The Decline of Bismarck’s European Order

This post came about because Michael Kepler Meo asked me at dinner, “Dad, what’s the ‘Decline of Bismarck’s European Order’ mean?”

Scriptural Authority has it:

Ebenso waren auf dem Gebiete der Politik für aufmerksame Augen Schäden vorhanden, die, wenn nicht in absehbarer Zeit ein Besserung oder Änderung vorgenommen wurde

what might be welcomed as an improvement or at the very least a change

als Zeichen eines kommenden Verfalls des Reiches

is actually a sign of the oncoming crash of the Empire.

gelten durften und mussten.

Unless you voluntarily blind yourself

Die Ziellosigkeit der deutschen Innen- und Außenpolitik war für jeden sichtbar, der nicht absichtlich blind sein wollte. Die Kompromißwirtschaft schien am meisten der Bismarckschen Auffassung zu entsprechen, daß ‘die Politik eine Kunst der Möglichen’ wäre.

Nun war aber zwischen Bismarck und den späteren deutschen Kanzlern ein kleiner Unterschied vorhanden . . .

Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Elite Minds 2010 reprint of 1943 Munich edition [1st German ed 1925], Zentralverlag der NSDAP, p. 255

That, boys and girls, is called making use of a primary source.

Likewise in the field of politics the observant eye could discern evils which, if not remedied or altered within a reasonable time, could be and had to be regarded as signs of the Empire’s coming decay.

The aimlessness of German domestic and foreign policy was apparent to everyone who was not purposely blind. [This] régime of compromise seemed . . . most in keeping with Bismarck’s conception of “politics as the art of the possible”.

But between Bismarck and later German chancellors there was a slight difference which made it permissible for the former to let fall . . an utterance on the nature of politics while the same view from the mouths of his successors could not but take on an entirely different meaning.

Now, as to the answer to my son’s question: the Decline of Bismarck’s European Order was obvious to all when Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia-Herzegovina without the prior permission of Russia. This happened in 1908.

About M. Meo

Worked as translator, museum technician, truck lumper, lecture demonstrator, teacher (of English as a Second Language, science, math). Married for 25 years, 2 boys aged 18 & 16 (both on the Grant cross-country team). A couple of scholarly publications in the history of science. Two years in federal penitentiary, 1970/71, for refusing the draft.
This entry was posted in Education, Empire, Fascism, Friendship, Global, Inequality, John Schweibert, Local government, Marxism, Pacific Green Party, Police, Spiritual life, Uncategorized, Vali Balint, War. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Decline of Bismarck’s European Order

  1. Pingback: The Retreat Forward | The Cascadia Chapter of the Pacific Green Party

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