Does Patriotism Matter?
This is a discussion on Does Patriotism Matter? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Pretty much everything this guy writes is worth reading. You can find more of his writings at the link:
Thomas Sowell Articles
Does Patriotism Matter?
December 7th, 2009 06:50 PM
Does Patriotism Matter?
Pretty much everything this guy writes is worth reading. You can find more of his writings at the link:
Thomas Sowell Articles
Does Patriotism Matter?
By Thomas Sowell
The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense."
Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one's country with "the idea of cosmopolitan duty."
Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations' banners of patriotism.
In France, after the First World War, the teachers' unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism.
Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called "bellicose" books to be banished from the schools.
Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers' unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism.
The once epic story of the French soldiers' heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun-- French and German alike.
In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims-- and just like victims in other nations' armies.
Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children-- as well as some of their classmates and teachers-- broke down in tears.
In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country "cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors." In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to "raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland."
But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.
Did it matter? Does patriotism matter?
France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter.
During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together.
But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."
Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940.
At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces.
Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.
Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots.
Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops."
Will that matter? Time will tell
December 7th, 2009 07:53 PM
Thomas Sowell is a patriotic American and speaks the truth.
"I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."
December 7th, 2009 08:53 PM
We will only truly understand the value of patriotism when we lose it!
We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!
December 7th, 2009 09:06 PM
I fear that day and pray it will never come.
Originally Posted by Gunnutty
"Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt
December 7th, 2009 09:33 PM
I heard a comment from someone in the last few days make the comment, "if they shot at me I'm running and hiding", then waited for me to agree. I told them they were on their own, because if someone shoots at me... I shoot back and I'm betting my aim is better. They seemed astounded at the comment.
I asked them, if the USA got into a civil war or was attacked ... what would you do ? They really said quite strongly, and to my astonishment ... "I would get into Mexico or Canada as quick as I could".
HUH ? My response was not along that line at all.... mine was , I'm getting the guns and ammo and helping defend my country.
That whole conversation really concerned me, because they are recently retired from the military.
December 8th, 2009 01:27 AM
I think it is portant for people to remember that there is a distinction between "country" and "the government". Too often people are acused of being "unpatriotic" if they disagree with what the government wants or is doing. It happens to people at both ends of the political spectrum. I think it is patriotic to question the government and our founding fathers showed and wrote, you have to be willing to stand up to the government.
Being willing to fight in a war doesn't make you patriotic by itself. Are you defending/fighting for you country or the government?
December 8th, 2009 08:18 AM
To be a patriot, you have to know the difference between what is right and what is wrong.
If you dont...and you're into the touchy feely I'm OK,you're OK liberal crap where there is no right or wrong or good or evil, then you are just
I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
December 8th, 2009 09:30 AM
The article was an interesting read, but I'm pretty sure the painting of American soldiers as victims started before my lifetime.
Herk (with a hearty thanks and a salute to the Vietnam vets out there)
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen
December 8th, 2009 09:58 AM
+1 I completely agree. I have always believed that it was our patriotic duty as American citizens to not only question our goverenment, but, as you said stand up to them when the time comes. Protesting against the governement is IMO, one ot the most patriotic things an American does, it is part of our national DNA.
Originally Posted by cliffyp
December 8th, 2009 10:23 AM
As a Marine I am very Patriotic to my country not to the government. When a country becomes "patriotic" to the government they become communist. I for one would not run nor hide I would stand up and fight for what I believe.
I have not been in school for a while now but even when I was the stuff that is being taught to kids is a diluted, bias version of history. Most people forget that the Civil War was started because of the government; people were tired of what was going on and took a stand (which according to the Constitution is a right of all Americans). IMHO
December 8th, 2009 10:30 AM
Real patriotism matters. Lots of what passes for patriotism is window dressing.
December 8th, 2009 10:41 AM
Run and hide? Canada or Mexico?
NOT ME, I'll gladly try to defend this great country from any enemy, even our own gov't.
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
December 8th, 2009 02:06 PM
Your sig says it all.
Originally Posted by sigmanluke
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......
December 8th, 2009 05:17 PM
I'll probably get flamed for my opinion here, but so be it...... I am a firm believer that a major decline in patriotism began when the draft was eliminated. When all able bodied men were required to serve their country for a minimum of two years, the opportunity presented itself to educate young people on their country, their responsibilites to defend it and what patriotism was all about. They then passed it on to their sons and daughters in later years. There is no permanent group to pass on these things now. As each year goes by, the feeling of God and Country diminishes among the young folks and soon it will only be those of us "old timers" left to educate and defend what it means to stand when the Flag passes, to learn the words to the Star Spangled Banner, to grieve for the young folks who have chosen to be in uniform and sacrifice for our country. I think it's sad, but I continue to do my part to speak to young folks and explain what patriotism and freedom means to me and the sacrifices that have been made since the inception of this country to insure we maintain the opportunity to develop patriotism within our hearts and within our society. God Bless America!
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
December 8th, 2009 07:09 PM
+1 here. Well stated.
Originally Posted by First Sgt
Extremism in the Defense of Liberty is No Vice--Moderation in the Pursuit of Justice is No Virtue. - Senator Barry Goldwater
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