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Patriotism is for fools. Quotes of note worth consideratrion before we go to war again.

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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 09:52 AM
Original message
Patriotism is for fools. Quotes of note worth consideratrion before we go to war again.
This is not an attack on our troops but on the patriotism that is used to our detriment. Many US troops have returned from military conflict disillusioned with the unavoidable excesses of warfare, but many others have been converted by the experience into an intense patriotism that lets them serve as cheerleaders supportive of future wars, whoever the enemy (or enemies) might consist of. Meanwhile, the biased media coverage needed to drum up support for each of these wars has left a residue of patriotic enthusiasm that could easily be revitalized in support of the next conflict. Anybody who dares to question this intellectual juggernaut risks social ostracism, especially in rural communities and across the so-called red-state region.

Here are some interesting quotes by others of note.

Never was a patriot yet, but was a fool. John Dryden

A patriot is a fool in every age. Alexander Pope.

Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Samuel Johnson

In Dr. Johnsons famous dictionary, patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first. Ambrose Bierce

Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen. Ambrose Bierce

That pernicious sentiment, Our country, right or wrong. James Russell Lowell

My country right or wrong is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, My mother drunk or sober. G. K. Chesterton

Patriotism which has the quality of intoxication is a danger not only to its native land but to the world, and My country never wrong is an even more dangerous maxim than My country, right or wrong. Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it. George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. George Bernard Shaw

Youll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy. George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it. Denis Diderot

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography. George Santayana

The Athenian democracy suffered much from that narrowness of patriotism which is the ruin of all nations. H.G. Wells

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. Patriotism is its cult. . . . Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for ones country which is not part of ones love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship. Erich Fromm

One of the great attractions of patriotismit fulfills our worst wishes. In the person of our nation we are able, vicariously, to bully and cheat, Bully and cheat, whats more, with a feeling that we are profoundly virtuous. Aldous Huxley

Many studies have discovered a close link between prejudice and patriotism . . . Extreme bigots are almost always super-patriots. Gordon Allport

It seems like the less a statesman amounts to, the more he loves the flag. Elbert Hubband

Patriotism varies, from a noble devotion to a moral lunacy. William Inge

Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority. Arthur Schopenhauer

Patriotism is the passion of fools and the most foolish of passions. Arthur Schopenhauer

Patriotism corrupts history. Goethe

Into the cultural and technological system of the modern world, the patriotic spirit fits like dust in the eyes and sand in the bearings. Its net contribution to the outcome is obscuration, distrust, and retardation at every point where it touches the fortunes of modern mankind. Thorstein Veblen

The standardization of mass-production carries with it a tendency to standardize a mass-mind, producing a willing conformity, not merely to common ways of living, but to common ways of thinking and common valuations. The worst defect of patriotism is its tendency to foster and impose this common mind, and so to stifle the innumerable germs of liberty. J.A. Hobson

2. Patriotism and War:

At the bottom of all patriotism is war: that is why I am no patriot. Jules Renard

No other factor in history, not even religion, has produced so many wars as has the clash of national egotisms sanctified by the name of patriotism. Preserved Smith

Naturally the common people dont want war . . . Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders . . . All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism. Hermann Goering.

That worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor . . . This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotismhow passionately I hate them! Albert Einstein

3. Patriotism and Religion:

Patriotism is a kind of religion; it is the egg from which wars are hatched. Guy de Maupassant

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed. Luis Buuel

To be patriotic, hate all nations but you own; to be religious, all sects but your own; to be moral, all pretenses but your own. Lionel Strachey

When a dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism! David Starr Jordan

4. The American Syndrome:

If you have a weak candidate and a weak platform, wrap yourself up in the American flag and talk about the Constitution. Matt Quay

How much longer are we going to think it necessary to be American before (or in contradistinction to) being cultivated, being enlightened, being humane, & having the same intellectual discipline as other civilized countries? It is really too easy a disguise for our shortcomings to dress them up as a form of patriotism. Edith Wharton

The 100 percent American is 99 percent an idiot. George Bernard Shaw

Treason is in the air around us everywhere. It goes by the name of patriotism. Thomas Corwin

5. Three relatively positive assessments of patriotism:

A patriot is somebody who protects his country from his government. Or better yet: who has the guts to protect his country from its government. Piotyr Dirk

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. George Washington

Dissent is the highest form of patriotism. Thomas Jefferson
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
1. Patriotism is a threat to liberty
What, then, is patriotism? Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels, said Dr. Johnson. Leo Tolstoy, the greatest anti-patriot of our times, defines patriotism as the principle that will justify the training of wholesale murderers; a trade that requires better equipment for the exercise of man-killing than the making of such necessities of life as shoes, clothing, and houses; a trade that guarantees better returns and greater glory than that of the average workingman.

Gustave Herv, another great anti-patriot, justly calls patriotism a superstition - one far more injurious, brutal, and inhumane than religion. The superstition of religion originated in mans inability to explain natural phenomena. That is, when primitive man heard thunder or saw the lightning, he could not account for either, and therefore concluded that back of them must be a force greater than himself. Similarly he saw a supernatural force in the rain, and in the various other changes in nature. Patriotism, on the other hand, is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit.

Indeed, conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. Let me illustrate. Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others.

