Mitteleuropa : from List to Naumann
Title: Mitteleuropa : from List to Naumann
Author: STRATH, Bo
Citation: European Journal of Social Theory, 2008, 11, 2, pp. 171-183
This article compares the Mitteleuropa visions of Friedrich List and Friedrich Naumann, two liberal thinkers from two different centuries. Their conceptualizations demonstrate how fragile the connection is between free trade and democracy. Friedrich List was a liberal thinker in pre-revolutionary Germany who was very interested in the question of how to create a political economy based on a strong nation-state. List stretched the concept of Mitteleuropa to include an area from the Baltic and the North Sea to the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in the south. List was a typical liberal of that time with a belief in the combination of free trade, democracy and nationalism. Friedrich Naumann's goal was to reconcile the categories of state and economy, the Emperor and the working class, German and Slavic populations, understood as opposites by many in the debate of his time. The task he set himself was to reconcile these opposites and connect them to liberal thoughts about constitution and democracy. His utmost goal was to unify the national and the social, the Kaiser and the Volk. On this point, Naumann failed, as we know. As we also know, other forces then took up his search for ways to unite the national and the social.
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