On patriotism

  • #1
Dissident Dan
237
2
On patriotism

What is patriotism? Let us call it by its more accurate name. It is none other than nationalism. Two words. Same meaning. Different connotations. One is meant somehow as a good thing, while the second aptly describes the bigotry involved.

Why worship a political institution or a group of people that happen to share the same political boundaries? Why exclude others in order to feel that your group is better? There is no reason to think that people are “more worthy” (if such an attribute even exists) of respect or admiration because they happened to be born or located in some political region that you are also affiliated with. This is true if for no other reason than the staggering diversity present in any society.
There are 3 types things that a person can bear allegiance to that I will discuss—people, institutions, and ideals.

First, I shall address allegiance to nation’s people—not just allegiance, but espousing the belief that one nation’s people are “better.” Being born in one particular country does not make a person any “better” than any other. By that reasoning, one could say that my orange flashlight is better than my red one because the orange one was made in a factory that is 2 miles away from my home, while the red one was produced 670 miles from my home.
Being a citizen of one particular country does not make a person any “better” than any other. A person is either a citizen by birth, which is covered above, or by living in a particular country and meeting some legislated requirements. To say that a person is better than others because he/she is living inside some political boundary is ludicrous. People living in different regions of the world do so for various reasons. Sometimes, it is because of conditions that are out of their control. Sometimes, they wish to stay with loved ones or in a place that they are used to. These are perfectly valid reasons to not live some country that is purported as the best, and don’t in any way lesson the value of anyone who doesn’t live on that specific parcel of land.
Caring for the concerns of the people of one specific society is one thing, and acceptable, but to say that that group is somehow “better” than another and to pursue their interests by hurting others is not and is clear bigotry.

And then there is allegiance to the government. Why should one have allegiance to a government? Is not government only a tool for people to get what they desire? Shouldn’t a government work for its people, and not the other way around?
Is the allegiance because of the ideals that the government espouses? Then why not discard with the middleman symbol of the government, and bear allegiance only to ideals? What happens when the government’s actions contrast with the ideals? Shouldn’t the ideals take precedence? What reason is there to support the government, other than the ideals? It should be that the government should only be a way to manifest ideals, not that the ideals are merely justification for the government. When the symbol of the government or nation is worshipped, that sets a dangerous setting where things such as Nazi Germany appear.
Should one support a government only because it controls the region in which one was born and/or lives? By this reasoning, a person born and living in China should believe that China is the best, and a person born and living in Poland should believe that Poland is the best. The person who promotes this thinking believes that two people should believe two contradictory, mutually-exclusive ideas.
What is the value in saying that one country is “the best in the world”? Every country has its positives and negatives, and we should, as analytical creatures, make judgment of these attributes in order to make our societies better. However, rendering a final verdict of “this country is best” is useless, and serves only to pump egos and draw lines of separation among fellow humans.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Kerrie
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does patriotism include one being grateful for the country they live in? i am grateful to live in america because of the higher standard of living then most countries...
 
  • #3
Dissident Dan
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2
I have no problem with being grateful. However, I wouldn't call that patriotism.
 
  • #4
Originally posted by Kerrie
does patriotism include one being grateful for the country they live in? i am grateful to live in america because of the higher standard of living then most countries...
And what about all of us foreigners? Should we be crying for our inferior quality of life (speaking generally here)?
I think Dan's right. I don't think that's a good reason for being patriotic.
 
  • #5
Originally posted by Kerrie
does patriotism include one being grateful for the country they live in? i am grateful to live in america because of the higher standard of living then most countries...

You are grateful for the cash, not the country, I think...if you had the same standard of living somewhere else, would you be less happy?(No, I'm not attacking your patriotism, just inquiring about this specific instance)
 
  • #6
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Lifegazer
And what about all of us foreigners? Should we be crying for our inferior quality of life (speaking generally here)?
I think Dan's right. I don't think that's a good reason for being patriotic.

