Thursday, 8 December 2016

People you meet at parties


At a drinks party in Germany, I met 70-year-old TS, who, still excited by Trump’s ambition and fighting spirit, explained that Hillary Clinton was a liar and a corrupt establishment figure and that she fully supported Trump. Nothing in Trump’s behaviour, business record, campaign style and content or lack of any experience in government would change TS’s mind. Not even the fact that Trump was just as much establishment as Clinton.

TS added how important it was to stand up against the politics of “our communist”. The communist that she was referring to was Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, and Communist to TS seemed to be the ultimate term of abuse. My suggestion that Mrs. Merkel was the one thing that Germany could truly be proud of, did not get me anywhere. Not only did Merkel help Greece but she also allowed two million unregistered foreigners enter Germany, TS explained. If they were unregistered, how did she know how many of them had entered was not something TS cared to get into.

Years ago, an old German told me – in defence of his decision to vote for Hitler –  that what had really frightened him in those days, was not the Nazis but the communists. Just thinking.

3 comments:

  1. ich habe neulich auch eine AfD Supporterin gesprochen, eine alte Freundin aus München. Sie sagte, wolle einfach nur den Wechsel in den Machtstuben und war sehr erstaunt, dass ich so "konservativ" bin und Merkel verteidige. Ich hätte wohl einen "Muttikomplex". Ich sagte ihr, sie hätte nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank und habe ihr aufgezählt, war für ein rechtsradikales Pack die AfD Truppe ist und wie sich ihre Fans aufführen, besonders im Osten. Darauf meine Freundin: "Ich war immer schon dafür, dass Bayern wieder ein eigener Staat wird, Preussen ist zu gefährlich". Mit Preussen meinte sie die ehemalige DDR. Wird hatten uns nicht zum ersten Mal heftig in der Wolle und haben dabei schrecklich viel gelacht. Ich habe ihr wieder einmal beschieden, dass sie spinnt und sie am Ende nach Berlin eingeladen, damit sie sich von der Sicherheit in unseren Straßen selber überzeugen kann. Man sagt ja, die hohe Kunst der Diplomatie sei, auch mit seinem ärgsten Feind im Gespräch zu bleiben .....

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  2. People you meet…… isn’t it always the same social psychology of fear?
    Whether it be of - Communism, Islam, China, Terrorism, etc.. In times of crisis ”fear of the unknown” is a recurring phenomenon. In Kurt Riezler “The Social Psychology of fear” (1944, American Journal of Sociology.) Riezler refers to “collective insecurity” as the nightmare of modern industrial society.
    Whilst your acquaintance defaults into fear of Communism, having spent most of her life during the Cold War, many in the UK default into the fear of being dominated by Europeans. In France our Tunisian cleaner and her husband, both devout Muslims, plan on voting for Le Pen for fear of Romanians and Hungarians taking away their jobs. In Germany friends of mine increasingly utter views reminiscent of the darkest days in our history. There is no room for Merkel’s politics nor for the “humanity” of her actions in their arguments. The vitriol I get when trying to argue the case is shocking. I am equally amazed at the fact that poor and destitute Americans voted for the epitome of Capitalism – “The Donald”; above all that women, the gender he openly and crassly belittles and berates actually voted for him is beyond belief.
    Whatever the fear, insecurity it is driven by crisis and a world in crisis we have!
    What worries me however most, is the fact that this “collective insecurity” is causing people to default into old beliefs that have been tried, tested and shown to bring out the worse in mankind.
    Whilst History does not repeat itself we do seem to!
    HR

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  3. Thank you for your regular comments, always food for thought in a confused world.

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