Are there any Italian or Spanish Hamilton fans?

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    Profile photo of Todfod

    “I think patriotic support depends a lot on skill”

    I agree. I’m Indian, and I can’t stand Karthikeyan. I feel like he is a slap in the face for Indian Motorsport.

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    @todfod – I feel the same about Rubens. People can argue, but all I see is that he’s been in a WDC winning car twice and wasn’t able to capitalise in neither occasions.

    At first I support any driver from Brazil to a level that varies with skill, but there are other aspects that automatically make then “support ineligible”, and each person may list different things in here. I say I was very disappointed when Massa let Alonso past last year, just like Rubens did before… it’s a different topic this one of team orders, but I just lost all the faith I had on Massa at that point. I still respect him a little bit but never like before…

    Piquet Jr never thrilled me but knowing he did what he did just put him below any other driver that ever existed. I want him to lose wherever he get to race.

    Profile photo of electrolite

    I’m British and never been massive on Mclaren, too much money and PR stuff going on. This season though I’ve really been backing them to beat Red Bull. However I’ve supported Button since 2000, maybe because I was 10 years old and I went for the young British driver :) But it’s stuck with me anyway.

    I like Magnificent Geoffrey love Sauber also.

    Profile photo of matt88

    i’m Italian and i don’t support Hamilton, but i respect him and i recognize he’s a talent. Maybe sometimes he’s too aggressive when there’s no need, but it’s just matter of tastes. I know lots of Italians who are fans of Hamilton, other who supported Raikkonen (before his move to Ferrari), other who loved Hakkinen. Winners get supporters everywhere and sometimes in Italy people hate Ferrari because of its ‘corporate’ feeling. I remember that a lot of friends of mine switched from supporting Williams to McLaren between 1997 and 1998…

    We Italians have also been quite unlucky about talented drivers for some decades. Fisichella and Trulli, the best of breed of 90s-00s, have just been midfield drivers with a few highlights in their career, so we couldn’t be so patriotic about them.

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    @fixy, @Itchyes

    sorry, but you’re misinterpreting my words. I didn’t say anything about the intelligence/stupidity of patriotic or nationalistic people or people that don’t think like myself. That would be stupid of me, because there are definitely patriotic/nationalistic people who are intelligent.

    What I wrote,

    Some people are actually intelligent enough to think the place of birth doesn’t actually matter

    means only that non-nationalism is usually a sign of intelligence.

    I can understand why you would assume that, but I can assure you that wasn’t my intention. From that sentence you can’t deduce I’m saying that people who think the place of birth matters are not intelligent (it would have been that if had written “All people who are intelligent think the place of birth doesn’t matter”, from “All A are B” you can deduce “All Not B are not A”, not from “Same A are B” (Aristotelian logic) or from “Same are A enough to think B” like I phrased it, you can’t deduce “Who doesn’t think B are not A”

    Why is that non-nationalism is a sign of intelligence? you might ask

    Well, because it means those people had to overcome the deeply rooted prejudice of nationalism, present on so many expressions of human culture (inclunding and especially on sport), present on all mass media, believed and defended by most people, almost a pre-set way of thinking one adquires just by growing up in almost every nation of the planet. So, it’s a sign of intelligence because it means that person is capable of critical thinking (for questioning it in the first place, when almost everything is against that same questioning) and also capable of reasoning for reaching the conclusion that just because he’s born on a particular country doesn’t mean that that country’s customs are better than any other culture costums, or “are the standard against all other societies must be measured” like a certain discoverer of special and general relativity, born and raised in Germany, adolescence/youth on Italy, adult life/working in Switzerland and old age/universal proeminence in America, would have put it.

    Again, please don’t confuse my words; I’m not saying that you or any other patriotic person aren’t able of critical thinking and reasoning, just that a non-patriotic person almost for sure is (taking that not so popular stand shows it) . You most probably are capable of such things, maybe you never gave this issue much thought or maybe you never even considered that someone can “not defend the colors of his nation” and be mentally sane at the same time.

