May 2008

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Comments

Rack

I don't see patriotism as bowing to whatever tyrants are abusing you at present. It would only be unpatriotic if the country itself were threatened. In either case dodging the draft would be sensible though.

Matt

The draft-dodger is a criminal. Simple as that.

Not My Usual Alias

Agreeing with j

I come from a family with a long history of military service. When I completed college, I embarked on a period of national service -- in my case, I taught English in China with an agency that was on the list of Peace Corps equivalents.

My Uncle, a Marine who landed at Inchon and fought his way back from Puson, was the first in the family to comment on my teaching English to his former enemy.

"Finally, someone in the family figured out how to go to Asia with carrying a rifle and getting shot at. I always knew the kid was smarter than his Dad and Jim." He wrote to me in China and asked if landing on an airplane was easier than exiting a landing craft to make landfall.

Was I unpatriotic by serving in an alternate way? During peacetime, I would say "no." I am encouraging my son (named after the Marine Uncle) to do some form of national service, whether it is the military or another skill set that can help to provide for the improvement of the planet.

Dick

You go to Oxford, then return to become President.

Bertram

My mental state is my home. I'd be patriotic to that.

LordFoom

What about being a conscientious objector? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscientious_objector#United_States

simon

If the drafts re-installed, surely the draftees are doing a job that the non-draftees are being paid for, and with the suplus of labour the combatents renumeration (leave, pay pensions, social standing etc) will be diminshed.

So being a draftee would mean that your not supporting your fellow contryman .... not very patrotic ....

Robin

In a democracy, patriotism is the only treason. Or something.

Joce

You want to start drafting the "myspace generation" to go and fight a war?

This should be interesting.

Urs

I'm saying BOTH, too.

RuRu

Oh well, humanity really is on the verge of killing itself, healing itself again, and ends up compromising.

calle

I think we nead just a tad more info about the person before e rigthly can jude him. forinstans i would like to know why any one would want to live in a country thats trying to kill him (yeah im aware that might not be a simple "Becuss" question but fairs fair if the guy is so aware of his surowndings and his own strengths and weakneses I can asume he must have considerd moving if the majority of the people in the country he lives in wants him dead. being willing to die for your country is not patriotic willing to live for your country is.

neopolitan

Actually this seems to be reflecting the average American's inability to deal with shades and nuances.

I wonder if it is because you have a linguistic fault in your use of English (possibly due to a partial importation of Germanic language forms) and that colours your comprehension.

You present the argument in these terms "You are either patriotic or unpatriotic". As some have already pointed out, this is not the full gamut of options.

You could be:

patriotic (you love your country and would kill and die for it),

not patriotic (you don't actually love your country, but wouldn't actively harm it),

unpatriotic (you dislike your country and would willingly harm its interests),

not unpatriotic (you don't actually dislike your country but you wouldn't kill and die for it),

disengaged (you neither love nor dislike your country and would not kill for or die for it nor actively harm it),

conditionally patriotic/unpatriotic (you neither love nor dislike your country but would kill for and die for it or actively harm it depending on the situation), or

cosmopolitan/intelligent (you realise that "patriotism" and "country" are concepts used by groups of people to manipulate other groups of people).

While this seven point scale is probably also a simplification, it does highlight that you have more than two options.

The linguistic thing comes from the annoying American use of a poetical grammatical structure for negation - as standard. "All that glisters is not gold" comes from Shakespeare, it is poetry. It is not a standard grammatical structure for telling us that sometimes something that glisters is something other than gold.

The negation (not) normally applies to the verb, subject, object, adjective or adverb which follows it. (A basic English sentences consist of a subject, a verb and, optionally, an adjective or object. "I" am the object, "am" and "kick" are verbs, "annoyed" is an adjective and "your scrawny butt" is the object.)

Analysis reveals that in "All that glisters is not gold" the (not) refers to "all", otherwise it makes no sense.

To point of this standard grammatical idiocy, I like using the sentence "All Americans are not intelligent". Americans won't be offended, at least not usually, because they think I mean "Not all Americans are intelligent" which patently obvious since every country has stupid people. Oddly enough, the sentence doesn't say that, the sentence tells us that all Americans are lacking intelligence (which I don't hold to be true, despite their inability to spell "colour" correctly, or "kilometre", or "exercise", inter alia, or to conjugate verbs correctly "forget, forgot, forgotten", "get, got, got" and "drive, drove, driven", "dive, dived, dived" .. think about that last one. If you want consistency across similar verbs why not use "diven"? "I found that my pants were missing after I had diven in the water.").

