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BNP "Battle for Britain"

by In Wales Wed May 6th, 2009 at 07:23:01 AM EST

 EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 

I have sight of the BNP's recent newsletter sent out by email to their supporters, mainly pushing for more donations to the £300k already pulled together but also pushing out clear messages of racism and division, all in the name of patriotism and saving Britain.

All for the (real) British people who are now treated like second class citizens in their own country. Here is a message from Nick Griffin himself.

Fellow Patriot,

Have you thought of what will happen to this country, your family, and your loved ones if the British National Party doesn't win a seat on June 4th ? I have, and it scares me rigid.

Our people, this island race, will be left to the mercy of the Eurocrats, PC fanatics and the multicultural extremists, all of whom have one goal in mind, the complete annihilation of all things British.

The proud history of our people and nation will be eradicated bit by bit from history and our children will grow up in a sterile, politically correct, inclusive society where everybody else's rights are protected. But if you're English, Welsh, Scots or Irish, forget it, you don't count!


Our loved ones will increasingly become second-class citizens in their own land. Just look at how the indigenous people are treated right now. If we fail to win on June 4th the whole anti- British, multicultural nightmare will accelerate and become even more dangerous and powerful.

They have clearly made further gains, in obtaining support, funding, producing large quantities of materials, setting up a new office in the North.  This is an all out HUGE effort to secure a seat in the Euro elections. And most of the bloody UK is sitting idly by.  This apathy will win the BNP seats.

They make use of the kind of patriotic 'Your country needs YOU' language as if we are all off to war.  And as far as the BNP is concerned, yes we are.  It is a war against immigrants, a war against non-whites, a war against diversity and inclusiveness...

Just imagine for a moment how Britain will look if we have a massive victory in the European Elections, a new dawn will break for our people and the 40 year long bleak winter of decline, mass immigration, PC madness and Islamification will finally be confronted.

'It is now or never', 'donate now to save Britain', 'defend our freedom'. 'BRITAIN'S FUTURE IS AT STAKE!'

Let us not forget, this is no ordinary political campaign, this is an epic battle between Good and Evil. A battle, the outcome of which will determine what kind of country we will leave behind for our children and grandchildren. I am constantly reminded of this when I look at my own children, and I'm sure you know what I mean.
Your country needs you, this party needs you. Will you answer the call? Will you stand up and be counted?

It really is now or never my friend and fellow British patriot. Will you come once more with me to the battle front? Will you give all you can to free our nation from the traitors' iron grip? Will you once again sacrifice for your country and our people? I need you to be strong to win this fight.

This is a party preaching hatred all cleverly wrapped up in feelgood messages of doing the best for our country, our children and future grandchildren, making Britain a better place.  By getting rid of the non-whites, the immigrants who are taking away the rights of indigenous people... and blinkered, disaffected people are swallowing this.

It is all scapegoating and fearmongering without really addressing the reality of what the BNP would do if they gained power.  Denying racism and division in the name of putting real British people first. A smart diversionary tactic.

The BNP have self-billed June 4th as their D-Day.

Wake up Britain and get out and vote.  Our country isn't perfect but it is worth saving from the BNP.  

Display:
HOPE not hate
HOPE not hate is Searchlight's campaign against the British National Party and other racists and fascists. HOPE not hate recognises that people, communities and society as a whole face problems, but the BNP is not the answer and would only make everything worse. We work to expose the truth about the BNP and, by democratic means, to prevent it gaining electoral success. Our current campaign aims to increase turnout in the European election on 4 June 2009 so that the BNP's percentage vote falls short of that needed to win seats.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 03:37:53 PM EST
Finland also faces the same opportunistic small-mindedness and jingoistic rabble-rousing.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 04:25:50 PM EST
The scary thing is that it works well enough to bring them supporters. Even if they haven't quite made it to the mainstream, they are climbing the ladder.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 04:32:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is indeed scary. In Finland, Timo Soini could possibly win an EP seat. It is not out of the realm of possibility. But the harm may be less then we fear. The exposure of these candidates - if they are successful -  to debate and media scrutiny will, imo, quickly turn to ridicule, because they have no argument - even at the soundbite level.

Sometimes it's good to turn over stones...

Fascist crooners such as Berlusconi are far more dangerous.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 04:45:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you have a media landscape where at least a substantial minority of the newsies are able to find their arse with both hands, a flashlight, tower guidance and a ground control radar.

In Denmark, we were lucky in the last election cycle that Naser Khader proved so singularly incompetent - because the press positively drooled all over him until he started putting his foot in his mouth on a regular basis. If he had been even marginally competent, it is not impossible that an outright bomb-thrower-neoliberal party could have gotten four to six percent instead of the 2.5 they actually got...

