Time to abandon the Nazi Swastika?


Machjo
#1
We often use the Swastika as a Nazi symbol today, in spite of the fact that Nazi Germany had fallen years ago and that self-proclaimed Nazis represent a small minority of our population, far less represented than Canada's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

Is it not time to abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol and put it back to its rightful place in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities?
 
captain morgan
+1
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

We often use the Swastika as a Nazi symbol today, in spite of the fact that Nazi Germany had fallen years ago and that self-proclaimed Nazis represent a small minority of our population, far less represented than Canada's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

Is it not time to abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol and put it back to its rightful place in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities?


How do you propose to do this?
 
karrie
+2
#3  Top Rated Post
most educated people know its dual meanings and don't freak out. It's pretty hard to reach those who choose not be educated though.
 
Machjo
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morgan View Post

How do you propose to do this?

On a personal level, I can say I do it already. For instance, when a person uses the Swastika as a Nazi symbol, I choose to interpret it as a Hindu symbol until he specifies that he meant it to be a Nazi symbol. I can also choose not to use the Swastika myself, especially as a Nazi symbol.

On a wider scale, of course many more people would have to do the same. But let's suppose it were done. It wouldn't take long for a Nazi to feel a little awkward when people, seeing his Swastika, ask him when he'd converted to the Hindu Faith, or comment that he looks very different from other Hindus they know. Seeing that non-Nazis far outnumber Nazis, if non-Nazis chose to abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol on a large scale, Nazis would either have to separate themselves even further from mainstream culture than they are now, or abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol themselves, thus forcing them to redifine themselves. And seeing how fragile their identity is to begin with, it would likely cause a certain cultural turmoil within the Nazi movement for years or even decades to come as they debate, first off, whether to even keep the Swastika at all and, if not, then to determine its replacement smbol.

Add to this that a dissociation of the Swastika from Nazism would likely make Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains feel more comfortable sporting it themselves, thus helping to separate it even further.

This would also mean a change of attitude in schools, meaning that schools likewise would no longer impose a Nazi meaning to the Swastika.

It would essentially return the Swastika to its original roots while marginalizing Nazi ideas even more than they are now.

We can add that some First Nations also use the Swastika as a symbol, as did many Americans, Britons, and Canadians in the past as a good luck charm.

Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

most educated people know its dual meanings and don't freak out. It's pretty hard to reach those who choose not be educated though.

Now I do see a problem there. If I were a Hindu, for example, I could insist on sporting a Swastika myself precisely with the intent of dissociating it from Nazi ideology. Seeing though that I am neither Hindu, Buddhist, nor Jain, nor do I believe it to be a good luck charm, nor do I identify with the Swastika i any way myself, I'd see no reason for me to wear a Swastika even if Nazism had never come into being. Looking at it that way, those who do associate with the Swastika in any way bear the primary responsibility to dissociate the Swastika from Nazism shoudl they wish to do so. However, I could see myself serving in a support role of sorts by defending the right of a Hindu, for example, to wear the Swastika, while refusing to acknowledge Nazi uses of it.

But you are right that it would be pretty hard for me at least owing to my not having any association with the Swastika myself except in popular culture.
 
karrie
#5
Frankly, I'm curious as to where it's ever been an issue that a Hindu hasn't been allowed to wear the Swastika. I'd think a simple explanation of its ancient meaning and current intention would suffice to clear any issues. What sorts of problems (no, not theoretical) has anyone run into when using the swastika?
 
Machjo
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Frankly, I'm curious as to where it's ever been an issue that a Hindu hasn't been allowed to wear the Swastika. I'd think a simple explanation of its ancient meaning and current intention would suffice to clear any issues. What sorts of problems (no, not theoretical) has anyone run into when using the swastika?

I doubt many. However, I can also imagine those who relate closely to the Swastika from a non-Nazi perspective to still feel a little irate at its Nazi associations.

On a practical level, it's not a very big deal for non-Nazis beyond its being mildly offensive. For a Nazi, however, this would likely hurt the movement considerably at least until Nazis could find a new social symbol, the hope being that the Nazi movement would suffer plenty of losses of membership and division in the process.
 
karrie
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

I doubt many. However, I can also imagine those who relate closely to the Swastika from a non-Nazi perspective to still feel a little irate at its Nazi associations.

On a practical level, it's not a very big deal for non-Nazis beyond its being mildly offensive. For a Nazi, however, this would likely hurt the movement considerably at least until Nazis could find a new social symbol, the hope being that the Nazi movement would suffer plenty of losses of membership and division in the process.

Because people are Nazis just because of the unifying symbol? I doubt it would do a darn thing to slow down those who sympathize with Naziism
 
Machjo
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Because people are Nazis just because of the unifying symbol? I doubt it would do a darn thing to slow down those who sympathize with Naziism

You'r right overall, but from the little I know of them, they have developed a whole array of symbols and traditions taken mostly from Nazi Germany. Taking their symbols away from them would likely not affect a core committed group. Others might become less vocal, not wanting to be associated with other ideas they oppose. Yet others might turn to other fascist movements. You're probably right that it would not affect them much, but would still likely through them off balance temporarily as they have to find their bearings again, even if only for a short time.
 
shadowshiv
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

We often use the Swastika as a Nazi symbol today, in spite of the fact that Nazi Germany had fallen years ago and that self-proclaimed Nazis represent a small minority of our population, far less represented than Canada's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

Is it not time to abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol and put it back to its rightful place in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities?

