I probably would have voted for Trump …

… if I were an unemployed WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) industrial worker from Detroit who now lives in a run-down suburb infested with gang violence and drug abuse. Poorly educated but hardworking, yet without a promising perspective in life, I was among the first ones to be laid off during the crisis of the automobile industry. Seeing my job being shipped overseas while being bombarded by Fox News with an imminent islamic terrorist threat.

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is a racist, xenophobic, narcissistic sociopath who is totally unsuitable to hold this office and is a disgrace for the entire American people. I’m not trying to justify anything that happened during this mediocre campaign and fateful ballot. I’m rather looking for an explanation and someone to blame for the mess we are in right now. And the blame neither goes to the people who voted for Trump nor to Trump himself – at least not entirely. Or could you be a hundred percent sure you would not have voted for this mad man without your educational background that enables you to differentiate, without your job that pays you a decent living?

How outlandishly desperate, disillusioned, angry and left-behind do you have to feel, that you really believe a ruthless and abusive billionaire who inherited a great share of his wealth, could be your hero and the savior of the working poor? A man, who has proven tremendous lack of respect for about every minority group there is (including poor people), should be the unifying altruistic figure who cares not for himself and his interests only – but for you?

It is a fact that for an unbelievably large number of Americans a flip-flop lunatic uncapable of controlling even his own temper is a better choice to be in control of the mightiest country (and military) on earth than a supposedly well respected, reputable, experienced professional politician. This says a lot more about the “well respected, reputable, experienced professional” political elite than it says about Trump and his supporters. They are just a product, a result, a symptom.

Politics is mainly about creating a just society where everyone has got fair and equal opportunities. The “well respected, reputable, experienced professional” elite has not only failed to achieve or maintain this goal, but – while they did manage to improve things in many areas – have worsened the situation regarding what is probably the most decisive ratio for a functioning and healthy society – the wealth gap. Full time employment (no matter what sort of job) has to guarantee a proper living standard. Period.

So the problem is not that Trump got elected. The real challenge is to correct things like that (about which Trump will not do anything by the way, sorry):

Top CEOs make more than 300 times the average worker
In between 1978 and 2014, inflation-adjusted CEO pay increased by almost 1000%, according to a report released on Sunday by the Economic Policy Institute. Meanwhile, typical workers in the U.S. saw a pay raise of just 11% during that same period.
Fortune Magazine

We live in times with the highest efficiency of production ever. And still there are more and more people unable to afford a living. An out of touch political elite, who is so shocked and in “how-could-this-ever-happen”-mode now, not only did not stop this sort of madness, they willingly assisted in creating it, thereby undermining democratic principles such as participation, solidarity and fair taxation. Economic inequality – which equals opportunity inequality – has apparently produced a meanwhile almost uncontrollable anti-establishment mob. A mob who has lifted a man into power who will only make things worse while the media establishment is still trying to figure out what’s going on. What a shame that they all did not feel the Bern.

Siehe auch: [1]

Quotation (323): Enormous power.

The public can have, sometimes does have, enormous power. […] David Hume […] pointed out that force is on the side of the governed; those who are governed have the force, if they are willing to and eager to and recognize the possibility to exercise it. Sometimes they do. That’s a major force in who rules the world.

Noam Chomsky (interviewed by Cathy Newman), on Channel 4, May 2016.

Quotation (322): Fuck Nationalism.

Nationalism

I could never understand ethnic or national pride. Because to me pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth. Being Irish isn’t a skill, it’s a fuckin’ genetic accident. You wouldn’t say „I’m proud to be 5’11“. I’m proud to have a predisposition for colon cancer.“ So why the fuck would you be proud to be Irish, or proud to be Italian, or American or anything?

— George Carlin, American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author

Zu Heiss gebadet?
The Essence of Rangatiratanga

Ich muss vorausschicken, dass ich Hans Heiss für einen reflexions- und vernunftbegabten Menschen halte, dessen Ansichten ich nicht selten teile und dessen besonnene Art im von selbstdarstellerischen Egomanen verseuchten Politzirkus eine Wohltat ist.

