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Re: More Questions than Answers

"PATRIOTISM," Dictionary defines as love of country." "Patriotism," said Dr.
Johnson,, "is the last refuge of a scoundrel." "A man devoid of patriotism,"
the philosopher says, "is capable of the greatest crimes."

 Sir Walter Scott wrote:
       "Lives there a man with soul so dead,
       Who never to himself hath said,
       This is my own, my native land ?"

This subject of patriotism is in a fair way of being more thoroughly
ventilated than it ever was before. Every body appears to admit that
patriotism is a virtue, and that a man should love his country.  You're not
supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong
is wrong, no matter who says it. News reports say that over a thousand
people sleep tonight in American jails without charge. Only pale, thin
voices seem to be raised against this abuse. Forget that patriotism is often
the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell raising
remain the true duty of patriots.  It is not a dishonour to the memory of
the brave policemen and fire-fighters who gave their lives in the tragedy of
11 September and of those who died to throw away the values Western
Traditions fought for by imprisoning men without trials?

Americans seem to feel as if they have a corner on patriotism.  They do not.
When I see the Union Flag, softly wafting in a foreign breeze, or the
portrait of our Queen in a High Commission, Consulate or Embassy abroad I
feel a patriotic rush. I am sure that many others feel the same. The fact
that the first troops on the ground in Afghanistan were British brings a
swelling of pride; I also note that the Union Flag, which once covered a
quarter of the world's surface, was put there largely by cruel adventures.

"I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or
bitterness towards anyone."
~ Edith Cavell

What is our country?
How much country must a man love to be a genuine patriot?

'An Irish Airman Forsees His Death'
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,"
W.B. Yeats

 Must you love your whole country as represented by and included under a
national flag? Are you a patriot for loving your home and neglecting the
rest of your county?

The people of Italy were unanimous in favour of national independence, and
the overthrow of the Austrian power. Every Italian wanted the same thing.
Charles Albert, King of Piedmont, was the only Italian Potentate who had
both an Italian soul and an Italian army. Charles Albert said to the people
of the peninsula: "Join me, and we shall free Italy." There were people
throughout Italy who were for responding heartily, yes. But when it came to
the fighting-point, the Venetians said they were Venetians, the Tuscans said
they were Tuscans, the Pamese said they were Parmese, the Romans said they
were Romans, the Neapolitans said they were Neapolitans, the Sicilians said
they were Sicilians: and lo! In all Italy! No Italians. So Charles Albert's
appeal failed, Austria triumphed, and for thirteen years more Italy
grovelled in chains. It would seem that the event sheds some light on the
law of patriotism.

"Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, it is our insanity.
"Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by
"patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity,
above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's
own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with
its material welfare-never with its power over other nations. Just as love
for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for
one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but
idolatrous worship."
Erich Fromm

 Are there any answers, or are they only questions?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Niven Sinclair" <niven@niven.co.uk>
To: <sinclair@quarterman.org>
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 10:33 AM
Subject: Re: More Questions than Answers

> At 12:58 10/12/01 -0500, you wrote:
> No message received just the heading: More Questions than Answers.

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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