    Itchyes asks what’s wrong with that? I’ll tell you what can go wrong with nationalism: this. And national-socialism is just an extreme example. There are many other countries that have had bad experiences with patriotic leaders, like

    . Italy

    . Spain

    . Portugal

    . Argentina

    amongst others, just follow the links.

    More, it’s because of patriotism we have wars and this planet civilization has such a terrible history in respect of human beings killing other human beings. Because nationalism is almost always the pretext, or the excuse a leader uses to go to war, and it’s “Because people can relate to [sports]men who share similar language, heritage and culture much more than someone who they don’t” (Magnificent Geoffrey) and because “it’s just one of those natural things” (Itchyes) leaders get the support from their people they need to launch the most irrational activity human beings ever invented, WAR (how rational is to put a nation’s resources and people into the goal of destroying another nation?).

    so, that’s why.

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    Ned Flanders

    I’m not sure all wars are the result of nationalism. Even if there were no such thing as nations, and we all just lived in some huge global community, we’d still find reasons to kill each other. Humans are idiots like that.

    I do have a lot of respect people who are prepared to criticise their nation if it acts badly, rather than blindly supporting it and holding it in the highest regard no matter what. But quite often anyone who professes their dislike for their national representative, particularly in Sport, seems to be stigmatised for it. Not on F1 Fanatic- we’re all sensible here- but in wider society. If I had’ve gone to the pub cheering for the German football team when they played England last summer, I probably would’ve got myself beaten up!

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    i think that patriotism and nationalism are different. for a nationalist, his country is superior to every other one, while a patriot loves his country but he’s aware of its flaws.

    Profile photo of Fixy

    Most people in the same country share the same language, traditions, culture, that’s why I find it easier to identify myself with someone of my same nationality. I am not a blind supporter of my country, I can tell what’s good and what’s bad, and when something is bad I criticise it.

    I know Fascism was not the correct political idea to follow, and many Italians were against it too.

    Returning to F1, when Ferrari let Alonso past Massa in Germany I openly accused them, and was upset with them until Monza, not because Massa lost and Alonso won (the same happened in Bahrain but I was happy) but because it was morally wrong to invert the positions.

    As I said before I don’t have a particular feeling for Fisichella, although he’s Italian and has won more races than Liuzzi, who I support instead. Liuzzi grew not in my same city, but in my same country, and we both share attitudes common to Italians (not every Italian – there are criminals who I don’t sympathize for, and I don’t see them as “brothers” because they think in a way too different from mine) but obviously the same characteristics can be found in someone who isn’t Italian. When I do find a person like this, I like him regardless of his nationality.

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    I can see this has turned into yet another heated forum discussion. Heck, why not? At least we’re able to talk about the more difficult subjects in life and history without going Glassy Sutil on one another (oh, the advantages of computer screen protection, never to be underestimated).

    I thought I’d drop a few points as personal input here, hoping to add a little flavour to the discussion without adding any extra heat (it’s spicy enough as it is).

    1. Patriotism does not equal nationalism as some have pointed out. To bring into the discussion the horrors of Hitler seems a bit inappropriate to me. It was merely a label made of words put on a political movement that was actually quite short-lived. Supporting your country through one or more means (such as having a natural tendency to prefer or at the very least keep a closer eye on a specific athlete because you share the same nationality) has nothing to do with ideologies that are profiting from severely troubled economical times in a given territory to put the blame and hatred for the difficult life a given generation is being put through on an innocent target. Any social group that is going through generalised hardship when it comes to meeting the vital needs of each individual (loss of financial means through major unemployment waves meaning hunger, housing issues, degrading health, no health care, and so on: it’s a vicious circle) will close down on itself and look at the ones who appear not be going through as difficult times as being the “thieves” of what used to seem balanced and fairly distributed. A political party around a very charismatic and slightly disturbed (you could consider that a euphemism) character who is in the middle of an era during which many false theories about the human species were put forward will of course thrive very well. You can literally point out and show who the culprits supposedly are by mixing phenotypes (and religion in this case as we know that Judaism has historically linked itself through blood lineage) and personnality traits/social traits. Eugenics were very fashionable throughout the entire Western world at the time. May I point out to the horrible example of what the Belgian colonists did in Congo for example with the superior race ID cards distributed to the Tutsis? It is one amongst many. But we had very little proper scientifical knowledge of us, humans, from a genetic point of view. People still measured the skull to try and deduce how big the brain inside was (not that a larger brain means more activity actually)… This type of thinking and uncertainty (scientifically speaking) makes it so much easier to talk a mass into at first disliking, then rejecting, finally hating a certain “ethnic” group.

