Germans living in Eastern Europe pre-war

Discussions on other historical eras.
Lars EP
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Post by Lars EP » 12 Sep 2005 08:38

Serus wrote:Lars EP - > And you only encountered this phenomen in discussions with Poles ? Strange because i can say the same about many Germans, Russians even Americans and people of many different nationalities i encountered on this forum and elsewhere. Btw nationalism is not always a bad thing - Americans for exemple are in general very nationalistic (in a good way) people compared to western Europeans - do you think they are worse than Europeans because of it ?


Well, I'll readily admit that I don't like nationalism. Either that, or religion, is the fuel that every war since Napoleon has burned. You see, I have a stong sense of having roots in Denmark. It is the place where I grew up, and where my ancestors lived. I "belong" there. But Denmark is no better, or no worse, that any other country. And what my ancestors did wrong, or right, does NOT add or deduct from me.

However, I've met many Poles, and Americans, and admittedly also some Danes, and Germans and what have we, who believe that they somehow "more" because of what their ancestors did. That I find so much nonsense. And I find that more amongst Poles than amongst any other European nationality I know of. So in that respect my answer is yes.

Regards --- Lars

bratello
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Post by bratello » 12 Sep 2005 18:16

Serus wrote:
Americans for exemple are in general very nationalistic (in a good way) people compared to western Europeans

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

Lars EP wrote:
Well, I'll readily admit that I don't like nationalism

Right on, Lars EP!

bratello
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Post by bratello » 12 Sep 2005 18:22

Lars EP wrote:...Napoleon was the one who first seriously fueled his armies and population with nationalism.

I'd say Danton, Marat and Robespierre before Napoleon. "La Patrie est en danger!"--to raise the "3rd estate" to fight the Austrians.

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 12 Sep 2005 20:11

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels


Lars EP wrote:
Well, I'll readily admit that I don't like nationalism


Right on, Lars EP!

I wonder if Samuel Johnson would write this if his children would be tortured at school for speaking their fathers language.
Nationalism differs from nation to nation, and from nation to nation has different roots, origins and roles.Scholars try to define its origins and history, and always they are exceptions.Nationalism isn't always aggresive, sometimes its serves to protect a nation that is subject to opression and extermination.
Either that, or religion, is the fuel that every war since Napoleon has burned.

Neither nationalism nor religion fueled the war of Prussia,Austria and Russia against Kosciuszko's Uprising.However the defence against their aggression was made using nationalist ideas.
There is such a thing called "defensive nationalism".

bratello
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Post by bratello » 12 Sep 2005 21:34

Molobo wrote:I wonder if Samuel Johnson would write this if his children would be tortured at school for speaking their fathers language
As far as I know, he did not have any children.

Even if he had, he would have still said it, because Samuel Johnson chose his words very carefully and made a distinction between patriotism which "is love of and devotion to one's country" and nationalism which is "a) devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation or b) aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination". So it's still Samuel Johnson or "My country, right or wrong!"

Molobo wrote:Nationalism differs from nation to nation, and from nation to nation has different roots, origins and roles
A nation without a state (ie Poles in XVIII-XIX or East Timorans in XX centuries) can use a healthy dose of "nationalism" as a rallying cry when fighting for independent statehood which should guarantee that particular nation protection from foreign domination and a status equal to other nations of the world. The nationalism of a nation with a state is mostly "the belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals".

It appears that sometime on this Forum one has to deal with chauvinism, ie "militant devotion to and glorification of one's country fanatical patriotism". Pity.

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 12 Sep 2005 21:50

Even if he had, he would have still said it, because Samuel Johnson chose his words very carefully and made a distinction between patriotism which "is love of and devotion to one's country" and nationalism which is "a) devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation or b) aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination". So it's still Samuel Johnson or "My country, right or wrong!"

Doesn't seem so from what you wrote :
bratello:
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

bratello
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Post by bratello » 12 Sep 2005 22:34

Molobo wrote:
Even if he had, he would have still said it, because Samuel Johnson chose his words very carefully and made a distinction between patriotism which "is love of and devotion to one's country" and nationalism which is "a) devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation or b) aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination". So it's still Samuel Johnson or "My country, right or wrong!"

Doesn't seem so from what you wrote :
bratello:
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

Sorry, what do you refer to?

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maxxx
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Post by maxxx » 12 Sep 2005 23:36

And would not those scoundrels that torture children in school for speaking their father´s tongue, call themself "patriots"?

Good old Johnson was a wise man....

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 13 Sep 2005 09:50

And would not those scoundrels that torture children in school for speaking their father´s tongue, call themself "patriots"?

