This World Cup seems to be a special one here in Germany. Not just that the World Cup takes place here, that politians can´t stop talking about howto secure the event from those annoying terrorists (some even suggested changing the constitution so that the german army can operate inside the country, which is only allowed in special cases like natural disasters), and that every enterprise tries to make money by referring to the World Cup/Football (just go into the supermarket you`ll find almost every product with an reference e.g. toiletpaper with some Football Player on the Package, giant Football formed choclate…).
The thing i want to outline is that It seems that a so called ‘new patriotism’ (I mainly call it nationalism or patriotism) is uprising here and becomes ‘cool’ or let us better say it becomes ‘mainstream’. It becomes normal to hang out the German flag, it becomes normal to feel ‘proud’ again for this country after all that history. You can buy Flags in all forms every where and there are alot of new products in the tree national colors (black, red, yellow). And people just go nuts about it. This is very unusual for Germany, since ’45 nationalism most germans didn’t dare to be ‘proud for their country’ some even analysed nationalism as what it: as an important root for racism and facism. But that seems to be over now if you walk down the street and you see cars and houses with flags in all sizes at them.
Germany biggest yellow press newspaper the “BILD” changed it colors from Black-Red to Black-Red-Yellow (which are the 3 color of the german flag) and started writing about the «new patriotism» and that it «should never end». Other papers do the same thing but in a more “intellectual way”, they print Interviews and try to tell me why it is “okay” to be proud of this contry again. If I tell friends, relatives and other people how I feel about it, most say that I should calm down because it`s going to end in a few weeks anyways when the World Cup is over, but I just cannot believe it. Not just because of the media coverage of this issue. What is the usage of nationalism and patriotism in a globalized world? I guess it helps to distract the people from the real problems and to tell them it`s not about lower class against upper it`s about «us», as a construct of a so called nation, against “them”, the other nations that produce cheaper than “we” do (china blah). And so the worker should stop complaining about bad wage and bad working contions but start working longer so that «we» can continue in the competion race.
A friend of mine just told me a few days ago that about 3 girls, that sat next to him in the tram, were talking about that «the turkies don’t dare to walk on the street anymore because of our new ‘new national unity’ which is expressed by the flags». The «Union for Education and Science» (Gewerkschaft für Erziehung und Wissenschaft [GEW]) in the state of Hessen stated this week that they are going to reprint their infopaper «Arguments against the Deutschlandlied – History and present of a terrible hymn of praise of the german nation» and distribute it to all schools in Hessen, the «BILD» comments this critique of the german national anthem with an annoying «We are proud of our national anthem!» the «German Football Association» calls it «scandalously». It seems like nowadays those who criticize nationalism and patriotism do not have to be radicals to be considered spoilsports. (Source jW: Deutsche im Delirium) Oh and if we already talk about the national anthem: some local nazis like to sing the first chorus («Deutschland, Deutschland über alles») at the puplic football screenings, and nobody feels disturbed by them.
So the World Cup isn’t realy funny for german Anarchist, most of us just hope that the german team gets kicked out of the game as fast as possible, because if they win that ‘new patriotism’ is going to speed up…but that ofcourse doesn’t do anything about the problem: nationalism and patriotism is becoming populair again.
This Foto is from the Syndikat-A Mailorder/Infoshop folks, and it just expresses my opinion on the issue perfectly.