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'Patriotism' on the Left
July 26, 2005 10:35 AM   Subscribe

The Left's Dissection of Patriotism. via
posted by peacay (154 comments total)

 
Will Marshall
patriotism
nationalism
posted by peacay at 10:36 AM on July 26, 2005


I find patriotism generally something to be distrusted (and I certainly wasn't around for the Vietnam War protests). There's nothing special about a country simply because it happens to be the geographic area where one was born, and the notion is used to whip up support for a country that does a lot of unsavory things around the world. A lot of liberal Democrats try to rescue "patriotism" a la Marshall's article, but it winds up ringing a very hollow tone.

There's also something bothersome about calling the fairly conservative DLC the "Left," when it says that it wants to "succeed in Iraq" and "win the War on Terror." The Left - at least the Left I am a part of - wants to leave Iraq and end the "War on Terror."
posted by graymouser at 10:48 AM on July 26, 2005


And I ain't no communist, and I ain't no capitalist
And I ain't no socialist
and I sure ain't no imperialist
And I ain't no democrat
And I ain't no republican either
And I only know one party
and its name is freedom
I am a patriot...
posted by jonmc at 10:53 AM on July 26, 2005


The Left - at least the Left I am a part of - wants to leave Iraq and end the "War on Terror."

I must not be on the Left then; I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al.
posted by jperkins at 10:54 AM on July 26, 2005


As a guy from the UK I don't really 'get' the whole American fanatsism with patriotism, or at least how i perceive it from afar... You have sex with the flag, no? or is that disrespecting it?

If I invite an American around do I set a place at the table for the flag? Will they be jealous is I look at the flag?

What is the etiquette?
posted by Meccabilly at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2005


Patriotism = loyalty to a country.
Patriotism != loyalty to a president/prime minister/dictator/king/etc.
posted by clevershark at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2005


I must not be on the Left then; I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al.

I'm on the left that want's cherry pie.
posted by Meccabilly at 10:58 AM on July 26, 2005


I'm on the left that want's cherry pie.

Cherry pie is red! Lousy commie!
posted by jonmc at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2005


What I find rather shocking is seeing boxers and swimming trunks featuring the US flag. Does anyone think it's a sign of respect to rub the flag against one's potentially filthy crotch and anus?
posted by clevershark at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2005


What I find rather shocking is seeing boxers and swimming trunks featuring the US flag. Does anyone think it's a sign of respect to rub the flag against one's potentially filthy crotch and anus?

Potentially?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:01 AM on July 26, 2005


From the USA Today article:

"In a general way, patriotism means love of country — love of one's country, one's homeland — a very simple emotional attachment to the place where you're from," says Jack Citrin, professor of political science at the University of California at Berkeley.

"After that, agreement tends to dissolve."


Yeah, that's about right.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 11:01 AM on July 26, 2005


Meccabilly writes "Potentially?"

Well, the wearer could be just coming out of the shower. Even then though, it doesn't seem very respectful.
posted by clevershark at 11:03 AM on July 26, 2005


Well, the wearer could be just coming out of the shower. Even then though, it doesn't seem very respectful.

And the flag would be able to see the naked bits... Americans hate sex and nakedness don't they... That must be some kind of living hell for a flag...
posted by Meccabilly at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2005


A clean anus is a patriotic anus.
posted by ToasT at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2005


I'm actually far to the left, and very patriotic. I obviously don't agree that patriotism is a bad thing, nor do I think that there's anything wrong with loving America and American ideals. I think that I used to feel differently about this, but years ago I read Achieving Our Country by Richrad Rorty and was pretty much convinced that believing in and fighting for the ideals upon which America was founded was the best kind of patriotism. I do object to people who call themselves patriots but try their damdest to subvert those ideals. The present administration would be a good example of that.

I also think the present administration is a good example of nationalism, their ability to think clearly about what they are doing is hampered by an a priori belief that everything the US does is justified and good because it is the US doing it. This kindof self-authorization is one of the real problems with the war in Iraq.

I belong to the same left as jperkins. I have less and less patience for people on the Left who seem to want to insist that there is nothing going on about which we need be concerned except for the actions of the US. Bin Laden etc may not hate "American freedom," but they sure as shit wish us ill and are doing everything they can think of to kill Americans. There's nothing I've seen that indicates that they would roll up the whole project simply because we stopped funding Israel, say.
posted by OmieWise at 11:06 AM on July 26, 2005


jperkins: I must not be on the Left then; I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al.

The War on Terror, as it is, has basically two major manifestations: the invasion of sovereign nations for purposes of "regime change," and the creation of a greatly enlarged security state. Which of these do you think the Left should be getting behind?
posted by graymouser at 11:07 AM on July 26, 2005


graymouser writes "The War on Terror, as it is, has basically two major manifestations: the invasion of sovereign nations for purposes of 'regime change,' and the creation of a greatly enlarged security state. Which of these do you think the Left should be getting behind?"

You conveniently left out the part where jperkins identified which war on terror (small caps): I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al.
posted by OmieWise at 11:10 AM on July 26, 2005


Just when you thought the DLC hacks couldn't get any creepier...
posted by stenseng at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2005


What is the etiquette?
posted by Rubbstone at 11:11 AM on July 26, 2005


OmieWise writes "but they sure as shit wish us ill and are doing everything they can think of to kill Americans."

This should say Americans, Europeans, Iraqis, and anyone who disagrees with them.
posted by OmieWise at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2005


The War on Terror, as it is, has basically two major manifestations: the invasion of sovereign nations for purposes of "regime change," and the creation of a greatly enlarged security state. Which of these do you think the Left should be getting behind?

What part of my statement, "I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al," is throwing you for a loop?
posted by jperkins at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2005


Michael Graham, a radio talk show host, touched off complaints from an Islamic civil rights organization yesterday after repeatedly describing Islam on the air as "a terrorist organization" that is "at war with America."
A station executive, Randall Bloomquist, said yesterday that Graham's comments were "amped up" but justified within the context of the program. He said the station, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., had no plans to reprimand Graham.
another outrage from the liberal media
posted by matteo at 11:12 AM on July 26, 2005


Just to note, the DLC is not "Left" at all. They are quite proud "moderates" or "centrists" - an off-shoot of Clinton's "Third Way" triangulation heyday of the 1990's. Today, they exist only to really take pot-shots at those to the left of them, not understanding that the political landscape has irrevocably changed and triangulation does not work anymore - if at all without Clinton. Becoming Republican-Lite is a guaranteed way to lose elections to the real deal. Note that Al From and Co haven't won an election in the last ten years. The DLC also seems to harbor most of the Democratic Hawks.
posted by plemeljr at 11:13 AM on July 26, 2005


What is the etiquette?

