N229NW From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 1884 posts, RR: 34 Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2251 times:
This word has become a real buzzword today, especially in the US, where the right puts great stock in this word, and it seems so does the left (opponents of any government policy constantly have to affirm their patriotism...)
I am certainly in the minority, because I believe that this concept, "patriotism," is not only unnessary, but very dangerous.
Before I get completely slammed by everyone, let me clarify what I DON'T mean. I'm not an anarchist. I believe that as citizens with rights guaranteed by the state, we also have important duties to that government. This allows the state to function, and also sets up a framework for the rule of law and solving disputes, etc. Mostly these duties are monetary (paying taxes) and civil (obeying the laws in general, or working in non-violent ways to change them). In rare circumastances the duties of citizenship may even include being drafted to fight in a war (I would emphasize that for me to see this as a duty, the war could not be agressive--even if framed as "pre-emptive," but that's another topic...)
Anyway, what I don't see is an imperative to LOVE one's country or heritage. Love is an emotion, and when emotions take over from logic, bad things happen. Personally, I think the US has a fantastic history in some ways (the force and durability of the constitution, the implementation of democracy in certain forms, etc.) and a shameful history in some ways (the historical treatment of Native Americans, slavery, segregation, much of our recent foreign policy). This balance is true of most countries. Whether or not you agree with me on specific points listed as examples, does anyone agree that people should not be PROUD OR ASHAMED based on the happenstance of their birth and the history of their country (or race/religion, etc. for that matter). Our generation can only work with the present, so we should do the best to be people we can be proud of for our OWN deeds!
Most of this is neither here nor there, as a person can do the right thing because of love for his/her country--or for some other reason. But what about when doing the right thing goes AGAINST that emotion of LOVE for one's country? Which should triumph? That's when I think morals should win and patriotism gets dangerous. "My country right or wrong!" : Why the "or wrong" part? Why not, "Let's work--within the system--to make our country RIGHT!"?
When patriotism is used to bully people, that is when it gets really scary. I'll repost the famous quote from the Nazi Goering at his 1946 trial for war crimes in, brought up in another thread:
“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”
Oh, and just for the irony, I should add, regarding Sunday's big game: "GO PATRIOTS!"
Stratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1038 posts, RR: 6 Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2200 times:
Excellent post! Agree 100%
I especially like your part about pride. This is one of the main reasons why I am opposed to the very concept of patriotism, apart from those also quoted.
The concept of patriotism incorporates that one must be PROUD of his/her country. This is very illogical. How can I be proud of my (any) country? I can only be proud of something I have achieved or contributed to. I haven't created my country so how can I be proud of it? It would look exactly the same if I hadn't been born here or elsewhere.
Then there is the point of history:
Does anyone really think the achievements of their ancestors lift them any higher than they actually are? It gets even more ridiculous if your (family-) ancestors are from somewhere else (which of course is -otherwise- a non-issue).
It is a concept to go for, for the weak at mind. Which does NOT mean stupid which is why patriotism is so dangerous.
Phxairfan From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 811 posts, RR: 9 Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2182 times:
I'm proud that my country rose from 13 colonies into a large prosperous nation.
I'm proud that we don't discriminate and welcome all to our country.
I'm proud of those who worked their butts off to make us what we are today.
I'm proud of those who sacrificed their lives so that our country would be free.
I'm proud that I was lucky enough to be born in this wonderful country.
And I am damn proud to be an American.
What exactly is wrong with that? I don't think any less of someone for not being American. I don't think I am better than someone for being an American. I don't think that all Americans are always right and everyone else is wrong. I don't believe that we have always done the right, or best thing. And finally I don't wish that everyone else should have to be like me.
Patriotism is a love for your country and your fellow countrymen. Nationalism is believing that you are superior and or always correct, and that others are not as good as you. There is a big difference.
Newark777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 9348 posts, RR: 31 Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2168 times:
I'd like to see that on big signs along your southern border.
They are all welcome to enter, as long as they go through the immigration process and enter legally. I'm sorry we don't let just anyone walk across our borders, and I'm sorry we are worried about the safety of our country.