Now, granted, a neolib and an outright fascist are not quite the same. But close enough for discomfort.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 07:13:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, what's up with Pia Kjærsgaard and the Dansk Folkeparti these days? Aren't they still high on xenophobia?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:00:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Volkspartei? Same old, same old.

I can't really tell whether they're getting more racist or I'm getting more sensitive to dog-whistles, but I've found them (even) more objectionable recently than I used to.

Their slogan for the EP election is "Give Denmark back to us." "Us" being symbolised by their candidate, Morten Messerschmidt: White, blond, Danish-speaking Christian.

Yes that's his real name, by the way. With a name like that and a worldview like his, you'd think that he'd keep a somewhat lower profile. But apparently not...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:42:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL. Did his party not play some Germanophobic tunes, too?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:50:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't been following their propaganda that closely, but my impression is that it's more Francophobic than Germanophobic.

And in any case, I am afraid that the irony is lost on his supporters.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:57:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking back to votes on the Euro and Maastricht and the depate on the Schengen zone, when there was some rhetoric about big neighbor Germany taking over small Denmark by different means.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:02:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The decision to raise the permissible amount of radioactive material [from the Chernobyl fallout] in reindeer meat has less to do with the half-life of caesium than with the half-life of public memory."

- Jan Guillou [my translation]

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:13:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is an ancient phenomeon. Here's Karl Kraus in Die Fackel (158,15, 1904)
Die Verwandtschaft des Burenvolkes mit dem Stamm der Herren Popelak, Inderka, Molinek, Honsik, Haluschka, Miklautschitsch, Kudielka, Prochaska und Wiskozil ist nicht ohneweiters einleuchtend. Das sind die Namen der besten Deutschen, so wir haben, -- der Teilnehmerliste eines stramm-deutschnationalen Festes entnommen, das vor Jahren in Iglau gefeiert wurde. Herr Malik ist alldeutscher Abgeordneter, Herr Sedlak Redakteur der ,Ostdeutschen Rundschau`, Herr Stepischnegg Schwiegervater des K. H. Wolf. In Nr. 17 der ,Fackel` waren die Herren Kokoschinegg, Kovatschitsch, Mravlag, Besgorschak und Podgorschegg als die politischen Wortführer der Deutschen in Südsteiermark bezeichnet, lauter Namen, die einen guten Klang haben, so weit die deutsche Zunge reichen muß, um sich auszukegeln. Wenn man daneben bedenkt, daß politisch einflußreiche Slovenen Kaisersberger, Fischer, Mayer, Blachmann, Schuster, Rosenstein und Kramer heißen, daß der Deutsche, der einmal in Cilli angeschossen wurde, Pollanetz, der Slave, der auf ihn schoß, geradezu Jahn (Vater Jahn,schau oba!) heißt, wenn in Marburg die Herren Glantschnigg und Woschnagg deutschnational und ihre Brüder Glančnik und Vošnjak slovenischnational krakehlen, so mag man sich an den nachdenklichen Ausspruch des Tschechen Rieger erinnern: »Mir scheint, mir scheint, daß dem Cheruskerfürsten Hermann meine Ahnen näher standen als die des Freiherrn v. Chlumecky!«
Sorry, no translation. Even professional translators claim that Kraus is untranslatable....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:15:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A perfect quote! As for a translation, lemme try. (In this case, methinks the problem is not language, but the need to add several explanatory notes.)

The kinship of the Boer people with the tribe of Mr. Popelak, Inderka, Molinek, Honsik, Haluschka, Miklautschitsch, Kudielka, Prochaska and Wiskozil [all German surnames of Slavic origin] is not immediately clear. These are the names of the best Germans we have --, taken from a list of participants of a taut German-national festival that was celebrated years ago in Iglau. Mr. Malik is an all-German [pan-Germanist] representative, Mr. Sedlak is an editor of the ,Ostdeutsche Rundschau` [ethnic-German paper in what became Western Poland], M.r Stepischnegg is the father-in-law of K. H. Wolf [a Bohemian-Austrian pan-Germanist]. In No. 17 of ,Fackel` [= torch; satirical journal in Vienna by an anti-Semitic ethnnic Jew], Mr. Kokoschinegg, Kovatschitsch, Mravlag, Besgorschak and Podgorschegg were described as the political spokesmen of the Germans in South Styria [part of Slovenia after WWI], all names that resonate well, as far as the German tongue must reach to bowl itself out. If one also considers that politically influential Slovenians are called Kaisersberger, Fischer, Mayer, Blachmann, Schuster, Rosenstein and Kramer; that the German who was shot at in Cilli onetime was named Pollanetz, while the Slav who shot him had to be called Jahn (Father Jahn, lookee by!); if in Marburg, Mr. Glantschnigg and Woschnagg are brawling as German nationalists and their brothers Glančnik and Vošnjak as Slovenian nationalists [same surnames in German resp. Slovenian spelling]; one may recall the ruminative remark of the Czech Rieger [Frantisek Ladislav Rieger, leading 19th-century Czech nationalist politician]: "It appears to me, it appears to me, that my own ancestors were closer to the Cherusci chieftain Arminius [leader of the German tribal association that annihilated the Roman legions of Varus in the AD 9 Battle of the Teutoburg Forest; a figure greatly mythologised by German nationalism] than that of baron von Chlumecky!" [Probably Johann von Chlumecky, Austrian minister, eventually a main negotiator of the 1905 Moravian Compromise concerning Czech vs. ethnic-German local interests; or an older relative]