Yeah, but how do I Fuck the flag? Slowly, gently? Does it liked to be fucked on the stars bit or the stripes?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:14 AM on July 26, 2005


Yeah, but how do I Fuck the flag? Slowly, gently? Does it liked to be fucked on the stars bit or the stripes?

Just spit coke on the keyboard...
posted by jperkins at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2005


Just spit coke on the keyboard...

So your saying it likes to be dominated....

maybe i should pin it to a wall and whip it...
posted by Meccabilly at 11:18 AM on July 26, 2005


jperkins: What part of my statement, "I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al," is throwing you for a loop?

To be honest? All of it.

Say you withdraw all forces from Iraq. Now you've got 130,000 troops. What do they do toward the "capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al"? We're talking about people who are probably in Pakistan, so are you advocating an invasion of Pakistan? If you aren't, how do you plan on capturing them with 130,000 troops who probably won't be greeted into a sovereign country?
posted by graymouser at 11:18 AM on July 26, 2005


how do you plan on capturing them with 130,000 troops who probably won't be greeted into a sovereign country?

Pffffft! They will be greeted as liberators! Or so is my understanding... 'Liberators' is American for 'Just blew the shit out of my house' isnt it?

Much in the same way as 'War On Terror' translates into 'The public are stupid and will believe anything... Get another patriot act and cut Veterens welfare guys! It's party time!'. no?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2005


I want the troops withdrawn from Iraq and focused on the war on terror vis-a-vis the capture, trial and execution of Bin Laden, et al.

Ah, but that involves the "regime change" graymouser noted above. How else will the American superpolice swoop into unfriendly nations and arrest/execute terrorists? Furthermore, how will arresting/excuting terrorists prevent eager recruits from taking their place? After all, counterterrorism experts insist that Al Queda is nothing more than a network of information and money, not a nebulous shadow army. You can remove all of today's terrorists, but as long as the information, money, and will is there, there will always be men replacing the ones that are prosecuted.



Thus, the moderate path you suggest is pure fantasy. We can either go full-force and thoroughly reshape the Middle East, or we can get our asses out of the region and work on isolating them until they, as a culture, reshape themselves. It will be a painful process either way.
posted by solipse at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2005


It is actually against the Flag Code to wear the flag as a garment. All those people sporting US flag t-shirts, boxers, socks, etc are actually in violation of Public Law 94 - 344.

(d) The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker's desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

(j) No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform.

posted by sophist at 11:21 AM on July 26, 2005


Thus, the moderate path you suggest is pure fantasy. We can either go full-force and thoroughly reshape the Middle East, or we can get our asses out of the region and work on isolating them until they, as a culture, reshape themselves. It will be a painful process either way.

So you're saying we either invade the place and redecorate it a pretty shade of crimson, 'reshaping' the country as we go OR we build a great big wall round it....

Maybe we should perhaps find a less rational idea first... You havn't suggested nukes yet....

It is actually against the Flag Code to wear the flag as a garment. All those people sporting US flag t-shirts, boxers, socks, etc are actually in violation of Public Law 94 - 344.

But i can still fuck it?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2005


It is rapidly reaching the point at which rational discourse is all but impossible. Words only mean something when they have a commonly understood definition. Certain words have been co-opted or redefined, such as "the left" and "the right". Every word must be parsed and defined. What do we mean by "left"? What do we mean by "patriotism"? What do we mean by "covert op"? What do we mean by "illegal"? What do we mean by "lie"? What do we mean by "treason"? As long as we can redefine or argue about what the words mean we can avoid talking about the substance.
posted by spock at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2005


By country I meant entire middle east region... doh...
posted by Meccabilly at 11:25 AM on July 26, 2005


People frequently confuse "patriotism" with "nationalism."

Patriotism is love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it; Nationalism is the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other.

Although it's hard to be sure, I suspect that flag-fucking falls squarely under the heading of nationalism.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:26 AM on July 26, 2005



Although it's hard to be sure, I suspect that flag-fucking falls squarely under the heading of nationalism.


Well im not from the USA, so fucking the flag there is just polite, no?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2005


Also, rational conversation is all but impossible until the daytime hours when the kiddies are back at school.
posted by spock at 11:29 AM on July 26, 2005


"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." --Thomas Jefferson
posted by thedoctorpants at 11:29 AM on July 26, 2005


How else will the American superpolice swoop into unfriendly nations and arrest/execute terrorists?

At this point, you'd need a time machine. Then instead of invading Iraq, you keep them in/deploy them to Afghanistan. And I have no problems with border incursions into Pakistan if they want to harbor Bin Laden. Didn't have an issue with the invasion of Afghanistan when they were harboring him, either.

But i can still fuck it?

Not only that, but you could probably get people to pay to watch.
posted by jperkins at 11:29 AM on July 26, 2005



"The care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government." --Thomas Jefferson

That must sound crazy to you modern americans... 'Damn Hippies' you think... Now where is my flag so i can make sweet sweet love to it...

Oh yea baby, show me your stars... you know how i like it baby...
posted by Meccabilly at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2005


When you have the right to elect those who govern your country, you investigate the options that are going to be on the ballot paper. That's patriotism, because it is putting the interests of your country first.

When you ignore the damage your government does to your country (lying in order to go to war, then abusing civilians and prisoners during that conflict, exposing intelligence assets for political points) by re-electing it, that's not patriotism. That's betrayal.

While not American (Irish), I'm on the left, and I'd like to point out that if the Irish people re-elect the present government in this country, when all they've done is facilitated the mess that is Iraq, squandered unprecedented wealth when they might have used that money to help people, the Irish people will have betrayed their own country too.
posted by tomcosgrave at 11:32 AM on July 26, 2005


At this point, you'd need a time machine. Then instead of invading Iraq, you keep them in/deploy them to Afghanistan.

And how about sorting out the heroin production while your at it? You know, while you where there... Assholes ( the people in charge of leaving Afganistahn in the mess it is, that it)

Not only that, but you could probably get people to pay to watch.

Fuck yeah!
posted by Meccabilly at 11:33 AM on July 26, 2005


When you ignore the damage your government does to your country (lying in order to go to war, then abusing civilians and prisoners during that conflict, exposing intelligence assets for political points) by re-electing it, that's not patriotism. That's betrayal.

Actually that's democracy mixed with stupidity....
posted by Meccabilly at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2005


Ah, but that involves the "regime change" graymouser noted above. How else will the American superpolice swoop into unfriendly nations and arrest/execute terrorists?

If I remember correctly, Israel has a record of trying terrorists in absentia and then ordering their execution via military forces. And they don't normally have to invade the countries to pull off the executions either.
posted by jperkins at 11:34 AM on July 26, 2005


tomcosgrave: That's patriotism, because it is putting the interests of your country first.

