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If you don't accept Christian values, get out of Germany
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Strange Famous Forum > Social stuff. Political stuff. KNOWMORE

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theodora



Joined: 07 Sep 2008
Posts: 429
Location: Boulder, CO
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I think Generation end-of-the-alphabet liberals tend to romanticize Europe a bit. They've got their problems. Humans generally tend toward xenophobia. I'd almost argue that it needs to be 'unlearned.'

There are records from the 16th century of British people screaming "They took 'rr jobs!" because artisans from the Continent came to cash in on England's strengthening economy.

I'm just saying, it's nothing new. Publicity just comes in waves, that's all.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:28 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 621
Location: http://askthedead.bandcamp.com
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As much as Mexican immigration is used as a divisive wedge issue here in the U.S. (and to claim that "those people" are leeches on the system by abusing welfare, etc.), the same is being done with Muslims and Arabs in Germany.

Thilo Sarrazin, the bank executive who made the "Muslims are making the country more stupid" comment, has also been saying (in his book and elsewhere) that Muslims are the main recipients of German welfare and that Germany can't sustain their laziness. His solution: major cutbacks to welfare.

It turns out, though, that he's been advocating cuts to welfare for years.

Of course, all this is happening in the middle of the Great Recession. 2009 was the first year of negative GDP growth for Germany in decades. And as of July 2010, the unemployment rate was 6.9% - the lowest it's been since 1992. Naturally, people are pissed.

Then, Chancellor Merkel announced austerity measures this summer, which include drastic cuts to social spending. People are now doubly pissed off about these cuts - especially since the German workers had no hand in causing the recession. As with the rest of Europe, there have been various protests and work stoppages since then, and unions have very publicly criticized their respective governments for adopting austerity measures that punish working people for the excesses of finance ("privatizing profit and socializing debt!").

So, this nonsense about "accepting Christian values" seems to be an attempt to tap into the vein of populist anger, but to try to deflect that anger away from the government (and finance generally). What better scapegoat than a completely "foreign" culture which is also, not coincidentally, under attack throughout the West (and yes, not just in Europe, but very obviously here in the U.S. vis a vis the Park 51 debacle)?

I'm very curious to see where things will go from here.
Post Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:32 pm
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mlanifesto



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 354
Location: UK>Head Like a Fucking Orange County>San Francisco
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Alan Hague wrote:

So, this nonsense about "accepting Christian values" seems to be an attempt to tap into the vein of populist anger, but to try to deflect that anger away from the government (and finance generally). What better scapegoat than a completely "foreign" culture which is also, not coincidentally, under attack throughout the West (and yes, not just in Europe, but very obviously here in the U.S. vis a vis the Park 51 debacle)?



Unity of the majority through demonizing the other. Happens every time the economy tanks in Europe.

Remembering all the skins and that sort of bullshit back around the time of that dirty Milk Snatcher. The Tories hyping up racial and ethnic tensions with the benefits bullshit.
National Front, combat 18, all that bollocks.
With the massive cuts in the UK, I expect stuff to ramp up there.

Last nights Rachel Maddow did a good job on how it's playing out in US national politics.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:37 am
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firefly



Joined: 27 Sep 2002
Posts: 3990
Location: Montreal
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mancabbage wrote:
firefly wrote:
Y The stage is set to usher in a new Fascist government. All the pieces are in place. Very scary.


this is what i was talking about. its just silly. Not going to happen.


Are you saying the economy isn't in shambles? That far right parties aren't gaining momentum? That new totalitarian laws are not in place? That far right/ignorant charasmatic politicians aren't gaining support and media attention? Is this all silly nonsense? Because this is all fact. Financial collapse leads to political extremism. We are already seeing this being played out right in front of our eyes.

It's interesting how the more crazy things are getting in the world, the more that REALISTS are being seen as crazy. The more we indulge in fantasy and illusion, the more that reality seems far fetched and nonsensical.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:38 am
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9208
Location: london
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Are you saying the economy isn't in shambles?


no, wtf... where did i say that? All i'm saying is germany isn't going to elect a facist government.


