Do we need patriotism?

ManBat's photo

7,280

Recently I was watching an old Carlin stand up video, and he brought an interesting point. You can watch it here: (Watch from 1:13) .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OnWnwwxNPA

Basically he says that he never understood national or ethnic pride, because according to him, you should take pride only in what you have accomplished and not an accident of birth.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and Im really warming to this idea. I mean think about it, many of the human injustices in history, like the Nazi regime, the Vietnam war, the Iraq war, the Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Rwanda massacre, etc. were made possible in part due to the countless soldiers and pawns that were blinded by their pride and who were ready to kill and be killed simply based on a supposed national/ethnic pride.

What if people were less proud of their birth and more proud of their physical and mental achievements? Is patriotism really necessary in world that aims at global peace and co-operation?

Of course the counter argument is that humans need group association; they need something to believe in and be proud of for them to be motivated to achieve and succeed in life. That a healthy mix of patriotism and collective sense of responsibility toward the global village is the right approach to life.

I believe in the opposite. I think patriotism needs to be done away with in the long run. I think there needs to be a strong movement towards shedding false identities would really help the world. I think letting things be just in the hope that people will see the global need for peace is too much to ask. Humans can do some pretty fucked up shit.

If someone needs something to proud of, it should be the simple fact that by some miracle, they are breathing and living on this earth. What do you guys think?

April 30th, 2013
Jergnome's photo

17,058

Every country needs of form of pride but American patriotism is so bizarre. The media is so full of lies idiots think hating on Muslims is patriotism. Real patriotism is standing up to the government and demanding answers. Questioning Obama on his military intervention. Most Americans fail to even question but a lot of people do have genuine love for the country.

April 30th, 2013

Without “Patriotism” the colonials would have never gone against the British and this nation would have never been founded, or survive past the 1830s, let alone global conflicts

April 30th, 2013

April 30th, 2013
ManBat's photo

7,280

But what does that love achieve? Im not advocating cynicism, but ultimately, love for your country or ethnic group can lead you to do some fucked up shit.

Why do we need that kind of pride? A sense of responsibility towards your country is a good thing, but is it necessary to constantly reiterate the idea that their country/race is number 1? While a lot of people handle this idea maturely, but a lot don’t.

Take the whole drones issue for example. The US government has been bombing Pakistan and has been practicing the unprovoked killing of people without a trial for the past four years. But this issue really only blew up in America when an American citizen was killed. Politicians threw a fit, and Rand Paul talked for 13 hours. What are we teaching here? Are we saying that an American life is any more valuable than a Pakistani life?

April 30th, 2013
Jergnome's photo

17,058

America is something that needs to be destroyed. Not to sound negative or something it would just be before humanity. That is a problem with patriotism people think about their nationality before they realize that were all human beings

April 30th, 2013
ManBat's photo

7,280

@TheTrillHomie that was a long time ago. That was a time when it was every man for himself and man was still trying to conquer nature. Today we are a global society. We can help each other out now. If there should be a fight, it should be a fight to preserve protect and advance human life, regardless of the nationality of that life. It should be a fight against injustice of any sort. So now when a problem arises in the world, people need to identify the risk to the global society and help to solve it.

April 30th, 2013

Every nationalist is proud of the fact they are born within the bounds of a continous violent nation state that earned its land by killing the natives, enslaving them, or otherwise stealing the land for their own selfish goals before putting in place mechanisms to perpetuate control of that land to their children or associates or aristocrats before it entered the modern day era and became children, associates, or fellow aristocrats.

April 30th, 2013

Sure we can be proud of a culture but not a piece of dirt and a paper saying you are from X nation

April 30th, 2013
D-Rigs's photo

12,919

George Carlin comes up with these opinions left and right that always make you go

April 30th, 2013
ManBat's photo

7,280

People today need to have a world view where they take from the achievements of humans(from whatever nation) and learn from the mistakes of humans. we should not be only abiding by the ways of our own country alone

April 30th, 2013

USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA

sorry, i had to

April 30th, 2013
Cabose's photo

2,792

In a sense yes.

If everyone in the country thought like MalcolmFleX, the country would not be able to run because there’d be a country full of people constantly finding the wrongs in government, which would most likely bring the system of government to a grinding halt.

If everyone in the country thought like a “true” patriot (always thinking the government’s right, never questioning things), well, we’d probably become a communist state.

So, patriotism is needed, but in small, post Pearl Harbor/9-11 doses (except without the Japanese/Arab racism that inherently comes with that).

April 30th, 2013

I agree with MalcolmFleX about having pride in ones culture.

I am a ethnic Mexican born in America. They even refer to me as a Mexican-American, therefore I will always be a Mexican before I am an American.

Same goes for African-Americans, and all other Something-Americans. I’m not sure if minorities have the same patriotism as their white counterparts here in America. Yes, America is a great because it is a Democracy and all that good stuff, that is why some of us came here, but we do not have to identify with our neighbors.

April 30th, 2013
ManBat's photo

7,280

@Cabose I never said we should lose faith in our system of governance. We need to feel reponsibility. We need to grow as a community and help each other out. But do we really need endless propaganda that often leads to narrow thinking? Why should we balance patriotism with fairness as you suggested? When something like Pearl harbor or 911 occurs, we should stand together because it was an unfair attack on human life not because America was attacked.

April 30th, 2013