Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News (PT 1) National Pride

  1. Mar 1, 2007 #1
    I encounter too many people that are too proud for their own good and the good of the world. Proud to be Canadian, proud to be American, proud to be Polish or Spanish....etc etc etc... I'm proud to be human...

    I can never get a valid reason for why people are proud of where they came from or where they live. A typical response I hear is " Proud to be american/canadian(whatever country) 'because we are free' " ...what a joke...there are only varying degrees of freedom from country to country. The platform that the world runs off is so messed up... they make it seem like freedom is a privilege... yet every human is born free ...and simultaneously chained... I think screwing up freedom is the biggest downfall of humanity - imagine a world where truth and knowledge prevailed unconditionally.

    Being proud of your nationality creates boarders, it divides people, and this is one of many reasons why we see conflicts around the world and in our own neighborhoods.
    Here is a good example of how national pride translates in politics which effects OUR earth. " I told the world, I thought the Kyoto was a lousy deal for America... " - GWB
    I'll start a 2nd thread to address this quote.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2007 #2
    But we are naturally tribal. It is bit like trying to make a cow not be part of a herd but part of global cowdom, it is not in our nature to be part of the bigger picture.
    You can look at it in layers, proud of my life success, family, street, area, town, county, country, continent, planet, solar system, universe.
    But whats the point of being proud of being human, who are you being proud to?
    Everybody wants to be seen to be better than their peers and national pidgeon holing allows us to achieve that on a global scale.
    It comes down to human nature. Think yourself lucky that you have the intelect to see how pointless the whole thing is and pity those who believe it.

    As for Bush, he doesn't believe what he says, he says it because the proportion population who can't be bothered to examine how the world works will believe it and give him power.
  4. Mar 1, 2007 #3
    Well that is what separates you and I. I like to think that there is a difference between humans and cows and the potential in exerting an impact on the world. However it does seem like a lot of people have cow like tendency's...:biggrin:

    I have a different mentality than of what you are talking about... I question everything around me, there is no reason why I should 'mind my own business' and conform, because the world IS my business because it is mine as equally as it is yours... but it seems like people give away their shares.
    I'm proud to be human because of the very fact that I don't have to be proud or prove anything to anyone. Instead of being judged by where you come from or what you do or wear, each human can be looked at as a unique piece of chocolate :approve: Just because I live in Canada doesn't mean I like hockey and maple syrup. These tribal instincts can be applied to this as well... ONE BIG TRIBE OF UNIQUE HUMANS... I get goosebumps thinking how much could be accomplished this way, - Instead humans waste time over non sense... paying attention to what other people wear and eat and do, being afraid to be different... we are absorbed in this garbage and it tends to restrain people from true potential and their natural inclinations.
  5. Mar 1, 2007 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you were born in africa or eastern Europe, you'd have a much different perspective on national pride.

    Btw, the quote is not very descriptive, but Kyoto is bad for the world for the same reason that it is bad for the US (overemphasis on the US for a problem that requires a global solution). When you impliment something that is fundamentally flawed, it is worse than doing nothing because it wastes decades of time.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  6. Mar 1, 2007 #5
    Russ - what does Africa or eastern Europe have to do with a change in focus? It doesn't matter where you are from...why are Canadians and Americans so proud? My parents are from Poland, I've spent many summers there... so its safe to say that I've been culturally exposed first hand... and I do not see your logic?

    Its funny that over 160 nations have found nothing fundamentally flawed about the Kyoto Protocol. How is Kyoto bad for the world? The US is a HUGE contributer to this problem that is why it is important the US to get there s**t together.
  7. Mar 1, 2007 #6
    You will never have a peaceful world until you have knocked the patriotism out of humanity.

    George Bernard Shaw

    Says it all really.

    Patriotism taken too far becomes something akin to racism. Assuming that you are more worthy because of were you were born is the most stupid thing I've ever heard in my life anyway :rofl:
  8. Mar 1, 2007 #7
    "There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum."
    Arthur C. Clarke
  9. Mar 1, 2007 #8


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Didn't you just agree with me? National pride comes mostly history/heritage and current status. Poland's troubled recent past is the reason why there exists less patriotism there than in the US or Canada.

    Btw, I visited Poland and Lithuania a few years ago with the US Navy. We were treated very well in Poland but all-but treated as rock-stars in Lituania. It is almost as if they have more national pride in their attempt to emulate us (Lithuania's government is based heavily on American influence) than in their own heritage.

