The Deadly Danger of Blind Patriotism and Jingoism
“Blind patriotism has been kept intact by rewriting history to provide people with moral consolation and a psychological basis for denial.” ~ William H. Boyer
150 years ago, this year (= 2013), General Robert E. Lee set up his headquarters in Chamberburg, PA before the battle of Gettysburg. The church I am a member of: Corpus Christi Catholic Church, was used as an emergency hospital after the battle in Gettysburg, where — after the battle — 8,000 men and 3,000 horses lay dead in the Pennsylvania summer sun, left for the citizens of Gettysburg to bury.
In 1938, participants of The Battle of Gettysburg got together for a reunion:
VIDEO – Battle of Gettysburg 75th anniversary (1938) Paramount & Universal News… https://youtu.be/ce5WpM-JMYg via @YouTube
The biggest danger we face in the USA today is blind patriotism and jingoism. The government of the USA is evil and has been using the US military for evil (interventionist) purposes abroad since the Spanish American War (1898).
See: Spanish American War – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish%E2%80%93American_War
No American soldiers have “fought for our freedom” since the US Civil War 150 years ago… and these soldiers were those who fought against federal tyranny and for freedom.
No US soldiers “fought for our freedom” during the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. All of these were/are wars of aggression and foreign intervention, and had/have nothing whatsoever to do with “fighting for our freedom”.
In fact, we in the USA today have little-to-no freedom at all because of these continuous wars of foreign intervention, since 1898, and especially since the onset of the so-called War on Terror.
How did jingoism contribute to the Spanish American war?
“It expanded the concept of imperialism- the belief that Americans had a right to expand their borders… Also, it justified reasons for Americans joining the conflict in Cuba during the Spanish American war.”
Source: How did jingoism contribute to the Spanish American war? – http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_did_jingoism_contribute_to_the_spanish_American_war
People who says our troops are “fighting for our freedom” are jingoistic sloganeers.
“Jingoistic: The line between patriotic and jingoistic can sometimes seem vague and confusing. Both adjectives describe a devotion to one’s country, but jingoistic implies a fanatical allegiance that goes beyond pride, and often includes aggression toward other countries. The word jingo, “mindless, gung-ho patriot,” arose from a popular 1878 song that praised Britain’s warlike stance toward Russia at the time, and came into American use in the 1890s during the Spanish-American war.”
Source: Jingoistic – https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/jingoistic
“Sloganeer (verb) to coin or employ slogans so as to sway opinion.”
“Sloganeering: (noun) (advertising, marketing, politics, pejorative) the act of coining or employing slogans so as to sway opinion.”
Source: Sloganeering – http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/sloganeering
The Bill of Rights and the US Constitution are dead letters, legally speaking. Meaning they remain on the books, since they’ve not been repealed, but they no longer have any legally binding authority, since they are no longer obeyed or enforced, and may as well be repealed.
“Dead letter: an issue, law, or matter that is no longer important or that no longer has force or power.”
Source: Dead letter – http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/dead+letter
Myths are powerful, and the “our troops are fighting for our freedom” myth is a powerful and debilitating myth, which is used to control the population of the USA.
“Myth: an idea or story that is believed by many people but that is not true.”
Source: Myth – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myth
Lower and middle class citizens pack-off their loved ones to fight never-ending wars of foreign intervention year, after year, after bloody year, because they believe the myth: our troops are the good guys who are fighting for our freedom, just like their great, great, (lower and middle class) great grandfathers once did.
News flash: Our troops aren’t the good guys, and they haven’t been for over 100 years.
Our troops are the tools and dupes of evil men who wish to dominate and control foreign peoples around the globe via unjust foreign wars of aggression and intervention.
I was once a tool and a dupe myself, and one of the bad guys.
Our troops have killed hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children overseas year, after year, after bloody year… and there’s nothing good about that.
Killing innocent peoples is evil, not good.
Intervening in the affairs of foreign nations 10,000 miles away is evil, not good, and has nothing whatsoever to do with “fighting for our freedom”.
