The Big ACL Opening

Axel Thimm Axel.Thimm at
Sat Oct 18 16:53:38 UTC 2008

On Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 06:10:38PM +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> On Sat, 18.10.08 13:10, Axel Thimm (Axel.Thimm at wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 07:14:51PM +0200, Lennart Poettering wrote:
> > > Hmm, am I the only one who finds the choice of the term "überpackager"
> > > a bit questionnable?
> > > 
> > > I am assuming this refers to Nietzsche's "Übermensch" which to start
> > > with is not a particular sympathetic idea to many. What I find
> > > particularly problematic however is that at least in Germany this term
> > > more often than not implies some kind of connection to, uhh, certain
> > > dark times about 60 years ago.
> > 
> > I wouldn't give to the dark time in Germany the benefit of stealing
> > words and ideas. Nietsche was against the NS ideology, it was his
> > sister that aided the misinterpretation and distortion of his writings
> > for their purposes.
> "Nietzsche against NS ideology"??? This argument is bogus. Nietzsche
> died 20 years before the Nazi party was founded. How could he have
> been against them if they didn't really exist?

The NS party was not founded out of thin air, antisemitian and
nationalist movements were around long before any party
foundation. Nietsches sister with her husband founded an Aryan village
with an unhappy ending in 1887örster

She is also responsible for the misuse of Nietsches work by
antisemtitians and later the NS regime. And Nietsche wrote to his
sister in published letters that he both disliked the antisemitian and
nationalist movements as well as the antisemtitian interpretation of
his works as she was trying to promote it.

So, yes, Nietsche was against the NS ideology.

> Discussing whether Nietzsche liked the Nazis or not is completely
> irrelevant here. Don't make this some kind of Stammtisch discussion
> about philosophy and Who's-A-Nazi.

Sorry Lennard, but you did that. Dragging a philosopher's work into
the dirt begs for correction. Actually I'm trying to save you from
playing into the hands of the regime we all equally dislike.

> > So, don't allow Über- to become an NS prefix by declaring it as
> > such. Use it as much as possible in other contexts, so it gets clean
> > from any smell that might have remained. And BTW it is being used very
> > often in German words as a prefix meaning really harmless things
> > (anything that uses over- or trans- in English likely has an Über-
> > translation, like "translation" itself - "Übersetzung").
> Unfortunately the Nazis didn't ask you for permission before they
> appropriated "Übermensch" for their purposes. Sorry, but you won't
> be able to clean the words "Führer", "Schutzstaffel" or "Übermensch"
> from their Nazi associations. Trying to do that is both too big for
> your boots and a sign of Geschichtsvergessenheit.

Please be less insultive, I really suggest you do look up the history
behind the use of Übermensch and also the effords in the 60s/70s in
(west) Germany to properly analyse history and not hide away
pretending the NS regime did not take place.

You suggest I try to forget history and it's the opposite: There has
been a distortion of history by the bad people you dislike and by
your actions you are only feeding this displacement.

Just for fun, if you walk up the alps will you refrain from calling
the guide a Bergführer? Or your driver's license a Führerschein?

Of course not, and that's why Ubergeek and Uberpackager are not Nazi
words either.

> And of course, "über-" is a very common prefix in the german
> language. In verbs, in adjectives, everywhere. But please, don't twist
> my words: I find it questionnable to use the prefix as kind of
> superlative in reference to the Übermensch. That is all.
> Let's end this discussion! Fedora-devel is not the place to discuss
> Nazi vocabulary. Toshio already agreed to change the term. So I am
> happy, no need for pointless bikeshedding discussions.

I need to repeat that succumbing to banning words just strongens their
negative connotations further. Don't flight the scene!
Axel.Thimm at
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