My little sister send me the question who might be depicted by this emoticon…
and gave me the hint that putting ‘Heil’ in front of it would make it easier.
My little sister send me the question who might be depicted by this emoticon…
and gave me the hint that putting ‘Heil’ in front of it would make it easier.
Funny, if it’s explained like that, huh?
And we have an update with part 2
(I wrote this a while back, so the political references might not be correct any more.)
I grew up in Germany after a time in history when the German people had lived through a very bad experience with patriotism.
The love for the Fatherland (not Homeland as it’s called in the US today) had been used to rally most of the German people to commit mass-murder and be mass-murdered. I was born when that experience was still very fresh and that means that I did not soak up any patriotism with my mother’s milk – just the opposite, patriotism was something to be despised. Especially when I was little, this was more a feeling than an intellectual understanding.
I never lost that gut-understanding and coming to America, one of the most patriotic countries on this planet, did not change that a bit. This must be the reason that at this time of the year, with the independence day looming, my toenails start to curl up a bit in anticipation of all the flag waving and land-of-the-free singing.
Though it appears that I am not alone with this uneasy feeling when confronted with the love for the fatherland.
Leo Tolstoy defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers.
That actually, I have to admit, is a bit stronger than just the feeling of toenails curling up.
Gustave Herve, another anti-patriot, calls patriotism a superstition – one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion.
So, what is the problem here? A bigger part of the world’s population is patriotic, and what is wrong with loving one’s country? Don’t we all have fond memories of the house we grew up in, the neighborhood, the city? And should that not extend to the country? But why stop at the country border, should we not expand that out to the whole world, or, in a short time, after somebody finally invents the warp drive, the whole galaxy, the universe?
Maybe we will have to look a bit closer what this ‘country’ that many are so patriotic about, really is.
What happens at the border between two different countries?
One of the most guarded borders I know of is the one that, for so many years, existed between East and West Germany. I have crossed it several times and it was indeed the feeling of entering a different world. But the difference was not the language – German of one kind or the other on both sided. The land itself? No, because now, that this border is gone, you can cross that line without even noticing it any more. And it’s not culture either because these two Germanies had been one culture before they became two countries.
The only thing I can see, that was really different, was the group of rulers. On the Western side it was Konrad Adenauer and on the Eastern side it was Walter Ulbricht, each with his gang.
It now appears to me that the only difference between somebody named Franz in East Germany and somebody named Hans in West Germany was the ruler they considered themselves to be a subject of.
Very similar to Jack in Oklahoma who claims to be a subject of Mr. Obama and Jim in Calgary who thinks he has to answer to M. Harper.
The display of patriotism here in the US of A, once the 4th of July roles in, if we really go down to the very basics, just means the pride to which dude that patriot is willing to give his money, life and children.
Let us look briefly at the ‘land of the free.’ That turns out to be a dud very quickly. If it were the land of the free, and I had decided that it is good and fair to give half of my money to somebody to do with, whatever he pleases, and on top of that allow this person to take my children and train them into potential soldier for his cause, then I should be able to choose who that person would be, right? Could you just send your 50% taxes over to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (that’s the dude over in Iran, in case you don’t have the current political scene at your direct disposal)? Or, to be a little bit less radical, send if over to Steven Harper?
See, the idea of the ‘land of the free’ is right out the window – we are subjects! – Just so well trained and indoctrinated that the very idea of being able to select the ruler to receive one’s contribution appears idiotic.
Now the question comes to bear if there is anything we can do to change this situation. First we have to investigate the idea of ‘being proud of’ something.
Can I really be proud of an accomplishment that is not mine? I had considered this question before when sitting in traffic. Unfailingly, once in a while you wait behind a ‘Proud Parent of Something or Another.’ Honor student, cheer-leader, etc. I had wondered on occasion what reason these parents have to be proud. I can understand that they are happy – but proud? Why? It’s something their children have accomplished. Then again, maybe not, perhaps there was a father sitting in the car in front of me who had always, dutifully, done the homework for his son. But I actually don’t think that was the case, I don’t believe they would have advertised that on the back of their car. Same for being a proud American – proud of what accomplishment? Making lots of money so that it can be collected by the tax man to build bombs with, which are then thrown on people the proud American has never met and who he has no quarrel with?
