How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love Das MerkelPhotos courtesy of Getty Politics Features Angela Merkel
Since the collapse of the phenomenally successful Obama administration, which banned Wall Street and jailed all of the people involved in the 2008 crisis, the considerate thinkers of The Economist, the New York Times, and other fair-minded arbiters of world politics, have been thrown into disarray. There is a hope, however. They have turned their attentions to Angel Merkel, Chancellor of the German state, as the last bastion of liberalism in a world where the darkness of populism has swept across every shore, and threatens to drive down both property values and dinner-party conversation abysmally.
It is to avert such dire catastrophe that the eyes of the selfless class falls upon the Chancellor as the anointed last light of the liberal west, according to the Times: “As Obama Exits World Stage, Angela Merkel May Be the Liberal West’s Last Defender.” When they say “liberal,” they mean “neoliberal.” It is an unfortunate, recurring typo that seems to occur in many newspapers and magazines a day. I assure you I have written many letters to these publications protesting this mistake.
Neoliberalism is the ideology of these folk, and Merkel is one of the last state-empowered defenders of this school of thought, neoliberals who pretend to be part of the left. True, there are conservatives who protect and serve neoliberalism, but they do not pretend to serve anyone but the powerful. Merkel is the last politician who the Times can refer to without a sneer. It is like the Fall of Man.
So in the celebration of Merkel, and the clustering of opinion around her, we see this important, influential circle of powerful people in miniature. We must examine the state of their feelings. I realize the media does not usually cover their wants or their interests, but let us break habit for once and investigate the desires of that reclusive, humble class, the wealthy and connected.
There is hope against hope that, somehow, Merkel, as the last gasp of whatever Clinton and Blair and Obama were supposed to stand for, will block the ravages of whatever the chattering class fears will happen.
And, truly, we must think of the wealthy in this situation. The poors and the middle class are already beset by the troubles of the world: they know the realistic measure of what happens to them and plan according. But the wealthy, whose imagination and free time are both without end, can imagine all sorts of dangers, unbounded by rationality or realism. So, of course, they’re the ones that suffer. For once, can’t we think of them?
For indeed, if Samantha Bee and her husband Jason Jones are not given a free hand to keep public school segregation in the upper side of Manhattan, what might happen to the rest of us? What kind of world will it be, when the gilded citizens of that most just, most equitable, most laid-back island are forced to share streets with the poorest persons? Is that the kind of future we want to give their children and, incidentally ours?
On the other side of the aisle, we must ask how the people who are opposing the Merkels of the world are so ungrateful. Consider the case of Barack Obama. He shuttered Gitmo, ended our proxy wars, tried Osama Bin Laden in a court of law, fully restored American manufacturing to its heyday, and certainly lived up to every one of its promises. Why, the way people are acting, it’s almost as if he established a terrible, sclerotic, tedious web site for corporatized health care, then, right before his term ended, he upped the premiums a quarter. But that would be madness!
And so, while smiling at this avalanche of glory and success, we must turn to the great German, Angela Merkel herself. As Smale and Erlanger wrote in the article, “And then there was one.” Merkel, the last defender of the transatlantic alliance. When all other countries, in violation of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, refused entry to refugees as a result of the war the transatlantic alliance had made, as a result of the West’s long interference in the Middle East, it was Merkel who took up the absolute bare minimum of moral obligation and let people in the door.
For meeting the lowest bar of moral obligation on a continent full of rich, paranoid, bureaucrats, she ought to be given not one paltry Nobel Peace Prize—Obama, master of drones, rated one of those—but all of them, all of the prizes, for at least a whole year. Merkel’s hospitality shows all the heroism of a human being paying their most basic bills. As Forbes’ second most powerful person in the entire world, and as Tim Ash’s “leader of the free world,” Merkel is beset on all sides.
But not all the credit belongs to her, although she has a long history with determining who gets credit, as an enabler of the enabler of the god-like Deutsche Bank. Germany has a long history of letting friends from the East in, since they charitably used foreign work to do most of their low-level labor.
Still, even if she does not get all of our plaudits, most is owed to her. Who but Merkel, our hope in our very darkest hour, could have ground the fierce ogre Greece into the dust along with its rapacious pension plans and public spending? Yes, it took a peerless liberal knight to come to that action.
Who but liberal heroine Merkel could have asked for austerity, not once, but again, and again, and again? Who but Mutti, the light of the West, could heroically come to the aid of the banks, when those poor slandered captains of finance were at the mercy of not making their quarterly earning goals? It was the ethics of Merkel that led her to defend the NSA’s spying programs, and then to turn around and compare it to the Stasi, the East German secret police, when it was known that the organization spied on her, personally. You and I may see hypocrisy, but we cannot fathom the moral depths of the German Chancellor.
Let us all give thanks that Merkel is the hand steering this terrestrial globe. For if Deutsche Bank, and Austerity, and banking as a whole falls, then, doubtless, so falls neoliberalism, the Upper West Side, and with it the world.