This very subject has haunted my for many many years. More so recently because of the conflicts against “terrorism”. At first, after 9/11, patriotism was sold wholesale to the American people, we were told to fly flags, buy diamonds, go on vacation; if we did not thew terrorists would win. It always struck me as odd that the leadership of the country would be concerned with retail problems at such a crisis time. But, I guess in retrospect, that we must keep the econmy going at all times; would not want the profit takers to suffer any set back because of a little bombing. God knows that these people dictate what we are suppose to do and when.
As a participant in the turmoil of the 60’s and 70’s I was use to the whole patriotism thing. You know America–Love It ot Leave It, attitudes. I found them stupid and irritating at best and as a “long haired hippie” and opposed to the Vietnam War, I was constantly being called a wealth of names, none which accurately defined who I was. As a veteran of that war I felt that my opposition was very partiotic and necessary..
Now, let’s take a look a patriotism. What is patriotism? To begin with it is a very subjective topic, it means many things to many people. The cult of patriotism is taught in school through such techniques as pledge alligience, singing of songs, civics and a wide array of indoctrination techniques. Now I will be sniped at because I use the word indoctrination, so be it, it means to educate. When an individual is in school it begins with your first Civics class and continues until graduation from high school. It becomes less prominent once the individual enters college
Patriotism is nothing more than a way for the State apparatus to retain control over the people and what they think. IMO, patriotism is when a person works for the betterment of ALL citizens of the country; one who tries to bring about change for good, not one who blindly follows some slogan that has NO patriotic connection whatsoever. Blind patriotism is a chain that hampers the individual from making wise decisions based on fact not some figures that are thrown out to confuse and once cnfused will garner support. I am reminded of Geo. M. Cohen, the showman, when he said “Many a bum show has been saved by the flag”.
Patriotism will ALWAYS be in the eyes of the beholder and no amount of my rantings will change the fact that; if you fly the flag, you must be patriotic. Somehow, only a flag waver can know what patriotism is and what makes one a patriot. IMO, it is all bovine fecal matter.