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"Germans Shun Comparisons Between Hitler and Putin. What Are They Avoiding?", James Kirchick, 23 April 2014
[Excerpt] ... Decades after World War II, contemporary German political culture is marked by a rejection of everything that led to the rise of National Socialism. Today, Germans love consensus; from the shop floor to the Bundestag, Germany is marked by a cooperative disposition. The major political parties are committed to what’s popularly known as the “social market economy,” pledging to uphold the country’s regulated free-market system, with disagreement arising only over the tinkering around its edges. The relationship between management and labor is not nearly as adversarial as it is in the United States or in other European countries. This month’s strike by Lufthansa pilots was a rarity, particularly compared with the rest of the continent, where the “work stoppage” or “la grève” is a common occurrence. Germans appreciate political harmony as well. In the run-up to last September’s federal elections, most Germans said that they wanted the resumption of the “grand coalition” between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and her erstwhile opposition, the Social Democrats, and that’s exactly what they now have: a government composed of the country’s two major political parties, something unimaginable in Washington or London. ... Read the complete article at The Tablet.