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April 24, 2003

Mein Fatherland

Normally I don't see the point of posting the results of the online tests, but I found this Which Country of the World are You? quiz on Zack & Amber's blog and the result was kind of funny & oddly predictable:

Germany -
Despite a controversial recent history, it has had a tough and powerful history. A modern-day
technological and cultural beacon, it is still target to stereotypes and antiquited thoughts.


Technologically Advanced.

Culturally Admired.

Global Power.


Target of Historical Fervor.

Constant Struggle.

Funny-Looking Ethnic Clothing.

This is amusing mostly for those people that know me well (especially in "real life") and what company I tend to keep ;)

Posted by razib at 02:42 AM

I'm Switzerland. Not surprising really given my ambivalence on this blog

Posted by: Jason Soon at April 24, 2003 07:40 AM

Japan. Uh oh, is this the beginning of an axis trend here?

Posted by: Jason Malloy at April 24, 2003 08:20 AM

I am U.S.


United States Of America - The most well-renouned country in modern day times. The militaristic superpower, the United States of America are also known as the bossiest nation.

Known Worldwide.
A Beacon to Others.
Fast Food.

Despised by Most Others.

Posted by: J. A. at April 24, 2003 10:06 AM

I'm Switzerland too. Of the characteristics, "Powerful without Force" is the only one that really fits me. I'm not world renowned or neutral, but I have been called judicial (I mean "judgemental").

Posted by: duende at April 24, 2003 10:49 AM


You're confirming Mac Diva's worst suspicions...You know that she keeps a vigilant eye on you; I bet she fell out of her chair after seeing that very prominent Cherman flag.

When will you invade Poland? The eternal trek eastward continues...

Posted by: nietzsche at April 24, 2003 11:26 AM

Nah, Razib doesn't need to travel that far to piss off his neighbors. He'll just invade California. Or if we're still going east, Wyoming.

Posted by: duende at April 24, 2003 11:29 AM

I played it straight and I was Germany. Then I did it all with foofoo answers and I was Switzerland (lavender was my color).

This test is pretty off the wall. Historically speaking, the Swiss and the Swedes were military brutes. You can't write a history of warfare without them. That's basically why Switzerland exists at all. They have better things to do today, of course.

Posted by: zizka at April 24, 2003 05:18 PM

I'm Doucheland, ah i mean, Deutschland as well.

Posted by: the alpha male at April 24, 2003 09:03 PM

I came out as Britain. No doubt my liking for Beef Wellington pushed me in that direction :-)

Posted by: bbartlog at April 25, 2003 06:13 AM

The Swiss were mountain people and a rough sort. Up until about 1600 or so a considerable part of their economy depended on hiring out Swiss to serve as mercenaries. The various city states of Northern Italy depended heavily on Swiss mercenaries, greatly to their detriment as Machiavelli pointed out. Switzerland exists at all because numerous French and Austrian attempts to overcome the Swiss failed; as a rule these wars were fought on French or Austrian territory.

The Swiss specialty was infantry groups armed with long pikes. As I remember, they were also noted for massacreing defeated enemies except when they could expect ransom. They also would go home if cash payment didn't show up on time -- "No money, no Swiss" was a proverb. The Vatican's Swiss Guards are a relic of this period.

Switzerland is a country which shouldn't exist. Similiar topographies elsewhere (Balkans, Caucasus) are divided into many feuding nations. Switzerland has four official languages and is divided fairly evenly between Catholics and Protestants.
The unity is purely political, institutional, and historical.

Posted by: zizka at April 25, 2003 03:04 PM

And the swedes weren't always the peace loving people that we know today .
For example, the armies of sweden ravaged Germany during the 30 years war. During the same time period they waged several wars against the russians (they were figthing for the control of Finland and the eastern baltic states).

Posted by: ogunsiron at April 25, 2003 07:17 PM

When the Swedes were finally defeated in Russia in 1709, they were so far south in the Ukraine that the Swedish king Karl XII escaped via Turkey. The wars of Karl XII were so costly that the Swedes have been pretty peaceful ever since.

Sweden and perhaps Switzerland, as far as I know, are the only places on the face of the earth which have been settled and ruled continuously by the same peoples for the last 2000 years (and probably longer). The whole rest of the world has either been ruled by foreigners during that period, or else has seen its native population displaced.

Posted by: zizka at April 25, 2003 07:43 PM

zizka, was the kalmar union dominated by the danish crown?

Posted by: razib at April 25, 2003 09:56 PM

Touche, Razib. The Kalmar union didn't amount to a hill of beans, however, and the Danish-Swedish threshold wasn't very steep.

I had this idea once of mapping the whole globe starting in 2000 or so and then blacking out the areas which either changed population or language(e.g. England, France) or changed rulers (e.g. the whole third world, Italy off and on, Malta and the Crimea too many times to count). Sweden and Switzerland were the last ones standing. Exceot for WWII Japan and most of Germany probably would have made the cut. Probably the northwesternmost parts of Russia too.

Posted by: zizka at April 25, 2003 10:51 PM

Another Switzerland.

Posted by: dawg at April 26, 2003 07:06 AM

Weren't Germany and Switzerland, or rather the corresponding areas and peoples, under Roman rule at some point?

Posted by: bbartlog at April 28, 2003 08:20 AM

Not sure about Switzerland. Quite a bit of Germany was, S and W of the Rhine, especially Austria.

Posted by: zizka at April 28, 2003 05:45 PM

part of switzerland was under roman rule (the province of rhaetia if my memory serves). but not the whole thing-and much of it was more symbolic than anything....

Posted by: razib at April 28, 2003 07:03 PM