"Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, 'the greatest', but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is."
Sydney J. Harris
This documentary is based on the written plan for the conquest and occupation of Britain.
I found it to be quite interesting. I do object to the naming of specific individuals, since no one really knows what they would have done, despite what the Germans thought they might do.
People who are entranced with exceptionalism will find this entire documentary unthinkable. I think that is a mistake, given the experience in so many other countries and the Channel Islands themselves.
If there had been resistance, the conquest could have been utterly ruthless and brutal as it was in Poland, for example. I remember a lady telling me that the Poles welcomed the Nazis 'with open arms.' Nothing could be further from the truth.
But people get these thoughts and can become attached to them for various reasons. Just as some might think that Britain, or the US for the matter, can never change what is perceived as its national and natural character.
I hate to single out Britain here, but we do have the plan as it was written. We do not have access to any similar plans as complete for the US, either by the Germans or the wealthy financiers who have sought to capture the government for their own ends.
The lack of knowledge of US history amongst some of its people is appalling. The actions of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920's, and the attempted coup d'état by wealthy financiers and industrialists in the 1930's, seems like a fiction to many, easily dismissed. If only civilization was so robust and indestructible as that. This complacency is often due to pride and ignorance, a sense of exceptionalism, rather than a sound understanding of human nature with both its strengths and weaknesses.
In his powerful documentaries done with the BBC, Laurence Rees outlines the charismatic power of an unscrupulous and fanatical leader, and how they can use exceptionalism and stereotypes of 'the other' to tap the inner darkness of an otherwise educated and civilized people, who view themselves as both good and practical.
The documentary below is instructive in general because it outlines how one might conquer a large and developed country either by exterior force or through an internal rising.
I don't wish to alarm anyone. What is possible is not inevitable. But it is good to remember that possibility demands good sense and vigilance. None are immune to evil that comes draped in the appearance of practicality and expediency. I have seen this in otherwise good people I have known personally. They can lose their way, and stop thinking in the face of uncertainty, and rationalize themselves into doing terrible things.
None are exceptional except as individuals, and only to the extent that they can grasp something greater than their own needs and desires in order to save themselves from becoming hopelessly lost.