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  1. #11
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    That's how I see it, although I actually really dislike the word 'patriot'. I'd rather use the word 'citizen'.
    Well it's ok to have preferences, but in reality being a 'citizen' and being a 'patriot' are one and the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I always tend to see my country as an extended family.
    You're correct to do so, since patriot derives from Patria which does means family. In every sense, your country is your extended family.

    That's why I react very strongly when I see people say things like "I'm ashamed to be American" or "not MY president", or when they travel to Europe and pretend to be Canadian. Things like that aren't patriotic, they're ways of distancing yourself. Would you say your brother is not your brother because he did something wrong?
    Yes I agree. You can't pick and choose who your family is.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I don't have much pride in my country, because I think the pride one should feel doesn't come from large scale indirect bonds. I believe it comes close to home - pride in having a good household, pride in your school, pride in your block and so forth. However, I do not have pride because of their name, but because of what they do and my part in it.
    Patriotism is more about love than pride. And yes, patriotism moves from the bottom up - not the top down.

    As Edmund Burke noted:
    "We begin our public affections in families. No cold relation is the zealous citizen. We pass on to our neighborhoods and our provincial connections. These are our inns and resting places. Such division of our country as have been formed by habit and not by sudden jerk of authority are so many little images of the great country in which the heart is found something it could fill. The love to the whole is not extinguished by this subordinate partiality...To love the little platoon we belong to in society is the first principle of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind."

  3. #13
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    I always tend to see my country as an extended family. That's why I react very strongly when I see people say things like "I'm ashamed to be American" or "not MY president", or when they travel to Europe and pretend to be Canadian. Things like that aren't patriotic, they're ways of distancing yourself. Would you say your brother is not your brother because he did something wrong?
    Some things aren't forgiveable - it doesn't matter whether it's your family who did it or not. Either actual families or your analogy. For example, murder is murder regardless whether you have kinship bonds with the murderer or not. I think that's what people have trouble with - that some US citizens (not all) seem to have the opinion that the US can do no wrong because it's the US, whereas if other countries did those things it would be seen as unacceptable.

    This is also why I didn't appreciate unsolicited advice from around the world on how to vote. If my brother screws up, it's okay for me to yell at him. We're family. It's not okay for you to do it.
    This is has been stated in other threads, but the external interest in US politics is precisely because of the US's influence and impact on the rest of the world. Using your analogy, I prefer to see the entire world as my family, not just my country. Perhaps that's where the difference lies. I see myself as a citizen of the world, with a responsibility to the world on top of being a citizen of my country with a responsibility to my country. We're all in this together - it's not just about one country.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Take it to an extreme - if your brother killed someone, would you turn him in? Or rationalise it?
    A good question. I guess I didn't make a perfect analogy. I suppose my answer would be that I would turn him in, because my brother is one man, and past a certain point one man is beyond help. But a country is never beyond help, because a country is made up of many men and its leadership changes.

    I don't have much pride in my country, because I think the pride one should feel doesn't come from large scale indirect bonds. I believe it comes close to home - pride in having a good household, pride in your school, pride in your block and so forth. However, I do not have pride because of their name, but because of what they do and my part in it.
    A country is just your school or your block writ large. Your bond with some random guy from Calgary is no more indirect than you bond with a guy who happens to move into your neighborhood or a child that happens to be born in the same school district as your children. I do not have pride borne of nomenclature, I have pride because of ideas and people.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  5. #15
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Patriotism is more about love than pride. And yes, patriotism moves from the bottom up - not the top down.
    I would say "should" not "does". It's a complicated thing though, since the measurements of what we "love" is subjective. A great deal of people "love" the US, but have very different ideas of what makes their country great... and unfortunately, a great deal of them don't take pride in what they do that should make it great, either because they don't agree on what it should be or just don't care.

    You get into a situation where half the people "love" their country because it is (x), and the other half because of (y). Should (y) love their country when (x) is leading?

    The problem is that (x) becomes what the country is to (x)ers and people skip out everything that leads to (x). The identification isn't love at all, or even pride. It is too often just tribalism and the virtue of supporting something goes away when that happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    A country is just your school or your block writ large. Your bond with some random guy from Calgary is no more indirect than you bond with a guy who happens to move into your neighborhood or a child that happens to be born in the same school district as your children. I do not have pride borne of nomenclature, I have pride because of ideas and people.
    Ah, we differ then, because I disagree strongly with this. I take in pride in what I can do, so I am much closer to my neighbour if we go out and clean up the school than if I happen to be in political agreement to someone who voted a thousand kilometers away. Likewise, I am closer to someone on the other side of the planet if we work together to improve life somewhere else. If my country is not part of my work, or significantly against what I believe in, then I have no pride or love for it. As it happens, I tend to like my country and support most of what it does, but my influence and work is miniscule and I feel I should have no pride in it if I am not contributing. It feels the same if it is my country or another country doing these things.

