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The Disease of Mindless Patriotism, My Thoughts

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posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 03:31 PM
Disease: Noun : A condition or tendency, as of society, regarded as abnormal and harmful.

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. ~Voltaire

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. ~James Bryce

Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them! ~Albert Einstein


I am troubled by what I see these days (Actually its been building for some time). We seem to have become infected with a disease. Its insidious and its easily manipulated by those with their own agendas. That disease my friends is mindless patriotism. This manipulation is almost impossible to see by those infected, however to many of us it is readily apparent.

I was born and grew up in this country. I learned about patriotism from my parents, my community, my scouting experience, and my life experience. I learned patriotism from my Grandfather who fought in WWII, I learned that all of the world citizens feel that inherent pride that comes from being part of a collective that is a country. I can still remember sitting in front of our TV chanting USA, USA, USA when a bunch of no name amateur hockey players pulled off the biggest upset in sports the world had ever seen. Our living room on that dramatic day was a microcosm of America itself. Iranians, Indians, native American, people who all got their start in other countries united by their patriotism for their new one. Patriotism can take many forms and no matter how mundane personal patriotism is at the core of being an American. It can be as simple as planting a flag on a fallen solders grave on the forth of July to protesting a war you do not believe in. Exercising your constitutional rights is just as patriotic as flying the flag on the Fourth of July

My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its office-holders. ~Mark Twain

Patriotism has its dark side as well. I learned that is was a powerful tool and easily prone to manipulation by those that would. People in power can, and have used this sense of patriotism to manipulate and propagate their own agendas. Who can forget the tragic events of 911? But who can also forget the use of those events to propel us into a war that has no end in sight, and is setting our children and our children’s children up to pay for these and other folly’s for the rest of their lives. I’m not simply talking about money either. We have seen a moral and ethical degradation in our society and the core values we hold so dear. The inmates at Guantanamo Bay, the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the lying, cheating, and outright fabrications that occur on a daily basis in Washington all point to the same thing: We have lost our moral and ethical way. If we cannot abide by the rights and tenants of our own constitution then how can we be any better than those we decry?

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.
-James Madison

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

[edit on 8-10-2007 by Operation AJAX]

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 03:31 PM
Yet those captured by the disease of mindless patriotism will endlessly point to some sound bite or justify why we can skip certain section of the Constitutions or the Bill of Rights to suit our needs just this one time. But as we all know it won’t simply stop there and historically it has never done so. They have bought into this notion that its patriotic to all ourselves to be spied upon, to abdicate rights such as free speech, the simple ability to read a book from a library without drawing the attention of HLS, the ability to go about ones business without warrentless spying from any variety of government agencies. The simple matter is we were manipulated post 911 for a greater agenda. An agenda that is rapidly becoming apparent. It is against this backdrop that the dangers of mindless patriotism become apparent. We are at yet another Y in the short history of the United States. Both paths are fought with peril, but one will alter the principals and fundamentals that made this nation so great. Choose carefully and with an open mind.

I leave you with words from perhaps one the greatest citizens and Patriot this country has ever had; Thomas Jefferson


Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!

When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring its lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 03:40 PM
The problem is fear. 9/11 made your people, well visually it was pretty terrifying. This can easily be used with patriotism to ensure an us v them culture and anyone who questions the prez is one of them and so on. Jungian psychology and the paranoid schizophrenic part of the brain, in times of fear you trust your man more and hate the others disproprtionately more and your guantanomos pop up. This is being used to prop up an idiot of a president, frankly, and keep an extremist neo-con agenda on the go. It is in the administration's interest to keep you afraid, because it is such a balls that they don't want you asking questions. I laugh when I read people call Bush the last patriot, he is using it to hide his incompetence and is therefore undermining patriotism. Methinks..........

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 04:00 PM
One of the things that strikes me about everyone buying flags and sticking them everywheres is that the companies making the flags are in China so we are buying a product that supposedly represents freedom from and supporting with our dollars communism.

I can't understand why someone would think putting up flags and buying bumper stickers that say support the troops when not one dime of the money spent for these things go toward any programs to help the troops.

Also I can't understand why most of the people who put these support the troops stickers on everything really mean support the war and war profiteers, since they think being against the war is not supporting our troops. They can't seem to get that someone who is totally against this war also can support the troops by wanting them home with their families and also supports their getting the medical care and treatment they deserve and should get without any problem.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 04:24 PM
Mindless Patriotism = Nationalism = Never a good thing for the world.

Why I am no longer a Fascist...

Patriotism, fine, but Nationalism will never help unify us.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 05:54 PM

Originally posted by Kacen
Mindless Patriotism = Nationalism = Never a good thing for the world.

I would equate those who practice this sort of mentality to the drones working day in and day out for that pint of Victory Gin in Orwells 1984.

[edit on 10/8/07 by FredT]

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 08:07 PM

Originally posted by redled
The problem is fear. 9/11 made your people,

yes the politics of fear have been used for centuries. Hitler used it to great effect amongs the post WWI German population. Bush, or better yet the neocon clique pulling his strings, has done a masterfull job using it in 2004 to get re-elected as well.

