Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is Patriotism?

Patriotism is rooted in social identity as a basic human need and a basic human right. Patriotism is a feeling of love, honor, and dedication for being part of a people. It is saying "I am part of something much larger than myself." It is a deep valuing of one's own social identity with a group of people who are like ourselves, and with whom we share a long and significant history. We share stories of our people from long before our birth, and have a love for those of our people long dead who have helped to pave the way to who we are today, as we pave the way for our future generations whom we will never know. Patriotism is never about loving a government, for history shows over and over that people have few rights under centralized rulership, and often find themselves its slaves, serfs, or indentured servants. Patriotism is loving the character of who we are: how we are a people, our genetic lines, our stories passed down through the centuries, our triumphs and tragedies, the lands upon which we live, the inner and outer rings of our culture, and what we believe about ourselves. The rings of our culture begins with our family groups, to our extended families, to our local communities, to our regions (such as Appalachia) to our more modern nation, to Westernization/Occident culture. Obviously many groups exist under the larger umbrellas. Patriotism is not the source of violence. Sabotage to patriotism is. Love of one's own people is not the source of violence--threat to one's own people is. As well as greed by the outer group. For example, when another group invades our land for the purpose of usurping what we have (translation: threaten us and our survival--and unity of our group is about our survival) violence begins to emerge anywhere in the range from rejecting people all the way out to mass violence. Sabotage to a group identity also breaks down the group to where they are more easily victimized, taken over, and even genocided by a unified outer group. A divided people is easiest to conquer, kill, and enslave. When our stories (our history) is denied to our consciousness, we lose "who we are". How many people do we know who do genealogy as a hobby, and from the side lines the rest of us love learning about our great, great, great, great grandparents, and so on? How many of us love to learn we have ancient ancestors from the time of Arthur, or that we have indigenous dark Irish bloodline, or that we have ancestors from a specific ancient African tribe? We love that stuff, but we are losing it. By losing the stories of our history we lose the sense that we are a part of something much greater than ourselves. Those who lose that are overtaken by people who have a unified sense of themselves, and it is the strong and unified who survive. For example, the Chinese and the Indians have a very strong sense of who they are and their survival will surpass Americans by thousands of years. Someday we Americans will be long gone because we don't have what they have--the patriotism, the love of our own people that it takes to survive.

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