redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)
[personal profile] redwoodalchan
I'm rereading a book from my youth that features a charismatic German politician who also happens to be an extremist environmentalist and animal-rights activist and he wants to rule the world.

Fuck that, all it's doing is inviting unkind comparisons to Hitler (and the market for unkind comparisons to Hitler is supersaturated and has been for years now).

You know what I want? I want a charismatic extremist BRITISH politician!

"Good day, my name is Sir William Winston Arthur John Paul George Roger Stephen Percy David Attenborough Orwell Downing Dio Lambert Stamp Gilbert Sullivan Hardy Martin Yorke! I'm the badass Prime Minister of the UK who's going to make England the greatest country in the whole world! Yes I know Scotland and Wales and Ireland will probably object to this, but I know I'll win them over with my buxom charms! And I'll tell the world about how awesome the cultures of India and Africa are so they'll forgive my country for its empire building! I am a Mary Sue, after all! I'll also secede from the EU and commandeer all its resources and silence anyone who gets in my way with force, because these colors don't run! Did I mention I'm super-environmentalist and my granddaddy invented both the ALF and the ELF? Oh, and also I love to listen to Iron Maiden because seriously who doesn't love Iron Maiden!"

In all seriousness, while I admittedly don't know much about German life or politics, a lot of the plans this guy in the book has don't map onto anything I'd associate with Germany. For instance, the guy decides to secede from the EU because he thinks they're ungrateful to Germany. From my admittedly limited understanding, though, Germany is a happily dominant member of the EU. It's the UK that's talked about seceding.

Maybe it's because Germany has a long history of animal rights and environmentalism? And the UK doesn't? I briefly looked at animal-welfare standards in the UK at one point and they seem pretty strict. Besides that, organizations like Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front were initially British organizations, and the leader of PETA is British. As for environmentalism, there's an internationally-renowned climate research institution at the college where I studied abroad in Norwich. Venturing outside of England, you can see windmills peppered across the highlands of Scotland, and forest-restoration plans are very common in certain parts of the UK. Clearly Germany doesn't have a monopoly on concern for animals and the environment. It is true that Germany currently seems to be doing better--but that doesn't mean the UK COULDN'T do better--in fact, the stage is set for this hypothetical British politician to plan to overtake other European countries for renewable energy and environmentalism!

Is the idea that Germany has a "dark past" that this politician must work to overcome? The UK has that too! At one time the UK had an empire that spanned multiple continents, in which human-rights abuses and racism were rampant. The author could have easily mined that, especially if he had his (British) politician propose a second empire. But...nothing. Instead it's Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, and Nazis, Nazis, Nazis, on and on. Yes Hitler was a murderous antisemite. The thing is, murderous antisemites exist in Britain too. They're just not as high-profile. We know, for instance, that the UK refused to grant asylum to Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust during World War II.

I'm just sayin'.
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redwoodalchan: Silly Drifloon from "Red Sun" fic (Default)

February 2016


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