Patriotism: a word of place in a placeless, single world. #thought

Patriotism, and Duty.  Honorable sounding words, for dishonorable deeds.

Time passes, and things change… well, most things change, while some remain the same. The words I’ve named above fall within the “unchanging” category, and while they bear honor’s guise, it is a shabby fit at best.

Let’s consider them in sequence, but at first apart for that ancient phrase “United they stand, divided they fall” holds true.  Sweet it is, and fitting, to tear apart falsity wrapped as truth – especially using one of the very quotes so often used to justify one of man’s most immoral acts. Namely, war. {For those that care, and I hope you all do, that is a modified translation of another ancient lie, attributed to Horace, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori”.}

The world remains the same size it was a millennium ago, yet distances have shrunk even as humanity has experienced a population explosion.  Technologically, mankind has advanced rapidly.  Intellectually, humankind remains stuck in a single spot.  Spiritually, humanity has lost ground – we’ve forgotten things we once knew, and grown convinced they don’t matter… when they do.

We’re all primitive people, easily manipulated, easily distracted from truth, and voracious in our appetites.  What do you suspect happens when such greedy primitive beings as we, intellectually incapable of overcoming our tribal instincts to gain more than our needs, acquire terrible technologies?

War… on an even greater scale than before.

Justification and motivation for war is accomplished using deceitful words held high, as truths.  Everyone wants to be a patriot, don’t they – yet do we even know what a patriot is?  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a patriot as “a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.”  What powerful, eloquent, inspiring words – for an archaic, defunct set of primitive, tribal beliefs.

Like marriage, perhaps it’s past time we redefined this word in terms more suitable for today.  Isn’t a patriot, in essence, someone who loves their country?

If we love our country {whatever country that may be}, there is no explicit need for us to “support” it – our love guarantees implicit support.  Only when our country engages in something dishonorable is explicit support demanded – at which time all that truly love their country {AKA “patriots”} should actively strive to set their country back on the honorable path.

Further, what need is there for “defends” in the definition of patriotism?  Last I considered this, there is no need for defense if there is no attack.  {Unless you’re foolish enough to embrace the idiotic concept of “pre-emptive self-defense”}  Are misguided patriots not the ones dishonorable leaders would use in their attacks?

Is aggression the ultimate aspiration of patriots, as that word is currently defined?  It seems so, and neither is aggression an honorable activity.

Duty… I’ll leave you to think on the circumstances in which duty is invoked, and possibly tackle that topic on another day.

About C.G.Ayling

Musing misuser of words, lover of lyrical literature, author, occasional contrary thoughts. An honorable man’s name, in memoriam.
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