Today is the 150th birthday of Kaiser Wilhelm II., born January 27th, 1859 in Potsdam, Germany; died June 4th, 1941 in Huis Doorn, Netherlands; last King of Prussia and last German Emperor.

This is not really a day for celebration, as Kaiser Wilhelm II. pushed Germany into World War I, although he tried to decelerate the escalation during the crisis of July 1914; but not with enough force.

Furthermore, he was stylized to be the anti-thesis of Democracy, especially after the November revolution. As Germany is today firmly democratised, celebrating the birthday of the Kaiser is no longer politically acceptable. But I think we can all agree that he was a better head of state than Hitler.

Now I would like to utter a heretical thought: During my childhood (especially in school), I was taught that Democracy (with a capital D; the concept of Democracy, not a concrete implementation of it) was the superior form of government. Only due to Democracy the scientific-technical progress was possible, which gave us our lavish lifestyle today. And of course, we live in good times (at least in the developed world), just look at the average life expectancy. But there was a economical boom during the reign of Wilhelm II., with extreme scientific-technical progress, and prosperity that Germany shouldn’t see again until the 1950s.

What if Democracy doesn’t make rapid scientific-technical progress possible, but it is the other way round: only due to the rapid scientific-technical progress we can carry the burden of the extreme inefficiency of Democracy (or at least the democracy with lower-case d, that we have in Germany; although other democratic countries don’t look any better)?

Could this be true? And what happens when scientific-technical progress breaks down due to a global economic crisis?

About Daniel Tiggemann

Software-developer living in Cologne, Germany. Was once a physicist, specialized in computer simulations and parallel programming. Now more into JavaScript, web frontend development, and especially mobile computing.
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