No, you should compromise your ideals,
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!

Zero
You are grateful for the cash, not the country, I think...if you had the same standard of living somewhere else, would you be less happy?

Hey, money is no better or worse a thing to like about someone than anything else. My mamma always told me its just as easy to marry rich as it to marry poor, so go for the rich ones. Poor people leave their countries all the time looking for better prospects! Where do you draw the line between rich and poor anyway?

Dan
I have no problem with being grateful. However, I wouldn't call that patriotism.

Why not? What would you call patriotism?
 
  • #7
Originally posted by wuliheron
No, you should compromise your ideals,
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash!
You're saying that it's justifiable to have pride in your country for having great riches? It's a bit of a fickle reason, if you ask me.
 
  • #8
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Lifegazer
You're saying that it's justifiable to have pride in your country for having great riches? It's a bit of a fickle reason, if you ask me.

I'm not say one should have pride, merely observing with a touch of humor that many do have pride for precisely this reason. Another way to look at this is from the opposite viewpoint that poverty is bad, it reflects badly on an individual and, thus, on their personal pride and public image. The situation is a bit like judging people on how they look, their race, or whatever. Thus, so much attention is focused on propoganda to always promote such attitudes from whichever of the two angles is constructive towards the goals at hand.
 
  • #9
Dissident Dan
237
2
I have no problem with being grateful. However, I wouldn't call that patriotism.

Why not? What would you call patriotism?

Loving a country. Feeling that your country and/or its people are superior to all othrs.

I am grateful to live in the United States. However, I'm not going to go around flaunting, "I live in the best country in the world." or any other pointless, inflammatory stuff like that.
 
  • #10
FZ+
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I would agree that the only valid patriotism is the patriotism of values, and hence pride in the world view of your particular nation. From that all other patriotism and belief springs.
 
  • #11
Kerrie
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wow, how assumptious of some of you to think i was referring to a higher amount of cash here in america, especially when i am helping in raising two young children, not something cheap these days in america's standards...

i was actually referring to the standards with higher food quality, higher water quality, standards with health care, traffic laws, laws in general to protect the american citizen, and of course many freedoms not enjoyed in other countries...

no, i do not think that AMERICANS are better then other citizens, but i do believe america is one of the best COUNTRIES to live in...and along with being grateful to these higher standards to protect myself, my children, and all other citizens of this country...i think that pride and gratefulness qualifies for old fashioned patriotism...
 
  • #12
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
wuliheron
Why not? What would you call patriotism?

Loving a country. Feeling that your country and/or its people are superior to all othrs.

I am grateful to live in the United States. However, I'm not going to go around flaunting, "I live in the best country in the world." or any other pointless, inflammatory stuff like that.

That's a negative interpretation, the dictionary definition is:

Love of and devotion to one's country.

The Tao Te Ching has this to say:

Treasures

All the world says,
"I am important;
I am different from all others.
I am valuable because I am unique,
Were I the same, I would be insignificant."
Yet here are three treasures
That I cherish and commend to you:
The first is compassion,
By which one can find courage.
The second is restraint,
By which one can find strength.
And the third is humility,
By which one can find influence.
Those who are fearless,
But without compassion,
Powerful, but without restraint,
Or influential, yet proud,
Cannot easily endure.
 
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  • #13
I don't understand patriotism. How do you 'love a country'?!?
 
  • #14
wuliheron
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What Zero, Yo mamma never taught you the facts of life! I think the all time record now stands at one man fathering 450 children. :0)
 
  • #15
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
On patriotism

What is patriotism? Let us call it by its more accurate name. It is none other than nationalism. Two words. Same meaning. Different connotations. One is meant somehow as a good thing, while the second aptly describes the bigotry involved.

what is patriotism? let us actually use our brain instead of making rampant and ignorant generalisations. patriotism is not the same thing as nationalism, or is it all a conspiracy and the people behind the dictionaries are actually in bed with them trying to warp our minds for their own dastardly plan? might be, but i doubt it. Nationalism is defined as the right of a people with close to identical history, language, culture and ideals to exist as an independant and unified state. patriotism plays a part in defining this unity, but it is not the same thing.