Phxairfan From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 811 posts, RR: 9 Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2159 times:
How many millions of Spanish/Latin Americans are there? I rest my case. Just because you don't open your borders to everyone that wants to come does not mean you are discriminating against them. People from all nations regardless of race, religion, or color all go through the same process in order to be accepted as immigrants. That is what I mean when I say all are welcome.
Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1796 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2150 times:
If nations do not have PRIDE and LOYALTY they will fall to pieces and be susceptible to civil wars and political turmoil. This is the case for a number of African countries to this day. Tribal loyalties far surpass national loyalties, therefore genocides and political unrest are commonplace. The African continent is by far the last region to see lasting peace because of all of these national "dis-loyalties"
It is very selfish for people to live in a country and not have at least some pride in its accomplishments and defend it when it is being attacked either by slander or by hostile armies.
I am very proud to be an American and though my country can let me down from time to time... it is still my country RIGHT or WRONG.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
Stratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1038 posts, RR: 6 Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2155 times:
"I'm proud that my country rose from 13 colonies into a large prosperous nation."
That's illogical. You were not involved in this.
"I'm proud that we don't discriminate and welcome all to our country."
Ok, lets assume this is (was) the case (in your or any country), you are proud because your countrymen and leaders do the right thing? That's the least they should do. "I'm proud of those who worked their butts off to make us what we are today."
Ok, so THEY should be proud of themselves. But nobody about them, it contradicts logic.
"I'm proud of those who sacrificed their lives so that our country would be free."
Hm, grateful yes, proud is again the wrong term and used illogically here.
"I'm proud that I was lucky enough to be born in this wonderful country."
You are proud that you were lucky??? Yes, you can/should feel lucky you are born in your country, but what kind of logic is that to feel PROUD about it???
"And I am damn proud to be an American."
I do grant you that, but I think it is completely against any logic and it makes me seeing you as potentially dangerous.
NOTE: I would have the exact same feelings if we were talking about the UK, France, Botswana, Mongolia etc. Actually I had the same kind of discussion with a girl from Finland not long ago.
EDIT: "If nations do not have PRIDE and LOYALTY they will fall to pieces and be susceptible to civil wars and political turmoil. This is the case for a number of African countries to this day. Tribal loyalties far surpass national loyalties, therefore genocides and political unrest are commonplace. The African continent is by far the last region to see lasting peace because of all of these national "dis-loyalties" "
Actually this is the same kind of logic just at another level. Well, it should be added that many of these tribal lords simply misuse their power in order to hold onto it.
Aerorobnz From Rwanda, joined Feb 2001, 6737 posts, RR: 13 Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2128 times:
It is one thing to be proud of everything you value in life, and another to be a Flag waver.
I'm proud that New Zealand is for the most part a forward thinking democracy that values equality of all it's people, and that we have the choice to believe in whatever we please. I am pleased to travel on a New Zealand passport as an example of a New Zealander to the rest of the world. I'm proud of myself/my family and for what that stands for - It wouldn't make a difference whether we were Kiwi, Greek or Bhutanese. Call that Arrogance or whatever you like, but I am above Flag waving.
I would never fight/die for my country, I don't often support New Zealand on the sports field (I support whichever team I identify more with) and am critical of many things inherent in our culture. I was only by chance born in New Zealand, I did not have control of where I was born, so why should I support the place of my birth on that basis?
Stoney From Switzerland, joined Jan 2005, 199 posts, RR: 4 Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2123 times:
As already mentioned. One can't be proud to be of some nationality, only lucky.
In Switzerland there aren't that many people left who are still proud to be swiss, or extremely loyal to our state. But Switzerland still works and will not fall to pieces and be susceptible to civil wars and political turmoil in the foreseeable future. There's an extremely fine line between patriotism and nationalism. That's dangerous and I think it is already crossed when someone uses patriotism as an argument for anything.