A-ha. That's what I find unsettling about patriotism: it puts one's own country first. I'm an internationalist and find no country's interests and needs should be put first - and that America's in particular have been for far too long.
posted by graymouser at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2005


American society is predicated on a relatively new and radical ideology, i.e. freedom of expression and movement, elected government, etc. Human nature favors privilege for the few, concentrated power, inequality of expression, etc. A society in such tension with human nature will, over time, transmute radicalism into conformity with its ideals. Thought to be a dangerous radical at the time, Martin Luther King now has a national holiday dedicated to the celebration of his life because he simply called for America to conform to its stated purpose (good for us!). As I understand the posts, this is what is being called for -- a traditional, thoughtful and radical patriotism (in keeping with the American ideal) as opposed to an America right or wrong patriotism which is not patriotism at all.
posted by offmylawn at 11:35 AM on July 26, 2005


And they don't normally have to invade the countries to pull off the executions either.

Just occupy them?
posted by Meccabilly at 11:36 AM on July 26, 2005


jperkins: If I remember correctly, Israel has a record of trying terrorists in absentia and then ordering their execution via military forces. And they don't normally have to invade the countries to pull off the executions either.

Israel is not much of a model for anything. So: you think it's morally okay to go around having secret trials and assassinations of your country's opponents? I think that could become very, very ugly.
posted by graymouser at 11:40 AM on July 26, 2005


Well im not from the USA,

Apology accepted.
posted by Game7 at 11:41 AM on July 26, 2005


What would be the patriotic thing to do with those 130,000 troops leaving Iraq? Why invade France of course. They mocked us going into Iraq and hurt our feelings. We had to eat freedom fries of all things. Just remember, it's not about the wine, it's about dignity and most of all Freedom, it's always about freedom.
posted by caddis at 11:43 AM on July 26, 2005



It is actually against the Flag Code to wear the flag as a garment. All those people sporting US flag t-shirts, boxers, socks, etc are actually in violation of Public Law 94 - 344.

Your misinterpreting the flag code those garments were never flags they began with the intent for them to be clothing. It meants you can't take the flag off the pole and make a toga.
posted by Rubbstone at 11:44 AM on July 26, 2005


it's always about freedom.

The freedom to fuck the american flag.... The freedom all amercians have and ..... 'utilise'...
posted by Meccabilly at 11:45 AM on July 26, 2005


Just occupy them?

Not at all.

Israel is not much of a model for anything. So: you think it's morally okay to go around having secret trials and assassinations of your country's opponents? I think that could become very, very ugly.

As ugly as having 4,000 people killed? Hell, it's established Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. I have no problem with the U.S. government killing that man and his associates. Better them than who knows how many Iraqis.
posted by jperkins at 11:46 AM on July 26, 2005


As ugly as having 4,000 people killed? Hell, it's established Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. I have no problem with the U.S. government killing that man and his associates. Better them than who knows how many Iraqis.

As ugly as Batman and Robin? Man that film sucked
posted by Meccabilly at 11:50 AM on July 26, 2005


jperkins: As ugly as having 4,000 people killed? Hell, it's established Bin Laden was involved in 9/11. I have no problem with the U.S. government killing that man and his associates. Better them than who knows how many Iraqis.

I think you're still in the zone of American exceptionalism, which is extremely faulty thinking. If this were applicable in another country, say Venezuela - would you approve of Hugo Chávez sending Venezuelan operatives to arrest the head of the National Endowment for Democracy after having been found guilty in the 2002 coup that overthrew his government? If not, why is it justifiable in the case of people the US has found guilty of terrorism?
posted by graymouser at 11:52 AM on July 26, 2005


So: you think it's morally okay to go around having secret trials and assassinations of your country's opponents? I think that could become very, very ugly.

Actually, a better example: That's exactly what Clinton was trying to do to 1998.
posted by jperkins at 11:54 AM on July 26, 2005


"Does anyone think it's a sign of respect to rub the flag against one's potentially filthy crotch and anus?"

How many people have killed and been killed to "honor" my private parts?
posted by davy at 11:55 AM on July 26, 2005


War on Terror... War on Terror...!? Where have you folks been? Haven't you heard?

The War on Terror is over! We won it already! Or.. uh... lost it... or something.
posted by soyjoy at 11:55 AM on July 26, 2005


Better them than who knows how many Iraqis.

how in the hell killing Bin Laden saves Iraqi lives?
posted by matteo at 11:56 AM on July 26, 2005


I think you're still in the zone of American exceptionalism, which is extremely faulty thinking.

I'm specifically referring to someone involved in at least two attacks on US military personnel and civilians prior to 9/11.
posted by jperkins at 11:56 AM on July 26, 2005


Wot, not Dr Johnson?
posted by Grangousier at 11:56 AM on July 26, 2005


how in the hell killing Bin Laden saves Iraqi lives?

Killing Bin Laden as opposed to faceitiously invading Iraq because of their WMD, ties to Al Queda, etc. etc.
posted by jperkins at 11:57 AM on July 26, 2005


*sigh*
Do they still teach history in High School?
Because, like, I need to be taught about patriotism from USA Today.

Liberals are antiwar because of WWII etc? Wha?
Will Marshall? Wha?
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.
Hello, Sam Johnson? Hello?
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

(Classical quotation is the parole of literary men all over the world )
posted by Smedleyman at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2005


This thread is hilarious.

Putting flags on things being fine and dandy is not all that old, right? ISTR that the flag motiff painted on (can't remember whose) one of the motorcycles in "Easy Rider" was viewed as very disrespectful. That was just 40 years ago.

I am probably best described as a pretty left-leaning small "l" libertarian. People who get upset with what is done with the flag remind me of people who get upset about what is done with bibles, korans, crosses, stars of david, and etc. They are all the same kind of whackos, IMO. Desecrating a symbol is not the same as desectrating the ideal. In some cases (flag burning in particular), desecrating the symbol can actually be a good expression of support for the ideal it represents (freedom in general, freedom of expression in particular).

Republicans who push through measures like ant-flag burning legislation seem similar, to me, to parents who put too tight of a leash on their children. I have observed that, for the most part, the more you try to bend your children to your will, the more they are likely to rebel. Maybe this isn't a hard and fast rule, but it sure seems typical. I predict that if the constitutional amendment banning flag burning goes through we will see a huge increase in the activity.

