Germans Have Psychological Issues With Regards To Amerika?

Like, dude. I honestly had no idea.

German schadenfreude knows no bounds, particularly when it comes to the United States. The country loves to feel superior to a superpower like America. Yet Germany also harbors a childish infatuation with Obama — one which has little political grounding. The reasons are psychological.

…The criticism of America has always been a bit infantile. One is familiar with the theory from psychoanalysis, when people talk about transference, or when suppressed feelings or emotions are overcome by projecting them onto others. It may work for a while, improving one’s feeling of self-worth by devaluing an imagined adversary. But it always falls short. Which is why the ritual must be constantly carried out anew.

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12 responses

  1. H. Observer,

    Like, dude. I honestly had no idea.

    Heh. I read that piece the other day when it came out in the German edition. The best action, of course, was on the attached comments pages. There were lots of crazed Germans who went out of their way to prove Fleischauer’s thesis. Too funny.

  2. Here’s a good example of a typisch Deutsch reponse to Fleischauer’s article:

    Herr Fleischhauer, wen meinen Sie eigentlich. Meinen Sie Kanada? Die USA? Brasilien? Mexiko? Sie reden son viel von Amerika und meinen wohl die USA.

    Oh brother.

  3. On the plus side, those Germans who live or have lived in America added lots of reasonable points to the discussion of Fleishchauer’s commentary. Here’s one guy responding to another German who had once lived in the US:

    Schoen das Sie 5 Jahre in den USA gelebt haben…. Uebrigens…Ich lebe hier schon seit ueber 20 Jahren. Sie haben auch sehr gut erkannt, das “rechts und links” nicht in derselben Form existieren wie in Deutschland. Obama ist auch kein “Linker”, sondern eher als “moderate conservativ” einzustufen. Deshalb hatten die Republikaner es diesmal auch sehr schwer zu punkten und bekamen nur Zulauf von religioes extremen Gruppen. Jetzt allerdings die gesamte GOP als Idioten zu verunglimpfen ist voellig ueberdreht und sehr fern von Realitaet. Dies sollte hier auch nicht der Punkt der Diskussion sein…. Wenn Sie den Artikel nochmal etwas genauer lesen, dann werden auch Sie bemerken das es hier um etwas anderes geht als Obama vs. Romney. Es geht hier um das Deutsche Wesen ala “wir haben immer recht” oder “die Ammies gehn jetzt unter” usw. Marshall Plan??? Alles nur aus Eigennutz.Ausserdem haben die Ammies die Indianer ausgerottet…. Are you you catching my drift? Herr Fleischauer hat dieses “Deutsche Phenomenon” bestens erkannt. Linke/Rechte “Untergangspropheten” in Deutschland begreifen diesen Artikel leider nicht. Aus fanatischer Blindheit…(uebrigens auch ein typisch Deutsches Symtom) Rechts wie Links…ideologischer Einheitsbrei zum “gemeinsamen Feind” USA Nochmals beste Gruesse aus den Staaten ;-) Reisen bildet…….

    And here’s another guy chiming in:

    Ich kann Herr Fleischhauer nur zustimmen, bester Artikel seit langem.. Ich lebe seit 10 Jahren in den USA und habe die Krise als Unternehmer miterlebt. Diese “Obama Heiligsprechung” ist nicht mehr auszuhalten. Die USA ist nicht Europa (Deutschland) und moechte es auch gar nicht sein ! Obama ist ein Sozialromantiker und hat von Wirtschaft keine Ahnung. Die Fundis der Gruennen lasse gruesen.Die Gleichschaltung der deutschen Medien ist kaum zu glauben, dabei interessieren sich die Republikaner mehr fuer Europa als Obama. Die deutsche “anti-everything” Einstellung (Kernenergie, Stuttgart 21, fractual drilling, etc..) wird sich noch bemerkbar machen. Anmerkung: Unter Obama wird derzeit in den USA mehr gefoerdert als unter Bush

    Hold it, what did you say?

