What is patriotism? (1 Viewer)

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    bird

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    How is patriotism defined? Does it actually have a definite definition? I am not talking about a dictionary definition.

    I would like to hear some comments before burdening everybody with my own.
     
    The official definition is "the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one's country."

    I have always thought that patriotism has two different sides. A positive side and a negative side

    When we talk about vigorous support for ones contry do that imply the vigorous support for those who lead said country too - no matter what they do or where they lead ?

    Take Russia as example. Is it "patriotic" to go and kill peacefull neighbors in order to expand the borders of your country ? Or is it patriotic to oppose the war because you feel that the war started by your elected leaders will in the end harm your country and its population?

    Is is patriotic to support the leaders of your country regardless of what they do?

    IMHO Patriotism has been abused for ages by tyrants and would be emperors to wage war against both external as well as internal "enemies"

    True IMHO Patriotism is to work hard for the common good and succes of your country and its citizents and that includes speaking up against oppression, poverty, and all the other factors which can hurt or damage said country and citizents.
     
    The official definition is "the quality of being patriotic; devotion to and vigorous support for one's country."

    I have always thought that patriotism has two different sides. A positive side and a negative side

    When we talk about vigorous support for ones contry do that imply the vigorous support for those who lead said country too - no matter what they do or where they lead ?

    Take Russia as example. Is it "patriotic" to go and kill peacefull neighbors in order to expand the borders of your country ? Or is it patriotic to oppose the war because you feel that the war started by your elected leaders will in the end harm your country and its population?

    Is is patriotic to support the leaders of your country regardless of what they do?

    IMHO Patriotism has been abused for ages by tyrants and would be emperors to wage war against both external as well as internal "enemies"

    True IMHO Patriotism is to work hard for the common good and succes of your country and its citizents and that includes speaking up against oppression, poverty, and all the other factors which can hurt or damage said country and citizents.
    Great start!

    I would note that patriotism is one of the most potent and perhaps easily twisted forms of tribalism. This is particularly true of countries that were/are “dispensable” meaning empire or empire-like.

    Certainly the fallacy of “my country, right or wrong”is an excellent example of twisted. But this also shows the concept of the social contract which, imo, can be devolved down to: what do you owe your country, what does your country owe you and how does that expand to include everyone in the country or does it. How to power holders decide? Political economy, which patriotism and the nation-state exist within, can be described as who gets what, where, when, how and, perhaps most importantly, why.

    Those questions hold the potential to destroy or build. The combination of increasing networked connectedness with the very real fact that psychologically and physically each person is alone can easily be manipulated by those who wield those questions depending upon the situation. Too often patriotism is used to demand and defend actions that are or should be deemed unacceptable because power holders failed to utilize the questions in a manner beneficial to the population as a whole.
     
    My grandfather's story shows how the same person can be considered both a patriot and an enemy almost at the same time

    My grandfather grew up poor in a rural community but was very intelligent and got very good grades in school. He would probably have remained there if it wasnt for the fact that my grandmother got in trouble - she got pregnant out of wedlock. My great grandparents owned a large farm and with 8 children - 4 boys and 4 girls they did not want any scandals. So they paid off my grandfather to marry my grandmother and move to Copenhagen where they had secured a job for him at a newspaper as a printer. 3 kids later the war started and Denmark was invaded and occupied. My grandfather got very active in the resistance almost immediately - something my grandmother never forgave him because he risked not only his own life but also the lives of his family. The resistance cell that he was a part of was 90% communist and he too was a communist.

    He was very active in the resistance for almost 18 months before being taken prisoner by the germans and deported to a german KZ camp where he spend the remainder of the war. When he returned home it was as a hero and patriot, but less then 2 years later when the cold war was slowly starting, things change. People got suspicious and some even called him at traitor because he had been part of a communist resistance group. My grandmother divorced him a short time later never having forgiven him for risking his family during the war. At that time he was actually not even a communist anymore but he remained a person who for the rest of his life would fight for the "underdogs" - and would often give the shirt of his back if he could help someone in need. I know he felt that his country turned its back against him and fact is that a lot of those who "profited" during the occupation, got away with it with very little consequences, while many of his friends from the resistance who had trouble getting back into society after more than a year in german custody, had a really tough time dealing with scars on body and soul with little or no help from the country they fought for.

    So what was he - a patriot or a traitor? Even today there are mixed oppinions about that in some parts of society.
     
