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Too early to say

There’s an apocryphal story according to which¬†Zhou Enlai–China’s premier from 1949-76–was supposedly asked about the effects of the French Revolution. “It’s too early to say”, was his response.

Leaving aside that the exchange didn’t happen, I think it’s a brilliant sentiment. It also seems on the brink of being extremely applicable. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles and one of its main legacies (the Weimar Republic) seem poised to cause the disintegration of the Eurozone and the European Union. While this is undeniably a bad thing (I for one don’t look forward to the zombie invasion bound to follow the collapse). Anyway, the emotional scars of Weimar seem to have left the Germans neurotically afraid of inflation, forcing us all toward something much much worse.

I am slightly comforted by the prospect that it will provide endless fodder for historians of the future. A war born of nationalism whose end was characterized by nationalist demands for reparations drove the world to war within two decades and brought the global economy to its knees 92 years on. Revisionists, eat your hearts out….

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