Can patriotism make you blind to shortcomings?
What does patriotism make you feel about your enemies?
I don't subscribe to the delusional belief that patriotism is only bad if you're an American. Furthermore, I don't subscribe to the belief that N. Korea and places just like it are merely misunderstood little utopias that America is oppressing. If there was ever a loaded question, I think you just asked it.
it is not clear if your are asking about the shortcomings in relation to the U.S. government, or in relationship to the enemies of the government?
Looking at N.Korea today, there is no hatred toward the people of Korea, just trepidation for what their young and inexperienced new leader might do to the already unstable global society.
Looking at the U.S. government - probably there is some truth to people being blind to the shortcomings of the government. Patriotism in the respect of being proud to be an American, is not necessarily diminished by the shortcomings of the leaders of this country. Being blind to the shortcomings of the leaders, and not knowing what the shortcomings are, is are two different matters.
to clarify: i know that johnny is not from the U.S. But i did assume that the ?? was in regards to the current rhetoric between the US and N.Korea. Otherwise my comments were quite generic.
Thanks DW, please see my latest comment.
Yes and that there are people from every country on the planet who have these shortcomings. I also think a lot of people think patriotism and nationalism are synonymous and that is where the problem starts,
Interesting answer, Justsilvie. Could you enlarge on the difference as you see it?
I think Orwel defined it best. Nationalism is the feeling that your way of life, country, or ethnic group are superior to others and you have a love it or leave it mindset. These feelings lead a group to attempt to impose their morality on others.
Two of the other three answers here appear to assume Jonny is 1) an American 2) concerned primarily or exclusively with American patriotism. Come. com lads--let us expand our horizons! Jonny's question is generic and includes all of history, where the real lesson lies. At the height of its empire, Rome's armies had not only the most efficient military strategies in the world, but the most efficient internal propaganda system in the world. To be NOT Roman was to be inferior, despicable, and treacherous. ALL non-Romans wanted to be Romans, therefore were hated as potential usurpers of the State. Etc. etc. Jesus and his adherents were not reviled for religious reasons but for POLITICAL reasons. He and his were hated as enemies of the pax romana. If you want your people at every level to endorse campaigns against some other entity, drumming up hatred is an excellent strategy. History of thousands of years--not just this N. Korean kid pouting in his sandbox--has confirmed that. .
Thanks for answering everyone. I was moved to ask the question having read a Hub about people getting perplexed over a perceived decline in respect for the United States, both without and within the country, but particularly the latter.
It is of course correct that I am not American. However, having come from British birth and background, and having been able to look at our British history and view honestly some of its shortcomings, I believe that advancement can only come about when a nations's people can step back and "take a good look at themselves."
That "stepping back" involves a wilingness to drop some of the false pride and to not be afraid of a little self-criticism. Yes, this can apply to the United States people, but not exclusively so; and I am not trying to be insulting, just giving food for thought in a positive way.
Patriotism is a disease of the heart. It's like being a fan of a particular sports team: meaningless but for its power to subject you to manipulation for the benefit of others.
I am fortunate in my life to have very few enemies. Patriotism has no influence over my feelings about them. None happens to be a rival nation-state, so it is inapplicable.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the politician................
We all crave a sense of belonging probably because being part of a group, be it family, extended family, tribe or, latterly, nation has been a huge benefit to us as individuals. Why else would we be wired to crave it. Patriotism is an interesting extension of this principle because it allows people who would otherwise have nothing in common feel a sense of togetherness. It is that feeling that works for us and it does tend to override many other things, including many shortcomings. So short anser to this interesting question is yes, absolutely.
This is a very interesting question, as it necessarily forces any individual engaged in solving this internal dilemma to examine their personal understanding of the word "patriotism". Quite obviously, jingoism, imperialism, or unreasonable notions of one's nation holding claim to a "manifest destiny" should be omitted when analyzing this problem. However, the opinions that denizens of a given state hold towards a supposed enemy seem to reflect the view of these individual's perception of their own country. For example, there is an apparent trend of powerful nations treating their enemies with a degree of harshness contingent on the differences between the two cultures in historically significant and documented conflicts. The question then arises: where does one draw the line between nationalism, cultural pride, and patriotism? In my opinion, patriotism can be defined in a relatively narrow fashion as political and cultural loyalty towards one's state, this being illuminated by having faith in the virtues and benefits of your own way of life, simultaneously recognizing the essential absence of any attitude of superiority towards other nations or cultures who may enjoy practices that differ from your own social or political standards, those that may offend you by their very performance or observation. Depending on one's country of residence, values, and personal opinions, it appears that aggressive nations exhibiting historical trends of a cultural emphasis on power and domination seem to feature an overall public opinion geared towards annihilating their enemies, while the opposite will generally be true of states containing a population raised and conditioned to be a peaceful culture. An additional factor to take into consideration would be the degree with which a state's opponent has secured their categorization as such, the obvious example being the axis powers in World War Two held in comparison to the vastly unpopular Vietnam war. This query was quite intellectually stimulating, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ensuing deliberation of this matter.
Thank you, Thaddeus. You have prompted my mind to look back on the between-wars Germany where, disregarding what went on before WW1, the people needed a "saviour," got a group of people they could hate and felt, as a result, very patriotic.
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