It is fashionable in certain airheaded circles to blame the British for wrecking Europe with their recent pro-Brexit vote. But that’s just poorly-reasoned left-wing poopytalk. The people who wrecked Europe this time are the same fine folks who’ve been wrecking Europe consistently and repeatedly for the last 150 years: The united Germans.
This is a deadly serious point. When the bulk of the German people are largely united within (or allied with) a single dominant German state, they routinely set Europe on fire. We saw this at the time Bismark united most of the German-speaking peoples in or behind the Prussian state, leading them to an overwhelming victory against France in 1870-1. We saw this in the Austro-German alliance which lead to World War I. We saw this in the 1930s, when the decadent Weimar Republic was turned into a Reich which reoccupied the Ruhr, enacted Anschluss with Austria and annexed the Sudetenland — all as a prelude to invading Poland, Greece, France and Russia, bombing England, launching unrestrained submarine warfare in the Atlantic, and liquidating every Communist, Jew, Gypsy and political dissident on which they could lay their hands. Charming folks, especially when they get riled up.
The Germans largely behaved themselves for a good fifty or sixty years, between World War II and the recent post-Cold War EU crises. For this, I don’t credit the better angels of their nature, or the Germans having learned some kind of deep moral lesson from their utter defeat and humiliation. No. I credit the army of occupation that the U.S. and other allied powers maintained and continue to maintain in Germany. I credit the Soviet threat, which helped justify this occupation, kept the U.S. engaged in Europe politically, and focused German minds on something other than their desire to set the other peoples of Europe straight. And I credit the split of Germany into East and West Germany, which helped keep the German people at odds with one another and prevented them from combining into a dominant continental power, much like the race for African colonies kept them distracted for a few decades at the very end of the 19th century.
When the Berlin Wall came down, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was deeply skeptical of German re-unification and frankly opposed the project. And with good reason, given their history; but she was overruled by the other world powers and the Germans reunited.
We are now reaping that whirlwind.
The million-Muslim “refugee” crisis is only the most recent bone-headed fiasco that the Germans have brought upon themselves and Europe. We might also recall older big-news items that now seem to have faded into quaint obscurity. The perpetual Grexit fiasco comes to mind. If the Germans hadn’t insisted on setting fiscal and monetary policy for the entire Eurozone, the Greeks could have defaulted, devalued and inflated their way to what counts for full employment and reasonable economic growth in that country. But the Germans had to stick it to the lazy Greeks for moral reasons; they always do. And don’t think for a minute that Spain, Portugal or Italy are much better off than the Greeks, stuck in the same straightjacket. And some day I’ll discuss Germany’s backwards, expensive, highly-polluting energy policies which harm themselves and their neighbors.
Look, it’s not just the Germans. The British have long been skeptical of the European project — they declined to adopt the Euro or join the Schengen border-free zone. And while the British complain about immigration, they have their own invite-the-Commonwealth policies to blame, as much as the EU’s rules on free movement for Poles. But the barely-controlled chaos on Europe’s borders, created by Merkel’s open invitation to the Third World, is clearly what tipped the last few percentage points of British voters to Leave, and has tipped several other EU countries into anti-immigration political disarray.
The details are perhaps best left to another time, but I seriously believe that the Western world is better off when the German peoples are divided and set against themselves. At a minimum, the Federal Republic of Germany should be split into three entities — East Germany, West Germany and a South Germany — complementing the existing Germanic populations in Austria and Switzerland.
This may be almost as improbable as a Trump-Sanders ticket, but I would urge the UK leadership to offer a walk-back of Brexit in exchange for the dismemberment of Germany. Tell the Germans their political dissolution is the price to be paid for maintaining European unity; that they have a moral duty to abolish themselves. Frankly, this sort of self-abolition would do a lot more good than the kind of self-abolition they are currently practicing.