Would that really be something to be proud of – if it was actually true?
Can you be proud of making somebody so jealous, I mean so badly jealous, that he starts to fly airplanes into some bankers buildings? Wouldn’t it be something to be much prouder of, that, after you really created so much wealth, you would reach out and help those in need to get to where you are, as well? Wouldn’t that be something to be proud of, to do deeds that other will actually love you for?
Acting like that would require clear and logical thinking, something that cannot be expected in the presence of emotionally charged propaganda. One of the most emotionally charged areas in our lives are our children – we do anything to protect them and give them a better life.
Thus the easiest way to get somebody blindly lined up behind a cause is the statement "it’s for the children!" And how do we protect our children best? Sending them to war to fight for freedom – that is the true spirit of patriotism.
Yes, I am well aware that this does not make any sense. How about you?
Now we might make the mistake to blame those people who spread this propaganda and who manipulate in order to gain power. That would be the wrong target for our indignation. The correct target is the one looking back at you from the mirror when you brush your teeth.
There are always people around that want to cheat, who want to get something without actually creating a value that can be traded. They are easy to handle. You might fall for their schemes once or twice, but then you understand and you just don’t deal with them. If they don’t find new victims they will just wither away and the gene pool gets a little bit better. The problem is our conviction that there is any legitimacy to their action, even if their random rules are called ‘law’.
That these ‘laws’ are utterly random, without any basis in logic, becomes clear when you ask yourself why it is OK to smoke one kind of leaves, while you go to jail if you smoke another kind. I know, it is all there to ‘protect our children.’ But we already know where that comes from.
Breaking any of these so-called laws will expose you to a possible punishment, and following those laws to avoid the penalty makes sense.
But there is a different, much more sinister, element to our obedience to the ‘law’ beside the avoidance of punishment.
Imagine you are driving out in the countryside at three in the morning. Full moon, you can see far and wide and there really is not a soul around. Suddenly, totally out of place, there is a traffic light, and, as most, if not all, traffic lights do, it shows you a red light for you to stop.
Now, imagine further that you stop at that light and it is one of those lights that never seem to turn green. Finally, as there really is nobody within miles, neither a civilian, nor a cop, you decide to go and break the ‘law.’
How do you feel about that?
If you don’t have the slightest murmur of guilt, then there is hope for you. But, chances are, you feel that you have done something bad because you broke the ‘law.’ What you feel there is the conditioning of submitting to authorities. The mysterious quality that transforms mere mortals to god-like creatures.
I know, I exaggerate a bit here, but I want to make the point, that many of us carry the grain of belief, even faith, in authority itself. The conviction that something like authority does exist, that there is something that makes it OK for one person to tell another what to do.
But this belief is total and utter superstition.
Let us, for the moment, take that good old document, this country was based upon, even though we are not using it any more. One of the premises of that parchment is that ‘all men are created equal.’
Unlike many other cultures that evolved from monarchies, this country was built on the foundation that there are no different classes that would privilege some of the members. That was the theory, but unfortunately reality sometimes does not ‘get’ it. There were just too many immigrants that had such a deeply ingrained belief that there are people better than them, that this parchment did nothing in preventing those people to create their superiors again.
They were totally free not to do this, but they did it anyways. Fighting an authority is not the same as a complete conviction that it does not exist. The opposite actually – you can only fight something that you believe exist.
Once we succeed in a basic change of mind about this, there will be no need any more to fight city hall – city hall will just wither away. In the process there will be some collateral damage, but this will be so minor in comparison to the continued permission for city hall to do with us whatever it wants.
So, your homework for this glorious Forth-of-July weekend is to understand – and I mean a gut-understanding – that authority itself as a phenomenon, does not exist. Except in our mind!
If you give somebody the permission to tell you what you have to do and think, he will certainly take that offer. Many might not, but there are plenty of the politician/lawyer type of people around that will take your offer with a grateful nod of their head and then get out the whip and whip you into shape.
