An article in Le Monde reveals a bit of cross-pollination: The German, neo-Nazi NPD adapted a poster by the Swiss party, UDC, for state elections in Hesse.  The UDC message, “For more security,” promotes policy to expel immigrants who have “abused our hospitality.” The NPD message, “Social only for the National[s]”, promotes restricting social services only to those who are nationally (as well as ethnically) German.

UDC officials claim that they had no contact or coordination with the NPD, but there have been other occasions in which UDC images and slogans have been used by extremists in Europe.  The easy instrumentalization of its poster reveals, nonetheless, how its own polemic on immigration policy rest on racist appeal, if its own positions are not outrightly racist.  Indeed, many anti-immigration or immigration reform movements cannot dissociate the image of the immigrant, whether real or in caricature, from their message.


Two carnivals to report: History Carnival at Osprey Publishing Blog, and Erase Racism Carnival at ReadingWritingLiving.

Atopia has an interview of French anthropologist Marc Augé (in English).

The ‘Radonneur Urbain’ presents seven stages of Swiss democracy as a tour of Bern’s historical sights (in French) at Stadtwanderer: stage one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven.  [HT: Kaufmann]

Brandon Watson has an interesting take on Jason Kuznicki’s post on sacred texts.  I wish, however, that they would have looked at the authority of sacred texts within any given community, how underneath orthodox claims of immutable truth come fluid, dynamic practices that show how communities adapt sacred texts to their interests.  Aren’t we ‘sacredly’ reading differently after Martin Buber?

Moroccans can be blond!  (Not really a shock, except to the narrow-minded.)

John Russell calls attention to the World History Association’s recommended readings.