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Germany

1) Germany was the biggest winner in Europe at the end of the Cold War. Reunified, the country is now searching for its new role and position as leader of Europe. This can only happen if the French are convinced of the mutual benefits of a "Franco-German locomotive".

2) For Germany this is not the Drang nach Osten but the Holy Roman-Germanic Empire. Germany thus regains its dominant position in Central Europe.

3) After half a century of American dominance, Germany is ready to abandon the Atlantic to return to its Europeanist position (Murphy and Johnson 2004: 1). It has already deferred to the Americans too long, accepting an extensive series of humiliations. The Paris-Berlin-Moscow-Peking axis will become a vibrant reality as soon as the Russians accept their place as factory workers and secondary suppliers to German and Chinese multinationals. Germany will slowly detach itself from the Washington-London axis as Anglo-American power wanes.

4) During the Cold War, the East Germans were the brightest pupils in the Communist class. They constituted the elite, and they knew it. In just a few years after German reunification, those same people were unemployed. Their homes were repossessed by West Germans. No other people in Europe experienced similar collective humiliation after the Cold War.

5) At the root of the German character lies fear.152This is the same fear which keeps that people alert, on edge. You cannot be competitive with a fat belly and a seen-it-all attitude.

6) Germany, not France, is the model for the new Europe.

7) All Europeans should learn German, for several reasons. Germany is not only the leading economic power in Europe: it sees itself as the guardian of reason - a heritage taken over from the ancient Greeks.

8) All successful nations have difficult languages: Chinese, Japanese, Korean. It is important to learn the difficult languages first. Italian is learned in three months once you know Latin and French. Spanish is learned in three weeks.

9) The Germans are about to revive their interest in Silesia. They have proposed a free zone stretching one hundred kilometers to either side of the Oder-Neisse line, including a quarter of Poland. The German language will be used and taught again in this territory.

10) In the future Germany will be making more use of Russians as secondary suppliers, as France did with Portugal and Morocco. Since the Russians have an innate respect for Germans there will be no problem of submission. They will also build an air bridge directly with Chengdu-Chongqing, the new industrial center of the world.

11) After the soldiers of the Red Army had seen the horrors of Auschwitz, which the Germans had to evacuate in a hurry, no action seemed too barbarous to inflict on the retreating enemy. Much cruelty was also inflicted on German civilians by the British, as retaliation for Hitler's terror-bombing of Coventry and London. At the end of the war Germany was just a ruin. Its people only survived by taking over a large system of tunnels underneath their cities and thanks to their productive "Geist". No other people in the past has managed to rise so quickly from defeat.

France

1) France has the best geographical location in Europe: temperate, with excellent access to three seas and plenty of navigable rivers.

In Northern Europe it is rather too cold, in the south rather too warm, in the British Isles there is too much rain, and Germany, although well placed in the middle of Europe, has limited access to the sea and has few natural boundaries.

2) In 1914 France possessed much of the north-western part of Africa, except for Nigeria and a few smaller areas. Nowadays France and Africa exhibit all the symptoms of a troubled marriage.

3) No Western country has a more centralized government than France, a tradition that goes back to the origins of its monarchy. Even the Institute of Agriculture and the agricultural laboratories of INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research) are located in the Greater Paris region.

4) One of the greatest strategic mistakes made by the French after the Cold War was that they continued to look south for opportunities, more out of old habit than because it made any economic sense. In consequence the Germans have taken control of most of the new markets in the East.

5) French has dropped out as a required diplomatic language, and fewer and fewer people speak it. This makes it more important for the French to learn other languages. By 2020, eighty per cent of French-speakers outside France will be inhabitants of Africa and the Arab world. French resistance to learning English has led to the country disqualifying itself as a major player in the sciences.

6) France, at one time the richest and most powerful country in Europe, the symbol of human rights, of justice, of wisdom, and of progress, a model for the rest of the world, with the best public administration, has been reduced to a shadow of its former self. At the present time it is not far away from bankruptcy, with a debt ten times higher than the annual tax income (same as Spain) (Lewis, Michael (2011): boomerang. New York:

W.W. Norton & Co., page 14). Its main asset today is the management of its cultural heritage.

