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Old 06-26-2007, 09:02 AM   #21
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i personally think that is a load of crap. i honestly doubt that the jackass sneering at me while he is wearing his confederate flag bandana then joins the military is really thinking of dying to protect my life.


but isn't the end result the same?

i'm sure there were jackass, confederate flag bandana-wearing men who stormed Omaha Beach. sure, walking down the street he might try to hit you with his car, but when mediated through notions of "the country/state," you both have a mutual shared interest in the preservation of the state, and if his role is to defend that state, and you are a member of the state as well, then he is protecting you even if not his personal choice.

i'm also talking in the very abstract here.

the post i've related to the most so far is Yolland's. there are ideas behind some countries -- certainly the US -- that i do think i love, however imperfectly the idea is lived out in real life. that might be something i love, or at least greatly admire, and strangely what i admire most is that it's almost anti-nationalistic at it's core, or at least anti-nationalistic if we are to understand traditional nationalism as having to do with a "blood and soil" identity. the lack of a myth of origin unteathers these notions from race and ethnicity and color and religion. it's the difference between "this land is your land" and "god bless america."

but i find the idea of dying for a country strange, and i could very happily live in a variety of other countries (though i'd probably start getting misty-eyed and romantic about life in the US). i abhor people who seem to identify with the nation-state as a means of feeling better about one's self. sure, i get weirdly nationalistic for 2 weeks every 4 years during the Olympics (come on, who doesn't), but people who seem to have a part of their own self-esteem rooted in America being "the best" at whatever it is they've decided, it all seems strange to me. i would never say "this is the greatest country on earth" and i always wonder why the president can't ask God to bless other countries as well.

but i wonder if so much of this isn't contingent upon people who would say that they "love" their country to the extent that they're willing to die for it. that there is something to, say, the Jack Nicholson character in "A Few Good Men" when he talks about having "neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it!"

i wonder if we aren't all a little self-absorbed -- do we have duties to the state? obligations? responsibilities? since the state has, to some extent, given us "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" who are we to not rise to defend it should we be called upon to do so? now, this isn't necessarily *blind*, i don't think these things have to be inherently negative, as it has been argued that in Germany of the 1930s/40s the greater act of love for Germany would have been to dissent (however much that might have been possible). there's no question that much of the 20th century was defined by the tragedy of European nationalism that grew over much of the 19th century. but it doesn't always have to be that way, does it? or does the path of nationalism/patriotism inevitably lead to conflict with another competing state entity?

(and, yes, Berlin is an amazing city)
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:14 AM   #22
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I'm not quite sure you CAN love a country in the sense that you love a person...I suppose I do love my country, just not all the people who live here, and surely not the folk running it.

I do think nationalism is a dangerous thing though. I think that no good can come of a tendency to place a higher value on a man's life based on where he was born; I know very many Americans think they're literally "better" because they're Americans.

And not sure about love but the way things are going I'd be happy if the rest of the world could at least like my country...
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:19 AM   #23
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Well then, Irvine, I guess my short answer to your question is

No, I do not want to make sweet love to the US.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:22 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
Well then, Irvine, I guess my short answer to your question is

No, I do not want to make sweet love to the US.
The entire U.S.?


Dang girl, you'd have more diseases than K-Fed!
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:24 AM   #25
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I'm only 16, so I haven't had to work too much with the government. Ask me in ten years.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
No, I do not want to make sweet love to the US.




ungrateful liberal.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:03 AM   #27
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Im proud to be Australian, and I love my countries scenery, and comfortable living, but I don't know what to love a country is. do I love the land? Yes I do. I love walking barefoot down the sandy rivets of the dry river beds here in the desert, or hiking through the blue mountains, or swimming in the crystal clear waters of far north queensland, but as for the people, the cities, the government meh. im apathetic.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:22 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511

i wonder if we aren't all a little self-absorbed -- do we have duties to the state? obligations? responsibilities?
Sure, be a productive member of society, embrace opportunities and make the best of them and do no harm to your fellow citizens. To me, that about does it.