However, he went to the well one to many times methinks and dryed it up so to speak.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 08:28 PM
Flagged and starred. Without a doubt one of the best essays I have read on ATS lately. I agree with most of your points and can only add that the powers that be have tried to equate consumerism and spending with patriotism as well.

Thread here:
Consumerism as Patriotism

Thanks for the excellent post and I look forward to reading the replies. I really do hope people will participate in this thread. Oh, and by the way, I think flag burning is a form of free speech - a form of dissent - and therefore, ultimately, an act of patriotism. Would I burn the flag? Personally, as of now, no - but I might - and I would go to the mat to defend your right to express yourself by doing so.

I will brace for the hate, even from all of my old time friends. But hey, even Obama thinks wearing a flag lapel pin is shallow. Furthermore, putting a magnetic ribbon on your car does nothing for our troops.

I might be in trouble now...

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 09:31 PM
My hat is off to the OP. This is an outstanding look at patriotism and one i have questioned and have been observing for quite some time.
Thank you for so eloquently putting this essay together my friend.

You have created a masterpiece here and i appreciate every wise word you have said.


posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by Operation AJAX

Hey great thread! :flag:

Long ago I wrote a piece titled Science proves the politically biased are legally insane and medically addicted/diseased!

Political bias is one of my favorite subjects. Over time I've taken the concept learned from what I call "Political Bias Illusion Complex" to deeper levels with other social groups also having equal "Illusion Complexes", which can even interlock to form deeper Illusion Complexes which fortify each other to form absurd lockstep kneejerk behavoirism.

Nationalism is one of the primary Illusion Complexes I speak of. Other important ones include religion, race along with the political social group affiliation. Patriotism arises from nationalism, or rather what is spoke of so frequently as "patriotism" is in fact Nationalism. There is a difference. Nationalism is comparable to the worship of The State, the government, it and its minions, our rulers who represent it, can do no wrong.

My lifestyle, that is a selfless dedeicated would-be researcher, teacher ala propagator for the greater good of my people, is true Patriotism. Not this pseudo-patriotism that GWB and the rest of the stooges of global imperialism talk about.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 09:44 PM
The sad thing is....

The mindless patriots control the military, the guns, the camps, the cops, the media,the voting machines and a huge segment of the citizenry.

It's a brave new world, welcome to the monkey house!

flag and star

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 09:58 PM
When I feel that I am fighting a lost battler everyday in my nation trying to open others minds to the truth in our nation without looking like I am losing my mind for sounding sooooo unpatriotic for no following my, for the people elected government blindly . . . OP like this reminds me that the fight is worth it.

Is people out there that are working as hard as me to enlighten the ones still in darkness.

Thank you.

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 11:43 PM

Originally posted by whaaa
The mindless patriots control the military, the guns, the camps, the cops, the media,the voting machines and a huge segment of the citizenry.

They do not controll my thoughts or my spirit. England controlled far more pre revolution than the politiocs in Washington.

Its not too late we still have some measure of controll over our destiny if we chose to use it.

We were in Phillidelphia recently and as we toured Independace hall we say a presentation in the contitution research building. The speaker issued a challange to all of us:

What have you done with your Freedoms today?

I challange all of you to reflect on that very question as I have since I heard it

[edit on 8/10/07 by Operation AJAX]

[edit on 9/10/07 by Operation AJAX]

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 11:47 PM
I believe in all my heart that this is the best country in the world. Ever enjoyed a baseball game in late summer in a small mid America town? The smells, the feel of freedom, the quiet of a warm night with a cool breeze. I have been all over the world and have yet to get a feeling close to that anywhere. We are lucky to live in the USA and I will remain a patriot no matter what. This country is what you make it, if you are smart and work hard you can live in almost heaven. If you make a mistake....move to another state and start again. If you dont like the USA leave, if you dont live here and dont like us...Well, who love my country but dont trust the gov. But that changes, every 4-8 years we get a new leader and everything goes another direction. We are not perfect, but I have a great family, nice home, new truck, safe full of guns, and money in the bank. Whats more I realize ALL of that has been paid for in blood by strong men and woman who loved this country as much as me.

As for what have I done with my freedom....

I have made a good life for me and my family...I served my country and loved every min of it.

[edit on 8-10-2007 by TXMACHINEGUNDLR]

posted on Oct, 8 2007 @ 11:56 PM
To the OP: Great post. I agree 100%

My memory fails me at the moment, but reading one of the many threads on this site, there was a poster who brought forth a quote from one of your presidents past(I think) that staes that patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to blind obedience to the government, which is how you are thought to be a patriot today.

Question the government, they work for you, not the other way around.
Do not blindly follow what the PTB say, they are only in it for money, not humanity.

Be a patriot. Oppose the BS going on in the gov't. Stand up for your rights. If it means civil disobedience, well, the time is now. Only TRUE patriots are going to save your country.

It's times like this I'm glad I live in Canada, because if I didn't, I'd probably be in jail for standing up for America.

posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 12:04 AM
I forgot to mention that the "disease" like any socially transmittable disease is technically "endemic" in general terms:

In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic (from Greek en- in or within + demos people) in a population when that infection is maintained in the population without the need for external inputs.
For an infection to be endemic, each person who becomes infected with the disease must pass it on to exactly one other person (on average).

