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

By Kaevan Gazdar | Go to book overview

Equally, we have discovered the limits of order and commitment in sectors like telecommunications, where dynamic, individualistic strategies and actions are necessary. Information highways and value-added networks upset the existing order inside and outside corporations. They stimulate a free flow of communication rather than an orderly succession of messages. Thus, user strategies lack commitment and are ineffective.

Order and commitment favor the solid rather than the spectacular, the weaning of collective potential rather than individual brilliance, of gradual progress rather than dynamic growth. The "spirit of Germany" is that of infrastructure rather than suprastructure, of productive potential rather than headlong growth.

Why did Germany, a late-comer to industrialization with neither the home market, the natural resources, nor the immigrant potential of the United States, succeed so spectacularly with its industrial revolution at the turn of the century, surpassing the industrial pioneer, Great Britain? Why did it rise like a phoenix from the ashes in the 1920s and 1950s after two ruinous wars?

A succession of individual achievements cannot explain the collectivity of a nation's wealth and the continuity of economic progress. The infrastructure of a country is the foundation of its collectivity and a mirror of its continuity, of its capability to build brick upon brick and to patiently reconstruct the destroyed and refashion the decayed.

Infrastructure in Germany is not just capital invested in public works and utilities. It is a moral imperative, the symbol of a basic commitment to wealth's foundations. Financial stability supports the policy balance of economic and social priorities, while educational egalitarianism is a precondition for the balance of responsibility between the business community and organized labor. Germany's continuing commitment to infrastructure is the backbone of balanced development. Its mastery of balance is closely linked to its fixation with wealth's foundations.


NOTES
1.
Cited in Otto Hintze, "Das politische Testament Friedrich des Großen von 1752," in his book, Geist und Epochen der preussischen Geschichte ( Leipzig: Koehler & Amelang, 1943), p. 474.
2.
Pierre Gaxotte, Friedrich der Große ( Frankfurt: Propyläen, 1974), p. 13; see also Theodor Schieder, Friedrich der Große ( Frankfurt: Ullstein, 1986), pp. 300-302.
3.
Smith, Bentham and Mill quoted and cited in Thomas Schulze, Infrastruktur als politische Aufgabe ( Frankfurt: Lang, 1993), p. 83.
4.
For Hirschman, see Schulze, Infrastruktur als politische Aufgabe, p. 41; see also Egon Matzner, Der Wohlfahrtsstaat von morgen ( Frankfurt: Campus, 1982), p. 126; for Jochimsen, see Reimut Jochimsen, Theorie der Infrastruktur ( Tübingen: Mohr, 1966), pp. 100-101.
5.
Walter E. Diewert, The Measurement of the Economic Benefits of Infrastruktur Services ( Berlin: Springer, 1984), pp. 128-130; see also Michael Reidenbach, Verfälltdie öffentliche Infrastruktur?

-136-

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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
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