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"Beware the leader who bangs the drum of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor. For patriotism
is indeed a double- edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have
reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights
of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and patriotism, will offer up all of their rights to the leader
and gladly so.
How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Julius Caesar."
The Evil Of Patriotism
When Opposed To Humanism
IF YOU ARE A BUSH-STYLE "PATRIOT", THIS IS NOT FOR YOU
65 years ago, I can still remember that in those days we believed there was nothing more important than
to serve our country, even die for our country, defend it against invaders. We were told "don't ask what your country can
do for you but what can you do for your country"! At that time it all sounded quite correct and logical, like many other tunes
of those days. In fact, I was living in my place of birth, Namur, Belgium and in early May 1940, the Nazis invaded Belgium.
We fled to France and eventually ended up in the mountains of Auvergne where, barely 15 years old, I joined the Resistance
in 1943. My brother was there already, since 1942, My mother's husband, Jean Louis Perret, who had been working for the French
secret services for many years and who was working undercover in Clermont-Ferrand, was caught twice by the Gestapo (see also
my #89, Mathieu, Gestapo Chief) and entually was taken to Buchenwald where he was murdered by the Nazis.
with a lifetime of experience and largely thanks to the reality of the United States, I have understood something quite different.
People are indoctrinated with the ideas of patriotism for only ONE REASON: because it serves the
interests of the wealthy upper class: the plutocrats, who are not concerned at all about their country, nor any country in
particular, since they belong to NO country... they are not only above the law, they are above borders. The only God they
serve and honor is WEALTH (also called Satan). Their greed and selfishness are their virtues while they cultivate indifference
and passivity among their slaves, in particular their herd of 300 million American sheep.
In the 30s, Hitler connived
with, and was assisted by, the upper class of the US and the UK who were only too happy to help Hitler in his great plan to
conquer and enslave the USSR. The US was also in favour of France becoming a part of Germany. But as usual, the Americans
greatly miscalculated and thanks to the glorious Red Army and the heroic Resistance ("terrorists" in White House jargon),
Hitler failed miserably in his conquest, so that when the war was almost over, the Americans found it more expedient to land
in Normandie and destroy part of France as well as a large part of Germany. They even "suicided" their pet, Adolf.
ordinary American does not know any of this, nor is he allowed to know as otherwise a revolution would be a sure thing. Therefore,
the government-controlled press and TV have for mission to brainwash the people from crib to grave. They do such a great job
of it that even now, when a small part of the truth is seeping out, many if not most Americans don't believe any of it but
prefer to stick to the fables and illusions they have been accustomed to believe during a lifetime of indoctrination.
other words the severe mental condition of Americans explains how so many Americans have supported and still support the crimes
committed by America in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. To be honest, one has to say that the plutocrats are spending
large sums of money to carry out their brainwashing. They know that the foundation of the plutocracy rests on this mental
manipulation of the masses... masses of fools who believe what they see and what they hear: yes, a winning combination!
let's see. Since patriotism means the defence of one's country against foreign aggression, it necessarily follows that the
Iraqi "terrorists" are not terrorists at all but heroic patriots who defend their motherland against
the barbaric aggression of American semi-human gangster-terrorists who came all the way from the other side of the world to liberate the oil fields.
This was to be just the start since the Americans were planning to
liberate the oil of Iran, Russia and other places. True, they already succeeded in liberating the oil of the ex-Soviet republics
by paying, subverting and enslaving the local governments there, as well also as in carrying on miscellaneous acts of terrorism
in that entire area. But I just heard that in Uzbekistan, they have now been unceremoniously kicked out of there. Well another
defeat for Nazism. Anyway, they had no business being there in the first place.
But here is where some misunderstanding
arises! For instance, the American whorish media keeps calling the heroic Iraqi patriots... "terrorists", while they refer
to the American Nazi terrorists as "patriots"!!!
Seems to be some confusion here but that should not be any surprise.
During the Second World War, the German Nazi terrorists also called us Resistance guys: "terrorists", while they called "patriots"
the traitors who were working for them. Doesn't this show the truth of the statement: "One learns
from history that one doesn't learn from history". In any case, if peace should come back some day, some people
are now proposing that, through a Nuremberg-type tribunal, all American "patriots" be condemned to death for complicity in
crimes against Humanity, while the so-called Iraqi "terrorists" be celebrated as heroes who will live for ever in the heart
of all men of good will.
