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Author name #16
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User title: 21st century digital boy
Member since Sep 2007 · 17 posts · Location: Cambridge, UK
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In reply to post ID 349
I just generally can't wrap my head around the concept of patriotism. I can see people disliking the country they live in and either complaining about it or just plain moving out of it if the direction it takes goes against their own ideas, but I am literally unable to comprehend why someone is proud of a country they were just randomly born in, (usually) have no or only an unbelievably minor influence in and what the hell why do they even care.

For the record, one of the reasons I moved out of Germany was that I massively disagree with the direction the country has recently taken on various issues and just feel there's nothing I can do about that - so I just left for somewhere else to leave those crazy people running the place to their wacky shenanigans. If anyone feels like listening to me rant for an hour or so, just bring it up on IM or IRC ;)
"Hell is a pretty rotten place. Not only is it damn hot, but its inhabitants also have a rather deranged sense of humour." (R. Karsmakers)
Author name (Administrator) #17
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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Patriotism is just peachy.  Be proud of your homeland, miss it when you're gone, and talk it up to your neighbors.  Cool beans, I approve.

Nationalism is the danger.  Nationalism is defined by dictionary.com as:

3. excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
5. the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.

By comparison, patriotism is practically benign:  devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.
BLEARGH
Author name #18
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User title: 21st century digital boy
Member since Sep 2007 · 17 posts · Location: Cambridge, UK
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Subject: hay i learned wat filosofy is today
Yeah, I know that patriotism in itself isn't bad, but can go bad and result in Ugly Things. Nevertheless, I don't understand why people should love a country, as in a region with mostly-arbitrary "borders" that happens to be ruled by the same people. You can of course love a place, but isn't whichever nation owns it completely arbitrary? There's lots of beautiful places everywhere, but for me what makes me want to stay in one place is people. The hardest thing about moving out of Germany was that it meant leaving people behind that've been like family to me (as well as actual family). I don't miss Germany, but rather these specific few people I've left there.

Of course, I haven't been in much direct contact with non-Western cultures, but even so, a culture is again made by the people rather than the country they live in (although their physical location obviously plays an important role in how a culture develops).

Basically, I accept nations and borders because they exist, but I don't really believe they have any particular justification to do so beyond "this is how we've done it for hundreds of years". I haven't thought up an elaborate alternative model of organising people on a large scale that doesn't have the arbitrary and often frankly retarded drawbacks and restrictions that the current one does - but in the end, we're basically all just homo sapiens and want to get along with each other, no?
"Hell is a pretty rotten place. Not only is it damn hot, but its inhabitants also have a rather deranged sense of humour." (R. Karsmakers)
This post was edited on 2007-11-19, 16:34 by theoutrider.
Author name (Administrator) #19
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Member since May 2011 · 2484 posts · Location: Brisbane
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I agree - borders are an antiquated concept, and I don't believe they have a real purpose except to delineate sandboxes for people to administer.  If we did away with borders we'd still have regions, and those regions would have borders.  The alternative is world rule, where a small group oversees the whole planet, and that would probably make a few people (Rwanda, Burma, North Korea) happy, but  many middle-tier countries would suddenly find themselves without significant representation. 

Yeah, that way lies chaos, that's for sure.
BLEARGH
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