Enough flag waving fluff folks

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. – Clarence Darrow

The following is taken from a commentary on patriotism given by Dr. Michael Parenti.

There are two kinds of patriots in this country – there is the flag waving kind who follows the President into every war he wants to wage and who says that we ought not to criticize what our elected leaders do, and there are the real patriots who care enough about the country to want to improve it. Their patriotism has a social content.  They know that democracy is not just the ability to hold elections. Democracy must also serve the needs and interests of the people.

Real patriots educate themselves about the true history of their country, and are not satisfied with the flag waving promotional fluff that passes for history. They find important things in our past to be proud of, such as the struggle for universal suffrage, the abolitionist movement, the peace movement, the elimination of child labor, the civil rights movement, the struggle for collective bargaining, the 8 hour day, occupational safety, and the struggle for gender equality. The elements of social justice that distinguished us from totalitarian states are what have historically served to make America a shimmering beacon of hope for the oppressed and down-trodden.

In the real patriots pantheon can be found Thomas Paine, Harriet Tubman, Fredrick Douglass, Mark Twain, Susan B. Anthony, Mother Jones, Eugene Debs, Big Bill Haywood, Noam Chomsky, Rosa Parks, Ralph Nader and the minions in the ranks who brought these and other champions of social justice to the fore. Real patriots do not easily succumb to the fear about external menaces that are propagated by our rulers. Instead they focus on the things that people should really fear.

These fears include but are not limited to the decimation of the environment as a by-product of our mode of existence;  the baneful and overpowering influence of money in our political life; the growing instances of electoral fraud, coercion, and thievery;  the unaccountable power of corporations; the rampant corporate crime that involves the plundering of billions from the public treasury; the underfunding and deterioration of social services;  the gargantuan, unchecked military industrial complex; the repressive laws that constrain our liberties under the guise of national security; and the petroleum driven foreign policy of illegal war and unchecked aggression that has generated global hatred of the United States.

This notion of patriotism is not merely an academic one. During the early part of the 20th Century, progressive school teachers advocated a “civic patriotism.”  Under this philosophy the work of a patriot is not to fight and die in empire building, but to live and work towards making his country a grand nation. It is important that as a community of rational beings, we ought not equate militarism with patriotism. Moreover, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us that we inculcate this notion in the minds of the young.

The global aggrandizers must be halted and this requires a re-calibration of our cultural system of values through education of the children.

HJ

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About H3nry J3kyll
Vincit omnia veritas (using an obscure Latin heraldry motto makes one seem kinda learned and distinguished).

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