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Thread: Pan-Germanic America: Defining an American Pan-Germanic Identity

  1. #21
    Senior Member DanseMacabre's Avatar
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    The problem is that this would destroy a lot of the old American values and culture. Not to mention that it would have the unfortunate effect of some really half-assed attempts to be "Dutch" for instance. I would hate to see some American wearing clogs and installing swinging Dutch doors to his home while his wife sits nearby wearing a bonnet.

    You really can't just transplant a culture onto a people and expect them to carry it out like their ancestors may have done. In any case the "relearned" culture would be heavily influenced by American culture and values, etc
    Yes I understand what you are saying. This is certainly not what I had in mind. By "relearn" I meant being knowledgable about the customs and traditions, instead of the stereotypes, of the different Germanic groups. Possibly learn a few new languages.
    “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs-Jon Jay, Federalist Papers

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  3. #22
    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanseMacabre View Post
    Yes I understand what you are saying. This is certainly not what I had in mind. By "relearn" I meant being knowledgable about the customs and traditions, instead of the stereotypes, of the different Germanic groups. Possibly learn a few new languages.
    Well, good schooling should take care of that, so we need better education. I am definitely all for learning about the customs and traditions of the European forefathers and picking up a few new languages too, but I wouldn't want the languages to interfere with the Americanness. Hope that makes sense. I'm fairly certain we're on the same page.

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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    I don't see a contradiction between honoring our heritage and identifying as 'Americans'. The fact is that the culture split and continued on 2 different tracks. Most Germanic immigrants to the US left before the Romantic movement and Socialism took hold and filtered down to the lower/working classes (who made up most of European emigrants), I think this explains most cultural differences between Americans and Europeans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    The problem is that this would destroy a lot of the old American values and culture.
    Such as?

    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    So, again, it seems to me that it would be much easier/common sense/natural to go back to that and try to consider ourselves "American".
    How would you define the term "American" in this context, then?

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  9. #25
    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Such as?
    Well, here goes this one again. It should be apparent that Americans are not, I repeat are not, culturally the same as Europeans of any ethnicity. On top of that, Americans do in fact have their own identity and that identity is not a multi-ethnic Euromutt identity. That may be the case as of this moment but only due to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's basically. Before that time it was not desirable to be a so-called "hyphenated American". You were either American or you were not American. Hyphenated Americanism is multiculturalism. Or atleast a sad attempt at it, since those hyphenated Scots Irish-Welsh-German-Anglo-Americans are really no different culturally (and not so much by blood either) than the Norwegian-Irish-Dutch-English-French Americans. Pre-1960 these two groups would have been simply American. The problem has become that most "white" Americans are told they need to be ashamed of their past and also that they are the norm/average/boring/regular whereas a Black or a Thai-American is somehow more interesting and exotic and thus has more culture and more to be proud of. So in an attempt to get back some dignity many people started redefining themselves as Anglo-German-Irish-Dutch Americans in order to somehow show that they did actually have some deep ancestry. The whole thing is essentially a knee-jerk multiculturalist reaction.

    As for what are American values and culture, I don't think I could just point at certain aspects. I'm too close perhaps. I could give cliches though, which would do little justice to the reality and would probably be easily misunderstood as their trumped up Hollywood/anti-American equivalents. Things like individualism, the puritan work ethic, team work, being goal-oriented, being able to state your opinion, risk taking, etc. There's most certainly some shared culture and values between most Americans. Sociologists are always going off about the "Anglo-core culture". This "anglo-core" is essentially the culture I am referring to. And it has been called "anglo" but it's not exclusively English. Not that it isn't called "Anglo" for no reason whatsoever. Clearly, the English have put more into this culture than any other group. When sociologists refer to the "anglo-core" they are almost always talking about immigrants and/or non-Europeans who they say have had the most difficulty in assimilating to this Anglo-core. They call it the Anglo core culture now because otherwise they would have to call it the American culture...and God knows they wouldn't want these people to seem any less American than what I would probably call the true Americans. Back in the day the "Anglo-core culture" didn't exist because everyone knew what the American culture was.

    American culture was made here on this continent and was shaped by the cultures of those colonists (especially the English) and our experiences as a colonial outpost living on the edge of the wilderness. The great frontier has always been our home. We've been mostly agrarian for the full span from 1607 or 1620 until more recent times. I think this plays into our identity as well. Put any group of people on a uncivilized continent for 400 years and you are bound to get a unique culture.

