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Old 04-13-2011, 10:38 PM
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Default Patriotism, Division, and Countries

Patriotism, Division, and Countries

-> I would REALLY like to make clear that this is NOT an insult upon a patriots intellect- Moreso a questioning of why they are patriotic. I've had to delete some posters posts because of their inability to understand the point. I am more than happy for you to disagree with me- However any posts seeking to start a flame-war will be deleted. Thank you.

One thing I will always find hard to comprehend, is how people can devote themselves to placing pride in something. I'm tired of all the different places in the world always trying to raise themselves above what they truly are.

I'll start by insulting my own country. Britain. I don't care what we've been through, what gave us the idea of going around telling everyone how great we are. Everyone refers to Britain as 'great' Britain. The currency I use is GBP, Great British Pounds. It's even official.

Though I must say, and I'm not just being selective- A country that also irritates me with their constant speeches on how good they are is America. Even when Barack Obama was made president.

"I am proud to be president of the greatest country on Earth."

Who gave America that title? I certainly didn't. There is no such thing as 'the greatest country on Earth'. It's like saying "I have the best emotion on Earth!" - What? How? A country is an abstract principle. Not a physical thing. In reality we are all just on different places on the Earth. There's no reason to be *proud* of where you are on this planet. Only when aliens invade this planet will the human race realise that we are all essentially on the same 'mound of dirt' and that 'country' or 'no country', we're still 'human'.

And as the reader can probably tell from the previous paragraph, I'm also hugely against leaders of places. The automatic response for when I say "I don't believe in authority." is "Without authority this world would tear apart."

Well... Not necessarily. I've pretty much dropped all beliefs that were drilled into my head by authority figures from when I was a child, and not forgetting the fact that I was pushed through a religious school. I certainly don't believe in teaching a child something, without telling them the reason. When people ask "Why do I have to do this?" and the reply is "Because." or "It's the rules."- I have a mental-facepalm. I've now become what is referred to as Labelless, which rather ironically is a label. But still, the closest I come to, ideas-wise is Nihilism. Specifically existential nihilism. I don't believe that 'countries' should be taken so seriously. I'm alright with the label for the reason of recognition and recognition ONLY. I'm certainly can't be in the presence of, in real life, anyone who has been brought up to be proud of their country -and- will defend it, disregarding logic to the point of brawling. Religion, Countries, Football teams- There are so many things that are heavily defended with pride.

If you're truly proud, then keep it to yourself. If you feel the need to tell others that you're proud. (even if indirectly) Then just how proud are you. It's almost a "Pride doesn't mean anything if no-one is there to watch me express it."

I am reminded of the warcraft lore, where Saurfang (a warrior) has a son, and his son tries to kill the man who is causing destruction to the entire planet. His son dies by the sword of this man. But Saurfang is filled with pride. To quote the lore directly "Saurfangs heart swells with pride." That is healthy pride. Keeping it to himself, a silent respect.

But even if one does learn to control their pride- It's still quite a dangerous thing to hold close to you. There are some people whom attend the same school as me who will clench onto their pride with every last fiber of their being. No exaggeration. There's a child (no names will be given) whom when he lost in a game of 'dodge-ball', ran around in circles shouting profane comments towards members of staff. What's the point? I don't understand this way of thinking.

Pride seems to have come along with sentience, and as a result, I find animals (excluding humans) to be of the most favourable company. With animals, there is no pride, only survival instinct.

To some people, reading through this may prove to be infuriating, even to the point at which you want to rant back. I welcome any rants or comments, but I must make the point:

This was not intended as an attack on anything specific. My intentions are purely to spark debate- Not to make anyone go blind with rage.
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Last edited by Mune; 04-18-2011 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:58 PM
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I feel like the argument for patriotism is a strong sense or belief in the values of a certain nation. As in, "I'm proud to be an American because I believe in freedom and equality!" I hear that stuff all the time. It gets annoying fast.
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Old 04-13-2011, 11:50 PM
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I've thought this a number of times too, and I think caveman expressed the main reason people feel pride (that and maybe a country's history).

