Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Worship of country

Where did the silly idea come from that loving our country means worshipping it, being convinced that it is better in every way than every other country? Then the citizens of all other countries would have to either not love their own county, or would have to believe a lie. But then, maybe we are the ones who are deluded?

Of course, no country can be the best in every thing, any more than any person is the best at everything. Narcissists are not people to be admired. But to believe your country is better than all others in every respect appears to me to be a form of narcissism. If you don't think your loved ones are perfect, does that mean we don't love them. Of course not. If we have to believe someone is perfect in order to love them, that shows that we do not love them.

Where does this idea come from, anyway? It has several roots that I can discern.
One is the apparently genetic tendency to consider one's own group as better than others, and to regard other groups with suspicion and fear.

Another is that the belief that one is a member of a perfect nation boosts one's ego.

Another is that if our country is perfect, we don't have to spend our time and energy improving it, a motivation the opposite of love.

This tendency may be particularly strong in the U.S., which is mostly populated by voluntary immigrants, and their children. Many find life much better here than the place they came from. Also, if their expectations were not fulfilled as they expected, the fact that they sacrificed to come here can cause them to value their new country all the more, because the belief that they had made a great sacrifice for nothing is unbearable. (When groups who believe the world is going to end on a certain day, and it doesn't happen, some of the members of the group will believe in their leader or teachings even more strongly, if they have made large sacrifices because of their beliefs).

And the power elite indoctrinates us with this idea for their own benefit. If the we believe that our country is better than all others, it keeps us from rebelling and changing things.

No comments:

Post a Comment