What’s In a Name?

Everything, it seems.

By calling someone a name of your choosing you can change the way that person is seen by others.  And its not just people, its whole nations, or races.  Sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will really kill you.  Name calling is seen as a bad thing but not really a big deal.  Well I disagree.  It is a big deal.  A Socialist is what is the American president is called these days.  Just saying it cheapens any possible debate.  The talking heads on the news, and opinion makers have stooped so low.  Its not just any morons protesting on the street with the usual “[Insert politicians’ name] is Hitler.”  Its other politicians calling each other pathetic names.  And of course their legions  of their faction’s zombies run around repeating it.  Therefore Obama is a Socialist, wants the US to become Canada, or worse, Cuba.  Bush was Hitler, and as any proper Nazi would, wanted to destroy or take over the world.  And no one listens to each other.  Political debate is pretty much nonexistent these days.  No one talks to each other, they scream at one another, but no one listens.  After all why would people who hate each other so much listen to what the other has to say.

It seems that my native country had concentration camps.  We did, but they were not “Polish Death Camps” (despite what many “journalists/historians” try to claim).  The fucking Germans built them.  Not Nazis, Germans.  History somehow has separated the Germans from the Nazis.  Sure everyone knows that the Nazis were German, but they are not the same.  Germans, good hard working folk, very cultured, pioneers of science, culture and art.  After all its the land of Goethe, how can a people who produced Heine, Cantor, Handel, Beethoven, Kepler, Cranach, be a gang of murdering bastards?  Well they can.  But no, we are told Nazis bad, Germans good.  It was not the Germans who propagated this separation.  It was the Western politicians and historians who needed the good Germans on their side to fight the evil godless Soviets.  So it stuck.  Germans may have been Nazis but they aren’t anymore.  And the aforementioned Soviets are the same.  Evil murdering bastards.  Russians however, are not so bad.  But the last time I checked the headquarters of the Коммунисти́ческая Па́ртия Сове́тского Сою́за, was located in Russia.  Yes the Soviet Communist party was RUSSIAN.  They too changed a lot of names, St. Petersburg became Leningrad, Tsaritsyn became Stalingrad and is now called Volgograd.  Every time there is a coup somewhere it seems we need to invest in a new map to keep up.  It was the same people, product of the land that also produced Kandinsky, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky.  But no, all it needed was for a change of government, the colour of the flag and the name of the country, and Russians are all cool now, always were, it was those pesky Soviets who were bad.

I have no particular dislike of the Germans, in fact I can be classified as a Germanophile.  Though admittedly am a Russophobe.  So this is not just a rant from a “poor victim.”  But as a Pole, I nor my people have an excuse.  When we fucked up in history it was the Poles.  Not Sanacja Poles, or Commie Poles, or Royalist Poles, just Poles.  All our sins belong to us.  It was just our bad luck that our recent history stuck us on the wrong side of the debate in the last century.  But even there we were made out to look worse than others.  For over 4 decades people learned of Polish antisemitism, which was made to look worse than German or Russian antisemitism.  Its not an excuse, we were antisemites, but compared to our neighbours we were saints..  We had no state sponsored pogroms, we did not actively help the Nazis during the Holocaust, yet we are made to look worse than those who did.  How?!  Well the answer is simple, we got called names.  The Russians, in order to discredit the proper Polish resistance, called them collaborators, Fascists, nationalists.  The pre-WWII Polish Sanacja government was called a Fascist authoritarian regime.  Any and all who resisted the communists were called reactionaries, and as we all know all reactionaries are right wingers, the Nazis the right wingers, so of course Polish resistance practically wore jackboots and screamed Heil Hitler.  Wonder why the silly Corporal killed so many of my countrymen if we loved him so much.  Go figure.

So remember anytime you hear some cretin label another person be very careful.  A Polish author, Zbigniew Nienacki, wrote a book about the beginnings of the Polish nation.  It was not great literature, just another take of the Polish myths and legends.  But an important lesson of the trilogy was about the power of naming things.  The Prince said to his hated wife: “I now pronounce you dead, and all who hear will believe, you no longer exist.”  All heard and all believed.  And with all our technology and “intelligence,” we still believe the princes of our world.  Anyone who calls someone as Nazi immediately should lose any credibility.  Anyone who says that something is “socialism” without explaining the details of the proposed policy, and his own alternative solution should immediately be shouted down.  Even if that someone says stuff you believe in.  Actually its ESPECIALLY if someone says stuff you agree with.  Surely we do not want morons speaking for us?  Surely we do not want morons representing us and our ideals?  Be careful of labels and names, they really do hurt.  They cheapen the debate, they prevent us from listening to one another, they prevent solutions to obvious problems.  People who strongly believe in their ideals CAN debate those with whom they disagree in a civil educated manner and not just tell each other to shut the fuck up cause they are wrong.  Well, at least they should.

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 4:13 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. […] What’s In a Name? […]


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