So long as our families are ignorant, willing — and proud — to send our loved ones off to fight and die in foreign wars of aggression and intervention — mistakenly believing our loved ones are the “good guys” and our “hometown heroes” — the evil deception that is blind patriotism and jingoism will continue to blind people’s minds to the ugly truth about the USA and the US military’s real intentions: the domination, destruction, and death of foreign peoples in foreign lands for absolutely no good reason via the bloodstained hands of our “hometown heroes” who are, in reality, the minions of evil men in high places, whom (ultimately) Satan is controlling.
“The thief”, Jesus said, speaking of Satan, “comes to steal, kill, and destroy” (see: John 10:10).
Our troops aren’t “fighting for our freedom”, they are “stealing, killing, and destroying.”
Differences between jingoism and patriotism
“Patriotism and jingoism have common factors in their equations such as loyalty and national interests. However, once these factors become extreme, patriotism starts becoming jingoism. Patriotic people tend to be more positive in their loyalty and national interests to their countries. Jingoistic people tend to be violent in their attitudes, particularly when it comes to national interests. Jingoists are more offensive, and they believe in extreme solutions such as war instead of promoting peaceful solutions. Because of their aggressiveness, sometimes the people call them “war hawks”.
Source: Differences between jingoism and patriotism – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism
“Patriotism is defined as, ‘a feeling of love and devotion to one’s own homeland.’ (Patria: The land of one’s fathers.) It seems that this definition has fallen by the wayside and been replaced by blind devotion to one’s leaders (“America, right or wrong,” “America, love it or leave it” or “You are either with us or against us.”) Might may bring success in war, but it does not make the stronger side right; it only makes them a bully!”
Source: Blind Patriotism – http://www.squidoo.com/blind-patriotism
“It seems that patriotism is one of the most common terms used during times of war. Governments often use propaganda about nationalism to advocate their political views of the hostilities. Sometimes they even force patriotism on their constituents with fear-mongering techniques, which can have dangerous implications. That’s not to say that patriotism is inherently bad—many wars have been won for just causes because of it. However, it is a mistake to only think of war at a national level. There are devastating effects on the soldiers, families, and victims of war hostilities. The stories read this week discuss the struggle between concern for macro-society (patriotism) and micro-society (family/personal interests) during war. While no narrative completely rejects the idea of macro-society, they clearly emphasize the greater importance of micro-society and the consequences of patriotism.”
Source: Blind Patriotism? – http://public.wsu.edu/~kimander/blindpatriotism.htm
Blind Patriotism Is Rampant
“There is a wave of patriotism devoid of critical thought sweeping this nation. Blind patriotism. It revolves around the United States military and the troops who put their lives on the line. It’s all over the social networks and I’m sure you’ve seen the messages floating around, virally growing and feeding as people blindly agree and forward on to others. The most common message, now seen on bumper stickers as well, is “If you don’t stand behind our troops, stand in front of them.”
“There is no room for discussion about these messages and viral emails. There is no latitude to define how (or if) you support the troops. You can’t comment that you don’t support the reasons, the government rationalizations, that put our young men and women in danger. You either support the troops or you do not. There is no middle ground. That, people, is a False Choice Fallacy.”
Source: Blind Patriotism Is Rampant – http://binarybiker.com/2010/03/07/blind-patriotism-is-rampant/
On the Varieties of National Attachment: Blind Versus Constructive Patriotism
“Two studies explored a theoretical distinction between “blind” and “constructive” patriotism. Blind patriotism is defined as an attachment to country characterized by unquestioning positive evaluation, staunch allegiance, and intolerance of criticism. Constructive patriotism is defined as an attachment to country characterized by support for questioning and criticism of current group practices that are intended to result in positive change. Items designed to investigate these dimensions of national attachment were administered to two groups of undergraduates in separate surveys. Measures of the two constructs derived from factor analysis of the responses proved to be reliable and valid. Blind patriotism was positively associated with political disengagement, nationalism, perceptions of foreign threat, perceived importance of symbolic behaviors, and selective exposure to pro-U.S. information. In contrast, constructive patriotism was positively associated with multiple indicators of political involvement, including political efficacy, interest, knowledge, and behavior. The implications of this distinction for theory and research on patriotism are discussed.”
