Most Canadians see benefit from Olympics

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Ah, you were responding to "you effectively said". Point taken. I was thinking about my first paragraph, but I see how you came up with "automatically mean" now.

emd By emd

Ah, sweet smell of Olympic success: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-
columbia/story/2010/04/23/bc-olympic-village-social-housing.html

right. and the exact same story wouldn't have developed without the Olympics. please.

"War isn't the outcome of patriotism any more than spousal abuse is the outcome of love."

There are countless examples of love without spousal abuse and spousal abuse isn't a part of love as noted upthread. Spousal abuse stems from a lot of factors, but I know of no cases of someone beating up someone because they loved them, where the rationale made sense. To contrast with war and patriotism, there are no examples of war without patriotism. I don't think the two are valid comparisons. By comparison, war makes total sense if you are a patriot... in fact is it almost necessary, as the trend in human relations where reason is used to assess the situation inevitably leads to mutual respect and peace, without regard to artificial boundaries, so to promote patriotism, one must also promote xenophobia and division, to validate the reason and need for patriotism.

"So, if we are not supposed to feel pride for our country, what about our province? Our city? Our neighbourhood?"

My personal opinion is that we should feel pride (to an appropriate degree) for values and ideals that resonate with our beliefs, rather than arbitrary distinctions of geography.

"At some point it is very useful to collect like-minded individuals or people with common goals in an organization of some kind."

Yes, I too totally support unionism in all its forms. As a political movement it is one of few that recognizes the great majority of people would do better to align themselves with others of their socio-economic status rather than simply those with similar passports.

I take it CK that you don't believe in buy local then? Because why support your local community when it is more efficient to buy from afar? Where do you draw the line for supporting/beingproud?"

I don't draw lines whenever possible. That's the crux of the issue isn't it? I take each thing (or person) on a case by case basis. Efficiency isn't the issue. It may be more efficient to lump people into grand stereotypes, but it's ultimately a foolish move. Life is about nuance, not sweeping generalizations, whether it's about race, country, or whatever.

I will happily pay more for local food at the farmer's market, even though it's less efficient (in terms of my buying power) than buying food shipped from overseas.

"Nobody's suggesting they are *identical*, but they do make a useful analogy. To say that love for a country always leads to the bad things that are sometimes associated with patriotism is no less foolish than saying love for a person inevitably leads to the bad things that are sometimes associated with loving a person."

Love of a person and love of an ideal (such as a country) are so different that comparing the two can only lead to poor conclusions. As noted upthread, many will die for their children, far fewer will die for their country. If the majority of people will have a tendency toward sensible behaviour (ie collective wisdom) then we see that love for a person is universal, whereas patriotic love is a learned behaviour. To engage in that behaviour without fully understanding its intent and ramifications is irresponsible. A penchant for patriotism without understanding its role as a social control mechanism is a disservice to one and all. By all means, if you think we need elites to direct our actions and decide our fate, then you will find patriotism a useful tool. If you value the individual's worth and the peace that accompanies a well-run marketplace, then it becomes clear that patriotism is a hindrance to a civil society.

The Greek concepts of eros, agape, and philia are useful in categorizing the affection we feel for different things. What's most important is to understand what we are hard-wired to feel and what we are taught to feel. And further, to investigate why we would be encouraged to feel patriotism. This is the big question. "Why is patriotism a good thing?" I haven't ever heard a good rationale, here or anywhere.

Kermit:

I believe I see your point in the differences between love for a tangible person vs. an intangible country. However I don't believe it's entirely accurate. First of all, a country is quite tangible. More so than just the physical space there are real artifacts of a country. It's charter of rights and it's laws. There are behaviors displayed by a country, how it treats other countries and how it treats it's citizens.

There are absolutely differences between the kinds of interactions between people and between a person and their country, but so far as I can see none of them preclude someone loving their country.

There are also many things that are similar if not the same as our love for a country and people. For instance we might enjoy different traits of our country the same way as we enjoy different traits of members of the opposite sex. Does someone prefer blonde or brunette? Learned behaviors are all around us. This is similar between all sorts of love, and while I would agree that love for our Children is universal and without precondition, that's not true for non biological relationships.

This is a short, non-exhaustive list of perfectly valid reasons to be proud of, and love, one's country:
Shared Experiences (I grew up here, I love it), shared culture, ability to make an impact/change, feeling of responsibility (I was educated in this system, I feel obliged to support the ability for others to benefit as I have).

CK: There have been countless wars fought without the pressure of patriotism, civil wars, crusades (religious wars), economic wars, wars for liberties for others etc.

You also quote: "By all means, if you think we need elites to direct our actions and decide our fate, then you will find patriotism a useful tool. If you value the individual's worth and the peace that accompanies a well-run marketplace, then it becomes clear that patriotism is a hindrance to a civil society."

I do believe that having an elected leader representing us is efficient and fair. what are you proposing as an alternative? And your second thought is completely unrelated. There is NO, ZERO, DICK-ALL relevance to the discussion of patriotism for your diatribe about an individual's worth. Trying to link totally unrelated concepts with absolutely no discussion and just saying garbage like that is what makes it so frustrating to try and discuss with you. You don't even try to explain anything as a discussion, you just blurt our feces and pretend you're making a point.

Also, welcome to contradictionville, population CK.

My personal opinion is that we should feel pride (to an appropriate degree) for values and ideals that resonate with our beliefs...

