lunatechian (lunatech-ian)

one relating to, belonging to, or resembling lunatech

what is patriotism

I have been thinking about what is meant by "Patriotism". Loosely defined, a patriot is someone who loves his country. However, let me dig a bit deeper into this definition. What does one mean by the "country" ? Does it refer to all the people living in the country ? Or does it refer to the geography of the country ? Most people think of patriotism as loyalty to the government. Most would say, it means loyalty to the constitution ? But how can anyone be loyal to a bunch of people you have hardly met or to a piece of paper ?

The reason for my questioning what patriotism is arose from a flame-war on some mailing list I am on. This particular list has been created for discussing e-governance issues. However, more often than not, people end up calling each other corrupt, money-minded (personally, I do not think there is anything wrong in making money) or accusing each other of trying to advance his own personal agenda. I am sick of it. At the drop of a hat, each one of them will swear that he is a patriot, but I doubt if anyone of them will be able to define patriotism to me.

I think Patriotism is one of those words which have been politically abused for a long time. It has now become a loaded word, anyone who says he does not like something about his country, might very easily be labelled as "unpatriotic". In worst case scenario he might even get hauled off to the jail on charges of treason. Personally, I am quite unpatriotic. I find it hard to show my show my loyalty to the machinery which is good at sucking up money (taxes) but giving back nothing in return. I even find it hard to believe in the constitution of India i.e. the words of our founding fathers. Sometimes I think Gandhi and Bhagat Singh were fighting not out of patriotism, but for their right to free speech and against injustice. Perhaps the title of a "just and thinking man" would be more apt for him. I am still confused whether saying someone a patriot is a compliment or a veiled way of calling him a unthinking follower.


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    • Posted bylig
    • on
    Interesting. Patriotism here in the US is a wonderful (note 9/11) and horrible thing (the hate directed at anyone of the muslim faith). To me - patriotism is about the ideals of my country. What it can one day become - not necessarily what it is.

    fighting/arguing/disagreement are all part of it. But that works for me.
  1. The founding faters of India were quite confused with where they wanted to lead the country too. Nehru (our first Primeminister) was a good orator, but not necessarily a good administrator - leaving us a leagacy of long and beautiful speeches but a bureaucracy which hindered rather than helped progress. More to the point, I am not clear what the ideals are that India stands for (beyond what was taught in the texbook)
    • Posted byrajesh Jha
    • on
    Haven't you heard 'patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels'?
    Of course, it is not an easy concept and most often it is used to defend chauvinism and xenophobia.
    • Posted byHemanth Makkapati
    • on
    well, u have a point. Gandhi, Bhagat singh and the likes are more into the revolt against foriegners coz of the breach in their freedom and more importantly, its coz of the supressed ego under the foriegn rule ... patriotism would be a wrong word to use in their context ... only the dead were addressed patriotic and its coz of their death in the struggle for whatever reason.
  2. I'm no patriot!
  3. Er....A link was supposed to be there. Anyway, here's the URL:
  4. Thanks for sharing my cynicism. Patriotism is a very loose word - I have still not found a consistent definition for it,
    • Posted byVisitor
    • on
    If you look at any argument between 2 persons, considered to be intelligent and level-headed, quite often, the root cause for the argument would be different perceptions (definitions) of the subject under discussion; each person's definition of a key term forms the premise for all his arguments, and is usually consistent to that premise. In this issue of patriotism, when someone says "X is patriotic" or someone else says "its OK to be unpatriotic", the respective persons have a mental definition of how the term is being used. This is the case for most judgemental/qualitative issues.
    Raj Shekhar has highlighted this well in his post. So, while making any such statements, it is useful to qualify the definition or context of such (judgemental) words.

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