Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Jan 10, 2015 6:33 pm UTC

To try and get this train back on track:

Frankenstein wrote:Also, the Great Pyramid is even one of the "Seven Wonders of Ancient World", and it is to me another symbol of unimaginable suffering.


To reiterate this point, because it's of special significance to me:

It's been very solidly established that the Pyramids of Giza were not built by slaves. They were built by workmen, who were treated with relative decency considering the time period. There is a pile of evidence to support this, including where many were buried (next to the Pyramid... according to Egyptian Religion, physical proximity to the God-King is very good) as well as their own writing (Graffiti inside the pyramid shows work gangs calling themselves names such as the "Friends of Khufu", "Drunkards of Menkaure", etc.). Yeah, they might not have had modern labor laws, but it wasn't a massive slave operation.
______

Regarding the Swastika in Germany:

It is essentially illegal to be pro-Nazi. That means no waving of the Nazi flag, no Hitler salute, no display of the Swastika, etc... at least in public. You can hang a Nazi flag and heil Hitler all you like in the privacy of your own home. Germany's public swastika/Nazi ban has exceptions. You're allowed to display the swastika for historical purposes (for instance, in a museum). Or religious purposes. The "Swastika" is a symbol of Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. If you're a Buddhist, Hindu, etc. in Germany, you're allowed to display a swastika (a pendant, for example) as an expression of your religion. A Neo-Nazi who shows up in Germany with a swastika tattooed on their forehead, on the other hand, will be required to cover it up (with a large Band-Aid, for example). However, you can display the Nazi swastika in a negative connotation (for example, some recent rallies in Germany have featured banners with the Swastika in a trash can).

BattleMoose wrote:What's also relevant is that the German people themselves have completely rejected the Swastika. There is a great shame there. It is the only place where it is in fact illegal. And it was always a political flag, not a national one (such as the USSR).


Not necessarily... The Swastika is also banned in Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, and a few others maybe.

The Swastika flag was the national flag of Germany during Nazi times. National flags, military flags, the seal, etc. all had Swastikas.

With regards to both the USSR and Nazi Germany, the idea was basically the same. Only one party (Communist, National Socialist German Worker's Party) was legal, and that party controlled the state. State and Party were one, and thus the flag for the Party and the State was the same flag.


In any case, I think we need to move past the stigmatization of the Swastika. Of course the black hooked-cross in a white circle on the red banner will always be a symbol of Nazism and its atrocities, but the "swastika" symbol itself transcends that completely. It is a symbol which had, before the Nazis, almost always meant "Good". And this isn't in Asian cultures alone.. the Swastika had a rich history in European culture for hundreds to thousands of years as well.

Of course Nazis inflicted a great deal of harm on a great many people, and the Swastika is their most prominent symbol, but ignoring everything it was before that, and was after that, simply because the Nazis decided to adopt it as their own is a slap in the face to many cultures, and in my own opinion, an unacceptable last victory for the Nazis.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby elasto » Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:22 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:In any case, I think we need to move past the stigmatization of the Swastika. Of course the black hooked-cross in a white circle on the red banner will always be a symbol of Nazism and its atrocities, but the "swastika" symbol itself transcends that completely. It is a symbol which had, before the Nazis, almost always meant "Good". And this isn't in Asian cultures alone.. the Swastika had a rich history in European culture for hundreds to thousands of years as well.

Of course Nazis inflicted a great deal of harm on a great many people, and the Swastika is their most prominent symbol, but ignoring everything it was before that, and was after that, simply because the Nazis decided to adopt it as their own is a slap in the face to many cultures, and in my own opinion, an unacceptable last victory for the Nazis.

That's all true, and will in time happen, but I think it's reasonable that while people are still alive who suffered Nazi atrocities at first-hand that we respect their sensibilities. They deserve that small mercy at least.

In fifty years or so it will be totally uncontroversial when someone reclaims a symbol like the swastika - no different to, I dunno, if someone makes use of a symbol from The Crusades in a game or something.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Cleverbeans » Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:12 am UTC

I know holocaust survivors they are not gone. I think we should at least wait until they are all gone.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:28 am UTC

Even if people who remember the Holocaust firsthand are gone, there's the little matter of anti-Semites all over the world continuing to use the swastika in their hate speech (except in countries where the swastika is illegal, in which case the Confederate flag often stands in as a substitute).
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby ahammel » Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:12 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Even if people who remember the Holocaust firsthand are gone, there's the little matter of anti-Semites all over the world continuing to use the swastika in their hate speech (except in countries where the swastika is illegal, in which case the Confederate flag often stands in as a substitute).


It does? I wouldn't have imagined that there are many countries where both the swastika is illegal and most people would even recognize the confederate flag.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 12, 2015 6:53 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Even if people who remember the Holocaust firsthand are gone, there's the little matter of anti-Semites all over the world continuing to use the swastika in their hate speech (except in countries where the swastika is illegal, in which case the Confederate flag often stands in as a substitute).


It does? I wouldn't have imagined that there are many countries where both the swastika is illegal and most people would even recognize the confederate flag.


Yeah...that does seem really strange. The confederate flag* certainly has a lot of meaning in the US, but I've not seen it being flown overseas.

*Or rather, the confederate naval jack used late in the civil war when there was hardly any navy left, not the flags actually flown for most...oh, goddammit, symbolism.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Djehutynakht » Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:40 pm UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:I know holocaust survivors they are not gone. I think we should at least wait until they are all gone.


Fair point. But still, that's telling basically mass amounts of people around the world that they can't use an important cultural symbol because some really murderous jackasses sixty years ago decided to use a similar symbol when systematically abusing these people.

