Misc Sonderweg Readings - HansUlrichWehler,...

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Hans‐Ulrich Wehler, on the German Sonderweg The unbroken tradition of government by pre‐industrial power‐élites, the prolongation of absolutism among the military, the weakness of liberalism and the very early appearance of deliberalising measures suggest on the surface a depoliticizing of society, but one which deep down favored a continuation of the status quo….Much of this resulted from the political weakness and defeats suffered by the bourgeoisie in the nineteenth century, and all these factors… had assumed their importance during a phase of historical development which was uninterrupted by a successful revolution….This achievement did not preclude a partial modernization of the economy, since after 1848 the strategy of “revolution from above” at first had the effect of strengthening the nascent industrial system. Nor did it rule out other achievements. Technical education was so well organized against the various efforts to resist its progress that the flow of scientific and technological innovations began relatively early on and was subsequently maintained. All of these strategies [“social imperialism”, “social protectionism,” and “social militarism”], measures and processes of pathological and ingenuous learning were interwoven. Together with a combination of traditionalism and partial modernization, they were able, on the one hand, to preserve the stability of an historically outdated power structure over a surprisingly long period. Time and time again they achieved the necessary social cohesion.
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