Many, especially those in the pockets of the military industrial complex, think that at Munich in 1938 it should have been possible to foresee that allowing Germany to seize control of Czechoslovakia, even under a flmsy diplomatic veil, would have fearsome consequences.
A few days ago I re-posted on the July Agreement in which Germany and its Allies publicly inflicted abject status on Greece, this with we don’t know exactly which threats concerning the consequencces of a Grexit from the eurozone.
Was this, I asked, another Versailles, as the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis asserted? Or shouldn’t we better see this ukase in the light of the collaborationist Vichy government under Germany occupation, which the hobbled Greek one might then come to resemble?
Instead of Vichy, let me now paste in the trope of Munich.
Vichy works as a simile up to a point, but there is an functioning parliament in Greece, with representatives stretching from the openly fascist extreme right to what the bourgeois media call the extreme left, by which they mean those who speak openly of capitalism and class conflict. This was not the case in occupied France, where the only real opposition was underground and led by communists, who had, incidentally, stopped talking much about capitalism and class for the sake of national unity, résistance oblige.
History doesn’t repeat itself, but there are many analogies between what happened at Munich in 1938 and what Europe as a whole signed onto in July, 2015. Germany has not actually invaded Greece, but a crucial stage has now been passed in the developing crisis in which Europe finds itself. Instead of melting away, geopolitics is returning with a vengeance, dialectically one might say, right into heartland of those who were expressly trying to supercede it, wipe it by compromise away. Henceforth it will be hard to speak of Europe without speaking of its internal power relations, in particular of German hegemony.
The eventual consequences of the Summer of 2015 are still latent, or as the French say, larvées. Only time will tell if this moment will mark the beginning of the end of Thomas Mann’s European Germany, as a German Europe becomes the new order of things, and as neo- and crypto-fascist movements proliferate outside of Germany but increasingly within.