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Author Topic: Nationalism  (Read 12577 times)
Aasha
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« Topic Start: July 11, 2007, 12:53:46 pm »


Nationalism has always bothered me.  Particularly symbolic shows of it, such as saluting the flag & reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  I have a hard time accepting the idea that people should be symbolically separated by national boundaries, and that obedience and the fulfillment of duty (loyalty, military service, etc.) are necessary.     

I don't want to use religion as a cop-out, but are there any spiritual ideas that would explain how I feel?  Help me clean up the muddled feeling of discomfort and replace it with a clear understanding of exactly what is wrong with nationalism?   

I also know that many people here would disagree with me.  please, share your opinions and beliefs as well.  But note that I understand the importance and usefulness of countries, as economic and political units.  I just do not agree with nationalism, the concept.     
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« Reply #1: July 11, 2007, 01:20:20 pm »

I also know that many people here would disagree with me.  please, share your opinions and beliefs as well.  But note that I understand the importance and usefulness of countries, as economic and political units.  I just do not agree with nationalism, the concept.

I wonder (and I may be barking up the wrong tree) is your problem with nationalism, or with jingoism?

I can be proud of my country and still see flaws .. it's when you get to stuff like "US - love it or leave it" that I start wanting to beat people.
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« Reply #2: July 11, 2007, 04:44:21 pm »

I don't want to use religion as a cop-out, but are there any spiritual ideas that would explain how I feel?  Help me clean up the muddled feeling of discomfort and replace it with a clear understanding of exactly what is wrong with nationalism?   

It doesn't all have to be about religion.  You can have ideological differences. Smiley

I'm much the same about nationalism.  In theory I don't have a problem with people having pride in their country, if it isnt a stick to beat people with.  But I have to say, when I see the Union jack or the England flag...  I do feel defensive.  At the instinctive level, I don't trust the people who wave the flag of my country.
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« Reply #3: July 11, 2007, 05:42:30 pm »

Nationalism has always bothered me.     

I've never had much problem with it, except when it is taken to extremes and becomes jingoism. I don't see anything wrong with being proud of one's country and wanting it to do well. When this pride becomes extreme (as it does in some people who can't see anything wrong with their country or anything much right about any other country), then there can be a real problem.
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« Reply #4: July 11, 2007, 06:07:25 pm »

what is wrong with nationalism?       

I don't have a problem with nationalism in milder forms but I can't stand the extreme forms.  There are certain people that I always wish I could hit.  These are the people who says that the US can do no wrong, who use the term "freedom fries" even though the "French" part refers to how they're cut, and of course those who say "US--love it or leave it."

My nationalism only goes as far as pride in US history.  I don't stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance, but then again I don't go to events where they do that sort of thing.
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« Reply #5: July 11, 2007, 06:26:42 pm »

I've never had much problem with it, except when it is taken to extremes and becomes jingoism. I don't see anything wrong with being proud of one's country and wanting it to do well. When this pride becomes extreme (as it does in some people who can't see anything wrong with their country or anything much right about any other country), then there can be a real problem.

**nods** That's pretty much where I am. When a country's flag is waved in intimidation and the dialogue degenerates into "If you don't say/believe X you're not an American." I have really serious issues with it.
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« Reply #6: July 11, 2007, 09:14:02 pm »

Nationalism has always bothered me.  Particularly symbolic shows of it, such as saluting the flag & reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  I have a hard time accepting the idea that people should be symbolically separated by national boundaries, and that obedience and the fulfillment of duty (loyalty, military service, etc.) are necessary.     

  Help me clean up the muddled feeling of discomfort and replace it with a clear understanding of exactly what is wrong with nationalism?   

I also know that many people here would disagree with me.  please, share your opinions and beliefs as well.  But note that I understand the importance and usefulness of countries, as economic and political units.  I just do not agree with nationalism, the concept.     

First, when I look at the flag, I think about the ones who fought and died to build, found, and defend this country.  I think about those things such as the Bill of Rights.  Things that most of the world can only dream about in their native countries.  I think about my neighbors, friends, family, and the freedoms and quality of life we have.

Second, through the media, education, and political hacks, America has been trashed, and bedeviled.  I remember my time in college, and reflecting back have come the the realization that they should have just labeled the classes "Hating America 101, 102, 103" and "Capitalizing on Anti-Americanism in America 435".  Well, I remember that, and the reaking stench of the new-age hippies that hung around campus *gags*... they should rename it from University of Oregon to University of Ganga.