and what's this about patriotism being the same as racism? there is a difference between being proud of something and thinking it to be superior, i am a woman and damn proud, but i consider men and women equals. it's the same with patriotism, it's just pride. and from this pride can come the love and devotion that has been described. but this love is of the idea of america, australia or vatican city, not the race, religion or otherwise of the country, and since when does loving one thing mean hating everything else? or should we have a uniform feeling of ambivilence to everything in the world, god forbid we might love our family/country/whatever more then someone elses.
 
  • #16
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
On patriotism

What is patriotism? Let us call it by its more accurate name. It is none other than nationalism. Two words. Same meaning. Different connotations. One is meant somehow as a good thing, while the second aptly describes the bigotry involved.
Sorry, but I didn't get past this point in the thread - maybe I'll read it later.

Patriotism and nationalism have different connotations because they are different words with different definitions. Patriotism is love for your country. Nationalism is love for your country and screw everyone else for being different. Subtle, but vastly important difference. Nationalism starts wars. Patriotism does not.

Best poly sci course I ever took was titled "Nations and Nationalism."

http://objectivism.cx/~atlantis/mailing-list/msg29186.html [Broken] is a good link explaining the difference.
 
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  • #17
Dissident Dan
237
2


Originally posted by steppenwolf
and what's this about patriotism being the same as racism? there is a difference between being proud of something and thinking it to be superior, i am a woman and damn proud, but i consider men and women equals. it's the same with patriotism, it's just pride. and from this pride can come the love and devotion that has been described. but this love is of the idea of america, australia or vatican city, not the race, religion or otherwise of the country, and since when does loving one thing mean hating everything else? or should we have a uniform feeling of ambivilence to everything in the world, god forbid we might love our family/country/whatever more then someone elses.

I was trying to address different aspects of the patriotism that people express, and not all apply to any person who calls him/herself a patriot.

Originally posted by russ_watters
Patriotism and nationalism have different connotations because they are different words with different definitions. Patriotism is love for your country. Nationalism is love for your country and screw everyone else for being different. Subtle, but vastly important difference. Nationalism starts wars. Patriotism does not.


I see the same thing when people talk about patriotism as I do when I see things that are described as being nationalistic. If patriotism doesn't start wars, then what started the Iraq war?
 
  • #18
Dissident Dan
237
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This definition of "nationalism" from webster.com meets my understanding of what nationalism is:

loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups

Their definition of "patriotism":

love for or devotion to one's country

Both start out basically the same, only the "nationalism" definition continues to explain in more detail. The "sense of national consciousness" and "exalting above all others" are very in tune with what I have seen in "patriotism".
 
  • #19
wuliheron
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So Dan, are you saying that what people in the US are currently calling patriotism is often really nationalism?

If so, I concur. I'm a military brat myself and grew up around a great deal of patriotic, nationalistic, and fascist sentiments. The current presidental administration's aggressive foreign policy has been notably called many things by the mass media including "evangelical", but not one reporter I have heard has dared refer to it as nationalism much less fascism.

Most people I've known with extremely "evangelical" nationalistic and fascist sentiments have reminded me a great deal of Carol O'Connor's famous tv characature role, "Archie Bunker." In fact, my own parents resemble such people to a great degree, who are often entirely unaware that their sentiments and feelings go beyond mere love of country into the realm of unquestioning and unquestionable beligerent self-righteous pride. In fact, whether as contentious and unaware as Archie Bunker or not, such people will associate their feelings with the very definition of democracy and deny where their logic leads.

For my family and countless other like Archie Bunker's, questioning the head patriarch or your superiors is considered not just bad manners but insulting and an attempt to usurp the hierarchy. This inherently contentious social dynamic dates back to the original democracy in Athens.

