In French, there is no equivalent to the word "homeland", which in
Germany repeatedly provides for discussions. This expression inevitably reminds me
Edgar Reitz 'film chronicle homelandthat overwhelmed me. While I'm good
small postwar Frenchman only an abstract and rather polemical idea of
Germany carried around with me, this film series brought me close to the country and fulfilled it
In "Heimat", therefore, I have a medicine so strong that through a work of art it can give a stranger the feeling that he belongs to a distant country, that he is firmly attached to him, that he recognizes his neighbor and his neighbor , In my imagination, I always sat somewhere in Germany in a train and talked to Maria about our life in Schabbach or exchanged with Paul or Eduard childhood memories of the Hunsrück. "Homeland" has nothing for me that requires identity or blood ties: it is rather a mediator that allows one to grasp once again, existentially, for oneself or for others, what it means to belong to a specific place.
If the question of homeland returns everywhere, not only in Germany, then obviously because all of us, from whatever country we come from, experience a general crisis of the loss of our self and our land. It is this feeling of abandonment that psychiatrist Glenn Albrecht names
has baptized. Nostalgia is a universal and ageless feeling that makes us laugh or cry at the memory of a vanished past. But to say it with the witty title of Simone Signoret's autobiography:
Nostalgia is not what it once was, It is no longer a lost past that makes us cry with misery, but the earth that disappears before our eyes, depriving us of our livelihoods.
means to have homesickness without being emigrated, ie homesickness at home. This is the most radical effect of the new climatic conditions: the climate crisis, the general extinction of species, the sterilization of landscapes make us crazy.
In my opinion, we do not understand the importance attributed to the issue of migration if one ignores the fact that this sense of loss of ground has become general. People who are safe under their feet have always been able to take in others who have been driven from their land by wars, famine or environmental disasters. The entire European migration history shows this clearly enough. Today, however, peoples deprived of their soil try to settle down with people who feel themselves deprived of their earth without having moved away from home. As if the migration crisis had become universal and brought the migrants from outside into conflict with the migrants inside: those who have to leave their land, with those who left their land, if you will.
This universal crisis becomes tragic because the two traditional solutions, as all observers admit, do not solve anything.
The first, which could be called "globalist", is to convince citizens to look forward to keeping their eyes fixed on the more or less bright horizon that allows them to maintain their old bonds forgot to break with their provincial spirit and at the great maelstrom of the globalization participate. However, to be a "citizen of the world", there must be a functioning world that ensures the well-being of those who devote themselves to it. The planetary crisis, however, makes it impossible to believe in the existence of a world that could serve as such a resource, guaranteeing the masses an income on the march towards globalization. The world, that is the planet, rebels. He questions the conditions of existence of these "world citizens", who suddenly find themselves "without world" and an acute attack of
The second solution is well known to us because it is being implemented everywhere – from Brazil to Hungary, the US to Poland, from the UK of Brexit to today's Germany. Even the "neo-nationalists" seek a soil that guarantees their protection, identity and prosperity. But it is not enough to gradually get rid of the constraints of globalization in order to reassure oneself of a permanent, inviolable, credible and viable territory.
The imaginary world of the neo-national states we are supposed to emigrate to, now that the dream of globalization has lost its luster, is still poorer, less densely populated, more unrealistic than the one of the solidary and integrated nation-states it wants to take its place. Incidentally, this also explains the anger with which this project of encapsulation is defended everywhere. Its only content is identity – and its only content, in turn, is hostility toward others, those migrants who threaten to burst the bubble of illusions that invented these identities.
We must realize that there is no longer any political offer that will offer us a way out of this failure of the globalists and the neo-nationalists, their inability to offer ground to the peoples who feel betrayed and lost. The old forms of liberalism – in the French or English sense of the term – are, like the old forms of social democracy, utterly exhausted along with the parties that embodied them. Where these parties still exist, they do not seem to be able to speak in a language and with an existential gravity sufficient to reconnect the questions of the people and of the soil. The main reason for this is that they fear the "reactionary" nature of the combination of the two terms.