Umso erstaunlicher ist es, dass ein solcher Mensch, wenn es um das Thema Selbstbestimmung geht, grundlegende ideologischen Prinzipien der grünen Bewegung über Bord wirft, seinen geistigen Horizont bei Salurn und am Brenner mit einem meterhohen Stacheldrahtzaun begrenzt und bisweilen Wortspenden von sich gibt, die mehr an Faschosprech oder turbokapitalistische Konservative aus der Londoner City erinnern, als an einen Vertreter der Grünen.

Bereits anlässlich des Selbstbestimmungsreferendums in Schottland stellte sich Heiss – anders als andere Grüne in Europa und darüber hinaus (#GreenYesSupport [1] [2] [3]) – nicht auf die Seite seiner Parteikollegen der Scottish Greens, die mit einem progressiven und liberalen Programm vehement für die Unabhängigkeit Schottlands warben, sondern teilte lieber die Position des „Paradegrünen“ David Cameron, indem er treffsicher diagnostizierte:

Ich würde für ein klares ‚no‘ stimmen. Ich glaube, es ist jetzt attraktiv auf diese Welle von Schottlandbegeisterungen aufzuspringen, aber langfristig sind die Vorzüge einer Vereinigung zwischen Schottland und England größer.

Die Vereinigung mit England hat den Schotten bekanntlich den Ausstieg aus der EU beschert, den sie mehrheitlich nicht wollen. Mehr noch: Der Verbleib in der EU war beim Unabhängigkeitsreferendum ein Argument der No-Campaign, die die Angst vor einem EU-Rauswurf im Falle der schottischen Unabhängigkeit schürte.

Man könnte jetzt meinen, dass Heiss ob obiger kolossaler Fehleinschätzung die Lehren gezogen hat und das Thema Selbstbestimmung mittlerweile etwas differenzierter, um nicht zu sagen „grüner“ sieht. Aber weit gefehlt. Der Historiker bringt es tatsächlich zuwege, noch einen draufzusetzen. Laut Unsertirol24 meinte Heiss unlängst bei einer Podiumsdiskussion in Prad:

Die doppelte Staatsbürgerschaft ist nicht notwendig. Der Schutz der Südtiroler ist auch so gewährleistet. Zudem fände sich in Österreich keine Mehrheit dazu. Die zwei großen Sprachgruppen in Südtirol stehen sich immer noch mit Misstrauen gegenüber. Mit der doppelten Staatsbürgerschaft würde dies weiter verstärkt. Sie ist ein weiterer Schritt zur Abtrennung von Italien, und die Selbstbestimmung ist dann der nächste Schritt. Deshalb ist sie nicht erstrebenswert.

Ungeachtet seiner Position zur Doppelstaatsbürgerschaft, die man teilen kann oder auch nicht, rückt Heiss das urlinke Prinzip der Selbstbestimmung mit dieser Aussage in die Nähe von etwas Verruchtem, etwas Bösem, etwas Gefährlichem. Er geht sogar soweit, dass Vorschläge deshalb abgelehnt werden sollten, weil sie einer demokratischen Selbstbestimmung in Südtirol förderlich sein könnten.

Ein derart überzogener Panikreflex angesichts eines basisdemokratischen Instruments ist für einen grünen Politiker fast schon pathologisch, zumindest jedoch ein befremdliches Südtiroler Spezifikum, wenn man sich erinnert, dass Heiss im Verein mit seinen grünen Landtagskollegen es sogar geschafft hat, sich prinzipiell gegen den in den Menschenrechten verankerten Selbstbestimmungsgrundsatz zu stellen.

