Une nation de singes à larynx de parroquets.

A nation of monkeys with the throat of parrots.

Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès

Press TV article screenshot 1

Today, an article I had drafted sometime in the preceding fort-night was published as an op-ed at Press TV. I cannot give an accurate date when I drafted the piece, because it was one of a number of articles I had announced on Friday last week, and they were worked on in a fairly disorganized manner. These articles all aimed to put forward criticisms of the state at large, and the policies of the United States government in particular.

Titled, “United States wars show internal crisis”, the article amounts more to a rant than one of my carefully crafted analyses. However, the unique analysis I was trying to put forward in this article was a criticism of the whole concept of patriotism and a rejection of the view that patriotism is the solution to the Obama administration rather than the problem. I believe that US politics differs from the politics of European countries because a lot more value is put on so-called patriotism, and that is the source of every wrong policy being made in Washington. In the US, a great number tend to view patriotism as a solution to government excesses, misguided wars and repressive policy, yet they do not see the truth that patriotism is the sole ideology making such madness possible.

Here is the point I want to get across: patriotism is not a form of resistance to a regime. It is an irrational commitment to serve a regime, tantamount to idolization of that regime. I just do not see how this can amount to opposition to a regime, and so I put US patriotism itself in the cross-hairs in my article. I was not sure what the reception to this idea would be, given that many who are critical of the Obama administration (including, likely, many of my readers) consider themselves patriots, and yet my anti-patriotism article is also critical of the Obama administration. I consider patriotism synonymous with national pride, and so I criticize US national pride and loyalty to the US government as one and the same problem.

The question I would put to US ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden is to ask him bluntly if he considers himself a “patriot”. My guess is that he would probably respond in the affirmative, but it would be a lie. Edward Snowden did not act out of his pride in the US. He acted based on his own conscience. He is a netizen, not a foolish “patriot” (“parrot” would be a more useful description based on what is idolized by just about every regime). His greatest act was one of civil disobedience, not patriotic obedience.

Snowden was not born in the United States, but on the internet, and that is where the youth shaping our future are going to be born. What care they for patriotism, an archaic concept based on make-believe?

By Harry J. Bentham

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