Oscillation: (my definition) a repetitive cycle, going from one far side, to the other far side.
Compulsive: (my definition) a captivating personality feature that drives a person to do something in a very particular way....sometimes to extremes.
When you take oscillation and compulsive attitudes....blending them into a culture or society.....you tend to come to think immediately of the Germans.
If you were going to start a massive recycling campaign in the US....you'd immediately find that at least half of society is uncooperative, and may never come to agree to the state-sponsored program.
In Germany, the state writes up the rules....the media puts them out into a public arena.....several months of advertisements take place....and roughly ninety percent of German society will tend to be agreeable with the new recycling program.
Within months, you discover that of the ninety percent of society accepting this radical change.....you can basically divide them into two groups....one that accepts the current program with no big issues, and the second group that is already focusing on extending the recycling idea to new and further extremes. Eventually, the second "delayed" group will catch up and agree on version two of recycling.....then discover that the first group has now moved onto even more bolder recycling concepts.
You see....Germans weren't always Germans. For this long period of the Roman era.....you basically survived by being very agreeable with authority and control. These were the invaders and you simply adjusted your life to fit within their rules.
As the Roman era came to an end....the Catholic Church came to replace the controlling authority. Germans of this period came to question things. For a Christian organization to mount fear, authority and intimidation into their agenda.....it drove Germans to ask questions and generally sparked a change in society. You could go from one extreme to the other now....thinking and questioning the things around you.
The fact that roughly three-hundred city-states, states, kingdoms, empires, etc......existed in this Germanic region simply added to the overall issue. Up through the early 1800s.....the Germans were divided and simply focused on their own town, village, or region. After the Napoleonic era....this changed, and the map of Prussia changed things into one country...one culture....one society.....and very focused on compulsive values.
The oscillation side of this situation? Germans are fairly intelligent on the rules of life and society....so they will reach a point where someone....like a Martin Luther.....will ask one dynamic question, and start a process of rethinking the big picture. Going from one extreme to another? Yes, but it's a rational thought process.....where you develop the right questions, and look for a logical answer. You reprioritize things.....you look back at simplicity.....you toss basic human rights on the table.....and you come to change. And you make this change....a very compulsive thing (the natural German tendency).
An eternal thing? No. Germans are accepting immigration changes and there's a minimum of five million foreign residents within the border of Germany today....out of the eighty million total residents. The estimations go in 2025 from eight million foreigners to ten million foreigners. And here's the interesting thing.....these Russians, Turks, Muslims, Africans, and 'others' (to include us Gringos).....are not as compulsive or oscillating. And it'll be awful hard to convince us to hardwire ourselves into this type of thinking.
So, things over the next thirty to forty years will be changing. It's hard to imagine the effects of this....except the dilution of German compulsive values will be diminished.
Just something to think about.