And would not those who defend such children and their culture call themselfs patriots ?


Good old Johnson was a wise man....

Inexperienced and naive rather.And filled with prejudices:
http://www.victorianweb.org/previctoria ... sjbio.html
In 1763 he met James Boswell (aged twenty-two) for the first time, and after he got over the fact that Boswell was Scottish (Johnson abhorred the Scots--hence his famous definition, in his dictionary, of "oats": "A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people")

He reacted furiously to the American Revolution, characterizing the rebellious colonists as "a race of convicts"
.

http://www.samueljohnson.com/falsealarm.html

He that sees all this, sees very far. But I can tell him of greater evils yet behind. There is one possibility of wickedness, which, at this alarming crisis, has not yet been mentioned. Every one knows the malice, the subtlety, the industry, the vigilance, and the greediness of the Scots. The Scotch members are about the number sufficient to make a house. I propose it to the consideration of the supporters of the bill of rights, whether there is not reason to suspect that these hungry intruders from the north are now contriving to expel all the English. We may then curse the hour in which it was determined, that expulsion and exclusion are the same; for who can guess what may be done, when the Scots have the whole house to themselves?

bratello
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Post by bratello » 13 Sep 2005 14:42

Molobo wrote:
In 1763 he met James Boswell (aged twenty-two) for the first time, and after he got over the fact that Boswell was Scottish (Johnson abhorred the Scots--hence his famous definition, in his dictionary, of "oats": "A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people")

He reacted furiously to the American Revolution, characterizing the rebellious colonists as "a race of convicts"

So far so good.

(Do you really think that only saints are worth quoting?)

Molobo
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Post by Molobo » 13 Sep 2005 23:47

(Do you really think that only saints are worth quoting?)

I wouldn't quote a man known for his prejudices against minorities and freedom fighters on patriotism.

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 14 Sep 2005 15:46

Please get back to the original topic

Karman
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Post by Karman » 21 Sep 2005 13:02

bratello wrote:Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

!


BTW have you read the Johnson's article "Patriot" in which he wrote those words? I did not so I am curious which interpretation of this quote is true to wit:
1. Scoundrels invented patriotism to justify their abhorrent actions; or
2. Patriotism is so great that even scoundrels my be forgiven (find the refuge) when they are patriots.

Regards

Karman
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Post by Karman » 21 Sep 2005 13:49

Karman wrote:
bratello wrote:Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) wrote:
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels

!


BTW have you read the Johnson's article "Patriot" in which he wrote those words? I did not so I am curious which interpretation of this quote is true to wit:
1. Scoundrels invented patriotism to justify their abhorrent actions; or
2. Patriotism is so great that even scoundrels my be forgiven (find the refuge) when they are patriots.

Regards


Oops. I was wrong. I made some inquiries and learnt that this wuote is taken not from the Patriot article but from Boswell's book about Samuel Johnson:

Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly
uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apophthegm, at which many
will start: 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.' But
let it be considered, that he did not mean a real and generous love
of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all
ages and countries, have made a cloak for self-interest.

http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/1564

Anyway one can see clearly that witnessing a conversation an almost asleep Johnson suddenly woke up and interfered saying that 'Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". And then fell asleep again. What did he mean nobody knew and Boswell had to clarify that he did not mean to insult real British patriots. I presume that he did not even mean to insult Russian, German. Polish, Chineese or Japanese patriots. And even if he did I frankly do not care. Neither I do care about Leo Tolstoy who referred to this quote in his diaries. Russian liberals picked up this sentence out of there when fighting against Russian patriotism in the 90th. Interesting that if they referred to interpretation N1 (in my previous message) till year 1999 then starting with year 2000 they refer to interpretation N2. Exactly the same people. This is the funniest thing in operating with quotes.
Regards.

P.S. Actually Johnson in his Patriot stated that only British Patriots could be elected in the Parliament:

To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life. Many wants are suffered, which might once have been supplied; and much time is lost in regretting the time which had been lost before.

At the end of every seven years comes the saturnalian season, when the freemen of Great Britain may please themselves with the choice of their representatives. This happy day has now arrived, somewhat sooner than it could be claimed.
To select and depute those, by whom laws are to be made, and taxes to be granted, is a high dignity, and an important trust; and it is the business of every elector to consider, how this dignity may be faithfully discharged.

It ought to be deeply impressed on the minds of all who have voices in this national deliberation, that no man can deserve a seat in parliament, who is not a patriot. No other man will protect our rights: no other man can merit our confidence.

A patriot is he whose publick conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment, but refers every thing to the common interest. .....

http://www.samueljohnson.com/thepatriot.html

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