This however, will probably not happen for the simple reason that the main force governing
the world... including the USA, is the plutocracy... the terrorists! (which some may wish to call
But we must not stop at this point. Consider that in America today, there are between 20 and 40% of "patriots".
This is the so-called "majority" in rigged elections, and this "majority" supports the president and the country, right or
wrong. As you can see, this "patriotism" presents the gravest threat to Humanity's survival ! Why? Because there is no need
to be an Einstein to notice that the US government - as in fact most other governments - is controlled by the M.I.C., the
Military-Industrial Complex... the plutocrats! Therefore, the "patriots" are nothing more or less but the brainwashed tools
of the plutocrats and it follows that their supposed "patriotism" is in fact SLAVERY to the plutocracy.
"patriots" one little bit of a brain, they would see that their first duty is not at all to the plutocrats but to HUMANITY
and it follows that their human duty is to help the poor Iraqi victims fight this American plutocracy as well as help in the
slaughter of all existing American troops.
Thus instead of the devilish slogan "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS", they should follow
the human slogan "DESTROY OUR TROOPS", since indeed when they support those gangsterish animals
they become ACCOMPLICES of their terrorist government while otherwise, they would be HEROES.
is easy to say all this but it is unlikely to happen if we reflect that for generation after generation, the Americans have
been subjected to a plutocratic brainwashing transforming them into servile slaves of the plutocracy, with artificially implanted
tendencies towards GREED and SELFISHNESS, accompanied by INDIFFERENCE and PASSIVITY regarding government affairs. Moreover,
just to make sure their interest does not deviate in the direction of social problems, they are discreetly encouraged to take
refuge in SEX, DRUGS and CRIME. It is no coincidence nor accident that the United States has become
the world centre for criminal and deviate behaviour: just check world statistics! See, America is FIRST
At this point, one could ask the logical question: WHAT IS TO BE DONE? However
this is a question I need not and must not answer. My friends, you know the answer and the rest is up to you! We, old guys,
can't fight any more, it is up to you young fellows to do it.
Finally, all the above may be very interesting but I
need to present below some other opinion. Here is a presentation by Gary G. Kohls... Let's see what this learned
man has to say on the matter:
What Is Patriotism?
Excerpts (Mostly) From the 125th Anniversary
Issue of The Nation
Compiled by Gary G. Kohls
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
- Samuel Johnson
“What to the American
slave, is your 4th of July? … To him, your celebration is a sham; … your national greatness is swelling vanity;
your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; … a thin veil
to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking
and bloody than are the people of the United states, at this very hour.”
- Frederick Douglas July 4, 1852
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.”
- Bob Dylan (from “Union Sundown”)
rule the world; your better get that through your head. This world is ruled by violence; but I guess that’s better left
- Bob Dylan
“Every imperialist nation looks strong until the last five minutes.”
Patriotism means love of country or region in the sense of wanting to work for its improvement, as
well as defend it against the attack of a foreign power that seeks to capture it or a domestic group that seeks to destroy
its Constitution by illegal means.
- Benjamin Spock
Fascism will come to America because America has brought
fascism to so many other countries.
- Bertram Russell, comment made during the Vietnam War.
as love of country is often a cover for mere hatred and fear of other people and alien governments. One does not prove that
one loves one’s wife by battering other women – yet we are asked to think it a failure in patriotism if we show
any lack of enthusiasm for adding the sixty-thousandth casualty to Iraqi troops or to the civilian dead. This is not love
but perversion, and an insult to the nation in whose name such hatred is indulged.
- Garry Wills
is a radical dedication to the ideals upon which one’s country was founded: an ability to see through ephemeral issues
to enduring ones; to hold course in the midst of political storms; to retain one’s commitment to free speech in the
midst of war hysteria.
- Erica Jong
The patriotic traditions I value are found in the cracks in the
system, among them are the whistleblowers inside government agencies; the people working for corporations who sometimes come
up after I give an anti-corporate speech, hand me their card, smile and say “call me”; or the idealistic students
who still show up in graduate journalism school, believing that muckraking will make a difference.