    2. So why would we as humans tend to more often turn towards a person with whom we can identify quite easily? Why would nationality matter? Well, it’s quite simple: nations were built on that particular concept. One same people on one same territory sharing one same language (most of the time). Break one of these rules and things get complicated. In the past, you also had one same religion as a “liaison officer” but thanks to the progress of Science (and the consequences such as secular education), the input of religion has profoundly decreased on patriotism in the Western world. A few simple examples to illustrate this (and again, there are exceptions in the world!): my country has overseas departments (a French department is a territorial subdivision of the nation) yet these departments appear to be less taken into account generally speaking (less visits and campaigns during election periods, less coverage in -oh, the irony- national news,). Basically, they are less regarded as being France (hence the phrase “en métropole” to speak about the traditional European hexagon France). The geographic distance plays a lot into this (some would argue that the main difference in “ethnic” backgrounds is also quite important although being from very multicultural city I’m a bit less impressed by this argument). If you break language unity, you get the same sort of problem. I don’t wish to speak for any other nations, not knowing their history as well as mine, but in France all regional languages were actually forbidden for quite a while after the French Revolution. The “français” (which was regional language itself up until a few centuries before) had to be the language of all and any other would be suppressed through penalisation of use of these in order to artificially create a sense of coherence. You may wonder how this could eventually have worked… Obviously, there were quite a few rebellions within certain regions, including mine (Provence). However, historically, it did work very well: the public school education system was put into place and children were soon obligated to get a minimum education, no matter one’s social background. That’s a beautiful right. However, obviously, this education was nationally dispensed and thus regulated meaning these children would hear proper French for most of the day. A few generations later, this means that regional languages are part of the family circle, not the wider social circle and not that of knowledge, thus career opportunities. And so on.

    3. Patriotism is like a huge revolving door. To keep a country stable, you have to continue giving it sense. Most countries we know today are actually quite recent. they weren’t around just a thousand years ago. You had, in most cases, similar territorial outlinings that corresponded to different kingdoms/principalities and other types of estate claims. Once the prospect of a certain country is born within the mind of a given political group/elite (no matter whether they’re royal or anti-royal), the aim is to give a true reason for the country to exist. Certain things are put into place to artificially create that sense of unison. Sport is definitely a major competitor (ha, too easy a pun to pass) when it comes to this. The history and evolution of the Olympics is the best example I can find. It used to be that the most important and flourishing cities, kingdoms and states of Ancient Greece would send out their best athletes to compete against one each other. It hasn’t changed that much these days. Whichever country can afford to train and send out athletes does so… That’s how simple it is. Other variations are World Cups. Nations are going to invest in this because not only is it a sign of prosperity and a lovely picture of the general health of their nation (which is why, as Zadak and Todfod pointed out, skills are rather important: you rarely stay supportive of someone who never really showed any sign of particular strength in its discipline). It’s a “my-daddy-is-stronger-than-your-daddy” type of thinking except this inherent human psychological state of mind is applied to a larger (note that it is called “patriotism”, a clear reference to the pater familias concept from the Ancient times) social circle than the first one you have in your life (your family), your country. Having the national hymn played on almost every podium of a big sports event (even outside inter-nations championships) is very telling…

