written.

On Patriotism

This a quick rant I put in between the so exciting tales of Scotland. If you don’t care about my rants about potatoes, move along.

A recent football event winner and the reaction towards it recently brought my attention to patriotism. 

In most countries patriotism not only tolerated but actively pursued. It is perfectly fine to be a proud citizen, to shout the country’s respective name loud and shortened in public and to own a flag of said country. And to wave it when (friendly) tanks roll by on a parade.

We, the Germans — although I don’t really want to form such a group, but more on that later — we have our problems with that. People who shout “DEUTSCHLAND! DEUTSCHLAND!” usually combine that with a raised right arm and a shaved head. Hanging a German flag in the garden is good sign for something wrong if this garden is not in front of Schloss Bellevue.

What is there to be proud of? Being born in a geographic location and not leaving it, growing up in an existing, accepting society requires exactly zero effort to be proud of. Every immigrant has more reason to be proud, having left the realm of the known to find their fortune in a society that doesn’t welcome them. But patriotic pride is reserved to the ones who have always been there, those who never had to struggle to be part of the society, because they form the majority simple by lucky birth. That’s why I deeply oppose true, serious patriotism that goes beyond the occasional sports cheering or semi ironic celebration of a national day.

Lack of patriotism is not a bug, it is a feature. By reserving patriotism to the far right wing conservatives, more easily described as latent nazis, they are easier to spot. Many modern nazis don’t wear the swastika on their arm and shave their heads. They have regular jobs and are considered regular citizens, only that they are latent nazis who would like to see all refugees and immigrants kicked out rather sooner than later.

Unfortunately, in every day interactions they know to hide their nazi ideas. It is well understood that screaming “Ausländer raus!” will get you in trouble, and rightfully so. Luckily, there are ways to make the nazis show their true, ugly faces. Some form a party, give it a nice Euro critical touch and group up there. To get them out in the open on an individual level requires a more sophisticated approach.

A few days ago, on a Greece solidarity march, people showed a fitting transparent.

Rougly translates to “Germany, you filthy piece of shit.”

Everyone in contact with the banner was arrested. They were charged with “Insulting of Germany”. A thing that hardly anyone knew was a crime. A few news outlets reported, but it was quickly ignored.

Fast forward. Twitter. So much is wrong with it, but it sometimes valuable. To raise awareness, people started #Deutschlandbeleidigungstag (This looks like long word due to the lack of spaces in hashtags. But it is a totally legit word in German. Deutschlandbeleidigungstag.)

And here we come back to the latent nazis. They tried to hijack the hashtag. They only gave more examples of why it is legitimate to insult Germany and many Germans.

“The biggest insult to Germany are pedo-greens, gender fascists, Antifanten (a defaming word describing those who fight fascism) and tolerance-drunken leftists!”

It seems futile to collect those nazis. But it goes to show that Germany deep down is still not as tolerant, open-minded and immigrant friendly as many hope.

Now, to end this on a positive spirit, a song:

Hurra, die Welt geht unter.

Title picture is not mine. Taken from the tweet mentioned above.