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The Plague Of Nationalism

TimmyBoy

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I would like to quote an excerpt from Chris Hedges book: "War is the Force That Gives Us Meaning"

"The military junta that ruled Argentina, and was responsible for killing 20,000 of its own citizens during the 'Dirty War' in 1982 invaded the Falkland Islands, which the Argentines called the Malvinas. The junta, which had been on the verge of collapse and beset by violent street demonstrations and nationwide strikes in the weeks before the war, instantly became the saviors of the country. Labor union and opposition leaders, some of whom were still visibly bruised from beatings, were hauled out of jail cells before cameras to repeat what was a collective mantra: 'Las Malvinas son Argentinas.'

The invasion transformed the country. Reality was replaced with a wild and self serving fiction, a legitimization of the worst prejudices of the masses and paranoia of the outside world. The secret interior world arrayed against Argentina became one of strange cabals, worldwide Jewry trotted out again to be beaten like an old horse, vast subterranean webs that had as their focus the destruction of the Argentine people. The exterior world was exemplified by the nation. All that was noble and good was embodied, like some unique gene, in the Argentine people. Stories of the heroism of the Argentine military- whose singular recent accomplishment was the savage repression of its own people- filled the airwaves.

Friends of mine, who a few days earlier had excoriated the dictatorship, now bragged about the prowess of Argentine commanders. One general, during a dispute with Chile, flew his helicopter over the Chilean border in order to **** on Chilean soil. This story was repeated with evident pride. Cars raced through city streets honking horns and waving the blue and white Argentine flag. Argentines burst into the national anthem and ecstatic cheering at sporting events. The large Anglo-Argentine community sent delegations to Britian to lobby for the junta.

I had spent nights with Argentine friends talking of a new Argentina, one that would respect human rights, allow basic freedoms, and perhaps put on trial the generals responsible for the Dirty War. Now such talk was an anathema, even treasonous. On the street, any dissent, especially from a foreigner, could mean physical violence. Any suggestion that the invasion was not just and correct and glorious was unpalatable. One never referred to the islands by their English name. Overweening pride and a sense of national solidarity swept through the city like an electric current. It was as if I had woken up, like one of Kafka's characters and found myself transformed into a huge bug. I would come to feel this way in every nation at war, including the United States after the September 11 attacks.

This was my first taste of the nationalist triumphalism in wartime. There was almost no one I could speak with. A populace that had agitated for change now outdid itself to lionize uniformed killers. All bowed before the state...."
 

FinnMacCool

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Nothing is wrong about being proud of your country but going so far as to say your country is better then others is really bad. It has been responsible for numerous wars including both World Wars. Blind nationalism has also led people to ignore the facts and support the state unquestionably and allowing them to commit attrocities and start wars for absolutely nothing. The best thing we can do now is recognize that we all are citizens in the same world. once upon a time we were all a bunch of monkeys so really nothing to be overly proud of here.
 

TimmyBoy

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FinnMacCool said:
Nothing is wrong about being proud of your country but going so far as to say your country is better then others is really bad. It has been responsible for numerous wars including both World Wars. Blind nationalism has also led people to ignore the facts and support the state unquestionably and allowing them to commit attrocities and start wars for absolutely nothing. The best thing we can do now is recognize that we all are citizens in the same world. once upon a time we were all a bunch of monkeys so really nothing to be overly proud of here.
Kinda like after 9/11, don't you think?
 

FinnMacCool

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Yeah kinda. After 9/11, people started to get that feeling you know like in WW2 that we were attacked and we have to respond. But unfortunately, our government chose to be a bunch of dipshits and so instead they used it to their political advantage. Meanwhile, people started discriminating against each other etc. Its weird how we will continue to repeat our mistakes throughout history.
 

matay_brit

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Nothing is wrong about being proud of your country but going so far as to say your country is better then others is really bad.
Being proud of your country is fundamentally flawed.
a 'country' is simply a piece of land which people live on. It is the creation of tradition. What is there to be proud of, if people who live within the borders of your state created a revolutionary type of machine. It has nothing to do with you, it is not to your credit that that machine was constructed, (unless it actually was) Why should i be proud that Britain helped aid some people in Africa. I am glad that the state did this, but i have nothing to be proud about. The Nation, the state the country is a myth; it is a collection of people who for various reasons feel connected to a mere piece of land. Boundaries change.
 

alphamale

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No - the real country is the people who make it up. Sometimes those people engage in collective action - for example, the american people can be proud of having removed the baathists in iraq.
 

