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  1. #11
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    While I do indeed disagree with the so-called 'neo-Nazi' mindset and find it greatly disturbing that they are monopolizing this issue, I think there is some important cultural/historical aspects to note here. As a great many of you are from the States, you probably consider it very normal to be able to discuss whatever you see fit however you see fit as long as no one is hurt.

    In Germany, however, there are topics that are not allowed to be discussed without incurring great harm to your reputation, even if criticism is justified. Although these rules are not set in stone, you could get into a great deal of trouble for broaching certain subjects in public, which could greatly damage your reputation.

    One of these topics, among others, is the subject of Dresden. If you speak up against Dresden, you are often labeled a 'neo-Nazi,' which I consider to be greatly unfair, since it was an error on the part of the Allies. Rather than bombing significant military targets, they misjudged the German populace and assumed that if they bombed civilians, it would break down German resolve. Thousands of people were massacred when it brought no tangible benefit to the Allied cause; in essence, it was at best a poor allocation of resources to no logical end.

    The fact that it is highly discouraged to speak in such a way means that it is by default only the extreme right who is 'allowed' or rather has the 'guts' to talk about this because they have nothing to lose. This fact is dangerous, as it polarizes people who have no natural means of expression.

    In the States, in contrast, people (even normal liberals and conservatives) are allowed to discuss matters like Iraq or Afghanistan, or the Alamo, the Civil War, or Vietnam or the Cold War or WHATEVER without fear of retribution, so you do not have a need for extremism. However, when people are forced into the position of having to assume blame for everything, even for Allied mistakes, lest one be branded a neo-Nazi, do not be shocked when the lines polarize.

    Couple that fact with the situation in the former East Germany, which is one in which there is no real moral or structural foundation left in the wake of failed communism, where unemployment is going through the roof, where there is no end in sight, it is really no wonder why there is a great deal of disillusionment there. Result: extremism.

    Furthermore, I'd like to add that while they mentioned there were some injured, it does not say WHO did the injuring. Ironically, often it is the anti-neo-Nazi demonstrators (many of whom tend to be left-wing extremists) who are just as violent, if not more so.

    While we are turning our focus to a group of so-called neo-Nazis, we completely NEGLECT TO ADDRESS the FACT that recently these areas in the east have elected LEFT-WING EXTREMISTS. In fact, in some areas, Die Linke, which is the baby of the PDS (East German communist party) and KPD (the communist party before WWII), has gained between 15-30% or more of the popular vote.

    So while you're celebrating the downfall of one neo-Nazi riot, please do not forget to turn your attention to even more dangerous, REAL threats, namely the far left - the far left is just as dangerous and pernicious as the far right. And rather than paying attention to this one symptom, perhaps it would be more prudent to analyze underlying CAUSES for such extremism in the first place.
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  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    These are really interesting points to bring up LL.. When we, as Americans, read things like this.. we assume that's just what's going on. We lack the culture around us to really know more than the information at hand.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    And highly commendable.

    What poses the greater danger: Fascism from the past or bombs from the past?

    It's a no-brainer.
    Thank you, bananatrombones.
    For your acumen.
    You are brave and just.
    But it was not only Dresden.

    But then, on the other hand.
    Nuremberg and Dresden.

    Who is the judge of war criminals?
    The war criminals.

    Apropos who is the judge?
    The guilty party.

    What to do?
    Withstand a stand.

    It is the thing we did with Victor.
    Truth does not party.
    Guilt does.

  4. #14
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Perceptive as always, old friend.

    Arthur Harris was not a rational man; Churchill knew this but gave him a long lead.

    Speer said it. A few bombs in Schwerin were more effective than all the bombs on Dresden. Without ball bearings you cannot run a war.

    Harris said - reaping the whirlwind. Tu Quoque.

    Alas, in the Old Merry they still say, they started it - like a child in a school playground.

  5. #15
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Perceptive as always, old friend.

    Arthur Harris was not a rational man; Churchill knew this but gave him a long lead.

    Speer said it. A few bombs in Schwerin were more effective than all the bombs on Dresden. Without ball bearings you cannot run a war.

    Harris said - reaping the whirlwind. Tu Quoque.

    Alas, in the Old Merry they still say, they started it - like a child in a school playground.
    Yes. I agree.
    Freud would have said it. The Nazi party started it all right.

    Artists do not start.
    They passage.

    Franco invited Pablo to live in Spain.
    Fred of Prussia did not arrest Voltaire.
    Speer was the only person who told the truth to Hitler.

