Issue: Patriotism
The Independent Thinker--Critical Thinking, Activism, Dissent, Metanoia

Patriotism is a form of tribal behavior which encourages hatred, violence, a mob mentality, and many other antisocial characteristics in individuals and groups. I recommend your first reading my site on tribal behavior. It includes research on the in-group, out-group syndrome.

Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who 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 others.
- Emma Goldman

Howard Zinn (The Zinn Reader, 377) says that extreme patriotism causes "even the symbols of patriotism--the flag, the national anthem--[to] become objects of worship, and those who refuse to worship are treated as heretics."

How about war and giving your life for your country. Is this warranted? Or even rational? See my site on War.

"I hate it when they say, 'He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them."
- Admiral Gene LaRocque


Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS


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