I'm proud of the french though, those fuckers get their voices heard, cameron and that other toffee nosed cunt have just sent this country right up the shitter, its somewhat unbelievable what they did today... but i wont be surprised to see people roll over and take it, another poll tax riot seems unlikely.. so far. The french on the other hand, rioting and burning cars. blap
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:09 pm
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crash



Joined: 07 Aug 2003
Posts: 5453
Location: the chocolate city with a marshmallow center and a graham cracker crust of corruption
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you think that the riots are a good thing? my understanding of european economic politics is hazy at best but from what i've heard they have a pretty cushy welfare system in france and a dangerously high deficit. what's so bad about retiring at 62 instead of 60? i'm guessing most of the people burning cars aren't mad that their retirement is going to postponed 2 years.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:14 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
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Location: london
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you'd have to ask a frenchman that, 2 years seems like nothing, but they protest every little thing - aren't shy about sticking the big middle finger to the government, likewise.. if their president was having an affair they wouldn't give a monkeys. Right attitude if you ask me.. i'm just going by what i see but they have a damn good quality of life out there in general, you don't get that without having your voice heard.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:33 pm
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mzehe916



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 4542
Location: Switzerland
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@Alan...Sarrazin is an idiot. That comment sold books. That is all. It isn't like people walk around with Thilo shirts. It pretty much would be equivalent to any right winger selling a book talking about terrorism and how Obama is a muslim.

As far as the multicultural comment. My take on it is this (I've listened to 3 hours of talk radio where they discussed this issue), Merkel was addressing her party (think Young Democrats). She was talking about how there need to be improvements between the Turkish and German communities. The percentage of students getting a higher education needs to grow. It should be balanced. Whether her approach or whatever was wrong, I don't know. But it isn't a "get out of here" comment. At least that isn't how I take it. Most people on the talk show just talked about the german school system and how it works to either hold back or help students get into a university.

Social welfare in Germany is great. And the money for that program comes from the tax payers. Taxes are high in Germany. Naturally, people don't want the system to be abused by anyone. That has been an issue for a long, long time here. And it will continue to be. I don't have a solution. Do you?

I'd be curious to hear ecapataz's opinion on this. I think he is smarter than to step into this can of worms.
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:48 pm
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Alan Hague



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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Sarrazin definitely sounds like a jackass. I used him as an example, though, to point out how he's a fiscal conservative who's using xenophobia to advance his conservative ideas (THEY're the main recipients of welfare, so let's punish them by cutting back on welfare spending).

This is also coming at a time when austerity measures have only recently been introduced. As I mentioned before, the whole thing, in my opinion, reeks of an attempt to redirect anger away from unpopular austerity measures.

And even if what she said wasn't a total "Get out of here!" type comment, I'm sure Merkel and her people are aware of the anti-Muslim sentiment that's been announcing itself via Sarrazin's popularity and of the polls quoted in the article (1/3 of Germans think Germany is being "overrun" by foreigners; 60% of Germans think Muslim religious practice should be "significantly curbed.")

Granted, this is a purely political perspective coming from several hours of reading about German current events; I'm definitely not an expert.

I'm definitely more interested in hearing from you and from other folks who actually live in Germany to tell us what the deal is (especially from a cultural perspective).

Mancabbage - I couldn't agree more; the French are definitely doing it right. If only the workers of the rest of the world would be so bold!
Post Thu Oct 21, 2010 11:15 pm
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Erik Lisander
kanye cock dude


Joined: 21 Oct 2010
Posts: 59
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Merkel is actually right, the integration of the Turkish immigrants has failed in a lot of ways - Turks who've lived here forever and still don't speak proper German are everywhere. This pisses some people off.

Ironically, Özil, the Real Madrid footballer who made Germany so proud of its multiculturalism during the World Cup is a prime example: he has lived here all his life but his German is terrible.

I'm unsure who is at fault here, whether it's Germany that segregates immigrants or if it's the immigrants who preferred to keep to themselves when they arrived - either way, I can't see how this inflammatory rhetoric does anything but harm.

Anyway, it's not actually as big a problem as people make it out to be. Germany it still very tolerant compared to other parts of Europe. I doubt we'll ever elect a character like Wilders here.
Which reminds me, I would say that the Döner Kebab is at this point as much a part of Berlin as the Currywurst. It's good shit, even if the meat they use is pretty questionable in some of the shadier parts of the city.
Post Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:34 pm
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