Le retour du désespoir

Il y a quelques années, l'historien Fritz Stern a écrit un livre sur l'Allemagne intitulé Politique et désespoir. Il utilisait l'exemple de trois auteurs à succès (aujourd'hui oubliés) de la fin du XIXe et début du XXe siècles pour montrer l'aversion profonde de nombreux Allemands envers le monde moderne, notamment envers l'économie de marché et la politique démocratique. Pour Stern, ce phénomène faisait partie du terreau culturel dans lequel avait fleuri le national-socialisme.

Beaucoup de choses ont changé depuis l'ère nazie. Le triomphe meurtrier et la défaite sanglante de la politique du désespoir culturel ont été remplacés par un miracle économique qui a fait de l'Allemagne l'un des pays les plus prospères au monde, avec presque six décennies de démocratie et de stabilité grandissante.

Pourtant, en Allemagne on trouve encore les traces d'une attitude qui juge l'économie moderne déplaisante et l'ouverture de toutes les frontières effrayante. “Capitalisme pur” et “mondialisation” évoquent des images horrifiantes. Des essaims de “sauterelles”  capitalistes menacent de s'abattre sur le peuple des travailleurs sans défense, pour citer la métaphore malheureuse utilisée récemment dans un de ses discours par Franz Müntefering, président du parti Social-démocrate au pouvoir.

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