I am (officially) a democrat. I am also a card carrying member of the ACLU. I don't know how patriotic I am. I like America. I think we do a lot wrong, but I think we do a lot right too. I definitely think that almost everything the Bush whitehouse has done since it took office has been bad for the country and I can offer clear, logical arguments. For example, I think it is demonstrably provable that we are in more danger of terror attacks now than we were before we invaded Iraq (same for England, as we can see). Is it patriotic for me to want them out of office because of that? I certainly don't think so.
posted by Yellowbeard at 11:58 AM on July 26, 2005


Got there just before me Grangousier
posted by Smedleyman at 12:00 PM on July 26, 2005


jperkins: I'm specifically referring to someone involved in at least two attacks on US military personnel and civilians prior to 9/11.

Okay...I understand that. Bin Laden's a dangerous guy, he really is, but I'm trying to show that your proposal is dangerous too.

American exceptionalism is not just "Bin Laden killed Americans, he must be punished!" but also "America should have special rights to punish those individuals who kill its citizens above and beyond what other countries do." And that's not going to work; what it will do is come back some day to bite us in the ass when we're not on top.
posted by graymouser at 12:02 PM on July 26, 2005


Does anyone think it's a sign of respect to rub the flag against one's potentially filthy crotch and anus?

Every chance I get.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 12:04 PM on July 26, 2005


How many people have killed and been killed to "honor" my private parts?

I'm going to say "30," but it's just a guess.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:05 PM on July 26, 2005


Your misinterpreting the flag code those garments were never flags they began with the intent for them to be clothing. It meants you can't take the flag off the pole and make a toga.

You're oversimplifying the question of what a flag is. See, in the case of flags, the signifier is the signified--you can't depict a particular flag w/out the depiction actually becoming the flag it depicts. This is actually a pretty complicated issue, so you can't just assume that your interpretation of the flag code is the more correct one just because it makes the most sense to you, because the flag code doesn't explicitly make any exceptions to the rule related to the intended use of a particular representation of the flag. Complexity, people. It's real and it's not going away no matter how much it scares you. So stop hiding behind frightened bullying tactics and deal with it.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:07 PM on July 26, 2005


Soo... I *can* take a flag off the pole and make a toga... (?)
posted by LordSludge at 12:12 PM on July 26, 2005


not according to the flag code. sorry.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:15 PM on July 26, 2005


Flag.
It depends on what your definition of "is" is...?
posted by zoinks at 12:18 PM on July 26, 2005


The DLC does not speak for the left.
posted by moonbird at 12:18 PM on July 26, 2005


jasper johns rocks. (was waiting for someone to come back with that "definition of 'is' is" thing. for the record, I was one of the most vocal Clinton bashers around, back in my day; now that I've got more perspective, I've adjusted my view.)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 12:24 PM on July 26, 2005


I would argue that there is a pretty decent sort of social or cultural patriotism that allows for the good things about a given place to be celebrated without the whole love it or leave it deal we get from meatheads. I love the ideals this country was founded on and a good bit of the ideas that permeate its creative culture and the freedoms (not GWB freedoms, but intellectual freedoms that we take for granted, contrariness, mistrust of authority, wereallinitogetherness, a certain sweaty honesty) we enjoy.

America is going through a particularly rough patch (not that the country has ever been the beacon of good common humanity that it puts in its brochures) right now and lord know we may never recover, but there is plenty of good here. The soundbite, polarized CNN/FOX mentality that confuses a good deal of the public also serves as our public face in the world, just as it behooves a good American to not be taken in by this, the rest of the world would do well to recognize this as well, we are a huge, plural country with many a dissenter and radical still fighting the good fight. Our dissenters and radicals have always fought from the underdog position and we have as great a tradition of them as anywhere else in the world.

America has to get its shit together or it is going to implode, some comfort can be taken from either of those two possibilities I suppose.

Meccabilly

Your wit is weak, your understanding of the issues are at hand is as laughably dismal as that of the most dirt covered fundimentalist twerp of any stripe. The fact that you are appearantly British and unwilling to seperate the American people (half of whom have voted consistently against the war since the begining) from their government (a government of crooks and insiders who know how to work every angle, cynical monsters the lot of them) shows that you have no notion of history or any real idea of common humanity, you are either very young or a fool, only one of which is an excuse.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:26 PM on July 26, 2005


Love your nation-state!
posted by jefgodesky at 12:33 PM on July 26, 2005


A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Patriotism
Abbey, Edward
1927-1989 American Writer
[soundbite]
posted by zoinks at 12:34 PM on July 26, 2005


Oh, lay off Mecabilly. He's into satire, and of the outrageous variety. If you take it seriously, it gets serious. His point is well taken, however.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:46 PM on July 26, 2005


Mental Wimp writes "His point is well taken, however."

Which point was that?
posted by OmieWise at 12:51 PM on July 26, 2005


the DLC is a bunch of useless losers...they all supported every action of Bush, including the Patriot Act and Iraq, and are still not the ones calling for any investigations of the proven misdeeds of this administration--from Halliburton's unaccountability, to refusing to release the Abu Ghraib pics, to TreasonGate to Bolton stonewalling...

If they cared about this country (i.e., really were patriotic), they'd be fighting the administration and GOP control of Congress instead of their fellow Democrats (who they need to win).
posted by amberglow at 12:51 PM on July 26, 2005


What is his point? Voltaire he ain't.

If you take it seriously, it gets serious.

Lost me there.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:51 PM on July 26, 2005


Like, you totally don't want him to get serious on your ass. That kind of serious.
posted by hototogisu at 12:54 PM on July 26, 2005


The DLC is possibly the worst thing to happen to the Democratic party. In a nutshell, the opinion piece said "To be more patriotic, you need to be more like the Republicans." Jesus H. Christ on a popsicle stick, we ain't gonna take the government back by being pale shadows of the party running the show right now.
posted by prodigalsun at 12:55 PM on July 26, 2005


if the Irish people re-elect the present government in this country, when all they've done is facilitated the mess that is Iraq, squandered unprecedented wealth when they might have used that money to help people, the Irish people will have betrayed their own country too

B-b-but they gave us SSIAs man, SSIAs . . .
posted by jamesonandwater at 12:57 PM on July 26, 2005


Well I suppose I would hate for him to internet kick my ass in a wildly over the top satirical way. Perhaps he could expose me to some pornography or fuck a flag or something and I'll just wild out and melt like the Nazis in Indiana Jones. I am a warmongering American christian fundamentalist after all, I'm two seconds and and a glimpse at a copy of Juggs away from a stroke at all times.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:00 PM on July 26, 2005


Actually, he's closer to de Sade.
posted by Mental Wimp at 1:01 PM on July 26, 2005


davy writes "How many people have killed and been killed to 'honor' my private parts?"

Well, is your name George Bush? /rimshot
posted by clevershark at 1:05 PM on July 26, 2005


Actually, he's closer to de Sade.