Aren't the two symbols slightly different anyhow(the Nazi version being inverted)? If that is the case, why couldn't they use the version that the Nazi's didn't co-opt?

I honestly don't think that Germany will EVER allow the Swastika to be displayed there, regardless of intent or design.
 
taxslave
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

We often use the Swastika as a Nazi symbol today, in spite of the fact that Nazi Germany had fallen years ago and that self-proclaimed Nazis represent a small minority of our population, far less represented than Canada's Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities.

Is it not time to abandon the Swastika as a Nazi symbol and put it back to its rightful place in the Hindu, Buddhist and Jain communities?

I understand what you are trying to do but I think that is getting too close to rewriting history. It is a fact that the Nazi's used the swastika as their symbol and while it was not a particularly glorious time it is a significant part of our history. There is not a lot we can do to stop a few nutbars that decided to co-opt the symbol for themselves except perhaps ridicule them.
 
TenPenny
#11
In the early 1980s, the Potash Company of America had a native head as its corporate logo, the figure had what we might call swastikas on it, until it was changed in the late 1980s.

I also recall Newfoundland stamps with those symbols on them.

However, it will take a lot of work to reclaim that symbol from its association with the Nazis.
 
darkbeaver
#12
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Machjo
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

I understand what you are trying to do but I think that is getting too close to rewriting history. It is a fact that the Nazi's used the swastika as their symbol and while it was not a particularly glorious time it is a significant part of our history. There is not a lot we can do to stop a few nutbars that decided to co-opt the symbol for themselves except perhaps ridicule them.

As for rewriting history, not exactly. It would be more like acknowledging that Nazism is history and no longer current, whereas the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and other communities that use the Swastika are current.

As for ridiculing them, you're probably right. To some degree I do that already. I don't know any Nazi myself and have never knowingly met one except when I was in the Canadian Forces years ago. At that time, seeing that his views seemed common at least in my platoon, I did not ridicule, but did voice my disapproval, and it led to one problem after another after I could no longer take it and so I'd eventually left by mutual agreement with the Forces.

Outside the military, I usually see the Swastika used as an insult against racists. This however merely reinforces its Nazi connotation, even if that was not the intent of the attacker. And you are right that ridicule may be the best defense, such as asking why the attacker is accusing the racist of being Hindu, just to make him think of how he may be abusing that symbol.

Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

In the early 1980s, the Potash Company of America had a native head as its corporate logo, the figure had what we might call swastikas on it, until it was changed in the late 1980s.

I also recall Newfoundland stamps with those symbols on them.

However, it will take a lot of work to reclaim that symbol from its association with the Nazis.

Agreed. But I don't believe that suppressing Native Swastikas or Swastikas used as good luck charms in the English-speaking world constitute working to disassociate it from Nazism. On the contrary, it protects its association with Nazism.

Let's look at Kipling's books prior to the rise of Nazism. He used to have Swastikas printed on them as a good luck charm, but then had them removed as Nazism grew. That was the beginning of letting the Nazis have their way. And somewhat ironic seeing that Kipling's poetry usually promoted fighting for what is right, not just backing out of a fight and letting the Nazis have their way.

But anyway, no one's perfect.

But yes, let's consider its pre-Nazi history even in our own culture. Edmonton had a women's Hockey team called the Swastikas:

Edmonton Swastikas 1916

Then we had Swastika fashion:

Daily Hitler: Clara Bow in swastika fashion

And the San Francisco YMCO had the Swastika basketball team:

San Francisco YMCA Swastika - Hoopedia
 
Kreskin
#14


Modernized version.
 
lone wolf
#15
If you can find a way to restore innocence, you might remove the tarnish from a swastika. Lard knows some folk in the town of may thank you - just be prepared for the line of wanna-be-born-again-virgins who'll be pounding freeways to your door.
 
Machjo
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Kreskin View Post



Modernized version.

Ron Paul is hardly a Nazi, though he is a Republican. An unorthodox Republican, no doubt, but still a Republican.
 
taxslave
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo View Post

Ron Paul is hardly a Nazi, though he is a Republican. An unorthodox Republican, no doubt, but still a Republican.

Simply a matter of degree.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#18
I was catching a ride with a hindu fellow I know and he has one in his rig.

Something like this.


The Hindus aren't the problem.
These guys are.


If you can get them to abandon their mentally retarded ideology the symbol might lose some of its power.
 
Dexter Sinister
#19
That's a left-facing one, i.e. the top bar on the cross points left. The Nazi symbol is the right facing one, and the complete sign was originally a black swastika rotated 45 degrees counterclockwise and placed in a white circle on a red background. It's still illegal to display any form of that in some places. I really don't think the symbol can be redeemed anywhere in western culture, its associations with that insane ideology run too deep. Maybe in another 10 generations or so...
 
Trotz
#20
Couldn't be redeemed in Western Europe or North America but trust me I saw quite a few Swastikas in Finland, the Baltic and Eastern Europe and the locals (under 60) there didn't bat an eyelash.


I believe the current symbol right now is a modification of a Celtic Cross. Contrary to what they think, it's not as unifying as a symbol, for one it emphasizes Celtic culture and Christianity, as opposed to the Swastika which was; until Hitler, something you could find across the continent (even the Soviet Union had published documents back in the 1920s with Swastikas) and it had roots dating to the Indo-Aryans (in essence it was a symbol of the continent and not just a WASPy thing like the Celtic Cross).
 

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