Hello, everyone! I’m new here. I hope to put up a better introductory post soon, but until then, hi! I’m Vigs.
Since today is Independence Day here in the US, I thought it’d be a good time to talk about patriotism. A lot of people regard patriotism as a virtue…but many of those people are pretty awful. Personally, I think that “My country, right or wrong” isn’t a very constructive position. I think the US does some things right, but a lot of things wrong, and I spend a lot more time criticizing the wrong things than praising the right things.
Do you love your country? Why, or why not? Is there a difference between patriotism and nationalism?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.
Featured image from Project Q Atlanta.
I view patriotism as benign pride and nationalism as a pride that sees existing as a zero-sum game, but I recognize those as my own connotations.
I am neither patriotic nor nationalistic, because it’s never made sense to me to be proud of something I didn’t have any hand in. I’m proud of my old gaming group for being fun and effective; I’m proud of my friends for the same; and I’m proud of my department at my school for being openly committed to diversity and excellence. Just as I’m not proud of my school’s football team (which has essentially nothing to do with me or anything I do), I’m not proud of my country. Were I one day to hold some sort of nationally-relevant position, I likely would be.
These days in particular, Independence Day means very little to me, because when all’s said and done I’d much rather live in the UK. 😛
So to be clear about my own shit here – not only am I an American, but I have actually never left the USA. My family didn’t travel abroad when I was a kid and as an adult ID/passport issues related to my transition have kept me from being able to travel. I was born in Idaho. It’s a thing. Anyway – so as much as I try to learn about other places I have not actually experienced any of them. Many people I am close to have and I try to learn as much as possible, but I suspect that there’s no substitute from actually going places other than my country of origin.
That said, I like and agree with many of the things in the United States constitution. I like a lot of parts of American culture. I dislike some from both as well. In part because I am American I see dissent as patriotic – being able to dissent and being able to be vocal about my dissent is so sacred to my culture that freedom of speech is right in front in our founding documents.
I used to identify as patriotic, but I have never identified as nationalistic. I’m struggling now with patriotism as I have found more and more things happening in my government and my culture that I dislike and oppose. But I have heard some people define patriotism as the desire to become/stay a citizen of a county. If that’s the definition we’re going with I’ll say I’m patriotic – I am glad I was born here and the USA will always be my home. I am glad to be a citizen and I intend to stay one.