The Athenian motto was: "Strike if you must! But hear me first!" Although democracies insist there are certain human rights everybody shares, these are often abstractions and social conventions rather than heart felt sentiments. In a sense, you could say democracy has taken self-perpetuating and self-serving negative and evangelical sentiments and turned them back on themselves.

However, this is a work in progress, a never-ending-story. The conservative evening news commentators I have listened to recently have all without exception inserted their personal comments at one point or another that those protesting the war show a lack of humility. Instead of a mature and open discussion of people's feelings on the subject, it is usually an ongoing battle to belittle each other. Instead of a realistic appraisal of the situation, it is more often a self-righteous attack on the opposition. In other words, politics as usual.
 
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  • #20
I still don't understand the idea of having pride for things outside yourself. I find the same lack of understanding for supporting a sports team, and having pride when they win. I personally do not identify with any group larger than ME.
 
  • #21
Dissident Dan
237
2
That reminds me of something that Bill Maher said:
"You didn't win anything. A bunch of black guys that would probably hate you if they met you won." (I'm not sure if that quote is 100% accurate, but it gets the basic message across.)

--------------------------------------------------

God bless rock and roll. It is the best music in the world. Everyone knows that it has more technique, energy, emotion, and variety than any other form of music. I'm proud to be a rock and roller and will stand by my frontmen. All those unaudiotic people who deny our rock and roll heritage need a swift kick in the butt.
 
  • #22
russ_watters
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Originally posted by wuliheron
So Dan, are you saying that what people in the US are currently calling patriotism is often really nationalism? Americans also tend to be isolationist and xenophobic, which are consistent with nationalism.

If so, I concur.
No, He's saying they are the same thing. But I would tend to agree that people often fall into the nationalism trap when they think they are being patriotic.
If patriotism doesn't start wars, then what started the Iraq war?
Self defense, humanitarianism, greed. Pick one. Patriotism and nationalism aren't the only forces at work.
Both start out basically the same, only the "nationalism" definition continues to explain in more detail. The "sense of national consciousness" and "exalting above all others" are very in tune with what I have seen in "patriotism".
Yes, they start out the same, but no "exhalting above all others" does not fit with patriotism. Why is it difficult to believe you can love your country without hating others? Since the end of WWII, patriotism has replaced nationalism as the dominated western ideology and the nations of western Europe have been at complete peace with each other since then.
 
  • #23
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
I still don't understand the idea of having pride for things outside yourself. I find the same lack of understanding for supporting a sports team, and having pride when they win. I personally do not identify with any group larger than ME.
The sports team analogy is PERFECT if you are on the team.
 
  • #24
Originally posted by russ_watters
The sports team analogy is PERFECT if you are on the team.

Right...but how far separated from the 'team' should you be before youb stop having such extreme feelings? America, for instance, is way too big to identify with it as a whole. I'm proud of teh things I do, in my little corner of the world, and maybe the things my friends do. I don't feel any pride for thing that complete strangers do all over the country.
 
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  • #25
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by russ_watters
Self defense, humanitarianism, greed. Pick one. Patriotism and nationalism aren't the only forces at work.

Humanitarianism? Definitely not. I think that patriotism blinded people believing the BS that the war was necessary for self defense.
I think that it goes beyond self defense to "no body screws with us and we'll prove it." I think that patriotism made people think that everybody hates us because they're jealous--thoughts which in part led to approval of the attack on Iraq. I think that the national identity that is part of patriotism made people want to lash out against somebody because they felt like it was an attack on them when 9/11 happened.

Yes, they start out the same, but no "exhalting above all others" does not fit with patriotism.

Why be patriotic if you don't think that your country is better than all others? How do you express that patriotism without exhalting that perceived superiority?

Why is it difficult to believe you can love your country without hating others?

I don't think that being patriotic means that you hate other, but I do think that it involves feeling superior to others.

Since the end of WWII, patriotism has replaced nationalism as the dominated western ideology and the nations of western Europe have been at complete peace with each other since then.