    That's why I don't agree with the response to my original question too - if my neighbour decided to do something I disagree with, individually or in a group, I have no pride (love) in being part of it. I can only identify my part in the whole. I am not going to base my view or reactions based on nomenclature, but rather on the personal values and actions the individuals take.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bluebell View Post
    This is has been stated in other threads, but the external interest in US politics is precisely because of the US's influence and impact on the rest of the world. Using your analogy, I prefer to see the entire world as my family, not just my country. Perhaps that's where the difference lies. I see myself as a citizen of the world, with a responsibility to the world on top of being a citizen of my country with a responsibility to my country. We're all in this together - it's not just about one country.
    I understand the argument about the influence of the US around the world, I do. But the fact remains that when we vote in an election for our leader, we have to choose who is best for us. (In the case of this election, our interests intersected with the interests of the world at large, but that's just happenstance.) His charge is to serve the interests of the citizens of the US, not the citizens of the world. Ideally, those interests are not at odds, but sometimes they are. What would be said if I urged Australians to vote for a particular candidate in their elections because he pledged to reduce tariffs on goods from the US? I'm fairly sure that most Australians would tell me to mind my business. And why would they? Because I'm not concerned with how their own election affects them, just with how it affects me. Don't get me wrong, I think we can (and should) learn things from our neighbors around the world. I don't think we have all the answers. I just think that if someone holds an opinion on an election in a country they are not a citizen of, that opinion is likely to be serving different interests than the electorate of the country in question.

    I share your view of the world, in that we are all in this together. It's truer every day. And I feel a responsibility to fellow humans of any nationality. But that's a personal responsibility, not a responsibility as an American. When there is an election for President of Earth, I will happily vote with the entire world's interests at heart.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  7. #17
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I would say "should" not "does". It's a complicated thing though, since the measurements of what we "love" is subjective. A great deal of people "love" the US, but have very different ideas of what makes their country great... and unfortunately, a great deal of them don't take pride in what they do that should make it great, either because they don't agree on what it should be or just don't care.

    You get into a situation where half the people "love" their country because it is (x), and the other half because of (y). Should (y) love their country when (x) is leading?

    The problem is that (x) becomes what the country is to (x)ers and people skip out everything that leads to (x). The identification isn't love at all, or even pride. It is too often just tribalism and the virtue of supporting something goes away when that happens.
    On one level I would say that the people you describe "admire" not "love" their country. You admire something for reasons, you cant love something for specific reasons.

    Second, certainly the interests and ideas of X and Y will conflict. Hence why any geniune sense of patriotism has to be built upon the concept of Federalism or subsidiarity. These principles are built upon the concept of seeing the country as a community of communities.

    So essentially the conflict of interests between x and y are lessen to the greatest possible extent and still keep the country together. If that's not possible, then the legitimate question should arise of whether x and y should be together at all or go their seperate ways - very much like how the Czechs and Slovaks decided to do.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Ah, we differ then, because I disagree strongly with this. I take in pride in what I can do, so I am much closer to my neighbour if we go out and clean up the school than if I happen to be in political agreement to someone who voted a thousand kilometers away. Likewise, I am closer to someone on the other side of the planet if we work together to improve life somewhere else. If my country is not part of my work, or significantly against what I believe in, then I have no pride or love for it. As it happens, I tend to like my country and support most of what it does, but my influence and work is miniscule and I feel I should have no pride in it if I am not contributing. It feels the same if it is my country or another country doing these things.

    That's why I don't agree with the response to my original question too - if my neighbour decided to do something I disagree with, individually or in a group, I have no pride (love) in being part of it. I can only identify my part in the whole. I am not going to base my view or reactions based on nomenclature, but rather on the personal values and actions the individuals take.
    I guess maybe I'll take the tack of translating my large scale idea to your small scale example, the example of working together with neighbors. Let's say you belong a neighborhood watch group, and you find out that one of the members took some money from burglars to inform them when people are not at home. Is the neighborhood watch something to not be proud of, or is it the offending member? Do you allow that corrupt member to define what the group means? I should hope not. You established the group for the collective safety of the neighborhood, a noble goal. And that's still what it means even if someone disgraces it. You just have to work to make sure that the group reflects the ideals it was founded on as best you can. Ideas are bigger than people, and they remain while people come and go. That's why I can be proud of my country even if people do bad things in its name. Because the idea of my country will outlive those that disgrace it.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  9. #19
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    So essentially the conflict of interests between x and y are lessen to the greatest possible extent and still keep the country together. If that's not possible, then the legitimate question should arise of whether x and y should be together at all or go their seperate ways - very much like how the Czechs and Slovaks decided to do.
    I tend to agree with you here. However, most people would say that you are a traitor if you don't agree with (x) or (y), whichever camp they could be. And seperating a country is a pretty big way of saying you don't love it, no? I mean, the equivalent would virtually be divorce, if the analogy was to personal relationships.

    I have no problem defining "love" in that way, mind you, but I think it is due to our agreement that "My country, right or wrong" is not appropriate. A lot of people view "love" as unconditional, and that I/we don't agree with.

  10. #20
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Great analogy!

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Is the neighborhood watch something to not be proud of, or is it the offending member?
    The member!

    Do you allow that corrupt member to define what the group means?
    No. However, the *actions* of the group once they find out will define what the group means.

    If the group decides to to rogue, then the group ceases to lose meaning, and I couldn't identify with it. If the group does nothing, then the pride is gone. My view on it is not defined by its state purpose, but by what purpose the actions give it.

    I do, however, agree there is a strong connection between stated purpose and actions, but my judgment comes from the actions, believing they are the final measure of any stated purpose.

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