"CK: There have been countless wars fought without the pressure of patriotism, civil wars, crusades (religious wars), economic wars, wars for liberties for others etc. "

Name a single war where patriotism was not invoked. And remember, it's already been established that patriotism supersedes national boundaries, as EMD pointed out upthread he feels patriotism toward Scotland without actually living or being born there. As for the Crusades, it was absolutely about territories and patriotism, specifically ownership of Jerusalem and the Holy Land. Failing to incorporate the connection between Church and State during that era might lead to thinking the Crusades were simply a 'religious' war, but that would be incorrect. Civil wars are of course the ultimate mutation of patriotism. How amazing that we can get brother to fight brother in the name of country. But, I won't lecture you. As I already stated, name a single war that didn't have a patriotic element, either in its beginnings or as a means of continuing the conflict.

"There is NO, ZERO, DICK-ALL relevance to the discussion of patriotism for your diatribe about an individual's worth. Trying to link totally unrelated concepts with absolutely no discussion and just saying garbage like that is what makes it so frustrating to try and discuss with you. You don't even try to explain anything as a discussion, you just blurt our feces and pretend you're making a point."

Of course there is. Patriotism is about aligning with a group. The opposite of that is individualism. The two are intertwined, esp. as our leaders use patriotism as a social control mechanism and a reason for black-listing individuals who don't agree with them.

The reason I use individuals and the marketplace as an example is because there is very little patriotism in the marketplace, which is one of the things that helps it to function effectively. Why do you think globalization adherents don't like tariffs? They are just patriotism through economics usually. The reason I say an individual's worth is anathema to patriotism, is because patriotism is used to get people to think alike and sacrifice their person on behalf of a country. If you can't understand the inherent conflict between patriotism and individualism, then I can't help you to understand my 'feces'.

Most often, both sides of a war invoke the exact same slogans and ideals as the reason for their conflict and the need for patriotism. If that doesn't raise huge red flags for people regarding patriotism, I don't know what will.

"I do believe that having an elected leader representing us is efficient and fair. what are you proposing as an alternative? "

An irrrelevant comment in the context of this discussion. I neither proposed an alternative to elections or leadership, nor suggested that we need one. What I did suggest is that it's useful to look at the reasons why our leaders use patriotism as a social control mechanism.

There are of course a number of systems which don't rely on an entrenched leadership as a means of governance. Some of them, such as anarcho-syndicalism renounce both capital and the state as harmful to workers, and naturally, don't recognize ethnic or national affiliation as necessary or helpful in creating an equitable society for all. Interestingly, it's not a system of organization that requires patriotism or encourages it.

"I believe I see your point in the differences between love for a tangible person vs. an intangible country. However I don't believe it's entirely accurate. First of all, a country is quite tangible. More so than just the physical space there are real artifacts of a country. It's charter of rights and it's laws. There are behaviors displayed by a country, how it treats other countries and how it treats it's citizens."

A country is not tangible. I'm sorry, it's an artificial division of land. Nations borders move all the time, but the land stays the same. Laws are tangible things? Behaviours are tangible? How 'it' treats other countries is tangible?

"There are absolutely differences between the kinds of interactions between people and between a person and their country, but so far as I can see none of them preclude someone loving their country."

Again, I'm not saying you can't love your country. I'm saying it's nothing like loving a person.

Here's an entire website devoted to ruminating on different types of love :)

http://www.loveessaysbook.com/WhatIsLove/Whats-Love.htm

p.s. Kermit: 'tangible' can mean 'material' (i.e. physical) but it can also just mean 'realized by the mind' (i.e. not necessarily physical or permanent). I agree with you, though, that the two types of love are different.

CK, you appear to define patriotism as a devotion to one's state (in the cartographic sense) and sometimes also as a devotion to one's nation (in political, ethnic, or cultural sense). You also appear to define war as a conflict between either nations or states. Personally, I think those are rather restrictive perceptions, but so be it -- I think we can all readily concede a connection between patriotism and war in that (almost tautological) sense. You appear to harbour a great disdain for war and violence (which many of us can respect), and hence also that brand of patriotism that serves them.

I would only ask that you not force upon us a false dichotomy: that we either defend that particular exercise of patriotism or renounce it entirely and in general. What Temple clearly means when he compares his love of a nation to love of a person is that a self-described patriot can adopt many flavours of affection -- none of which imply malice. That is, one can "like" without implications of "dislike;" one can also very purely "not like."

Granted, there may sometimes exist a downward slope between "not liking" and "disliking," but I would argue that it is not a necessarily slippery one. And granted, political forces have often tried to herd people that way, but the fact that people and ideas can be manipulated should not cause me to abandon either people or their ideas. My sense of justice can be likewise twisted, but I shall not yet abandon my moral compass only because others have been led astray.

All this said, CK, I was surprised when you expressed support for alignments of "socioeconomic" distinctions or "values and ideals that resonate with one's beliefs." That is, I am surprised that you would trade one form of tribalism for another; certainly, many a revolution or civil conflict has been staged on those grounds. I don't criticize your choice; you're free identify yourself however you like. But these tribes seem hardly less arbitrary than someone else's sense of cultural value, belief, and distinction.

emd By emd

If it is OK to align ourselves in a social/economic sense, and it is ok to form collection of like-
minded INDIVIDUALS. And then we, as a group, start to make decisions. Then another group
disagrees with our decisions and we, as a group, defend our decisions. We, as a group, feel pride
in what we have accomplished. And then it makes sense (let's say) to expand our group.

At what point does that pride turn into patriotism and why is it bad? How small must our group
be to NOT be patriotism.

I understand that cities and countries are just arbitrary lines, but people did agree to them as a
group.

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