- David Weir
I had to proclaim a patriotic objective, I would define it as follows: to turn one’s country into such a society of
freedom, equality and social justice that it would influence others by its example.
- Daniel Singer
appears as the uncritical, and hence manipulable, identification with power. Its ideal end is national unity or the subordination
of contested social differences. Patriotism is commonly thought of as love of one’s country and loyal obedience to its
government. Since they know that they are likely to remain in power indefinitely, loyalty presents no problem. Theirs is a
patriotism of winners. The left has trouble with patriotism not because it is the party of humanity but because it is, nationally
and internationally, the party of losers. I would propose democracy: it is far less exclusionary, in principle and practice,
that nationalism, patriotism or the ideology of capitalism. Democracy can be patriotic, but only on condition that the first
loyalty is to it.
- Sheldon S. Wolin
My country stands tall, but I prefer is seated.
A patriot is someone who organizes his or her political and social values around a set of national ideals.
Patriotism does not imply love of government and certainly does not require that one ignore the gap between a nation’s
ideals and its practices in actual social life. Citizens have an obligation to criticize government and other actors in society.
I consider myself a devoted American patriot because the American Creed, which developed out of the epoch of the Enlightenment,
is humanistic and liberal and has a universalist dimension. It expresses the essential dignity of human beings and confidence
in the value of decisions arrived at by common counsel rather than be violence.
- Neil Postman
of Franklin Roosevelt was best expressed in his Economic Bill of Rights:
“The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every family to a decent home;
right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health; The right to adequate protection from
the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment;
And the right to a good education.”
Try to imagine President Bush calling for such a bill.
Patriotism means that no citizen is denied these
basic rights. For unless there is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.
- Katrina vanden
Unprincipled or unthinking patriotism is difficult to resist in times of war or so-called national emergencies,
whether manufactured or real.
Patriotism is not invariably a sin, but it should never be ranked with the virtues. The most
dangerous manifestation of patriotism is the assertion of superiority, whether based on some fancied inherent traits of a
particular national grouping or on a political system and historical role that are seen as better than those of other countries.
The danger can become fatal when it leads to the delusion that the “superior” country has a moral obligation to
punish offending ones and use its military might to establish a “new world order: in its own image.
- Ring Lardner
My anger toward my country for what it is doing is an expression of care and concern.
- Robert Jay
The democratic idealism that this country was founded upon but has never quite lived up to. I am a
patriot only in proportion to how much we are allowed to live up to that ideal, which, at its heart, is internationalist.
Patriotism cannot be good. What produces war is the desire for an exclusive good for one’s
own nation – that is called patriotism. And so to abolish war, it is necessary to abolish patriotism, and to abolish
patriotism, it is necessary first to become convinced that it is an evil.
- Leo Tolstoy (linking patriotism to military
I will match my love of country with that of any of those hearties in the Administration who are sending
Americans to war having declined to serve in one themselves. I refer to the Secretary of Defense and the Vice President particularly.
Mary McGrory (talking about the Bush I administration following Gulf War I.)
Patriotism is tied to the beliefs
and rituals of the state religion, in which the state is a god and its top managers and senior military officers a priesthood.
This state religion has patriotic rituals, such as parades, that mask the system of authoritarian control by proclaiming affection
for the country as a whole.
- Seymour Melman
In my America the capture, torture and enslavement of
a race is unforgivable. In my America there is a hope that democracy is not forever destined to be corrupted by wealth influencing
power. In my America the basic rights of all its citizens must be respected, and this respect extends beyond borders. There
is one tradition in America I am proud to inherit. It is our first freedom and the truest expression of our Americans: The
ability to dissent without fear. It is our right to utter the words. “I disagree.” We must feel at liberty to
speak those words to our neighbors, our clergy, our educators, our news media, our lawmakers and, above all, to the one among
us we elect President.
- Natalie Merchant, lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs.
Is such a patriotism required
to celebrate the slaughter of Desert Store? No.
- Jefferson Morley
As we saw during the Bush presidential
campaign and again during Gulf War I, it is to encourage feelings of false superiority and to discourage dissent from groupthink.
After all, we don’t have any power. We might as well have some principles.
