You, Your Country, and Being Patriotic

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Peachy

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"Patriotism" is an evil, evil thing. Nationalism in a different package.
Hmm...I always thought nationalism is way worse than patriotism, simply because nationalism includes the negative stereotype of hating other nations while patriotism includes the (mostly) positive stereotype of liking your own nation.

In England, if you see an England flag it usually means that England are playing in some sport internationally. So the England flag is more of a sport symbol.
I can't speak for the whole country, but when I see a Union Jack* it's nearly always on someone's house, and from that I assume that means the person who lives there is a right-wing racist.
Really? Then explain this picture I took last week at the other end of Westminster Bridge in London:

(a booth selling any item of clothing you can imagine with either the Union Jack or the English flag on it)

In Germany, patriotism is a rather mixed bag of beans. WHenever you think or hear of Germany, people abroad inevitably think of the Nazis, so it's not really a good idea to go waving our flag around in other people's faces. Granted, it's been a while since the Nazis ruled the country, but they instill that idea of shame in us at such an early age that it's hard to get rid of.
In the light of that argument, everyone was surprised when stores ran out of supplies on German flags during the World Cup back in 2006. So I guess Charlie's theory applies to Germany as well, because back then, everyone flew German flags - on cars, houses, offices. I'm sure it'll be the same this summer for the Euro 2008 soccer/football championship. Other than that, people don't put their flags out and don't go parading around their nationality.
However, patriotism's most important function is to define one's nationality. And finding a common symbol is more important in places like the U.S. which consists of many different races and many people of different backgrounds. In Germany, we're pretty homogenous in terms of what we perceive to be German and who we perceive to be German. So there's not much of a point of gathering around a common symbol (a flag) or to say some stupid pledge every day. While Britain, Belgium and even CAnada have had movements of a part of the country to separate, no such ideas exist here in this country, despite the rather huge diversity in regional cultures here. So as I said - not much of a point for patriotism here. Plus we have the whole European Union thing sitting above our heads as well, which adds a bit of confusion and makes me wondering if I'm supposed to associate with my region, country, or Europe as a whole. I guess I just use whatever I feel is most convenient.

Peachy
 

Charlie

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Really? Then explain this picture I took last week at the other end of Westminster Bridge in London:
(a booth selling any item of clothing you can imagine with either the Union Jack or the English flag on it)
Well that's because London is full of tourists. :p
Isn't that basically the same as selling those "I *heart* NY" stuff in New York? Nobody who actually lives there would wear that stuff.

So we can add "tourism" to the list of stuff that the flag is used for.

My point still is that the flag isn't really a patriotic thing.
It's either for sport or tourism.

And right now, during the local elections, I see lots of houses with the Union Jack displayed in the windows, always with "Vote BNP" written underneath.
 

doubledbbw

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I am a 20 veteran of this great country! I was also born on Sept 11th. So to say I am patriotic I am very much so. I love this country and its flag. My father was in the military for 23 years and 3 wars and that's the way I was brought up. To love this land which has given us so much. I have been to 3rd world countries as well as Europe and there is no comparison to the good old USA! We may have our problems here but there is no better place to be in the world.
 

Maverick

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So, the questions:
Are you Patriotic? Why/why not?
Where do you live? Is this a Patriotic place in general?
Is being Patriotic a good thing? Can you ever be too Patriotic?
Is Patriotism twisted or misused in some ways? (For example here it seems it's used as a racist thing.)
I am patriotic because I am an American, born and raised and it would be a sin for me not to stick by my country. And while I don't always agree with our president's decisions... I would never hope for anything bad to happen to the USA.

I live in New Jersey. It's not very patriotic... I rarely see an American flag. The southern US is more patriotic than the north.

Patriotism is a wonderful thing. Everyone should be patriotic about their country. Yes, you can be too patriotic. You are too patriotic when you fail to see the bad in your country and you only see the good.
 
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If you try to be patriotic in my country people will think you are a racist ^^ all you need to do is wave the Swedish flag or have one outside your house near your window. Not that I am patriotic, I think its pretty stupid and if we all would be one big nation then some problems e.g. nationalism could change!
 

Peachy

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If you try to be patriotic in my country people will think you are a racist ^^ all you need to do is wave the Swedish flag or have one outside your house near your window. Not that I am patriotic, I think its pretty stupid and if we all would be one big nation then some problems e.g. nationalism could change!
Ha - I knew IKEA was racist! They even paint all their buildings yellow and blue! :tongueout:

However, this country is slowly but steadily getting ready for the Euro2008 (Soccer Championship)! My brother got a free flag yesterday when buying a crate of coke! :biggrin:

Peachy
 

Aidy

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This is the thing I came across in Germany that I liked. Patriotism that isn't blind. My cousins in Germany are "anarchists" which doesn't mean they want chaos it means they want a different type of government. The thing I learned from them, even though they were evil, was that patriotism is only good if you are ready to rise up against your country in order to save it from itself.

