19
   

Sooo, why do you love your country? Or don't you?

 
 
odessitka
 
  3  
Reply Thu 14 Jul, 2011 12:40 am
@ossobuco,
I share your passion for Italy. That's where my husband and I would like to go for retirement. I've been there only once, visited 5 cities, and fell completely in love with all of them. Seeing that I've been to most European countries, that's saying something.
My dad was born in Lithuania, but he lived there only until he was 5.

@tsarstepan,

Why do I/don't I love this country? (Because it's not mine, I'm an immigrant). Well, the list would be long for both "do" and "don't". I guess it would be longer for "do" though. Bu let's just say I'm happy here. It's as simple as that. My kids are healthy and safe, we have friends, we can travel, and we are free to make choices that are right for all of us. We don't need much, we have a very simple life :-)
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:06 am
@maxdancona,
You're wrong in a general sense.

Perhaps some of the people you have heard or (more accurately) noticed talking about patriotism are looking to exclude others, but it is a sweeping generalization to assert that everyone who speaks of patriotism is looking to exclude one group or another.

This seems to me to be a pretty obvious fact and yet you keep returning to your sweeping generalization as if it were definitive.

Obviously I am not going to persuade you are wrong.

You have made a mental connection between the world "patriotism" and characteristics you find repulsive, and I'm not about to set your straight.

Your challenge is absurd.

It will, almost assuredly, lead to you challenging me on the people I might cite as working to bring together all Americans.

Who do you know that is working to bring together all Americans and how do you know they don't consider themselves patriots?

What exactly does bringing together all Americans mean? Do you include illegal immigrants in that set? How about criminals? Would you find a person’s unifying efforts to be lacking if it excluded racists or Christian fundamentalists?

I don't keep track of whether or not people call themselves patriots, and I am not about to try and find all of the well known people who have.

The only people of which I am aware who consistently speak of being a patriot are Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, and while I doubt they will agree with you that they are not seeking to unify Americans, they are hardly the only two people in the country who call themselves patriots. I will acknowledge though that I find their penchant for using the P-Word silly.

I consider myself a patriot, but I admit that I am not working to unify all Americans. I don't think one requires the other. I'm pretty sure that you would never call yourself a patriot, but are you working to unify all Americans?

Clearly you are defining "patriotism" based on its usage by people with whom you do not agree and even find distasteful (better keep that in check if you're going to unify us all).

It means love and devotion to one's country, but you have weighed it down will all sorts of personal issues.

I concede you will never agree with me, but it's quite obvious that a shared love and devotion to a country is unifying.

It's unifying, even if you wish to view the emotion as nothing more than a genetically programmed, tribalistic reflex. That is why a propensity for tribalism evolved in humans.

People such as yourself who find tribalism, and by extension nationalism, so distasteful simply want to enlarge the tribe; enlarge the nation so that it includes everyone.

This is fanciful, or at least it is today and has been for the entire length of human history.

Resources, for humans, have always been finite. Perpetuation of the species has been best served by banding together in relatively small sub-sets and in a unified way compete with other bands for what is available. If all the hominids in pre-historic Africa were blessed with your consciousness, they would have sought to join together as one single band, and then starved together.

What is this obsession with us all getting together?

I'm quite sure that a very large group of people would have to alter their fundamental beliefs in order to meet your requirements for grand unification. Unless there are no absolutely no exceptions for your unifying design, it will simply be a matter of them trading their exceptions for yours... if they crave your acknowledging unity with them.

Love and devotion for one's country will lead to a division between groups unless everyone lives in the same country, however there's nothing wrong with divisiveness per se.

There are few groups more homogenous than professional athletes, and yet their livelihood is dependent upon division, not unity. Of course sports teams are not trying to kill one another, but they are competing with each other for limited resources. Not only is it not so horrible a state of affairs, it’s what makes so many of us enjoy watching them.

I think you need to examine your thoughts on patriotism. It is not nationalism, and it certainly is not jingoism, and because some folks who you find noxious and who you believe are nationalist or jingoists, call themselves patriots, shouldn't mean a row of beans to you.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:13 am
@ossobuco,
But don't you see that you have accepted a defintion of patriotism ("in the usual sense") that assumes the patriot (or at least the US version) to be bellicose?

maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:20 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn,

Do you believe that Barack Obama is a patriotic American?

And, if yes, does that unify you?

To answer your questions, I am a humanist. I believe in human rights and honestly I don't care about Americans any more than I care about anyone else.

