Monday, August 6, 2007

WB Reeves, at against all flags, presents a plausible basis upon which the right might be tagged as anti-american

While this may have some utility for political messaging, I remain unconvinced that patriotism (which is, after all, merely nationalism when you are the nationalist) ought to be infused with any positive content at all. American history is littered with imperialism, genocide, and slavery, and a plausible series of connections can probably be drawn between the nation's values and culture and its foreign policy behavior. And embracing a form of patriotism that commits to a nation's people irrespective of its politics creates an arbitrary moral hierarchy based on one's presence on one or another side of an imaginary line.

Why not simply describe, in dispassionate terms, its successes and failures, movements within it worth joining, and those worth condemning, and call it a day? Why patriotism at all?


slickdpdx said...

Why would I vote for a politician who wasn't committed (firstly but not only of course) to the interests of his or her constituents?

Flinger said...

Because there is no moral distinction between the happiness and suffering of his or her constituents and that of others. At least in a world where nations are not in a rough equivalence of power.