But seeing as how people don't get to chose where they're born, and most have nothing to do with establishing the values of a certain country, I think in most cases it doesn't make much sense and can end up being dangerous.

I remember someone saying that being proud of a country was like being proud of being a certain height (or something like that... it was some comedian... I think.....)
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:12 AM
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^ It was George Carlin, I believe.







National pride holds no value to me, either. We're all just players on the genetic craps-game that is birth. The only reason you are where you are is because you just happened to be in that location when you popped out.

Here's what I think of my fellow Americans who always spout about "American exceptionalism." Look, you're not special. If we're so special, why are 1 in 6 of us going hungry, the wealth gap growing, our entire social system being torn apart, and our environment being raped and pillaged? Does that sound like the work of a so called "exceptional" country?

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Old 04-14-2011, 01:35 AM
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What needs to happen is for us to stop thinking of ourselves as separate groups but as one.

I like Alan's avatar a lot as it reminds me:




We need to stop classifying other people as "coming from across the border" or "the enemy," "one of them" or "one of those people." Instead without question, we need to starting thinking of everyone as "one of us."

Last edited by Banefull; 04-14-2011 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
What needs to happen is for us to stop thinking of ourselves as separate groups but as one.

I like Alan's avatar a lot as it reminds me:




We need to stop classifying other people as "coming from across the border" or "the enemy," "one of them" or "one of those people." Instead without question, we need to starting thinking of everyone as "one of us."
I agree. One thing that can arise out of an "us vs them" mentality is the dehumanization of those that we conceive as being part of a different group. When someone dehumanizes someone else in their own mind, it becomes easier to treat that person as subhuman. Examples of this are things like the concentration camps in Nazi Germany and the Abu Ghraib situation during the second war in Iraq a few years back.

Other than that, I never really understood the whole "our country is the greatest" mindset. What is "greatest"? How does one measure such a thing?
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:19 AM
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There's certainly no sense in putting down another person just because he or she happens to be a [insert national identity here]. Or assuming that you're better by comparison.

To paraphrase what one man once said:

Quote:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a world where they will not be judged by the nation of their birth but by the content of their character.

Okay, let me type something a little longer here. At first I was gonna say that I totally agree with you (Mune) and that I see no reason to be proud of something you can't control, like your sex or ethnicity. It's just who you are, that's it, and you should be proud of the things that you choose to be and do.

But then, I started thinking of some past figures whom I am associated with because I happen to be an American, and I thought "Do I not feel proud, glad, or happy to be in the same group as him and/or her?" I then thought to write that everyone should be allowed to celebrate outstanding people and achievements from their own country and feel a proud connection unique to them. (At the same time, I was going to say that some measures should be taken to not get excessively boastful about one's country; for every positive person I can think of from country x I can think of a negative one too.)

But then I read Baneful's post (and saw Alan's avatar) and then thought that all those great people I was thinking of that each country could claim as their own...well, they should be celebrated not as great __________s, but rather as great human beings.

So I've gone back to what I was originally going to say about feeling national pride. More and more, we need to stop looking at the flags over each other's homes and start looking at the home we all happen to live in together.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:34 AM
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'Great' is to differentiate it from the other, historical Britain, by the way, as well as the fact that technically it's a supernational entity

Either way... Countries are an interesting thing. There's nothing wrong with groups of people inherently,or even with reasonable pride - while I don't take it to excessive levels, I am proud of our achievements in everything from technology to exploration to influence - but it doesn't make any one the greatest anything.
As caveman said, values can certainly make someone proud, but not the country itself. After all, as many criticisms of America as I have, they still have some excellent ones- while their political system leaves a lot to be desired, it is still more democratic than many, and they have excellent concepts such as freedom of speech and separation of church and state, which are honestly what the world needs.
Theoretically, the world could go on without them, although it would need huge changes, particularly in certain areas of the world, with people who simply do not accept democracy and individual rights. If it is actually practical though, I doubt it.
It may be completely random chance as to nationality, but that doesn't mean that whereever someone is, they can't work for change, for a united world.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:51 AM
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You can't change the past ma tsmukan, its the way things roll in the 21st century.