- Katha Pollitt
everything normally associated with patriotism – wars, rituals of nationalistic loyalty, sentimentalized (or invented)
traditions, parades, flags, etc. – is quite dreadful and full of appalling claims of superiority and pre-eminence.
Edward W. Said
If to be born a citizen of the US means that I am an “American” – and the peoples
of Central and South America are not (merely Costa Ricans and Peruvians and Incas – then I renounce my citizenship.
This land is the Lakota Nation. My duty is to overthrow the genocidal American Way of Life in order to try to save the sacred
covenant with this land.
- David Seals
People get excited about patriotism partly because it’s a
cheap virtue and partly because it’s one of the few ways many people have to join together with folks who are in some
ways different and distant. It’s tempting to throw up our hands and leave patriotism to the yahoos, but nationality
remains a fact of political life, even for those who ache to transcend it.
- Jerrold Seigel
It is difficult
to avoid thinking that what is being called patriotism today is, on the part of many people, a combination of “group
narcissism.” Neurotic obedience,” (leaving decisions in the hands of authority figures) relieves us of the anxiety
of making our own decisions and of accepting the consequences of our own initiatives. To support and defend our country on
any occasion where we are convinced its actions may be unjust is not patriotism at all. A patriotism that refuses ever to
call one’s country to account for the morality of its action is no true patriotism at all. It is a bogus patriotism.
William H. Shannon
How can thinking people – those who have broken free from the animal level – devote
themselves to patriotism when it is merely a trapping devoid of principled content? Propagandistic rhetoric and the waving
of the flag alongside militaristic adventurism evoke “proud” emotional stirrings, and we convince ourselves that
we are functioning on some higher plane. Why not call it manipulation? The real trick is promoting the principles associated
with humanitarianism – that is, concerning ourselves with the well-being of all peoples.
- Stanley K. Sheinbaum
patriotism only wants our country back again. The patriotism rooted in social and political idealism continued to flicker
during the antiwar movement of King, McCarthy and Bobby Kennedy and came to a climax when McGovern was nominated.
When Ronald Reagan called the contra assassins in Central America “freedom fighters,”
we could only wince. When Oliver North became a national hero, when the pledge of allegiance became a campaign issue, when
Reagan ordered the invasion of defenseless Granada, we could only wince.
Being eighteenth-century patriots – rational,
tolerant, liberal – has stigmatized us in the eyes of the jingo-patriots. How can we tell them that patriotism is wanting
the best for a country that has never lived up to its potential? Patriotism flourishes best in a community with common ideals,
a common frame of reference. It seems that only an outbreak of war generates a surge of patriotism, a feeling of unity.
Harriet Van Horne
The so-called Indians are the original Americans whose homeland European invaders stole.
the Vice President and Secretary of Defense chose not to fight for their country in Vietnam, why should anyone fight for their
country? E Pluribus Unum means from the one, many. That could be our happy fate in a single, interdependent world with no
flags to burn, no guns to be shot in anger, no – dare I propose so dangerous a proposition? – taxation without
- Gore Vidal
Patriotism has only one purpose, to make war. And I don’t believe that
killing people is ever a solution, any more than I believe that the death penalty will prevent murders. I like to think of
myself as a future citizen of a world in which we will finally accept our share of the responsibility for reversing the global
damage we’ve already done.
Patriotism is the cover word for keeping the war machine tuned. Of course, the war machine
doesn’t run on patriotic feeling alone. It runs on the mountain share of our federal budget that is devoted to the military.
It runs on the will of the greedy corporations that sometimes need “bombs bursting in air.” As well as their usual
economic bullying to insure that their profits continue to grow. Many aspects of our national culture, which would appear
superficially to have nothing to do with war, help to feed an aggressive, killer-take-all perspective on global affairs, hence
the Persian Gulf debacle.
- Michele Wallace
You can get rich, either through hard work, luck or at other
people’s expense. Every successful revolution has been made by movements that have successfully represented themselves
as acting in the best interests of their country – or as the true patriots.
- James Weinstein
leaders would rather kill hundreds of thousands that risk the unmanly ignominy of backing down. But today’s patriotism
seems to me the patriarchal justification for legally sanctioned murder, and as a feminist, I cannot envision a lift-wing
patriotism that overcomes this.
- Naomi Weisstein