Monday, March 4, 2013

Antifascist reflections I

Seeing last night a TV item about the Flemish National Sing-along in Antwerp I felt my stomach tighten. I saw the usual suspects from nva and it's unloved mayor sitting brotherly side by side with the Vlaams Belang (former Flemish Block. Looking at the images I saw faces of people I have spoken with and realized how insidious nationalism can be. Good five-thousand people opened thousandfold their throat in unison. If it were mere folklore, I might not feel so uncomfortable with it. Yet this singing is a political signal:" Flemish independence is no luxury" What? It foolishness, a luxury we cannot afford. In Kenya today there are elections and there too are two ethnic, linguistic groups. Last elections 1300 people died in the uproar. In Belgium it are not the people who die, but the state which is slaughtered. After the last general elections, you'll remember over 555 day's of negotiations were needed to find a livable compromise. If however Flanders would be independent, we would have an outbreak of pestilent nationalism. The flags and banner-waving, the strange uniforms reminiscent of a certain WWII faction, I saw it all on TV.
What about working together, being an open society, inclusive and working for peace and a clean environment having friends who speak other languages, even languages one doesn't understand, broadens the mind. Antwerp is great city, being taken down by a faction of the Flemish ruling class, but with these people I can only imagine dystopian futures...

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