Just be aware that you can withdraw that permission at any time. It will be a bit harder than had you never given it in the first place, but it is definitely possible.
Here we go – and I consider this really important to understand because a Harvard graduate is much more likely to become one of the so-called leaders and policy-makers.
Thus knowing what makes them tick is a good way to understand where those policies and philosophies come from.
For many years I have been listening to sci-fi stories on Escape Pod. Great way to make your driving time more enjoyable. In the olden day when I drove much more I was always up to date with the latest episode but lately I have fallen seriously behind – not enough commuting (well, not too sad about that, though.)
On m,y last trip back from LA I listened to a classic, written in the 40s – Expediter by Mack Reynolds. Happy to report that there were anarchist that long ago.
Somehow the film Water Time by Allan Weisbecker made it onto my hard disk and it was well worth watching albeit frustrating.
Frustrating because it confirmed my own experience with my fellow human’s acceptance of new facts that violate their ready-made conceptions – namely none, zero, nada, zilch.
But I never heard such honest statements as “No, I don’t change my mind – whatever the evidence might be!” What I personally get most of the time is rejection or attempts to question the validity of evidence or fact.
Over the last years it has become quite evident to me that the root of all evil is government. For the simple fact that they claim for themselves to be above and beyond any morality. We teach our kids that taking things away from other kids is stealing and we should not do that. Yet when the tax collector calls it tax and does the same thing – it somehow is something other than stealing – but it’s not!
This is such an obvious truth but try to explain this to somebody who has paid taxes for all of his life and could not admit that this is morally wrong – simply because he would have to admit that he was wrong for all of his life.
It appears that to admit being mistaken is very difficult for many and it is easier to insist to have been right all along.
Happy to announce that I am a proud sponsor of the world-famous Rose Parade 2014 in Pasadena, California.
I admit that I was not involved to getting the nobility back that this country thought to have left behind some 200 years ago, but I guess some people just need to have somebody to worship – here is the new queen and her royal court
But let me tell you how I became a sponsor of the Rose Parade.
A few years ago our federal government convinced me to make a considerable donation to their treasury in the amount of sixty kilo dollars. At that time they convinced me to make this donation otherwise they would, sadly, have to take our house.
And the reason they really needed that money was that they had to give it to Wells Fargo – and a few other banks. Now Wells Fargo turned around and used my money to pay for the opening act of the Rose Parade – so there you go – my first part of the sponsorship.
But no, I did not spend it all on that! The other half went to the outfitting of a marching band with active members of our armed forces. The announcer of the parade told the TV viewers that this band – or at least a part of if – had been on a tour in Iraq where they also had made this happy music that got out boys in the right mood to kill some people – I mean they were quite a few civilians amongst those ending up dead but they were not our boys, so who cares, right?
When I saw this marching band parading down Colorado Boulevard I was so proud that I was allowed to help them bring this nice and snappy music to the world.
To my shame I have to admit that after that I turned off the life feed from KTLA – I did not really wanted to get too mad – simple because I did not have enough money to also sponsor our brave police officers driving figure eights on their motor cycles. I am so happy that they could have a bit of fun there because the rest of the week they will have to do all those nasty privacy and liberty violations those bad politicians tell them to commit – – – and what can they do, right?
They are just doing their job!
I have to admit that my first understanding of anarchy was in line with the definition that most people use these days – chaos!
But if we look at the definition and root of this word, we find that chaos is not really part of it. It comes from the Greek an- + archos meaning no ruler. It is certainly true that the removal of an established ruler can easily lead to chaos.
Take, for example, a kid that is strictly controlled. Take this control away suddenly and you will most likely had a child that goes wild. But does that mean that the child will remain wild? With most sane kids – and most of them are sane – they will soon find a balance and become accustomed to the lack of control and will be as productive or unproductive as their inherent make-up is. This has been demonstrated in an experiment of un-schooling, where a group of kids were not forced to do anything. Certainly they first slacked off, but after a rather short time of turbulence they started to better themselves voluntarily. If you have ever experienced the difference between forced and voluntary learning you know how much more efficient learning is that you actually want.
