Post on my beliefs about Patriotism and the flaws involved.
"Patriotism, whether it is of the western kind, or of the eastern kind, is the same, a poison in human beings that is really distorting thought. So patriotism is a disease, and when you begin to realise, become aware that it is a disease, then you will see how your mind is reacting to that disease. When, in time of war, the whole world talks of patriotism, you will know the falseness of it, and therefore you will act as a true human being." ~ Krishnamurti
"Devoted love, support, and defence of ones country; national loyalty." Is the Oxford Dictionary meaning of the ugly and uncalled for word - Patriotism. Patriotism is rife, in the UK the Olympics gave people a sense of Patriotism they'd never felt before, in America, rather unfortunately much of this Patriotism is based on that fact that America is Gods 'chosen country' - "In God we Trust". However Patriotism is not Patriotism it is Blind Patriotism. George Carlin, one of the greatest philosophers before his death in 2008, had a comedy routine where he explains his confusion about national pride. "Pride, is reserved for something we have done, an achievement. One cannot feel pride for being born Irish, that was just the luck of the draw, you might have been born Scottish. Be happy to be Irish, or Scottish, or whatever. Save pride for something you had something to do with. If, like an individual, a Nation seeks to express its distinctiveness, it is welcome to, encouraged to and expected to, from within its borders. It is when that distinctiveness is disseminated outside the nation that problems can arise. Such as demonstrated by any war you care to mention as well as certain current political, economic or social philosophies actively exemplify. When the individual (or perhaps even, small group,) takes the idea and turns it into action, they express something. When a nation takes an idea and turns it into action, that nation insists on something."
A Patriot is summarised perfectly by Mark Twain ~"Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about." In truth most are patriotic because we're winning at something, or during times of war, even when the war (Afghanistan/Iraq/Vietnam/Korea) is a pointless waste of life and money. Furthermore Patriotism can bring people together during times of war, yes. But, this is not the early 20th Century we no longer have conscription, there no longer is danger of thousands of men dying in a single day at battle like at the Somme, Patriotism is extinct from war. In Russia in 1905 in Japan, yes! However no longer in 21st century battlefields, we are effectively celebrating the deaths of millions of innocent people. Patriotism is used by governments in order to attain oil or another form of economic gain, the US - Iraqi war for example, Bush's government latched onto the Patriotic nature of the American public (helped by 9/11) as to gain support for the war, this was done in Vietnam and by the British during World War Two and by nearly every country on the face of the planet.
Patriotism is not the same as culture. There are many varied cultures within the nation of America, for example. If you take an American from Washington State and a Canadian from Alberta, separated by only a few miles and introduce them to an Austrian for instance, he's not going to be able to tell the difference, by looks, by dress, by accent, by anything. Without an in-depth interview the Austrian may never know the difference. However, if you took an American from Vermont and a Canadian from Quebec, anyone would be able to point out differences. All of these differences would be cultural; none of them would be national.
I then, am not a patriot. Patriotism is by definition the "love of country," this immediately creates a wall of "us" against "them" this is neither healthy or righteous. In the 21st century in particular, a society of equality has been striven for, that all people from different races or creed are egalitarian under the legislation one comes to a point where you either believe that or not, and if you do believe it than you are compelled to act in accordance with it or risk hypocrisy. If you take an Austrian child, born of Austrian parents in the land of Austria and raised in America, that child shall be an American. It will speak English; eat American food and shop in American shops. However, we treat the globes nations as if their preferences where the product of genetics and not just the habits of custom. Despite the fact that humans are molded by culture and the society in which they live. Change the mold and you change the man. Is it not then ridiculous to cling to a flag of cheap fabric [most presumably made in China(!)] or worship the ground you stand upon as if it were sacred earth? It is ludicrous to have blind Patriotism, one did not chose the country of birth, blind patriotism is not only the case with the above example. Take anyone, from any country on the globe and raise them in a different culture. Take a Frenchman, raise him in Vanuatu, he would be a completely different person and a Patriot to a completely different country and culture. Myself, born in England, English parents, English Grandparents, not a single ounce of Non-English in me. Yet, I barely even support the England Football team for example, I did not chose to live here, like with many of the UK's 60,000,000+ population, I wish to somewhere else on the planet - preferably one of the Scandinavian countries or Germany by the way.
Some may now turn and say that it is not a flag or soil that they are devoted to, but what those things represent. If one asks what those things were they would most presumably give the same old nonsense such as Liberty, Justice, Autonomy ect. The standard check list that all countries claim for their own and that even the most oppressive regimes will proudly hail they uphold. However, America has no absolute stake upon these ideals. They are the common of all humanity yet Americans would have you believe these words did not exist until they had the world's first and only revolution and wrote the world's first and only constitution, of which many fail to understand - mainly the God bit, who many Americans pledge their alliance of Patriotism to. It might irritate them to learn that a little less than four hundred years ago the English had their own revolution against monarchy, and even more surprised to find that Americans didn't even invent Democracy - just for information's sake - Iceland was the country that had the world's first republican government. The parliament was established in Þingvellir in 930 and met continuously until 1291 when Iceland lost its independence and became part of the Kingdom of Norway and later came under the Danish Crown.
In all, Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it, it is neither healthy or good to be patriot, not only is there a fine line between Pride/Patriotism and Nationalism but we as humans are moulded by culture and society not the land on which we are born.
"I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world." ~ Diogenes