Wer hingegen im Gegensatz zu den Südtiroler Grünen den Blick über den Tellerrand wagt und anstatt sich in nationalstaatlicher Selbstgefälligkeit einzuzigeln, die Aussagen und Stellungnahmen anderer Grüner zum Prinzip der Selbstbestimmung zu Gemüte führt, erkennt recht schnell, dass es sich hier wieder einmal um eine Südtiroler Anomalie handelt:

Our support for a „yes“ vote isn’t just a matter of passively following the lead of the Scottish Green Party, nor is it even just our no-comprise respect for the principle of self-determination, the right of peoples to decide their own future.

Natalie Bennett (Vorsitzende der Green Party of England and Wales)

The Greens defend radical democracy and in Catalonia there is a citizen demand in favour of a [self-determination] referendum. For this reason I want to make the personal commitment that, if I am elected Commission President, I will support Catalonia in allowing a consultation vote on its political future and its relationship with Spain.

Ska Keller (Spitzenkandidatin der Europäischen Grünen Partei für die Europawahl 2014)

More precisely, we are striving for the following principles on the local, national, regional as well as global level:
[…] The right of all people to self-determination, particularly indigenous people.

Global Young Greens, Grundsatzprogramm

We promote the building of respectful, positive and responsible relationships across lines of division in the spirit of a multi-cultural society. This requires recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to the basic means of their survival, both economic and cultural, including rights to land and to self determination; and acknowledgment of their contribution to the common heritage of national and global culture.

Constitution of the Green Party of Canada

Grassroots Democracy: The legitimacy of government is derived from the voluntary consent of the governed. The closer the decision-makers are to those who be affected by the decision, the more effective, efficient, and accountable government is. This value is based on Greens‘ unshakable conviction that people everywhere have the right to, and capacity for, self-determination.

Wisconsin Green Party, Grundsatzprogramm

The Green Party supports democracy and self-determination worldwide and promotes the U.S. ending its practice of economic and political colonialism. U.S. foreign policy should emphasize promoting other nations‘ self-sufficiency and self-determination, rather than ensuring security for overseas American business interests and the retention of military bases.

Green Party of California on Foreign Policy

The Pacific Green Party of Oregon provides a new voice in the political system, to decentralize political and economic power, and to work for peace, justice, basic human equality, self determination, and an ecologically sustainable society.

Pacific Green Party of Oregon, Grundsatzprogramm

We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity; that support the self-definition and self-determination of all people; and that consciously confront the barriers of racism, sexism, homophobia, class oppression, ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together.

Green Party of New York, Grundsatzprogramm

The Green Party of Prince Edward Island is guided by these six core principles: Living Within Our Ecological and Financial Means, Local Self-Reliance, Grassroots Democracy, A Just Society, Active Citizenship and Self-Determination and A Culture of Peace.

Green Party of Prince Edward Island, Grundsatzprogramm

Successful development cannot be imposed by powerful institutions outside a country but must be a learning process, in which participatory local, regional and national institutions are free to exercise political and economic self-determination. The task of global institutions should be to enable countries to make their own progress, and not prescribe the methods by which they may do so.

The Green Party UK, Grundsatzprogramm

Both the capitalist and state-socialist form of concentration and monopolization of economic power yield destructive forms of economic growth which contaminate and destroy the very basis of human and natural life. Only by self-determination at the grassroots, the ecological, social and economic crises can be appropriately dealt with. Since we favor self-determination and the free development of every human being, and since we support the idea that people should be able to creatively determine their own needs and wishes free from outside pressure and in harmony with the natural environment, we strongly support human and democratic rights, in our country as well as abroad. […] Grass roots democracy call for active and decentralized direct democracy. Our fundamental belief is that decisions taken at the grassroots must be given priority. The local level is smaller and more easily accountable to the people and therefore must be given maximum autonomy and self-determination.

Auszug aus „Das grüne Manifest“, Gründungsdokument der deutschen Grünen von 1980

Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung sind zentrale Anliegen GRÜNER Politik.

