Emptying the World Cup

Emptying the World Cup

1,470 words

“Football now has an immense social responsibility, which it must meet.”

– Anti-discrimination sociologist and “fan researcher” Gerd Dembowski

A recent spate of articles celebrating multiculturalism and FIFA’s World Cup argue that more diverse football squads do better.[1] But one has to ask: Better for whom and for what?

The World Cup offers people from competing nations a chance to display their national pride with minimal bloodshed. It is a safe substitute for war. As Cormac McCarthy’s diabolical character Judge Holden says:

“Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work. He knows too that the worth or merit of a game is not inherent in the game itself but rather in the value of that which is put at hazard. Games of chance require a wager to have meaning at all. Games of sport involve the skill and strength of the opponents and the humiliation of defeat and the pride of victory are in themselves sufficient stake because they inhere in the worth of the principals and define them. But trial of chance or trial of worth all games aspire to the condition of war for here that which is wagered swallows up game, player, all . . . This is the nature of war, whose stake is at once the game and the authority and the justification. Seen so, war is the truest form of divination. It is the testing of one’s will and the will of another within that larger will which because it binds them is therefore forced to select. War is the ultimate game because war is at least a forcing of the unity of existence. War is god.”[2]

Clearly, Ernst Jünger would have been a sportsman had he no avenue for war, but then he would not have been Ernst Jünger. His metaphysical transcendence would have been replaced with the ersatz glory of a Nike commercial. Sport (especially team sport) not only mimics war, it requires some of the same virtues – strength, discipline, hard work, honor, self-sacrifice, solidarity – although without the risks. Thus the team is a substitute for the tribal warrior band. The team represents its nation. The nation is represented by its team.

This simulacrum of war sometimes culminates in real violence, usually from the fans, in the same way that the World Cup’s simulacrum of nationalism may actually lead to real instances of nationalism. Occasionally, the multibillion dollar “say no to racism” spectacle concedes something to reality, to history, to continuity, to genuine community.

The media in Germany claim that “Most of Germany’s soccer hooligans are now neo-Nazis,” distinguishing between “Ultras” and the right-wing Hooligans, while it also systematically ignores Left-wing acts of violence, aggression, and baiting.

“In the leaflet, there are neo-Nazi codes and how to decode them. In this way, fans can be more aware of [meaning able to snitch on] far-right activities in the stadium. . . . Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, has spoken of a 15 percent overlap between football-affiliated hooligans and right-wing extremists. However, security officials in the Ruhr region of western Germany say the real figure is likely to be much higher.”

And indeed, a leaflet stating football hooligans’ goals is explicitly political: “Top priority: ‘Re-establishing old values.’ Second goal: ‘No anti-fascists in the stadium.’ Third goal: ‘Win back freedom of speech.’”[3]

“At the same time that the football federation was diversifying the national team, the German government was changing its citizenship laws, leading to a more diverse German citizenry.”[4]

While the Center-Left media praised the “diverse” players as adding their ethnic “flair” to the team, the Center-Right media transformed the “diverse” players into “good Germans” because of their hard work and commitment to the team – thus taking a utilitarian approach to identity. If it talks and walks like a German but looks like an African – it’s a German. While columnist Jacqueline S. Gehring, the biased Leftist who wrote the article, has the gall to complain that even though both Center-Left and Center-Right make no bone about the “Germanness” of these players, it is stilldiscriminatory because they have to justify their German identity.

These two perspectives dominate all PC discussion about “diversity”: either it is good because it adds flavor (more falafels in Berlin, more curry in London) or it is good because it is useful, meaning more wage-slave jobs taken from the indigenous population.

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One bit of Leftist trickery is to pose as apolitical common sense: “Whoever plays well should play in the team, whether they have an immigrant background or not,” said Hassan, 42. “It is about football and shouldn’t be about politics.” Thus Leftist ideology is invisible, it is seamless, it is the norm. Only challenges to Leftist hegemony are “political.” Of course the fact that “Hassan” lives in Germany is already political. The fact that his opinion matters is already political.

When Italian nationalism began to form in the 19th century, a phrase began to circulate:  “We’ve created the Italian state. Now we must create Italians.”[5] A various times, it has been attributed to Count Camillo Cavour and Benito Mussolini. “Creating Italians” was similar to other nationalist projects, like Ataturk’s creation of “the Turks” or Bismark’s creation of “the Germans.” Italians were divided linguistically, ethnically, socially, economically, politically — almost completely. What brought Italians together, partially at least, is the treat of an outside force.

Now that a global political order is being created, we must create global citizens. There must no longer be an “us” and “them.” International sporting events are a problem for globalism, because it is all about “us” and “them.” That is why the establishment is pushing for “diversity” on teams — “diversity” being a code word being indistinguishable, interchangeable, all the same.

Italy’s Mario Ballotelli
Italy’s Mario Ballotelli

Balotelli fundamentally challenges the notion of what it means to be an Italian. And this questioning challenges what it means to be a fan of your national sports team. We can draw a parallel from the Roman Empire. When the Romans started to use mercenaries to fight their wars it was a sure bet that the Empire would collapse. And this is exactly what Balotelli represents, a collapse of the 19th-century nation state towards the triumph of the 21st-century Internationalist Corporate State – a movement that entails deeply chaotic displacements of identity and self.

It is not just that nation states have become divorced from their ethnic makeup, but also they have become entwined with the processes of globalism, which seeks to undermine any sovereignty, any border, any group, in favor of the free flow of capital and the global market-place.

Balotelli does not just represent himself or the changing face of Italian identity, but the unsettling of the world in favor of internationalist corporate values. These values want to hollow out culture and identity and replace it with popular culture and individualism – which really is a lack of identity.

Stewardship is a valuable concept. It is the idea that the land does not belong to “one” but to “us.” One cannot use it up for one’s own private interest. One can make a living on it. But one has to improve it and pass it on. Because we are only one generation among many. Cultivation and culture are two concepts that arise out of the same desire: to make something of the world we are thrown into, and to pass it on. If one’s grandfather builds a house, doesn’t he hope that it will be the home of his descendants, not some tribesman from Ghana?[7]

A nation is an extended house for an extended family. It is not created so our generation can throw it away out of short-sighted greed or self-indulgent moralism. We owe it to our ancestors and our descendants to keep it in the family.

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Notes

[1] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/02/diversity-is-good-for-team-performance-in-soccer/

[2]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIQynsWpBpQ For the full text.

[3] http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/violent-right-wing-extremists-team-up-with-football-hooligans-a-933896.html

[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/06/07/how-the-left-and-the-right-talk-differently-about-the-ethnicity-of-german-soccer-players/

[5] The phrase was actually written by Massimo d’Azeglio, a noble of the Piedmont House, so it might as well be attributed to Cavour or Victor Emmanuel.

[6] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2014/article-2635044/Mario-Balotelli-suffers-racist-abuse-Italy-fans-World-Cup-training-camp.html

[7] Clint Eastwood’s Grand Torino was a film which dealt with the idea of family inheritance. In the end the self-sacrificing converted racist white man gives his most prized possession to his Asian neighbor and snubs his family — in part because they have grown apart and see their relationship in materialistic terms, and those traditional qualities of family and kinship ties, homemaking, and hard work that Eastwood’s Polish character identifies with are absent with his own kin. We must rediscover these values

 

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