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Old 06-25-2007, 06:18 PM   #1
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do you love your country?

i stumbled across this today and it gave me pause:

[q]Whether in the name of some ideology, or some image of national purity or dominance, or in the name of religion, or simply to plunder, states have time and again massacred their own people, or conscripted their own people and flung them at others to kill and be killed. The number of human lives extinguished by states, and in the name of states, well exceeds a hundred million.

Learn this history and you will see the price patriotism exacts. For many reasons, I feel fortunate to have been born in the United States, but I don’t love my country. It has no love for any of us. A cold, manipulative, object of affection, the state fans patriotism, then asks those who love it deeply to prove their love by dying or sacrificing their limbs for it.

It will not happen in my lifetime, but I look forward to the day when states are no more. As difficult as it is to imagine what a political future without states might look like, the state system is a relatively recent innovation in human history and there is no reason to think we will be burdened with states forever. [/q]

and i don't mean like, or enjoy, or feel lucky to be a citizen. i mean do you love your country, in a manner similar to the way you might love another person, ie, be willing to die for it.

does your country love you? how does it show that love? can you feel it, if it does exist? countries are willing to kill for their citizens -- would your mother kill others if she believed it would protect your safety?
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:27 PM   #2
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I don't love my country, and it has never shown me that it loves me.
I'm glad living here as it's giving me some safety, education and support. But I wouldn't mind living in another country, either. I've long dreamt of living in Australia, and I'm still planning on going abroad. That's why I study Economics in English and not in German.

I don't have any special feelings for my country. On the other hand, I'm feeling good, or happy, some might call it proud, when I read about some important invention or discovery by a German, or when we are winning in some sports or are on top in general.
But it's not too important to me.

I'm definitely not loving it.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:34 PM   #3
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"Used to love my country
used to be so young
Used to believe that life was
the best song ever sung
I would have died for my country
in 1945
But now only one thing remains
but now only one thing remains
But now only one thing remains
but now only one thing remains
The brute will to survive!"

Excerpt "Red Army Blues" copyright the Waterboys
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega
I don't love my country, and it has never shown me that it loves me.
I'm glad living here as it's giving me some safety, education and support. But I wouldn't mind living in another country, either. I've long dreamt of living in Australia, and I'm still planning on going abroad. That's why I study Economics in English and not in German.

I don't have any special feelings for my country. On the other hand, I'm feeling good, or happy, some might call it proud, when I read about some important invention or discovery by a German, or when we are winning in some sports or are on top in general.
But it's not too important to me.

I'm definitely not loving it.
You live in one of the best cities in the world, but I suppose there's always a sense in which, to use an Irish saying, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:37 PM   #5
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Good Lord VV, I'd LOVE to live in Berlin...I couldn't get enough of it when I visited 2 years ago. As financeguy said, the grass is greener...
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:52 PM   #6
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Well, that's right, I'm happy to have moved to Berlin. I used to live way up north, which is nice being a tourist, but boring living there.

Berlin is a great city, indeed, and I love to go around visiting places of history, or just relax in the parks or at the lake. I'm pretty new here myself and often going around with my camera feeling like a tourist.

But I also love other parts of the world and want to visit them, either.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:04 PM   #7
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but Germany would have other Germans die to protect you Vincent. and Ireland would have other Irish die to protect you, FG.

is that not love?

if not, what is it?
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:09 PM   #8
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I think I live in one of the better countries in the world, and having lived in 4 different ones, I have some sense of comparison. It treats me very well and has afforded me some great opportunities. You can have a very good life here, if you are willing to seize those opportunities in a positive way.

That said, I'm not dying for this country nor any other one. It's probably selfish, but I don't feel a deep, abiding sense of patriotism towards any nation, and I could probably pick up and go and move again. Then again, I feel like I don't have the same roots that most people do, given my general hobo lifestyle.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:31 PM   #9
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I like living in Australia and I know it affords me a lifestyle I couldn't have elsewhere in the world. I am the child of migrants to this country so I have affection for the country my parents came from, not that I'd live there though. I don't LOVE Australia however, I don't love any country.

The only time I felt any kind of patriotism was when Australia qualified for the World Cup, otherwise I don't support any sports team or get involved in any kind of flag waving. All that "Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi' stuff makes me want to throw up.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:03 AM   #10
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I'm not sure I find the analogy to love between two persons fully convincing--I do love my country in the sense that I feel deep attachment, affection, and loyalty towards this familiar social and cultural world (which is not unlike loving a person), and yes, those are the kinds of sentiments that might make me or others willing to kill and be killed were it under some direct external threat...but still, to the extent that I might benefit from the willingness of other Americans to do that, it's not as if they'd do it out of love for me personally. In that sense it's a quite different sort of trust than one might feel in a parent, friend or partner who loves you.

The linked text basically reads to me like so much fatalistic grumbling about the ability of the powerful to mobilize others to serve their bidding. But that phenomenon long preceded the rise of 'the state' as we know it, and if predictions about the inevitable end of 'the state' come true, it will long outlive it too.

As far as feelings towards the prospect of living anywhere else, in the end I would rather live here than anywhere I've visited. There are a few other countries where I think I could live quite happily and without any longterm, deep-seated feelings of melancholy or loneliness over the change, but not many.