Allright chief.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:08 PM on July 26, 2005


Divine_Wino: What you said, a bit less vitrioloc. I think perhaps Meccabilly was being overly-sarcastic. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt.

At the risk of invoking popular culture when so many fine writers and statesman have been quoted, a line from a relatively recent film has always struck me as being succinct.

"You want to claim this land as the 'land of the free'? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest."

Or whatever. Fuck it. Mutilate it. Put it on Jessica Simpson.

May be bit trite, but there it is, folks. Stretch that to an obvious association with the rights that we all take for granted, and that's patriotism. If it was easy, this thread wouldnt exist.
posted by elendil71 at 1:09 PM on July 26, 2005


The DLC does not speak for the left.

Amen to that!
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:10 PM on July 26, 2005


Your wit is weak, your understanding of the issues are at hand is as laughably dismal as that of the most dirt covered fundimentalist twerp of any stripe. The fact that you are appearantly British and unwilling to seperate the American people (half of whom have voted consistently against the war since the begining) from their government (a government of crooks and insiders who know how to work every angle, cynical monsters the lot of them) shows that you have no notion of history or any real idea of common humanity, you are either very young or a fool, only one of which is an excuse.

Dude, I just totally got a toasted sandwich! Seriously, im eating it right now... Oh right, sorry where were we, oh yea... I am just trying to take the piss for the sheer hell of it.. the sort of opinions and general level of intellectual discourse usually forwarded in these threads tends to verge on the ridiculous, i was just a bit bored of it all, perhaps jaded so i thought i would try to get a reaction, thank you. I now have it and am going to go off and do something worthwhile..

Oh, lay off Mecabilly. He's into satire, and of the outrageous variety. If you take it seriously, it gets serious. His point is well taken, however.


Dude, I was talking about fucking a flag, how serious did you think i was being.

But seriously though, I've got a toasted sandwich.
posted by Meccabilly at 1:17 PM on July 26, 2005


There's a difference between patriotism and jingoism, it's just that most jingoes don't know what that word means.
posted by BigFatWhale at 1:19 PM on July 26, 2005


Meccabilly,
Then you are a troll. That I was just trying to get a reaction shit is the lamest of the lame, enjoy your toasted sandwhich though big boy. I am going off to do something completely not worthwhile you fucking vonce.

elendil71

There is your benefit of the doubt.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:24 PM on July 26, 2005




OmieWise:

Exactly.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:35 PM on July 26, 2005


Sorry, it turns out the more recent CommonDreams editorial is a distillation of a slightly longer piece called Patriotism's Secret History first published in The Nation on 2002.
posted by OmieWise at 1:36 PM on July 26, 2005


You're oversimplifying the question of what a flag is. See, in the case of flags, the signifier is the signified--you can't depict a particular flag w/out the depiction actually becoming the flag it depicts. This is actually a pretty complicated issue, so you can't just assume that your interpretation of the flag code is the more correct one just because it makes the most sense to you, because the flag code doesn't explicitly make any exceptions to the rule related to the intended use of a particular representation of the flag. Complexity, people. It's real and it's not going away no matter how much it scares you. So stop hiding behind frightened bullying tactics and deal with it.

I'll cede the point. That's fine with me just remember to solute my boxers when I run them up the pole.
posted by Rubbstone at 1:38 PM on July 26, 2005


No problem.

But still, I will not kiss your fucking flag...
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 1:50 PM on July 26, 2005


(sorry--just had to figure out a way to get that quote in this discussion somehow...)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 1:51 PM on July 26, 2005


elendil71
There is your benefit of the doubt.


"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor."

More popular culture, I'm afraid. And terribly overstated. When our own culture, government, and laws cannot withstand the scrutiny of a Fool (in the classic sense), then we really are in trouble.
posted by elendil71 at 1:53 PM on July 26, 2005


More than fair enough.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:54 PM on July 26, 2005


The CommonDreams/Nation editorial is a prime example of why you keep loosing. It says patriotism means admitting your society is too corrupt and morally bankrupt to be worth anyone's patriotism. It might be, though, if you bigots and kleptocrats will do what we tell you to do.

You need to reach out and dialogue with moderates and conservatives to understand just how mean spirited and judgemental that sounds. If this kind of talk was going to work, it would have worked by now.
posted by Jos Bleau at 1:58 PM on July 26, 2005


First, fuck teh DLC; for what I can figure they're harboring plenty of Republican party operatives trying to coopt the opposition.

2nd, people confuse patriotism with chauvinism. Living in a foreign country for 8 years made me more of a patriot wrt the USA yet more saddened to see how dysfunctional and infantile the nation is/has become.

I've resolved myself that Hitler's quote (probably this is just a recycled German Junker aphorism) that 'democracy is doomed because an idiot has the same vote as the smart person' is accurate. We've got a LOT of idiots in this country.

What's the taxonomy of the 200M adult populace these days?

80M didn't get off their ass to vote in 2004

20M fundie voters, 80% of whom who voted (R)
20M additional"values" voters, who voted (R) 70%
20M security moms who couldn't find Iraq on a labelled map but voted (R) 70%
10M relatively well-off folk who voted (R) because the party is halfway through dismantling the 20th century welfare state
6M LGF/Bircher/catchall who voted (R)

I could do a similar breakdown on Kerry's support, the radical GLBT contingent, "Hollywood" media, trial lawyers, etc to some extent.

Where is the rational middle? Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, and the pro-life crowd thinks they are defending the life & liberty of the unborn, while the GLBT are fighting against nothing less than Old Testament dogma masquerading as policy.

I guess Dean was the closest thing to a true rationalist (going against the Iraq war, fundamentalist preachers, and our co-opted media in mid-2003), even with the "Yeaargh!" slander and his more recent slams on the other party, but I have hopes for Clark too.

Perhaps the best thing is just to let the (R)'s continue to destroy the present government from the inside. Perhaps we need to start from a new basis.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:08 PM on July 26, 2005


The difference between Patriotism, and Nationalism cannot be stressed enough.
I am a Patriot. I burry guns, ammunition, and food in Colorado. They are there in case I need to defend Colorado from someone invading Colorado.
They won't do anyone a lick of good in Iraq.

Patriotism is the love of your country enough to defend it from invasion. To invade another country is just about the most unpatriotic thing you can do.

Nationalism, on the other hand, is the feeling that your country is the best. Nationalism is an exportable commodity. "Democratization" of other countries by our force, because we are right, and you are all fodder, is Nationalism. It was Nationalism that took over Germany in the 20's-30's.
posted by Balisong at 2:10 PM on July 26, 2005


If this kind of talk was going to work, it would have worked by now.