Landesdelegiertenkonferenz Grüne NRW

Freiheit und Selbstbestimmung gehören für uns Bündnisgrüne untrennbar zusammen. Wir kämpfen um den Begriff der Freiheit. Jede und jeder soll sich frei entfalten, so lange damit nicht in die Freiheit der Anderen eingegriffen wird. Doch Freiheit allein bestimmt nicht den grünen Kompass. Sie ist einer von vier Pfeilern, die unsere grüne Programmatik tragen. Bereits unser Grundsatzprogramm von 2002 stellt Selbstbestimmung als einen grünen Grundwert neben Ökologie, erweiterte Gerechtigkeit und lebendige Demokratie. Mit gleicher Intensität treten wir ein für Gewaltfreiheit und Menschenrechte.

Michael Kellner (Politischer Geschäftsführer von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Now we should build a united Catalunya front against austerity and social cuts, and for environmental policies. But we must also be open for deep constitutional changes that will allow for democratic self-determination.

Mar Garcia Sanz (Generalsekretärin der European Green Party)

The Greens recognise as per United Nations Resolution 1723 (XVI) of 1961 that under international law Tibetans are entitled to the right of self determination.
The Greens support the finding of the International Commission of Jurists that under international law Tibetans are entitled to the right of self determination.

Australian Greens Policy on Tibet

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a right to self-determination and political representation, and should be enabled to lead in the development and implementation of public policies, programs and services that affect them.

Australian Greens Policy on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The Green Party of England and Wales strongly supports Gibraltar’s self-determination. We say again that we entirely support the right of the people of Gibraltar to decide their own style of democratic government at home.

Spencer Fitz-Gibbon (Green Party of England and Wales und Gründer der Green Friends of Gibraltar)

The Green Party supports the efforts of Puerto Ricans to stop this misnamed gas pipeline, and we support self-determination, independence, and democratic sovereignty for the people of Puerto Rico.

Michael Canney (Florida Green and member of the Green Party’s International Committee)

Greens support the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence in conformity with United Nations Resolution 1514(XV) of 1960, which itself affirms that „All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.“

Green Party USA on Puerto Rico

We reaffirm the right of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis, which precludes the self-determination of one at the expense of the other.

Green Party USA on Foreign Policy

Green Party leaders expressed sympathy and solidarity with the people of Haiti in the wake of Tuesday’s catastrophic earthquake, and urged President Obama to make peace, political self-determination, and economic self-sufficiency part of US relief efforts for Haiti.

Green Party USA on Haiti

One hundred years after the British Government promised self-determination to the Arab peoples, the Scottish Green Party passed a policy motion in support of self-determination in Palestine.

Eurig Scandrett (Soziologieprofessor an der Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh und Mitglied der schottischen Grünen)

Rest assured then that however many Green Party MPs are elected to Parliament after the 2015 General Election, all of them will be working in Parliament and with the diaspora communities in the UK to bring pressure for intervention with the Indian Government and to call for recognition of and respect for the right of self-determination [of Kashmiris and Sikhs] as set out in the 1966 International Covenants on Human Rights, for the release of political prisoners and for justice for the victims, their families and all those affected over too many years.

Tony Clarke (UK Green Party National Spokesperson on International and Foreign Affairs)

A Senate Motion I moved today declared the continuation of human rights violations is unacceptable, and called for an internationally supervised vote on self-determination [in West Papua]. That it was denied formality and denied a vote by this government is disgraceful.

Richard Di Natale (Vorsitzender der Australian Greens)

Kurdish peoples across four Middle Eastern countries have been striving for self-determination and democracy for many years.

Dee Searle (North London Greens)

Die Grüne Partei unterstützt die saharauische Bevölkerung, welche seit 35 Jahren für seine Selbstbestimmung kämpft und dabei permanent von der marokkanischen Besatzung unterdrückt wird.

