West Ham Cockney Boys

    Patriotism ( Long )

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    Patriotism ( Long )

    Post  Admin on Sat 19 Jul 2014, 4:13 pm

    These days patriotism, that is loyalty and support for one’s country, seems out of fashion, regarded sometimes as a quaint irrelevance, a potentially threatening ideology or a source of morally repugnant behaviour; and something to lampoon.  Yet is this the whole story and if we neglect the beneficial effects are we letting ourselves in for something much worse?   Are we likely to be better served by a patriotic politician or a self-serving party apparatchik?
    Patriotism is a glue which holds together people; people who want roots, a shared identity and to be part of an established national community.  Without this glue, what is there to hold them together?  And it can be a strong glue crossing divides such as origins, social status and income, education etc., perhaps best said in the song I’m an Australian ‘We’ll share a dream, And sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are Australian’.
    Patriotism can exert another benign influence through being proud and appreciative of something worthwhile. Starting with pride in ourselves, in our achievements, in our communities or organisations we work for, and then by extension in our country, acts as something of an incentive and reward for efforts.  We can see something of value to us individually and collectively in the best or ‘good’ side of achievements by our country or fellow countrymen and women, our history, and heritage.  Such sentiments are expressed in Land of Hope and Glory ‘Mother of the Free’. Pride in country and appreciation of its better qualities then encourages supporting the common good, rather than selfishness.
    Patriotism can also focus on preservation, protection and furtherance of what is best in our national way of life, including liberty, democracy, culture, heritage and history etc. Perhaps we are naturally inclined to protect ‘territory’ and the familiar. Typically, Rule Britannia includes the words: ‘Thee haughty tyrants ne’er shall tame: All their attempts to bend thee down, Will but arouse thy gen’rous flame’.  In times of greatest danger love of country leads to greatest sacrifice, as typically expressed in I vow to thee my country ‘The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice’ and in Rupert Brooke’s The Soldier ‘If I should die,….there is a corner of a foreign field that is forever England’.
    Patriotism can also provide us with inspiration for creativity, innovation and perseverance.  One way is through incorporation of existing elements from our national culture into art, music, literature etc., or in developing a unique national style.  But inspiration can also arise from other activities, not least from existing acts of bravery or defying omnipotent power.  Re-discovery of what our countrymen and women, including ordinary people, did can provide a boost to efforts and an exciting interest.
    Underlying patriotism generally is a philosophy of reality and knowledge.  Patriotism can be founded on empiricism, where knowledge comes from experience and fact, or on idealism, where reality is largely a creation of the mind.  Empiricism acts as a reality and humanity check, and making patriotism outward looking towards also seeing and learning from the best in other countries and people.
    Idealism as a basis for nationalism or anything else is potentially dangerous because there is little or no reality check. Thus, things can be manipulated to extremes, by for example the unscrupulous or deluded. Typical consequences include jingoism (aggressive or warlike foreign policy), xenophobia intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries) and ideologically based nationalism (a passionate feeling of superiority over other countries).  EU nationalism is obviously based on idealism which, when it suits itself, ignores reality.
    We are fortunate that our country has a long tradition of patriotism heavily influenced by empiricism from at least the reigns of Alfred the Great and Hywel Dda, through the works of William of Ockham, David Hume and John Locke.   Thus we are much less susceptible to such views as Might makes Right or My Country right or wrong. Our traditional patriotism is moderating and beneficial, and unlike forms of idealism based extremism.  Typically I vow to thee my country also says: ‘And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago, …And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.’
    We can have good reasons for being patriotic towards our country and people. British patriotism, arising from empiricism, can help us, individually and as a country, to be prosperous in a competitive world, safe in a dangerous world and happier, comfortable with ourselves and at peace with each other.  Indeed the Best of British can be a source of inspiration and hope to other less happy lands.
    Stooby Doo 2002
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    Re: Patriotism ( Long )

    Post  Stooby Doo 2002 on Sun 20 Jul 2014, 4:00 pm

    The problem I have with patriotism in the 21st century are the xenophobes in the country that get patriotism and nationalism mixed up......I have seen the Chinese first hand try to cleanse history and ethnicities, diluting a population because they 'don't like minorities' I have visited Tibet where there are now more Chinese Han people than Tibetans.......I will never discriminate against any race wherever they choose to settle, even if I am the minority.......I do not mind that people put up mosques, pray to Allah or eat goulash.......Patriotism isn't a set definition, everyone defines it in their own way.....To me Patriotism is having belief and celebrating our own cultures and traditions, it is not about chastising others own beliefs and traditions.......The free world was at stake during World War 2, many nations took part not just our own, EVERYONE fought for freedom against the oppressive forces, ALL of the allied forces played a part and so the free world is just as much theirs as it is ours.....As long as it is in the legalities of our country I do not mind who comes to the UK, practices their own beliefs and traditions, have festivals for them, etc etc just as long as at Christmas in my own home I am able to put up a tree, that the national anthem stays God Save the King/Queen, that the flag doesn't change and that we always remember those who have sacrificed their lives for us to live ours in the way we do........What everyone else does is really of no concern to me, Patriotism as far as I see it doesn't carry the same definition than what it did 30-40 years ago......Because there is no need for this bravado any more, until the next war comes around!