Shhhhhhh...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 2:13 PM on July 26, 2005


why you keep loosing

this is probably a derail, but what i find hard to understand is why so much talk about winning and losing floats around in the first place. believe it or not, we're all in the same boat here. as adults, aren't we supposed to be a little more mature in our outlook than to view all of history as a winner-take-all sporting event? come on--you can't deny that a lot of people on the so-called right (and the so-called left) gloat over their political victories so unashamedly that it's obvious to any objective party that they care more about winning than being right or doing what's best for the country.

Jos Bleau is right about some things here--but then, look at people(?) like Ann Coulter, literally calling for "liberals" to be boiled alive. There's a lot of uncivility coming out of all quarters these days, and yeah, it's eroding polite society and making healthy political discourse next to impossible. But there's plenty of blame to go around, as usual.
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 2:17 PM on July 26, 2005


gloat over their political victories so unashamedly that it's obvious to any objective party that they care more about winning than being right or doing what's best for the country

Indeed, that's putting Party over Country.

A charge I level at Republicans a lot, since I can see no rational basis for supporting the current administration's present handling of our affairs, unless one believes a) bankrupting our national finances is the best long-term strategy to forcefully wean the populace off the Great Society / New Deal welfare state, b) stirring the shit in the middle east was the best long term strategy for securing Israel against its neighbors, c) our $500B/yr military (outspending the rest of the world combined!) is a worthwhile investment, d) they actually believe this "family values" crap that the Big Government needs to limit freedom of expression to protect our national polity, and/or e) Clinton-era environmentalism was greatly over-reaching.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:31 PM on July 26, 2005


I guess Dean was the closest thing to a true rationalist

Seriously, Heywood?
posted by Kwantsar at 2:34 PM on July 26, 2005


I like to call it the Smash and Grab (tm) Administration.

I don't see where they have a long term strategy looking farther into the future than the next couple weeks.

I'd love for the president to really lay it out on the table, just what he thinks things will look like in 3-5-7-10-20-50 years from now.

We should really have people in charge that can tell you what their plans will make the world look like.
posted by Balisong at 2:37 PM on July 26, 2005


Well, even though clownhall is part of the problem (big money operating media establishments under the radar) that speech was largely on-point.

"screwing working people and making sure that the fat cats are giving more money."

Dean's average donation was like $50. Bush cleaned up at the $2000 max level.

Dean accused Republicans of operating with a "dark, difficult and dishonest vision"

the rhetoric is weak but the dishonesty of the Republicans is indeed manifest in many parts of their agenda.

Dean labelled President Bush the "most ineffective" president in his lifetime.

Granted, a rationalist would be hard to outrank Carter on that score, so perhaps Dean was off the mark here.

Dean speculated that Republican voters didn't mind the lines as much. "Republicans, I guess, can do that (stand in line) because a lot of them have never made an honest living in their lives"

This was insulting, and even though there is a kernel of truth (those living off of inherited wealth or rent-seeking are not making an honest living), and TMK the lines in Ohio were shorter in wealthier areas than poorer areas, it was an over-broad charge that did not clarify the debate.

President Bush "only likes to hear from people who agree with him,"

Guilty as charged I would think.

Dean told the College Democrats of America, and Republicans, he said, "are all about voter suppression."

Very true. Motor-voter gets shot-down by republicans, not democrats.

Dean said "one of the biggest problems in this culture of corruption that the Republicans brought to Washington, is they sold our government to the highest bidder.

Are you familiar with the K Street Project? The Ohio coingate scandal is symptomatic of the corrupting cycle of government money < -> influence peddling < -> "campaign donations" that we can see today. How did "bankruptcy reform" get passed into law? Who wrote that bill? A lot of shit gets inserted into bills that nobody knows who wrote or why, like the medicare "reform" not allowing the government to negotiate like Canada.

"The president and his right-wing Supreme Court think it is 'okay' to have the government take your house if they feel like putting a hotel where your house is,"

Dean was off his rocker with this charge...

"We think that eminent domain does not belong in the private sector. It is for public use only," Dean said.

...But that is accurate I would hope.

"We think it's a moral value to stop stealing money out of the Social Security trust fund." The Democratic Party's moral values, according to Dean, also include an obligation "to balance the budget," and have a "strong public education system."

Horror of horrors!

Regarding his support for Bob Casey, the pro-life Democrat running for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania, Dean said that "we ought to respect people's positions of conscience."

Indeed, I respect pro-life positions. It is a compelling argument, to save millions of lives every year.

"A pro-life Democrat, unlike a pro-life Republican, cares about kids after they're born, not just before," Dean said.

This is true, though one must be cognizant of the effects that this "care" presenting, eg. encouraging irresponsible behavior with free government handouts.

"fight for what you believe in ... We don't need two Republican parties,"

Indeed.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:55 PM on July 26, 2005


(It's also important to remember that Dean was a fiscally-conservative moderate Governor, and not the screaming liberal he's made out to be.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:30 PM on July 26, 2005


Remarkably thorough and honest, Heywood.

The charges of stealing from the trust fund and Republicans not making an honest living are boilerplate not-literally-completely-untrue-but-hopelessly-facile pep rally stuff. The whole Supreme Court thing, though, just floored me.

Just like Deano, I am sick and fucking tired of Neo-Nazi, Right-wing, Genghis-Khan-type Bush appointees like Ruth Bader Ginsberg autocratically ruling from the bench!
posted by Kwantsar at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2005


Ginsburg.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2005


Kwantsar: Yeah, well, pretty much everyone who's not big business disagreed with Kelo... I'll join you in agitating for legislation (or an ammendment) that requires the property siezed to not be used for private gain, or some such similar language. Deal?
posted by klangklangston at 3:43 PM on July 26, 2005


Well, of course it's a deal, and I regret the threadjack, but my point, simply, isn't to decry the ruling-- it's to ask why Dean would say such a thing, and (failing a good explanation) to paint him as less-than-rational.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:51 PM on July 26, 2005


Kwantsar: Sometimes it's perfectly rational to distort the truth in order to motivate an action that you endorse. It's unfortunte, and immoral, but totally rational.
posted by klangklangston at 3:56 PM on July 26, 2005


(Of course, for that deal, you might find me at least a bit less motivated than you are, as my state constitution and state supreme court explicitly limit emminent domain more than Kelo does. But I'd still support it. It's just not as pressing here.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:58 PM on July 26, 2005


