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NerdyKeith's avatar

What is your opinion on patriotism?

Asked by NerdyKeith (5451points) March 9th, 2016

Do you think it is a positive or a negative thing?

In my opinion it can be very much embraced like many other forms of fanaticism. For the most part, I see it as submitting to an authority and sometimes without question. From what I’ve observed by the more extreme patriots, patriotism tends to discourage individuality.

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34 Answers

kritiper's avatar

If you’re not one of us, you’re one of them. My team is better than your team. Belonging. Very positive!

janbb's avatar

I think it is destructive to humanity’s progress but it seems basic to human nature to create “uses” and “thems.”

jca's avatar

I think there were certain times in history that people were very patriotic. During world wars and post-war, it seemed like US citizens were patriotic and thrilled with the country’s victory. Now, not so much. It ebbs and flows.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’m not taking an extreme view on this, most do though for some reason. It depends on how extreme people are about it I suppose. A healthy amount of patriotism is probably a good thing. Supporting your local community, helping your neighbors, opposing restrictive and invasive laws and joining the volunteer fire dept are all what I would consider to be patriotic things to do. Nationalism on the other hand is not that healthy.

Cruiser's avatar

Being part of an extreme anything will cause a person to trade their individuality to better identify with and assimilate with said group. Excessive patriotism is called jingoism that refers to excessive bias in judging one’s own country as superior to others and those that promote that thinking are usually associated with fringe extremist groups who certainly promote a unique identity.

But with regards to patriotism or national pride I do not see how being patriotic for your nation would be seen as anything but a positive thing. Having pride in your country promotes a positive mindset that unites all it’s citizens in who work hard to have a decent life in a country live in. IMO Patriotism is not just hanging flags on the 4th of July and saluting the Veterans in 4th of July parades it is much more. It is citizens showing their pride in their country by volunteering where they can help and working in civic projects in their community.

People who are Patriotic will have a special affection for one’s own country, a sense of personal identification with the country, and are willing to sacrifice to promote the country’s good. These aspects of Patriotism I think are healthy and overall positive and does not require a person to abandon their own personal identity.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I love Canada more than any other country on earth, but not enough to die for it.
Let the rich go fight their own Fu——g wars.

ragingloli's avatar

It is a mental illness.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Patriotism is like spice on food.

A little makes living exciting and enjoyable.

A lot makes you sick.

NerdyKeith's avatar

@elbanditoroso What a great analogy

filmfann's avatar

I am an American, and always have been very patriotic, though I can’t say the same for my country. Superman used to say he was for “truth, justice, and the American way”, but America somehow varies on what the American way is. I am against torture, pro civil rights for everyone, and pro immigrant. My country changes quite a bit on this.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s there, but it’s primary use, is in the regimentation of those vulnerable to it. The louder and more strident the appeals to it, the greater the suspicion required of the motives.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with the fanaticism part. I am not very patriotic, I think the days of true patriotism died out around the civil war era IMO. I am a daughter of the american revolution but do not participate and could care less. On a scale of 1–10 my patriotism level is about a 2.5. haha

Seek's avatar

American patriotism reminds me of a schoolyard game of King of the Hill, except the person claiming to be King is the massive schoolyard bully.

While he’s shouting at the top of the monkey bars, everyone else is getting along just fine playing kickball, and they are not at all interested in his ranting.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I like the way the Swedes are about this. They identify strongly as Swedes which means to them, intelligent living, hard work, and fairness. It is an identity, an aspiration, and meant to inspire. It in no way implies that other nations lack these qualities. I never heard a Swede compare Swedes or Sweden to other nationals, except maybe Danes and Norwegians—who are family and thus fair game. It’s all about them, almost a private thing. There is a strong feeling about the Swedish way of doing things. When a Swede posts their flag over their summer stuga, it is in pride of being Swedish, a statement of affinity with other Swedes. I see nothing negative or arrogant about that. It is not a declaration of “Don’t fuck with me, we’re number one” like it feels when Americans fly their flag over their homes. I like the Swedish way. It instills pride without arrogance. It’s very hard to describe this to Americans.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Seek I wish you were right, but such crap as that flag pin bullshit shows you just how vulnerable the cannon fodder is to appeals that amount to “let us do the thinking for you”.

