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Thread: Is patriotism obsolete?

  1. #1
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Is patriotism obsolete?

    As in, does being loyal to any particular country confer any special benefits? I'm not talking about citizenship, I'm talking about allegiances.

    We Americans recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but what do we get out of it? Warm fuzzies?
    Capitalist companies don't like one country, so they move operations to another. Is this unpatriotic? Should such companies be penalized? How should they be penalized?
    If one moves from one first-world country to another, are they somehow "less free"?
    What about those with dual citizenship? Can they be considered to have loyalty to a particular country?
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    Patriotism never was a good idea for individuals, in terms of their benefits. Dying for your country is still dying mkay~ That is not saying cooperation can't be useful, buy loyalty usually isn't.

    It is a magic trick of social engineering that directs the emotions and force of kin selection to organizations orders of magnitudes bigger.

  3. #3
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    So basically, you're saying it's a mechanism to get people to ignore their own self-interest and sense of self-preservation in order to pursue someone else's interests.
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
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    Movember '12 Best Facial Hair Movember 2012Donor Lallante's Avatar
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    Patriotism makes sense when your country has radically different and better values than others.

    Patriotism towards the USA therefore makes no sense whatsoever.

  5. #5
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Who determines if some country's values are "better"? Hardly objective.
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    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shin_getter View Post
    Patriotism never was a good idea for individuals, in terms of their benefits. Dying for your country is still dying mkay~ That is not saying cooperation can't be useful, buy loyalty usually isn't.

    It is a magic trick of social engineering that directs the emotions and force of kin selection to organizations orders of magnitudes bigger.
    Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori?

    On a less snarky note. Patriotism works best in a society with a functioning social contract. To say that it is 'obsolete' is to imply that leaving it behind represents a form of progress. Like many other concepts of society (etiquette, value, ethics) patriotism is a tool for collectively shaping the behavior of a society. It will likely never be obsolete, because it taps into a very basic, fundamental portion of the human brain, wired for tribal behavior. The ability to subvert tribal instincts to apply to a larger group is a useful tool in societal engineering.

    -O
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    Transnationalism is the future.
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    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakshasa The Cat View Post
    Transnationalism is the future.
    I think it's already here.

    Ophichius: Can people claim to be patriotic if they don't believe in a social contract?
    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
    Quote Originally Posted by Larkonis Trassler View Post
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    SAI Peregrinus's Avatar
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    Patriotism is an amazing tool for controlling the populace. Convincing people to believe that it's a virtue is an easy thing, and labeling things you're politically opposed to as unpatriotic is easy as well.

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    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.

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    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nordstern View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Rakshasa The Cat View Post
    Transnationalism is the future.
    I think it's already here.

    Ophichius: Can people claim to be patriotic if they don't believe in a social contract?
    Anyone can claim anything. I can claim to be a lost martian princess.

    Of course, if you don't believe in a social contract (i.e. that at some level one must surrender some freedoms for security.) that means your belief in society is what? That it's a construct imposed upon us by those who would controls us (i.e. Nietzsche was right)? I can't really fathom someone who believe that society exists to control people being a staunch patriot. But I guess stranger things have happened.

    -O
    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those Thukkers, that way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody.
    Failing the Voight-Kampff test, one tortoise at a time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government

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    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    ...or is this just a "no true patriot" line of argument?

    More seriously, I lump patriotism in with all other forms of "Pride" which I believe to be generally negative, despite social norms.

    Believe it or not it came from a reading of the bible in which pride is listed as negative with no additional clarification. I did some thinking about it and it's pretty much negative all the way from "I'm awesome" (vanity) through "My school is awesome" (school spirit) to "my country is awesome" (patriotism) to "my race is awesome" (racism) to "my species is awesome" (anthropism)

    Holding a belief in superiority seems to always result in mistreatment. Some forms of pride we already view as negative, like vanity, racism, and (frequently) anthropism, while school spirit and patriotism remain useful to create out-groups against which we can set our social structures, so we keep them. I still think despite their usefulness those two prove to have a negative influence as well.
    Last edited by Synapse; June 25 2013 at 06:37:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophichius View Post
    On a less snarky note. Patriotism works best in a society with a functioning social contract. To say that it is 'obsolete' is to imply that leaving it behind represents a form of progress. Like many other concepts of society (etiquette, value, ethics) patriotism is a tool for collectively shaping the behavior of a society. It will likely never be obsolete, because it taps into a very basic, fundamental portion of the human brain, wired for tribal behavior. The ability to subvert tribal instincts to apply to a larger group is a useful tool in societal engineering.
    Good post.

    Patriotism is a pretty effective tool in uniting people, but whether that is good or bad depends entirely on what people are being united for or against. I'd say that generally, as long as tribalism is engrained in the human psyche, patriotism won't be obsolete, it'll just be more difficult to apply as society become less insular.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarminic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophichius View Post
    On a less snarky note. Patriotism works best in a society with a functioning social contract. To say that it is 'obsolete' is to imply that leaving it behind represents a form of progress. Like many other concepts of society (etiquette, value, ethics) patriotism is a tool for collectively shaping the behavior of a society. It will likely never be obsolete, because it taps into a very basic, fundamental portion of the human brain, wired for tribal behavior. The ability to subvert tribal instincts to apply to a larger group is a useful tool in societal engineering.
    Good post.

    Patriotism is a pretty effective tool in uniting people, but whether that is good or bad depends entirely on what people are being united for or against. I'd say that generally, as long as tribalism is engrained in the human psyche, patriotism won't be obsolete, it'll just be more difficult to apply as society become less insular.
    As people have said, some form of tribalism is probably inherent to human nature. The question is how this is expressed by the society - there's a spectrum between 'let's work together to be the best damn hunter-gatherer group / football team we can be' and 'their football team beat ours, therefore we must burn the city down'.

