“They ruined it for everyone!” Patriotism, Nationalism, Jingoism, Racism? (Malchus Part IV)

Among the many ways that Nazis made the world a worse place, one stands out in the this post.  Hitler ruined Patriotism and National Pride for everyone.  Once a world saw how far and perverted a concept could be stretched, the planet got scared, and strong wave of anti-racism  overtook the world.  This was a positive outcome.  However, it seems that it’s not only bigotry that (which?) was removed from most of respectable society.  Regular national/ethnic pride and even patriotism came under attack.  And there was a certain logic to that tendency.  After all, isn’t the German nationalism that fueled WWII just a more potent form of ethnic pride?

Perhaps  Patriotism and Nationalism carry risks. But those risks are part of genetic self-respect and ontological self-respect that are in every entity’s genome.  “I like me.  Ergo, I like things that are like me.”  This is true not only genetically, but for humans it’s true from a  cultural standpoint as well. “I like me, and I like people who think and believe like me.”  

For most ethnic groups, and nationalities based in ethnicity, this translates into nationalism.  For groups like the USA, Canada, united by other factors, such as beliefs and philosophies, this usually forms patriotism.  Any group pride is part of this phenomenon. And it need not be any more offensive than blood type.

But “They ruined it for everyone.”  But if someone falls off a roof, we don’t respond by objecting to gravity itself.  We just try to make gravity safer.  Roof parapets for example.  Stairway railings.  But gravity is still there, as strong and real as ever.

Instead of going all unrealistic, singing and promoting the entirely fantastical and unrealistic “Imagine” when malignant bigotry rears its ugly head, we need to work on a model of healthy love and even promotion of our groups’ ideals.

 

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