Do I Love This Country?
By Steve Gillman - May 14, 2012
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:
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:
Snake (At Your Own Risk Series)
Radical Welfare Reform
Immigration Facts and Myths
Do I Love This Country?