Belgium, Soccer, France discussed on Worldly
They keep the statue up because it immunizes them, and it is the nation of Belgium, right, it allows Belgian to understand themselves as not being part of a state whose modern incarnation was founded on oppression, and that has implications for the way that you think about. About contemporary politics on issues like reparations for colonialism or slavery, or even how you should think about, let's say immigration from former colonies in the context Belgium right. If you feel the Oh these people debt, because of the way that you treated them in the past collectively, not you individually, then, maybe there's a much stronger argument for giving them rights to immigrate then there might be otherwise or reasons to give them preference in immigration. These these kind of interplay between our normative understandings civil. We ought to do today and what we've done in the past are very complicated, but the point is that these fights that seem symbolic actually have real stakes, not just people walking around and how they see themselves I don't mean to deny that that's important, but in terms of big deal, policy conversations and ways that you understand your nation in contemporary politics. I'll just give a concrete example about Belgium of which shocking that I somehow found a way to make this conversation about soccer so every time everything. So, if you follow soccer, you'll know this. Belgium's best players guy named in his art, but argued with their second best player in their main goalscorers. A guy named Mellow Kaku by his name. You probably know that he is of Congolese or heritage. His parents are from the Congo. He grew up in Antwerp. That Leopold Statue. The Gen mentioned was it was hard initially for a lot of Belgians and I know this for to accept him on the team. The team is now way more integrated than it used to be and Lukaku success. was that he he's keep scoring, but also the team came third in the last World Cup and I remember talking to some Belgians at the time when I was there in two thousand. Thousand ten before the World Cup, but basically being like you know this teams getting good, and it's in part because of this of Lukaku and others, and it was like yeah, thank goodness for Leopold like I'd heard people say that they were basically making the case. That is a good deal that finally some players from elsewhere could join the small country of Belgium and make the team better, and that is regaling. Yeah the second of process that Dear God, yeah! And I remember I met her that bars and stuff, and this is also in Belgium is an insanely fractured country are not going to go into the history, but. Having the myth of Leopold as like a binding agent for for that country, and the fact that that's going away is i. mean good I'm not against it, but it will actually cause a problem for the myth of that country. It is allowed Flanders and Wallonia to the Dutch, the French speaking part that are always at each other's throats and trying to separate to somehow stick together. There's a reason why this myth has persisted for so long beyond that the right once again mentioned family and whatnot, but like the. And the soccer thing and outlast point is like. An. I think this takes us into the second part of the conversation. Is that Europe shockingly white continent and the tons of soccer teams. The I've been at the forefront of being symbols of countries is in that on that continents progress France, perhaps being the main example where tons of players whose you know, parents come from Francophone. Africa moved to France and some members joined the French national team, and then they've what they've won two cups since that integration started even though you have people like the Lapenne family that leads the populist right where his. His discharge, saying they do not represent France and so this is actually like a part of the conversation that France and Belgium and a bunch of other countries are starting to lead, which is that you can integrate? You can move Europe story forward and that this is that in of self those teams is a reflection of the new societies in those countries, and those societies in those countries are going after those old myths, and that's kind of what the corporate we're talking about. So that's A. that's a perfect place for us to take a break. When we come back, we're going to talk about these issues of national cohesiveness and national identity and historical memory, and the way that they play into contemporary politics and even sometimes relations between states. Welcome, back worldly listeners we have been talking about the role of historical memory in international politics, particularly as it relates to race, slavery and colonialism in the wake of the George Floyd protests, and how that's created fights over symbolism that aren't aren't really fights over symbolism so much as they are fights over how countries understand themselves, and how people understand their own countries. In this half, we WANNA talk about different models that countries have developed around the world for doing this kind of historical reckoning and and. And how successful they are, and how unsuccessful they are, and how they play into the ways that country see their relations with other states, and even their role on the global stage, so the example that that always comes up in these conversations non avoidable. One I think is Germany. His Germany's south understanding had to be rebuilt after World War Two after it was responsible for all of it for the war for the Holocaust the greatest loss of life in one instance in human history. And this was such a shattering event for the German people that the new, especially the West. German state eventually the unified German state had to come up with some some new self understanding way of seeing itself talking about itself, the took into account, the horrific acts that it had just collectively participated in so Germany has built up this very open and and clear acknowledgement of its role especially in the Holocaust. It's talked about their public displays that. Don't commemorate Nazi general so much as identify sites of atrocities and helped Germans understand and reconcile themselves to their own history, it served as a kind of reverse buying agent were Germans understand themselves as part of a shared state and shared history, not out of national pride in the sense of we are awesome, but a sense of we need to do better than what we've done in the past. We need to be a good country because of what we have done I have personal experience with us. As as listeners, longtime listeners might know..