Holocaust survivors (and their descendants) have a right to dislike the swastika personally... no doubt about it... and there will probably always be cause for anyone to object to the Nazi-specific swastika design (black, 45 degree angle, often in a white circle on a red banner), but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.


Plus, honestly, it's a quite common geometric symbol (and an attractive one) that's kind of hard to avoid. You won't see any direct swastikas nowadays in Western Culture, but you'll see a lot of swastika-like patterns appear in quite a few places (example: Logo of Columbia sportswear).

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Lazar » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:55 pm UTC

There's been some use of Confederate flags by fascists lovely pro-Western people in Ukraine. For example, here it is next to a white power flag in Kiev's city hall. In Germany itself, from what I've heard, the preferred far right flag is the black-white-red imperial tricolor, favored by the National Democratic Party, which is the closest thing to the Nazi flag that you can legally use.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:58 pm UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:, but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.
Care to elaborate?
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby elasto » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:17 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Fair point. But still, that's telling basically mass amounts of people around the world that they can't use an important cultural symbol because some really murderous jackasses sixty years ago decided to use a similar symbol when systematically abusing these people.

Once again, in America at least, noone is saying people can't use an important cultural symbol; They are saying that, while free speech means noone has a right not to be hurt or offended, exercise visible discretion and kindness in your choices; As well as causing needless pain and offence, appearing to use it flippantly will make you out to be a dick - which will, fairly or unfairly, cause others to exercise their right to free speech to call you out on it.

Hence the OP - where the OP'er exercises his free speech complaining about others exercising their free speech in complaint of the original free speech.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:32 am UTC

And can we cut it out with the "60 years ago" bullshit?

For one thing, it is now 2015, not 2005, so 60 years ago was 1955.

For another, obviously more important thing, swastikas are *still* used by white nationalists and antisemites *today*. Just like the Confederate flag, it's not going to magically stop having those racist connotations as soon as the original victims of the atrocities committed under its banner have died.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Sizik » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:52 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:, but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.
Care to elaborate?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Worldwide_use
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby ahammel » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:30 am UTC

Sizik wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:, but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.
Care to elaborate?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Worldwide_use

I don't think anybody's suggesting that you shouldn't use the swastika in the context of Hindu religious symbolism.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:30 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:, but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.
Care to elaborate?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Worldwide_use

my question was about putting culture on hold.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:25 pm UTC

How does not using a symbol found deeply offensive hold back culture? Is letting the word nigger fall out of usage in the US holding back our culture here? Any one who wants to use such symbols is welcome to, they just have to expect commentary from the world at large when they do so.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Sizik » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:25 pm UTC

Things like this happen, because people in the west automatically associate any use of the swastika with Nazism.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Zamfir » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:35 pm UTC

Yeah, that's clearly holding back Japanse culture. Imagine to why great heights it would have risen, if they did not have to redraw one corner of the English language version of one card describing the abilities of a magic cartoon animal.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

Yeah, you can make the argument that other cultures shouldn't face criticism for continuing to use a symbol they've been using without racist connotations for centuries, but claiming such criticism "holds back" those cultures is a bit silly.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

The link even calls it a miscommunication.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Angua » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:12 pm UTC

Is it just me who's never associated that symbol with a swastika? I still can't see it.

Maybe it's just a very common pattern for rugs and placemats on Nevis but not elsewhere? So it occupies a completely different part of my mind.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:20 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Is it just me who's never associated that symbol with a swastika? I still can't see it.

Maybe it's just a very common pattern for rugs and placemats on Nevis but not elsewhere? So it occupies a completely different part of my mind.
It's reversed and rotated 45 degrees, but I think for most people it's still essentially the same symbol.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Angua » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

No, I was looking at the wrong version because on phone so zoomed and only saw the corrected version.

I'll stop trying to read SB via phone.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby maydayp » Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:46 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Sizik wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:, but I'm not sure that we should put thousands of years of world culture on hold.
Care to elaborate?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika#Worldwide_use

I don't think anybody's suggesting that you shouldn't use the swastika in the context of Hindu religious symbolism.

People in this thread my might not be, but I have seen this idea else where. it was covered in a dear Prudence column or video I'd link to it not I'm on my tablet not my computer

While she didn't say they should not use it, it was clear that the LW shouldn't display it as one normally might, but should hide it (only displaying it in private areas of the house), since others might not be aware of the context.
Edited to add link, and expand on the original post

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:01 pm UTC

maydayp wrote:People in this thread my might not be, but I have seen this idea else where. it was covered in a dear Prudence column or video I'd link to it not I'm on my tablet not my computer
i feel like you read neither the context nor the answer given.
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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:Things like this happen, because people in the west automatically associate any use of the swastika with Nazism.


Localization for different markets happens pretty much constantly. To get consistency of meaning, one must frequently change symbols, phrasing, or what have you.

And I'm not saying that nobody should use a swastika. Only that, if you use it, you should know what it means, and use it appropriately. Swastikas appearing in a WW2 tale as part of the setting? Nobody will blink. Swastika themed wedding? Maaaaybe a bad idea.

Words and symbols have meanings. You can't just invent your own definitions to things and then get pissed when folks see things differently. Or rather, you *can*, but doing so is unreasonable, and is a failure at communication.

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Re: Why the swastika is not socially acceptable nowadays?

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:26 pm UTC

Sizik wrote:Things like this happen, because people in the west automatically associate any use of the swastika with Nazism.
How much of an effort do you think it was to change that one little spot in an image, compared with translating the whole text of the card into English?
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