    However extreme this view is could still be relevant in the future.....How long before Patriotism becomes Nationalism, how long before that Nationalism becomes fascism and how long before our fascism ruins the country we were once so proud to be........A multicultural world is the only way I can see the world carrying on in the long term, in which yes I fear a sense of belonging will become diluted, but I don't think that will be such a bad thing.  I would love to see the Palestines and Israelites getting along, I would love to see the Koreas no longer at war with each other, to see China and Japan stop fighting, a resolution to the Crimea and the Chinese to stop fighting with the Uighurs and Tibetans.......There are bigger problems in the world than us losing a bit of Patriotism......If things want to start improving how about banning people like Jade Goody (Who thought Norfolk was abroad) and other useless 'celebs' on TV who are going to ruin the lives of many by their stupidity when they can't even tell you where Wales is on a map, or what the capital of England is, or who is next in line to the throne! 

    Pretty much sums up my opinion of the whole thing

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    Re: Patriotism ( Long )

    Post  westhamonkey on Sun 20 Jul 2014, 8:09 pm

    Patriotism is a weird thing...

    when I was younger it used to bother the shit out of me that if you flew the cross of St. George you were automatically assumed to be a member of the national front.

    I always wanted to tame 'my' flag back as a representation of 'my' country.

    As I grew older it stated to bother me that the flag we flew is apparent pride of our 'united' nation of the United Kingdom didn't actually contain anything design or color-wise to represent the Welsh (yes, I became soft after living there for a few years)

    As I grew even older, and moved around the world and looked at things from varying perspectives - England and the UK and Europe from a distance, the Americas from up close and personal... my thoughts changed again...

    Isn't it kinda silly to base your life and perspective on the geographical 'accident' or happenstance of where you popped out of your mum's womb?

    After spending 13 years in the USA and being denied the right of residence and the right to vote or work, etc just because I happened to have been born in St Bartholemew's in the City of London rather than some po-dunk farm in the middle of Arkansas... it all just seemed a trifle weird, sad and honestly... kinda pointless.

    Sure... I still have feelings for the motherland... and try as they might to make me feel otherwise, I still kinda support England when they play in the world cup or European championships.

    I hear what you're saying about having love for and pride in your country... your county, your school, your town... your street - but where does that really lead us?

    The people killing other people in Eastern Ukraine are basing their right to kill on their patriotism for where they think they come from and belong to.
    Same thing in Gaza...
    Being a Serb, or Bosnian or Kosovan caused all kinds of shit back in the 90s

    Look back - as all little englanders seem to do constantly - to WWII... the perfect example of patriotism gone wild...

    I know it's comforting and gives a sense of identity... but can't you get that elsewhere?

    Patriotism seems to involve a lot of navel gazing and refusal to look beyond your borders or personal experience.

    The more you look outwards, the more you explore... the more you understand other people, the less important patriotism seems to be.

    The perfect example would be to go outside on a cloudless night, look up at the stars and understand how pitifully insignificant our planet is compared to all that heavenly wonder... and then when you look at a picture of the whole earth, just how pitifully insignificant man-made borders and identities actually are.

    Sure, patriotism give solace to the weak and the scared, just like religion does... and just like religion, it also serves to divide and cause friction and ultimately create the environment for war, terrorism and hatred.

    That being said, a little quiet patriotism isn't a bad thing. Sure.. be proud of who you are, proud of where you came from... but ultimately it was all just a happy (or unhappy) accident of birth... nothing was ever earned.
    Since none of us understand the cosmic lottery that pops us out wherever... we could all just have easily been born in France, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, America, Botswana... most of us should just count our lucky stars that it was one of the former and not the latter.

    I still love me dear old mum... but I stopped living with her a long, long time ago - I moved on, created my own life and identity (of which I hope she'd be proud) but nothing changes that linkage... same as dear old Blighty... the fact that I'm removed geographically from one and by death from another doesn't lessen their impact on me but it also doesn't completely form who I am or who I am constantly growing into.

    Patriotism, tradition... blah, blah... all seem to be bywords for people wanting to revert back to a time in history when life was better for them but for precious few other people.

    Patriotism also seems to blind people to the faults in their country and leaders and countrymen.

    That's where I think the problems lie... being critical of your country doesn't make you unpatriotic - but too many people use that word like a battering ram to overcome and thought or rationality of sensible conversation. The country I currently live in is a beautiful case in point.
    The minute the 'p' word comes out, all intelligent discourse stops.

    so maybe as much as we like to think it's a good thing, perhaps we're moving into a more connected and global world where patriotism really isn't that relevant any longer.


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    Re: Patriotism ( Long )

    Post  IronDane on Mon 21 Jul 2014, 11:00 am

    Some day there will be a world union and we will fight together against aliens Viking 

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    Re: Patriotism ( Long )

    Post  westhamonkey on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 2:51 am


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    Re: Patriotism ( Long )

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