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"Nonsense was never a barrier for the German media's Anti-American campaign..."

Obviously. I wonder whether nonsense is not a more pervasive problem given Germany's inability to solve it's pervssive economic and social problems - or even make progress on them. The same comment applies to France.

Forcing Eastern Europe to raise it's tax rates is not a solution to Western Europe's economic malaise. Even if the French-German dirigistes could force it through. Which they can't. All that this 'solution' would do is force the problems of East Germany down the throats of everyone else in the former communist bloc.

Highly recommended!

http://www.pollingreport.com/index.html

Or do you think the polls are not objective?

Auch immer noch sehr zu empfehlen:

Dan Diner: Feindbild Amerika. Über die Beständigkeit eines Ressentiments, München 2002.
Der Verfasser ist ein Deutsch-Jude, der als Professor für Neuere Geschichte in Leipzig und Jerusalem lebt und lehrt.

Das in sehr flüssigem Stil gehaltene, sich an interessierte Laien wendende, nicht zu viele, aber ausreichend Fakten und Belege präsentierende Buch hat nicht zuletzt den Vorzug, dass hier -endlich mal- ein D e u t s c h e r als Anwalt Amerikas auftritt und nicht ein US-Gelehrter, dem natürlich sofort unterstellt würde, er wäre parteiisch in eigener Sache.

Das Buch analysiert den Antiamerikanismus

-der Romantik (1800-50)
-des Ersten Weltkrieges
-(National-)Sozialistischer Bewegungen (1919-45)
-der New Left bzw. Friedensbewegung (1968-89)
-der 2. Friedensbewegung (1990-1)
-der Monate nach 9/11 (um dieses Kapitel ist die Neuauflage vermehrt worden)

Die provokanten, aber sehr wohl fundierten und sehr überzeugend vorgetragenen Hauptthesen Diners sind:

a) Der Unterschied zwischen rechtem und linkem Antiamerikanismus ist allenfalls marginal; die Stereotypen sind letztlich beide Mal die gleichen (Materialismus; Oberflächlichkeit einer reinen Vertrags- und Erwerbskultur; kaum Bildung - keine "Tiefe"; militärische Unfähigkeit; egoistische Borniertheit - kein "Fremdverstehen"; boshafte Kapitalgier - das Judentum): Antiamerikanismus ist an sich selbst letztlich ein dumpfes, aber sehr wohl politisches Ressentiment, das von anti-demokratischen Kräften (NSDAP/KPD/Islamismus) als Zerrbild des angelsächsichen Westens den eigenen kollektivistischen und apokalyptischen Gesellschafts-Ideologien in demagogischer Weise entgegengehalten wurde und wird.

b) Rechter wie linker Antiamerikanismus zeigen sich fast immer verbunden mit Antisemitismus: "Der Jude als Verschwörer und Anstifter noch hinter dem amerikanischen Expansionsdrang lauernd ..."

Das einzige, was mich ein wenig gestört hat, waren ein paar Hohlphrasen aus den Untiefen der Tiefenpsychologie ("Abspaltung" etc.), die das eigentlich politische Problem eher auf das weite Feld einer (Pseudo-)Medizin abzudrängen tendieren -Therapie statt Aufklärung?

Insgesamt aber ein hervorragendes Buch, sehr lesenswert. Meine Lieblingsstelle: Dan Diner gibt die ... ähem ... wissenschaftliche Theorie eines bei Sozialdemokraten ziemlich angesehenen Prof. Richter wieder, der nichts weniger zu sein sich dünkt als ein Gesellschafts-und Global-Psychologe und darum nahelegt, wir Deutsche sollten unsere Nazi-Prägung auf die USA ablegen -schließlich hätten wir Hitler bloß durch Uncle Sam ersetzt. Diner lässt sich gar nicht erst dazu herab, diesen Quacksalber zu widerlegen, deutet aber sehr subtil an, dass eher bei Richter selbst eine Fixierung zu diagnostizieren ist; nämlich der Zwang, die USA irgenwie und stereotyp mit Hitler gleichsetzen zu müssen -offensichtlich in Unkenntnis der historischen Tatsache, dass grade er, Prof. Richter, dabei Vorurteile aufruft, die auch schon Goebbels und deutschen Stalinisten dankbare Dienste geleistet haben: "Amerika (und seine demokratische Marktwirtschaft) als das seelenlos Böse" alias "Die Amerikaner sind unser Unglück ..."