  16. #16
    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    ...or is this just a "no true patriot" line of argument?

    More seriously, I lump patriotism in with all other forms of "Pride" which I believe to be generally negative, despite social norms.

    Believe it or not it came from a reading of the bible in which pride is listed as negative with no additional clarification. I did some thinking about it and it's pretty much negative all the way from "I'm awesome" (vanity) through "My school is awesome" (school spirit) to "my country is awesome" (patriotism) to "my race is awesome" (racism) to "my species is awesome" (anthropism)

    Holding a belief in superiority seems to always result in mistreatment. Some forms of pride we already view as negative, like vanity, racism, and (frequently) anthropism, while school spirit and patriotism remain useful to create out-groups against which we can set our social structures, so we keep them. I still think despite their usefulness those two prove to have a negative influence as well.
    You're conflating two different concepts there. And using a rather shaky justification to tie it all together. Pride and feelings of supremacy are not the same. One can be proud without being egotistical. You're conflating pride with egotism, and the two are not the same. If you examine the context of the biblical discussions of pride, they almost all center around what would be more specifically called hubris.

    Also, if you really mean the last bit it's technically speciesism, not anthropism. Anthropism would be the belief that the entire universe exists for the sole pleasure of humanity. (And is separate from the anthropic principle...which is a set of philosophic questions/theories regarding why the universe has turned out to be hospitable to human life at all.)

    -O
    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those Thukkers, that way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody.
    Failing the Voight-Kampff test, one tortoise at a time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    Two hundred years ago, the constitution was a racist, sexist piece of shit. It's only good because we have continued to bring it up to our level as we progressed as a society (eg. the 14th amendment), yet we have also shat on it when we weren't so noble (eg. citizens united). Isolating the constitution from its treatment just to be able to call yourself a patriot is a technique of self-deception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    Two hundred years ago, the constitution was a racist, sexist piece of shit. It's only good because we have continued to bring it up to our level as we progressed as a society (eg. the 14th amendment), yet we have also shat on it when we weren't so noble (eg. citizens united). Isolating the constitution from its treatment just to be able to call yourself a patriot is a technique of self-deception.
    I think judging the Constitution as it was written 200 years ago by today's moral standards is a bit like judging the Eiffel Tower by today's engineering standards. That doesn't imply that the founding fathers get a pass on slavery and sexism, or that it should be glossed over? Absolutely not, but it's important to consider the context in which the Constitution was written.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarminic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wrack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    Two hundred years ago, the constitution was a racist, sexist piece of shit. It's only good because we have continued to bring it up to our level as we progressed as a society (eg. the 14th amendment), yet we have also shat on it when we weren't so noble (eg. citizens united). Isolating the constitution from its treatment just to be able to call yourself a patriot is a technique of self-deception.
    I think judging the Constitution as it was written 200 years ago by today's moral standards is a bit like judging the Eiffel Tower by today's engineering standards. That doesn't imply that the founding fathers get a pass on slavery and sexism, or that it should be glossed over? Absolutely not, but it's important to consider the context in which the Constitution was written.
    To build upon your example, in both the case of the Eiffle tower & the US Constitution, the fact that they are still around today shows that the core principles upon which they were designed are still relevent in todays age. If we were to rebuild the Eiffle tower today, sure we would use more modern things such as wideflange/S-Shape beams instead of I beams & flat plates, but the core design of arches and trusses would still be used. Just as if the constitution would be re-written today, sure it would be without alot of the intial fuck ups such as all the racism & sexist measures, but the core principles of inalienable rights of freedom of speech, press, etc.. & the seperation of church and state, the checks & balance of powers would all still be relavent and useful.

  20. #20
    Ophichius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Procellus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ValorousBob View Post
    You guys are mistaking love of country for love of the regime running the country. In the US, being patriotic means loving the *idea* of America and the ideas expressed in the Constitution. In that sense, patriotism is useful because it keeps us vigilant and engaged in public affairs. If more Americans were truly patriotic, we would've stopped this bullshit with the Patriot Act and the NSA a long time ago.
    Pretty much this. I think the Constitution is among the greatest pieces of human achievement. That doesn't mean I'm particularly enraptured by the people running the government
    Two hundred years ago, the constitution was a racist, sexist piece of shit. It's only good because we have continued to bring it up to our level as we progressed as a society (eg. the 14th amendment), yet we have also shat on it when we weren't so noble (eg. citizens united). Isolating the constitution from its treatment just to be able to call yourself a patriot is a technique of self-deception.
    You haven't read the Constitution then. Two hundred years ago, the Constitution was no more racist or sexist than it is today. If you actually read the Constitution as it was signed, it is completely neutral on the subject of race or gender. There are certainly sections whose inclusion was racially motivated (the three-fifths compromise, as well as Article IV, section 2, para 3.), but even those are written as neutrally as possible.

    In point of fact, given the prevailing attitudes at the time, the Constitution is remarkably free from overt bias of any form.

    Edit: Also, what's so special about the 14th amendment? Surely you mean either the 15th (Right to vote shall not be infringed on the basis of race or current/former servitude) or 19th (Right to vote shall not be infringed on the basis of sex) amendments?

    Double edit: Oh right, equal protection clause. I'm a moron.

    -O
    Last edited by Ophichius; June 25 2013 at 11:14:36 PM.
    I thought what I'd do was, I'd pretend I was one of those Thukkers, that way I wouldn't have to have any goddamn stupid useless conversations with anybody.
    Failing the Voight-Kampff test, one tortoise at a time.

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