BAZL - Bundesamt gegen Zivilluftfahrt - royally screwing around with swiss aviation
Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1796 posts, RR: 1 Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2109 times:
I'm surprised, I would think nationalism in Switzerland would be high due to the fact that so few in the world are privy to Swiss citizenship. And the ability to attain Swiss citizenship is not trivial by any means for European immigrants and non-whites.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
JetJock22 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2106 times:
Stratofish, it is VERY interesting to read what you post about patriotism given your countries past. Why is it illogical to be proud that we rose form 13 oppressed colonies? Why is it illogical to be proud of the people who worked their asses off to make us the country we are today or to create a better life for their families? Is it illogical that I am proud of my grandparents and my parents for working as hard as they do to provide all they can for us? Is it illogical for me to be proud of my grandfather for serving his country (and helping liberate yours too I might add)? I wear his dog tags around my neck with mine everyday as a reminder of the sacrifices he made so that I can have the life I have today. Is that illogical? I don't think it is. I think it is illogical to say that being proud and being a patriot defies logic. I challenge you to think of patriotism in a different way, mainly through music. Download some of the songs listed below and really listen to them and I think you'll get a sense of what we mean when we talk about patriotic pride here in America. It's not just a "blind loyalty to our government" as some of yall think it is. For me, patriotism is waking up in the morning and seeing the American flag hanging on my wall and being thankful to live in a place like America. It is driving down the main street in my town and seeing the little mom and pop shops, old men sitting out on porches in rocking chairs just reading the newspaper or enjoying a smoke. It is the feeling I get when I go to a baseball game and listen to 30,000 people sing the National Anthem. It is being able to sit on the deck in the evenings with my dad and have a beer and just enjoy a nice summer evening. It's about spending hot summer days teaching little kids how to play baseball, or just fishin with my dad. No, those things don't deal with liberating other countries or fighting tyranny or oppression in a 3rd world country, but those things to me are 100% American and were given to me by earlier generations who sacrificed the things that I hold so dear to me so that I might be able to enjoy them. THAT to me is patriotism, enjoying the American way of life. I AM AN AMERICAN, and I am Goddamned proud of it.
Songs to listen to:
My Town - Montgomery Gentry
American Child - Phil Vasser
Pretty much anything Bruce Springsteen
That's What It's all About - Brooks and Dunn
Phxairfan From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 811 posts, RR: 9 Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2098 times:
Rather than respond to each of you points, I'll go after the big issue which is our disagreement over the meaning of being proud of something. Proud is defined as: Feeling pleasurable satisfaction over an act, possession, quality, or relationship by which one measures one's stature or self-worth. By this definition I feel pleasurable satisfaction over the things I have stated, which in my opinion falls under the definition of the word. I respect that you have a different opinion, and being the nature of the subject. Our opinions are just that opinions. What means one thing to you may mean something different to me, and likewise. Lets not argue about something that is subjective to personal interpretation.
JetJock22 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2093 times:
Stratofish, let me clarify that I agree with what Phxairfan just said. I'm not trying to put your opinions down or slam ya. I just don't happen to agree that it is illogical. Just my opinions and I respect yours too. Just wanted to clarify
Also, since we are on the topic of patriotism, just thought I'd share this. If this doesn't give you chills or make you just the tiniest bit proud to be American, then......I don't even know what to say. The last picture of the Iraqi woman holding up her finger with the tear in her eye pretty much says it all....http://www.gcsdistributing.com/?pv=tr&tf=TDP&DT=OM
Stratofish From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 1038 posts, RR: 6 Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2078 times:
We seem to enterpret the word "pride" slightly differently indeed. I do not feel proud whenever I get a "the world is fine" feeling.
To me pride is a little more than "joy" or "enjoying a certain way of life". And I really have never experienced any deep feelings when driving down a main road either in my or in a rural or any city. Even if I draw it back on a smaller scale: I happen to live in one of the most beautiful cities on earth. And I have seen many cities around the globe, but some cities are way better than my hometown, also I would never say I was "proud" to live here. I feel (well, "felt" due to the current mayor) priviliged, but that's all. I have not founded this city and, according to my interpretation of "being proud", it would be illogical to feel that way.
Btw, I really do not feel anything when our (or any) anthym is being played. Also the sight of a flag leaves me very indifferent.
And my country's past should stand as a very drastic example of how dangerous patriotism is/might be.
I am glad and thankful that I have been born as a citizen of a free "first world" country. I could not care less about what's on my passport.
