Tag Archives: Germans

Keynes on Clemenceau on Germans

From The Economic Consequences of the Peace:

He felt about France what Pericles felt of Athens–unique value in her, nothing else mattering; but his theory of politics was Bismarck’s. He had one illusion–France; and one disillusion–mankind, including Frenchmen, and his colleagues not least. His principles for the peace can be expressed simply. In the first place, he was a foremost believer in the view of German psychology that the German understands and can understand nothing but intimidation, that he is without generosity or remorse in negotiation, that there is no advantage he will not take of you, and no extent to which he will not demean himself for profity, that he is wihout honor, pride, or mercy. Therefore you must never negotiate with a German or conciliate him; you must dictate to him. On no other terms will he respect you, or will prevent him from cheating you.

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