The Media can play a bigger role in propagating relatively undue "patriotism" from time to time, and holidays can turn up the patrioitism. These cases equate to fads in underlying trends, but the rise is considered epidemic.

In epidemiology, an epidemic (from Greek epi- upon + demos people) is a classification of a disease that appears as new cases in a given human population, during a given period, at a rate that substantially exceeds what is "expected," based on recent experience

However, when events happen such as 9/11, Pearl Harbor, the burning of the Reichstagg or even many more 'petty' incidients the disease then enters pandemic levels, but will eventually return an endemic state as the craze subsides.

A pandemic (from Greek παν pan all + δήμος demos people) is an epidemic that spreads through human populations across a large region (for example a continent), or even worldwide.

posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 12:12 AM

Originally posted by TXMACHINEGUNDLR
if you dont live here and dont like us...Well, who

That's a common attitude.

It's too bad most of the world doesn't like "US". One reason is how "we" look at the world, and subject it to our imperial will. "Patriotism" fuels this, or rather justifies it / rationalizes it. That and "ethnocentrism". For example:
America's death toll on the world: 27000000++

They say that an intellgent being is defined by its ability and depth of self-awareness. It's too bad "America" (see ethnocentrism to understand my use of quotation marks) as a collective has very little self awareness of what 'it' actually is (see my sig link "A. Hegemony" if you'd like to know). Otherwise, we'd be seeing far more true patriotism and very little nationalism. Good thing 'they' control the Media and our perception.

We can all hope and pray that all that Nationalism energy will one day become true Patrioitism energy.

[edit on 9-10-2007 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]

posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 12:31 AM
reply to post by TXMACHINEGUNDLR

The OP should thank you for proving his point. In this case I will in his/her stead. Thanks for pointing out EXACTLY what s/he was saying. Always good to have an example.

posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 01:50 AM
Before I moved in to the US, I used to think that this country was perfect, so much so, than when 9/11 happen I felt that the right thing for me to do was to sign up in the military and served, left my little island after 26 years and away I went, already serve one tour in Iraq and getting ready for another and I had never regreted my decision to join the military.

This country is a great place, made by nice people, too nice if you ask me, some people here need to travel a bit to see how good the people of this country is, how well run the communities are, the cities, its all about people, the people is what makes this country great.

Now our federal government is composed of people that have agendas, public agendas and hidden agendas and is up to all of us as citizens to do our job when it comes to choose who we put in power, when I here many people here that don't live in the US talking with disdain about us, I just tell myself :"Gosh if they just come here and spend some time with the people", our federal government is not the people. We as citizens are part of the problem, 50% of the population elegible to vote don't exercise that basic right, we are talking about the most powerful position in the world.

Want to do something for your country? Start talking to someone that you might think is in that 50%, explain to them what's at stake, why is so important to vote, ask them if they plan to vote, talk and discussed candidates. That's what I do when ever I have the chance, specially when I hear someone complaining about our current situation, and then I ask them if they vote and they say no.

Another thing, research every candidate, follow the money trail, see who's supporting your candidate or all candidates, that way you going to have a clear idea on what platform he's going to stand.

Don't believe the hype that elections are a fraud, that might be what they want you to think so you don't go out and do so. More important don't give up on this wonderful country this country is ours, and we decide what direction we want it to go, for the past 7 years we have been scared and many people decide it to take it in the direction that we are now, what is going to be the next step? What direction you want this country to take now? Just don't complain about it, do something about it. And there is nothing wrong with criticizing our government, if they going the wrong direction they should be called on it, and we should demand to them to make it right.

Being a patriot can mean so many things to so many people that is a hard term to describe IMO, I have seen the term used to demean someone as if it were a bad thing and also used to elevate someone to a higher level just look at this thread no even one page long and it has already happen. We are all citizens to a nation composed of great people that can make a difference and that what matters, never forget that please.

Sorry for the long post

posted on Oct, 9 2007 @ 03:27 AM
reply to post by TXMACHINEGUNDLR

Kudos, it seems by your post you have made the most of the freedoms that our forefathers set forth for us in the past . But............

What have you done with it it today? Have you set idly by as those same freedoms have been whittled down? How the first, fourth, sixth and seventh ammendments in the Bill of Rights has been rendered null by secret courts or legislation, or simply ignored right out from under us? All that was needed was one terrorist event and the freedoms of centuries were eroded with one piece of legislation.

I too have made use of my freedom in the manner you described. I am successfull, pehaps not by Bill Gates standards, but comfortable. My family is able to enjoy food on thier table, clothing, and the luxuries the typical American middle class enjoys, but is it enough?

What do I leave for my 4 year old son? What world will he go forth into to try to provide the same for his future family? Will he enjoy the same basic, fundemental rights that you and I had? That I took for granted? based on the epidemic of minless patriotism I see everyday, I have to sadly say that unless its stopped my son will not live in the United States that I did.

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