Wednesday, November 24, 2004

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.

5 Comments:

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A frightening "parallel democracy" has taken roots in this country, a world in which the opposite of the truth becomes the truth, a world in which the grotesque is perceived as the pastoral. What's next? A return to the old-fashioned Southern values of slavery? Slavery, after all, was an acceptable custom in the world of the Old Testament. Don't be surprised if Bush's highly touted "Ownership Society" program takes on a whole new meaning one day . . . These people are capable of anything.

 
At 10:10 PM, Blogger frstlymil said...

Agreed, agreed. And wasn't it Thomas Jefferson who stated that to be a patriot, one must use their right to dissent? And regarding the new "moral order" (which is neither moral, nor order in my opinion) it was also Jefferson who said: "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." -- Thomas Jefferson - Letter to Alexander Humboldt, 1813 "
It is an unknown how far the dumbing down of America must go before we can climb out of this mess or be willing to. To add to the growing concern over just what exactly is it that George wishes to do with everyone, apparently the dollar is in a bit of trouble these days. According to a report on NPR this evening, strengthening the US dollar does not appear however to be cost effective in the long run with respect to competitive pricing with the foreign consumers...who are basically holding the country afloat. If our dollar gets stronger, they won't be spending theirs. What a mess.

P.S. Hey, thanks for the nice comment back there! (re: dogs, We're taking the dogs on a road trip for the holiday - the doggy motion sickness pills are at the ready)

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Anonymous said:
"this country, a world in which the opposite of the truth becomes the truth, a world in which the grotesque is perceived as the pastoral"

Absolutely. That is the thing that is driving me bizarre. Oppression is liberation, repression is freedom, war is peace, corruption is honesty. The horrible part is that so many actually buy into it. People whose own interests are directly opposed to the interests of the big corporations, still support the corporate plan to eat and enslave them as a natural consequence of corporate rule.

The distruction of American democracy is patriotism. Isn't it???

 
At 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad day indeed when the Supreme Court of the Ukraine has proven itself more devoted to democracy and the truth than the Supreme Stooges of the U.S.A.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

Those Ukrainian judges must be the sort of unpatriotic bastards that put the country and it's people before their exalted leader. Shamefully unpatriotic.

Thank God we don't do that in America.

 

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