notes 26 August 2011

Kohl said that the fast changing world and it’s insecurities are not excuse for Germany not knowing where it wants to be- this is with regards to Germany’s foreign policies and the recent visit of Obama to Euope in wich he did not visit German. In the past it would have been unthinkable that an American president passes on a visit to germany when in Europe. This Kohl suggests bodes very unwell for Germany’s future, he suggests the country will lose it’s international standing if it continues to be unclear about it’s foreign policies.

“Wir müssen wieder für andere erkennbar und deutlich machen, wo wir stehen und wo wir hin wollen” http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2011-08/interview-kohl-kritik

I have to admit I was uncomfortably surprised that an American president would not visit Germany, I took it for granted that Germany has an important position, one which is close to America the big ‘friend’. (Then I also remember that it is not 1990 and I have since learnt all manner of truths about the big ‘friend’ who is more akin to a big tyrant.). I do wonder if this ‘disinterest’ of the American president has something to do with Germany staying relatively low key in current international war mongering (not that I am unaware of it’s flourishing arms sales..).

It surprises me that I take light offense (indignation) at Obama not making a visit to Germany.
As a German I feel snubbed. Now this is doubly strange: “I as a German” this is not a description that I associate with or place in the forefront of who I am, normally I am human and a citizen of the world or at least Europe. It is revealing how easily my certainty of who I am and who I am not and how I define these is scratched and revealed are aspects of myself that I am surprised by. I have somehow inherited a some motherland-pride, a pride in what I think is good about Germany, and also it’s akin to family-pride. You might not like them very much, you might not speak fondly of them, but you’ll know where you stand when someone offends that family..

So here is identity. I am German, I am a woman, I am Birgit. I used to think of myself as Birgit who is a human, for whom a sense of justice is paramount, who is an artist, who cares about the environment, who loves books and owns many of them, who likes cats, cycles and doesn’t walk, buys organic and fair trade when possible, doesn’t eat animals although she is inconsistent in this claim and eats fish. Birgit used to paint her walls yellow and once gold and likes to learn about far away places and is an escapist in a world that doesn’t leave much room for escaping. Now Birgit is confronted with national pride or something like that; and it surprises her. Is this quantitatively speaking a large part of her? This question is important because how far would this identification with this identity go? In the case of Birgit possibly not so far, but it becomes imaginable how people identifying with being German may respond differently than those who are German but who identify so strongly with their professions, vocations or ideals that their participation in being German is reduced. ..

I am trying to get at the idea of warfare, racism, pitching one against the other, internal rifts that create hard to bridge class-gulfs.

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