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:04:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The danger is not simply the far-right representatives themselves. Don't forget about the Overton Window. If 'centrist' politicians try to go fishing for far-right votes with some far-right rhetoric... they will have success even if the current party disintegrates due to running incompetents. And they may re-group under different leaders; and they will try to move the Overton Window further whatever happens.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 03:56:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is because their position is not nuanced so it is an easier sell.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:40:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
also immediately shows why the debate around problems with the multi-cultural society has become hard: it has been hijacked by the xenophobic hard-right. People who genuinely pose questions about flaws in the modern, mixed society can now be tagged racist and happily ignored...
by Nomad on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 04:47:22 AM EST
That is a really good point and a worrying one because the BNP then become the only party that will discuss the 'concerns' that people genuinely have but can't find any voice for elsewhere.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:04:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Another aspect is that by systematically de-legitimising ideologies that promote social change ("liberation" ideologies, if that terminology is your cup of tea), you drive people who face real discrimination, real economic deprivation and, in some cases, real oppression towards identifying with their skin colour/religion/country.

That kills three birds with one stone: It deprives the disadvantaged of the ideological constructs that could help them form a common front. It drives people who, by an analysis of their material situation, should be progressives into the arms of reactionary lunatics. And it shifts focus from economic policy to phony "culture wars" and "[insert in-group] values."

The way the Americans and their friends in the Middle East created Hamas, destroyed Mossadeq and nurtured the Muslim Brotherhood providing an interesting case in point...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:57:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
it has been hijacked by the xenophobic hard-right.

I'd rather say the left is to blame. If you tag all criticism against multiculturalism as racism you will inevitably push larger and larger crowds into the arms of the racists.

It's not like there was some immense society spanning debate on if we should transform our countries through multiculturalism before the policy was implemented. It was just implemented, and anyone who had any worries was by definition an unreformed nazi...

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 04:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then again, unreformed Nazis, Little Englanders and other assorted blood puricists were pushing a victimology along these lines.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:07:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Conversely, the majority-appeal nature of nationalist talk acts as a bind for most centrists to actually confront the BNP's xenophobia head-on. Especially as in many countries, centrists have long since jumped on the anti-immigration bandwagon with various showcase tough-guy measures and rhetoric.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What % of the vote do the BNP need to win in order to get MEPs elected? - c. 5%?  The only poll I have seen puts them close to that.  How are the UKIP doing - are they fishing (partly) in the same pond?  Or is the anti-Labour feeling so great that the Conservatives will sweep up votes that previously went UKIP?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 11:34:08 AM EST
I was speaking to my MP about this.  He still isn't convinced that people trust David Cameron and doesn't think that the Conservatives are really making the gains they say they are/want to.  But he is a Labour MP so maybe he would say that.  He seems fairly tuned in though.

It is notable that the Tories have been complaining that the BNP have been taking their votes which amuses me on many levels.  UKIP aren't very credible but they could be pinching some of the right's votes.

I can't remember what % of the vote the BNP need but it is within reach for them. Just.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 11:43:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Already in the United Kingdom general election, 2005
The Labour Party lost approximately 6% of the vote across Wales, with losses varying by region. However, Labour managed to mitigate their losses in losing only six seats. The Conservatives returned MPs from Wales for the first time since 1997 with three Welsh seats on a slightly increased share of the vote. The Liberal Democrats also improved their share of the vote slightly and won two additional seats, one from Labour and one from Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party, saw a slight decline in its vote, losing a seat to the Liberal Democrats.

Peter Law, standing as an independent candidate in protest at the imposition of an all-female candidate shortlist by the national Labour Party, managed to overturn a Labour majority of 19,313 to win Blaenau Gwent.