You might want to look at your current situation, what are the influences in your life?  Take a trip to a VA hospital, maybe donate some time and talk to the vets.    Age, also has a tremendous factor on one's opinions, in the last 15 years I have went from very liberal, to moderately conservative *pulls out his "Conservative Republican American Pagans" card*.  It's all about perspective. Grin
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« Reply #7: July 11, 2007, 09:20:47 pm »

Second, through the media, education, and political hacks, America has been trashed, and bedeviled.  I remember my time in college, and reflecting back have come the the realization that they should have just labeled the classes "Hating America 101, 102, 103" and "Capitalizing on Anti-Americanism in America 435".  Well, I remember that, and the reaking stench of the new-age hippies that hung around campus *gags*... they should rename it from University of Oregon to University of Ganga.[/quote}

I think thats going to depend on the source. I seriously don't run into too much America hating...I mainly run into seriously conservative people who think any mention of a less than stellar characteristic is somehow bashing this country. I'll also be honest, but I never ran into that attitude in college or when I lived in a huge college town (Austin, TX).

[quote}You might want to look at your current situation, what are the influences in your life?  Take a trip to a VA hospital, maybe donate some time and talk to the vets.    Age, also has a tremendous factor on one's opinions, in the last 15 years I have went from very liberal, to moderately conservative *pulls out his "Conservative Republican American Pagans" card*.  It's all about perspective. Grin

I'm not sure age is going to be a really good determination. 15 years ago, I was very conservative and voted straight Republican. In the last seven, that's changed drastically. And I'm 44, so it can pretty obviously go in either direction.

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« Reply #8: July 11, 2007, 09:33:20 pm »

I'm not sure age is going to be a really good determination. 15 years ago, I was very conservative and voted straight Republican. In the last seven, that's changed drastically. And I'm 44, so it can pretty obviously go in either direction.

I was not saying age makes you conservative, I was trying to say that it affects (as life moves on and your situation changes) your views.  As an aside, I'm more Libertarian than Republican in views, however, I would not belong to either party.
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« Reply #9: July 11, 2007, 09:36:33 pm »

I was not saying age makes you conservative, I was trying to say that it affects (as life moves on and your situation changes) your views.  As an aside, I'm more Libertarian than Republican in views, however, I would not belong to either party.

That's a bit clearer. Thanks.
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« Reply #10: July 11, 2007, 09:55:59 pm »

I was not saying age makes you conservative, I was trying to say that it affects (as life moves on and your situation changes) your views.  As an aside, I'm more Libertarian than Republican in views, however, I would not belong to either party.

Oh definitely.  Not only does your situation change, the world changes also.       
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« Reply #11: July 12, 2007, 09:36:20 am »

Nationalism has always bothered me.  Particularly symbolic shows of it, such as saluting the flag & reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  I have a hard time accepting the idea that people should be symbolically separated by national boundaries, and that obedience and the fulfillment of duty (loyalty, military service, etc.) are necessary.     

I don't want to use religion as a cop-out, but are there any spiritual ideas that would explain how I feel?  Help me clean up the muddled feeling of discomfort and replace it with a clear understanding of exactly what is wrong with nationalism?   

I also know that many people here would disagree with me.  please, share your opinions and beliefs as well.  But note that I understand the importance and usefulness of countries, as economic and political units.  I just do not agree with nationalism, the concept.     


I don't think there is anything wrong with someone having pride in their country. It's blind patriotism that gets dangerous.
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« Reply #12: July 12, 2007, 06:04:21 pm »


I don't think there is anything wrong with someone having pride in their country. It's blind patriotism that gets dangerous.

The key word there is "blind".  Blind devotion or adherence to *anything* is a dangerous practice.  People need to think for themselves.
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« Reply #13: July 12, 2007, 06:46:18 pm »

Nationalism has always bothered me.  Particularly symbolic shows of it, such as saluting the flag & reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thank you everyone for your replies.  I think I can more accurately explain what I feel now. 

When I take part in nationalistic ceremonies or events, I realize how easy it would by to slip from a simple feeling of pride and thankfullness, to jingoism, blind patriotism, ethnocentrism or even racism.  I hope that the participants of nationalistic activities, myself included, can keep in mind the fact that a particular country has many faults as well as many weakness and that no country is better than any other.  I hope, also, that we can remember our common humanity with people across the globe and how important it is to cultivate peace and tolerance. 
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« Reply #14: July 12, 2007, 07:16:57 pm »

Thank you everyone for your replies.  I think I can more accurately explain what I feel now. 

When I take part in nationalistic ceremonies or events, I realize how easy it would by to slip from a simple feeling of pride and thankfullness, to jingoism, blind patriotism, ethnocentrism or even racism.  I hope that the participants of nationalistic activities, myself included, can keep in mind the fact that a particular country has many faults as well as many weakness and that no country is better than any other.  I hope, also, that we can remember our common humanity with people across the globe and how important it is to cultivate peace and tolerance. 

I think I understand -- and I share your concerns about the tendency of people to become sheep.

I find that I can be extremely proud of the ideals on which the US was founded, as well as some of the current strengths (like when representative democracy or the justice system actually work), while still remaining extremely critical of current policies, activities, and leaders.
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