JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE DANGERS OF “PATRIOTISM” – A GROWING THREAT IN THE WEST – I’M NOT REFERRING TO AFFECTION FOR YOUR COUNTRY – I’M REFERRING TO “MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG” AND THAT IS DEADLY POISONOUS STUFF – EXACTLY LIKE RELIGIOUS FANATICS READY TO KILL THOSE WHO DON’T EMBRACE THEIR VIEW   2 comments

 

John Chuckman

 

COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY BRENDAN O’NEILL IN CHECKPOINT ASIA

 

“According to the British Army, It’s Extremist to Be a Patriot

Love of Britain suspect in an army which serves at the pleasure of Washington, DC

The Decline of Western Civilization”

 

“When soldiers – the people expected to give their lives to defend the nation – are being instructed that fondness for your nation is an iffy attribute, you know modern Britain is in serious moral trouble.”

 

As far as it goes, yes, that is true.

But when you add: “What is bizarre, if not outright perverse, about these indicators of ‘right-wing extremism’ is that just a few years ago such outlooks would have been seen as essential attributes for every aspiring soldier,” I stop agreeing. You’ve literally changed the subject without saying so.

Whether you like it or not, the West does have a problem today with extreme right-wing patriot types.

I’m not saying there’s any problem with simple love or fondness for one’s country.

Simple affection for one’s country is entirely a different thing than aggressive patriotism. It’s a little like comparing enjoying and having a fondness for one’s food with being a voracious hog who shoves others out of the way.

I’m referring to the “patriotism” Dr Johnson characterized brilliantly as “the last refuge of scoundrels” about two hundred and fifty years ago.

In that statement and in his rightly contemptuous words about “drivers of negroes speaking of liberty,” Johnson was referring to men like Thomas Jefferson, the greatest hypocrite in American history and, interestingly, a heroic figure for many of today’s extremists (See my link at the end of this).

There are many people with rather dark intentions who hide them behind the mask of patriotism, just as has been the case for centuries with certain people hiding their intentions behind the mask of religion.

Patriotism, of the extreme American type (“Love it or leave it,” “My country, right or wrong”), is after all just another form of extreme religious belief, of religious fanaticism, a secular form, just as communism and Nazism were.

Just look at the asinine example of Trump with his photo-ops of hugging and kissing the flag and the most extreme outbursts of patriotic nonsense. The man avoided service when it was his turn on the flimsiest excuse (see my link at the end of this), and he speaks contemptuously in public of many Americans just exercising their rights, and he is a man who would make a deal with the devil if there was enough in it for him.

Indeed, he already has made such deals, concerning Jerusalem and the Golan – things not in his gift to give away – and threatening an ugly, unnecessary war with Iran, and in the appointment to his government of men fit to serve in the old Gestapo or the Stasi – Bolton, Pompeo, and Abrams.

He has absolutely no principles beyond satisfying an immense ego. Yet he hugs the flag, salutes at parades, wears a flag lapel pin always, and likes to dress-up when addressing the troops in things like custom-made bomber jackets. All this while sending others off to die for meaningless imperial goals and killing innocents in many lands when he thinks they are in his way. He is the perfect example of corrupt and dangerous “patriotism,” very dangerous patriotism.

The poisonous stuff Dr Johnson condemned so long ago. And his words were just as meaningful as historic figures who warned of the Catholic Church’s corrupt and absolute hold on society centuries ago or of the threat of Soviet communism or of the equal threat of fascism in 1930s Europe.

We are never free of such things. Societies never reach a blissful equilibrium free of threats, although it is such a common illusion in the West that our societies have indeed reached just such a state. We must always be analyzing and criticizing what appears threatening. That is just part of the human condition.

See:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/john-chuckman-comment-trump-as-the-most-american-of-presidents-a-claim-which-should-infuriate-both-his-supporters-and-opponents/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/john-chuckman-comment-patriotism-and-nationalism-much-like-religion-in-blindly-praising-the-insupportable-nations-like-people-come-in-all-types-and-many-hardly-deserve-praise-patriotism-is-a-to/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/john-chuckman-comment-the-remarkable-case-of-thomas-jefferson-he-wasnt-at-all-what-so-many-think-he-was-how-the-needs-of-politics-can-twist-and-exploit-historical-figures-and-myth-making-as-a/

 

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/22/john-chuckman-comment-how-american-politics-really-work-why-there-are-terrible-candidates-and-constant-wars-and-peoples-problems-are-ignored-why-heroes-like-julian-assange-are-persecuted-and-r/

 

Posted May 31, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

2 responses to “JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: MORE ON THE DANGERS OF “PATRIOTISM” – A GROWING THREAT IN THE WEST – I’M NOT REFERRING TO AFFECTION FOR YOUR COUNTRY – I’M REFERRING TO “MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG” AND THAT IS DEADLY POISONOUS STUFF – EXACTLY LIKE RELIGIOUS FANATICS READY TO KILL THOSE WHO DON’T EMBRACE THEIR VIEW

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