    Take Germany for another example. Germany today is a pretty good country. But there is tremendous national guilt over their past.
    You will certainly see this as arrogance, but the main reason the people in many wesern countries (and it isn't just the US and Canada) are more proud is because there is more to be proud of.
    Heh, again, you are almost agreeing with me. The US doesn't like Kyoto mostly because it is bad for the US. Other countries like it mostly because it is good for them! Don't misread that: they don't like it because it is good for the world, just good for them.

    I'll address Kyoto in your other thread...
  10. Mar 1, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Maybe the international perception is that they feel guilty and most of the intellectual community in Germany feel a certain guilt. The average citizen in Germany however does not. If you go into a local bar almost anywhere in Germany you will hea things being discussed at the bar that will make your jaw drop. They still have a tremendous amount of national pride.

    For the majority of the 160 countries I doubt that they would gain any advantage over the US. The countries the US should have been worried about were China and India and they never signed either. I'd hate to think that the planet would be severely damaged over something so petty as who is the most industrious or whatever threat this is perceived to hold.
  11. Mar 1, 2007 #10
    Not from where I'm standing. Is that not conceit and arrogance? I have a country and a culture with about 6000 years of recorded culture and history, I'd say I have more to be proud of, but then I realised the damage nationalism or patriotism could do about the time I was 8 or 9, from studying history.

    Personally I think: what makes you so great? About every country, give me enough time and I'll show you how at the end of the day we're all pretty much the same the world over, some just tend to have a ludicrously overinflated self opinion, which is what intrinsically leads to racism and at its worst expression to war.Raccism is something you have had a long history of I might add as is lately the tendency to war, seems like GBS was right.

    It's small step from patriotism to nationalism to racism. Some people leapfrog the nationalism bit and go straight to racism. Personally I think humility and respect is the greatest mark of worth in any country. Far better than it's level of patriotism, humility and respect don't cause wars.

    Patriotism ... is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

    Emma Goldman:

    "My country, right or wrong" is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."

    G. K. Chesterton:

    Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.

    Henry Steele Commager:

    Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest," but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.

    Sydney J. Harris:

    Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. 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. It works the same in any country.

    Herman Goering

    :rofl: that is almost prescient n'est pas?

    Sinclair Lewis:

    When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.

    Well your not quite there yet but he had a point :smile:

    To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. (1918)

    Theodore Roosevelt:

    That's just common sense and not really an admonishment of patriotism, but I like it none the less. Almost as if Roosevelt was an Englishman :smile:
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  12. Mar 1, 2007 #11


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I didn't say they don't have national pride. I know they do. But they do also have national guilt over WWII.
    The advantage is based on the perception of knocking the US down a peg (which it would). That may be unrealistic as they all depend on us for trade, but competitiveness is a big driver.

    edit: well, the other big advantage of Kyoto is, of course, its political advantage. By supporting it, they get to look like they are doing something useful without actually doing anything useful. Politically, that's better than gold.
    Please don't miss my point - it is getting stretched between two different threads. The fact that China (and to a lesser extent India) is missing from the treaty is it's primary flaw.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  13. Mar 1, 2007 #12


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Honestly - do you think you can argue me out of my national pride? So what's the point? Sorry, this is not a generic bash-the-US thread and I won't respond to your generic bashes.

    I freely acknowleged that having pride in my heritage makes me (and the US in general) come across as arrogant. I'm ok with that. Besides - how is your position any different except that yours is based on disdain for the US and not pride in your own country? Frankly, that seems to me to be latent nationalism (which was until recently an enormous problem in Europe).
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  14. Mar 1, 2007 #13


    User Avatar

    National guilt?!?!?

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:


    e2a: russ - I don't even know where to begin in knocking down your comments. Are you basing your comments solely on what you have observed from short visits? And as far as you being OK with coming across as arrogant because of your "heritage", have you been listening to what the world thinks of the US at present?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  15. Mar 1, 2007 #14
    No I think it's impossible to argue with an arrogant, conceited and stubborn person and invariably you can find all three of those traits in the ardent patriot. I personally have never seen any good come of arrogance and conceit in anyone, I find the idea that one person is better than another because of the country he is born in is patronising, ignorant and laughable, and I find the whole notion of patriotism that leads to nationalism as the last resort of the scoundrel, personally I find the whole arrogant thing a mark of naivety and delusion in anyone, and in a countries leaders it's a recipe for disaster.

