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American Patriotism is Misunderstood

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posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 01:35 PM
reply to post by nenothtu

What is Nationalism? Its definition is inextricably linked to the definition of nation: "a large aggregate of people united by common descent, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory" (Oxford English Dictionary). It is important to distinguish nation from state. They are not the same thing, even though we speak of the nation state, which is a political state comprised, ideally, of a single nation, where membership of this single nation is determined by descent, culture or language.

This idea of "descent, culture or language" is a bit cumbersome, but fortunately the English language blesses us with a shorthand term for this: ethnicity. There is a technical distinction between ethnicity and race - race is more about biology - but they are forever linked in the mind of the racist as the basis of what makes him different to the hated Other.

It's easy to see how the sentiment underlying racism - the belief that one race is intrinsically superior to another - is a kind of pure prejudice that can be, and almost universally is, applied to groups defined by factors other than race, such as gender and sexuality: sexism is the belief that one gender is intrinsically superior to another. Is there really any difference between sexism and racism here? The object of prejudice is different, but the sentiment isn't. These "isms" are all unjustified prejudice, distilled into pure form. And here's the point:

Nationalism is just another "ism".

Is it a coincidence that the BNP (the British National Party) and the Nazis (National Socialists) are vicious racists? Of course not. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that the belief that your nation is intrinsically better than another is plain old racism. The distinction is maintained by piling universal scorn on racism but none on nationalism.

posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 05:40 PM
I think of myself as patriotic. But, that doesn't mean "blind patriotism" Blind Patriotism being whatever is done by the country is ok because its done by the country.

For example I was reading this thread..

Where the TSA is putting agents on buses. Stopping people, etc, etc..

To me, that is wrong. It is NOT what America is about. It goes against everything this nation stands for and everything that made it great. That's what I believe. I believe my government is in the wrong on this. I believe that by feeling that and saying that - I'm a patriot.

Whatever your country is. Being a patriot is not standing by your country no matter what it does. It is believing in it enough to cheer when it does great things. But it also is being willing to stand up and raise your voice when it swerves from what it should be. Its standing for the ideals the nation was founded on - not blind obedience to the government or flag that makes a patriot.

That's what I think. I think my country does some great things. I think my country does some horrible things. I think because I believe in the ideals it was founded on enough to be moved by both that I am a patriot.

posted on Apr, 20 2012 @ 05:43 PM
reply to post by Ericthenewbie

The core of "Racism" is built right into the word - race.

The core of "nationalism" is built right into the word - nation.

They are not the same, no matter what sort of hoops and contortions one jumps through in order to try to make it so.

The United States, as a nation, is distinct from the government - the United States, the State. Both are composed of a multiplicity of races and ethnicities, although the State and the Nation are frequently at adds with one another. There is no "U.S. race" or "U.S. ethnicity", and so U.S. patriotism - allegiance or devotion to that nation - can in no way be twisted into "racism".

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