Die Schweizer Grünen zum Westsahara-Konflikt

The horizon is not 3 years or 6 years or a decade; it is multiple generations into the future, and that should guide our decision making and our actions at this point and from this point forward to ensure that we acknowledge the past, heal the hurt that was done, and give Māoridom a base to determine its own future. That is the essence of rangatiratanga—self-determination—and it cannot be done in a vacuum. As the lands are returned, as the financial redress is made, as the cultural redress is determined, we can look forward to a future that we can collectively be proud of. Kia ora.

David Clendon (MP for the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand)

For 15 years now Bulgaria, an EU Member State, has denied its Macedonian and Turkish minorities the right to self-determination. Bulgaria has not only defied the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, which convicted the country of discrimination, but also continuously violates Article 2 of the EU Treaty as well as Articles 21 and 22 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which safeguard the right to self-determination and the protection of minorities.

We call on the international community to respect the following principles in their reactions to events unfolding in countries such as Bahrain, Syria, Yemen:
1. To uphold the right of each sovereign peoples to political self-determination and to achieve thisby peaceful assembly and demonstration.

In New Caledonia, France, many rights have been devolved to the Kanak people under an ongoing process that started after the Nouméa agreement of 1998 that ended a period of revolts. A self-determination referendum should take place before 2018.

A fair referendum on the self-determination of Western Sahara needs to be conducted without delay.

Though Sámi Parliaments have been established in Finland, Norway and Sweden, these institutions have too little power of self-determination. The official representation of the Sámi in Finland, the Sámi Parliament, is threatened by the possibility of opening up voter status in the Sámi Parliament to a large number of ethnic Finns. Should this come true, the Sámi in Finland would be in danger of being assimilated into the majority population.

Auszüge aus Resolutionen der European Green Party

The resolution, proposed by Greens delegates from PNG, Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Indonesia recognises and supports the human rights and self determination of the people of West Papua as Melanesians and supports their bid for membership of the Melanesian Spearhead Group.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/276297/asia-pacific-greens-adopt-west-papua-resolution

The Catalan Greens have always supported the right to decide and placed self-determination as a core democratic value. Its exercise in this current context is no other than the celebration of a referendum with the participation of the whole Catalan population to determine the will of the majority on the relation the territory should have with the Spanish state.

https://europeangreens.eu/news/early-elections-catalonia

With the participation of MEP Ana Miranda, the World Network for Collective Rights of People with the Centre Maurits Coppieters organises a seminar at the European Parliament in Brussels on the subject of self-determination and new governance models.
The seminar will feature speakers from Quebec, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Kabylia and Kurdistan who will look at new possibilities for self-determination in the context of democratic governance and collective rights. They aim at finding alternative solutions to the challenges posed by the radical changes of the international scene at political, social and economic level.
The seminar aims to bring together those fighting for self-determination to share ideas and experiences and look at new opportunities that present themselves.
http://www.greens-efa.eu/the-right-to-self-determination-new-governance-models-8283.html

Nachtrag:

Auch in Zukunft kann sich die Demokratie nur erhalten und fruchtbar weiter entwickeln, wenn sich die Menschen engagieren und für ihr demokratisches Selbstbestimmungsrecht einstehen. Die Demokratie wird auch in Zukunft nur so weit gehen, wie der Selbstbestimmungswille der Menschen, die sie tragen.

Grundsatzprogramm „Die Zukunft ist grün“ von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

If US and NATO forces prolong military action and attempt an occupation to stabilize Libya, the result will be more civilian lives lost and a disaster similar to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the evaporation of hopes for freedom and democratic self-determination for the Libyan people.

Romi Elnagar (Member of the Green Party of Louisiana and the Green Party’s International Committee)

Siehe auch: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The Restoration of Minority Toponyms.

