It is not enough that the others are other; we have to see them as a threat - at the very least to 'our way of life', perhaps to our jobs, even to our daughters. When Europe's overseas colonies sought independence, the only rhetoric to hand was that of nationalism. It had well served the unifiers of Italy and Germany in the nineteenth century which in turn prepared the way for some of their activities in the twentieth century , and we see a number of the ex-colonial nations going the same way today.
The idea of nationalism turns on that of a 'nation'. The word is meaningless: all 'nations' are mongrel, a mixture of so many immigrations and mixings of peoples over time that the idea of ethnicity is largely comical, except in places where the boast has to be either that the community there remained so remote and disengaged, or so conquered, for the greater part of history, that it succeeded in keeping its gene pool 'pure' a cynic might say 'inbred'.
Much nonsense is talked about nations as entities: Emerson spoke of the 'genius' of a nation as something separate from its numerical citizens; Giraudoux described the 'spirit of a nation' as 'the look in its eyes'; other such meaningless assertions abound. Nations are artificial constructs, their boundaries drawn in the blood of past wars.
And one should not confuse culture and nationality: there is no country on earth which is not home to more than one different but usually coexisting culture. Cultural heritage is not the same thing as national identity. The blindness of people who fall for nationalistic demagoguery is surprising. This book is an excellent read. An interesting web site with a strong anti-war message and thoughtful views on the real meaning of patriotism can be found at Birdman's Anti-War Page. Derived from the Greek kputrios "of one's fathers" or patris one's fatherland" the Oxford English Dictionary defines a patriot as "one who disinterestedly or self-sacrificingly exerts himself to promote the well-being of his country.
In other words, a patriot stood for the rights of local self-government and was opposed to tyrannical rule-even by his own king. Thus, true patriotism is the impulse to defend one's land, country or way of life against unjust governmental oppression. From Ben Johnson Gustave Herve calls patriotism "a superstition, one far more injurious, brutal and inhumane than religion". Patriotism, he said, is artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods. It is a superstition that has robbed man of his dignity, self-respect and increased his arrogance and conceit.
Those born within this little spot consider themselves superior, nobler, more esteemed and more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. The inhabitants outside that little spot reason in the same manner, of course. To sustain the equilibrium of such territories, countless laws and regulations are imposed, rendering humans to a prison-like state of affairs. Patriotism provokes a psychology of hatred for those outside those territories.
Several bogeymen are portrayed by the government of the day as enemies attempting to destroy peace and harmony. Lee came down later in broad daylight to scattered cheers and a brass band.
But he still rides in Richmond and Baltimore and across the South. After the fall of Communism, you could fill acres of empty warehouses with stone plinths that once propped up Lenin. We could just pave them over, make welcoming parks and fill old squares with new music. Patriotism only serves the master. To say I love this country is a lie. At the heart of all humans is just the desire to live and let live without hurting anybody in the process.
And to love and be loved once in a while. Greed calls for nation states, official languages and skin colors. Closed borders. The idea that there is not enough to share with our neighbors: air, water, good schools and jobs; is not true. The Anti-Patriots see through the binary web of language. I played Fire Emblem: Fates , a video game, without playing the game that came before it, Awakening. The characters Inigo, Severa, and Owain reappear in Fates under different names and a different mission, but with memories of what transpired before, and they talk about the war they went through, the one that killed their parents and ruined their country and took so much away from them.
I sympathized, I empathized, but I cannot imagine; I was not there; I did not see the carnage, the sorrow, the outrage. It worked out that it was theirs to fight, not mine. And if you follow the plot of the game you realize it was for neither king nor country—the American, the Western tradition of patriotism—but for their friends, the people they loved, for a future they all went back in time to desperately try and prevent. This all might seem extremely useless, a gamer getting feels like we do, a glorified Tumblr post, but then:.
She was fighting a war I wanted to be there for, like Inigo, Severa, and Owain. I wanted to know the conflict; I wanted to fight that fight, and be a part of it, not just sympathizing and empathizing but helping, too. Anything—anything to see his wife again, to make sure his buddies were safe.
He was a true patriot, but behind the lightning, in paradox, he was no patriot at all. Through the miasmic blood-choked twilight of the battlefield there is only you, and the people you love, and the people you miss. As Nazi Germany demonstrated, too much patriotism for a fatherland can have genocidal consequences.
Yet too little, and the nation succumbs to its enemies or fades into irrelevance. By definition, it demands fealty to the father while altogether ignoring the mother. A country, however, is no less a motherland than a fatherland. Its citizens, therefore, should be both patriots and—for lack of a better term— matriots. Embracing matriotism would force us to confront questions such as: 1 Is my country a nurturer?
What would we learn from tackling these questions? Our country is nothing like a human body. It is an amorphous, genderless ethos that men, women, and the spectrum in between collectively perpetuate.
In the end, we would reject both patriotism and matriotism. The 40s and 50s were not quiet years. Americans were sucking through a McCarthian morass of suspicion and fear while the Republican-majority Congress was legislating away homegrown communism. They do not come in peace. Driven by their own government, in most cases.
They share much with the Silent Generation, in fact, so named because global war, fascism, and paranoia inured them into silence. One body. No borders, but those of the colonizers. I reject the notion of patriotism. The idea of one group of citizens from one country are superior to another is false. Starting right now.
How Do You Define Patriotism? - CBS News
Starting yesterday. I was not there, to fight their war with them. My father and I waited patiently for her in the car. She returned in tears, about how much she missed him, so much more to ask him. But it was not my war to fight.