Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Proud or shamed of your own country

Rate this topic


Uriah
 Share

Recommended Posts

I meant to write a message for two German musicians I met because I wanted to share my strong feelings and my deep appreciation for the fall of Berlin wall. I wanted to share my admiration for the German people that were uprising from collectivism and became a model of civilized country, both from a political and cultural aspect.

But than I thought that if I want to share my positive feelings which should make my friends proud of their country, and if I belief that authentic connection is the only type of connection I am willing to make among my friends – than I might make them feel shame of their previous history – the Nazism. Just the thought about it made me feel arrogant and hypocrite. Making someone feel unearned guilt makes me feel like a sadist.

I know how to solve this one philosophically and psychologically, but I want to hear another experiences and thoughts about the issue from an objectivist point of view.

Edited by Uriah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am Mexican, and I do not feel guilty neither for the atrocities of Aztecs over other civilizations around them nor for the atrocities of Spaniards over Aztecs. In the same way, I do not feel I deserve any credit or recognition for the paintings of Frida Kahlo or the writings of Octavio Paz.

Children cannot pay for the sins of their parents, nor get glory for their deeds.

That's why national pride is so mistaken. We must recognize what specific people (like the Founding Fathers in the case of the USA) have done, but the whole concept of "Our Nation", "Our Country" is close to "Our Church", "Our God" or "Our Baseball Team".

Edited by Hotu Matua
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am Malaysian. Malaysia is a nationalistic country, with a monarchy, parlaiment, a constitution, and the syariah court (Islamic court). I think just letting you know the combo itself is enough to tell you how I feel (about my country). Wanna know whats funny? The new national slogan is "1Malaysia, Rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan" meaning "1Malaysia, the people come first, achievement is top priority", priority paradox anyone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The new national slogan is "1Malaysia, Rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan" meaning "1Malaysia, the people come first, achievement is top priority", priority paradox anyone?

The achievement of what is top priority?

Does the use of 1Malaysia have any meaning or is it just a a typo?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I never have any pride for the country I live in. I also do not have shame. I'm not "my country". No one is. In reality, there is no "Country". It's just a collection of individuals. It is individuals, not countries, governments and nations that do things. I admire the accomplishments of great Americans and emigrants to America like Ayn Rand, Einstein etc. I admire Michael Phelps, who won 8 gold medals. It's cool he comes from America, but I would have admired a man or woman from China, Britain or any other country who achieved such a feat.

Perhaps you could say there is a good atmosphere or sense of life in a given country that helps them achieve, but I still can't take pride in that. Again, I just admire the American sense of life, or what is left of it and its notion of rugged individualism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could not have pride or shame for a country because it is just a geographical location. I don't find much to be proud of or ashamed of when it comes to temperate zones, weather, and other miscellaneous characteristics that change with geographical location.

Perhaps you could say there is a good atmosphere or sense of life in a given country that helps them achieve, but I still can't take pride in that. Again, I just admire the American sense of life, or what is left of it and its notion of rugged individualism.

Atmosphere and sense of life (on a national level) are still just the macro of contributions by that nation's individual citizens. As I'm sure you know, the "rugged individualism" of which you speak is a very intentional characteristic of the American culture, but only because of the few brave men and women who pioneered the idea and demonstrated it by means of law. As our laws have become closer and closer to collectivism, so has our culture. That only causes me to be ashamed for the individuals who practice collectivism, and the government that allows and pursues it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I could not have pride or shame for a country because it is just a geographical location. I don't find much to be proud of or ashamed of when it comes to temperate zones, weather, and other miscellaneous characteristics that change with geographical location.

A state is not a geographical location, it is a government ruling in a given geographic area.

There is one government that, in it's founding principles, certainly deserves admiration. Can anyone guess which one it is?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A state is not a geographical location, it is a government ruling in a given geographic area.

There is one government that, in it's founding principles, certainly deserves admiration. Can anyone guess which one it is?

In its founding principles, yes, there is one... but after the principles have been laid, there is a long, long history to be taken into account.

A man should not support his country because of founding principles set long ago, but because of the principles the country is living up to.