The recent wave of patriotism has only stressed our relationships with Europeans.
 
  • #26
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan

The recent wave of patriotism has only stressed our relationships with Europeans.

It's a mistake to start thinking of a billion people as an individual, any more than you might think of a multi-national corporation as an individual. Europian politics and sentiments have been diverging from the US for years and have become more unified with the creation of the EU. The US's relationship with China and other powerful nations is notably the same, a love/hate one that is expedient for propoganda purposes when either opportunity knocks or the stuff hits the fan.
 
  • #27
Dissident Dan
237
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Originally posted by wuliheron
It's a mistake to start thinking of a billion people as an individual, any more than you might think of a multi-national corporation as an individual.


When did I do this? I purpose used plurals: relationships with Europeans

Europian politics and sentiments have been diverging from the US for years and have become more unified with the creation of the EU. The US's relationship with China and other powerful nations is notably the same, a love/hate one that is expedient for propoganda purposes when either opportunity knocks or the stuff hits the fan.

Regardless of whether or not Europe and the US were already diverging, the nationalism that has swept the USA has only helped to sever our relationships.
 
  • #28
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
Right...but how far separated from the 'team' should you be before youb stop having such extreme feelings? America, for instance, is way too big to identify with it as a whole. I'm proud of teh things I do, in my little corner of the world, and maybe the things my friends do. I don't feel any pride for thing that complete strangers do all over the country.
Wrong. America is all one team. We're all in this together. We all get to share a piece of the American Dream. And patriotism is not "extreme feelings."
Humanitarianism? Definitely not. I think that patriotism blinded people believing the BS that the war was necessary for self defense.
When I said take your pick, I meant it. Whatever reason you choose, patriotism vs. nationalism isn't an issue - unless you think the US is going to turn Iraq into a colony like Puetro-Rico. Colonialism/imperialism is an extension of nationalism.
Why be patriotic if you don't think that your country is better than all others? How do you express that patriotism without exhalting that perceived superiority?
Do you love your parents (children)? Do they have to be the best to be worthy of your love? Not being blind to the faults in your country is another aspect of patriotism. And America DOES happen to be the best at many things, but that is not relevant to patriotism. The English and French and Lithuanians can be patriotic too.
Regardless of whether or not Europe and the US were already diverging, the nationalism that has swept the USA has only helped to sever our relationships.
The recent wave of patriotism has only stressed our relationships with Europeans.
You are STILL using those two words interchangeably and they are NOT interchangeable. The European opinion of the US could be harmed by percieved nationalism. Certainly. But that is *NOT* patriotism.

Dissident Dan, we could go around in circles forever here and you won't believe me. Do a google search for "patriotism versus nationalism" or a search for the causes of WWI and WWII and read a few links. Patriotism and nationalism are NOT the same thing.
 
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  • #29
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
When did I do this? I purpose used plurals: relationships with Europeans

Originally posted by wuliheron
It's a mistake to start thinking of a billion people as an individual, any more than you might think of a multi-national corporation as an individual.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Regardless of whether or not Europe and the US were already diverging, the nationalism that has swept the USA has only helped to sever our relationships.

You did this when you said the US war has gotten Europe angry at us. Europe is not an individual or even a family, it is a huge and diverse place and exactly how "angry" its people might be is difficult to ascertain. Like the US, their governments spin their own propoganda and sometimes outright defy the wishes of the people.

Regardless of whether or not Europe and the US were already diverging, the nationalism that has swept the USA has only helped to sever our relationships.

Gore Vidal compares the US to a corporation, and Europe's struggle to unify its diverse cultures and governments into a more powerful union is clearly an attempt to compete with that corporation. US relations have not been severed with europe, we are overwhelmingly their best market and their economy could not survive without us. Among other things France has lost its sweetheart oil deal with Iraq because of the war and is understandably upset, but they know what competition is about. Likewise, the euro is about to loose some its value against the dollar.