7) Mass tourism is a growing industry. The most popular destinations in the world in terms of numbers of visitors are France (75 million visitors annually), USA (51m), Spain (48m), and Italy (41m). China is fifth, at 31m.

8) With the reign of Louis XVI, France was on the point of conquering Canada, India, and the sugar route, but went to war and lost (The Seven Years' War, between 1756 and 1763). England brought France to its knees. The eventual French colonies comprised the lands that England did not want. They were left with only two jewels, which they could have developed: Morocco and Vietnam. The rest was worthless. France had reached the limits of royal power. From here on it was the beginning of its decline.

9) France no longer has a vision for the world. French diplomacy is full of conflicting currents, its relations with the Third World are disastrous, its ruling class is out of touch with the world around it, cosseted in an atmosphere of privilege. French politicians repeatedly demonstrate that the country is incapable of developing harmoniously as a society. The French military establishment is incapable of meeting future challenges on foreign soil, its public-sector organizations are dominated by poor management, and its attempts to integrate recent immigrants have failed. Toulon, where Napoleon once made his initial career breakthrough, is coming more and more to resemble an African ghetto; likewise the old parts of Grasse, once centre of the perfume industry. Marseilles has been too chaotic to govern efficiently for generations. Toulouse is losing its position as an important scientific centre. Like Italy, France is becoming characterized by a marked North versus South division.

10) In 1919, with Clemenceau, France wanted to create a cordon sanitaire round Germany: destroying the Hungarian monarchy and dividing that country up, handing Transylvania over to Romania, another part of Hungary to Serbia, and making Croatia independent. France wanted to pave the way for Yugoslavia -an absurdity of a nation, an anti-nation, a structure which could not survive. It was France which forced through the creation of this misbegotten State, Yugoslavia. Later, France should have had the courage to undo its work, but instead the French supported Greater Serbia during the war in the Balkans, in a vague hope of restoring the giant. It was all very embarrassing, especially as many French intellectuals and Francophiles continued to support the Yugoslav concept.

11) France is in part to blame for the German aggression that built up after the First World War. When France, with American help, defeated Germany in 1919, it did not adopt the role of the noble victor reaching out a hand to the defeated. Instead the Allies imposed economic sanctions on Germany which resulted in poverty, misery, and the rise of Nazism. The US Federal Reserve chairman anticipated this danger and protested, but to little avail. The French attitude at Versailles in 1919 was itself a reaction to the humiliating treaty imposed on France by Bismarck, in that same Hall of Mirrors, in 1871. These have all been major strategic errors, the result of irresponsible political actions.

12) France is wasting too much energy on internal discussions. This is leading to inaction, keeping its people from finding and striving towards a common goal.

13) France is putting its efforts into maintaining a set of vested interests. They are living off their capital. The French have an image of themselves as the defenders of rationalism. This used to be true. The country has excellent elites, but they are not able to engage the rest of the population.

14) France was a fake winner in the Second World War. She received a victor's honours only thanks to General de Gaulle's insistence.

15) Charles de Gaulle talks, in his 1932 book, about the importance of character in warfare (de Gaulle1944: 39-62). His countrymen did not demonstrate much of that when the Germans attacked. The much-hyped French Resistance is largely a myth created after the fact, as in so many other occupied territories.

16) The French elites have had the bad luck to be on the wrong side more than once in history: with Hitler, and later flirting with Communist regimes. Pol Pot was not condemned until too late. Now, together with Belgium, France is indirectly to blame for the massacre in Rwanda. They not only knew what was happening but even helped to train the killers. It was all geopolitics; the French were afraid of losing influence in Africa, of having to concede to the Americans once again. It was a lose-lose solution.

17) Good books on Africa in French are hard to find; they are either excessively aggressive or excessively obsequious (e.g. Gourevitch 2004).

18) French contributions to philosophy in the twentieth century were mostly misinterpretations of German philosophy (of Heidegger, for instance), or romantic attempts to save Communism (Sartre), all confusedly mingled with intellectual egoism and an insatiable sensual drift. The country produces few thinkers anymore, but maintains a strong intellectual tradition.

19) France's decline began with Louis XV and continued with the defeat of Napoleon. If it is still able to

maintain a position as a secondary European power alongside Germany, this is due more to failures by its European rivals than to its own merits.

 
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