This goes more the American's who are really patriotic, if you're government goes to war with a country is it right?







I ask this because you shouldn't ever answer yes straight away and if you did you need to rethink yourself. Yes it is right if you have looked at the facts and thought it is going to help more then not going to war. But not if it's going to kill people for a bad reason.


Personally, even though I love Australia and we have so many areas we are great, there are so many things I want to change to make it even better. Taking parts of other cultures so that we have an overall better culture. So could you Netherlands people please immigrate now as you have some culture that I want, that social conscience that is sometimes missing here. (And many other countries)
And I would love to have some of the Arab culture to stem our drinking habits a bit.
Can I please have the family values of old Italy. (not sure if it's still around)
I'll take some of Japan for their ability to think further in the future, instead of just the next election.
I'll take some Canadian... just for the Ice Hockey.
and then, just to round it off, Scottish, Glasgow area, so no-one can understand a word we're saying.

http://uspatriotsunited.blogspot.com/2005/07/ten-characteristics-of-true-us-patriot.html

Read this, then I would like everyone, only from the US as this is a US True patriot, to think of their government and if they'll let them do that? (Everyone in the US should vote)

I think the problem with some patriots is that they may fight because they think they are fighting for an ideal. In the case of many US wars, freedom, but they really aren't fighting for that. They are fighting for some other purpose and freedom is the reason that is given to the soldiers in order to get them to comply. (Soldiers, by the Geneva convention, should question orders and have the right to refuse an order if they think it breaches the order.. funny how an English soldier got court martialed for doing just that)

Anyway, I'm a patriot. I want my country to be better and not at the expense of others.
 

MysteriousVisitor

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Hmm...I always thought nationalism is way worse than patriotism, simply because nationalism includes the negative stereotype of hating other nations while patriotism includes the (mostly) positive stereotype of liking your own nation.
Patriotism is Nationalism.

If you are a "patriot", then your pretty much saying that your nation is better then others just because you live there. Patriotism is the precurser to Nationalism, and it always leads to Nationalism. And Nationalism leads to Genocide.
 
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Patriotism is Nationalism.

If you are a "patriot", then your pretty much saying that your nation is better then others just because you live there. Patriotism is the precurser to Nationalism, and it always leads to Nationalism. And Nationalism leads to Genocide.
wow, just...wow
 

avery

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wow, just...wow
do you mean wow :thumbsup: or wow :thumbdown: ?

i pretty much agree with him. i think you can love the place you live and the people around you without being a nationalist, but when most americans use the word "patriotism" they're talking about nationalism. and anyone will tell you that nationalism leads to hatred, war, terrorism, and violence.
 

Dawes

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Patriotism is Nationalism.

If you are a "patriot", then your pretty much saying that your nation is better then others just because you live there. Patriotism is the precurser to Nationalism, and it always leads to Nationalism. And Nationalism leads to Genocide.
Or that could be an entirely ridiculous series of events.

Just because you're proud of where you live -- for reasons that are founded or unfounded -- does not mean that you're going to be calling other countries inferior. It does not mean that you're going to want to commit "genocide" (an absolutely inappropriate word) on others.

I am proud of where I live and of how it functions, economy and everything else be damned. Does that mean that I think that others don't have it nearly as good? Yes -- I can easily look at "third world" countries and say, "I'm very lucky." Does it mean that others don't have it nearly as good because I have it better? No. Different places function by different standards; far be it from me to assume that what I see in my country is far different from theirs.

People fling the idea of patriotism around like it's a bad word nowadays. Is it so wrong to be proud of your country and respectful of others? No. Patriotism does not involve hate; if it does, then he or she hiding behind the words needs to reconsider what they're so proud of.
 

Aidy

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Patriotism isn't wrong, it's the people who use the word to their own gain that do the wrong. Politicians use it all the time. Genocide is something that is completely different. Genocide has nothing to do with being proud of your country. It's more about thinking you're people are surperior. I can't think of a single case of modern genocide that has involved intercountry conflict.
In ww2 genocide occurred within the German territories (the places they had conquered) and it wasn't about what country you came from, but what you looked like and who you were.
Genocide occurred in Rwanda in the same country, Rwanda, because of fear caused by the government. The Hutu government used fear of the Tootsies to commit genocide.

Patriotism is used by government to stop people complaining and to justify things they do. It is used by racists as a reason for hating certain people.

It's not the idea of patriotism that's the problem. It's the people, like everything else.
 

MysteriousVisitor

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Or that could be an entirely ridiculous series of events.

