Patriotism and Self Worship
Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self-worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us.
from War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, 2002, by Chris Hedges
This quote from Chris Hedges' book, has been bouncing around my head for the last couple of days. I'm impressed by his ability to sum up the sort of patriotism that is being displayed in America, in one short sentence.
Thinly veiled self worship in which we praise ourselves and condemn all who aren't us, especially those who we stand in opposition to.
The current American version of Patriotism, not only bemoans the 'evil' of all foreigners, except the British, it also targets much of the American population. This ugly new American 'patriotism' denotes not loyalty to the country but to one man, George Bush and his dangerously irresponsible neo-conservative power grab.
Traditional conservatives take note, when you finally wake up and realize that the neo-conservative corporate elite, have stolen your country and spent enough to have your great grand kids still paying the debts they are running up, while they are tax exempt, you will become a target of that patriotism as soon as you seriously speak up. Assuming you ever become patriotic enough to speak up.
Genuine patriotic love for the country itself, is not a popularity builder. It will necessarily bring you into opposition with the new patriots who seem to believe that Jesus is a member of the corporate elite that makes senseless war, spends like crazy, and pays no taxes.
From the Greek, patriotism refers to the "fatherland". It refers to loyalty to ones land and people, not an individual, not some demagogue with an itch to become the first Emperor of Imperial America.
Someone who is very important to me read this blog recently. He disagrees with me and my view of what is becoming of America. As I expected he would. All he actually said was that he is a patriotic guy and loves the flag. He is maybe the last guy on the planet that I want to argue with, especially about politics. Given his mild reply, I suspect the feeling is mutual.
But, this idea that patriots just do what a government tells them to and that those who disagree are un-patriotic, truly sticks in the craw. It is an assumption that a significant percent of the American population has bought into, to their peril and great cost.
Naked corporate fascism has come to America, wrapped in the flag and waving the bible.
It has found America easy pickings because so many Americans worship the flag and an Americanized Jesus, but not the things those symbols stand for.
I never lost my love for the things America once stood for. I still love what it may be again. I do not love this arrogant power hungry, coddled rich boy, who deserted the military during Vietnam and now wants to set the world on fire for the sake of the very rich and for his own ideas of personal glory.
If only he had wanted Osama Ben Laden, the one who actually attacked us, and did so much damage, as much as he wants Iraqi oil, the enrichment of Haliburton, and the 'honor' of being a "War time president".
If George Bush is a patriot, who needs it?
A little light reading for Patriots, blogs written by our soldiers, the ones doing the corporate dirty work under our besmirched flag.