Anyway, this American grammatical structure for negation removes an option. If you use (subject+verb+negation+object) to mean (negation+subject+verb+object) then you have lost ability to describe a nuance. Each time you remove a structure like that from the language you need to either replace it with another structure or you lose the ability to adequately describe a idea. Then you lose the idea.

That's what has happened to you guys.

I am neither with you, not against you. Just learn to talk properly or you will end up as nothing more than dancing monkeys.

My dance is done,

cheers,

neopolitan

Amol

I agree completely with Miguel. Why do we have to feel 'patriotism' towards a piece of land, the people in it and the people who run it? Patriotism will only increase hatred, wars and all such things. Some other person's patriotism is the root cause that your own country is in danger.

If you have to feel 'patriotic', feel it for the entire universe (since that is the only biggest thing which our senses can perceive) and everything and every being that comprise it.

understanding

...
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

[Wilfred Owens, writing about WWI]

Chris

You talk about a lack of patriotism like a it's a bad thing.

I'm unpatriotic and happy to be so. I would defend my country, because I enjoy the standard of living it gives me. But I don't feel an allegiance to my country (Australia) simply because it's the country I live in. I don't feel more "attached" to someone simply because, through geographical fluke, I happened to be born within the same political borders as them.

Patriotism is for fools who don't want to think independently about the actions of their country.

Brian

"ive come to realize that the draft is unnecessary. when a war is 'necessary', volunteers show up, if not, they dont."

I'll join the chorus saying "both", but I feel the need to disagree with the above quote. This goes against the group mentality that makes any group strong. If part of the whole is threatened, there will be some people who don't want to risk their own safety to fight the threat. Forcing people may be necessary for the greater good.

Of course, that only applies to fighting a threat.

Venkat

Highly sensible. (not just a sheep)

Mark

If dying for your country is patriotic, paying more taxes is definitely patriotic.
I doubt anyone links taxes with patriotism, but dying in a godforsaken place:
-sure! Why not! Yeah Rummsfelt!
-What?! More taxes? Goddamn m*therf*ck*** moron!

I doubt anyone will using the bumpersticker:
I support our taxes :)

On a more serious note: it's really strange how sometimes the discussion is framed using the talking points.

Vijay

I have given up on all belief systems like nation, religion, community etc. The only belief system that I have is my gender :)

Andie H

I feel that the term 'being patriotic' has turned into nothing more than a marketing scheme to get people to buy stupid knick-knacks that inform people to support the troops so they don't feel guilty about not actually helping. (I do have to leave out those who wanted to serve, but were unable)

I believe the hypothtical man just built himself an excuse to deny a challenge that was set before him that wasn't one he created or wanted. Some soldiers, airmen, and marines may go over there and think the worst of the situation, and they come home okay; sometimes the opposite happens.

Someone who is drafted who truely doesn't want to be is going to find a way out, no matter how hard it is these days. However, until people get involved they are not going to understand or respect the men and women who have and are serving in theaters world wide.

Patriotism is the voice of the people that was lost a few decades ago. If the draft were instituted, and everyone were to get involed like the WW's, maybe the really knowing would help with that voice for..umm..CHANGE!!!

Nicki Lagrange

Patriotism is not the same as blind allegiance. Refuing to fight in an unjust, illegal and stupid war is the height of patriotism in my book. And also quite sensible. Win, win.

How do the lyrics go? 'A walk on part in a war, or a lead role in a cage.' The dude in the cage is the real hero.

karen

I equate it to the bully and his pals at school. Do you fight them because they are a strong force and they are asking you to fight or do you walk away knowing that you are the smart one?

Peter

Some clever people have hit the nail on the head.

I think it is ridiculous to assert that patriotism to one's government should come before patriotism to one's country. Politicians are, by and large, people who are heavily invested in their own self interest. Anybody who thinks the government always chooses to take actions that are moral, right and in the best interest of the country's people is not paying attention.

I love my country and would defend it to the hilt. But the government we just ousted was a travesty that brought shame to me. Let's hope the next one does us proud.

I will not show blind loyalty to a group of people that does not represent or particularly care about the people that I love. I will, however, continue to love my country.

Tutu

Sounds like a future President to me...

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