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Why Is Patriotism Thought To Be Blind Loyalty To The Government Rather Than To The Principles Of Liberty?

{Editor’s Note: This is the 20th installment of a series of articles attempting to address the 32 questions posed by Ron Paul in his recent farewell speech given in front of Congress. Check out the previous installment, “Why Is There Apathy Towards Executive Orders Allowing For Secret ‘Kill Lists’?” }

A common fallacy people make in political debate is the association of a collective “we” with all government action, whether good or bad. “We” bailed out the banks, “we” invaded Vietnam, “we” killed Osama bin Laden, etc. This phrasing is no accident; it is instilled in us from our earliest years as we recite pledges worshiping a Flag and stand up at baseball games to sing songs in worship of the State. Everywhere we go we are reminded that we are the government, and the government is us.

The result of this conditioning is that many people become very defensive when it comes to others criticizing the government, particularly foreign policy, as they have come to associate the government with themselves. This is how Democracy is sold to the public – all State actions are considered legitimate since “the people” voted in those making the decisions. For those that buy into this theory, a Patriotic American is one who stands up for their government no matter what, because gosh darn it, it’s their government!

In his essential essay Anatomy of the State, Murray Rothbard points out how the State uses this concept to create the patriotic fervor in the populace need to support foreign wars:

Especially has the State been successful in recent centuries in instilling fear of other State rulers. Since the land area of the globe has been parceled out among particular States, one of the basic doctrines of the State was to identify itself with the territory it governed. Since most men tend to love their homeland, the identification of that land and its people with the State was a means of making natural patriotism work to the State’s advantage. If “Ruritania” was being attacked by “Walldavia,” the first task of the State and its intellectuals was to convince the people of Ruritania that the attack was really upon them and not simply upon the ruling caste. In this way, a war between rulers was converted into a war between peoples, with each people coming to the defense of its rulers in the erroneous belief that the rulers were defending them. This device of “nationalism” has only been successful, in Western civilization, in recent centuries; it was not too long ago that the mass of subjects regarded wars as irrelevant battles between various sets of nobles.

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Because that's what GOVERNMENT funded schools teach you

Love Liberty, be Vigilant

"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

Faith in God will prevail all things!

Unfortunately most people do

Unfortunately most people do not care about the truth -- the good, the bad or the ugly. They will go to great lengths to justify their beliefs even though they know in their hearts they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

I posted the following on the DP forum recently in response to the new movie and on-going glorification of President Lincoln:

The beatification of racist tyrants by good, honest, intelligent people boggles the mind. Most GOP supporters have no idea that the Republican Party was built on lies and deceit by war profiteering opportunists seeking power and fortune – much like the Military Industrial Complex today. The tyrants took full advantage of the radical movements of the day including the Anti-slavery advocates and Abolitionist Movement to achieve their power and wealth.

Abraham Lincoln was the god father of the GOP whereas he became the first elected Republican President. According to most of the Lincoln letters, he was anti-slavery, however, he was a racist in every sense of the word. During the Lincoln – Douglas debates in 1858 he made his racist views very clear. (Quote) Fourth Debate: Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858.

Mr. Lincoln's Speech
Mr. Lincoln took the stand at a quarter before three, and was greeted with vociferous and protracted applause; after which, he said:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It will be very difficult for an audience so large as this to hear distinctly what a speaker says, and consequently it is important that as profound silence be preserved as possible.

While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing a perfect equality between the negroes and white people. [Great Laughter.] While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it. I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.] My understanding is that I can just let her alone. I am now in my fiftieth year, and I certainly never have had a black woman for either a slave or a wife. So it seems to me quite possible for us to get along without making either slaves or wives of negroes.
Source: Neely, Mark E. Jr. 1982. The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc.

Lincoln made a similar speech at Quincy, Adams County, October 13, 1858. Although Lincoln was anti-slavery, slavery was not the reason for a Civil War where he was responsible for the deaths of over 600,000 American troops and untold destruction of the South and its people. He wrote the following letter: "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Horace Greeley" (August 22, 1862), p. 388.