I think the idea of patriotism, as you describe it, is mostly silly. That I should care more about people simply because they fall in some arbitrary geographical lines doesn't make much sense to me. Frankly, most people from Missouri or Georgia don't mean anything to me since culturally I am in many ways closer to people from Ontario.

I do care deeply about family and community. And sure, I have an affinity for people who like the music I like or share my outlook on things.

But unity is for people who share my values. There is a big proportion of Americans that I will be unified with in any meaningful way. This is true for you as well.

I love the values that I believe that American was founded on. I love our multiculturalism. I love free speech and our ability to have diverse opinions. I love that we are expanding our idea of freedom to new groups.

Strangely even the things we love about America divide us rather than unify us.

Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:46 am
@maxdancona,
Considering his presidency to date, it's not obvious to me that he is patriotic, but I won't be so churlish as to assert that he doesn't love his country.

I think he loves himself much more, but that could be beside the point.

I certainly think he considers himself a patriot.

Unify me with what or whom?

I have found over the last 41 years that I am never more of an American patriot than when I am abroad.

During my first trip to Europe at age 16, I was a long haired hippie who got in a fist fight (actually I got my ass handed to me) with a bunch of French fops who insisted that all of the young American men who served in Vietnam were "baby-killers." I suggested to them that their ill feelings towards America might have something to do with the fact that we saved their asses in two World Wars.

Some years later I found myself strongly defending a president who I hadn't voted for and who was far from my favorite Chief Executive. On one such occassion I was in a pub in Chester and found myself united with a fellow American who had voted for the president and thought he was great.



Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 01:56 am
@maxdancona,
Max wrote:
I am a humanist. I believe in human rights and honestly I don't care about Americans any more than I care about anyone else.

I think the idea of patriotism, as you describe it, is mostly silly. That I should care more about people simply because they fall in some arbitrary geographical lines doesn't make much sense to me. Frankly, most people from Missouri or Georgia don't mean anything to me since culturally I am in many ways closer to people from Ontario.

I do care deeply about family and community. And sure, I have an affinity for people who like the music I like or share my outlook on things.


You care about your community but think that love of country is silly?

Apparently you live in that one perfect place in America where everyone in your community shares your values.

The difference between Americans who live in Missouri or Georgia and people who live in Bejing or Barcelona is hardly of an arbitrary making.

If the United States was attacked by a foreign army tomorrow, who do you think would share your concern, fear and outrage more? People who live in Missouri and Georgia, or people who live in Ontario?





0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Jul, 2011 02:17 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
I can't deny that patriotism is a good thing to have in a barroom argument.

But I don't this unity thing. You are unified with people who agree with you. But this isn't patriotism, everyone is unified with people who agree with them. If you were unified in any non-trivial way with Americans you disagree with, that would mean something.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jul, 2011 10:47 pm
@maxdancona,
Well, my argument with the French Dandies wasn't in a bar. I guess you would not have a problem with their insisting that all American servicemen in Vietnam were "baby killers."

Obviously, there must be a commonality for unity to take place.

Your notion that it is possible and preferable among people who have nothing in common is ridiculous.

Clearly, you pine for a world in which our simply being human is the only commonality required for unity.

Compared to the unity that flows from being members of the same sub-sets of Humanity, your dream unity is virtually non-existent.

It's more like it that you pine for a world in which agreeing with Max is the sole basis for unity.

Liberals, clearly, shun the term "patriotism," the way vampires shun the sun, and yet how many of them really include conservatives, who retain their beliefs, in their vision of unity?

It is rich indeed to see well ensconced tribalists decrying tribalism.

For months after 9/11, almost no one who took pride and comfort in their identity as an American questioned the politics of those who shared their experience.

You sneer at Fox, but if you had watched it post-9/11, you would have seen Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes on the very same page for weeks and weeks.

It was love of country that united these two who were deliberately paired because of the differences in their world views.

Let's take your humanism to a logical extension:

How is unity based on humanity not divisive when it comes to the fate of life on earth? Should not our unifying identity be Terran life form, child of Gaia?

Or are you OK with the value of our unity excluding elephants, elm trees and snail darters?

C'mon, you have the lofty vision, can it not rise to encompass all of life on earth? Patriotism is base and divisive but Specism is not?

Let's say I've persuaded you and unity must be based on earthly life forms and not just humanity, will the discovery of extra-terrestrial life render that conceit base and divisive? What if the movies from the 50's were right and aliens will come as conquerers not fellow celestial life forms?

