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Guardian Leftie Bails on Schroeder

by Christopher Chantrill
September 07, 2005 at 11:29 am

YOU’D think that the chaps at Britain’s lefty Guardian would love German Chancellor Schröder. He’s as solid a Social Democrat as you could imagine. He’s defending the European “social model” from the evil forces of Anglo-American globalization. He’s earned standing “O”s for his strident (and convenient) anti-Americanism. So why is Martin Kettle bailing out on the Unions-Kanzler?

Well, it’s because of a personal failure of leadership, whatever that means.

The SPD’s central failure has been its inability to provide a coherent social-market-based answer to the problems posed for the nation state by globalisation.

Well that’s a thought! The problem is, of course, that there is no coherent social-market-based answer to the problems posed by globalization. The whole idea of the social market is to ignore the market and promise big fixed benefits and pensions to your supporters when you don’t have a clue whether you will ever be able to pay those benefits without bankrupting the nation.

Actually, the Social Democrats in Germany and elsewhere do have a coherent plan to solve the problems posed by globalization. It is to retreat as slowly as possible, pretending that they are delivering on their promises while slowly withdrawing them, bit by bit.

But the laugh is on Kettle. Recent news indicates that the German economy is finally starting to perk up after 15 years in the doldrums. Wage costs are down and exports are up. It’s all probably due to Germany’s famous “Mittelstand,” the medium-sized business that dominate Germany’s exports. If Angela Merkel wins the election and becomes Chancellor then she will get the credit for the economic upswing that is already in progress.

Does Martin Kettle really want that?


Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.



“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


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James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


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Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

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Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing

Religion, Property, and Family

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F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


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Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill