The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #52026 Message #794818
Posted By: Little Hawk
01-Oct-02 - 12:03 PM
Thread Name: BS: Patriotism -- what is it?
Subject: RE: BS: Patriotism -- what is it?
I am not a liberal/Democrat, I'm a Canadian, but what the heck...
Patriotism springs out of the natural loyalty people have to that which they are familiar with and from which arises their sense of indentity. At the very beginning that loyalty is connected with Self (as a self-aware individual), and with family (mother, father, siblings). So I would say that the simplest form of patriotism is to family. Observe small children...or young animals...and you will see it very clearly.
One's patriotism broadens to include larger areas as one grows older and becomes aware of more. That is a process of maturation.
So, one becomes patriotic to one's home area, one's town, one's region, one's religion, one's own version of "common sense" (which is simple philosophy), and so on...
The issue of patriotism becomes confused when one experiences great pain from family, community, school, etc...in which case patriotism can turn into protest (against love denied) or eventually even into unrelenting lifelong hatred...in which case one will find new things to be patriotic to, and fight against the old ones.
Why people have chosen to label only patriotism to nation-states as "patriotism", I don't know. All loyalties to some perceived source of support and guarantor of trust are really...patriotism.
You could say that a deeply religious person is patriotic to his or her idea of God, for instance. "Patriot" comes from Latin "pater" which means father, so patriotism is to love the father (parent) or fatherland/motherland, etc... It could just as well be called "matriotism", but we're coming out of a patriarchal age, so it hasn't been called that.
Patriotism is a dangerous concept when brought into the political arena...but then, everything becomes dangerous when brought into the political arena, doesn't it? (Sex, money, greed, weaponry, patriotism...) Politics is the business of conquest...conquest of people's hearts and minds, conquest of land and resources, conquest of the seat of power, conquest of financial control, conquest of religious or secular dogma over opposing dogma.
As such, it is a corrupted and ignorant field of action...generally...and politicians constantly throw the football of "patriotism" around in an effort to manipulate people and get what they want out of them.
Notice that as a person matures, his patriotism reaches out to larger and larger distances...from Self to mother to family to community to region to culture to nationality.
It follows that ultimately, if a person is to achieve wisdom, this MUST occur:
He must become patriotic not to some life, but to all life...not to some people, but to all people...not to one country, but to the whole human community on this planet...and to Nature and the planet itself. And if he is spiritually inclined, to the Source from which all that sprang in the first place. The greatest patriots have been spiritual masters like Christ or Buddha, and spiritual workers like Gandhi...because their patriotism went out to all.
That is wisdom. That is patriotism in the Highest. One ends with no enemies but one's own weaknesses to fight against.