    OK. Just so I get a feel for what you're up to, what do think of Americans? I know you're "Pan-Germanic". Do you suppose all Americans are simply the ethnicities their ancestors were but have lost their way into a dark cultureless forest? Are we in need of some re-culturation project?


    How would you define the term "American" in this context, then?
    Americans are the "Old-stock" Americans, descendants of the people who built this country (say 1620 to roughly early 1800's). And the Celtic and Germanic peoples that have been absorbed by them through intermarriage and Americanization or should I say "anglo-core-culturalization".

    With all of this in mind maybe my previous posts will become even clearer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Æmeric View Post
    Here's one small enough to upload as an avatar.

    Hehe, forgive me, but I half thought this was a joke, given the Russian influence on the orthography... :p
    (Those backwards 'N's look like the Cyrillic 'I')
    Then again, it's from the good old days, literacy and intelligence didn't necessarily go hand in hand - my very own great great grandfather signed his census return as "Hennery Brennan".
    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    On top of that, Americans do in fact have their own identity and that identity is not a multi-ethnic Euromutt identity.
    Absolutely.
    As for what are American values and culture, I don't think I could just point at certain aspects. I'm too close perhaps. I could give cliches though, ...
    Perhaps I could help, with a term used by a Russian historian, Gumilyov? He pointed to the existence of a "stereotype of behaviour" that was shared by an ethnos, its psychological compatibility. I believe Kipling was getting at the same thing with his "East is east and west is west" poem, when he remarked at the impossibility of getting inside the Foreigner's head, whose way of thinking will always be a mystery to us, and the desire to have around oneself those who have inherited our same framework of thought and action, conditioned by the same historical impulses. I'd mention the common story behind the true Americans; how they are united by their ancestors' common experiences. This goes beyond blood to wider things like geography and historical fate, and is exactly the sort of thing that separates the English from the continental descendants of the Ingvaeonic tribes.

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  13. #27
    Senior Member Soten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    Hehe, forgive me, but I half thought this was a joke, given the Russian influence on the orthography... :p
    (Those backwards 'N's look like the Cyrillic 'I')
    Then again, it's from the good old days, literacy and intelligence didn't necessarily go hand in hand - my very own great great grandfather signed his census return as "Hennery Brennan". .
    Yeah, I don't know why they used backwards 'N's either. As you can see, they used the normal N elsewhere on the flag. And they could certainly spell "foreign" and "influence" correctly.

    I think you're right about the Gumilyov bit. I'll look him up if I can and the Kipling poem too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    I would be more inclined to support an "American" ethnicity initiative. These "Americans" would be overwhelmingly of Germanic and Celtic stock anyhow, so it's similar. But the difference would be in emphasising the New World as our home and also the unity of one group over a big umbrella group that supports whatever the members' numerous ethnicities are.

    That being said I think there would certainly be no reason for these "Americans" not to learn about their Old World ancestors.

    Sure, sure. We have to keep our New World context very much in mind. I mean, we're here and likely not going anywhere soon.

    I don't see why we can't maintain our Americaness (NW Euro-descended, Celtogermanic meaning) and yet at the same time, attempt to connect more with where we came from.

    I think most of us are on the proverbial ol' same page. It's just a minor issue of semantics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vingolf View Post
    I've never met a reasonably educated person who seriously believes that England could possibly be kept English, Germany German etc. in this century and beyond.
    The "reasonably educated" persons these days get their education from multiculturally influenced institutions. Of course they're taught that national identities aren't worth preserving, it's part of the xenophilic agenda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soten View Post
    Yeah, I don't know why they used backwards 'N's either. As you can see, they used the normal N elsewhere on the flag. And they could certainly spell "foreign" and "influence" correctly.
    Aye, having that in view, maybe it was fully intentional, and made to make us think about the insidious nature of foreign influence, how it will distort the familiar while parading about as if nothing had changed and all is well... :
    Or maybe it was the embroiderer. Sort of irritating mistake you might make if you were in a rush. :p
    I think you're right about the Gumilyov bit. I'll look him up if I can and the Kipling poem too.
    I may be mistaken about the Kipling poem. The one I named is here:
    http://www.bartleby.com/246/1129.html
    but I can't find the bit I was thinking of in it. Must be in a different one. I'm driving myself mad trying to find the real one! It would help if I remembered the words rather than the gist...

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