    4. However, it’s not an exclusive rule. Your brain is not wired to only support those with whom you share some sort of socio-historical (and, alas, as some trouble makers would love to make others think, genetic) platform. You will support whomever you most identify with and that emotional component (even if you believe it’s rational and/or logical such as supporting the best-skilled: it still is merely your opinion that person is the better skilled on the field – you never know what the younglings could be worth when they finally peak, for ex. – and obviously you’d be neglecting the fact that, as humans, we do have that lovely “perfectionist” streak Kant so properly described: having the best and most doesn’t make you the all-round better person). The emotional component has a large variety of possible connections (Hamilton and Webber’s “honesty” when they say something to the media you won’t hear most of the others on today’s F1 grid claim, for example: that’s just a rather common human value associated with the bravest knight thematic, etc.) and is quite complex (which makes it so fascinating to study, by the way).

    So, I’m sure Hamilton has fans of many nationalities because he has created major emotional branding at the start of his career. It might not have been on purpose, mind you! Same goes for the Ferrari team. It stands for F1 royalty which gives it that historical impact and does play on people’s feelings.

    Because I think it’s only fair I play along in this thread and reveal my own little preferences: I’m a rookie gal. I love to support the incoming F1 drivers. Why? I can only speculate that having moved around very, very much during my entire childhood and having to get into a new school and new class several times each school year means that I’ve had to become quite the extrovert and to quickly make a place for myself in a new group (it could’ve gone the other way and I could’ve become very shy and silent). So I tend to naturally stick up for the newcomers and get a fuzzy warm feeling about them, wanting to give them an honest chance. Again, this is a simplified introspective 101 self-psychoanalysis theory but it does seem to explain my personal sense of favouritism within the sport.

    There you go, my emotional F1 supporting lock is exposed. I don’t mean to say everyone should theorise over their favourite driver(s)/team(s). But the idea of supporting someone is definitely beyond reason when it comes to things where competition means becoming number one over all the rest. This is no philosophical debate around tea & crumpets… It’s a friggin’ sport with cars on a track (which has no real reason to exist besides the entertainment factor although obviously, over time, it’s been coupled with a few other benefits such as car safety).

    Why would the cavemen run to reach a line first if there is no mammoth meat to be grabbed?

    Ah, Sports, often forgotten as a sign of civilisation and luxury because of its prestigious big brother, Arts.

    EDIT: wow, this is long, my apologies.

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    Ned Flanders

    I did my dissertation on nationalism only a few months ago, I really ought to be able to add to this discussion. Alas, I seem to have forgotten (or at least misplaced in the archives of my brain) everything I learnt on the subject already, so my opportunity to sound like a clever clogs has gone…

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    I did my dissertation on nationalism only a few months ago […] Alas, I seem to have forgotten (or at least misplaced in the archives of my brain) everything I learnt on the subject already […]

    Santa’s Little Helper ate it?

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    I’ll disagree, dearest Trix in that:

    1. bringing the horrors of Hitler is inappropriate. I was asked for what’s wrong with nationalism. I gave an extreme example of what can go wrong with nationalism. You say national is just a word in national-socialism, I disagree: Nationalism is intrinsic to Fascism in general and to Nazism in particular as it’s one of its fundamental bases:

    from wikipedia 1 and 2:

    “Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology.”

    “Nazism It was a unique variety of fascism that incorporated biological racism and antisemitism.

    2. patriotic sporting manifestations have nothing to do with ideologies to profit from the poverty of their people to blame other groups of people. I would say it has all to do it. But not in the way that the first cause the second. No. The second (right wing ideological groups) instigate the first. And then uses it, in order to have excuses for his political program. So, shocking it must seem, we have olympic games, in which people from one nation (one group) compete with people from other nation (group) in order to promote division amongst human beings, in order to point out small differences between people like cultural, language, skin color so that people only see themselves as different from other people instead of looking to how similar we are as a species, either we are chinese, african, white or eskimo, so that a particular group (the first one, the instigators) can buy/sell weapons and have wars for whatever reason they have to do it.