I have known a few people, I'm sure most of us have, who grew up in one country, at some point went to some other on a visit, immediately felt "This is it! I've found my home!" and went on to settle there. I can't relate to that, though I don't in any way see it as a kind of "moral" decision (and in my experience people who've done it don't either). Then there are some Americans whose primary reason for loving their country is the "idea" of it, faith in the "project" so to speak--the ideals of the Constitution and so on. I do share that to a point, some of that kind of feeling is bound up in my "love" for it; but personally, if I'm being honest about it, I think the kinds of emotions I mentioned in the first sentence of this post are really the primary ones for me. People who go on about "This is the greatest country in the world! There is no place better!", that I don't understand at all, and frankly I find it silly. Then there are a few people--sula's described something like this before I know--who, typically because of a very particular and rather unusual kind of upbringing, truly feel that they could be "at home" almost anywhere (and yet never feel "fully" at home anywhere at the same time). I can't really relate to that either, but as with the type of person who discovers their "true" home through what started out as a visit, I'd imagine it isn't in any meaningful way a kind of "moral" choice. Probably in a sense none of these are really moral decisions.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:27 AM   #11
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I just watched Aeon Flux which was filmed in Berlin. The architecture is amazing. Just the most incredible buildings and it's like the animal shelter and the crematorium!
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueeyedgirl
All that "Aussie, aussie, aussie, oi, oi, oi' stuff makes me want to throw up.
I have never understood the sense in that chant anyway. I remember very vividly when I was first exposed to it. I hadn't been in Australia long, and I was already copping shit at school, where I was my class's token Kiwi. I went on my year level's annual camp, and when we arrived, we had this introductory assembly. At the end, the camp operators led us in a chant of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi" and I was so incredibly baffled. I had no idea what was going on; all I knew was that as a foreigner, I was no part of it. I felt incredibly excluded.

Now do you see why I really hate Aussie sports teams?

To respond to the original topic, no, I do not love my country. I cannot feel patriotism for something so artificial. However, I would say that I am very proud of New Zealanders - as a group, Kiwis have certainly punched well above their weight, and the society is generally one of the world's most forward-thinking, progressive, and tolerant. I can feel a fondness for people, and I also rather like the scenery. But the artificial state? Certainly not.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:13 AM   #13
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Yes and no. Community, culture, shared experiences etc. Not borders and land or whatever. I love the country I live in, a lot, but you will never get me to, for example, fight a war under something as simplistically stupid as "because your country called" or whatever. A direct defence of that community and culture is different, of course, but blind patriotism/nationalism, a commitment to a border or flag over anything else is at the very least completely irrelevant, at worst repulsively wrong.

I actually had this very argument just the other night - drunkenly - with a friend after seeing an army recruitment ad. The argument was based around that very notion ("if your country called") versus the current war we're in (Iraq). He is as dead against our involvement in Iraq and always has been, but said "if his country called" he'd go, because quite simply, that's what you have to do. It's one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard. And I'd argue against the idea, he'd completely agree with me on every point, but still say he'd go because that's what you have to do.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:25 AM   #14
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hmm, I love being Irish rather than say I love the state of Ireland. I also love the landscape of Ireland and in general the people.

I think my sense nationalism is born from the situation here in Northern Ireland. West Belfast is as nationalist as it gets. But in truth I know the people in the Republic generally aren't that fussed about up here. I know my nationalism is completly fabricated by the community where I grew up in. I obviously have no experience of when Ireland was united, yet I want the 'Brits out' so to speak. It is something that I find extremely hard to shake off, it almost feels hardwired....it actually feels much stronger than even when I was a fervent Catholic, much stronger feeling than any religious sense, it feels freaky when I put it into those terms.

Problem is I am not sure what to actually think about it, whether it is bad or not, it informs a range of political views I hold, but doesn't harm anyone else or me, but I can't think of any benefits of it other than identifying me with a particular community.

States though don't kill people, the people in charge of them do, I don't think there will be a sudden decline in the loss of human life when states cease to be. Aren't we in the process of becoming rather than nation-states, market-states? Powerful trading blocs ie North America vs EU vs ahh is there a Southeast Asia trading bloc or am I imagining it?...just checked there is ASEAN.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
but Germany would have other Germans die to protect you Vincent. and Ireland would have other Irish die to protect you, FG.

is that not love?

if not, what is it?
I was willing to do my army services and even agree on going abroad (Afghanistan, Kosovo...).
History has taught me that sometimes you have to stand up against your own country in order to protect it. If this country was ever under attack from the in- or the outside, I would protect this country, or any of the other European countries. At least I hope so, since I can't say for sure. You never know how you'll react when it comes to terms.
I would do this rather to protect the people I know and love and because some things should never get the chance to repeat so easily, but I wouldn't do it that much for the sake of the country, or people I don't know.

In Germany you don't have this kind of patriotism. No one has a flag in front of their house, the World Cup was a real exception and led to heaps of discussion about the "new patriotism" and so on. In generally, if you have a German flag in front of your house people will say you're a Nazi, or at least very dangerous.
We support our soccer team and are crazy about it, loved the success Michael Schumacher had and many teens fell in love when Boris Becker won Wembley (my mother still can't understand how the girls back then loved this ugly guy).
But when it comes to pariotism in a wider sense that's hard to find here.

We arrived in Australia on January, 22 2006 in Adelaide. Two days later, on Australia Day, this crazy guy, about 20-25 years old, walked by, draped in an Australian flag, hollering Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, oi, oi, oi! all the time. I don't know if he could speak a single word the next day, but I don't think so.
My friend and I thought "What a crazy guy." It was great entertainment.

The center of Berlin has changed a lot. 17 years ago the wall was built directly through where now the Government district is. On both sides of the wall not much was done, and so it was really ugly. Since the reunification everything has changed there. The Potsdamer Platz was the largest construction site in the world a few years back. The Alexanderplatz with the television tower is a large construction site today.

Going to the east of Berlin you can see how different it is compared to the west. That's amazing. It's one city, but two worlds.
Many buildings are younger than twenty years, with an amazing architecture. Then again there are some houses left from before the war that have a great architecture either.
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