Some are just more vocal about such things than others, and almost always for good reasons. In France's case, as one of the underdogs in the modern corporate world by loudly complaining and dragging their feet they gain alies and sweetheart deals from other underdogs. If they are successful enough they will gain some concessions from the bigger corporations.

The US is no longer the bastion of capitalism, but the home of regulated monopolies that are spanning the globe. Europe is too crowded, environmentally stressed, and diverse to be a corporate headquarters, but the monopolies are expanding their business into europe anyway. Several years ago the EU publically complained that the US was using submarines to tap trans-atlantic phone lines, monitoring cell phones, and using voice recognition software to gather industrial secrets.

The US is becoming more nationalistic, but it is a form of multi-national corporate nationalism the likes of which the world has never seen. Like walmart and mcdonald's driving all the small towm mom and pop stores out of business in the US, the same is now occuring internationally. Today Buddweiser is the number one selling beer in Germany despite protected market practices and some of the finest micro-breweres in the world. Like a lot of corporations, corporate headquarters (ie the US) is assuming a kind of mythological statis with all its branches.

It's hard to take someone seriously when they complain loudly about the quality of the stuff they buy and environmental destruction, but continue to shop at walmart, drive an SUV, and vote republican. Likewise, its even more difficult to take nationalism seriously when it is focused on multi-national corporations controling a military equal to the next seven largest in the world combined. The invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with classical nationalism, it was just business as usual.
 
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  • #30
zimbo
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First point: a country is an abstract entity comprising of people interacting with each other in a certain way.

There are several aspects of 'patriotism' raised by earlier posts:

1)pride in one's country

2) loyalty to one's country

3) feeling that one's country is superior to that of others, and by extension, that things belonging to one's own country are superior to those same things belonging to that of other countries

4) and by corollary of 3), judging something to be superior simply because it belongs to one's own country.

I'll deal with 3 and 4 first: 4 is blatantly irrational, but unfortunately many 'patriots' are simply prejudiced against anything foreign. This sort of 'patriotism' engenders other kinds of prejudices such as racism.

3) can be interpreted in 2 ways: perhaps there are good reasons to think that one's own country is better than another in many ways. I don't have any problems with that. What I disagree with is the sentiment 'my country is the best . . . because it is my country.'

What about pride in one's country? I think the problem with this is that there are no reasons to be 'proud' of things in which one isn't personally involved. eg take some sporting event, like the Olympic games. Why should you be 'proud' that your country won so many medals, unless you are an athelete or someone partially responsible for the athelete's success (including coach, family and friends etc)? Simply living or being born in a place doesn't count as grounds of 'pride'. In anycase, most people don't have much of a choice about where to live, and nobody chooses where to be born. So what's there to be proud about? Your country may have produced all the best things in the world and may have the richest culture and history, but did you contribute to any of those things?

Zero said that it doesn't make sense to have pride in anything other than ourselves. I pretty much agree with that . . .

I can be proud of myself for something I have done - that's fair enough (depending what the achievement actually is!). I can be proud of the achievements of my immediate family members - as long as I know I have been supportive. Same goes for being proud of my friends - same reason as that for family (that I have been supportive), but also proud for my own 'foresight' in choosing them :wink:. Notice that in each case, there's something I have done to merit pride. This is a far cry from being 'proud' of a large institution such as a country.

Finally, loyalty and gratefulness. Most people who criticises 'anti-nationalists' do so on the grounds that the latter are ungrateful for everything their country did for them. My objections: firstly it's not the 'country' that does anything, but the people who make individual effort, coordinated under an institution. So gratefulness should primarily extend to the people rather than the institution. Secondly, most of the things the country have 'done for the people' are done under a contract - the social contract - people obey the laws, pay their taxes etc., and in return they can expect a certain standard of living, health care etc. I argue that it is the citizens' right, not priviledge, to expect the best possible service from the government.