For what it's worth.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 11:59:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nornally a three way spit in the rightwing vote BNP/UKIP/Con would be a good way to minimise their seats, but with a PR system it doesn't work out that way - provided each get over. c. 5-10% in most constituencies.  With a low poll that should be very doable.  Hell maybe even libertas will steal a few votes!  Because the votes aren't transferable (as in Ireland), a vote for such minor parties below the d'Hondt threshold are basically wasted votes.

It would however damage the Tory credibility and performance if they were forced to compete with the others in a general election.  The problem for Labour is that they don't appear to have a credible alternative to Brown.  Cameron has been "brand building" for a while and it is difficult to see who could compete against him.

Can you see even a "green shoots" scenario saving Labour?

notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 12:08:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See the table in European Parliament election, 2009 (United Kingdom): Constituencies & representation.

You're guaranteed a seat in South East England with 9% of the vote, in London and North West England with 11% of the vote, in the East of England with 12% of the vote, and in the rest with 15% to 25% of the vote.

In the North West constituency where Nick Griffin is running, the last (9th) MEP was elected with a quota of 7.95% - This was LibDem Saj Karim who later defected to the Tories presumably doubting that the Lib Dems would be able to win two seats out of only 8 in 2009.

The 8th MEP (Labour's Robert Atkins) was elected with a quota of 8.1% - The BNP got 6.4% of the vote.

The 7th MEP was a Tory at 9.1% and the 6th MEP was went to the UKIP with 11.7%.

There is plenty of room for the UKIP to leak support towards the BNP and still have both of them win an MEP regardless of the Green Party campaign to stop the BNP, and with Labour and the Lib Dems losing one MEP each. But Griffin does have to score 8% of the vote.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 12:37:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Saj Karim was indeed rewarded with a safe 2nd place on the Tory candidate list for the North West.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 12:40:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How can a British subject be a "Patriot"?

Maybe I am dense, or maybe "exceptional", but I just can't grok this.

I mean, there is a reason we called ourselves "patriots" because we were made up of several "nations" of Dutch, English, Scots, etc.  We weren't "nationalists"

And now, my focus is on Anglo-Saxon language and poetry.  Even then, the Britons were weak, the Jutes, Saxons, and Anglos took their land and curried up with the Picts.

I don't think the UK is as homogenious as they would like to think.

Maybe the BNP should take a step back and take a breath and listen to Joe Strummer and The Clash, I suggest starting with "White Man in Hammersmith Palais"

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 04:09:03 PM EST
Yes, you can be a patriot in a nation-state... Patriotism is (originally) simply loyalty to the fatherland (rather than, say, to your religious affiliation, local noble, national or ethnic group).

There was a big nationalist/patriot spat in Europe in the mid-19th century, when the liberals started stirring up nationalist sentiments in order to cause trouble for the various monarchies of the time (whose borders were defined prior to the invention of modern nationalism, and therefore did not well accommodate it).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 04:28:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess the modern take on the matter is something like this.

Patriot: I love my country.

Nationalist: I hate those fucking foreigners.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 04:56:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is why the BNP plays on the patriot language.  It brings positive associations which hide a racist agenda.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:01:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
I guess the modern take on the matter is something like this.

Patriot: I love my country.

Nationalist: I hate those fucking foreigners.

nice précis!

also, patriotism can be a quiet, unflamboyant sentiment, surfacing during peaks of ritualised behaviour, such as military funerals, flag waving and half-masting, anthems etc.

nationalism is always in your face pissed and mean right from the get go, except when it's sugar coated, like this BNP crapaganda, everyone knows what they want... a justification for a hatefest. stick a suit and tie on it, but underneath it's all about bovver and dustups.... testosterone, briefly forgetting one's own plight in surrendered thrall to the the sick blamegame.

the rabid right in the usa are playing the droids like violins, it stands to reason that it works (somewhat) for griffin and his evil ilk this side of the pond too.

barf...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The second one would more precisely be "chauvinist" or just "xenophobe".

I don't think there is a qualitative difference between the subjects of "patriot" and "nationalist". The difference tends to be in the eye of the beholder. As in, "I am a patriot, you are a nationalist" -- but even that is not universal, some people do apply "nationalist" for themselves and without negative associations.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:18:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a patriot, you're a nationalist, he's a xenophobe.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Better: I'm a patriot, you're a nationalist, he's a terrorist/insurgent/hooligan.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:11:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "nation" and the "country" are not quite the same, although nationalists have been doing their best to conflate the difference.