But this is an experiment that needs to be run to its end result. A system that would want control could easily subvert the experiment by first taking away control, let the kids go wild and then, when chaos is at it’s best, step in, proclaim that freedom does not work, and put the control back on.
This is the same principle used to convince us that anarchy is not working. Governments want to keep their control because this is what they live on. Any instance where control slips for a while, for example after a revolution or war, is them used to rationalize that chaos ensued and that government has to be established again as soon as possible.
Let me give you another picture that demonstrated that perfectly and which you will have in mind from now on whenever you hear about anarchy. Think of cooking pea soup in a pressure cooker. All the ingredients go in the pot, the lid is closed (control) and heat is turned up. Soon boiling starts, steam develops, and pressure builds in the pot. Nothing dramatic happens. The valve in the lid of the pot will let off some of the steam occasionally in order to keep the pot from exploding.
Now, suddenly open the pressure relief valve and see what happens.
You will have pea soup all over the kitchen. Yes, I tried that and this is the reason I used pea soup for my example. All the pressure trapped within the peas suddenly has no opposition any more and goes everywhere and takes pieces of the peas with it. The conclusion could now be to never relief the pressure – which would be equivalent to the politician telling us that we need police and military and prisons and laws regulating everything from commerce to farting.
But there is also another solution, because, after all, we want to get to the delicious pea soup. That solution is to release the pressure gradually, or – in the more dirty alternative – don’t care about the mess in the kitchen. Either way, we can enjoy the pea soup.
The sweet taste of liberty and lack of legalized violence where personal interactions occur on a voluntary basis.
Back to the idea of anarchy, a society of ‘no ruler.’ To get there will require a total revamping of the up-bringing of the next generations. Right now, kids, that have a disagreement or fight, are taught to go to an authority who will decide for them who is wrong and who is right. That will have to change to teach them to solve their problems and disagreements amongst themselves. Certainly this will not happen in schools that are sponsored by those who want the status quo.
I see this state of mind appreciating a society based on voluntary interactions spreading and getting more and more into the main stream, Ron Paul being one of the examples for that. He had to fail because the bigger part of the people is still too afraid of pea soup all over the kitchen, but it appears to me that we are at this time in state two of the three stages of truth as described by Arthur Schopenhauer:
I just wonder when we finally get to stage three.
I have (probably) never seen one and I don’t remember being ever abducted by one.
Still, it makes sense that they are around and all the evidence is hard to ignore. Additionally, I ran into a web page today that has lots of video footage of testimonials of rather credible witnesses. What I like about these witnesses is that they just report their observation and don’t try to mix it with their own interpretations and opinions.
Take a bowl of popcorn and a beer because some of that stuff is long…
When I went to school in Germany, there was no real choice where to go. If you were Catholic you went to the Catholic school, and to the Protestant school when you were anything else – like Protestant.
That was the first four years. Then you could either stay and prepare for a life in trade or craft, go to middle school and plan to become a middle manager, or go to high school and aim for an academic career.
We heard it through the grapevines that there was something like private schools but that was for the very rich and weird and I never knew anybody who went that route.
Homeschooling was not even a consideration.
Apparently there are some parents now in Germany who don’t want to get their kids to be state-indoctrinated.Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are such parents and they tried to homeschool their kids but the government said ‘No!’ and the battle ensued. They, eventually, fled from Germany to the United States after their family was vigorously prosecuted (fines, forcible removal of their children, threats of jail and more) for homeschooling. Initially, the Romeikes were granted political asylum, but the U.S. government appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals. That Board sided with the government. The HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association, a group defending homeschoolers in the US) took their case and appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
First of all I wonder why the US government would try to deny this family to stay in the US. I can only imagine that they want to stay friends with the Germany government which tries everything to avoid creating a precedence. Imagine the PR flop if a German family is granted political asylum in the US!
In addition, those domestic homeschoolers are already a thorn in the government’s flesh, daring to doubt their benevolence. The arguments brought by the government why this German family should be sent back to Germany to be torn apart and fined into oblivion are very revealing and indicate what might be in store for American homeschoolers.
Read the full story at the HSLDA web site…