    But then that's obviously just me and my entire nation probably :smile:.

    Why would anyone have pride in something they had no part of?

    At the end of the day reflected glory is merely that, what you see in a mirror, an image, not tangible.

    In my opinion a man stands or falls on his own merits and his own merits alone, not those ascribed to him by his own arrogant notion of patriotism.

    Where you are born no more makes you better than anyone else than where you went to school.

    It's about time people realised this, so that the grown ups can proceed without fragile egos being propped up on a notion that was dead and dying last century after all the wars it caused.

    With that in mind I agree 100% with the op, and disagree one hundred percent with Russ, as usual :smile:

    Patriotism is a futile concept.

    Being proud of your country is fine by me, being derisive or setting yourself up as greater than another is pride and arrogance, and not only that it's hoplessely wrong. And pride cometh before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall. Just to throw in another quote.

    J77 is right as well, I don't think most Germans have anything to feel guilty about, let's face it most people born During the war were either too young to really know what was going on or are dead. Those that are still alive are becoming a dwindling minority.

    Why should the sins of the father have any bearing on the youth?

    As for American bashing, only your government, but then they give us so much damned ammunition, I really will have no punching bag when Monsieur Clown Shoes is out of office.:rofl:
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  16. Mar 1, 2007 #15
    Russ - I feel like you are dodging some key points... I know WHERE pride comes from... my question is WHY do humans find it is necessary? What is the big deal? What makes you so special? Why are you so proud to be American?(< plz answer that, I am very curious)

    What do you mean Germany is a PRETTY good country?Americans are the ones that should have tremendous national guilt... slavery, Hiroshima , all the f**king wars it engages in and the children it massacres on a daily basis, pollution...
  17. Mar 1, 2007 #16
    i think its kind of funny that people who feel a sense of national pride center that belief often on national heroes and that national heroes are usually people who brought about reform. martin luther king is considered a national hero because of his efforts and accomplishments in national reforms regarding equality. think of where the us would be today if martin luther king only had "U-S-A!, U-S-A!, U-S-A!" running though his head and let a sense of patriotism blind him of the faults of his country.

    i think patriotism is often a bad thing for a few reasons. firstly it creates xenophobia, secondly and most ironically, it prevents people from looking critically at the nation they live in and prevent people from wanting to change and improve it. eg. "why are you protesting the government? is the good old US of A not good enough for you? shut up and sit down! this is the best darn place on earth and im not going to let anyone screw with that!"- spoken at a protest against segregation

    quite often the people with the most national pride serve their national leaders by their willful slavery
  18. Mar 1, 2007 #17
    ultimately its because it makes people feel like they are associated with some kind of good, powerful, enviable group, and that somehow this association means that they are good, powerful, enviable people. there is no mystery about the nuts&bolts of patriotism. personally i dont think its different or any more noble then Oprah Winfrey's ideas on improving self esteem for over weight women, 'give yourself 3 compliments each morning, and when you feel bad, remind yourself of your compliments'... actually i think Winfrey's method is a little more noble because at least that one has some basis of logic

    so yeah, drop the patriot routine and watch Oprah already
  19. Mar 1, 2007 #18


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't really know how big of an issue it is, but it most certainly is real: http://surj.stanford.edu/archives/2003-05GermanNational.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  20. Mar 1, 2007 #19
    What brought it home to me how damaging patriotism could be was when I heard of an SAS soldier who refused to return to the gulf after his leave because as he saw it the American commanders and the rank and file were using tactics that were pointless, ie round up the usual suspects and there was a widespread mentallity of the Iraqis being untermenschen or subhuman in the Americans eyes(winning the hearts and minds of no one in other words) That somehow many of those he worked along side considered themselves better than Iraqis; this to me is sad, and it obviously reflects badly on the US as a nation, not that I think every American is stupid or ignorant enough to behave this way, but anyone who does has my contempt.


    For refusal to return to the gulf under these circumstances the SAS gave him an honorable discharge.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  21. Mar 1, 2007 #20


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Here's a better article [than the other I posted], with a good segue into another point I wanted to make: http://www.expatica.com/actual/article.asp?subchannel_id=52&story_id=31332
    It is interesting, in any case, to see an argument aganist patriotism from a German. He says the schools dwell on the negatives of German history. Gee, could that have influenced his ideas on (rejection of) patriotism?

    The segue: Can someone explain soccer riots to me? Aren't soccer riots overenthusiastic national pride? This German seems to think so.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook