evil starts when you put things ahead of people

@jb78000 (15178)
November 19, 2009 6:40am CST
acknowledgements to terry pratchett (a very entertaining writer with a good understanding of humanity) for this idea. ok money and possessions are obvious but things also includes ideas. a couple have already been discussed at some length - religious and political ideaologies - so here is number three. patriotism. or rather mindless unquestioning patriotism. now there is nothing wrong with having some national pride but once it starts becoming unquestioning (sometimes as a result of early indoctrination, for example pledging allegence to your flag etc, sometimes from other factors) it can be dangerous. wars are started(it is a way to get soldiers motivated, right or wrong), viciousness towards foreigners can arise (look at how the bnp use this in the uk), it can be used as justification for interering with other nations (we know best!), as a handy way to fire people up (look at all the accusations of 'of you think this you are anti-american' flying around)and sometimes more harmlessly it just looks silly (my country is THE GREATEST!). so when do you think patrotism goes too far in your country?
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5 responses
@ElanaS1 (15)
• United States
19 Nov 09
Here in the U.S. we experienced several years where, if you did not agree with the conservative values and the policies of the then-president, people would say you were not patriotic. It was a "if you're not with us you're against us" attitude that was quite painful to the rest of us, who loved our country but just disagreed with policy. I am not a fan of nationalism. Every country has their own identity. It's great to appreciate your country for what it offers but it is never a good thing to think you reign superior over others.
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@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
19 Nov 09
And now we have a back lash of the same sentiments from the other side. It would be nice if both sides would stop and see that they are all being led down the garden path to totalitarinism and tyranny, wouldn't it?
@jb78000 (15178)
19 Nov 09
it seems to be a particularly charged statement to call whoever you disagree with 'antiamerican', gets everybody's blood boiling. wouldn't really work here but there are some other countries where it would. the usa is not alone with this one.
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
19 Nov 09
jb....I consider myself a patriotic American. I hope you know me well enough to say that I do not support my government blindly, nor do I unquestionably defend all of it's practices and policies. It is not the government that is the country. My patriotism is based on my love of the people, the land, and the ideal that was America. Sadly, as you well know, I believe that all that is being destroyed and taken from us by our government. Perhaps this is why you are seeing such strong emotion from many Americans. Many of us here on myLot feel we are being betrayed by our leaders in a most profound way. We do not want to loose what has given us life, liberty and the ability to pursue our happiness. We are in a most tumultuous period in our country. And our emotions are high. Let's not foget too, that we have been painted - as individuals, with a very black brush by some in the larger world, for things our government is responsible for, not us as individuals. YOu know, the 'ugly American' picture some have been sold. Often times our responses to 'foreigners' are just a defensive reaction to this misconception some hold of us.
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@jb78000 (15178)
19 Nov 09
i know you are not a mindless patriot deb. also you do know that some responses to foreigners, even if they arise purely from defensiveness, do not exactly help to dispell the stereotype you are referring to?
@celticeagle (112880)
• Boise, Idaho
20 Nov 09
My daughter has read a whole score of Terry Pratchett books. She really enjoyed them. Mindless unquestioning patriotism is much like religion and early indoctrination into those. I don't think patriotism really does every go too far. I think when it is forced on people that doen't care to go there then it is too much. I was taught patriotism going up. I accepted it for the most part and adopted into my adult life. If I hadn't agreed with it all I would not have.
@jb78000 (15178)
20 Nov 09
i'd tend to agree - on the whole it can be harmless but when children are indoctinated very early you can expect problems. to be honest when i found out about your country's practise of getting little children to pledge allegience in school i thought this was sinister. national pride in thinking adults prepared to question however appears to be fine to me. disclaimer,please put down those flagpoles. this discussion is more general than you think
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@celticeagle (112880)
• Boise, Idaho
20 Nov 09
I was brought up pledging alegence. Never had a problem with it. I think it could be done and not be a big deal as long as all are not made to and you have the right to chose. That is where I get testy is when it is just expected and that shouldn't enter in to it at all.
@dawnald (84129)
• Shingle Springs, California
19 Nov 09
Patriotism goes too far when we are blindly defending things our country has done (is doing) that are clearly wrong.
@debrakcarey (19925)
• United States
19 Nov 09
It was a big step for me to take to finally have the courage to look into our governments involvement in 9/11. I admire people who can admit to the mistakes, but still love their country and it's ideals.
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@jb78000 (15178)
19 Nov 09
dawn - i agree that is going overboard. takes the popular hobby of not questioning way too far. debi. hey debi admires debi!
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@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
20 Nov 09
Hi Jb...patriotism goes to far when people are blinded and rendered stupidfied by it. It's gone too far when one is willing to sacrifice decency, morals, and common sense to blindly support a political party or a government who has anything but the true welfare of its citizens at heart. Karen
@jb78000 (15178)
20 Nov 09
nicely put karen.