Thus, if at any given time Australia becomes a free country while the USA falls under totalitarism (a very unlikely scenario), Objectivists should have no issue with leaving the States and emigrating to Australia, in the same way that Ayn Rand left Russia.

Edited by Hotu Matua
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In its founding principles, yes, there is one... but after the principles have been laid, there is a long, long history to be taken into account.

A man should not support his country because of founding principles set long ago, but because of the principles the country is living up to.

Right, the US and other Anglosphere countries are still the freest in the world, so there is every reason to salute that right now (when differentiating them from the rest of the world).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, the US and other Anglosphere countries are still the freest in the world, so there is every reason to salute that right now (when differentiating them from the rest of the world).

Yeah I definitely think you are right about that. Countries like the US and Canada are good for the individual which is the most important. Not only that but look at how bad other countries have it when the governments tell everyone what to do instead of letting them be free. I dont get how some people can put up with governments telling them what to do all the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, the US and other Anglosphere countries are still the freest in the world, so there is every reason to salute that right now (when differentiating them from the rest of the world).

The US and other Anglosphere countries are still wrong, no matter how much more wrong other countries are. Evil behavior must be recognized, no matter what other virtuous behavior is exhibited. Unfortunately, there isn't that much virtuous behavior to exhibit anyway. The founding principles of a nation should have no bearing on the truth, and the truth is that we are not the great nation that we used to be. The world's healthiest overweight person is still overweight. The person who steals a penny is still stealing, even if there are people out there stealing millions of dollars every day. And the world's freest nation is still not free. Ayn Rand demonstrated the four necessary aspects of a dictatorship:

There are four characteristics which brand a country unmistakably as a dictatorship: one-party rule—executions without trial or with a mock trial, for political offenses—the nationalization or expropriation of private property—and censorship. A country guilty of these outrages forfeits any moral prerogatives, any claim to national rights or sovereignty, and becomes an outlaw.

The United States has nearly one-party rule, considering the shocking similarities between Republicans and Democrats - it has indeed nationalized and expropriated an enormous amount of private property - and it engages in censorship on a daily basis. Ayn Rand's own definition of dictatorship is startlingly similar to the political climate of the US. It is for this reason that I find the general sentiment of the United States around here so peculiar. I admire and recognize the aspects of this country that deserve such attention, but none of us should be afraid to express distaste when necessary, even if it's not that bad by comparison. Are we really to settle for less than what is both obtainable and achievable?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you know that? The state of world liberty index seems to suggest something else. Admittedly it seems strange to have Chile on rank 12.

It is admirable and outstanding to have Chile on rank 12, and Estonia ranking the first of all.

These two countries recovered from dictatorships. In the case of Chile, the right-wing dictatorship of Pinochet, and in the case of Estonia, the one of the Soviet Union.

Both countries have taken consistent steps towards more economic and individual freedom.

I have been in many Latin American countries and I am sure that Chile, if does not deviate from its course, will be the first prosperous and free country in the region (Brazil can be much stronger because of its size, but Chile is the jewel attracting the best long-term investment).

I have read that Estonia (like Ireland) embraced capitalism in earnest. They were thirsty of economic freedoms. Estonia, in addition, was thristy of individual freedoms.

This shows that freedom is more about men and women, than about nations, flags, borders or races.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Open question for everyone:

I am a fan of FCBarcelona, a proud Catalan football team. It has a unique philosophy: "mes que un club" (more than just a club) and is proud of its way of building a community among the football club weather it would be the fans or the players.

I am not Catalan but I am happy when the club is winning and I am sad when the club is losing.

Does anyone see anything wrong with it?

Needless to say I don't.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Open question for everyone:

I am a fan of FCBarcelona, a proud Catalan football team. It has a unique philosophy: "mes que un club" (more than just a club) and is proud of its way of building a community among the football club weather it would be the fans or the players.

I am not Catalan but I am happy when the club is winning and I am sad when the club is losing.

Does anyone see anything wrong with it?

Needless to say I don't.

I feel significantly more respect for Hong Kong's government than my own; I certainly don't begrudge you liking a foreign football team.