    My grandfather's story shows how the same person can be considered both a patriot and an enemy almost at the same time

    My grandfather grew up poor in a rural community but was very intelligent and got very good grades in school. He would probably have remained there if it wasnt for the fact that my grandmother got in trouble - she got pregnant out of wedlock. My great grandparents owned a large farm and with 8 children - 4 boys and 4 girls they did not want any scandals. So they paid off my grandfather to marry my grandmother and move to Copenhagen where they had secured a job for him at a newspaper as a printer. 3 kids later the war started and Denmark was invaded and occupied. My grandfather got very active in the resistance almost immediately - something my grandmother never forgave him because he risked not only his own life but also the lives of his family. The resistance cell that he was a part of was 90% communist and he too was a communist.

    He was very active in the resistance for almost 18 months before being taken prisoner by the germans and deported to a german KZ camp where he spend the remainder of the war. When he returned home it was as a hero and patriot, but less then 2 years later when the cold war was slowly starting, things change. People got suspicious and some even called him at traitor because he had been part of a communist resistance group. My grandmother divorced him a short time later never having forgiven him for risking his family during the war. At that time he was actually not even a communist anymore but he remained a person who for the rest of his life would fight for the "underdogs" - and would often give the shirt of his back if he could help someone in need. I know he felt that his country turned its back against him and fact is that a lot of those who "profited" during the occupation, got away with it with very little consequences, while many of his friends from the resistance who had trouble getting back into society after more than a year in german custody, had a really tough time dealing with scars on body and soul with little or no help from the country they fought for.

    So what was he - a patriot or a traitor? Even today there are mixed oppinions about that in some parts of society.
    Patriot.

    Edited to add:

    You mentioned: " know he felt that his country turned its back against him and fact is that a lot of those who "profited" during the occupation, got away with it with very little consequences, while many of his friends from the resistance who had trouble getting back into society after more than a year in german custody, had a really tough time dealing with scars on body and soul with little or no help from the country they fought for."

    They should have been compensated the way we compensate our POWs.

    "VA Disability Compensation

    Former POWs are eligible for VA disability compensation for disabilities related to their military service and captivity. Certain conditions are presumed to be related to time in captivity. These presumptive disabilities are based on studies of the long-term effects of captivity, deprivation, trauma, and cold injury on former POWs.

    Learn more about Disability Compensation for former POWs."

    https://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-pow.asp
     
    Last edited:
    My grandfather's story shows how the same person can be considered both a patriot and an enemy almost at the same time

    My grandfather grew up poor in a rural community but was very intelligent and got very good grades in school. He would probably have remained there if it wasnt for the fact that my grandmother got in trouble - she got pregnant out of wedlock. My great grandparents owned a large farm and with 8 children - 4 boys and 4 girls they did not want any scandals. So they paid off my grandfather to marry my grandmother and move to Copenhagen where they had secured a job for him at a newspaper as a printer. 3 kids later the war started and Denmark was invaded and occupied. My grandfather got very active in the resistance almost immediately - something my grandmother never forgave him because he risked not only his own life but also the lives of his family. The resistance cell that he was a part of was 90% communist and he too was a communist.

    He was very active in the resistance for almost 18 months before being taken prisoner by the germans and deported to a german KZ camp where he spend the remainder of the war. When he returned home it was as a hero and patriot, but less then 2 years later when the cold war was slowly starting, things change. People got suspicious and some even called him at traitor because he had been part of a communist resistance group. My grandmother divorced him a short time later never having forgiven him for risking his family during the war. At that time he was actually not even a communist anymore but he remained a person who for the rest of his life would fight for the "underdogs" - and would often give the shirt of his back if he could help someone in need. I know he felt that his country turned its back against him and fact is that a lot of those who "profited" during the occupation, got away with it with very little consequences, while many of his friends from the resistance who had trouble getting back into society after more than a year in german custody, had a really tough time dealing with scars on body and soul with little or no help from the country they fought for.

    So what was he - a patriot or a traitor? Even today there are mixed oppinions about that in some parts of society.
    He sounds like a good man with a great sense of right and wrong.
     
    Patriot.

    Edited to add:

    You mentioned: " know he felt that his country turned its back against him and fact is that a lot of those who "profited" during the occupation, got away with it with very little consequences, while many of his friends from the resistance who had trouble getting back into society after more than a year in german custody, had a really tough time dealing with scars on body and soul with little or no help from the country they fought for."

    They should have been compensated the way we compensate our POWs.

    "VA Disability Compensation

    Former POWs are eligible for VA disability compensation for disabilities related to their military service and captivity. Certain conditions are presumed to be related to time in captivity. These presumptive disabilities are based on studies of the long-term effects of captivity, deprivation, trauma, and cold injury on former POWs.