Edit: 1.)Very well said Staffan. 2.) Sites like that do send chills up my spine, but negative ones. "Celebrating our heritage" Sentences like this are frightening, regardless of the languages they`re in. The Iraq... well this is a too complicated issue that I won't touch at this late hour.
N229NW From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 1884 posts, RR: 34 Reply 24, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2034 times:
Stratofish, I agree with all your posts, including your (and Steffan's) definition of "pride." Perhaps the disagreement some others here have is partly about the definition of pride, BUT:
One thing that strikes me strongly is that the people who are most "proud" of the accomplishments of others in the past in their country are least likely to be "ashamed" of those in the past. Thus:
Phxairfan, Newark, Jetjock: if you believe "pride" is something you can have just by being born into a place where other people accomplished something, are you also "godamn ashamed" to be Americans? (for slavery? for the treatment of the Native Americans...)? I don't see how you can be personally proud of others' acts and not also be personally ashamed of them? Seems like both or neither, but you can't pick and choose! Can you clarify how you see this differently?
Arrow, Qantasforever, etc.: I'm curious with your claim that patriotism is good and/or important "as long as it doesn't go too far. " How do you define patriotism. I guess we should be clear on our semantics.
For me, patriotism is pride/love for one's country independently of one's own deeds (rather involving its history, etc.). If we agree, do you think this sentiment is important? Necessarily good? Usually good? I still don't see any reason why it is inherently good or important (though it may not always be INHERENTLY bad either).
Flybyguy: If nations do not have PRIDE and LOYALTY they will fall to pieces and be susceptible to civil wars and political turmoil. This is the case for a number of African countries to this day. Tribal loyalties far surpass national loyalties, therefore genocides and political unrest are commonplace. The African continent is by far the last region to see lasting peace because of all of these national "dis-loyalties"
Stratofish hit the nail on the head here. There are two reasons for this problem in Africa, and neither proves that Patriotism is good:
1.) Many of the countries in Africa are the result of artifical political boundaries resulting from European colonization, often cutting destructively across ethnic boundaries etc.. They were not formed from within but imposed from without.
2.) More important to this discussion: the same sentiments that I am criticizing when applied to a country (excessive "loyalty," or pride in group accomplishments or those of others in a GROUP over one's own) are equally destructive when appied to ethnic groups (nationalism), religions, tribes, even families ("family honor"). In other words, the African situation is just another version of the same "problem" of group pride, but on an ethnic/tribal level rather than national...
It is very selfish for people to live in a country and not have at least some pride in its accomplishments and defend it when it is being attacked either by slander or by hostile armies.
Selfish? I simply don't see how that comes into it. As long as one is a law-abiding citizen one has no "duty" to verbally defend one's in-group when it is acting badly. Again, why is "pride" and "saving face" more important that doing what is right?
If you disagree with this, can you state specifically WHY?
[Edited 2005-02-03 05:02:33]
It's people like you what cause unrest!
25 JetJock22: I'm not ashamed to be an American. Do I feel sorry for the people that suffered through slavery, the Native Americans, etc? Yes, I feel sorry for them
26 QANTASforever: N229NW: I'm curious with your claim that patriotism is good and/or important "as long as it doesn't go too far. " How do you define patriotism. I gues
27 JetJock22: 2) It has the tendency to promote "glazing over" of historical events that deserve solemn recognition. - I agree with you, but isn't it the responsibi
28 Newark777: I too feel sorry for things that have gone wrong in our country's past, such as slavery, but this by no means takes away my pride for being a member o
29 JetJock22: N229NW, I am a 5th great grandson of Robert E. Lee, so I have a unique perspective on it. I don't believe in the slavery aspect of the Confederacy, bu
30 Falcon84: Patriotism in and of itself is not a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with love of country, with being proud of it. But like anything-religion, politi
31 Newark777: Falcon84: I agree, very well put. If anything, I feel bad for those Europeans who have no feelings towards their country, and really feel no connectio
32 N229NW: Qantas: I would call myself an Australian patriot - because I am actively working toward a better Australia If you define patriotism that way, I agree
33 Arrow: N229NW Much this has already been said by other posters, but here's my take on why patriotism is a positive thing, within limits. Love of country does
34 NumberTwelve: Ok, we Germans aren't that Patriotic because of our past and the Politicians who brought us all the suffer. ("Deutschland Deutschland über alles"). B
35 JGPH1A: Re: If anything, I feel bad for those Europeans who have no feelings towards their country, and really feel no connection to their country whatsoever.
