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#84 - doktorwhat (06/15/2014) [-]
My post is simply comparing the Nationalstolz (national pride) of the US to that of pre-holocaust Germany. Let's forget the gun issue for a moment and let's look at some facts (and their sources [Wikipedia for now, but we can delve deeper later]):
Hitler was a somewhat radical political youth who got himself in jail for preaching radical anit-governmental propaganda in a Munich beer hall. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch)
Hitler rose to power through normal means - he was voted there by offering voters national prosperity. He got in in the "working man's party" in 1919 and promptly changed the name of the party to "national socialist party" (Nazi) in 1920. He did this because he was likable and a great public speaker. It then took him a decade in politics before he was voted supreme chancellor. During that time, he preached about recovering Germany to its once glorious heyday that got destroyed after WWI, and did this by convincing the people that they are a great people with a great history and have done great things (which they did).
Hitler, with the help of Eva Braun and Joseph Goebbels, took control of the German media industry and propagated pro-German adverts and films (NOT anti-semitic films). He got every German proud to be German and waving their German flags and probably the more right-wing folks were already starting to get pissed of about all the migrant workers who "took our jerbs" after WWI (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_propaganda)
Does this sound anything like the US yet? Remember all the pro-American propaganda after 9/11? That song "Proud to be an American" (God Bless the USA) that got super popular after 9/11? Remember that Alan Jackson song, and that Toby Keith song "... we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way..." and the protests in the streets and all the stickers and flags proclaiming "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" "GOD BLESS THE USA" "IF YOU DON'T LOVE AMERICA, THEN YOU CAN GET OUT!" ???? Remember all this shit? I sure as hell do. I remember how months after the 9/11 attacks it was clear that the terrorist group, Al Queda, was behind it. But did we attack Al Queda? No. We attacked Iraq and Sadaam Hussein - a campaign that George H.W. Bush started years before, and his son was determined to finish using the newfound patriotism to back him. Then they invaded Afghanistan under the guise of "liberation", but ended up turning a terrorist-led dictatorship into a terrorist-led corrupt democracy.
What happened next in Hitlers life? Oh yeah - he won the fucking "TIME Magazine Man of the Year"
Obama was voted into office and I thought he'd put an end to the needles conflict and death in the middle east. I think he brought like 50% of the troops back, won the fucking NOBEL PEACE PRIZE (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize), while he launched the infamous drone campaign in Pakistan. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan)
In any event, both Germany and USA believe[d] that they have a great national heritage with many contributions to the arts, science and technology (which they did/do) and huge national pride, waving flags everywhere, mostly proud of their leader and their accomplishments. So when Germany invaded Poland or the US invaded Iraq/Afghanistan, the people didn't even bat an eye. "Yeah, we gonna get them terrorists!" "Ja! Das ehemalige Prussien Rebuplik wird wieder zu uns gehören!" (yeah! the old Prussian republic will once again belong to us!) (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland)
I'm not saying that the US will become some terrible dictatorship. In fact, Putin is acting more like Hitler these days than even Kim Jong Un. Putin is loved by all Russians, and the Russian national pride is also at an all-time high, and they just marched in and will pretty much get away with annexing Ukraine unless someone stops them (cough cough * America? Where are your guns and weapons and unbelievably huge military budget now? Oh, wait - there's no OIL in Ukraine!)
BUT I AM trying to show how über national pride can lead to terrible things. What does the Christian Bible, which a supposed cornerstone of the US government is, say about pride? Pride cometh before the fall. (biblehub.com/proverbs/16-18.htm)
It's OK to be proud of your nation and your accomplishments, but if you really think about it - you were likely simply born into a nation by chance. Unless you really do something to make it great, you're just part of a great nation, rather than part of the reason a nation is great. The reason the US was great was because it offered religious freedom and opened its arms to the entire world. It allowed even the poorest of schmucks to come in and get rich with great ideas instead of taxing the shit out of its people and trying itself to be rich.
Having pride for being one of the wealthiest nations, mainly because of the hardest-working, most intelligent elite (MSFT, Apple, Rothschild, Buffet, Warner...) is just plain illogical. Having pride for having the most post-WWII kills of any nation in peacetime in the name of "freedom" is also just absurd.
Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Just have a deep look at your national pride and how mad you get when someone criticizes your country. Maybe read some testimonials of Germans after WWII who admitted to feeling overwhelming national pride and even when they heard of the holocaust atrocities couldn't believe it because they thought their wonderful army could do no wrong. Then try to read about some of the rape and innocent killings that happen when US troops are stationed in the Middle East, and think about all the parades we have for veterans and military personnel, and all the military discounts, and how Americans always salute their servicemen and break down into tears because these men "protect our freedom".
Every other nation on the face of the planet has national pride. But only the US mass-produces stickers in China saying "PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN" or "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" and sells them to its people. Well, of course Nazi Germany had patches and flags and action figures and films doing the same thing, but I guess it worked out well for them and the rest of the world.
I don't want to #school you or to #beschooled by you (or even use hashtags for that matter), but I want you to remove yourself from your position for a moment - from the overwhelming national pride - and try to look at my side. I moved from the US to Germany almost 8 years ago, and I didn't consider myself super over-the-top patriotic back in the US, but when I got here, I realized:
shit, man. We have so many national holidays dedicated to our military and the love of our country - we have so many songs about it and military discounts and all servicemen are HEROES. And when I tell people I'm in Germany, the first thing they'd say was "thank you for serving our country" to which I'd reply, "um... not everyone abroad is in the military. Some people travel for work or for fun or to broaden their horizons. I also noticed that Germany has ONE national holiday to do with Germany. The rest are religious holidays (separation of church and state isn't existent here, but religion is free-choice). Hell, I don't even see any German flags in the post office, bank, supermarket, or anyone's homes (unless the World Cup or European Cup is on). So when I think back to my neighborhood and every fucking house having flags on them and all the SUPPORT OUR TROOPS / GOD BLESS THE USA stickers and the singing of the National Anthem before every sporting event and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each day before school, and I told about these things to Germans, I got the overwhelming feeling that modern US is quite similar to pre-holocaust Germany