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Thread: My country, right or wrong?

  1. #31
    Per Ardua Array Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    May 2007


    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?
    There is a big difference between supporting your country and not criticizing it. A parent supports their child, but that doesn't mean that they back them on every stupid thing they do. The government is like a child and parent rolled into one minus half of the brains and 3 limbs. I think "supporting your country" is necessary for the social fabric/maintenance of the country. Sometimes supporting it means opposition to ridiculousness. You have to realize the difference between "country" and "ruling party."

    Also, I've read no other replies to the OP yet...
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  2. #32
    scourge Array miss fortune's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Well, one of the great things about a more open country is the ability to dissent

    Have I attended anti-war protests against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Yes- I thought that such actions were damaging our country, our people and our image around the world

    This is me speaking my opinion- which I don't find to be un-patriotic, because blind patriotism is the most dangerous kind- questioning and protesting that which you see to be damaging is a right that should be taken.

    On the other hand- selling nuclear secrets to the enemy is a bit over the line

    I always loved how Molly Ivins managed to be pro-American without being pro-whatever administration was in power. Her 4th of July columns were my favorites- celebrating Americans- not the stereotype that the rest of the world develops of us or our government, but the people themselves. That's a good example of what I consider to be patriotism- love, but not blindly
    Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom? -Terry Pratchett

  3. #33


    I like Bill Kauffman's take on the issue in his column "My America vs. the Empire":
    "There are two Americas: the televised America, known and hated by the world, and the rest of us. The former is a factitious creation whose strange gods include "Sex and the City," accentless TV anchorpeople, Dick Cheney, Rosie O'Donnell, "Friends," and the Department of Homeland Security. It is real enough--cross it and you'll learn more than you want to know about weapons of mass destruction--but it has no heart, no soul, no connection to the thousand and one real Americas that produced Zora Neale Hurston and Jack Kerouac and Saint Dorothy Day and the Mighty Casey who has struck out.

    I am of the other America, the unseen America, the America undreamt of by the foreigners who hate my country without knowing a single thing about it. Ours is a land of volunteer fire departments, of baseball, of wizened spinsters who instead of sitting around whining about their goddamned osteoporosis write and self-publish books on the histories of their little towns, of the farmwives and grain merchants and parsons and drunkards who made their places live.

    We are the America that suffers in wartime: we do the dying, the paying of taxes, we supply the million unfortunate sons (and now daughters) who are sent hither and yon in what amounts to a vast government uprooting of the populace. Militarism and empire are the enemies of small-town America, not only because some native sons come home in bodybags but also for the desolating fact that many never come home at all. They are scattered to the winds, sent out--by force or enticement of state--in the great American diaspora, never to return to the places that gave them nurture....

    ...So no, I do not feel "ashamed" of my country, for America, as John Fogerty understood, is not Bush or Cheney or Lieberman or Kerry but my friends, my neighbors, and yes, the Grand Canyon, too. Even better, it is the little canyon and the rude stream and Tom Sawyer's cave and all those places whose names we know, whose myths we have memorized, and whose existence remains quite beyond the ken of the Department of Homeland Security.

    Will Rogers, an American of the old school, once said, "America has a great habit of always talking about protecting American Interests in some foreign country. Protect 'em here at Home! There is more American Interests right here than anywhere."

    The Men in Grey who rule the televised America won't protect American interests because they have no interest in America. It's up to us provincials. What's it gonna be, fellow hicks: serve the empire or preserve the street where you live?"

    Bill Kauffman: My America vs. the Empire

  4. #34


    I like that Kauffman piece, Peguy. It's a little homespun and treacly, but it makes a very important point.
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  5. #35
    Courage is immortality Array Valiant's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Yeah. Kind of holds some truth.

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

  6. #36
    Senior Member Array Anonymous's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I'm very suspicious of patriotism and nationalism in general. I understand where it comes from and why it's there from an evolutionary point, but I think that it's really more maladaptive now that we live in societies of 300 million people rather than 50. But naturally, it's not just going to disappear, as it's as genuine an emotion as the feeling of jealousy or joy.

    On the topic of foreign input, I'm all for this. I'm also all for more global democracy and organization, such as the UN.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Array wildcat's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    The street lights.
    A beautiful spectacle.
    The highways are well lit, too. Day and night.

    The street lights, the park lights, the lights on the highways.. are burning, day and night, month after month, year after year.

    The energy company is a state monopoly.
    The more energy you use, the more cash flows in. Who pockets the cash?
    The directors, and their friends. The options and the dividends are huge.
    Who are the friends? The politicians and the civil servants.

    The street lights look weird in the sunshine. So what?
    Act as if you never noticed.

    In Nazi Germany neighbours dissappeared in the night.
    Nobody noticed.

    Patriotism is blindness.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Array millerm277's Avatar
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    Feb 2008


    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'd say that it's the complete opposite. You should try to improve your country, not say "I agree with anything it does".
    I-95%, S-84%, T-89%, P-84%

  9. #39
    Senior Member Array Maabus1999's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Well the founding fathers do say, in short, it is the right and patriotic duty for citizens to question their government. Without criticism, how do you improve? Plus complacency leads to an unraveling of some type sooner or later.

  10. #40
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Default Love the sinner, but hate the sin

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I like Bill Kauffman's take on the issue in his column "My America vs. the Empire":
    With Peguy, you must always remember to love the sinner but hate the sin.

    And you must remember - I insist - that if President Teddy Roosevelt had not colonised the Philippines, we would be speaking Japanese in Oz today.

    If Teddy hadn't colonised the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur would never have said, "I shall return", to the Philippines.

    And the American Fleet would never have sailed in harm's way, in the Coral Sea, down the East Coast of Oz.

    And the first great Aircraft Carrier battle would never have been fought. And we would have had to fight the Japanese on the beaches of Oz.

    Peguy commits the sin of Isolationism, a constant temptation to those around him.

    And the sin of Isolationism can only be redeemed by the virtue of Engagement, as it has been done so many times in the past.

    What can I say? In this most populous region of the world, we welcome your Engagement and rely on it.

    In fact we have a formal Engagement called ANZUS.

    But Perguy would break our engagement off. This would be a sin of incalculable proportions.

    Nonetheless, it is important to love the sinner, Peguy, but to hate his sin.
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