    Obama ist ein Sozialromantiker und hat von Wirtschaft keine Ahnung.

    Damn. It’s gonna be a long four years, I guess. If only there had been another candidate who knew something about business? Oh, there was?

    But I gots to have my eye candy! Precious, my Precious.

  4. Speaking of psychological issues, Amerika, that most narcissistic of societies, cannot bear anyone holding up a mirror to it. Honest appraisal by foreign media is just like holding up a mirror to a narcissist: they’ll scream up and down that it’s the mirror that’s broken, not them.

  5. Thanks for that tip on narcissism, Ian. Or on “collective narcissism,” I should say. I’m adding that one.

    “Another sub-concept encompassed by collective narcissism is that of the “Charismatic Leader-Follower Relationship” theorized by political psychologist Jerrold Post. Post takes the view that collective narcissism is exhibited as a collection of individual narcissists, and discusses how this type of relationship emerges when a narcissistic charismatic leader, appeals to narcissistic “ideal-hungry” followers.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_narcissism

  6. Ian,

    Honest appraisal? C’mon, even you would have to acknowledge how bizarre German reporting on the US is. As Fleischauer says, the imminent decline of America is a constant theme to which all German reporters return, from one generation to the next. I live in New York City. According to German media, my life must be pretty much over because of Hurricane Sandy. In reality, absolutely nothing happened to me. The wind was a little strong for a night or two. There was a bit or rain, but less than on an average day in spring. But according to Bild, Zeit, Spiegel, Stern, you name the media outlet, when I walk out my door, the streets are flooded and all the utility lines are down and my fellow New Yorkers have been reduced to instant poverty. Oh yeah, nothing like honest appraisal.

    We cannot bear having people scrutinize us? Are you kidding? That’s all that Germans do. That’s the fixation part of Fleischauer’s thesis. As Americans, of course, we’re used to people criticizing us. When you really are a superpower, that comes with the territory. Most Americans really don’t give a f*ck what other people think about them, good or bad. We recognize that most of the criticism is fueled by deep pockets of irrational fears and hatred and envy.

    Americans really never even think about Germany or Germans, which is why Germans’ obsession with America is so puzzling to us. Can you imagine any American wondering who they would vote for in a German election? It makes no sense to us. Germany is a different country with its own politics and politicians. Why would I even think about who I should vote for in their country? It’s beyond stupid.

    What do you get when you add a Canadian’s restrained antipathy to the US with a German’s feverish hatred of America? You get an Ian of Hamburg.

  7. By the way, you just have to laugh at this. Guess who’s on the cover of the current issue of the paper edition of Spiegel? Hey, it’s our good friend, Uncle Sam! Oh boy, but Sam is in a hospital bed, fellas. Man, it doesn’t look good, folks.

    What’s the title of the issue?

    Der amerikanische Patient: Vom Niedergang einer großen Nation.

    Damn, it looks like Uncle Sam is on the ropes again! Stay tuned, kids! Find out next week what happens in our next installment.

    Kindisch? Maybe. Infantil? Oh yeah.

    Looks like the editorial board at Spiegel also wants to help Fleischauer win his argument.

  8. Ian,

    People who can’t formulate a response of their own usually type such hackneyed, over-used lines.

    You can speak and write English, right? Okay, let’s talk. There are any number of issues related to Fleischauer’s article.

    Don’t you find it comical that, in support of Fleischauer’s thesis, Spiegel itself, as it has done for many decades now, warns of the up-coming — this time, really, really gonna happen — Niedergang of Amerika?

    I mean, listen, if you can’t even acknowledge the absurdity of the Germans’ constant proclamations, you’ve just turned yourself into another German mental case. If so, you’ve let your brain turn into … Hamburger.

  9. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands though. I guess it’s because you don’t have any new pointless wars to promote. Well, carry on if you get your jollies insulting me. You just prove my point.

  10. Ian,

    Your point? Oh, your claim that Americans are narcissists? Hey, Obama is our president, so you might be right.

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