In my former post I cited some relevant paragraphs contained in the United Nations’ “Manual for the standardization of geographical names”, in order to give an understanding of how toponymy is generally considered by the international scientific community. However, there are more specific views about the situation in South Tyrol, which can be found in the Training Course on Toponymy forming part of the “documents and literature” of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) and which I’d like to publish here:

In the northern part of Italy, up in the Alps, is the region of South Tyrol. It is a strategic region as it controls the mountain passes onto Vienna and Germany. It belonged to the Austrian Empire, but when Austria lost the First World War Italy annexed it. It had been a German-speaking area for over a thousand years, but the Italians next imposed their language on the area. In the middle of the capital Bozen or Bolzano they erected a triumphal arch with the Latin text on it: „We have brought culture to the barbarians“. And from one day to another they changed the place names. As a matter of fact they changed all names, they even changed family names and names on tombstones in cemeteries. They did so because they did know the power of names. In figure 1 [not shown here, ed.] you will see names like Sterzing, Wiesen, Deutschhaus (or Lichtenberg, Schlanders and Laas). These names have connotations of German dishes like Bratwurst, or Schinken or roasted chestnut. The figure is taken from an Italian map made of this Austrian area before the First World War.

In figure 2 [not shown here, ed.] you will see exactly the same area, but instead of Sterzing, Wiesen and Deutschhaus (Lichtenberg, Schlanders and Laas) the map bears the names Vipiteno, Prato and La Commenda (or Montechiaro, Silandro and Lasa) for the same localities. And these names bring memories of Italian dishes like pasta and prosciutto con melone. But, more important, these names on the map make the area look like an Italian area. That is the power of names. Naming things conveys power to the one who bestows the names! A comparison of figures 1 and 2 will show that it is indeed the same area. Imagine that from one day to another your hometown and the street on which you live would be re-baptized and receive a name in a foreign language! In 1945 South Tyrol was again assigned to Italy by the Allied forces, on the condition that it would respect the German culture and language of the area. Well, place names are part of the language and of culture, but up till now no German place names have entered any official Italian maps of South Tyrol. There is only one commercial publisher, the Italian Touring Club, which publishes atlases and maps with bilingual names for the area. It does so either because it wants to reflect the local situation that has bilingual road signs now, or because it also publishes the maps for a German-speaking clientele.

The use of names on maps is nearly as important as the use of boundaries. Naming things conveys power to the one who bestows the name. Reversely, if one is in control over something one can name it: one’s children or one’s house. Italian names show they have been bestowed by Italians, they show Italian sovereign rights. So if names are in Italian, it is an Italian region. Vice versa, if it is part of Italy, it should have Italian names. That is the reasoning, at least. It is the reasoning of nationalism, a very important force, last century, in Western Europe. As topographic mapping is considered to be some sort of sovereign right, just like taking censuses, and as topographic mapping is usually performed by the state’s civil servants, there is a tendency for minority language toponyms to be represented on the map in some transformed way, adapted to the state languages or to the raison d’etat, that is to reasons of state.

From the cultural viewpoint it should be a nation’s prerogative to preserve the cultural heritage of its population, its minority language population included. Toponyms are parts of this cultural heritage and should therefore be preserved in their minority language versions. The national authorities should also act as a go-between and allow foreign cultural communities to take cognisance of its minority language communities, toponyms included. By paying taxes the members of minority language communities share in the costs of national topographic surveys and the production of topographic maps. They should have the right therefore to see their home area represented on these maps as they know it, and not disguised in an unfamiliar onomastical cloak.

Based on this European experience a package of measures has been established that should ensure the restoration of minority toponyms: it consists of the following steps

a) Delimitation of minority language area boundaries
b) Introduction of bilingual transitional periods on the map: so after a majority names edition a bilingual edition is published which precedes a monolingual minority language edition
c) Official restoration of minority language name versions
d) Exclusive minority language rendering
e) Accompanied by the rendering of marginal information also in minority language

In Europe we have developed the feeling that recognition of their language and culture is an important contribution to the strengthening of the identity of minority language communities. The official use of their toponyms in the minority language is part of that recognition. The rendering of toponyms on maps might seem an insignificant aspect of this official recognition, but it should be stressed that these names often are the first and only representation by which the minority language community can manifest itself to outsiders. The acknowledgement of minority language toponyms on the map can be considered as an official recognition and acceptance of the minority language community.