The inhabitants of the other spots reason in like manner, of course, with the result that, from early infancy, the mind of the child is poisoned with bloodcurdling stories about the Germans, the French, the Italians, Russians, etc. When the child has reached manhood, he is thoroughly saturated with the belief that he is chosen by the Lord himself to defend his country against the attack or invasion of any foreigner. It is for that purpose that we are clamoring for a greater army and navy, more battleships and ammunition. It is for that purpose that America has within a short time spent four hundred million dollars. Just think of it - four hundred million dollars taken from the produce of the people. For surely it is not the rich who contribute to patriotism. They are cosmopolitans, perfectly at home in every land. We in America know well the truth of this. Are not our rich Americans Frenchmen in France, Germans in Germany, or Englishmen in England? And do they not squander with cosmopolitan grace fortunes coined by American factory children and cotton slaves? Yes, theirs is the patriotism that will make it possible to send messages of condolence to a despot like the Russian Tsar, when any mishap befalls him, as President Roosevelt did in the name of his people, when Sergius was punished by the Russian revolutionists.

It is a patriotism that will assist the arch-murderer, Diaz, in destroying thousands of lives in Mexico, or that will even aid in arresting Mexican revolutionists on American soil and keep them incarcerated in American prisons, without the slightest cause or reason.

But, then, patriotism is not for those who represent wealth and power. It is good enough for the people. It reminds one of the historic wisdom of Frederick the Great, the bosom friend of Voltaire, who said: Religion is a fraud, but it must be maintained for the masses.

Emma Goldman 1911

Patriotism, a Menace to Liberty


http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/goldman/works/1911/patriotism.htm
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Good reading ...thanks.
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emulatorloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. I'm Patriotic and I'm no fool. Blame the perversion of patriotism by the right wing
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 10:29 AM by emulatorloo
not love of country itself. I love my country so much that I cannot bear to see it destroyed by Republican rule.


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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I reject patriotism and the jingoism and militarism that it breeds
We are citizens of planet Earth, and as Bah'u'llh (founder of Bahai faith) taught, the human race is one.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Indeed., the human race is one.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. I'm a patriot and not a fool. Don't let the bad guys co-op our symbols and our country. nt
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. You are defending a form of tribalism
Edited on Tue Sep-23-08 10:57 AM by IndianaGreen
We are one planet, one human race, and the problems we all face are global in nature requiring collective solutions implemented both globally and locally.

God, the State, and society are non-existent, that their promises are null and void, since they can be fulfilled only through man's subordination. Anarchism is therefore the teacher of the unity of life; not merely in nature, but in man. There is no conflict between the individual and the social instincts, any more than there is between the heart and the lungs: the one the receptacle of a precious life essence, the other the repository of the element that keeps the essence pure and strong. The individual is the heart of society, conserving the essence of social life; society is the lungs which are distributing the element to keep the life essencethat is, the individualpure and strong.

"The one thing of value in the world," says Emerson, "is the active soul; this every man contains within him. The soul active sees absolute truth and utters truth and creates." In other words, the individual instinct is the thing of value in the world. It is the true soul that sees and creates the truth alive, out of which is to come a still greater truth, the re-born social soul.

Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony. To accomplish that unity, Anarchism has declared war on the pernicious influences which have so far prevented the harmonious blending of individual and social instincts, the individual and society.

Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man's enslavement and all the horrors it entails. Religion! How it dominates man's mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began. Anarchism rouses man to rebellion against this black monster. Break your mental fetters, says Anarchism to man, for not until you think and judge for yourself will you get rid of the dominion of darkness, the greatest obstacle to all progress.

Property, the dominion of man's needs, the denial of the right to satisfy his needs. Time was when property claimed a divine right, when it came to man with the same refrain, even as religion, "Sacrifice! Abnegate! Submit!" The spirit of Anarchism has lifted man from his prostrate position. He now stands erect, with his face toward the light. He has learned to see the insatiable, devouring, devastating nature of property, and he is preparing to strike the monster dead.

"Property is robbery," said the great French Anarchist Proudhon. Yes, but without risk and danger to the robber. Monopolizing the accumulated efforts of man, property has robbed him of his birthright, and has turned him loose a pauper and an outcast. Property has not even the time-worn excuse that man does not create enough to satisfy all needs. The A B C student of economics knows that the productivity of labor within the last few decades far exceeds normal demand. But what are normal demands to an abnormal institution? The only demand that property recognizes is its own gluttonous appetite for greater wealth, because wealth means power; the power to subdue, to crush, to exploit, the power to enslave, to outrage, to degrade. America is particularly boastful of her great power, her enormous national wealth. Poor America, of what avail is all her wealth, if the individuals comprising the nation are wretchedly poor? If they live in squalor, in filth, in crime, with hope and joy gone, a homeless, soilless army of human prey.

Anarchism: What It Really Stands For (1910)

Emma Goldman


http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/goldman/works/1910s/anarchism.htm
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natrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-08 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
7. zimmy
They say that patriotism is the last refuge
To which a scoundrel clings.
Steal a little and they throw you in jail,
Steal a lot and they make you king.
There's only one step down from here, baby,
It's called the land of permanent bliss.
What's a sweetheart like you doin' in a dump like this?

Infidels 1983
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