Do I Love This Country?

By - May 14, 2012

Blue SnakeIt makes me uncomfortable to say I love this country, but I do not hate it. In my book, Blue Snake, I have an essay titled, "Why Do They Hate Us?" It looks at why the United States is viewed so negatively in much of the world, using a fictional story and real examples of what the government has done to people in other countries over the years. Another essay is titled "I Have No Duty to My Country." (In case you have not read the book, I should mention that it's not all political; there are essays on guilt, how to quit a job, and how much evil lurks in good people, for example.) These, and other things I've written, may cause some people to think I hate America.

I do not hate this county. It is true that I refuse to stand up for the national anthem, and that I think patriotism is a sickness. But that does not mean I hate the country. I just don't pledge allegiance to strangers (I don't know most of the people in the United States) or flags or governments. In my book "Mind Puppet" (coming soon), I explain it like this:

"I love this country in some sense; just not for reasons of patriotism. It feels more like home than other countries, probably because I was born and raised here. The mountains in the west are beautiful, as are the lakes and forests of the northeast. Some parts of the culture here are wonderful, and there are elements of what is called the "American spirit" that I identify with. I love some of the ideas which led to the creation of this nation. I think that respect for individual rights is a great ideal. The concepts of property rights that are part of the law here really benefit people. I appreciate that I can say what I like in this essay, on a website, or on the street."

I feel that people are brainwashed from a young age about patriotism. First, they are convinced that there actually is some entity called "America," out there. What is this, by the way? Is it just a geographical area defined by lines drawn on maps, the people within those lines, just those with the right papers, a government, a flag, an ideal, or what? It is such a nebulous concept. Other nebulous concepts that are associated with this are:

patriotism
love
duty
citizenship

Now, since "America" (and the more general concept of "county") is so poorly defined, when we add to the brainwashing the idea that every "citizen" owes a "duty" and "love" to this invented entity, we put a lot of control in the hands of government officials and leaders who are best at manipulating what all of these nebulous concepts mean in a given context. You can see this clearly when people say they believe in rights but easily acquiesce to their leaders claims that we must jail people indefinitely without charges "for the good of the country" or support "patriotic" laws meant to ban the burning of a flag, even though that latter action is a perfect example of the kind of political statement the First Amendment to the Constitution was designed to protect. In the end, if the flag is waved enough, patriotic citizens can be convinced to stomp on every freedom for the good of "the land of the free."

I do value freedom, but there is no monopoly on that here. There are many hundreds of restrictive laws and regulations that exist here but not in other countries, and probably hundreds in each other country that do not exist here. This fact suggests that how free we are is in part an individual matter which depends on what we want to do or what lifestyle we each prefer. As mentioned, I do like or love parts of what is nebulously called "America," but there are also parts that make me not want to be identified as an American (just look at the history of atrocities perpetrated by the people and government here). So since there is really nothing I can point to that is America, and the elements that people often refer to by that name are not always good things in my mind, I cannot really feel right (logically or politically) in simply stating "I love America."

As for why I can comfortably say I have no duty to my country, you can read the essay on that topic in Blue Snake to understand my reasoning. Here's the Amazon page for the book:

Blue Snake (At Your Own Risk Series)

Other Pages

Blue Snake

Radical Welfare Reform

Immigration Facts and Myths




Do I Love This Country?

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