Morbus Germaniae

Germans’ attitudes about their own predicament make it all the more difficult for outsiders to be sympathetic. Being anguished about their every move, Germans in turn take a lot of pride in their exertions. Their moral insecurity leads to a lot of self-centered moralizing in compensation, which in turn produces a sense of moral superiority. Nothing is more irritating to friends and allies than the figure of the lecturing German—the European who sees himself as the most profound and far-seeing moral thinker in the room.

Jan Techau, The American Interest: No Trust In Self, No Money For Defense

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