But these are duties of any decent human being, not of a specific citizen of a specific nation.

I think this question will be answered differently by people who lived their entire lives in one place (I don't consider things like school somewhere for 6 months or a short-term contract to be "living" in a country) and people who have moved around in our global society.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:35 AM   #29
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Sure, be a productive member of society, embrace opportunities and make the best of them and do no harm to your fellow citizens. To me, that about does it.


could that be love? do we get from a country more than we give?
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:45 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




could that be love? do we get from a country more than we give?
i dunno, we do pay taxes
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:08 AM   #31
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I love my country, but not in the political sense. I'm really bad with caring about politics, b/c it seems that no matter what "side" you are on, no one at the top really cares. I do my best to stay informed and make informed decisions, but even that is a chore for me.

Anyway, I love this country because I know that my extended family and most of our Dutch community here would not have made it to where we are now if they'd stayed put. Regardless of political or religious convictions, there are/were opportunities in this country that were not available elsewhere.

I love the diversity of people in this country. This is going to sound terribly optimistic, but I'm glad that the US borders a developing country like Mexico b/c it gives us and incredible opportunity to embrace diversity, have a direct impact, and be directly impacted by a country totally different from our own (yes, whether or not this is done in reality remains to be seen...but I'm thinking from an ideological perspective). I love the diversity of landscapes - two oceans, the Florida Everglades, the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Plains, etc. There's everything from tropical forest to tundra. I love that we have a single metropolitan area that is equal in population to the entirety of Australia, and that less than 100 miles away you could find towns of only 1000 people. There's something for everyone here and there's plenty of space for everyone.

Do I love this country enough to die for it and wish to remain here forever? No. I've been to other places that share qualities very similar and have other qualities of their own, and I like those places just as much.

Maybe for me, love = appreciate. I can find plenty to criticize about this country, but at the same time I cannot deny that just being born in the right place at the right time has been a significant advantage for me.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:25 AM   #32
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it's striking that so many people talk about loving the landscapes of their country.

why do you think that is?
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:36 AM   #33
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Because America and Australia have beautiful landscapes.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:39 AM   #34
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Nature > people
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:43 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511






ungrateful liberal.
Well...MAYBE I'd be willing to go out on a date or two. But that's probably it. Wouldn't want the US to get too attached to me. I've been called a "heartbreaker".
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:49 AM   #36
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Originally posted by Vincent Vega
Because America and Australia have beautiful landscapes.


i think Bavaria is quite beautiful.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:49 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
it's striking that so many people talk about loving the landscapes of their country.

why do you think that is?
It is like the furniture to your home...most countries do tend to have beautiful landscapes no matter where you live...the highlands of Scotland, the whole West coast of Ireland, Cornwall is quite lovely in England, Yorkshire as well......but you always like your own furniture the most.

I think nationality exists different for different countries....Ireland has such a small population compared to most places in the world, at under 6 million...London has at least double that population. Nationalism is much less to do with the state, much more here to do with cultural heritage people connect with. Nationalism and patriotism isn't so bad, they are just larger versions of kingdoms before them, chieftains before that and so on....tribe versus tribe happened long before nation versus nation.

Nationalism just needs to be kept in check in order to prevent discrimination of those not of that nation. It is alright to feel proud of your nation's achievements, it is just natural to think of that person who ha sdone something wonderful at science or sport as part of your grand extended family.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:55 AM   #38
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There's a feel of permanency and solidity about the landscape that feels more like home than the fragility of abstract ideas and ideals that are supposed to define us. It doesn't require suspension of disbelief. There's no ambivalence in that love.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




i think Bavaria is quite beautiful.
Yes, Germany, and Europe as a whole, has some nice parts. I love Norway and Sweden in particular.

I like some aspects of my country, and feel lucky living in a country that provides so much social security and support for me. But I can't exactly love it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:14 PM   #40
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Irvine are you saying you have the hots for the USA?
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