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  1. #21
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I've met quite a few supposedly intelligent people over the years who have argued to me that it's wrong not to support your country- even if it's royally f-ing things up.

    I've been informed that the real meaning of patriotism is to stick by your country no matter what it does (kind of like "stand by your man" I guess), and that my criticism of certain decisions made by the government means that I'm not a patriotic citizen.

    Is criticizing your country a lack of patriotism or a form of it?

    Are there times when a citizen should STFU and support what thier country is doing even if they disagree?

    While one should criticize when something is wrong, the country always comes first when push comes to shove.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  2. #22
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    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.
    This can be seen as a perversion of patriotism.

    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.
    This is certainly a good point. However, as I said, patriotism moves from the bottom up. Much like how Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were both commanded by conscience and loyalty to fight for their native states against the Union.

    Much like looking after your more immediate family before your extended family.

    And seperation need not necessarily lead to conflict(even though it often does); if anything it can provide the basis for a more geniune bond to emerge. Forced unity often creates more disunity.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    This can be seen as a perversion of patriotism.
    Agreed. When X and Y accuse each other of treason, that is when tyranny is born.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  4. #24
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Agreed. When X and Y accuse each other of treason, that is when tyranny is born.
    That's pretty much the context in which Samuel Johnson famously stated that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. He wasn't talking about patriotism, but the scoundrel who perverts it.

  5. #25
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    This is certainly a good point. However, as I said, patriotism moves from the bottom up. Much like how Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were both commanded by conscience and loyalty to fight for their native states against the Union.
    I think that is where the problem lies. Why is loyalty a positive thing to fight for? Now, loyalty as a bucket for "I agree in these ideologies and I believe I am doing the right thing" is something I can get on board with... but out of sheer loyalty, to me, means "right or wrong"!

    I always think of gangs and the circle of violence when this comes up. Loyalty to a gang is almost always tribalism at work (your perversion, IMO). I don't see loyalty and conscience to be positive then, but I also don't see a difference, other than ideology (which we tend to disagree with others on anyway.)

  6. #26
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Pe: yeah, that's the problem of really big countries or really diverse countries. Just look at the british isles... I seriously doubt that there isn't a tiny little voice in every man or woman from Scotland, Wales, Cornwall and Ireland that whispers about independence.
    After almost an eon of troubles, invasions and occupation, this shit still sticks. Time and again, the shit hits the fan.

    I'm kind of happy Scotland has a great deal of autonomy, though. But i'm kind of sad to see what many scottish people caused in Ireland. Scottish highland regiments are among the most hated people among the irish republicans, because they consider them traitors fighting for their own foe... And the scottish settlers that went there a few hundred years ago... That's just fucked up. If my presence really helped to fuck up things in, let's say sweden, i'd move. Seriously, the scotts-irish protestants in northern ireland is the bloody splinter that causes the infection, and it can't end any other way than them dead or gone. Just because we have it fairly well now doesn't mean that the troubles won't start again, big-time.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I think that is where the problem lies. Why is loyalty a positive thing to fight for? Now, loyalty as a bucket for "I agree in these ideologies and I believe I am doing the right thing" is something I can get on board with... but out of sheer loyalty, to me, means "right or wrong"!
    I'm not sure there can be such a thing as "sheer loyalty". Doesn't loyalty require something to be loyal to? Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee may have held views that are distasteful today, but they were still fighting for a principle, even if it was a crappy one. Gang members are loyal to the gang because a gang can provide things that an individual cannot. In the case of a gang member, you're being loyal because you receive benefits from your association with the group. I'm not sure that's a principle, strictly speaking. But it's a logical decision.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  8. #28
    Sniffles
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    This will be my last post in this thread for tonight. I'm getting a little too tired to be engaging in full length discussions at this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Why is loyalty a positive thing to fight for?
    Well in one sense, loyalty is what binds people together. Without loyalty, the only means of having people get along together is through mere arbitrary means. That's one distinction between Gemeinschaft("community") and Gesellschaft("society") as Ferdinand Tönnies articulated.

    Now, loyalty as a bucket for "I agree in these ideologies and I believe I am doing the right thing" is something I can get on board with... but out of sheer loyalty, to me, means "right or wrong"!
    It seem you're operating on the notion of loyalty being about voluntary contracts. Although that may apply in certain circumstances like business transactions, it doesn't apply when it comes to families and communities.

    In those and many other cases, loyalty and coscience is actually involuntary.

    However, I'm not in the best of moods to articulate upon this complicated matter. So I'll leave it there and let others address the question at hand.

  9. #29
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    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.
    I'll need to think about this a bit more in terms of how to phrase what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    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.
    I think your answer here highlights the very different level of thinking about this. My reaction would be mind your own business for that particular example - because it seems to be driven entirely by self-interest, and also doesn't take into account the big picture implications for the whole world of dropping tariffs for the US (eg I'd need to think about whether the US reciprocated to the same degree, what are the short term and long term impacts for each country for dropping trade tariffs, could it destabilise a particular country, could it cause short or long term hardship for each country involved etc etc).

    When I vote or have opinions about other elections such as the US, self-interest really doesn't come in to it for me. I vote against politicians who promise tax breaks and other ways of increasing my personal income if that party also has policies that are a detriment to the whole of the country or to our relationships with other parts of the world, or will be detrimental to other countries.

    If your comment was 'don't vote for politician X in your country because s/he is viewed very negatively elsewhere in the world, and that politician's foreign policy will destabilise nearby nations and jeopardise important international negotiations' I will take that on board and research it, and I'd be glad for that extra piece of information because it can be hard to find objective information about how your own country is viewed in other parts of the world. If it turns out that's a widespread point of view, it will influence my vote because that's the sort of thing I think deeply about before I vote in a particular way - and I don't just think about it just before an election, I'm thinking and analysing it all the way through an electoral term.

    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.
    See above. I think it is all more intertwined than it seems on the surface, and it matters to the US's personal interest how their leader is viewed internationally - you will get much further in international negotiations (including discussions about trade tariffs, linking back to your earlier comment) if you have a leader that the rest of the world is willing to talk to and negotiate with. I think the international opinion of your politicians should matter to you for this reason.

    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.
    I don't see it just as a personal responsibility. Countries and nations are intertwined these days.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  10. #30
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    I think it's fine and good to speak up when you disagree with the actions of the government, but I think it can be done respectfully and without sweeping condemnation. Some of the vile things I have heard spewed by Iraq war protesters about President Bush do nothing to advance their cause in my view and just make them look foolish and extreme.
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