Displaying Patriotism

Discussion in 'Other Discussions' started by ysabel, May 23, 2009.

  1. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    It's the 60th anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany and an article caught my attention about German pride.

    I didn't realise how patriotism was affected so much by that point of their history. When I was in the US, I noticed that patriotism has increased noticeably after the events of Sept 11. Flags were everywhere and there's a stronger sense of 'proud to be American' when I talk to my friends. It's not something I see often here, except maybe during World Cup or Euro Cup moments. It's amazing how football can do that, haha.

    Anyway, do you think an upsurge of publicly displayed patriotism can be divisive? For example, I also noticed that there seems to be a feeling of pressure to conform to another's brand of patriotism. And we hear of judgemental statements implying "If your ways are not like my ways, or your political views are not like mine, you are unpatriotic." I'm sure several Americans who were against the Iraq war were told something similar. Maybe it's not patriotism itself which is bad but its use to manipulate others to conform to specific views. Or maybe when patriotism is in fact nationalism...
    A patriot is proud of his country in a benign sense in that he respects it. Patriots are devoted to causes greater than themselves. A nationalist, on the other hand, usually identifies with causes as extensions of himself. A nationalist -sometimes called a superpatriot—can be fanatical. The nationalist usually views contrary opinions and other cultures as threats.
    Are you proud of your country? How do you display patriotism? Or are you more a private patriot?
    Sim likes this.

  2. Altanzitarron

    Altanzitarron Tamer Of The LOLzilla

    I'm not really a patriotic person to be honest. The way I see it, I could have been born anywhere. I've always found extreme patriotism to be a bit much and discrimination disguised as patriotism is unacceptable. By all means take pride in where you come from but only if you can recognise everyones right to do so, not just within your own nation.
    ysabel likes this.
  3. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris blue 3

    The term "patriotism" is used way to much in my opinion. For example the fanatics that say "if you don't do believe this then you're a terrorist!" You hear it all the time, from both democrats and republicans alike. Frankly, it's annoying.

    There's a difference between loving your country and blind hate. And (atleast in America) I think the term Patriotism is used for the later.

    Do I love my country, yes, because that is where my family lives. Am I proud of everything that is "America," no. But I love what it embodies. I love the concepts we try to live by.
    Altanzitarron and ysabel like this.
  4. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    Ysabel, thank you very much for posting this ... I didn't see your posting before I just posted the thread about Germany's 60th anniversary.

    Regarding your question:

    I think patriotism is nothing bad in itself, but it can easily, very easily because a means of discrimination, the way you describe it. The moment a person is no longer just proud of his or her country, but begins looking down on others, patriotism becomes divisive.

    People may easily overlook and ignore the flaws that exist in the own country and even start labelling those who point them out as "traitors", "unpatriotic" or even "enemy sympathizers". Governments may use rhetorics like these to rally support for severe acts of tyranny or human right violations -- and to damage democracy by ostracizing legitimate opposition. This is right out of the Nazi playbook and was excessively done in 1933 Germany, but it works anywhere else if there is a "patriotic" tradition -- especially in post-9/11 America. The worst kind of human right violations and acts of authoritarianism by the Bush regime were wrapped in the flag, and many Americans bought it. Opposition was accused of being "anti-American", as if damaging democracy and human rights was "American", and accused of "supporting terrorism".

    FOX News constantly did that and continues doing so, people like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and many other pundits did -- and nobody even seemed to realize this was the very exact same tactic the Nazis used to gain power in 1933. Instead, every critical mind was accused of lacking patriotism, as if being critical and questioning the government was not the very basis of freedom and democracy.

    A positive patriotism is good -- when it's a positive identification with the values and goals of the own "team", like when it comes to pride of solving a particular problem like civil rights restrictions, goals on the field of environmentalism, a healthy economy and so on. There is nothing wrong with being proud the own country achieved to end discrimination, to push up the own economy, to win in sports competitions or to protect the environment.

    But the moment it becomes an end in itself, the mere pride of being who you are just for the sake of it, it inevitably comes along with devaluation of others, with ignorance of existing problems and shortcomings, and it is the ideal tool for authoritarian leaders to increase a tyrannic state, to silence democratic opposition, to fuel hatred of people who are different.

    To find the right balance is a tightrope walk, because the evil side is just as inherent to patriotism as is the inspiring, good side -- you cannot have one without the other.

    My two cents.
    Last edited: May 23, 2009
    ysabel likes this.
  5. ExpectantlyIronic

    ExpectantlyIronic e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑

    I'll openly say I'm a patriot, but I'm not the flag-waving type. Nor do I associate patriotism with my political ideology. I just really like America, despite its many faults. I think you can use flag-waving to divide and push nationalistic sentiments, often to the ends of trying to push a war, but honest patriotism isn't (or doesn't need to be) so in-your-face, I think.
  6. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I also read an article in Time magazine regarding the war over patriotism. It makes an interesting point how conservatives and liberals need each other when it comes to patriotism because love of country requires both affirmation and criticism.
  7. micfranklin

    micfranklin Eviscerator

    I can't exactly call myself a patriot because by definition it means I love my country and would do anything for it, yet I've already stated I refuse to enlist in the military. In fact my only actual "displays" of patriotism include standing up during the singing of the national anthem, which to me has been overplayed and overused since 9/11, and I have not said the pledge of allegiance since the start of high school.

    Really I'm surprised no one's screamed "you hate America you terrorist-loving bastard!" to my face, given the times we're in.
  8. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I wouldn't enlist in the military either even if they were desperate for people. I remember a thread about it before and I replied I'd stay at home.
  9. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    I had contemplated joining the Military many many times. Even talked to a Navy and an Air Force Recruiter. My interest was solely out of Pride and the "what can I do for my country that has done so much for me" type emotions. As EI said, he doesn't feel the In-Your-Face patriotism is needed, I agree. There are much more relevant and meaningful ways to display Patriotism and Pride.

    I'm proud of where I'm from, I not a fan of the ideals and mindset of my recognized region and I'll gladly say so when asked. But still You'll never spot me ever Burning a California Flag. I Love the concept of democracy and what we stand for, so even the things that I disagree with that become law, more often than not I oblige to them and will follow them until its time to work on overturning them.

    I dont feel my version of Patriotism is negative. I dont believe it leads to radical jingoistic happenings as my Patriotism doesnt replace my knowledge of what is Right and Wrong.
    CaptainObvious likes this.
  10. CaptainObvious

    CaptainObvious Son of Liberty V.I.P.

    I am patriotic and believe in everything my country stands for. That doesn't mean I agree with everything America does, after all dissent is patriotic. I agree with EI in that I don't think in your face patriotism is needed however.

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