Stinger

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FinnMacCool said:
Nothing is wrong about being proud of your country but going so far as to say your country is better then others is really bad.
Why on earth?

I am a citizen of the United States.

My country IS better than most current and former countries.

My country is better than the former Soviet Union.
My country is better than the former East Germany.
My country is better than the former Nazi Germany.
My country is better than Communist China.
My country is better than Somalia.

I could go on until I hit the character limitation.





It has been responsible for numerous wars including both World Wars.
The expanionist policies of some countries with had strong nationalizim did but countries without strong nationalism had instigated war also.

Blind nationalism has also led people to ignore the facts and support the state unquestionably and allowing them to commit attrocities and start wars for absolutely nothing.
Well anything can be taken to an extreme.


The best thing we can do now is recognize that we all are citizens in the same world.
We are all occoupants of the same world but citizens of our respective governments and as long as my country offers to most freedom, most opportunity, the most judicialy fair government with a few other countries up their with us and will have no qualms about pointing out countres we ARE better than and urge they adopt our principles of government and liberty.

once upon a time we were all a bunch of monkeys so really nothing to be overly proud of here.
No we weren't, and we certainly aren't now which is the salient point.
 

AndrewC

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alphamale said:
No - the real country is the people who make it up.

I agree with the above. The fact is that most people don't see it this way. I've observed that most people, whether patriotic or not, do not give a damn about their neighbors or their community. I walk down the streets and I see fear. Americans living in fear of each other. This is America's number one problem in my book. We've lost our compassion. We've lost our sense of community. Yeah, people will write a check, but they can't seem to find time to work in their community. So I don't see how so many can claim to love America, but fear/despise the people in it.
 

Calm2Chaos

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AndrewC said:
I agree with the above. The fact is that most people don't see it this way. I've observed that most people, whether patriotic or not, do not give a damn about their neighbors or their community. I walk down the streets and I see fear. Americans living in fear of each other. This is America's number one problem in my book. We've lost our compassion. We've lost our sense of community. Yeah, people will write a check, but they can't seem to find time to work in their community. So I don't see how so many can claim to love America, but fear/despise the people in it.
must suck were you live... I can walk down the majority of streets an communities in my area and feel no fear whatsoever. There are bad spots as in any countries but trying to label them all os just silly... and patently untrue
 

AndrewC

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Calm2Chaos said:
must suck were you live... I can walk down the majority of streets an communities in my area and feel no fear whatsoever. There are bad spots as in any countries but trying to label them all os just silly... and patently untrue

Ever walk through a mall and see people purposefully avoid one another? Ever been to a store, bar or restaurant and felt unwelcome? This is what I'm talking about. You assumed I was talking about violence, which I was not. They can claim to be patriotic all they want. All the while they roam their communities scorning all those who aren't part of their little group.

Basically, I'm saying that most of these people are all talk. It is all about them. They don't care about anyone else. IMHO, This is the opposite of how a patriotic American would act. They love their country so, because it provides THEM with so much.
 

Calm2Chaos

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AndrewC said:
Ever walk through a mall and see people purposefully avoid one another? Ever been to a store, bar or restaurant and felt unwelcome? This is what I'm talking about. You assumed I was talking about violence, which I was not. They can claim to be patriotic all they want. All the while they roam their communities scorning all those who aren't part of their little group.

Basically, I'm saying that most of these people are all talk. It is all about them. They don't care about anyone else. IMHO, This is the opposite of how a patriotic American would act. They love their country so, because it provides THEM with so much.
I love my country... Doesn't mean I love let alone like everyone in it. I am given the choice to participate or to remain alone. But in the end we come together when needed, or we used to. Seems like nowadays there are more people looking to tear this country down then there are those trying to raise it.
 
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