    Maugham was the first and the only one (save Clemence) to tell the truth to Winnie.
    Later, Winnie practically lived in Cap Ferrat, in the 60s.

    What lies at the bottom of psychoanalysis?
    Catharsis.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Little Linguist, I completely agree with you that Germans should grow some more balls when it comes to discussing their history instead of just doing a sheep-like "Oh woe is me that I am German and I am so sorry about our history... despite being something like the third generation after the Second World War." That attitude leaves my generation and probably the next generation too with some serious self-esteem issues when it comes to our nationality because we are still apologizing for something that we never did and can't change anyway.

    Still as an East German I find some parts of your post offensive and uninformed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post

    Couple that fact with the situation in the former East Germany, which is one in which there is no real moral or structural foundation left in the wake of failed communism, where unemployment is going through the roof, where there is no end in sight, it is really no wonder why there is a great deal of disillusionment there. Result: extremism.
    No real moral or structural foundation left? Have you been to East Germany? Socialism (we never had Communism in East Germany) might have failed 20 years ago but we haven't been left in some black hole without morals, especially my generation has a similar mindset to West Germany since we were watching the same television shows growing up, reading the same newspapers, being taught the same things at school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    While we are turning our focus to a group of so-called neo-Nazis, we completely NEGLECT TO ADDRESS the FACT that recently these areas in the east have elected LEFT-WING EXTREMISTS. In fact, in some areas, Die Linke, which is the baby of the PDS (East German communist party) and KPD (the communist party before WWII), has gained between 15-30% or more of the popular vote.
    I voted during the last elections for "Die Linke" (which simply means The Left in German) and I am most certainly not a left-wing extremist. I actually gave my second vote to Angela Merkel (simply because I like her as a person) and her party is at the other end of the political spectrum. Plus I am a bible-believing Christian who goes to church every Sunday, so how does that all fit together in your equation?

    My mother was very involved in the PDS when I was growing up and they were not a Communist party, they were simply a little bit more left than our big national left party, the SPD. Since the SPD has turned more and more into a joke in recent years people have started voting for the successor of the PDS, Die Linke, since the other option would be to vote for either the Green Party or parties that support big business.

  7. #17
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Ironic that stopping a march/free speech would be something the Nazi would do (albeit with violence). Regardless acting like fascists to protest fascists is hypocrisy.

    Goes without saying the fire bombing of Dresden and its noncombatants was and is a disgrace and an unprosecuted crime against humanity.

    If we fail to learn from history we are doomed to become more and more like our enemies.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    Ironic that stopping a march/free speech would be something the Nazi would do (albeit with violence). Regardless acting like fascists to protest fascists is hypocrisy.

    Umm... what would you have done? Let the march happen in the name of open-mindedness and tolerance? What kind of headlines would that have generated around the world? "East Germany returns to its Nazi past", "East Germans not learning from history"

    And no one was acting like a facist, 10.000 people simply formed a human chain, in similar ways people protested in 1989 which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Communism in the Eastern Bloc. You can't label any sort of protest as an act of facism.

  9. #19
    S Saiyan God Mace's Avatar
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    I never had to read the article - but having looked at the thread title, it all occurs to me from what I watched on television with what happened as the allies (apparently) bombed Dresden as one of it's targets, regardless that it posed no military threat. This was also given the knowledge that Germany was already substantially defeated.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    So while you're celebrating the downfall of one neo-Nazi riot, please do not forget to turn your attention to even more dangerous, REAL threats, namely the far left - the far left is just as dangerous and pernicious as the far right. And rather than paying attention to this one symptom, perhaps it would be more prudent to analyze underlying CAUSES for such extremism in the first place.
    The left is a total and utter non-entity. I say that as someone whose politics make most so called left wing extremists appear like moderates. The greater threat, as history has shown, is that when the protest votes inevitably swing in the other direction because the left is incompetent and cant deliver, often because the sheer sense of grievance is such that it wont be and cant be satisfied.

    There are lots of things from WW2 which are used by the extreme right, Dresden, the fire storm of Berlin, which really was Churchill's attempt something approaching annihilation, the killing and disappearing of masses of German and axis prisoners at the end of the war, the starvation and death of many prisoners and concentration camps in transit when Russian and allied advance led to the abandonment of them by axis forces. These things happen in war.

    To be honest I think they are unconscienable but they are also vital, if democracies cant deal with their history of occasional atrocity in a struggle for existence then they will not be able to overcome those who willingly commit atrocity as part of their very philosophy of life, ie Nazis.

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