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Patriotism: Trash or Treasure?

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2005 04:38 am
blatham wrote:
I note the typical 'barbarians lurking dangerously nearbye' element.

Me too. I also liked the wording in "enforce a new sense of pride in being Japanese." As if you could "enforce a sense of" anything.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2005 05:45 am
Where there be patriotism , I note a recurring not so leit motiv of barbarian menace du jour is not far away....
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2005 11:17 am
tonyf, Your Samuel Johnson post is truer today because Bushco uses it frequently to keep the populace in line with his agenda based on untruths and incompetence.
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tonyf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 03:51 am
cicerone imposter wrote:
tonyf, Your Samuel Johnson post is truer today because Bushco uses it frequently to keep the populace in line with his agenda based on untruths and incompetence.
I think I'd extend the scope of the Samuel Johnson quote to include not only those who preach patriotism but also religious zealots of any persuausion.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 06:54 am
Anatol Lieven continues to write some of the most perceptive analyses of American nationalism one can find presently. I've linked this recent review of a new book by Andrew Bacevich from the London Review of Books. Two elements here are, I think, key...the shape and consequences of modern American militarism and the too infrequently studied/mentioned role of the Likud lobby in how and why America behaves in the Middle East as it has.

Quote:
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 11:16 am
What can America expect of a president that doesn't read or understand foreign policy? He's probably the only president that has gone AWOL, then became commander in chief. Throw in that mix C's and D's in college, and we have an idiot of a president. Americans are no smarter; they voted for him. We are now paying dearly for our ignorance.
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Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 02:20 pm
dlowan wrote:
Where there be patriotism , I note a recurring not so leit motiv of barbarian menace du jour is not far away....

I'm not so sure. It seems a barbarian menace du jour is a necessary element of any ideology. For example, as a libertrian, I suspect petty tyrants (and some not so petty ones) behind every corner, and I never fall go to sleep without checking first if there might be one hiding under my bed. No doubt Lola and Blatham do the same with fanatic Christians and anti-intellectual Republicans respectively. Some paranoia about barbarians is a normal and harmless byproduct of the way we all think about politics. It's when that paranoia gets enforced from positions of power that one needs to reach for one's garlic, one's stick, and one's crucifix.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 02:26 pm
I used my hammer and sickle until Mrs. Walter put some storage boxes under the bed.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 07:04 pm
Thomas wrote:
dlowan wrote:
Where there be patriotism , I note a recurring not so leit motiv of barbarian menace du jour is not far away....

I'm not so sure. It seems a barbarian menace du jour is a necessary element of any ideology. For example, as a libertrian, I suspect petty tyrants (and some not so petty ones) behind every corner, and I never fall go to sleep without checking first if there might be one hiding under my bed. No doubt Lola and Blatham do the same with fanatic Christians and anti-intellectual Republicans respectively. Some paranoia about barbarians is a normal and harmless byproduct of the way we all think about politics. It's when that paranoia gets enforced from positions of power that one needs to reach for one's garlic, one's stick, and one's crucifix.




Hmmmmm....very true, but seemingly more harmful in the hands of some ideologies than others??? Or is it that the more harmful (by which I mean, for the sake of this argument, more likely to support going out and killing other people) go for different ideologies, or for the more extreme form of the ideology in question?

As a social democrat, I get very worried about my current conservative government, eg, and I am doing what I can to persuade it against some of its more extreme anti Aboriginal and anti worker pieces of legislation, but I have no desire to go out and kill it, nor would I denounce as traitorous Australia haters those who do not oppose it.



Patriotism seems to me an ideology which is especially prone to turn murderous, or to support murder. Prolly because, if I am correct about its origins in "clan/kin group" protectiveness, it is sort of hard wired into our more primitive neuro/hormonal systems.


Actually, I suspect that is where the dangerousness in fervently held ideologies (including religions) comes in....it evokes all who do not agree with is as "out group/stranger".

Certainly, I think some religions seem to encourage mor ebloodiness than others. I cannot really think of a time when Buddhists have slaughtered non Buddhists to try and make the mBuddhists, for instance....though I do not doubt they have killed for other reasons.


I guess I see patriotism as especially prone to dangerousness....while I do not see it as alone in that, of course.


Look at all the examples right here on this sweet little board where numbers of folk are calling anyone anti the Iraq war traitorous and supportive of terror.


There is something wrong with this picture.


I do not doubt there is also something wrong with its mirror image from the other side, too, but a thing which holds one must support one's country's killings, even when opne considers them utterly unjustified? Hmmmmmmm.....
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hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Oct, 2005 09:02 pm
walter : are you allowed to open the box and have a peek - let's say, once a month ?
and don't forget : you need to sharpen that sickle now and then ! hbg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/56/Hammer_sickle_clean.png/150px-Hammer_sickle_clean.png

(i hope the boys from the ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE aren't monitoring my email; if you haven't heard from me by year-end, pls send out a search party)
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Lash
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 08:05 am
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
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Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Wed 8 Aug, 2018 02:05 pm
@dlowan,
Trash for most of the time|
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 02:35 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fee fi fo fum! Who woke this thread after 13 years?
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Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 9 Aug, 2018 04:23 am
I will go back to the page I was reading here shortly, but what a trip down memory lane. So many names of people so long unheard.

I would point out that patriotism cannot be equated to approval of a government's policies. In the War of 1812, the New York militia largely refused to cross the Niagara River into British territory--a few hundred out of thousands crossed, and most of them crossed back as soon as they could. After the British seized outposts in American territory, and landed from the sea to burn towns, sentiments changed--but "Mr. Madison's War" was highly unpopular. The Mexican War was seen in the same light, although perhaps not as unpopular. Ulysses Grant called it our "most evil war" and likened the United States to the corrupt nations and empires of Europe. He was a serving officer, and did his duty with great courage and initiative--but he made friends in Mexico, kept in touch, warned the French off after the end of the American civil war and was never shy about expressing his contempt for Polk's government and what he and many others saw as a war intended to extend slavery (actually, a rather reasonable characterization).

During the American civil war, more than 100,000 southerners voluntarily enlisted in and served in the United States Army. I have no doubt that they loved their homes and the regions from which they came, but they were not prepared to fight to defend the human chattels of slave-owners, especially at the cost of the Union. Desertion rates were very high in the Confederate States Army, and especially among those from the mountains, where slavery was never a common or useful institution.

Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to hold Federal Office in the United States, and a key figure in the passage of the proposed amendment which was ratified as the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, was clearly a patriot. A life-long Republican (of the Theodore Roosevelt, progressive stripe) in 1917, she was one of a handful of members of Congress to vote against the declaration of war against the Central powers. More courageous still, she was, in December, 1941, the only member of Congress to vote against the declaration of war against the Empire of Japan. (She said she was terrified, and she received a good deal of hate mail and threatening telephone calls.) As a life-long pacifist, she was voting her conscience. Anyone who would allege that she was not a patriot is a damned fool and a liar.
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