Seek's avatar

The other kids are other countries. I’m sure there are some deadbeats smoking behind the handball court and planning pranks, too, but the good kids are enjoying their cooperative game regardless of the bully’s chest-thumping.

zenvelo's avatar

I consider myself a Patriot, but not a Nationalist. There is a big difference. I want a society that is best for all Americans, and by extension all humanity.

I like the bit about patriots stated by the young Republican woman in the West Wing.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I think patriotism is a way we have to feel belonging. We humans need to belong to groups, families, and tribes of all sorts. Fans of sporting teams can be a sort of tribe. Citizens of a country can be another tribe.

Personally, I don’t need patriotism. I am quite happy being a citizen of the Earth. I don’t need to draw lines in the sand and pretend they represent more than divisions between me and my fellow humans.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Seek Thanks. I missed the analogy.

Jak's avatar

Overrated. What @Hawaii_Jake said.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I don’t fancy patriotism. Individuality is anyone’s right, it is, after all, how freedom can be completely utilized with any bias and constriction.

You can dislike your own country if you want, just because you were born and raised there doesn’t mean you must love or owe your own country.

Patriotics will tend to overlook the mistake and shortcoming of their own country, just because they believe their country could have been better.

Coloma's avatar

@Unofficial_Member Agreed, well said.

tinyfaery's avatar

I will never understand it. It’s purpose is to divide and I will never support that.

Jaxk's avatar

I don’t see the problem. People band together when they have something in common. Whether it’s family, community, state, national, or anything else. It’s the same bonding that creates any club or organization. It’s not a bad thing nor does it preclude bonding at many levels. It’s the same whether it’s the Friars club or a socialist commune. It doesn’t divide but rather unites.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s the good and noble side. The trouble is that just as with wolves, bands of men have proven susceptible to barbarous behaviors, and high on the list of noble excuses lurks patriotism in one form or another. Let’s pause for a moment and consider what it is that survivalists, klansmen, skin heads etc., what is it they all profess? Why are they ALWAYS self described as the REAL loyal Americans and defenders of the REAL America? Why is there ALWAYS an American flag somewhere at every cross or church burning, klan meeting, lynching, etc. There are 2 quotes on patriotism worth remembering. First comes S Johnson’s “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” And the next is Shaw’s “Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it”.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I truly believe that it ruins the world. It’s just as bad as organized religion.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Ha. I thought you were going to write organized crime.

Seek's avatar

Same difference.

longgone's avatar

I’m not a fan. Patriotism gives me the creeps.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

It’s groovy and should be promoted.

Here2_4's avatar

Patriotism does not smother individuality.
Patriotism is a love for your country, what it stands for, how it functions. You can show patriotism in many ways. People put flags outside their homes for holidays. The homes are wood, brick, stone, ranch, aluminum, Tudor, clay, glass, round, condo, etc.
Being a patriot does not mean getting a lobotomy and donning a uniform.

stanleybmanly's avatar

All of us love our country, and this is why calls to patriotism must always be viewed with suspicion. It isn’t that those waving the flag are necessarily sinister or malevolent. It’s more about the fact that one’s emotions are being tugged toward suspending objectivity on matters of the country and its realities. In other words, patriotism is an appeal to substitute emotion for objective judgement. And nothing good is likely to result from that.

NerdyKeith's avatar

The problem I have with patriotism when it comes to my country, is the anti-British attitude that still exists amongst some of my fellow Irish. It really is maintaining a division. Yes what the British did 100 years ago was terrible and I don’t condone it. But the good British people of today are not responsible for what their ancestors did, and most certainly do not support it.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Some of us Irish have a tradition of traveling up to the North of Ireland to do our Christmas shopping. Why? Because even with the exchange rate from Euro to British Pound, its still less expensive to purchase a lot of goods. Suffice to say, a lot of things in the Republic of Ireland are overpriced.

So anyway, my father was talking about going up to Newry for the weekend when he was at a local pub one year. To which someone responded with “Well I certainly won’t be doing any christmas shopping up north, for patriotic reasons.”

As a humanist, I really have little respect for this mentality. Its not the way to move forward.

tinyfaery's avatar

I don’t love my country. I have no country. I am citizen of earth and do not abide by arbitrary, politically imposed borders.

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