You may not be aware of this, but Germany is a country that has lots of rules and regulations (put your understatement link here). There are bans, restrictions, limitations, restraints, curbs, controls, interdictions, prohibitions and Verbote (as in verboten) wherever you care to look. Should looking be allowed in the area you are doing the looking, I mean.

There is a good reason for this. I don’t know what it is, of course, but there is a good reason for this. There must be, otherwise everything wouldn’t be verboten like this. My suspicion is that Germans instinctively know that they need these restrictions. Their need for restraint and their neurotic order fetishes (see Putzfimmel, The Office of Order, The Garbage Police etc.) are there to protect them from becoming what they schon längst (already) are: Anarchists. It’s all too little too late, in other words.

Take yesterday’s Aufschrei (outcry) about introducing a speed limit on German highways. Many stretches of German autobahn lack speed limits – “traditionally a cherished freedom in a rule-bound country.” And when the EU, within the context of the current “discussion” about climate change, makes the harmless suggestion that Germany introduce speed limits here (like everywhere else in Europe and the world), everybody goes completely ape. I mean everybody, across the entire political spectrum.

All rational argument goes out the Fenster (window) and the “free driving for free citizens” fraction starts frothing at the mouth – and that’s about eighty percent of the population, as far as I can tell. It’s as if the whole nation turned into an anarchist Hausbesetzer (squatter) for a few hours of weekend fun.

But then they slept on it and woke up sober. Today everybody will start pretending that this ugly incident never took place. Political correctness will win again (it always does), and the days of the German autobahn maniac will soon be officially numbered.

This will be a hard pill to swallow, but they will. The Germans are not only anarchists, you see. They are big-time Romantics, too. And their crazy driving on the autobahn is nothing more than the modern equivalent to our extinct dusty cowboy riding the range. Happy trails, partner.

Come visit me at Observing Hermann…

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