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

By Kaevan Gazdar | Go to book overview

founded ecological precepts uncomfortably close to those propagated during the Nazi period. A traditionally Teutonic zest for thoroughness coupled with a longing for the absolute makes ecology an issue that potentially threatens balanced identity.28

The reunification of Germany also challenged balanced identity. "Innere Einheit," inner unity, is an important issue that transcends the successful introduction of modern infastructure and the social state into the East. In his analysis of the East German psyche, the psychologist Hans-Joachim Maaz discovered the same compulsive rejection of the past that took place in West Germany in the early years after the Nazi period, the same disownment of responsibility. East Germans are far from the psychology of consensus that has developed in the West.29

Prominent East Germans have complained stridently about the overbearing attitudes of the West Germans. The percentage of those who believe that "We are one people," declined between 1990 and 1994 from 45 to 28 percent in the East and 54 to 47 percent in the West. On the other hand, various surveys show that Germans in both parts of the country subscribe to the same basic values.30

It seems likely that current animosities will soon recede into the background, since the material foundations of inner unity exist However, the East German process of adjusting to the Social Market Economy, the checks and balances of a Mittelstandsgesellschaft, and--above all--to the mechanisms and rituals of consensus, will last at least a generation.

Despite these challenges, Germany's identity is well attuned to balanced development. In the next chapter, we shall see that the dynamization of the consensus process is the key to future wealth in the German context.


NOTES
1.
Erik H. Erikson, Der junge Mann Luther ( Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1976), pp. 277ff.
2.
Erikson, Der junge Mann Luther, particularly pp. 52-54, 72-73, 84-85, 110-111, 170-171, Ernst Troeltsch, Aufsätze zur Geistesgeschichte und Religionssoziologie, Aalen: Scientia, 1966, pp. 230-231; single testimonies of Luther's qualities are given by the theologian Gottfried Arnold (heartiness), the poet Heinrich Heine (heartiness), the state theorist Friedrich Julius Stahl (religious heroism), the writer Stefan Zweig (vehemence), the political academic Ludwig Uhland (Innerlichkeit), the philosopher Hegel (idealism), the theologian Karl Barth (peasant-like), the historian Gerhard Ritter (will power), the theologian Walther von Loewenich (excrement-orientation), see Hermann Glaser and Karl Heinz Stahl (eds.), Luther gestern und heute ( Frankfurt: Fischer, 1983), pp. 59, 78-79, 85-99, 107-109, 111-114, 135-137, 157.
3.
Friedrich List, Das nationale System der politisehen Ökonomie ( Stuttgart: Cotta, 1883), p. 81, see also pp. 153-154.
4.
For a good overview, see Ute Gerhard and Jürgen Link, "Zum Anteil der Kollektivsymbolik an den Nationalstereotypen," in Jürgen Link and Wolf Wülfing (eds.), Nationale Mythen und Symbole in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrdunderts ( Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1991), pp. 16-52.
5.
Erich Fromm, "Die autoritäre Persönlichkeit," in Hermann Röhrs (ed.), Die Disziplin in ihrem Verhältnis zur Lohn und Strafe ( Frankfurt: Akademische Verlags

-184-

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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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