NATIONALISM vs PATRIOTISM

   When I first heard President Emmanuel MACRON of FRANCE state that “NATIONALISM IS A BETRAYAL OF PATRIOTISM”  I had to think about it for about a week trying to determine exactly what he was saying. I believe I figured it out and I want to share my thoughts on this subject because it is important and timely to everyone on this planet. I also believe President Macron was 100 % correct.

      THE REASON THAT THE TERM ” NATIONALIST ”  IS SO NEGATIVE IS BECAUSE OF THE ASSOCIATION OF “N” (nationalist) WITH HITLERS NAZI PARTY AND HITLERS DELUDED PHILOSOPHY OF WHITE SUPREMACY.  DURING THE TIME I SPENT IN GERMANY (and I do speak  a little of the language), I was amazed that the German people were so very kind and friendly. It did not seem to mesh with the history I had learned. I call my Stepfather a Nazi but I do not know for sure that he was a NAZI party member. Although I think he was.  He was from a town outside of Munich in Bavaria called Freising.  I brought home a book on WW II when I was in 8th Grade from the Vista Del Rio Jr. High School Library in Anaheim CA.  He wanted to see the book.  He pointed out a picture in the book of the original Hitler  “Brown Shirts” and told my mother and myself that one these guys was his father. He pointed him out. He was so PROUD ! This is the picture with only one German Shepherd dog in the picture. I think it is important for me to share this information with you to establish a credibility regarding my experience and perspective. My stepfathers name was Joseph Johann Zeilmaier. I worked very hard to get along with him. He barked orders and I responded.  I worked to keep him happy and if he was happy, it made my mothers life a little easier. During the War he was an officer and a paratrooper.  I liked listening to his stories. He had an old  bullet wound through one of his feet. I got the job of massaging his size 16 foot when his foot was hurting. He was 6’6″ tall (2m) and he really was tough as nails. He was drunk a lot of the time.  That is when I got to hear his stories. I got to hear his perspective from the beginning of Hitlers rise to the end of the WWII. After the war ended and he was trying to get back to Freising, he needed to travel through a Russian occupied territory. One night a lone Russian Soldier demanded his coat. My stepfather beat him to death and kept his coat. My stepfather regularly hit the side of his hands on a brick. He made me feel edge of his left hand and it felt like a rock. He was a lefty. He wanted me to do the same. I declined. He told me when he was a kid in school he had a teacher that tried to ” break him” from being left handed. He took a stick to the back of his hand. My stepfathers father visited the classroom and he told the teacher that the next time he touched his son, he would come back again and kill him. It never happened again. However he made it clear it would happen with total impunity and no repercussions for him. 

    I learned what Nationalism was to Hitler and his henchmen from my stepfather.

NATIONALISM IS UNQUESTIONING TOTAL OBEDIENCE TO THE NATION AND IT’S LAWS AND TO ANYONE IN AUTHORITY. HITLER USED PROPAGANDA AS A UNIFYING AND also as a DIVISIVE WEAPON. HE USED JEWS, GAYS, MASONS, JEHOVAH WITNESSES AND THE “INFERIOR RACES” AS HIS SCAPEGOATS. ANYONE THAT WAS A GERMAN AND ANTI HITLER WAS AN ENEMY OF THE NATION AND MET THE SAME FATE AS ALL THE OTHER ANTI-NATIONALISTS. SO IF A GERMAN DID NOT GET ON BOARD WITH THE PROGRAM, YOU GOT ON A DIFFERENT TRUCK.  HE EXPLAINED TO ME THAT “NOT FOLLOWING ORDERS” WHETHER IT WAS BY CIVILIAN OR MILITARY AUTHORITY COULD, AND OFTEN DID RESULT IN THE DEATH PENALTY without a trial.  THERE WERE NO  RE-EDUCATION CAMPS. THERE WERE EXTERMINATION CAMPS. IF YOU WERE NOT WITH THE PROGRAM YOU… WERE DEAD OR WORKED TO NEAR DEATH.  MANY GERMANS THAT WERE ANTI HITLER MET WITH THAT FATE. HE EXPLAINED THAT NEARING THE END OF THE WAR THE RECRUITMENT METHODS WERE VERY EFFECTIVE. TRUCKS WOULD ROLL INTO A GERMAN TOWN OR CITY AND THE MILITARY WOULD ORDER MEN TO GET IN THE TRUCKS. ANYONE THAT DID NOT COMPLY….THEY SHOT AND KILLED ONE OF THEM. THEN ANY HOLD OUTS WOULD GET ON THE TRUCKS TO AVOID BEING SHOT. THAT INCLUDED OLDER MEN AND YOUNG HITLER YOUTH.