Just because you're proud of where you live -- for reasons that are founded or unfounded -- does not mean that you're going to be calling other countries inferior. It does not mean that you're going to want to commit "genocide" (an absolutely inappropriate word) on others.

I am proud of where I live and of how it functions, economy and everything else be damned. Does that mean that I think that others don't have it nearly as good? Yes -- I can easily look at "third world" countries and say, "I'm very lucky." Does it mean that others don't have it nearly as good because I have it better? No. Different places function by different standards; far be it from me to assume that what I see in my country is far different from theirs.

People fling the idea of patriotism around like it's a bad word nowadays. Is it so wrong to be proud of your country and respectful of others? No. Patriotism does not involve hate; if it does, then he or she hiding behind the words needs to reconsider what they're so proud of.
Patriotism inherently involves the dehumanization of others and other nations, even if not conscious. The very fact that you "love your country" means that you do not love others as you love your own. This leads directly to the Nationalism that caused both world wars.

Patriotism is the single most evil thing ever concieved by human minds. The very idea that a group of people can somehow be superior to another group of people reflects everything bad about the human mind. More then Christianity, more then Capitalism, Nationalism is the evil that defines our existence.
 

Aidy

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Weird weird logic spark. You love something more then something and this creates hate. Kind of jedi logic :). You love and therefore you hate.

Let's apply this to people. If you love someone more then someone else does this lead you to hate others? No.

Patriotism isn't about your people being better then another people. That's racism. It's about you loving your country and, hopefully, helping to better it.

"Patriotism is the single most evil thing conceived by the human mind." Big statement there and I nearly feel stupid rebutting it. It is just too easy. Think, think hard. What other things are more evil then loving your country? How about... rape and killing, to name only two.
Then you'll say, "Oh but patriotism leads to rape and killing." Ah, no they don't. They are unacceptable parts of war which uses patriotism as an excuse. Kind of how the crusaders used religion as an excuse for the same thing.

"Nationalism is the evil that defines our existence." Do you even understand what you said there? So you're saying that people exist to promote their country above other countries? Since you said "our" you also included yourself in that group. Do YOU exist for the sole purpose of promoting your countries values, ideals, religion etc?
No, you don't.

Now "The very fact that you "love your country" means that you do not love others as you love your own."
Umm... of course. You are going to prefer some countries over others definitely. Why would you love a country like China who's government executes thousands of it's own people. Why would I love The Congo where 1600 people are lost in war related deaths for the sake of a few warlords power. Why would I love America where there are hundreds of thousands of homeless? I love Australia over other cultures and countries because it is the culture because it is part of me and I am mostly proud to be part of it?

I traveled the world and people absolutely loved me because of my country. I said I was Australian in Schaufhaussen (no-one could really understand my hideous attempt at German) and the cook came out to select a meal for me. I got invited to have dinner with an Indian (from India....) family in Innsbruck, who were also traveling, just because I was Australian. (I don't know how though. I didn't like lots of Aussies overseas)
I am proud of what my country has done (1 billion dollars worth of aid for Tsunami victims from the government and a lot from the people) and I am ashamed of many other things they have done. I am embarrassed by our policies to our own people, in particular towards low socio-economic people, and I seek to change them at all times to make our country better then it is today. I think that kind of makes me a patriot.


Heres a conundrum. Rebels in most countries call themselves "patriots." Do you think they are if they are seeking to overthrow a government that they think is bad for their country?

Once again, patriotism. Good if people accept the real meaning of patriotism and does not accept their government is an ultimate power and holds their government accountable for their actions. Our government had to apologise for something that they did 30-70 years ago because of a strong enough reaction from the people.
Bad if used by the government for evil without a strong people to stop them.
 

Dawes

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Patriotism inherently involves the dehumanization of others and other nations, even if not conscious. The very fact that you "love your country" means that you do not love others as you love your own. This leads directly to the Nationalism that caused both world wars.

Patriotism is the single most evil thing ever concieved by human minds. The very idea that a group of people can somehow be superior to another group of people reflects everything bad about the human mind. More then Christianity, more then Capitalism, Nationalism is the evil that defines our existence.
So what you're technically saying is that my being proud of my country, its history, its origins, and its relations with other nations in the world -- the bad and the good -- and being supportive of it through thick and thin, you're saying that's wrong?

Patriotism is not the measure of one group's superiority over another. Patriotism is the want and desire for one group of people -- or a person in that group of people -- to be proud of their country. Americans, be proud! Australians, be proud! Germans, be proud! You seem to connect this inherent need for a group to have its own patriotic identity, which also includes accepting and working with the patriotic identities of other countries. If no country at all had pride, then there wouldn't be countries -- nobody would give a single flying ****.