You can be a nationalist without being a patriot, and a patriot without being a nationalist. In point of fact, I would argue that the two are mutually exclusive: Nationalism is inherently a movement that seeks to fracture the state into numerous sub-groups, each of which aggressively defends its own privilege. Viewed in that light, it becomes hard to see how a good nationalist can also be a good patriot.

Of course, with that definition of patriotism, a jingoist cannot be a patriot either, because jingoism does not serve the interests of his country...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The "nation" and the "country" are not quite the same

Well duh: one is an officially recognised territorial unit, the other is a group of people that may or may not have an officially recognised territorial unit that "belongs to them".

You can be a nationalist without being a patriot, and a patriot without being a nationalist.

Yes on the first, but no on the second. Anyone who views him/herself as a patriot can be seen by someone else as a nationalist.

Nationalism is inherently a movement that seeks to fracture the state into numerous sub-groups

Nope. Even the separatist ones only until they do get their own country -- then that nationalism will turn on even smaller separatisms within its territory. See the history of the Balkans. At the other end, nationalisms may have imperial ambitions, either by conquest (Nazis, Chinese assimilation by settlement) or the theorising of wider senses of nation (Panslavism, Pan-Germanism, French nationalism, India).

Of course, with that definition of patriotism, a jingoist cannot be a patriot either, because jingoism does not serve the interests of his country...

So, you do sense that the patriot-nationalist distinction (which, BTW, is more common in Western Europe and the USA than further East) is a form of No True Scotsman...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, you do sense that the patriot-nationalist distinction (which, BTW, is more common in Western Europe and the USA than further East) is a form of No True Scotsman...

Partly. I was being a little bit facetious. But I do think that that there is merit in distinguishing between the two concepts, in the same way and to the same extent that I think there is merit in distinguishing between liberalism and conservatism: Most of the time they are functionally identical, but they have different underpinnings and some subtle differences in operation.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:22:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Liberalism and conservatism are functionally identical only in the present age and a Western context.

As for the concepts of patriot and nationalist, I can readily see a difference in the specific case of a separatist movement not yet with a recognised state, and I see usefulness of recognising people wanting to separate positive and negative connotations of collective identities. In fact, that enhances the problem with the No True Scotsman nature. Even if you take the US version in its purest idea-based form, patriots believing in the ideals of Democracy, Freedom and the Rights of (Wo)Man can be made to bring destruction to people who never asked for them to come in far-away Asian countries...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:12:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, one could argue that as long as the country and the nation are not one and the same, the borders are wrong and should be changed.

Thankfully we have the EU now, so one one needs to worry about borders anymore. If you're the grandchild of some Prussian aristocrat who lost everything in 1945 you can stop smouldering about Willy Brandt and the Oder-Neisse line and just move to Poland and buy back the ancestral manor from the current owners.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:37:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for me, patriotism is a loyalty to ideals that unites a country, regardless of individual differences.

Those ideals, for Americans at least, are enshrined and reified in a social contract that we call the Constitution, and which is based off of the Rights of Man.

Nationalism is based off a loyalty to ethnicity, territory, and language in common to a group (the Latin "natio" or Volk) rather than abstract ideals for human beings in general.  Nationalism by contrast is exclusive to Patriotism as inclusive.  At least in Enlightenment thought.

So I disagree that it is simply loyalty to the fatherland.  I was searching for the reference and could not find it, but Benjamin Franklin even said he wasn't loyal to any country, not even America, but rather the ideals it represented.

The mid 19th century was enough time to corrupt the thought of the 18th century Enlightenment thought, which has certainly happened and sadly the most in the US - the great experiment.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:23:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's because the US is built on ideas, not on blood. * As far as I know there are only two other states that have that weird foundation, namely the Soviet Union and France.

Ideas-based identity is dangerous as it gives its citizens an evangelical world view, be it la mission civilicatrice, world communism or Market Democracy (tm).

Blood based societies are often less aggresive, at least as long as they aren't, well, nationalists instead of just patriots. Then they tend to be of the kill'em all and take their stuff-school.

Blood patriots=safe, ideas patriots=dangerous. As it is easier to get the ideas patriots into foreign adventures in this day and age.

* Of course, it's never as clean cut as that, as the US has its WASP's, the Soviet had Russian imperialism, and the French had, well, France.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:32:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good try, but no cigar. You're forgetting Manifest Destiny and the way the US killed the North American Indians and took their stuff in the 19th century.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:43:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I did say it wasn't clear cut.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:53:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's either ideals and idealism or Blut und Ehre.  Or a Kantian or Hegelian combination.

However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.  The French revolution was pretty homogenous.  All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans, the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt.

