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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:37 pm Reply with quote  
  Mara Jade Skywalker

Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 6253
Location: Beyond Shadows

How do you all feel about the concept of patriotism?

For now I won't go into detail, but it came up at work today from some coworkers that asking kids to say the pledge of allegiance before school is "brainwashing" and "conformity". I was, quite frankly, taken aback by that sentiment, inspiring this thread.

I don't consider it brainwashing to instill loyalty in children for their country. I don't think it should be required of them (i.e. Don't force them to say the pledge or sing the anthem), but I don't see anything wrong with it. We should have a sense of loyalty to our country, whatever country that may be.

While I may be disappointed in the current political state of affairs, I am still proud to be an American. I consider it an honor to pledge allegiance to the United States of America, and I get all choked up whenever I hear the Star Spangled Banner.

How is it brainwashing to pass this sense of patriotism onto one's children? Again, I don't think it should forced, but I see nothing wrong with asking it of them.

For those who live in other countries, what is the sense of loyalty there? Do you care for your flag or your anthem? Does it matter to you that you are Canadian or Scottish or whatever the nationality may be?
"It's not about the legacy you leave, it's about the life you live." ~Mara Jade Skywalker

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 PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 7:44 pm Reply with quote  

Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 1580
Location: Bile and the Ideal

Like most heavy concepts, it depends on how you define it. Do you think Patriotism is synonymous with Nationalism?

That's a good example because that made me think of Jello Biafra's Pledge of Allegiance which calls for flag burning. I don't totally agree with the idea or the expression, but it's an interesting thought.

Here's the relevant part, "let's have a country run not by rich people. Not by army people. Not by son's of senator's son's...Now before it's too late to even talk about this stuff, be a Patriot. Be a true Patriot. The kind that cares more about their country than forcing people to worship a flag."

You know that in many countries the flag is a symbol of state, like any other seal or symbol it is displayed on government buildings, and otherwise ignored. The idea of waving the flag and marching it around in public is thought of with a little bit of shame, as arrogant, and suspicious.

Unfortunately that comparison must be made, because that is the reason. For many the public display of flags recalls the Nazis, of war and atrocity, and that is the source of the shame. The idea of multitudes saluting a flag, of children of all people being made to swear an oath of fealty to it, that seems like a horror to many people who live in a democracy. That's what they do in fascist and despotic nations.

I personally believe in Patriotism, as all things, that one should serve that which is good, in this case in your country, as that which aligns itself to the good cause of all humanity. If it doesn't serve that, than it is not good and not worthy.
Spend the night inside this cage and you'll learn to hate the hand that feeds you.

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 PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:01 am Reply with quote  

Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 7758
Location: Sailing into the unknown

Like most things patriotism is something that needs to be in balance.

Of course, too much patriotism leads to a false sense of national superiority which then leads to cruelty, or at least indifference, towards people of other nations or cultures. Obviously imperialism is the textbook example of patriotism taken too far.

However, I don't see the modern West in any danger of that any time soon. Quite the opposite. A generation of kids in the West - my generation, the Millenials - have essentially been raised to disown their own culture. We've been taught that the history of the West is just a story of racism, slavery, imperialism etc. and that we should be ashamed of our heritage instead of proud of it. Never mind all the great achievements in science, politics, philosophy, and art throughout our history and never mind the fact that the modern West stands as a beacon of human rights and freedoms. And never mind that it's perfectly normal, and healthy in moderation, for any person to feel a sense of pride, or at least affection, for their culture.

I've become concerned about the future of the West in recent years. I'm not predicting an imminent collapse, but there are several pieces in play that make me worry about the distant future. Between the West's masochistic self-hatred and - yes, I'll say it - the mass importation of people from a culture that doesn't share the values of Western secular democracies - freedom of speech, equal rights for men and women, the separation of the church and state, freedom to make our own life choices etc. - I don't see the up and coming generation being willing or able to stand up for the values of the West.

Feel free to hate me.

Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.

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