To the rest of the non-german speakers out there. Do you use any translation software to read the German language posts? Trying to read the last comment via 'Google translate' (default is German to english, thank you very much) and via babble fish. I'm afraid neither works very well, though one can get the gist of the post.

Does there exist a some better utility out there?

Re: nitpicker
"or the German natives in here switch to English."

I wouldn't want to leave the impression I was suggesting that. I do manage to keep up with German national politics and EU issues in general, via BBC, Deutsche Welle and this site among others. I tell you what, it really manages to surprise the heck out of the European academics I meet when I demonstrate 1) a passing knowledge of Germany/France/Central Europe, and that 2) I'm one of those backward religous bush supporting conservatives.

I hate to perpetuate national stereotypes, but in general ... The French do not speak to me after meeting me for the first time. The Germans express incredulity that I can discuss their national politics. The Italians are not surprised by anything.

Sounds about right, Stan. The Italians are the most sophisticated Europeans by a significant margin.

@stan


I wrote my book recommendation in German because a translation of this book is not available: So if you are not able to understand m e it will be impossible for you to read Diner´s astute "dissection" of antiamericanism.

But you are right: I feel much more comfortable in my native language than in my poor school English; having studied French and Russsian, I have never spent a single day in America -at least not yet. So if you prefer poor English to at least fluent German I will from now on perfer to post exclusively in English.

But, since anti-americanism is a german flaw and n o t due to american failings it was a recommendation especially for Germans.

Sorry!

"I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice," Kerry said in the third debate. Not a good behaviour! This man wants to be president of the USA?

Re: Ralph

I find the perspectives of the German posters to be the most interesting thing about this site (hence babble fish and a German English dictionary). Much (but not all) of what is posted here from an American perspective is readily avaliable elsewhere, but it is reassuring to break out of the box once in awhile.

Anti-americanism admittedly not of the European variety, is alive and well on the American campuses where I happen to work.

I speak a little Spanish (3 years in southern Spain) and very little Arabic. Unfortunatly my only time in Germany was a short stay in Landstuhl where I had little opportunity to see anything.

Ralph, you have false humility - 'poor school English' - pah! Es ist hervorragend.

A question for you, sir, is Diner's book selling, getting publicity, being discussed on talkradio or cable shows?

ralph
ditto.. but NOT false humility..
HUGE self expectations.. and to be honest you meet them anyway

Stan/amiexpat,


thank you very much. "Feindbild Amerika" (America - Bogeyman/America - Icon of hatred/America - Icon of resentment ... difficult to translate) was published two years ago: The "feuilletons" presented it, discussed it; TV-Kulturjournale made interviews with Dan Diner, who was attacked from time to time but usually not in a very hostile way. Left-wing intellectuals were vain enough to have a short glimpse into this book, into this revealing mirror, did what they tend to do anyway, i.e. they reflected on their own ideas, that is on themselves or stroke a posture of pseudo-remorseful "nosce te ipse". Eventually Diner´s book became a part of our "Diskursuniversum" (smorgasboard of opinion) in which it seems to have somehow disappeared.

No painful self-criticism of German (leftist)intellectuals; their complacency simply prevailed: "They did not really attack Diner" means: They did not even imagine to be -themselves!- attacked by him, since they could easily rely on a bizarre and -among Germans- widespread prejudice in favor of left-wing "philosophers": Their antisemitism or antiamericanism is always and by definition some vague version of anticapitalism, i.e. at least a sophisticated philosophy a n d humane sympathy with the poor (Arabs; Blacks; The other America etc.). So they just deemed themselves to be far beyond any of the accusations you may find in "Feindbild Amerika".

They were vain enough to take the book for a mirror or -to be precise- for an opportunity to reflect once again on themselves; but they were much too vain to change their points of view -for this defiant "dissection of anti-americanism" was for them not even a challenge.

Once again - The closing of the German mind!


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