    Because if people would see themselves as equal to the others, then there would be no reason for us to go to war, no reason for us to hate other people (why hate if they are like me?) and there it goes the reason for that particular hate group to be on power.

    Imagine an alien spaceship that discovers Earth and come to check it out. What do you think they’ll notice? How different is a chinese from an indian from an african from an european? No, they’ll notice how amazingly similar are the 7 billion members of this amazing species that dominates the Earth.

    Maybe nations once upon a time made sense, maybe for some of the reasons you point out. I don’t think they make sense nowadays. You say “break one of these rules and things get complicated.” There are many examples of multiculturalist places in the world (you say you live in such a city). We even have multiculturalist countries, like the United States of America; that only has troubles when fascist ideologies are allowed to thrive; you can see people from different places, with different languages and costums can prosperate on the same society without a false feeling of nation; maybe you say “but they are americans. they have a sense of nation, etc.” But what is an american, according with that definition? What is a person that lives in London?

    ok, that’s what I think, it’s reasonably defended I think, but I’m too tired to go on. I know it’s a very difficult feeling to abandon, the feeling of belonging to a nation, because you’re with it since you know yourself, it’s very warm, makes you fell good, etc. But I assure you (and I’ve been there, done that), the day you assume “you are a citizen of the world, you belong to Planet Earth and are part of Planet Earth”, believe me, you’ll fell an even more grateful feeling of beonging and warmth and all of that.

    always a pleasure to read your rants.

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    You are passionate about topics but take things upside down sometimes.

    Nationalism according to Wikipedia is one thing. I dare you to put that down in a scientifical article or to use it for an academic paper.

    Looking at things from a synchronic point of view is easy, immediate and is the pot of gold of many politicians and media outlets.

    Taking the diachronic approach is the path of wisdom. Or something along those lines.

    From a more reliable source with regards to knowledge and recognition:

    “The term “nationalism” is generally used to describe two phenomena: (1) the attitude that the members of a nation have when they care about their national identity, and (2) the actions that the members of a nation take when seeking to achieve (or sustain) self-determination. (1) raises questions about the concept of a nation (or national identity), which is often defined in terms of common origin, ethnicity, or cultural ties, and while an individual’s membership in a nation is often regarded as involuntary, it is sometimes regarded as voluntary. (2) raises questions about whether self-determination must be understood as involving having full statehood with complete authority over domestic and international affairs, or whether something less is required.”

    Source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nationalism/

    A term can be derived to signify something in particular, whether an extreme specific tendency/example or something quite different but with metaphorical juxtaposition (think of “mouse”: the animal, the computer click thingy). It is not because nationalism derived to be mostly known these days as an extreme political tendency that it solely means this. It’s stood for something much broader for many centuries, thank you very much.

    Also, you might have to clarify a few points you raised in your latest reply.

    Firstly, I do not understand what you mean by “a false feeling of nation” or what the intent of your opinion expressed in that particular paragraph was meant to argue for.

    patriotic sporting manifestations have nothing to do with ideologies to profit from the poverty of their people to blame other groups of people. I would say it has all to do it.

    I had no clue we were discussing patriotic sporting manifestations? Wasn’t this about patriotism within sports? The particular case of what the Olympics have politically become was not raised by me or anyone else for that matter in this thread. I understand it’s an easy bridge to jump on to build your point but it makes no sense at this point in the conversation. I pointed to the birth of the Olympic Games in order to show it was already a contest of individuals representing prosperous territories. I did not mention once any of the new Olympic Games scandals. It has no place in my argumentation. But you seem hell-bent to force any usable example I’ve given to lead it back to nazism. Unfortunately, it will take proper rhetorics to win this round.

    We’re not here to play the “Be bigger than who you are” wisdom card. We’re not here to tell people they should all become proper Earth citizens who should stop polluting and messing up the planet (because that’s where your final paragraph logically must lead to if you progress beyond your initial point).

