Nationalism

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Nationalism is encouraged from your earliest days as a child to your seniority and those who don’t agree with this patriotism are told they are both disrespectful and ungrateful. I’ve always been curious as to why this fervor is so strong. What do we mean when we say things like “I’m proud to be an american” or “we’re the greatest country on earth”. Acknowledging our country for practical political purposes is one thing, and so is saying you’re happy to be born here, but do we actually think ourselves as individuals better than people from other countries?

Nationalism is a dangerous chauvinism. It encourages the idea that the imaginary lines (borders) you were born in have some effect on your worth as a person. In the face of many atrocious events in our history and present times I think it is morally reprehensible to exalt our nation to the position of greatest country in the world. Blind patriotism is dangerous and can very easily be used to manipulate a useful idiot by a corrupt politic. No country is inherently supreme, but is instead dependent on the collection of principles and values held by said country that makes it good or bad.

I would like to propose a hypothetical situation. Imagine a military operation in which three lives are endangered and only one or the other two can be saved. The first person is an american, born in the united states, and speaks english. The other two are not american, they were not born in the united states, and they do not speak english. Now a patriot’s duty is to save the american citizen right? But isn’t this so wrong? Isn’t placing extra value on someone’s life over another’s because of the country they were born in anti-human? Should’t we choose to save as many people as possible and go with the two over the one?

What is worse in your eyes, the death of an innocent american or the death of an innocent non-american? If you picked one over the other then my point is proven. Nationalism corrupts our humanity because either death should be equally upsetting. I do not exclusively love my country. I love my world and all its people, whether they are american or not.

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  1 comment for “Nationalism

  1. April 21, 2014 at 5:34 am

    Yes! I completely agree! During the days of high school and before I would not stand to solute the flag because I never saw why we should – especially at that time, that was just after 9/11 and everyone was clamoring for war, but we attacked the wrong country (if any countries were actually to blame, that is). I am proud of the state that I live in because I think our state is moving forward and working to improve. I am not proud of our country though because I believe we’re nothing more than school yard bullies. Of course, the entire country isn’t bad, and the principles it was built on are strong, but I have very little, if any, pride in this country.
    Can that change? Of course, though it would take a lot of work. Are we an over all bad country? Were no worse than any of the others, we’re just cockier, I think, have a little bit of an attitude problem. We are the teenager that thinks we don’t have to listen to the grown ups.
    There is nothing wrong with having pride in where you’re from, though like anything, I think it can go too far, as you say, border line chauvinism, but then again, so can anything.

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