Germany's Balanced Development: The Real Wealth of a Nation

By Kaevan Gazdar | Go to book overview

ges and social charges, tariff restrictions, bureaucratic obstacles and so on. Beyond this, all social groups in Germany--representatives of specialized associations, state officials, trade union representatives and others--indulge in lavish bouts of dissatisfaction about the state of the world and their own lots in life, mixed with serf pity--and sometimes with self criticism.

This peculiarly Lutheran form of long-winded severity, sometimes tempered with a more Catholic touch of "mea culpa, mea maxima culpa," has been raised to a fine art in Germany. In simple terms, it can be said that many Germans are talented hypochondriacs. Molière's malade imaginaire would probably feel very much at his ease in today's Germany! For this reason, economic success in Germany is seldom perceived with the clarity that it deserves. As we shall see in the chapter on cultural roots, religious, and philosophical traditions have led to a culture of functional pessimism--as opposed to the optimism typical of the United States.

Constant dissatisfaction and self-criticism simultaneously signal a steady search for improvement. As we shall see in the next chapter, strategies of incremental innovation are a part of the business mentality. Thus, the pessimism expressed by the Mittelstand also serves the function of verbalizing a specifically German approach to innovation, one that constantly stresses present deficiencies and the need for improvement.

Functional pessimism is not only a culturally induced mindset in the German business environment: it is a kind of lingua franca for the constant dialogue between representatives of capital, labor, government, and interest groups that characterizes German society. Pessimistic statements and viewpoints serve the purpose of curbing the demands made by the other party in tariff negotiations, tax debates, and many other issues.

The Mittelstand embodies typically German norms. It has contributed to social cohesion as much as to economic wealth. The Mittelstand is thus a microcosm, an integral part of a larger whole.


NOTES
1.
Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Stuttgart Reclam, 1993).
2.
For information on the real Hans Sachs, see Kurt Pahlen (ed.), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (München: Goldmann, 1981), pp. 394-398; for a deeper analysis of the operas, see John Hamilton Warrack, Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg ( Cambridge, GB: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 49-59, for a stimulating commentary on the opera, see Marcel Reich-Ranicki, "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg," in Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung, June 19, 1993.
3.
Michael T. Piore and Charles F. Sabel, Das Ende der Massenproduktion ( Berlin: Wagenbach, 1985), pp. 162-163; Michael L. Dertouzos et al. (eds.), Made in America ( Cambridge, MA: MIT Press), 1989, pp. 46-47.
4.
Rowland Berthoff, "Independence and Enterprise: Small Business in the American Dream," in Stuart W. Bruchey (ed.), Small Business in American Life ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), pp. 33ff; for recent reports, see "Hot Growth Companies," in Business Week, May 25, 1992, pp. 49-60 and Andrew E. Serwer "Lessons from America's fastest-growing companies," in Fortune, August 8, 1994, pp. 16-27.

-44-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Germany's Balanced Development: The Real Wealth of a Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 1- The Mittelstand: Microcosm Of The Germany Economy 23
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 2- Order and the Business Mentality 47
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 3- Commitment and the Business Environment 77
  • Notes 104
  • Chapter 4- The Socioeconomic Foundations of Wealth 107
  • Notes 136
  • Chapter 5- The Cultural Roots of Order And Commitment 141
  • Notes 164
  • Chapter 6- The Psychological Roots Of Order and Commitment 167
  • Notes 184
  • Chapter 7- Past Miracles, Present Continuity, Future Consensus 187
  • Notes 218
  • Selected Bibliography 223
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 230
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 232

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.