    You do, however, seem to reject the idea that people are going to side with someone they can emotionally connect to. Unfortunately, my dearest, that is utopia. And it is rejecting facts of science.

    You cannot put nurture (as in open-mindedness) above nature. It’s a game of nature via nurture, whether you like it or not. I will leave a biological anthropolist forum poster explain this in depth if required.

    Because if people would see themselves as equal to the others, then there would be no reason for us to go to war, no reason for us to hate other people (why hate if they are like me?) and there it goes the reason for that particular hate group to be on power.

    I’m not sure I follow you properly here. Obviously, define “equal”. Because this would mean that in a perfect world, everyone would be bisexual and open to falling in love with anyone rather than have a sexual preference. And why sports? Alonso would = Vettel would equal = Hamilton would equal = Karthikeyan and so on…

    There is a thick line between considering other humans your equals and being able to thrive as an individual.

    Also, wars are often led by hunger of money, territory and other material desires to be fulfilled. The “let’s go get them ’cause we’re better than them” speech is a lovely cover-up to fill the lines of warriors doing the dirty job. I’m much more optimistic than you are in the end: I don’t think hatred is the most shared feeling throughout the planet. Quite on the contrary.

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    and then, finally, you can go on to love sports and chose whoever you want to support for whatever reasons you have. They don’t have to be rational. I tend to go by ability (those are the ones I like to see), but that can be relative, as it’s circumstantial (like I wrote in the nostalgia thread, the day you fall in love for a particular sport can have a profund efect on which athlete you’ll support on the future). So in F1 I liked Schumi, as I always saw him as an amazing driver. But then I also liked Hakinnen. Didn’t like DC. Liked Senna, for the few GPs I saw of him as a child, but wasn’t really a follower then. But I also go character, not just for ability, or sucess. So I don’t like Hamilton. As I don’t like Lance Armstrong, the most sucessfull Tour de France rider of all time (yes, I’m a follower), I prefered Jan Ulrich. No, I’m not German or born in Germany. I liked Steffi Graff, but I prefered Arantxa Sanchez Vicário, who mostly lost Grand Slam finals to Steffi during most of her career. I’m also beginning to like Alonso, as he seems damn good, but still in doubt whether to root for him or for Vettel (he’s good, but I prefer someone that takes spectacular wins from behind and not just a spectacular pole-positioner that wins all his GPs from the first place on the grid). And I’m not spanish.

    But I liked very much Sergey Bubka, as he was an amazing athlete. And Nadia Comaneci. And I’m not from Eastern Europe.

    And I liked Jonathan Edwards. And Usain Bolt amazes me. Like Sottomayor used to. And Indurain. And I like Jordan, Bird, Magic, Isiah. And I like Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo (particularly 96/97 season playing for Barcelona, just amazing), Ronald Koeman, Dennis Bergkamp, Ivan de la Peña etc etc etc

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    LL, you need to take a chill pill and relax. I have some Tibetan chants that could help.

    You are completely taking my post out of context by doing what you prefer: jumping to the extreme(s).

    Please refer to point number 4 of my first post in this thread. NOT an exclusive rule.

    I don’t feel the need to pack my posts with seemingly never-ending lists of people to back up my I’m-no-patriot-(if not racist)-fanatic sense of conscience. I was pointing out like some previous posters did that there is a natural sense of national attachment in people that can be expressed through sports & supporting a specific team/person, period. If you can’t understand I was pointing out to that, I’m afraid I can’t help you and someone else will have to step in because I clearly wasn’t being good enough at explaining it.

    Also, if you have access to a digital library of scientifical articles (if you’re an academic or student, you often get free access to these proper tools of research through your university), there are many articles and quite some studies about attachment to social groups and more specifically nations and supporting athletes/sportsmen. I am not making this up. It is a fascinating cultural subject (because it is an observed phenomenon), not an exclusive rule.

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