French Republicans!  This is why the aristocrats patronized the German Romantics to write against Napoleon through folklore to propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland.  Their influence thankfully ended in the rubble of Berlin in 1945.  But Heinrich Heine was ranting about this

But that was supposedly the Great Experiment of the Enlightenment in the US, the beauty was that it was not a nation-state but rather a country made up of several nations.

I am not trying to defend anything here, which is reality today.  I just want to point out what the original purpose was and what a patriot meant.

Obviously, that failed when we had the first Constitutional Convention and they compromised on slavery, our original sin - the fruit of the tree so to speak.  Then it was even easier to sin further with the genocide of the Native Americans afterwards.

But yes, I agree, the Bolsheviks were indeed cosmopolitan in that they wanted a world-wide movement rather than a local national movement.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 05:57:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.  The French revolution was pretty homogenous.

Yes and no... It is debatable whether the French nation even existed at the time, at least in any for m that would be recognisable today...

All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans, the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt.

And Austria-Hungary. Unless, of course, you count those as "Balkans."

And the Netherlands. And Belgium. And pretty much everywhere on the edges of what would later become Germany.

The point here is not that the border revisions were huge. They weren't, by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that they were often extremely vicious and de-stabilising.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:06:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
However France is really the first nation-state; when one looks at borders, demographics, and language.

That's correct in my view. The assimilation process started at the end of the 100 Years War, with the absolutist kings applying it already when pushing their borders West towards the Rhine. Still, it wasn't finished until WWI... or maybe not until the loss of Algeria (which was legally part of Metropolitan France).

The French revolution was pretty homogenous.

Nope, that's quite far from the truth.

The French Revolution was primarily a Paris thing, but France was so centralised that that was enough. There was a pretty nasty civil war Southwest of Paris: the Vendée uprising. The educational and official language measures of the French Revolution did much to create a French cultural unity at the same time it triggered other nationalisms in resistance (especially Pangermanism) when applied Europe-wide under Napoleon. Even then, the Italian/French/local identities in Provence, Savoy and the upper Po basin didn't sort themselves out for a century. (Or more, if you watch Fernandel's border guard identity crisis comedy in La legge è legge.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:21:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(cont.)

pretty homogenous.  All of Europe was, especially in demographic maps - except the Balkans look like a polka dotted skirt

Nah, the rest of the Habsburg Empire looked like a polka dotted skirt (in some areas it still does), not to speak of the hazy German-Polish and Polish-Russian (resp. Belorussian/Ukrainian/etc.) borders. Those were 'sorted out' with WWII and mass deportations afterwards. All apparent ethnic homogeneity was created with blood and deportations and assimilation, maybe except for Iceland.

the aristocrats patronized the German Romantics to write against Napoleon through folklore to propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland

How much was it the aristocrats' doing? After all, the nationalists tended to be liberals, which got them in conflict with aristocrats by default -- not to mention pure power interests in keeping their local power vs. pan-German calls (something the nationalists would decry very effectively as "provincialism").

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:20:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
blood and deportations and assimilation
Otherwise known as "nation-building"...

How much was it the aristocrats' doing?
My feeling is that the aristocrats often were a cosmopolitan anti-national force. Married into other noble families in other nations, split loyalties and so one, and maybe most importantly, the national idea was mainly pushed by the royal (ie central) power as a means of controlling and weakening the aristocrats and strengthening itself. At least here in Ultima Thule.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
propagandize the peasants to fight against their interests when Napoleon was setting up republics, especially in the Rhineland

Or rather, setting up puppet states to consolidate his empire. You should realise that Napoleon's propaganda was for his time like Bush's for ours.

But yes, I agree, the Bolsheviks were indeed cosmopolitan in that they wanted a world-wide movement rather than a local national movement.

That's not fully correct, and this happens to be the subject of a diary I planned years ago but which couldn't get itself written.

World Revolution was a basic communist concept; and internationalism was a key point in the original split between Social Democrats and communists/socialists. But the Bolsheviks in Russia gave up on World Revolution pretty fast after the Revolution. They even felt the need to underpin this deviation from classical Marxism ideologically, e.g. the possibility of "socialism in one country". Thereafter, relations with communists elsewhere became foreign policy, that is, they were in the service of a country's interests.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 06:29:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
hmmm, tribal logic was the norm for tens of thousands of years, as it is today in rural afghanistan. i support my unit, right or wrong. it's only comparatively recently that we have evolved substituting ideas for what was as normal as the sun coming up every morning. it was a radical change for sure, still far too radical for some!

the next step will be making them good ideas...

:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i should add that the military uses this tribal psychology to reinforce group bonds and morale, the cog-diss comes when the poor grunts try and believe they're not just there for smash-and-grab, but for some holy cause or other.

cf 'honour', 'liberty', the american way' etc

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er, yes and no.

