A Liberal View Of July 4th

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by red states rule, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. red states rule
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    red states rule Senior Member

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    I read this and could not believe it. Only a liberal would smear his country and fellow Americans on July 4th


    Put away the flags

    By Howard Zinn

    On this July 4, we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.

    Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?

    These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.

    National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours -- huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction -- what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.

    Our citizenry has been brought up to see our nation as different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral, expanding into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy.

    That self-deception started early.

    for the complete rant

    http://progressive.org/media_mpzinn070106
     
  2. Larkinn
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    Larkinn Senior Member

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    He is not smearing America or Americans. And he is right. Nationalism is an evil to be avoided.
     
  3. CockySOB
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    CockySOB VIP Member

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    Care to explain why? The reason I ask is that one of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group was that pulling US forces out of Iraq would enable the Iraqis to unite the various factions under a national identity free from foreign intervention. It would seem to me that nationalism can be a strong unifying force to help various ethnic, religious and political factions to unite in common cause.
     
  4. MontanaJack
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    MontanaJack Rookie

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    Doesn't sound like much fun to me. I was planning on setting off some fire crackers near to some conservative crackers, and watch them scurrying for their mammas while screaming "the muslims is coming, the muslims is coming" "help me ma, the muslims is coming".

    Fun times.
     
  5. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    It is bad cause it involves the US. We, being evil, nazi wanna be world conquers should be ashamed we feel good about our country.
     
  6. Larkinn
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    Larkinn Senior Member

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    Nice catch. You are right that it was a generalization because, usually, it is bad. However it can serve a purpose to tie people together and give them a sense of unity. This can be helpful on both an individual level (giving an individual a sense of identity hence making them a more healthy person) or on a collective level (making people not want to bomb each other).

    However I've thought a lot about this and the middle ground is very very hard to get at. After all, nationalism is essentially saying "we are the best"...implying that other countries are inferior to you. Once you go that far, then it causes a few problems I think...people like Retiredgysgt equate any criticism with "hatred" of that country. People treat citizens from other countries as inferior to citizens from ones own country (hence why we are ok with letting 70k Sudanese get massacred a year, but 3,000 Americans dying over 4 years is a national tragedy that as a collective society we just can't cry enough about). It is basically a thinly veiled form of racism...and if you can have it tie together a country without it getting to "rah rah rah, we are the best" as it does in so many countries, than all well and good...but i think it often does lead to that. Notice how dictators often appeal to a nationalistic sentiment to gain popularity...

    Don't speak for me. You know nothing about me and whenever you generalize me, you look like a tool.
     
  7. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    Practically everything should be taken in moderation. To some degree, nationalism is a good thing. Taken to the extreme, nationalism is a bad thing.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationalism#Extremism

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenophobia#Xenophobia_in_History
     
  8. Bern80
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    Bern80 Gold Member

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    The link shows it seems that there are many different typs of nationalism. How the author defines nationalism (this dangerous arrogance) and simple pride in one's country are clearly different things.

    Of course the other does nothing to show that what he's saying is even remotely accurate.
     
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  9. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Yes, many have problems with the definitions between 'nationalism' and 'patriotism.' Nationalism is where one gets the idea that they belong to a superior country or culture. Think most of Europe prior to WWI or Islam, though they do not have a 'nation' per se.
     
  10. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    When I hear “Nationalism” the first nation that comes to mind is Germany – particularly when it was ruled by Hitler. Isn’t that an example of extreme nationalism?
     

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