Schools have been using the pledge and other forms of propaganda
for decades. The question is, are such techniques harming and
poisoning young minds.
defined as "One who loves his or her country and supports its
authority and interests" much similar to Nationalism, which was the
leading cause of WW1 and many other wars. When people have a high
sense of nationalism, there will be a push of citizens enlisting to
the arm forces. If there are patriotism and an enemy of their
nation, there will be a push for a war.
While many people support such beliefs and try to make it out to be
a virtue and believe it shows respect to their nation, it has also
brought much violence and hatred to the world. "Patriotism is not a
virtue, rather a mental disorder", as political activist Adam
Kokesh explained. Looking through the history of patriotism, a
history of hatred and violence can be seen.
The surges carried out by the red army of the former USSR, all done
by Russian Patriots. The holocaust which cost the lives of over 6
million people, are carried out by loyal patriots. Saddam Hussein
dropped nerve gas on his own people, carried out by humble Iraqi
patriots. If a patriot supports its nation's authority and
interests, and truly loves one country, they may go to sick lengths
for their nation.
Nationalism was a major cause of WW1, WW2, and can even be traced
back to the Napoleonic Wars. "There are only two things we should
fight for, one is the defense of our homes, the other is for the
bill of rights, war for any other reason is simply a racket", as
highly decorated Major General Smedley Butler once said.
Propaganda was used in WW1 and WW2 to gain more enlistments and
more soldiers, which created more patriots.
Many people believe public schools also do such thing, when the
make children recite the pledge or even just the presence of the
federal government in public education. "If it was really
education, the government wouldn't be involved" Kokesh explained.
The real question is if the government actually using such
techniques to force patriotism on their students. Local student
Conner Noe is one of the students who don't recite the pledge, "I
shouldn't forced into patriotism to a flag in the school's
institute" Noe Explains. He believes our school is using the pledge
and the push of propaganda to force patriotism on the students.
The Pledge of Allegiance carries some controversial ideals along
with it. A socialist Francis Bellamy was the creator of the pledge
in the late 19th century, and the fact he was a
socialist creates wonders in many activists' minds, including
Adam's. "Pledge of alliance was instituted to reinforce the
tribalistic, un-American mentality of collectivism", said Kokesh.
He believes it is a propagandization process to make young people
better prepared to blindly follow and obey authority, which
destroys the ideal that us humans were designed to be free and
Another concern for the pledge is the reason why many students and
teachers decide to do the pledge. English teacher Mr. Poe explains,
"No one thinks about the words, they just say it". A reason for
this that many people believe it's the social pressure which is
present in the classroom. Much like the peer pressure involved in
the increase the use of drugs and alcohol, the pressure can also
have an effect on students when they have the natural instinct to
do what is most popular, and go against what they know and believe
Activists against the pledge also bring in the argument of how
doing the pledge; can be just as controversial as doing a "prayer
"in school. More independent thinkers such as Poe believe the
pledge should be a more voluntary activity. "The love should come
from the people, voluntary, rather than making them say the pledge"
The more the pledge and other Patriotic ideals and traditions are
created and continued, society will still hear loud noise from
their political activists and other independent thinkers. The only
thing people and society can do to figure out such a dilemma is to
figure it out for themselves.