From Der Spiegel
I do not know when the last time I saw a more masterful job of rationalization than occurs in this article from Der Spiegel with the alarming title “War in Europe?”, about the crisis in Ukraine. Here’s a sample:
Prominent German political scientist Herfried Münkler uses his theories of “heroic” and “postheroic” societies to describe the phenomenon. At the recent Petersburg Dialogue in Leipzig — an important forum between Germany and Russia that has brought together representatives of the worlds of politics, culture and business since 2001 — Münkler said this “postheroism” is essentially an expression of prosperity, the German daily Die Tageszeitung reported. Those who have it good don’t want to jeopardize their good fortune.
Münkler argues that, as a rule of thumb, there’s an ideal of “heroism of masculinity” in poorer and less developed counties in which notions of war and defense of the homeland are idealized. In “postheroic” societies, however, which tend to be well-developed and prosperous, war is deemed to be aberrant. According to the newspaper, he argued that Eastern Europe isn’t prosperous enough to discourage young men from this idea of heroism. Indeed, politicians can often profit if they are able to tap these emotions. When it comes to Putin’s policies, he argues, this heroism aspect makes the situation unpredictable. “Dynamics are being toyed with that, at some point, will no longer be controllable,” he said.
which simultaneously portrays Germans, Der Spiegel‘s audience, as high-minded and evolved and “Eastern Europe” as poor, primitive, and aberrant.
Here’s an interesting factoid from the piece: three-quarters of Germans oppose a NATO intervention in Ukraine. Now if we could only persuade three-quarters of Germans to oppose Germany engaging in activities that foment crises that might lead to NATO intervention, it would be progress.