By initiating the Civil War, Lincoln overthrew the US Constitution and changed the power arrangement between the central government and the States forever. That begs the question, is the Constitution still the law of the land or is it just a useless god damned piece of paper – per GW Bush? When we speak of the Constitution, which Constitution are we referring to? Pre-Civil War, or post -Civil War? Most folks today do not know there is a difference between the two .

I support the itemized, limited, Constitution that was written by our founding fathers and not the current organic Constitution we have today that can be changed at the whim of self-serving politicians. The GOP of old is fading into history and should be replaced by a new GOP based on truth and honesty. The Tenth Amendment should be restored whereas the people will have guaranteed rights that cannot be usurped by self-serving politicians. It is time for a new Abolitionist Movement II that will return the American people to our honorable roots. Out with the old and in with the new.

Most Americans will not acknowledge it but we are all indentured servants (slaves) to the Federal Government.


Because that is the definition of the word. When I hear people describe themselves as being "patriotic" or a "patriot" I sometimes ask them if they understand that means they support their present government.

I haven't said the Pledge of Allegiance for almost twenty years after I stopped to think about the meaning of its words and who composed those words. It was written by a socialist. The Pledge includes allegiance to a piece of fabric, a statement that no state has a right to secede (indivisible) a reference to an invisible guy living in the sky (under God) and a statement that there is "liberty and justice for all." Ya, right. What person who has ever been in court and seen our "JUST US" system work believes there is liberty and justice for all?

Check your dictionary.

mbennett - about the pledge

I'm with you. Haven't recited it since highschool. Some quick fun facts about our "pledge"

In its original form it read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added. At this time it read:

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge we say today.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

It means nothing anymore...our republic has become a corporate Fascist State, "God" would not approve of the millions America has killed (however, I'm atheist), indivisable is just another way of promoting collectivism. Liberty and Justice for all? Give me a break...

I liked dictionary.coms definition

pa·tri·ot [pey-tree-uh t, -ot or, esp. British, pa-tree-uh t] Show IPA
a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.

Definition 2 is a bit U.S centric but it works. My home dictionary pretty much said the same as fig 1.

I don't think it does mean what you say, I don't think anyone really argues you should support you're government no matter what. As authoritarians get annoyed when governments are "soft"...

Loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.

...the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
- "The Czar's Soliloquy" by Mark Twain

Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for "the universal brotherhood of man"- with his mouth. - "The Lowest Animal" by Mark Twain

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul

Ron Pauls take on what a patriot is:

Here is the text for his speach: http://www.newswithviews.com/baldwin/baldwin696.htm

My Answer to #21

State run schools promote blind loyalty to Government and politicians from the earliest years of our lives. The most popular organized social distractions that consume large swaths of peoples recreational time are purposefully and strategically wrapped in the American flag.
Professional organizations who promote sporting events like football games and stock car races are provided millions of dollars from the Department of Defense in return for patriotic pageantry before, during, and after events. The 2012 DoD budget provided at least 300 million dollars to The National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) for support and promotion of the US Government, specifically the Armed Forces. Funding for military “Fly Over’s” at College and Pro sporting events are also budgeted by the DoD each year. “Blind loyalty” to the State, (similar in context to “blind faith” acknowledged by many in the religious community), is used by some as an emotional coping mechanism. Devoted Americans have admitted to experiencing what is sometimes described as “Patriotism Guilt” when forced to recognize the reality that the country in which they were born and raised routinely engages in assassination, torture, and is directly responsible for the death of millions of innocent people. Knowing America is capable of such atrocities instills fear in the population and constrains American instincts which otherwise might be acted upon to challenge the Government as it descends into tyranny.

All My Answers Here:

It's ridiculous

When people get riled if you question some of the happenings of our government or don't support wars and are declared unpatriotic. "You have to support our troops and by virtue of that, this WAR!" BS. Support troops, yes. Undeclared wars, no.

Love it or leave it!!!!

Never quite understood that argument. Excellent points by you and Rothbard.