(my country (USA) is called "the greatest country on earth" because we are/were the leading economic power, the leading military power, the most nukes (not the best reasons)
gave the most aid to other countries, helped keep peace in countless places, and brought many insane dictators and rulers to justice. The land of the free, home of the brave. (good reasons)
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:32 AM
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X..Pandora..X - The fact that I had to edit your post because you posted your patriotic post in black in an attempt to 'hide' it. (I'm guessing) Do you have shame in your pride? {Not an insult attempt, a serious question- Provided the circumstance}

Those are all good things, Pandora, although not backed up with *proof* of any kind.

Let me ask you, have -you- took part in any of that? Or do you just happen to be proud of the country you were born in. I assure you, if you were born in India- You'd be saying the same about India.
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Last edited by Mune; 04-18-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x.,.pandora.,.x View Post
the most nukes
This couldn't be further from the truth. The United States currently owns 9,600 nuclear weapons, while Russia currently owns 16,800.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mune View Post
Let me ask you, have -you- took part in any of that? Or do you just happen to be proud of the country you were born in. I assure you, if you were born in India- You'd be saying the same about India.
Makes me think of something Shakespeare wrote. "Tis but thy name that is my enemy; Thou art thyself, though not a Montague. What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot, Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What's in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title".We are all just humans. Regardless of where we come from.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:23 PM
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USA #1 in foreign aid? By reasonable measures it is 17th; see Pro-science: Is USA the biggest foreign aid donor? .

People like to form teams and affinity groups so they have something to belong to that they can compare to another group. The only time significant numbers of people are going to identify themselves primarily as citizens of Earth is when we get invaded by another planet. Countries are the most visible signs of this tendency to self-divide. Even the Na'vi formed clans.

The United States has by far the best story of any country on Earth. The struggle for freedom, self-determination, the pursuit of happiness - it's the stuff of Disney theme park rides and endless stirring movies. It is worth dying for. It communicates itself so well, the meme has got independent legs now and the legend is almost certainly at odds with the actual history of the USA in some respects. It is certainly at odds with how the USA has conducted itself in increasingly despicable and underhanded terms on the world stage since World War II, but the meme is so strong that the public perception of the USA is still mostly driven by and matching that favorable image. It's like the old saying about how an attractive lie can be out of bed and halfway across town before the truth has got its pants on.
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Old 04-18-2011, 05:14 AM
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I suppose if you are tribal you feel a deep connection to the land. For example, In Australia, the Aboriginals see the land as their spiritual home, their ancestors from the dreamtime and a deep part of themselves. Then they would see the land as something to be proud of.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:48 AM
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The U.S. says its the greatest country on earth, but I feel its a way to "brainwash/lie" to its citizens & hopeful immigrants. They say its the "land of oppurtunity" where they tax you on honest hard earned money (excuse me, CURRENCY), & need a license for this, a permit for that & expensive healthcare costs that come out of pocket. Everytime a new immigrant is granted citizenship they're trapped in this prison/tax system.

We're told this so those who are "asleep" & potential immigrants will want to come/stay here & support & go along with the gov's policies/rules/agenda. I believe this country is the biggest scam on human beings to steal wealth thru a failing dollar (search: fiat currency) from its citizens & give it to big corporations/military ind.complex/elite.

Within this next year, I will be renoucing my U.S. citizenship & when its set in motion I will start a thread on my experience.

(will try to attach a vid that generally explains some of my fealings)

The American Dream By The Provocateur Network - YouTube
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:34 AM
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I agree here, and it makes me sad more than angry because if everyone who is upset just leaves, what will get better? Who will be here to make it better? We have such a stalemate government that I feel like the whole country will collapse before anything changes.
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