Tuesday, February 11, 2003


My sole focus in discussing the historic Germanic and Protestant contribution on this blog so far has been on individual liberty. I believe that the individualism of our Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) forebears has given us the liberties we have today.

There are however other ways in which Germanic and Protestant civilization is often alleged to have played a leading role in shaping the modern world. In particular, the German reformation is seen as enabling a freedom of thought that eventually brought about the English industrial revolution and hence modern civilization as we know it. And as part of that process the scientific, technical and engineering innovations that enabled the modern world do almost all seem to have flowed from Germanic countries -- principally Germany itself and Britain. From the printing press to the steam engine the creation of technological civilization seems to have flowed almost entirely from the Germanic peoples of Northwestern Europe.

I think that there is a large element of truth in this account but do not place any great reliance on it. It seems to me that the account overlooks very substantial contributions from France and Italy for a start (e.g. Marconi, Pasteur etc.) -- though it could also be argued that both the Northern French and the Northern Italians have substantial German elements (e.g. the Franks and the Lombards) in their ancestry.

Another objection is the role of the Scots. In his book How the Scots Invented the Modern World, Arthur Herman points to the very substantial contribution made by Scots to the the development of modern Western thinking and the invention by Scots of much in modern Western technology. So how does that square with the contention that the modern world was essentially a Germanic invention? Surely the Scots are Celts rather than Germanic!

I doubt however that the Scottish case constitutes a crucial objection. Some reasons why:

* To my knowledge both the Chinese and the Russians make similar claims to have produced many great inventions. Most things seem to have had more than one "inventor"

* There is an awful lot that the Scots did NOT invent -- from the printing press onwards.

* The Scottish lowlands (where most Scots live) were thoroughly colonized by the Anglo-Saxons so most Scots have substantial Germanic ancestry.

* The Celtic Scots got at least Germanic culture via Protestantism and the English hegemony generally.

The reviews in the Amazon site linked above are well worth a read.

On the political front however, the Scots show very clearly the Germanic difference. Scotland has long been heavily socialist, returning very few Tory members to the Westminster parliament. When English voters swung very heavily towards Margaret Thatcher in 1979, Scotland actually swung away from the Tories! So the greater Celtic element in the Scots ancestry does seem to make a marked difference in politics. Where the Germanic English favour individualism and conservatism, the Celtic Scots favour collectivism and socialism.



I have had some correspondence from my fellow bloggers (who must of course remain nameless) confirming Andrew Ian Dodge�s view that Leftist women are a lot better as bed prospects. Despite views not much different from mine, one even attends peace rallies for pickup purposes! And another said that he finds ladies of the night more skilled, however. He also points out that they are the REAL capitalists!



American Kaiser notes German anti-Americanism and thinks America should relocate its military bases from Germany to Eastern Europe. The Eastern Europeans are generally pro-American (sometimes wildly so) and could use the dollars the bases would bring. It might just happen. V.D. Hanson has a similar idea.

Robert Musil shoots down the latest bit of economic nonsense from Paul Krugman -- but only for those with some literacy in economics.

An influential German newspaper (Die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) has recently suggested that the present isolation of Germany and France over Iraq (most of the rest of Europe supports the USA) may herald the breakup of the EU. As an Anglospherist and a libertarian, I look forward with glee to the end of that bureaucratic monster. Britain in particular would be far better off signing a free-trade agreement with the USA. More here.

There is a good essay here on why Leftist antisemitism is based not on a hatred of Jews per se but rather on a hatred of success and traditional values.

Orrin Judd has a good summary of the disastrous '70s. Having lived through that time myself, I see much truth in what he says. He is certainly right that to leave Saddam in place would be to repeat the follies of that time.

Prof. Bunyip has a devastating exposure of the barefaced lies being told by Leftist commentator Phillip Adams. He gives the Melbourne Age a pretty effective serve for dishonesty too.

Chris Brand has some further observations on how the Nazi phenomenon still corrupts modern thinking.

The Wicked one has some dubious advice for travellers to Britain

Michael Darby posts on the contentious subject of water rights.


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