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[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: fascism patch

[freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: fascism patch

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To: rdm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Re: fascism patch
From: Reinier Post <rp@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 17:04:31 +0200
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

  Hello Reed,

I'm trying to move the discussion, if it continues at all, to freeciv-data,
it is after all about the criteria of including nations into Freeciv.

I'll be happy to maintain a 'Freeciv nations FAQ' document on the
website with a brief discussion and pointers into the mailing list
archives, if that would be useful.   We don't seem to have ultimate
answers here, but the discussion returns whenever someone new
proposes a controversial nation or city.

We were discussing whether or not it is a good idea to exclude
a Nazi nation from the Freeciv distribution.

On Sat, Jul 29, 2000 at 09:27:44PM -0400, Reed Meyer writes on freeciv-dev:

> My mistake was not in the opinions I have in this matter,

I agree.

> but in foolishly believing that there's a chance you guys might
> actually change your mind.

I disagree with you here.  I think your mistake is in assuming that
this issue can be decided by rational argument.  We agree on the
arguments!  We also seem to agree on the resolution, which is
to offer the Nazis separately from the main Freeciv distribtion.

I didn't post my message as an attempt at rational discussion, but as
an attempt to make you see that games with swastikas actually offend
many people, and so does your careless dismissal of their feelings.

Steve Hodge asks if I object to all games with swastikas.  Yes, of course,
but I don't intend to hold campaigns against games I would never touch.
Freeciv however is my favourite game, I love to play it and a tiny bit
of its code is mine.  It's not so much my own sensitivity to swastikas
that causes me to object, but that of many of the people around me,
such as my family and some of the people I meet playing Freeciv.

Rationally speaking there is no good reason to exclude Hitler from a
game when Mao and Stalin can stay, or to exclude the swastika when the
communist flag is in.  It's all a matter of perception.  To Americans
and Australians, WW II was a glorious victory against the evil Germans,
fought on battlegrounds thousands of miles from home, and they aren't
all that sensitive about it today.  To Tomasz, the Nazis were
oppressors from the West, the communists were oppressors from the East,
and he thinks it's hypocritical to exclude one while keeping the
other.  (The Boers were added to prove this point.)  To Germans, their
grandparents *were* the evil Germans, they feel personal responsibility,
and if they forget about it for a minute, the other Europeans will
remind them.  The genocide was committed on us, with our collaboration.
The war was fought right here at home.  Every day I pass the spot where
my aunt helped evacuate the remains of a hospital bombarded out of
existence by British bombers - I don't live in Germany, it was a
mistake, but it happened nevertheless.

The swastika is a very powerful symbol - the nazis knew their PR -
and today it symbolizes this past.  Therefore, it remains very
sensitive, especially in Germany.

So there is a difference in perception that I don't think can be
settled with rational argument.  You can only argue "sheesh it's just a
game" because Nazism is far enough away from you to allow you to do that.
The only way I could try to explain this is through counterexamples
closer to home.  A Vietcong nation, or a Klan nation with Slavery as
its wonder of the world - but all these examples would be forced,
because Americans and Australians just do not feel guilty about their
past in the way that many Germans do.

So much for the rhetorics, what about the consequences?

I don't think a Nazi nation can be excluded from the Freeciv
distribution based on arguments of historical reality; it would be
a gesture to the personal sensibilities of some of Freeciv's users.
Not including Nazis is a gesture to Mathias and others; not including
Taiwan would be a gesture to Mike Jing and possibly others; as far
as I'm concerned, the Boers will be out as soon as we get serious
objections from the RSA; and if enough Russians, Poles or others
would object to the inclusion of Stalin and communism, I feel they
would have to go as well.

> ---Reed Meyer
>    rdm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Reinier Post                                    reinpost@xxxxxxxxxx

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