The Reawakening of National Identity

Two articles about two European nations — one inside the EU and one outside it — illustrate in their different ways the growing awareness within Europe that national identity actually means something, something too precious to toss onto the dung heap of borderless Multiculturalism.

JLH, who translated both articles, has this to say about them:

Here are two short articles that caught my interest because they reflect so ironically on aspects of what goes on here in the USA, as well as in Europe.

The first (about the citizens of the former German Democratic Republic being unashamed of being German) and the second (about the Swiss People’s Party going after the anti-racism law) made me think about how different and how similar they are.

The so-called Ossis of East Germany spent forty years under a Germanized version of Communism, and learned to preserve their identities as Germans until they were able to express them openly again. The citizens of Switzerland — who may seem the diametric opposite, since they began by defying the great imperial power of the time and wrested themselves from the grasp of the house of Habsburg — are in reality brothers under the skin, because the end result was the same kind of self-recognition. The kind we tend to find here in “flyover country.”

How far so many of us here and in the Old Country (whichever one that may be) have come from the simple recognition of who we are and why we are who we are!

The first translated article is from Zuerst!:

AfD Head, Lucke: “In the East, Being German is Nothing to be Ashamed Of”

Berlin. Bernd Lucke, chair of the Euro-critical party Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, AfD), which enjoyed especially good election results in the so-called “new federal states,” is in agreement with the less inhibited relationship of Germans in the east of the Federal Republic on the question of national identity.

“People there are not ashamed of being German,” Lucke declared in an interview with the Thüringische Landeszeitung. Standing for the national interest was met with more sympathy in Thuringia and Saxony than in the west of the country, he said. That was a result of the socializing of so many people in the west. They had learned never to say that something was in German interests. Everything should be in the interest of Europe.

The second article is from Junge Freiheit:

The SVP Wants to Abolish the Anti-Racism Law

Bern. The Swiss People’s Party (SVP) has called for the repeal of the Anti-Racism Law, with no substitution. Since its introduction 20 years ago, this law has not stood the test of time, leading instead to a state ruled by judges and denunciations (instead of the rule of law*), complained acting SVP chief, Gregor Rutz.

Since then, it has come to “uncertainty about the law, abuses and again and again to uncompleted trials,” as he is quoted by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. That was why his party brought this proposal to Parliament.

The Anti-Racism Law was accepted in a 1994 referendum with 54.6 positive votes. The SVP also wants to abolish the extra-parliamentary Swiss Confederation Commission against Racism (EKR), created in 1995.

Anti-Racism Commission: We are not Thought Police

“Switzerland does not need a state-run commission talking about which opinions are convenient and which are not,” says Rutz to 20 Minutes. In a direct democracy, he says, the responsible citizen is capable of judging among various opinions.

The Social Democratic Party (SP) rejected the criticism of the law. “It has stood the test of time well,” said SP representative Daniel Jositch. “Racism is not an opinion like any other,” added the Commission chair, Martine Brunschwig Graf. They are not “thought police,” but take their criticisms public “in the case of unambiguous statements.”

Rutz, on the other contrary, sees the law “in tension with the central principles of our liberal system of laws.”

*   A long-standing discussion represented by the title of a 2008 lecture by Dieter Simon, “Rechtsstaat in den Richterstaat?” — From the Rule of Law to Rule by Judge?

2 thoughts on “The Reawakening of National Identity

  1. Weren’t the Swiss “Anti-Racism” Law and the Swiss Confederation Commission against Racism the twin instruments through which some Islamic association had the late great Oriana Fallacci indicted for writing something (in Italy!) which hurt the feelings of some Muslims in Switzerland and caused a Europe-wide arrest warrant to be issued against her? Leading her to spend her last few cancer-ridden years in exile in New York to avoid arrest for said “crimes”?

    So Daniel Jositch, the aforesaid law has not “stood the test of time well”. Rather it drove a dying old woman novelist (cf inter alia “The Rage and the Pride”) and fearless journalist (read her ultra ballsy 1980’s interview in Tehran with the Ayatollah Khomeini) , who historically had identified with the Left, but in her older years, compelled by empiricism and intellectual integrity, came out honestly and scathingly on the subject of the deleterious impact of Muslims on Italy and Europe, out of her homeland? Bravo, Mr Jositch, bravissimo!

    No, Ms MartineGraf, your Commission is in fact the Swiss thought police. Though I do understand that the high salary, generous pension, light work load, bureaucratic status and sense of self righteousness that being Chair of it accords to you axiomatically precludes you from ever acknowledging the truth. If every member of the Swiss Peoples Party were to be jailed for their views and party membership you would not merely be untroubled by the fact, you would be pleased with a job well done. You are the epitome of the cultural/political cancer that is destroying the West and you are too obtuse and conceited to see it.

  2. Interesting article which reminds me of an incident that occurred around the old World War 1 battlefields in France in 2008, more specifically at a place I can no longer recall the name of, but featured a German cemetery rather than the Allied cemeteries my wife and I were more familiar with on our tour there to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle of Villers-Bretonneux which occurred on ANZAC Day (April 25) 1918 and was THE battle that finally turned the tide of war against Germany.

    We were in a bus full of Aussies and had a large Australian Flag draped across the back window of the bus, so I guess anyone seeing that bus would automatically think we were Aussies?

    The German cemeteries are strange in that even though the graves are recognized and highlighted by a representation of the Christian Cross, the German influence (Teutonic) is so very obvious in the design of those Crosses. In short, the cemeteries are distinctively German and cannot be confused with other war cemeteries. Another notable point of that cemetery is the mass grave in the middle of the site. No Allied cemeteries we visited had mass graves, all deceased individuals had their own place marked by their own monument!

    As we were about to board our bus and head off to another area another bus pulled into the parking lot and from the overheard conversations of the new arrivals, I recognized those de-bussing as being German. My wife and I noted that many of that buses sightseers were pointing out our Flag to others and that their joviality soon turned to sombre and discreet words between themselves.

    As it was still morning my wife and I gave a wave of our arms and a few guten morgans toward the new arrivals but were met with silence and obvious averted looking in our direction. From their demeanour there appeared to be a sense of shame coming from those people, who in our opinion, did nothing to be ashamed of.

    That incident was a sobering lesson for the both of us of how nationalism can be thwarted to the point of feeling shame by the individual from a system that values no national borders or the citizenry within them.

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