By Madison S. Hughes (08.14.2011), Updated (09.22.2011)
Patriotism is a form of false pride for those who have nothing of their own of which they can be proud. It is little more than a tribal characteristic of banal instinct that provides a gratifying sensation of self-worth.
How can one be proud of being born within a particular geographical area of which they had absolutely no input? Clearly, reflective thought is not a part of this end. Reflective thought would require one to objectively evaluate the actions of their country, and the effect those actions have on them and the world as a whole. If one were to honestly do so, one, as I, would realize a great desire to expatriate to a less religious, more equitable country as one would find in Scandinavia and Western Europe.
In contemporary America, the Tea Baggers base their definition of what it is to be an American on geography and ignorance. They are not cosmopolitan by any stretch of the imagination, nor do they show any sign of cultural curiosity. They are simply demonstrating territorial instinct, as do others with similar cerebral deficits.
Patriotism to one’s country is understood, and need not be expressed. If one feels inclined to overtly express such, then one is expressing nationalism, not patriotism.
Beautifully said. Thanks for pointing me to this post.
While I agree with some of your views on patriotism, in particular about the connection with tribalism and unnecessary self-grandiosement (I have written about this myself). However, I wonder is your preference for the alternative of expatriating to a Scandanavian or European country might be somewhat naive, given the current socio-political climate of xenopobia and anti-islamist sentiment over there. Interesting blog. I shall most definitely check back.
While I agree that there is an anti-Islamist sentiment in contemporary European and Scandinavian countries, I do not agree that they are so because of xenophobic reasons. I believe these highly secular countries are responding to the great influx of Middle East refugees caused by our actions, i.e., Iraq, in the region. Most of these refugees are devout Muslims, and bring their undesired religiosity with them. I believe it is this devout religiosity that European and Scandinavian countries oppose, not their ethnicity.
yes, you are right, it is certainly caused by an opposition to devout religiousity, which has in turn been influenced and exacerbated by irrational fears of those who identify in any way with this religious identity. I suspect ‘the other’ is now being conflated with ‘the muslim’.