Capitalism is bad? When did Karl Marx get reborn?

Yet, I truly do cease to see where nationalism and patriotism are related. In my own known definitions of the words, they are nothing alike -- one having to deal with the collection of like cultures and subcultures in units and countries, and the other having to deal with collective country-born confidence.
 
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xdeadx

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Hmm, well just to post my feelings as of right now.

Me(Blake), My Country(USA), Being Patriotic?(F*** that)

I am not dying in some war to fill some other persons pocket full of oil money.
 

Dawes

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Remember, Blake -- Patriotism is not nor should not be considered just a matter of war. Many soldiers and veterans are patriots, yes, but that does not mean that you have to want to be a soldier or want to fight to be patriotic.
 

MysteriousVisitor

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Weird weird logic spark. You love something more then something and this creates hate. Kind of jedi logic :). You love and therefore you hate.

Let's apply this to people. If you love someone more then someone else does this lead you to hate others? No.
It means you don't love other nations as you love your own, just as you don't love your next door neighbor as you love your parents. It is human nature to classify people based on likes and dislikes. The same thing applies to Nations and States.
Patriotism isn't about your people being better then another people. That's racism. It's about you loving your country and, hopefully, helping to better it.
Again, Patriotism involves the classification of people into groups. ie, American- Nonamerican, Black-white, Woman-man.
"Patriotism is the single most evil thing conceived by the human mind." Big statement there and I nearly feel stupid rebutting it. It is just too easy. Think, think hard. What other things are more evil then loving your country? How about... rape and killing, to name only two.
"rape and killing" are the ends to Nationalism. Murder only kills one, but Nationalism can (and has) killed millions.
Then you'll say, "Oh but patriotism leads to rape and killing." Ah, no they don't. They are unacceptable parts of war which uses patriotism as an excuse. Kind of how the crusaders used religion as an excuse for the same thing.
Patriotism inevitably leads to Nationalism. You cannot seperate Nationalism and Patriotism. Batter and Cake.
"Nationalism is the evil that defines our existence." Do you even understand what you said there? So you're saying that people exist to promote their country above other countries? Since you said "our" you also included yourself in that group. Do YOU exist for the sole purpose of promoting your countries values, ideals, religion etc?
No, you don't.
No, I am saying that I am part of Humanity, and I share the responsibility to keep Nationalism from poisoning our planet. Nationalism doesn't just effect some people. The desire to classify people is inherent in all of us. We must consciously work to supress that if we want Progress.
Now "The very fact that you "love your country" means that you do not love others as you love your own."
Umm... of course. You are going to prefer some countries over others definitely. Why would you love a country like China who's government executes thousands of it's own people. Why would I love The Congo where 1600 people are lost in war related deaths for the sake of a few warlords power. Why would I love America where there are hundreds of thousands of homeless? I love Australia over other cultures and countries because it is the culture because it is part of me and I am mostly proud to be part of it?
See, you're doing it. You are classifying states and their people. Classification of people is something we cannot have if we want progress.
I traveled the world and people absolutely loved me because of my country. I said I was Australian in Schaufhaussen (no-one could really understand my hideous attempt at German) and the cook came out to select a meal for me. I got invited to have dinner with an Indian (from India....) family in Innsbruck, who were also traveling, just because I was Australian. (I don't know how though. I didn't like lots of Aussies overseas)
Not germane.
I am proud of what my country has done (1 billion dollars worth of aid for Tsunami victims from the government and a lot from the people) and I am ashamed of many other things they have done. I am embarrassed by our policies to our own people, in particular towards low socio-economic people, and I seek to change them at all times to make our country better then it is today. I think that kind of makes me a patriot.
Yes, it does. And you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting an ideology based on Nationalism.
Heres a conundrum. Rebels in most countries call themselves "patriots." Do you think they are if they are seeking to overthrow a government that they think is bad for their country?
Self-Classification is not germane.
Once again, patriotism. Good if people accept the real meaning of patriotism and does not accept their government is an ultimate power and holds their government accountable for their actions. Our government had to apologise for something that they did 30-70 years ago because of a strong enough reaction from the people.
The real meaning of Patriotism is Nationalism. Period.
Bad if used by the government for evil without a strong people to stop them.[/QUOTE]
 

MysteriousVisitor

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Capitalism is bad? When did Karl Marx get reborn?
I addressed most of your points in my previous post, but I would like to address this specifically.

Capitalism is bad. It has killed millions. Capitalism is based on the mutual opression of those below you. Capitalism is based on the idea that those who work the hardest get the least reward. How is this not bad?

Perhaps another thread?
 

Dawes

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I'm curious, then -- what would be your proposals to remedy these absolutely awful economic and political conditions?
 
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