36 Ussherd: I wonder if the patriotism displayed by the American people today is merely a result of the fact that the US is the only remaining military superpower
37 Slider: Funny, I have a visceral reaction against this slogan, because, while I don't in theory have a problem with any country being "blessed," most people t
38 Stoney: The way patriotism is described by some people (Slider, Ussherd, Sprigbok747 ) it really is something good, productive and can keep a nation together.
39 N229NW: For this whole discussion, I think it is worth defining the difference between patriotism and nationalism better. Historically, nationalism is the bel
40 STLGph: Yes, I am proud to be patriotic. So I just forget my country that goes against its own constitution and wants to minoritize groups or populations that
41 SlamClick: Staffan it is obvious that you know very little about the demographics of the US. Whether their entry was legal or not, if we gave the Spanish-speakin
42 ANCFlyer: Patriotism . . . . interesting concept. What does my Patriotism mean to me . . . . My Patriotism is being proud to be American. Yes, proud. Damn proud
43 174thfwff: That's on my arm. I love my country, I love the values (for the most part) that we collectively share as a nation...I want to be a cop when I'm older
44 Klaus: ANCflyer, if everybody had the same concept of patriotism as you presented it above, nobody could have a proplem with it, I´d say. I´m happy for eve
45 ANCFlyer: Klaus - the other country I thoroughly enjoy to no end - Duetschland! I spent a lot of time there - and have been back to visit - it's my favorite pla
46 Klaus: ANCFlyer: Klaus - the other country I thoroughly enjoy to no end - Duetschland! I spent a lot of time there - and have been back to visit - it's my fa
47 SLC1: I'm proud to be an American, just as I'm proud to be a Canadian. I'm patriotic in that I celebrate my heritage and nationality. Does that mean I shoul
48 HAWK21M: I'm a Patriot & respect another Patriots view. Guess its difficult to explain But a patriot would understand regds MEL
49 DL021: I'm a patriot. I say the pledge with pride. I exercised my priviledge to serve my country. I did it all voluntarily, and thats probably why I do or di
50 Klaus: DL021: You guys who don't like patriots, or even fear them. Thats your right. Hardly anybody fears or dislikes patriots. Overbearing nationalists are
51 DL021: Klaus....I too have issues with overbearing nationalists. But I fear that you and I have different perceptions of what that is. There are plenty of pe
52 Runway23: I think being proud of your own country should be something which everyone feels. However, too much of this is often very annoying and quite dangerous
53 DL021: To say that it's annoying distracts from your point about it's perils in foreign relations. Many people who are not ashamed of their patriotism are ac
54 AA767400: I'm proud that we don't discriminate and welcome all to our country. You should be proud that you were let into this country just like everyone else.
55 N229NW: ANCflyer: My Patriotism is the love of this country...It isn't physical, it's not like loving a dog or a good woman or family. It is a love of an a se
56 ANCFlyer: N229NW: Your post is very poetic. Thanks, wasn't meant to be . . . your thread starter asked the question, and it's not an easy one to answer. Ibid: W
57 DL021: N229NW.....Your point is understood, but I differ with you in several areas. But first let me state where I agree. We do tend to ignore the negative c
58 N229NW: Only have a few minutes, have to run (it is Valentine's day after all)...but just quickly: DL021: I didn't mean to accuse you of racism. I was only po
59 Iakobos: "ubi bene ibi patria" where one is well off, there is his country In this context, country does not relate to a political or administrative division,
60 DC10GUY: A little goes a long way. Know when to say "enough".
61 L.1011: I suppose that certain countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia, have a feeling that many other nations can't. Being an American, I
62 DC10GUY: L1011, Are you proud of the way the American Indians where slaughtered ??? Or how the Slaves where treated ??? How about all them died Vietnamese peop