BTW - if you read sci-fi you will know that contemporary authors like Bear and Benford returned to the paranoia of the 50's relative to aliens.

There's no guarantee that ET, when he comes to visit, will be the sort of creature that children naturally feel compelled to save from the Big Bad American Military ( have you seen Super 8?).

Considering the vastness of space and the eons involved in travel from one galaxy to another, it makes more sense that our introduction to aliens will be killer machines launched on the universe eons ago, than the cute and curious benign and biological visitor.

This could happen tomorrow, 500 years from now or never. If it happens in your lifetime how will it effect your notion of unity and tribalism?

I expect you will dismiss this argument as fanciful, at best, but let's consider a much more likely scenario: a United States in ultimate decline (weakened by patriotism and conservatives) is invaded, in whole or in part, by the new Powers (like China which has always eschewed nationalism). What might be an acceptable patriotic response for you, and how would it, nevertheless, defy unity?


who took pride and comfort in their American identity

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Jul, 2011 11:36 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I see other's take on patriotism, many many many, innumerable, others, as bellicose.
OmSigDAVID
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 01:12 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Considering his presidency to date, it's not obvious to me that he is patriotic,
but I won't be so churlish as to assert that he doesn't love his country.
WHICH is his country??
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 04:10 pm
@ossobuco,
So do I, but that doesn't mean we reject the notion of patriotism as a positive force do we?
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 04:21 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:

Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Considering his presidency to date, it's not obvious to me that he is patriotic,
but I won't be so churlish as to assert that he doesn't love his country.
WHICH is his country??


I think it's pretty clear that his country is the US. Now, whether he sees being a World citizen as on a higher plane than being a citizen of the US, is something I'm not sure about.

I think he loves America much the way a son loves an alcoholic father or a father loves a criminal son.

Whether he loves his country more than he loves himself, is something I seriously doubt.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 04:32 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
If you don't love the country where you presently hold a permanent address, then why not?


I love the landscape where I grew up. Rocks and trees and water.

Love that combo, breathe easier wherever I find that particular hardscrabble combo. I love it as much in Maine as I do here.

I'm glad the hamburgers emigrated to Canada, but I'm not sure I can say I love Canada. I definitely don't like the direction it's headed politically.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 05:53 pm
@ehBeth,
Anyone who demands that you love Canada or an American loves America is being stupid.

If Canada continues down the political path you so dislike at present, you could move to any other "hard scrabble" environ throughout the world. Perhaps not Maine, but I suspect such places exist in the Ukraine or elsewhere.

Of course you don't have to move from Canada if you don't want to, irrespective of the measure of love you have for it, but I think we all agree that our chances for personal happiness increase if we live in an environment we can say we love.

Perhaps you love your family, or your job, or indoor plumbing more that you love "hard scrabble" environs.

You don't, as far as I'm concerned, have to love your country. If you don't it's more your loss than mine. Live where you want and love or hate your home as you see fit. What I can't abide, is the idiotic notion that not only is loving your country not a good thing it is a bad thing.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 18 Jul, 2011 08:03 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I've been told by family that the area between my hometown and Montreal is very much like parts of Siberia. I suspect I'd like the physical environment there quite a bit.

~~~

I was responding to the thread title.

I'm not sure what most of your post is about. Not going to bother to try to figure it or its inspiration out.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 03:55 pm
I love the music of my country - it could only have come from there:
from this:


to this:



and everything before, after and in-between especially this because when I hear this song I think of my grandma's hands playing gospel on the piano and making biscuits - wouldn't have happened anywhere else that way except in my own country:

0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 04:24 pm
@ehBeth,
Suit yourself
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 04:34 pm
I love the music of my country so much that I'm driving eight hours to go to Perth Scotland to attend the Southern Fried Music Festival in Perth Scotland - I'm gonna see the blind boys and Lyle Lovett (a fellow Texan) in freaking Scotland this weekend - can't WAIT:



only an American could have written this song- that's such an american thing to say - 'Kiss my ass I've got a boat - I'm riding out to sea.'
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 05:14 pm
@aidan,
Love Lyle and this song.

He, like me, cringes when he think about Roy marrying Dale.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Jul, 2011 05:43 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Yeah, and I cringed when he married Julia Roberts - I knew it wouldn't work out. But she turned out alright I guess - and so did he - so all's well that ends well.
 

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