Even the "blood"-based countries are built on ideas: only the idea is one concerning a supposed blood shared uniformly within and not shared beyond the borders. Behind all the talk of shared blood, the reality is always a genetic diversity, a diversity that exists locally and that has continuous patterns geographically that don't exactly correspond to borders. But nationalism tries to cover actual variation either by attempting cultural assimilation, or by attempting secession (depending on where you draw the limits of Your People).

The distinction between "blood"-based and "idea"-based national identities is blurred further if you consider countries beyond the USA and (most of) Europe. For, basically all post-colonial states and all post-imperial states show rather strong ethnic, language, cultural diversity. Some of these, like say Nigeria, are purely the products of colonial border drawing. Others, like India, are the products of domestically created unity myths.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:49:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't agree. Blood based states are in one way natural (and with natural or normal I don't imply that it is in itself something good: lions naturally eat other lions offspring).

How so? The natural state of being of man is the (small) tribe. That's what our mind and social behaviour developed: we are related, know and trust each other, the other tribes are enemies, or at least dangerous. Then agriculture arrived, tribes grew to villages, cities, and regions and with the advent of better bureaucracy, rudimentary mass media, faster transportation and the 19th century push for centralism made possible by these advances, the tribe had grown to encompass an entire country. The nation state was born, and in spite of the predictions of many academic scribblers, it is still strong. Probably because it feels so... natural, because it activates the feeling and relationships with which we have coevolved for tens of thousands of years.

Or something like that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 07:49:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jeffersonian Democrat:
patriotism is a loyalty to ideals that unites a country, regardless of individual differences.

The UK's ideals are hating wogs and pakis and towelheads and - er - British bulldog, Winston, we won the war, rule Britannia, St George's cross out of the window and down the pub.

Actually I doubt that many US 'patriots' are any more sophisticated than that in practice. Wave the stars and stripes and off they go on a crusade. (Or a tirade.)

The point is that ideals don't need to be complicated. And they certainly don't need to make sense.

All you really need for patriotism is a sense of identity and participation and the possibility of pride - which could be a positive force, but is easily subverted. The BNP are perfectly positioned to exploit the fact that the other parties have almost eliminated bottom-up participation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 07:53:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well that may be Englands, but i think the Welsh and Scots would take exception to that UK characterisation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 09:40:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Patria is a Latin word cognate with the Greek πατρίς (patris), both of which derive from the word for "father", typically translated into English as "fatherland."

nā- (Latin) is a stem (e.g. nā⋅scī, nā⋅tal, nā⋅tion) meaning born

Both words have long --consider rhetoric of Greek and Roman empires preceding the 18th century literary movement-- been used to denote the place of birth as have respective translations of Gr. and L. "race" in epic poetry.

My impression is that connotations some people associate with "nation" and "nation-state" today  developed with administrative distinctions of "homeland" and dependent subjects. iirc, the imposition of "nation-state" to designate sovereign territories in UN documentation was a hot topic not so long ago.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu May 7th, 2009 at 02:57:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for me, patriotism is a loyalty to ideals that unites a country, regardless of individual differences.

Ideals that unite -- that's only the US version of patriotism (also the French); a form of nationalism where the (or rather, one) myth of unity is a (myth of) an assemblage of ideals. Loyalty to a country (or wished-for country of a separatist or uniting nationalism) doesn't depend on the particulars of that country's unity myth.

You also shouldn't confuse your own idea of patriotism with that of all other Americans. There are (still) plenty of believers in a White America, even more in an English-speaking America.

Benjamin Franklin even said he wasn't loyal to any country, not even America, but rather the ideals it represented

Did he say that as a definition of "patriotism"? Maybe not. At any rate, you shouldn't confuse a particular version of the patriotism of one particular country with the general term.

The mid 19th century was enough time to corrupt the thought of the 18th century Enlightenment thought, which has certainly happened and sadly the most in the US - the great experiment.

In my view, the system of Enlightement ideals got 'corrupted' due to its own imperfection -- the concepts of patriotism and nation included.

The Enlightement sought to replace the King with the People as the source of power and legitimacy over a State. The problem is, without a king, what defines the People and the territory of the State? Some US Founding Fathers may have thought that their country is based solely on ideas, but the Civil War showed that some subsets of the People have different ideas about who else is in their own group of People; not to mention the territorial expansion by arms West and Southwest.