I think that if one is to be a true 'patriot', one has to read and learn from the lessons of this country's founding. We have to read and learn from the documents this country was founded on, the Bill of Rights and the Consitution and the Declaration of Independence.
There is a reason it says 'We The People' and not 'We the rich and privaleged landed gentry'
It is because the founding of the country was about *all* of us. All of Us. No nationalism, no 'founding of a new Royalty'.
This country was to be a melting pot where everyone had the same opportunity to succeed and most of all, to reach behind and bring the next person up and so on and so on. No one gets left behind. Remember that saying in 'Blackhawk Down'? 'No One Gets Left Behind'.
There is a reason why the Boston Tea Party led to the start of the Revolutionary War the following day, it was a blow against Capitalism, against royalists, against the landed gentry which today controls and enslaves us all while enriching just a few.
The Democratic Party, like the Republican Party, are just parties of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. Whether one identifies as Liberal or Conservative, neither of those parties 'walks the walk' when it comes to fighting for the ideals of the common man or woman. Look at all the jobs sent overseas. That wasn't Democrats that did that. It wasn't all Republicans either. It was both of them together without batting an eyelash while doing it. Does that make them sound like Patriots? Betraying their own country and it's people?
The United States is supposed to be about spreading freedom and democracy, but all it spreads since the post-Civil War period is enslavement and suppresion of freedom. The more that americans learn these lessons and start holding their respective parties to the original ideals of the founding fathers of this country the sooner we can get back to the roots of 'what made this country great' and stop pointing fingers and insulting one another's 'patriotism'.
posted by mk1gti at 4:05 PM on July 26, 2005


I patiently await the Left's Vivisection of Karl Rove.
posted by fenriq at 4:16 PM on July 26, 2005


mk1gti: "There is a reason it says 'We The People' and not 'We the rich and privaleged landed gentry'
It is because the founding of the country was about *all* of us. All of Us. No nationalism, no 'founding of a new Royalty'."

Boy, you swallowed that myth hook line and sinker. I've got no problem with the ideals, but your grasp of history is so far off that even Peabody and Sherman would laugh.
posted by klangklangston at 4:25 PM on July 26, 2005


klangklangston
So enlighten me, oh great sage. . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:36 PM on July 26, 2005


Heywood, the DLC thinks they are speaking for the middle, and they think that by waving the flag and speaking of values, they can get back those security moms and others who voted GOP in 2004. And also by disassociating themselves from us "radicals" and "fringe" elements who hate the flag, and mom, and apple pie, and baseball, and catching fireflies in a mason jar, and watching nascar, and ...
posted by amberglow at 4:40 PM on July 26, 2005




The DLC is nothing more than Republican Lite. Anyone inclined to vote Republican on issues have no incentive to vote less than Republican. These guys need to get out of DC more often and talk to real people instead of their money cows that DeLay now owns. Centrist my ass! Nixon was way more liberal than these idiots!
posted by nofundy at 5:50 PM on July 26, 2005


klangklangston
still waitin' here bud. Put up or shut up. Of course, by shutting up you just prove yourself to be a base hypocrite. . .

Oh, and in today's world Nixon is a pot-smoking hippie. . .
posted by mk1gti at 6:14 PM on July 26, 2005


slight threadjack:
'Abd al-Wahhab set himself against the abuses by which religion pandered to the gullible masses rather than educated or ministered to them. His reforming zeal sent many back to the elegant purity of Islam as a Message of humility, unity, morality and ethics motivated by equality and justice. The growth of the liberal tradition of representative democracy, civil and human rights takes its inception from the firm conviction of men and women, who, knowing they stood equal without need of mediators before their God, could not condone nor accept that they should stand unequal or disadvantaged before the might of other men, be they kings or bishops. It is the outlook known in European history as Puritan.

from Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Skeptical Muslim
posted by mk1gti at 6:28 PM on July 26, 2005


I patiently await the Left's Vivisection of Karl Rove.

I'll drink to that. But I have a feeling that the vivisection is going to come by means of what appears to be a straight-up, good-guy, non-partisan US Attorney while the Democrats wring their hands over outlawing mods to video games.
posted by jperkins at 7:14 PM on July 26, 2005


I patiently await the Left's Vivisection of Karl Rove.
-----------------------------------------------------
And I await the return of a Disney character as the anti-christ...
posted by mk1gti at 7:33 PM on July 26, 2005


i always was suspicious of that animatronic Lincoln!
posted by amberglow at 8:26 PM on July 26, 2005


I await the invasion of France.
posted by caddis at 8:47 PM on July 26, 2005


And I'll just wait here in Colorado for the time when the riots will come raging down my street. I'll get out the bullhorn, do some quick politix, and decide to fight 'em or join 'em.
posted by Balisong at 9:45 PM on July 26, 2005




I'll go along with Balisong on that last one. I'm afraid it might be one of the great upspoken truthes simmering beneath the surface in this country now. . .
'How much more b.s. can 'muricans take before they stand up and say 'can't take nu'more!!!'
posted by mk1gti at 10:17 PM on July 26, 2005


Nationalism is the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other.

No, not really.

M.K. Gandhi, for example, would probably have described himself as an Indian 'nationalist' but was just about as far from the cultural chauvinism you describe as it is possible to get. The same applies to many others involved in anti-colonial movements.

'Nationalism' can mean an acceptance and admiration for national diversity rather than being a form of chauvinism. A relatively harmless interest in collecting folk traditions (a la Brothers Grimm) is also a form of 'nationalism'. Nationalism can be assertive as opposed to being aggressive - it encompasses both meanings.


A better word is probably 'jingoism', or 'chauvinism'.
posted by plep at 12:45 AM on July 27, 2005


What plep said.
posted by nofundy at 5:25 AM on July 27, 2005


Mk1: Wow, a fella can't ever step away from the computer with a jackass like you around, can 'e?
First, the contention that the US was founded for all people: Who got to vote under the original constitution? White male landowners of the age of majority. According to you, that was everyone in the United States. Second, the contention that the US wasn't founded for the rich and priveledged: The Founder's conception of Minority Rights explicitly included the idea that it was the state's purpose to defend the property of the minority from the majority. Third, the idea that everyone had the same opportunity to succed is a Horatio Alger myth. Ask your Germans, your Irish and your Slavs how they were treated up until the Civil War (at which point the tremendous number of dead immigrants increased the social standing of the survivors). Fourth, the idea that the Boston Tea Party was a blow against capitalism is the rankest form of historical revisionism. It was a blow against taxation, mobilized by the upper class, to protect private property from the state.
Your grasp of history IS laughable, and the conclusions you've drawn from your spotty fact show you to be an idiot. Bud.
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 AM on July 27, 2005


There is a reason it says 'We The People' and not 'We the rich and privaleged landed gentry'
It is because the founding of the country was about *all* of us. All of Us. No nationalism, no 'founding of a new Royalty'.


gimme some of that rope yer smokin' mk1! your revisionist fairy-tale of the great egalitarianism is sweeter than a truckload of cotton-candy!

and klang? you ought have no problem with them CLEP tests, boy.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:15 AM on July 27, 2005


Beelz: I know, I just need to get the cash together now. I went through and took the books out of the library, and have been shooting about 60% on the tests right off the bat...
posted by klangklangston at 10:04 AM on July 27, 2005


klangklangston
After you two have cleaned each other off from your group grope perhaps you could provide some links backing up your point? Hmmmmmmm?
posted by mk1gti at 12:40 PM on July 27, 2005


klang and I are related by birth, kthnx, mk1.

