Monday, August 22, 2022

Germany vs France

I’m risking my writer’s neck with this piece comparing Germany and France. So be it.

Germany is the economic power house of Europe, no questions asked. Frenchmen tend to be more laid back, enjoy a drink of wine and beat up on their own government when they get pissed off about something (yellow vests come to mind).

The Germans got badly beaten up in wars twice last century, with France on the winning side in both cases. But they pull themselves up by their bootstraps, rebuild industries and commerce, and away they go again.

So what is their problem? They seem to get the thin end of the stick no matter what? Like now when they might be shivering in their homes this winter as Putin threatens to turn off the taps on pipelines to Germany from Russian oil and gas fields.

The German idea was to use Russian gas as an interim measure while they created wind and solar farms and decommissioned their nuclear plants.

The French? They wisely held on to their nuclear power generating plants and even sell electricity to Germany when the sun doesn’t shine or the wind declines to blow in Germany.

So why do these industrious smart people we call “Germans” invariably end up in a puddle, somehow?

I think it is a combination of two things: Tribalism and an attraction to simplistic ideology, like what happened in the 1930ies.

Please don’t shoot the messenger!

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