A country is a locality with certain traditions, customs, civil organizations, leaders, heroes, and a history of them. You are a citizen of a country if you feel loyalty, admiration, and respect for most (though certainly not all) of the above. If you feel a deep admiration for the principles Germany was founded on (Unity, Productivity, National Strength, Patriotism), it's current culture and government, Bismarck, Einstein, Wagner, West Berlin, the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and more than any other country, than it is certainly acceptable to be loyal and proud of Germany. There are problems with it's history, primarily Naziism, but you did not perpetrate them, condone them, accept them, let them pass, or commit any act that could further the cause. Thus, you should not allow it to weigh too heavily on your judgment of the country. Had this been constant throughout German History, and especially if it continued today, than it would simply be too much to overlook.

Ever since the AIG Bonus Scandal, I've lost almost every iota of American Patriotism I once had. Every successive act of government has made it worse and worse. The America of 1804, when Thomas Jefferson was elected President, is about as real today as Ancient Rome. I feel more loyal to the Government of Hong Kong today than I do to the government of America (it's far, far from the Objectivist ideal of free, but it beats America by a long shot).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Open question for everyone:

I am a fan of FCBarcelona, a proud Catalan football team. It has a unique philosophy: "mes que un club" (more than just a club) and is proud of its way of building a community among the football club weather it would be the fans or the players.

I am not Catalan but I am happy when the club is winning and I am sad when the club is losing.

Does anyone see anything wrong with it?

Needless to say I don't.

I like Barcelona too (the way they play the game), but as far as their non football related activities, Laporta is a raving nationalist (and I think a socialist too, because that's a great combination), and uses his position for propaganda. They of course have periodic elections to select a president (since the team is owned by the paying members, socios is the word I think), so that reflects nicely on what Catalunia is all about politically.

I do think there is something wrong with it if you buy into the Catalan identity crap, but not with liking the team overall. The cash-cows players certainly aren't Catalan, now are they? In fact I think that a lot of their success is attributable to the fact that the other major Catalan club refused to hire any non-Catalan players for a long time, and fell behind in the quality of football they were playing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US and other Anglosphere countries are still wrong, no matter how much more wrong other countries are. Evil behavior must be recognized, no matter what other virtuous behavior is exhibited. Unfortunately, there isn't that much virtuous behavior to exhibit anyway. The founding principles of a nation should have no bearing on the truth, and the truth is that we are not the great nation that we used to be. The world's healthiest overweight person is still overweight. The person who steals a penny is still stealing, even if there are people out there stealing millions of dollars every day. And the world's freest nation is still not free. Ayn Rand demonstrated the four necessary aspects of a dictatorship:

The United States has nearly one-party rule, considering the shocking similarities between Republicans and Democrats - it has indeed nationalized and expropriated an enormous amount of private property - and it engages in censorship on a daily basis. Ayn Rand's own definition of dictatorship is startlingly similar to the political climate of the US. It is for this reason that I find the general sentiment of the United States around here so peculiar. I admire and recognize the aspects of this country that deserve such attention, but none of us should be afraid to express distaste when necessary, even if it's not that bad by comparison. Are we really to settle for less than what is both obtainable and achievable?

I agree that the United States is suffering through many problems, but your characterization goes much too far in my opinion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A nation is comprised of individuals, some of whom I am proud of, some of whom I am not, and the vast majority of whom I have never even met. It feels wrong to lump the heros in with rotters and strangers by passing collective judgement. I have never been given to outbursts of patriotism but I do admire the political principles on which my country is founded. Though I have never personally travelled outside the United States, many of my friends have. I've read a fair amount of books on the history and culture of other nations. To date, I have yet to hear or read about any nation in which I would rather have been born in than my own. The reason is that here in the US, more so than anywhere else in the world, I am largely the architect of my own life. I am largely free to choose my profession, my values, and my love.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really? How so?

(This doesn't cover everything, but it gets a lot of the major points across)

Hong Kong:

1. No minimum wage

2. Average Weighted Tariff rate of 0% (although it does have some non-tariff barriers)

3. Lowest tax rates in the world - highest one is a 17% income tax. No taxes on a bunch of stuff like dividends or capital gains.

