Re: [NTLK] [OT] Football and nationalism

From: Michael J. Hu▀mann (michael_at_michael-hussmann.de)
Date: Tue Jun 18 2002 - 10:41:59 EDT


richard_at_cyberphotographer.com (richard_at_cyberphotographer.com) wrote:

> So we should put our ancestry out of mind and ignore the sacrifices
> and achievements of our forebears? Let's stop the teaching of history
> in schools.

I don't quite follow your logic here. Refusing being proud of other
people's achievements (or taking the blame for other's crimes, for that
matter) in no way implies one should ignore the past. Obviously, one
should not.

> I am proud to be British and if I were Dutch or American or German I would
> be proud of that too. Those who forget history are condemned forever
> to repeat it.

For example, I, as a German, cannot be proud of Goethe's and Mann's
writings, Bach's and Beethoven's music, or Leibniz' and Einstein's
science -- I didn't take any part in their achievements, and I'm not even
a proper descendant -- if any of my own ancestors did anything
particulary noteworthy, it failed to be recorded. And then, there's WW II
and the holocaust: if I claim Bach and Einstein to be my ancestors, then
what about the Nazis? I didn't take part in their crimes either, but
wouldn't I have to take the good with the bad, if it comes to inheriting
Germany's past? The holocaust is as much of a legacy as Goethe's "Faust",
Bach's "Goldberg Variations", and Leibniz' Calculus are -- something to
accept as part of my country's history, but not something to feel either
guilty or proud of.

But that's all I have to say on that matter, and I will keep quiet from
now on.

- Michael

Michael J. Hussmann

E-mail: michael_at_michael-hussmann.de
WWW: http://michael-hussmann.de

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