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News What is Patriotism?

  1. May 4, 2003 #1
    We can look in a dictionary for what patriotism is supposed to mean and yet it's one of those words that seems to have as many meanings as there are opinions. One person's patriotism is another person's poison. Some folks use patriotism to beat their fellow citizens over the head, ie accuse the Dixie Chicks of being unAmerican when they are doing precisely the thing that is supposed to be American, ie speaking out and speaking their minds.

    I'd like to know what you mean by patriotism, and is it a good thing?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2003 #2
    It’s easier to describe the color purple to a blind person then to give meaning to the word patriotism.

    If you have ever felt a shiver down your spine, if you have ever felt a tear running down your cheek, if you have ever felt proud, when hearing your national anthem or view your country's flag raised high, you are a patriot.

  4. May 4, 2003 #3
    I guess I'm not a patriot, and my honorable military service doesn't count? Not that I care, because I see patriotism leading too easily into blind mob-mentality.
  5. May 4, 2003 #4
    I was at Lambeau Field once and what with the crowd and atmosphere and national anthem, I got that lump in my throat, the feeling of pride and I am not even an American citizen.

    But when I hear others say that to be a patriot is to shut up and stop moaning or to accept some outdated conservative notion of nation, or that it means freedom from labor unions and microscopically small taxes or one color, white, under one flag, then I part company and call patriotism something else.

    Nationalism is often very, very ugly.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2003
  6. May 4, 2003 #5
    You left out, 'under one religion', which also seems to play into it as well.
  7. May 4, 2003 #6
    patriotism is a feeling which can all to readily lead to nationalism without due thought.

    As such it has dangers associated even though it is tolerated without question from the majority.
  8. May 4, 2003 #7
    Yes, nationalism is an odd thing, as is regionalism and tribalism and racism, the feeling that this little patch of earth that we occupy, one which is distinctly demarcated from surrounding areas, is somehow special and deserves special status because of the language spoken there, or the food cooked there, the music played there or the way people look there. Very odd indeed.
  9. May 4, 2003 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    You seem to have answered your own question but still feel bitter about it. WHY? If patriotism is such a bad thing, why does it bother you that you are not patriotic?

    Btw, there is a thread on patriotism vs nationalism in philosophy (I think).
  10. May 5, 2003 #9
    I'm just thinking that there are surely different ways to be a patriot.
  11. May 5, 2003 #10
    Yes but that thread in philosophy got bogged down in a lot of philosophy. We're more pragmatic in Politics and World Affairs.
  12. May 5, 2003 #11


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    Staff: Mentor

    Politics is pragmatic? Since when? I didn't get a copy of that memo...

    Seriously though, if politics was pragmatic then logical people would all reach the same conclusions given the same facts.
  13. May 5, 2003 #12


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    Science Advisor

    Something between fashism and total
    indefference towards a country. :wink:
  14. May 6, 2003 #13
    Partial quote from Zero "...because I see patriotism leading too easily into blind mob-mentality."

    Are you referring to the mob mentality as in?

    - The student rally in Tiananmen Square, China
    - Dumping tea into the Boston harbor, USA
    - Freeing the Bastille prisoners in Paris, France
    - Race equality riots in Los Angeles, USA
    - Defiling Saddam images and statues in Baghdad, Iraq
    - Anti war protests in Seattle, USA

  15. May 6, 2003 #14
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  16. May 6, 2003 #15


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    Erm.. most of those were denounced as traitors.

    Patriotic mob behaviour include:

    National Front marching in streets, chanting anthems.
    Pogroms against jews.
    Riots against burgeious property organised by the soviet government.
    Similar cases in Nazi Germany.
    The soviet era "let the government do the thinking for you" mentality.
    Mobs denoucing anti-war war veterans as traitors and cowards during the vietnam conflict.
    Football hooliganism.
  17. May 6, 2003 #16

    I fail to see how the Boston event could be considered traitorous. Only a Brit could possibly… oh- err excuse me.

    As to “football hooliganism”, that occurs because fans are protesting the use of an improperly shaped football. Who can blame them?

  18. May 6, 2003 #17


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    GENIERE: You forget yourself. The Boston Tea Party was before the revolutionary war, when the USA was still a part of the British Empire. Hence, by striking against what then accepted government, the revolutionaries were commiting an act of treason against the British nation.
  19. May 6, 2003 #18
    LOL, FZ, I think (s?)he was joking -- a conservative with a sense of humour, hard to believe, I know. :D
  20. May 6, 2003 #19
    (s?)he is correct
  21. May 6, 2003 #20
    No! We as used by the British Royal Family.

    Gotta sneak this stuff in before Zero pounces.

    Regards from a male (?meal)(?mail)
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