4. Government spending is 15.2% of GDP, and they make a real effort to balance a budget.

5. 1.9% inflation

6. No limits on foreign ownership or special approval procedures to set up a foreign firm (except in broadcasting and a few types of legal services)

7. Constitution strongly supports contracts and private property (this differs from America in that they actually follow theirs, to an extent).

8. Flexible hours-of-work regulations

9. No regulation of workplace conditions

10. Significantly less power for labor unions; strikers aren't still legally entitled to their jobs

11. Significantly less corruption in Government

12. People are, in general, a lot less pro-government than they are here.

13. Controversial there means "We'll have a minimum wage law some day, damn it!"

14. Much smaller bailouts (although there were still bailouts, admittedly).

Meanwhile, back in the States:

1. 7.50 Minimum wage

2. 1.6% AWT (plus a ton of non-tariff barriers, including the economic atrocity called the "Buy American Provision")

3. Tax rates reaching up to 40%

4. 36.7% of GDP is Gov Spending

5. 3% inflation

6. Foreign investment in banking, mining, defense contracting, certain energy-related industries, fishing, shipping, communications, and aviation is controlled and restricted.

7. While our constitution may say the same thing, ours is mostly a decoration for rednecks who can't read.

8. Minimum of 3-4 hours of work in most states. Flexible between the states; not within.

9. One anagram: OSHA

10. Labor unions are gaining back a lot of power. This leads to the next issue,

11. God, where to begin - Governor Blagojavich or Elliot Spitzer?

12. Has anyone ever heard of "AIG Bonuses"? Oh damn, I think I just heard the mob outside.

13. Controversial here means, "I don't think Wall Street Banks are evil."

14. It's a bailout bananza!!!!

Number 12 is the key, though. Hong Kong is changing (unfortunately, they may actually have that minimum wage law). But America is changing faster, and for much worse. When executives and their families are threatened with murder while Barney Frank roles his eyes and plays God, while judges wipe debts clean out, when we question weather or not Roman Polanski should be in jail, when we question retaliation (any, not just the Iraq War) for 9/11, when you take the sum of American ideas, you can see where we're headed. It's ironic that the west is falling to Collectivism, while the East is heading for Capitalism.

*Direct quote from Heritage Index of Economic Freedom; great resource, look it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that the United States is suffering through many problems, but your characterization goes much too far in my opinion.

Would you care to explain why you think that? I don't think anything I said in that post could be construed as being factually-inaccurate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the characterization is dead on. The U.S. is definitely heading down a dark and scary path, and the fact "the US and other Anglosphere countries are still the freest in the world" is worth saluting with extreme caution. The terrible conditions in certain other countries don't negate the fact that we have the knowledge (the constitution) and the tools (philosophy) to be much better off. Unfortunately, most of the votes cast in this country are cast by dead bodies.

and by "we" i mean every rational citizen of the U.S.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I like Barcelona too (the way they play the game), but as far as their non football related activities, Laporta is a raving nationalist (and I think a socialist too, because that's a great combination), and uses his position for propaganda. They of course have periodic elections to select a president (since the team is owned by the paying members, socios is the word I think), so that reflects nicely on what Catalunia is all about politically.

I do think there is something wrong with it if you buy into the Catalan identity crap, but not with liking the team overall. The cash-cows players certainly aren't Catalan, now are they? In fact I think that a lot of their success is attributable to the fact that the other major Catalan club refused to hire any non-Catalan players for a long time, and fell behind in the quality of football they were playing.

I apologize for the late of my reply.

*I don't know the case of major Catalan clubs who refused to buy non-Catalan players, i do know Espaynol which related to the spanish crown and therefore the combination with the white colour - just like Real Madrid.

*There is definitely high number of Catalans in the team: Valdes; Puyol; Piqué; Xavi; Busquets; Bojan, all of them were raised in La Masia.

*"Los Blancos" (Real Madrid) use the method of elections just as well, is that what Castillia is all about?!

Edited by Uriah
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...