In Europe, the same conflicts over defining the People and the territory of the State usually 'ended' with ethnic cleansings and wars to secede or redraw borders otherwise.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:35:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Enlightement sought to replace the King with the People as the source of power and legitimacy over a State. The problem is, without a king, what defines the People and the territory of the State? Some US Founding Fathers may have thought that their country is based solely on ideas, but the Civil War showed that some subsets of the People have different ideas about who else is in their own group of People; not to mention the territorial expansion by arms West and Southwest.

In the version of history I was taught, patriotism wasn't really an enlightenment idea. It was more the name that the people who resisted the rise of nationalism gave themselves.

That may be a local Danish peculiarity, but in our case, the patriots defined the country as the land that happened to be under the sovereignty of the Crown at this particular point in time. Why it was under the sovereignty of the Crown and how it had gotten that way didn't really matter.

Of course, the Danish case is peculiar in the sense that the nationalists wanted to both move the borders outwards and inwards: Schleswig-Holstein was kinda sorta a part of Denmark, but not quite, and they wanted to split it in two, let Denmark annex Schleswig and send Holstein on its way (and/or keep ruling it as a colony).

That created some rather - ah - peculiar political constellations.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, interesting. Royalist patriots vs. nationalists, that does appear peculiarly Danish, at least in that historicised form.

I would say that both concepts, "patriot" and "nation", well pre-date Enlightement, but the Enlightement changed both. You'll find "PRO PATRIA" inscriptions on the tombs of both 17th-18th-century Habsburg generals and revolutionaries who fought their 19th-century successors. While the "nation" used to be the aristocratic class that had its autonomy under (some) European kings.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 05:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to find what you refer to, and this is the best I found:

The Pharisees of Patriotism | Heretical Ideas Magazine

There is a great apocryphal conversation between Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine, where Franklin allegedly said to Paine that "Where liberty dwells, there is my country." In other words, a love of freedom and the American Revolutionary ideals is something that ought to transcend mere nationalism. The best part about this alleged conversation, though, is Paine's response.

"Where liberty dwells not," he said. "There is mine."

In other words, Thomas Paine believed that he should fight for liberty, everywhere.

The essay the quote is from, BTW, is also topical.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 07:07:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
- Samuel Johnson

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 06:39:38 PM EST
From today's Western Mail - the Welsh National newspaper:

THE British National Party's propaganda campaign for next month's European Parliament election is being run from a Mid Wales warehouse.

And among the activists preparing the leaflets for distribution is an author whose book praises the Nazis.

The anti-fascist organisation Searchlight has obtained photographs taken inside a warehouse in Welshpool, showing South African Arthur Kemp with other senior BNP figures and part of a consignment of 29 million leaflets for distribution across Britain.

Searchlight has also passed to the Western Mail the text of an e-mail written to BNP members seeking 50 volunteers a day to prepare the leaflets for transfer to the Royal Mail. Under electoral law, the BNP and other parties are entitled to have leaflets delivered free to every home in Britain, so long as they are properly labelled.

Mr Kemp, whose book March of the Titans: A History of the White Race is published in its entirety on the internet, has been associated with the BNP for several years.

Born in Rhodesia (which now is Zim-babwe), he studied in South Africa and became a journalist aligned to the pro-apartheid South African Conservative Party.

Mr Kemp moved to Britain in 1996 and later became involved with the BNP.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu May 7th, 2009 at 08:16:29 AM EST
I wanted to read this diary but did not have the stomach for it for some time. It's the same old, same old for me. Though, I find the warriors' rhetoric and "the traitors' iron grip" ballistic from a leader even among his European peers.

A question: does the BNP stage marches or other public shows of numbers in your area? If yes, are there any counter-events organised?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 07:13:01 AM EST
The BNP do hold rallies etc.  Campaigns are quick to petition against them and will counter protest if they go ahead.  They target certain areas where they can make gains with the anti -immigration stance.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the last one I went to, there were six BNP members marching with a flag, surrounded by 200 policemen to ensure their right to march. the counter demonstration consisted of 300 protesters.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 02:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cool, that's how it should be...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 02:14:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turns out that most of the pictures in their election leaflets appear to be stock photos not actual supporters, and maybe one stolen from the Daily Mail.

here

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 22nd, 2009 at 02:05:48 PM EST
Hero's fury at BNP 'fake' pic | The Sun |News
AN ex-Guardsman branded the BNP "scumbags" last night for using his photo and faked words on an election flyer.

Former Scots Guards NCO Stuart Walker, 37, was shocked to see a picture of himself in uniform outside Buckingham Palace on a poll leaflet.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 23rd, 2009 at 06:56:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.
by Gag Halfrunt on Sun May 31st, 2009 at 07:12:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

I cant believe that Britain's future is at stake!
kishi from camels coloring pages
by kishi on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 08:25:17 AM EST


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