A national state is nowadays considered responsible for the cultural heritage of all minority language communities, and minority language names also belong to this cultural heritage.

in Ferjan Ormeling, Jörn Sievers and Hans Stabe (eds.), Training Course on Toponymy, Enschede, Frankfurt and Berlin 2002.

See also: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Toponymy: What do the United Nations say?

Few days ago, we were confronted with the incredibly reactionary call made by mainly — but not exclusively — italian linguists and professors, aimed at maintaining the complete toponymic “patrimony” artificially translated and imposed to South Tyrolean places during fascism. In return, we are now publishing some pertinent excerpts from the “Manual for the standardization of geographical names” edited by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN). This can be useful to understand, directly or allusively, what place names are and how they should be treated, according to this international scientific board.

The types of information needed when names problems and proposals are being considered are:

(a)  Current local oral usage, its amount and extent;
(b)  Current and historical usage on maps and in official documents;
(c)  Circumstances of naming;
(d)  Name duplication within the area;
(e)  Offensive or derogatory word(s) in a name;
(f)  Name length and acceptability;
(g)  Regional government and advisory committee recommendations;
(h)  Social, cultural and political concerns;
(i)  Clear application of the name to a feature/area.

A newly organized authority needs to consider two basic questions when establishing official standard names.

The first concerns the basis on which names are selected for standardization. It is possible, for example, to choose names arbitrarily without reference to existing usage. However, this procedure is not recommended because it would introduce conflict and confusion into the naming process by creating two naming systems in a country: one based on local usage and the other on government usage. Instead, it is recommended that precedence be given to those names in established local/public use. It is good policy to integrate administrative and academic judgements with the preferences of local people. Exceptions will occur when particular names cannot be adopted because of conflict with other principles or policies, or when public/local usage is variable or ephemeral.

The second question relates to the meaning and purpose of names standardization. Univocity, the principle whereby one standard name is assigned to each geographical entity (place, feature or area) at any point in time, represents the ideal toponymic standardization. Every effort should be made to adhere to that principle so as to avoid ambiguity. It can sometimes be difficult to achieve this one name/one feature ideal, especially in multilingual areas where name usage is divided along language lines. In those cases, the names authority could:

(a)  Choose only one name, based on specific criteria, as the official form;
(b)  Recognize and make available for use in other languages, one or more names (that is to say allonyms […]), not equal to the official form in rank, but chosen for use in specified contexts; or
(c)  Choose two or more forms as official on an equal basis (multiple names would thus most likely be shown on maps where scale permitted) […].

A national authority may adopt more than one official name for a geographical entity. It is suggested, however, that one of the names be recommended for international usage.

The best procedure seems to lie between standardizing names one at a time and standardizing large numbers of names at one time. For example, established nationally known names found on official maps can be standardized as a group, and local names and the names of minor features can be collected, reported, researched and standardized individually.

The latter paragraph shows there obviously is a notion of “local names and … names of minor features”, something to which is often referred to as “micro toponymy” in South Tyrol.

A good researcher will attempt to gain a full understanding of the nature of each name being considered by reviewing the:

(a) Toponymic history of the geographical entity involved;
(b) Languages involved and their written forms;
(c) Sources of all variant names and spellings;
(d) Special ethnic, cultural and political interests;
(e) Local usage and local preferences;
(f) Degree and reliability of name usage;
(g) Options with regard to standardization.

Translation can be employed as a method of names conversion only if the source toponym, wholly or in part, has semantic or lexical meaning, in other words, only if it can be found in an ordinary dictionary.

When is translation resorted to in names conversion? Chiefly when the toponym includes a „translateable“ generic term. Naturally, toponyms are often translated when one deals with topographic features outside one’s own linguistic region.

Underlining made by BBD.