Source: On the Varieties of National Attachment: Blind Versus Constructive Patriotism – http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/0162-895X.00140/abstract
On being a good American: Blind versus constructive patriotism
“Patriotism has a powerful impact on the course of human events. Yet, very little empirical research in psychology has investigated patriotism. The present research explores the nature of patriotic beliefs, affect, and behaviors. Of particular interest is the potential multidimensionality of patriotic attitudes. More specifically, Staub’s (1991) theoretical distinction between “blind” and “constructive” patriotism is explored. Blind patriotism is defined as a relationship with country characterized by rigid identification, global positive evaluation, staunch allegiance, and intolerance of criticism. Constructive patriotism is defined as a relationship with country characterized by a more flexible identification, support for constructive criticism, and a desire to implement positive change. Two empirical studies are discussed. Study 1 provides evidence for the multidimensionality of patriotic attitudes. In Study 2, measures of blind and constructive patriotism are developed, and the reliability and validity of these measures are assessed. Blind and constructive patriotism are then contrasted by examining their relationships with other constructs, most notably, nationalism and internationalism, perceptions of national vulnerability, religious and value orientations, and varied measures of political involvement.”
Source: On being a good American: Blind versus constructive patriotism – http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9510537/
DEMOCRATIC v. AUTHORITARIAN PATRIOTISM
“The table below and the examples that follow come from Chapter 13 by Joel Westheimer, and each must be distinguished from the other when contemplating the vast and overall ideas of patriotism and politics in schools. After the examples, slightly modified versions of these same ideas are defined by Kahne and Middaugh in Chapter 9. Although a plethora of definitions can be found with regards to patriotism, separating the idea into democratic and authoritarian helps break down the vast expanse. Importantly, these definitions can also be used to helps define how patriotism and politics should perhaps be approached in schools.”
Source: DEMOCRATIC v. AUTHORITARIAN PATRIOTISM – http://www.neiu.edu/~mdkirsch/demauthor.html
Two Types of Patriotism
“It’s not uncommon these days to hear someone on the right side of the political spectrum refer to people on the left side as “America haters.” It’s a nice way to dismiss any criticism of the United States’ policies or behaviors, and current administration in particular, because instead of addressing the criticism, one simply has to say, “They’re just saying that because the hate America.” Still, I think some people have come to genuinely believe that people on the left hate America, and aren’t using the label as a rhetorical device designed to disarm one’s opponent. To these people, the political landscape in the U.S. is composed of two villages, one populated by patriots, and the other by America haters. There doesn’t seem to be any room in between, and a patriot seems to be defined as adopting a less than critical attitude towards one’s country. For me, this raises interesting questions about what patriotism is, and as a psychologist, questions about the psychological makeup of a patriot. Since today’s the 4th of July, it seems like a good time to talk about a little of what I’ve learned…”
Source: Two Types of Patriotism – http://scienceblogs.com/mixingmemory/2006/07/04/two-types-of-patriotism/
Patriotism or Nationalism?
“When it comes to war, the patriot realizes that the rest of the world can’t be turned into America, because his America is something specific and particular — the memories and traditions that can no more be transplanted than the mountains and the prairies. He seeks only contentment at home, and he is quick to compromise with an enemy. He wants his country to be just strong enough to defend itself.
“But the nationalist, who identifies America with abstractions like freedom and democracy, may think it’s precisely America’s mission to spread those abstractions around the world — to impose them by force, if necessary. In his mind, those abstractions are universal ideals, and they can never be truly “safe” until they exist, unchallenged, everywhere; the world must be made “safe for democracy” by “a war to end all wars.” We still hear versions of these Wilsonian themes. Any country that refuses to Americanize is “anti-American” — or a “rogue nation.” For the nationalist, war is a welcome opportunity to change the world. This is a recipe for endless war.”
Source: Patriotism or Nationalism? – http://www.sobran.com/columns/1999-2001/011016.shtml
See: Symbolic versus Blind Patriotism (.pdf) – http://faculty.washington.edu/csparker/pdf/prq.pdf
“If patriotism were defined, not as blind obedience to government, not as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one’s country, one’s fellow citizens (all over the world), as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy, then patriotism would require us to disobey our government, when it violated those principles.” ~ Howard Zinn
VIDEO – Blind Patriotism – http://youtu.be/bNzY3a-OPTM
VIDEO – Yellow Journalism – http://youtu.be/0wFrAny77UY
VIDEO – US War Crimes And Imperialism: Senator Mike Gravel – http://youtu.be/6MkCEL1Qmqg