    Learn more about Disability Compensation for former POWs."

    https://www.benefits.va.gov/persona/veteran-pow.asp

    Unfortunately they got caught in at technicality which happened to many of those in the restistance who were not an official member of the danish millitary or police. They did get some help initally but when it came down to the long term consequenses many was left alone. They did fix it many years later but that was too late for my grandfather who died before the new laws were passed.
     
    Unfortunately they got caught in at technicality which happened to many of those in the restistance who were not an official member of the danish millitary or police. They did get some help initally but when it came down to the long term consequenses many was left alone. They did fix it many years later but that was too late for my grandfather who died before the new laws were passed.
    Yeah, I can see all of that happening.

    It does sound like your grandfather was able to keep his wits about him though. I hope so.
     
    But to get back to the topic. What I meant to say was that the definition and who are considered "Patriots" depends very much on the circumstances at the time when said definition is used and that some peoples "patriots" maybe other peoples "traitors"
     
    Patriotism, chauvinism, and jingoism seem synonymous to me.

    I don't like using the word. I consider the word to be kind of like the word truthful. Fine I guess if someone else is referring to another person as being truthful or patriotic, but not cool at all when self ascribed.

    If I were to describe a person as being a patriot it wouldn't likely be meant as praise. If I wished to praise someone in that way I would be more specific about what it is about them which I admire.
     


    In this essay, adapted from a lecture I recently delivered on the topic of “Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism, and Democracy,” I will defend what I term a “reasonable patriotism,” and I will argue that separate and distinct political communities are the only sites in which decent and—especially—democratic politics can be enacted.

    I begin with some conceptual clarifications.

    Cosmopolitanism is a creed that gives primary allegiance to the community of human beings as such, without regard to distinctions of birth, belief, or political boundaries. The antithesis of cosmopolitanism is particularism, in which one’s primary allegiance is to a group or subset of human beings with shared characteristics. There are different forms of particularism reflecting the varying objects of primary allegiance—communities of co-religionists (the Muslim ummah), ethnicity, and shared citizenship, among others.

    Patriotism denotes a special attachment to a particular political community, although not necessary to its existing form of government. Nationalism, with which patriotism is often confused, stands for a very different phenomenon—the fusion, actual or aspirational, between shared ethnicity and state sovereignty. The nation-state, then, is a community is which an ethnic group is politically dominant and sets the terms of communal life.
     
    I think those are essentially the same points I just made about the concept.
    Are they?

    Is this the same as what I said?

    "Patriotism, chauvinism, and jingoism seem synonymous to me.
    ...................................................................................

    If I were to describe a person as being a patriot it wouldn't likely be meant as praise."


    If so I didn't express myself very well but that wouldn't be anything new. :)
     
    Last edited:
    Are they?

    Is this the same as what I said?

    "Patriotism, chauvinism, and jingoism seem synonymous to me.
    ...................................................................................

    If I were to describe a person as being a patriot it wouldn't likely be meant as praise."


    If so I didn't express myself very well.
    You said, "True patriots aren't flag wavers, nor do they proclaim their patriotism."

    When one gets to the point that an "ism" is added to the word "patriot" one has reached that point of proclaiming patriotism, that is why I feel the word "patriot" with "ism" added is synonymous with chauvinism and jingoisim.

    About the only time I would use the word patriot would be to say something like "he's one of those flag waving patriots, which would not be praise.
     
    You said, "True patriots aren't flag wavers, nor do they proclaim their patriotism."

    When one gets to the point that an "ism" is added to the word "patriot" one has reached that point of proclaiming patriotism, that is why I feel the word "patriot" with "ism" added is synonymous with chauvinism and jingoisim.

    About the only time I would use the word patriot would be to say something like "he's one of those flag waving patriots, which would not be praise.

    Points taken.

    Unfortunately the concept has been hijacked by some of the most unpatriotic members of this society. However, I would contend that there are real patriots and that patriotism can be a positive thing.
     
    So, it seems so far that we have stumbled upon the problem of patriotism. To me, that problem is what I call groupism meaning the tendency of humans to aggregate into groups which are then used to define, at its most base level, who is human and who is not. Humans will aggregate into multiple different groups which may or may not define human/non-human but will devolve back to that definition depending upon the group and the time-geography situation. Often patriotism is used to rally the populace for war which we know. An extreme example of war patriotism and human/non-human was Bush2’s GWOT and the verbiage “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists”. One of the key considerations ignored or glossed over during war patriotism is or can be self-enrichment and self-aggrandisement by various figures usually but not always with those crying for war.

    I recall hearing that you do not see people flying flags very often when in other countries. Is flag-waving unique to the U.S. or is it unique when shifts in national psyche occur resulting in opportunities for those seeking or holding power?
     

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