Try the Federalist papers. Try the arguments surrounding the organization of colonies into states. The continental congress, the articles of confederation, and the U.S. Constitution all ceded to the states the right to define electors, that is, those who could vote. Here's a sample from the original constitution of South Carolina:

The qualification of electors shall be that every free white man, and no other person, who acknowledges the being of a God, and believes in a future state of rewards and punishments, and who has attained to the age of one and twenty years, and hath been a resident and an inhabitant in this State for the space of one whole year before the day appointed for the election he offers to give his vote at, and hath a freehold at least of fifty acres of land, or a town lot, and hath been legally seized and possessed of the same at least six months previous to such election, or hath paid a tax the preceding year, or was taxable the present year, at least six months previous to the said election, in a sum equal to the tax on fifty acres of land, to the support of this government, shall be deemed a person qualified to vote for, and shall be capable of electing, a representative or representatives to serve as a member or members in the senate and house of representatives, for the parish or district where he actually is a resident, or in any other parish or district in this State where he hath the like freehold. Electors shall take an oath or affirmation of qualification, if required by the returning officer. No person shall be eligible to sit in the house of representatives unless he be of the Protestant religion, and hath been a resident in this State for three years previous to his election. The qualification of the elected, if residents in the parish or district for which they shall be returned, shall be the same as mentioned in the election act, and construed to mean clear of debt. But no non-resident shall be eligible to a seat in the house of representatives unless he is owner of a settled estate and freehold in his own right of the value of three thousand and five hundred pounds currency at least, clear of debt, in the parish or district for which he is elected.

Other states had similar qualifications. They drew inspiration from Mill, who wrote that the educated were more principled and of better character, and thus should have two votes to each vote of the common man. Hamilton argued for the Senate to be a lifetime peership vis-a-vis the House of Lords.

Pennsylvania went to great lengths to stack the membership of their congress to be of the merchant class, as compared to the Virginia House of Burgesses which was originally assembled along the lines of peerage.

Washington rejected the calls of his senior officers, among them Hamilton, who wanted to name him King (albeit without right of heriditary succession). The writings are full of class and peerage.

You can believe what you want to believe, but the early days of this nation were predicated on class division.

I've not provided links to the Federalist papers because they're just so damned easy to find.

Now, go read mmmmkay, mk1?
posted by beelzbubba at 2:05 PM on July 27, 2005


psssst - mk1gti! time to abandon ship! There's still time! Go! You can thank me later.
posted by soyjoy at 2:29 PM on July 27, 2005


The Left's Dissection of Patriotism.

Conceptually, the Left has little use of Patriotism, its preoccupation has always been Internationalism, as in Workers of the World Unite.
posted by semmi at 3:05 PM on July 27, 2005


bull...we just don't feel the need to rely on the flag and symbols and slogans instead of people and their real needs.
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on July 27, 2005


To be fair, Mill wrote after the revolution. On Liberty comes from about 1860. But aside from that, yeah. You got served, Mk1.
posted by klangklangston at 5:12 PM on July 27, 2005


psssst - mk1gti! time to abandon ship! There's still time! Go! You can thank me later.
posted by soyjoy at 2:29 PM PST on July 27 [!]
------------------------------------
blub, blub, blub *bloop*
posted by mk1gti at 5:41 PM on July 27, 2005


You're a better history buff than I klangklangston/beelzbubba

I concede.

By the by, I have copies of the Federalist papers, The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' near my nightstand. Time for some bedtime reading, methinks.
posted by mk1gti at 5:55 PM on July 27, 2005


see? being here really is a learning experience : >

(maybe add Zinn to your list too, mk1--your eyes will pop open)
posted by amberglow at 6:23 PM on July 27, 2005


You mean like 'A People's History of the United States'? I have a very well-worn and beloved copy of that book amberglow. Thanks (^_^). Also 'Lies My Teacher Told Me' by James Loewen. Guess I shoulda read a bit more of them before I jumped into this up to my eyebrows. . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:06 PM on July 27, 2005


It's just the difference between what we want to believe and what actually was, and is. The problem then becomes whether we can make things in any way more like those ideals/fantasies/etc. History shows we kinda can, i think (see expansion of voting, and civil rights, etc) But then of course, you can also see the right wing trying to make the country more like their ideals too.
posted by amberglow at 9:12 PM on July 27, 2005


There was one analogy I thought was pretty descriptive: Conservatives are like dogs and Liberals like cats: Dogs like to run around frenetically sticking their noses into everything, always active, needing firm direction at all times whereas liberals are like cats who are 'too cool' for all that frenzied, purposeless activity.
I would like to believe the founding fathers had a bit more in mind than 'the landed gentry' (take Jefferson as an example)
I think people want freedom democracy and equality to work but they also feel too oppressed and frenetic to take time to form their thoughts into actions. Perhaps that's a deliberate action taken by business to prevent workers from rising against them. Keep them so occupied, so obsessed with 'purchasing that next big thing' that they won't want to rebel lest they lose all the toys.
posted by mk1gti at 9:51 PM on July 27, 2005


we just don't feel the need to rely on the flag and symbols and slogans instead of people and their real needs

amberglow: I lived under Stalinist rule, you have no idea of what you're saying.
posted by semmi at 11:01 PM on July 27, 2005


Egads. Ask a Quebecer what "nationalism" means to them.

Are we done making up distinctions between words yet?
posted by dreamsign at 12:05 AM on July 28, 2005


yes
posted by peacay at 12:52 AM on July 28, 2005


semmi, i can't speak for life in Communist countries. I can, tho, speak of what's considered the "left" here in the US (of which i'm mildly part of, and which this post is about), and it's not us that uses the symbols and slogans associated with patriotism or nationalism to sell policy and to keep people in line, etc. What makes it especially absurd is that while wrapping themselves in the flag, they're hurting this country and its values and laws, and committing treason as well.
posted by amberglow at 5:47 AM on July 28, 2005


amberglow, all powerplay requires the more or less successful massing of followers by the symbols and slogans of their commonly assumed identity. I think you oppose that, and so do I from whatever side it comes from. What separates us, I believe, is that you admire political passion for its own sake, and I, having experienced its fall-out, don't.
posted by semmi at 8:56 AM on July 28, 2005


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