And how far should loyalty go? Does being grateful to one's country mean that one should subscribe unthinkingly, automatically to any view the government expresses? It is too easy to brand people with opposing views as 'traitors', but shouldn't people instead be having an honest and open debate about what really is the best course of action for the people of the country and people worldwide? Could something be good for the country and bad for the world? Clearly yes. So what's wrong in expressing the opinion that one's own country is wrong, when one really thinks so?

As wuli pointed out, it's a mistake to think of a billion people as an individual. We only know our countries through contact with people. eg in war, the only sensible reason why we should want our country to win, and not the enemy (forget about US vs Iraq, think back on France vs Germany in WWI), is the welfare of ourselves and of those people personally known to us and whom we care about. (Assuming that the overral humanitarian cost is roughly similar regardless of which side wins.) Of course there would have been other 'non-personal' reasons to want a particular side to win eg. the brutality of the Nazis in WWII, but this is a case of primarily wanting one side to lose rather than wanting your own country to win.

I will leave you with a memorable quote, unfortunately I forgot where I got it from or who said it:

'If I ever have to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friends, I only wish I have the courage to betray my country.'
 
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  • #31
Chemicalsuperfreak
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Originally posted by Zero
I still don't understand the idea of having pride for things outside yourself. I find the same lack of understanding for supporting a sports team, and having pride when they win. I personally do not identify with any group larger than ME.

It's all just extended forms of tribalism. It ensures that our tribe of naked monkies will survive longer than that axis of evil naked monkies across the river.

Wasn't it George Washington who said something to the effect of "patriotism is the last refuge of the idiot" ?
 
  • #32
Wrong. America is all one team. We're all in this together. We all get to share a piece of the American Dream. And patriotism is not "extreme feelings."

That's simply not true...look at how one political party accuses the other of being 'traitors' because of differing views. Look at the differing lifestyles between different socioeconomic groups. Watch how people start screaming Communism if anyone suggests that we should actually behave like we are all in it together. A thousand religions, dozens of ethnic groups, and a million different opinions on everything. To suggest that America is a single 'team' is absurd.
 
  • #33
russ_watters
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Originally posted by zimbo
First point: a country is an abstract entity comprising of people interacting with each other in a certain way.

There are several aspects of 'patriotism' raised by earlier posts:

1)pride in one's country

2) loyalty to one's country

3) feeling that one's country is superior to that of others, and by extension, that things belonging to one's own country are superior to those same things belonging to that of other countries

4) and by corollary of 3), judging something to be superior simply because it belongs to one's own country.
I'll keep repeating it: 3 and 4 are nationalism, not patriotism. The words are not interchangeable.

That's simply not true...look at how one political party accuses the other of being 'traitors' because of differing views. [/quote.] You don't think there is infighting in sports teams too?
To suggest that Amererica is a single 'team' is absurd.
Zero, I still like the analogy, but here's another way to think of it - if you go to another country and tell them you are an American, will they wait for you to explain your political afiliation and personal beliefs before judging you? NO. Like it or not, you are part of a group as others would identify it. The actions of people you have never met reflect on you personally and there isn't anything you can do about it.

And the questions: "Do you have pride in the fact that you are an American?" or "Are you patriotic?" do not ask anything about your political afiliation. There are certainly other groups you can identify with in ADDITION to being identified with the group "Americans," but "Americans" is not a group you can choose to not be afiliated with. If you answer that first question with no, then the second question must also be answered no.
 
  • #34
russ waters is right. What zimbo describes as:

3) feeling that one's country is superior to that of others, and by extension, that things belonging to one's own country are superior to those same things belonging to that of other countries

4) and by corollary of 3), judging something to be superior simply because it belongs to one's own country.

This is not pure patriotism--this is patriotism mixed with militarism. Unfortunately, the sad truth in this world today is that militarism and patriotism are often linked with one another, when they shouldn't be. One should still be able to love his country without thinking that it is superior to other countries of the world.
 

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