Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Olympic Games: peace and nationalism? (by Pedja dell'Arno)
I find a bit contradictory that the Olypimpic Games bring a message of peace (that's the origin of the games) and that they are played keeping the nation states as the basic units. After some authority giving the medals, the national anthems are sung and the national flags are raised. Each country's media follows obsessively the performance of national players, forgetting about world records or the performance of big non-national athletes. Some olympic games have been the stage for national protests or conflicts along national lines. Crowds paint their faces with the colours of national flags. Is all this pedagogical for our children? Why don't we progress towards games played on an individual or club basis? Well, it's true that club competition can become also very nationalistic, fanatic and violent... I don't have the solution, but all these thoughts support the idea that the Olympic Games do not deserve all the public money support that they get, unless of course you think that nationalism is good. I don't.