Archive for the ‘GOVERNMENTS USING MYTHS AND LEGENDS TO STIR A SENSE OF SUPERIORITY’ Tag

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 TOOL USED BY THOSE SEEKING POWER – AND YOU JUST CANNOT EXCLUDE FASCISM FROM THIS SUBJECT – WHAT HISTORIES OF AMERICA AND ISRAEL VIVIDLY TELL US   3 comments

John Chuckman

EXPANSION OF A COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE BY JOHN DERBYSHIRE IN RUSSIA INSIDER

 

“Let’s Cherish Our Nations. Let’s Be Nationalists!

“Nationalism and patriotism mean exactly the same and, despite what globalists elites would like you to think, there is nothing wrong with either — as Israelis will be the first to attest to”

 

I’m not against anyone expressing affection for his or her country, but all displays of heavy-duty patriotism and nationalism I regard as looking backward to the 19th century, at best, and as dangerous mumbo-jumbo, at worst.

Wars and the darkest-possible crimes have been fired-up by patriotic enthusiasms. The first thing that governments with bad intentions trot out is something touching on patriotism, as when the United States used the sinking of the USS Maine – almost certainly the result of faulty boilers and not an attack by anyone – to help launch the Spanish-American War in the hope of grabbing at least Cuba.

How right was Doctor Johnson when he said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” He was referring to the American revolutionary “Patriots,” those freedom-loving, unapologetic owners of gangs of human flesh, and to Thomas Jefferson in particular, a genuine scoundrel if ever there was one.

I like H. G. Wells’ words, “Our true nationality is mankind.” That is a profound truth with which human political arrangements still have not caught up.

Citing Israel on the merits of nationalism, as this author does, speaks for itself.

Modern Israel is a place built on dishonesty, theft, hatreds, and a great deal of killing, and there is just nothing to admire about it.

And it has done nothing but generate wars and tensions and arbitrary demands in its region for its entire brief history. It has had an effect on its region much as embers from a carelessly-tended campfire have on nearby dry grassland or forest.

Not even its boundaries are set, and the population over which it rules contains millions of unwelcome people and people who themselves do not want to be part of it.

So, to just what is it one is supposed to show patriotic ardor? Seems to me, in the end, it can only come down to some combination of biblical fantasies and the worship of raw power, that last being one of the essential ingredients of fascism.

Of course, the fascists also used myths and legends and ancient history to stir up their people to a sense of superiority, from Nordic myths to ancient Roman history.

You know, generalizing about nation states in the way this author does is just as foolish and inaccurate as generalizing about individual people.

We have people who are worthy of admiration, and we, equally, have ones who are anything but. We also have many cases of ambiguity and conflict, cases where whether you admire a figure depends completely on the admirer’s predisposition, not on the admired figure’s inherent merit because we find others who believe exactly the opposite about the figure.

Moreover, with nation states, we not only see the foibles of individual people magnified – as with crimes and irrational behavior – but we also see that physical endowments, the resource bases of states, are extremely unequal and often reflect mere accidents of history having nothing to do with the intrinsic merits of the society.

This last extends from mineral wealth and other natural resources to the extent of arable land and potable water. Is America to be admired because it conquered many weak neighbors and took their lands?

You could easily argue that the greatest “merit” in American history contributing to the colossus we see today was simply the luck of having neighbors who couldn’t defend themselves, from native peoples to the Spanish Empire. If Germany, whether in WWI or WWII, had had the same situation, it would reign supreme in today’s world.

On the subject of patriotism and nationalism, readers may enjoy:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/john-chuckman-comment-the-dangerous-irrationality-of-nationalism-especially-the-extreme-fundamentalist-religious-forms-of-it-we-find-in-the-patriotism-of-america-and-israel/