On Patriotism

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A letter.

"Thank you for actually commenting something constructive and not launching an ad hominem attack at me like the other guy.

It's a good thing to be disillusioned as far as nationalism goes. 

"Travel is fatal to prejudice." - Twain

I'm sure there were some people possessive of morals when told to commit murder in the name of their country. But I assume they were few and far between in every period of history. I was criticising the complicity of the masses in state-sanctioned genocide. Kudos to the exceptional few like your ancestor who did what they thought was right rather than have blind faith in authority.

I haven't missed my mark. I said exactly what I thought. How can you be proud of being an Australian in light of recent events? Like I said, when did we become Australians? The aboriginals were around for 40-70 thousand years. We just waltzed in a few centuries ago and destroyed life as they knew it. Their culture was almost completely lost, knowledge previously passed down through word of mouth gone forever. 

Now aboriginals have the highest rates of incarceration, diabetes, heart disease, and alcoholism directly caused by the conditions we imposed upon them in gestures we see as magnanimous. They're anything but that. They're rubbing salt to the wound. 

It's like killing someone and then simply going to a church and confessing and feeling better off for it.

I'm sorry but writing "Sorry" in the sky once a year and forcing modern aboriginals into housing commissions, and handing out borderline poverty payments (thinking Newstart income level poverty or worse) doesn't cut it.

I've seen what it's like out there. It's ugly and - as you said - racist. Efforts to assimilate them into our culture have ultimately bred resentment and yearning for true justice. Honestly in my opinion I think they deserve at least half of the continent back. Draw a line or something. Whatever it takes to make amends.

I'm not - and did not - I believe - attack anyone individually. I was criticising the complacency of the masses. It's not the individual's fault, torn from the womb and eternal unconsciousness, thrusted into the status quo and expected to make do. We are biased and fallible. We are gullible. We eat up social narratives and go on pretending everything is just dandy. Murdoch owns 70% of Australian TV and radio. Do the math.

I recognise your benevolence. But good intentions do not necessarily lead to good outcomes. In fact, it's usually the opposite. Hitler had good intentions for his country. No?

We're viewed as racist and unfriendly because that's what we are. We condone policies that force immigrants to die at sea or find themselves in dentention centres. Speak to the average Australian and see the stereotypes come out. "Stick clappers" is what my old friend used to call aboriginals. I always laughed because I knew he was just joking, but there was always a sinister undertone of fear in ignorance I couldn't ignore.

According to Oxford dictionary patriotism means "devotion to and vigorous support for one's country". 
Nationalism has a similar meaning.

I really don't see the difference. As Voltaire said, "It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind."

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote that “The cheapest sort of pride is national pride; for if a man is proud of his own nation, it argues that he has no qualities of his own of which a person can be proud."

K?toku Sh?sui agreed with Confuscius by saying: "I am as convinced as Mencius that any man would rush without hesitation to rescue a child who was about to fall into a well... A human being moved by such selfless love and charity does not pause to think whether the child is a family member or a close relative. When he rescues the child from danger, he does not even ask himself whether the child is his own or belongs to another."

Sh?sui argued "Patriotism is a discriminating and arbitrary sentiment confined to those who belong to a single nation state or live together within common national borders". This sentiment is fostered by militants in their drive for war.

You said "keep in mind the past, then work from now on to improve standards of living, health care, education, and all the things many white Australians or those of different ethnicities take for granted, maybe then we can show and receive respect to the original owners of this country."

To that I say Chomsky would like a few words. The education system in Australian is an outright propaganda model, as is mainstream media. It's designed in such a way to make machines of men and keep the wheels turning. Health care here is convenient compared to the US. That's about all we got going for us.

Improving standards of living is impossible because the ruling elite depend on the impoverishment and disenfranchisement of the masses to exploit and stay in their respective positions of power. 

Ever wonder why in this modern age of electricity and aeroplanes, there is still massive poverty? 30% of Australians live below the poverty line and a further 40% are not far off from that. In the US 1% of the population owns 70% of the wealth. Does that not cause bells to ring for you?

Like Noam Chomsky said (Language and Politics (1988)): "I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom." 

Therefore I believe there is no security of freedom in the future led by the current establishment. Standard of living, health care, education, what have you, will only follow the ruling authorities who dictate the course of these ventures. The only way forward is to dismantle the establishment.

I am too cynical to believe we can move forward as we are. Hypothetically, if I had a button to erase humanity from the face of the Earth without harming other organisms, I would be very inclined to press it. We are a sinister plague. The worst kind of monster is a monster who doesn't know they're a monster."

Submitted: May 15, 2021

© Copyright 2021 olive tree. All rights reserved.

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