When Everything Is a Crisis, Nothing Is

Foreign Policy | Aug 1, 2020 at 6:51 PM
  • Though Peukert presented Weimar’s crisis as an objective condition, his emotional language—his talk of “unease,” “anxiety,” “fear,” and “hope”—helps readers see that it was more than just an external fact.
  • In this sense, authoritarian reaction is “crisis management” writ large—the urge, in a time of chaos, to re-create a bygone stability and normality while avoiding big social change.
  • It is worth remembering that what killed the Weimar Republic, Germany’s first liberal democracy, was not an objective predicament but the fear and desperation of runaway crisis-consciousness.