     ONE NIGHT WHEN HIS FOOT WAS HURTING AND JOE HAD DOWNED ABOUT 4 OR 5 BLACK RUSSIANS (Vodka and Kahlua) I had to give him a foot massage. I was about 14 years old and I got a play by play story as he told me about all the young American POW’s and how he and his men made the captured Americans kneel down and how the young ones cried for their mothers right before he shot them in the back of their heads.  Some things I can’t remember. SOME THINGS I WISH I COULD FORGET AND CAN’T. What was I going to do? So I was rubbing his foot while he is telling me this and I look at my mom and  she had the look of TERROR on her face. What did I do ?  I defused the situation by saying that I knew that alot of bad things happened in war time. So I blew it off and kept my mouth shut for my mothers sake.  What else was I going to do?  He is dead now. Boo Hoo.

     A Concept like Nationalism is similar to a virus that poisons the body and can kill the host or infect the entire body.  A VIRUS/CONCEPT unchecked can spread and mutate and become stronger and more dangerous. That is how the Hitlers of the world come to power. They prey on peoples fears and convince them that they are not alone and they have the answers to all their problems. Then comes the blame game with Big Brothers 10 minutes of hate a la George Orwell- 1984. Eventually they either run away or get infected with the hate and fear and join.

          NATIONALISM REQUIRES TOTAL OBEDIENCE TO STATE AUTHORITY WITHOUT QUESTIONS AND DOES IN FACT BETRAY PATRIOTISM !

PATRIOTISM IS LOYALTY TO A SET OF CORE BELIEFS THAT OUR FOUNDERS BELIEVED TO BE SELF EVIDENT. THERE ARE COMMON TRUTHS THAT HAVE BEEN SHARED BY MUCH OF THE WORLD BUT NOT ALL. UNQUESTIONED AUTHORITY IS ALWAYS WRONG. AUTHORITY SHOULD BE RESPECTED BUT ALSO HELD ACCOUNTABLE.  THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE USA DOES NOT DEMAND OBEDIENCE. THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION  NOT ONLY CONDONES BUT NEARLY MANDATES CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE BY DESIGN.  THAT IS THE GIFT THAT OUR FOUNDING FATHERS LEFT BEHIND FOR US. IT ALLOWS DEMOCRACY TO EVOLVE. IT IS A CIVIC DUTY TO HOLD POWER ACCOUNTABLE AND TO QUESTION AUTHORITY.  TOTAL MINDLESS LOYALTY WILL DEVOLVE  INTO TOTALITARIANISM. ( that is just a big word for a big pile of  (crap).

Back to Germany.  I liked Germany when I spent a little time there. Germans are some of the greatest engineers of the world. My standard Joke about Germans has always been…..  GERMANS are very intelligent but… we just can’t let them play with guns anymore ! But HEY  !! They make great Beer !! 

“NATIONALISM” AND HATRED AND MISPLACED LOYALTY KILLED MILLIONS OF JEWS AND GAYS, GYPSIES AND MINORITIES AND INNOCENT GERMANS TOO ! NOT TO MENTION MANY OF OUR GREATEST GENERATION THAT SAVED THE WORLD FROM TYRANNY and NATIONALISM !  MANY ALLIES CONTRIBUTED TO STOPPING NATIONALISM. FRANCE, ENGLAND, RUSSIA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA etc. etc…IT WAS A SACRIFICE FOR ALL THE ALLIES.    MY FATHER IN LAW WOULD NOT RIDE IN A GERMAN MADE CAR. HE SERVED IN THE ARMY AIR CORP. GOD REST HIS SOUL ! HE WAS A WONDERFUL MAN. HE WAS A MENSCH. IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT IS,  GOOGLE IT, IT WILL PROBABLY HAVE HIS PICTURE ALONG WITH THE DEFINITION.  YOU GET ONE GUESS WHY HE WOULD NOT RIDE IN A GERMAN MADE CAR.  I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS AMAZING THAT THE COMMANDING GENERAL OF ALL INVADING FORCES INTO EUROPE TO STOP ADOLPH HITLER WAS UNDER THE COMMAND OF THE 5-STAR GENERAL DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER. HE WAS A AMERICAN OF GERMAN DESCENT. AT THE END OF THE WAR WHEN SOME OF THE GERMAN HIGH COMMAND SURRENDERED AND WERE BROUGHT BEFORE THEN GENERAL EISENHOWER, GENERAL EISENHOWER  REFUSED TO RETURN THEIR SALUTES. HE FURTHERMORE TOLD THE SURRENDERING OFFICERS THEY MADE HIM ASHAMED HIS NAME WAS EISENHOWER. 

COMPLACENCY CAN KILL PEOPLE ALSO AND SOMETIMES SHARES THE GUILT.

marc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s