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Thread: Patriotism = Parochialism

  1. #1
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    In the past, I've had reservations about posting in this section, but I no longer give a damn what people might think of me and my cranky opinions.

    This is a topic that's been percolating in my brain for quite a long time, and I guess its time to pour a cup of conversation coffee...

    In the past, I've considered myself to be a global citizen first, and an Australian second.
    However, earlier today in the Lounge, Hobbes brought out the nationalist in me, (definition 1) which got me thinking.

    I'm going to kick off with some definitions.
    (Thanks to dictionary.com)

    Patriotism
    1. Love of and devotion to one's country.
    2. n : love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it [syn: nationalism]

    Okay, and the definition of nationalism is...

    Nationalism
    1. Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
    2. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.
    3. Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination.

    Parochialism
    1. Of, relating to, supported by, or located in a parish.
    2. Of or relating to parochial schools.
    3. Narrowly restricted in scope or outlook; provincial: parochial attitudes.

    Provincialism
    adj.
    1. Of or relating to a province.
    2. Of or characteristic of people from the provinces; not fashionable or sophisticated: “Well-educated professional women... made me feel uncomfortably provincial” (J.R. Salamanca).
    3. Limited in perspective; narrow and self-centered.

    And my point is?

    I see all of these isms every time I read a paper or turn on the news.
    they strike me as a thinly veiled xenophobia, or at the very least, apathy regarding anything that isn't locallized.

    Not the kind of environment that could encourage a lasting global peace.

    Is it possible for humanity to rise above all the fussin' an a-feudin'?
    Is it too much to hope that all nations lay down thier flags and guns to work together, and all that tree huggin' hippy crap?
    Does humanity attach too much importance to a piece of wind blown cloth and a patch of dirt?

    Your responses and/or views please.

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    sArA's Avatar Ex-Moderatererer
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    Ultimately...we humans are too close to the animal to be ready to eradicate the need to territorialise our space.

    Most people do not think globally, they think about themselves and the continuation of their own way of life.

    There is no real chance of humanity becoming united in planetary harmony until we meet people from other worlds, then we can play the same territorial game that makes us feel secure. Us and Them.

    Until then....don't see it myself.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    bigboab's Avatar Poster BT Rep: +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by uNz[i]
    Is it possible for humanity to rise above all the fussin' an a-feudin'?
    Is it too much to hope that all nations lay down thier flags and guns to work together, and all that tree huggin' hippy crap?
    Sadly no. As long as the attitude of 'What is mine is mine's and what is yours is mine's' is abound.
    The best way to keep a secret:- Tell everyone not to tell anyone.

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Biggles's Avatar Looking for loopholes
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    The kind of chauvinistic nationalism that is common to the modern era is relatively new historically and is probably no more than a passing phase politically.

    However, one only has to the look at the way people are suspicious of the next village or the neighbouring county to see that tribes of humans are deeply territorial. It is unlikely that this trait is going to change anytime soon. There have in the past been those (kings, leaders and politicians) who have exploited this trait to considerable personal advantage - on the whole this has rarely been a good thing and it often leads others to fight fire with fire.
    Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum


  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    uNz[i]'s Avatar Out of order
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    Sara - That "leave it to the aliens" thing is humankinds biggest cop out to date.

    Anyway, it won't work for one of 3 reasons, 1.nerdy, 2.paranoid and 3. disbelieving

    1. According to all the nerdy Sci Fi books and TV series I've seen, as long as we're fighting each other, the aliens won't deem us worthy of visiting. Therefore, catch 22.
    2. Who's to say the Aliens aren't warlike too?
    3. Aliens probably don't even exist.

    Bottom line, looks like we'll have to do it under our own steam.
    That's probably a good thing anyway. If you want something done right, do it yourself.

    The "Us and Them" game brings about the exact opposite of security, which should be obvious to anyone with a brain in thier head. As does the "whats yours is mine too" game.

