posted on Jan, 11 2007 @ 07:03 PM
I think the problem is that you are associating patriotism with nationalism/statism.
The people of the United States are at times the victims of corruption and bad government as much as the people of any other nation.
To love one's nation is not to blindly support those problems however, but merely to acknowledge the good things we have in this nation. It is not to
deny the dangers that may exist to those good things if we do not guard them jealously against corruption, but to honor the process that has given
them to us and preserved them thus far.
I have a lot of bones to pick with a lot of powerful interests in this country. I think both political parties which have divied up our government
between themselves have behaved with often disgusting disregard for reason, civility, law and morality. Our people have allowed themselves to be
mislead into may things. Corporations act as if they own this country and I'm not so sure they're wrong (as a matter of fact that is, I know it's
not the right thing).
All that being said though, having lived here and enjoyed the level of freedom that we Americans enjoy, it'd be a cold day in hell that I put up with
Sharia law, Communist appropriation of private land, Mexican federales, even with the Japanese social sense of propriety and order. We aren't the
only good country, and I wouldn't be so arrogant as to say that we are the all-around best; I know that there are a lot of successful societies that
offer a great deal of freedom, some even a little more in line with my own social views, but this is the one that I have thrived in thus far and I'm
grateful for it.
I, like many others, express that gratitude through symbols. The symbol isn't the point, but it is a visible component of the act of expression and a
ritual through which we remind ourselves of our values.
I don't know if you've even heard of Joseph Campbell, but he wrote some books on the similiarities in and functioning principles of various
mythologies. I read a transcript of a lengthy interview he did with Bill Moyers- it was in a book called The Power of Myth. His explanation therein of
how symbols function is very good and very applicable to patriotism. It is a matter of orienting our minds in a certain direction in order to
influence our own habits of action and the way we live our lives.
We hang up our flags not because the flag is an idol to us but because it reinforces to us our value for the founding principles of this country,
however imperfect the practice of them has been, so that we will be conditioned to expect and demand them and willing to defend them.
I like the people I work with- they're educated people and they accept my sometimes odd way of doing and seeing things because they have a few of
their own too. Those neighbors are in part products of the good things which still exist in this nation and bet your hat that I respect them, that I
want what's good for them, and that I'd protect them. That's what patriotism is about if you ask me, not about blindly supporting this or that war,
or dutifully being a working drone for the colony. It's a view which has been under attack; some people would like to distort it, tell us patriotism
is something else and that it's a virtue that one absolutely must have, but I don't embrace that perverted definition of patriotism and I think
there are a lot of people who agree with me.
The nice thing about the faux patriots is that 1. They are easy to spot. 2. They aren't very pro-active for their views. The people who fall in line
and follow orders- slap a bumpersticker on their car to tell everybody that they've decided to suspend critical thinking and want others to do it
too- to hell with them.
They aren't the ones with the strength of character to defend this country and they'll never define us. A nation that they defined would quickly
bring about its own destruction. I point out Nazi Germany as an example.