(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it. George Bernard Shaw
The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. Mark Twain
Patriotism is a arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles
George Jean Nathan
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
Just saying you’re patriotic is like saying you have a big cock. If you have to say it, chances are it’s probably not true. Bill Maher
You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it.Malcolm X
Patriotism is the religion of Hell. James Cabell
I have always had an uneasy relationship with patriotism. As it happens I grew up in a country where the expression of was rather muted. Canadian patriotism has often been infused with a tinge of smugness: hey we aren’t American, as if that was something that conferred moral righteousness.Yay. We aren’t a British colony any more! Indeed much of the debate over Canadian nationalism has been a discussion of what Canadians aren’t. Sharing a continent with the United States can create a sort of defensive resentment that can sound petulant.
Then I moved to the United States. And I started to wonder: Does God bless America mean fuck everybody else? Is America only a “great” country if we are “number one”? Why does a country have to be smothered in greatness to be a decent one? Is patriotism like a gravy that has to be dumped on something to either cover the rancid taste or to enhance the ingredients?
I suppose my ongoing internal reverberations about patriotism have been stimulated by watching the horrific coverage of the Olympics and the realization that much of the election will be dotted by accusations and counter accusations about who is the greater patriot.
Hilarity was abundant during Olympic coverage when I noted that half the time the networks chose to focus exclusively on American who did not even medal which would have been just fine if they had showed the medal performances. Then there was the “cold war” tone when China and the US squared off in events. Do the networks think Americans are so insecure they cannot stand to watch something Americans don’t win?
Are Americans so insecure they cannot watch a sporting event in which Americans don’t win?
Certainly patriotism since the twentieth century has been shaped by the fact that the United States “won” World War II. I suppose 10 million civilians and soldiers in Russia had nothing to do with the outcome.
Add to that McCarthyism, the cold war and now the war on terror and patriotism as a fashion statement keeps re-inventing itself as fast as shifting hemlines.
The central issue that has always fascinated by is why does anybody care about being judged patriotic enough? Is that a uniquely American state or can it be found in other countries. I would guess that patriotism in other countries tends to get hyper under authoritarianism.
At some point I will likely become an American citizen and I have to say I just don’t give a rat’s ass if you think I am patriotic enough especially as long as it is defined in the context of justifying the diminishing of civil rights here and the destruction of life elsewhere.
Not long after moving here somebody asked me the inevitable: Don’t you think America is the greatest country in the world? My answer was : I don’t know I have only ever lived in North America. Certainly, I added I am grateful to have won the lottery and been born on a continent where even the worst government still provides a few services and I am not being tossed in jail for speaking out. If America isn’t the “greatest country in the world” is everybody going to move? Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad, the assholes might decide to check out a new “greatest country.”
Maybe there is a special “patriotism line” in heaven and that gets you in quicker. Actually given the number of people who think they are going to heaven and what I think of them, I won’t be upset to be excluded from the line. I am going to ask to go to the wine and cheese bar instead.
Why is a patriotic American considered more worthy than a kind American? Why does one have to be considered patriotic to be considered a “real” American?
Why will I have to listen to the candidates even talk about this infantile puree? Why do even some progressives long for America to be “great” again? Why is “greatness” the highest good for any one country? I suppose it depends entirely on how one defines “greatness.”
I just don’t get it.