    So why does such behaviour persist? Is it merely because one government wants to sell weapons to another government? This is the only reason I can see for continuing on as we have, and this scares me.

    When it comes to having faith in people, I've found in most cases you can rely on the individual to do the right thing by thier fellow man.

    So why is it when it comes to nations, you just know they'll do exactly the wrong thing 9 times out of 10?

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Nothing happens overnight, nor even in a lifetime.

    We will all probably be long gone before anything approaching true globalism comes to pass.

    Perhaps it would be useful to point out any of the small signs that we are on the road to that end; apart from the most obvious one, that being the U.S. hasn't yet self-destructed...

    Lest I allow my cynicism to get the best of me, I will point out that, in the very roundest of terms, the U.S. would prefer other nations to achieve "global" status aided and abetted by democratic nations, but with the impetus born of having "gotten there", by and large, of their own accord.

    Even the largest, most powerful nations cannot merely confer such status by fiat-individual nations must "choose" the option, so to speak.

    uNz[i]-

    I am very much aware of your sense and perception of the parochial nature of statements made by the like of Hobbes (who wears his nationalist tendencies on his sleeve, the cad), but, if you and your computor were somehow magically transported to, say, the Sudan, you might feel the same about Australians.

    It is one thing to believe others think themselves superior; it is quite another to accord them that belief absent their consent.

    I believe firmly that many here think of me thus, and it pains me, believe it or not.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    TheDave's Avatar n00b
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    maybe it's cos i'm in england but i always thought patriotic people twats.

    this isn't a dig at j2 but he does get caught up in it. when i see patriotic flag-wavers i just wanna punch em in the face, that includes twats waving the union


    ...uh-oh

    -------------------------edit--------------------------

    so i got some biscuits and did some thinking.

    i don't mind flag-waving. i don't mind national pride or national identity. what i hate is national elitism.
    Last edited by TheDave; 03-06-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDave
    maybe it's cos i'm in england but i always thought patriotic people twats.

    this isn't a dig at j2 but he does get caught up in it. when i see patriotic flag-wavers i just wanna punch em in the face, that includes twats waving the union


    ...uh-oh
    That is a pretty pathetic attitude Dave.

    Why should pride in ones' country be a bad thing?

    Being patriotic is not following and agreeing with everything your government does, being patriotic means believing in the core principles on which your country was founded- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and how well these principles are fulfilled.

    For me, America has provided an opportunity to succeed and I am my own rate limiting factor. I am not censored, monitered or oppressed. I feel free to do as I please and I am grateful for such an opportunity.

    Being patriotic sometimes means speaking out against your government if they are not fulfilling their job to provide what the Constitution decreed. In fact, in our own Constituition, it states that if the government does not provide what it was intended to, it is recommended that the people revolt against it.

    I think you probably are irritated at those who wave the flag and kiss the soil and never even think to question the actions of their government. I'll join you in punching these people.

    EDIT:Well then, just forget the above then.
    Last edited by hobbes; 03-06-2005 at 07:57 PM.

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    TheDave's Avatar n00b
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    maybe they should idiot proof posts on here
    "are you sure you want to post this?"
    ok
    "really?"
    yes
    "i mean it is kind of silly"
    post it
    "oh well, your reputation..."
    ok

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    Uniz,

    I think Sara was referring to an actual overt alien encounter. It is only then that we will act as a unified planet. Our animal nature will make us work together to save our skins from the alien invasion.

    Kind of like Iraq. People who ordinarily would be fighting one another, are working together to rid a common foe, the US.

    I think Sara summed it up quite nicely. We are all animals who place our personal security first.

    We may talk abstractly about "doing the right thing" and "everyone should just get along", but if you are asked to give up the things you take for granted (food, computer, toilet, electricity, car, etc) strictly for the sake of thinking globally and redistributing the wealth to those poorer areas, then you will see the the selfish animal emerge. Then you will see revolution.

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