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Government Flag-Waving

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2046
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I come from a libertarian / anarcho-capitalist background from my early political interests. I was interested in the Austrian economics mainly, but always felt it to be philosophically lacking among other things. One of the things that interests me is the way flags may be symbolic of governments, as well as cultural values and ideas. I never really had a problem with saluting or waving an American flag, as I always thought the ideas behind it stood for freedom, liberty, and independence even if the government it represents is far too antithetical to these principles.

In the libertarian viewpoint, patriotism may be seen as a virtue only when it is not manifested in state-worship, and nationalism is always a vice. Most libertarian or anarchists usually repudiate the American flag as a symbol of oppression and have been known to use a standard solid black flag, which represents opposition to all forms of government and control. There is another flag used by anarcho-capitalists that is bisected with gold on top representing the free market and black on the bottom.

Did Ayn Rand ever say anything about the ethics of using government flags to represent one's self or one's nation patriotically? What is the Objectivist philosophy on flag-use?

Edited by 2046
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What? Why the hell would they do that?

And I don't think "Most" Libertarians do that.

Maybe not the average "street libertarian" but pretty much most of the intellectuals consider it "an emblem of statolatry" to quote Rothbard.

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  • 1 month later...

Not to take away from the discussion, but I'm interested in what exactly the philosophy behind an "anarcho-capitalist" is. Capitalism and anarchy cannot coexist, and I think the notion that capitalism is a strictly "dog-eat-dog" socio-economic policy is false. It is precisely not "dog-eat-dog" because it protects our human rights as individuals. Therefore, if it were to benefit me financially to kill someone, I still could not do it and maintain my view on human rights. In a capitalistic society, government is absolutely necessary to protect those rights, and nothing more.

I don't remember reading anything specifically about flag-waving in Ayn Rand's works yet so I can't comment on her beliefs. I will say that in my own opinion I am becoming less and less proud to yield an American flag since to so many people it means simply that everyone should be happy at the expense of everyone else. I recently purchased the "Don't Tread on Me" flag, and am quite proud of this American symbol, though.

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Not to take away from the discussion, but I'm interested in what exactly the philosophy behind an "anarcho-capitalist" is.

I think it's simply that "rights protectors" would strive for customers, and the one that protects rights the best (and I would presume most rationally) will then become the dominant force in rights protection. Everything else economically speaking would be the same, but rights protection would only come about if people wanted it. I believe an AC would say that maintaining monopoly on force automatically means initiation of force is involved, therefore making a government even as limited as an Oist one is immoral. There's nothing that indicates that to be necessarily true, however.

In regards to flag waving, it is important to remember that they are symbols. Some people interpret symbols different. Some may fly a flag to display nationalist pride and say "I live for my country", others may say "Country first", others may simply do it to fit in. To me, I'd rather fly one of the American colonial flags because that is a whole lot closer to the ideals of America. Flag waving can be either collectivist or individualist. As long as a flag displays your beliefs and doesn't put "country first, individual second", there shouldn't be any issue.

Edited by Eiuol
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Maybe not the average "street libertarian" but pretty much most of the intellectuals consider it "an emblem of statolatry" to quote Rothbard.

Rothbard left the Libertarian Party and became what he called "Paleolibertarianism" he can hardly speak for the entire LP and their leaders. Many Libertarians view themselves as the party of the founding fathers and the constitution. They view the American flag as the symbol of such. The idea of it representing oppression I think would meet with scorn by most of the LP.

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  • 7 months later...

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