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A Few Words On Patriotism

Aug 102011
 By , August 10, 2011

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism, the virtue of the vicious.  ~Oscar Wilde


It both amuses and saddens me that blind, reflexive and thoughtless patriotism is required of one born in America. If one runs for office it is requires that one wear a flag pin, like a party badge, upon ones lapel. If one attempts to offer a nuanced analysis of an international dynamic rather than simply waving the bloody shirt and calling for more troops to be thrust into the breech, one is accused of hating America. 

    This is amusing if one remembers that our country was founded by people who had the good sense to flee a country that offended them, along with convicts and slaves. They, in the fullness of time, were led by our founding fathers who conspired to commit and act of treason against their mother country and fomented an act of rebellion and revolt. 

    Since it succeeded, we revere and venerate these people and their actions with near religious blind devotion. This, I suspect, is not how they would have wished it. I suspect they would see that America now has its own equivalent of the East India Company.

    I am saddened that those who claim to be patriots seem to be in its thrall.


Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched.  ~Guy de Maupassant

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind.  ~Voltaire,Philosophical Dictionary

Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on his own dunghill.  ~Richard Aldington

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, I am a citizen of the world.  ~Socrates

You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.  ~George Bernard Shaw

To him in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.  ~Buddha

Nationalism is an infantile disease.  It is the measles of mankind.  ~Albert Einstein, The World As I See It, 1934

Patriotic societies seem to think that the way to educate school children in a democracy is to stage bigger and better flag-saluting.  ~S.I. Hayakawa

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.  ~Bertrand Russell

     Be seeing you.



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The Town Scryer is a mixed bag of humor, socio-political observations and ephemera from the perspective of a eclectic Pagan veteran of the counter-culture. Philip Posehn's main blog is at The Town Scryer.

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