic roost, in an age of mass intellectual castration.

Let us now leave Baerbock, and those of her ilk, and look into Germany itself. According to the late Leo Tolstoy, Germans are self-confident on the basis of an abstract notion – science, that is, the supposed knowledge of absolute truth. […] The German’s self-assurance is worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth – science – which he himself has invented but which is for him the absolute truth.’[3] Tolstoy thereby draws attention to another trait, namely an excess of logic and an accompanying lack of flexibility.

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A cruel British journalist once joked that Germans make good soldiers, but follow bad leaders. But since the last world war, Germany has behaved responsibly, admitting past excesses, and has had a succession of solid leaders such as Willi Brandt and Gerhard Schröder. (Shame, nevertheless, on Schröder for having been part of the illegal bombing of Belgrade, but praise to him for his not supporting the illegal attack on Iraq).

But all good things come to an end. The question has to be asked: is post-re-unification Germany getting too big for its boots, while oxymoronically admitting past failures? Is its vaunted liberal approach now turning back to Nazism? A German doctor critical of the lockdowns was brutally arrested at home in November 2020 by armed police while broadcasting on YouTube, giving rise to criticisms that the authorities are behaving like the Gestapo.[4]

Germany apart, one could criticise other Western countries’ leaderships for becoming increasingly stupid. Take America’s Biden, for example. He is clearly incapable. One is tempted to think that these people are the useful idiots of a West that is increasingly run by those who control the mass mainstream media, namely the biggest shareholders of the military-industrial-congressional complex and the owners of Western banks.

To conclude, Germany’s people deserve the fools whom it has elected. An old Italian proverb says: ‘He who causes his own illness, cries to himself’.

It is a shame Baerbock did not pursue her career in trampolining, instead of becoming an AI Android robot.

[1] Forum 2000, Conference, Prague, 31 August 2022.

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[2] Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos.

[3] Tolstoy, Leo, War and Peace, translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude, Wordsworth Editions, 1993, p. 505.

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ysmk80WP2M, 20 November 2020, in Mallinson, William, Guicciardini, Geopolitics and Geohistory: Understanding Inter-State Relations, Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, p. 24.

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