Geschichten eines Tabus
Is the West on the retreat? A defeat is tragic, but a retreat shameful: Wolfgang Schivelbusch examines a taboo.
The fact that things always move forward is one of the convictions of modernity: withdrawal is not planned. And yet the West - since the end of the colonial empires and the rise of China - has been on the retreat. But it avoids this word. Rather one speaks of an »exit strategy« or of »globalization« when one speaks of military defeats or the loss of hegemony on world markets. Using five examples from the French Revolution to the Vietnam War, Wolfgang Schivelbusch shows how the taboo break of retreat was justified in various situations - and discovers disturbing parallels to our present day.
Wolfgang Schivelbusch is Senior fellow at the ZfL.