German Indology

Max.Nihom at Max.Nihom at
Thu Feb 27 16:32:08 UTC 1997

To the list members: 

I have repeatedly tried to send this to Dan Lusthaus -- using the return 
address on his message -- since it no longer has anything to do with 
Indology, but the message keeps coming back. I ask your indulgence.

I send this to you rather than to 'Indology', because the subject is getting 
out of hand.

>The tenor of my posting was jest,

I wasnt so sure.

> ribbing Lance Cousins for passing the
>negative buck from "Anglosaxons" to everyone's favorite love-hate
>nationality, Americans

Well, one can't blame him.

But, since you want to take it seriously, I have to
>laugh if you think that Europe would have been liberated singlehandedly by

Certainly didn't say so. Probably very unlikely.

Perhaps Vienna's complicated relation with the USSR after the war
>into the mid-50s provides the impression there that the Russian role was
>more prominent than observers in Western Europe, Africa, China, Southeast
>Asia, India, the Middle East, etc., would be inclined to ascribe. Yes,
>Russia played an important role on Germany's eastern front - and was the
>scene of one of Hitler's costliest mistakes; and the other Allies played
>important roles as well. 

Yes, yes. I had eleventh grade history too. 

>"What ifs" are always debatable - by definition -
>so we can endlessly debate how things might have turned out differently if
>the US had stayed out of the war; Perhaps we can at least agree that the
>likelihood of a German victory would have increased had the US abstained.

>>As for "defunct Imperialist expansionism", perhaps one might ask the
>>chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee what he thinks of this.

>Don't confuse provincial narcissism for Colonial Imperialism.

Sorry, I've been gone too long. It's the Foreign Relations committee. 
However, here I really do disagree. Is Helms really that different than 
Chamberlain at the turn of the century? I keep on telling people here that 
in order to understand American nationalism, one must realize that the U.S. 
is not a country, but an imperium. That is, 'Americans' (of course I 
generalize, but if one doesn't one can't say anything. Witness German[ic] 
scholarship at its worst) tend to see non-Americans as would-be Americans 
who perhaps don't yet speak English. And please, please, don't tell me that 
of late America has become used to different 'traditions': this just ain't 
so. When I was growing up in L.A., the 'Nisei' around the corner ate more 
rice, the 'Italians' ate more pasta and everybody scarfed tacos, but that 
was about the extant of the difference. In fact, I am conservative enough 
that I don't think that is a Bad Thing, but cultural sensitivity, nah. 

>>Instead, ask the conservative French government that is currently passing
>>legislation to control the influx of ex-colonial subjects; or ask the
>>average Brit on the street what s/he thinks of all the ex-colonial subjects
>>nesting in GB. The implosion will have long term effects, well into the
>>next century...
>Maybe, I'm not so sure. It seems to me that what has happened is that the 
'educated classes' have become relatively internationalized and that the 
majority who are not, resent it. If I may make a comparison, I think we're 
in the 1840's or so. The nasty aspects of the Industrial Revolution are 
plain and obvious to everyone: the nice things have yet to appear. We'll see.

Max Nihom -- presently of Vienna.

>Dan Lusthaus
>Florida State University

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