We could have an interesting, long argument about this non-rational emotion, patriotism, which resembles the biologically-rooted love for others who bear a lot of copies of our genes, but in the USA is extended to genetic aliens with whom we share only formal citizenship. It is in fact the only authentic anti-racism.
(There is a current on the Right, small but intellectually coherent and vigorous in promoting its ideas, which poo-poo’s the idea of ‘civic nationalism’ – that you can have a patriotism based on anything other than racial identity – and promotes as the only viable alternative ‘ethnic nationalism’. At the moment it’s very much a minority, but there is a kind of malign symmetric resonance with the identitarian Left – you will know that a qualitative change has come when we start getting White Student Societies – called ‘European Student Societies’ – on campuses.)
First, I and every conservative I know, would agree with the abstract proposition that someone can love their country, but criticize and try to correct its flaws. Only an idiot would disagree. That’s not what we’re talking about.
More than that. I personally look forward to a world in which there are no separate nations of consequence … when ‘nations’ are like states or regions … and when we are a single, united human race. These sentiments would get me shot by most conservatives, but … I’m talking about many generations from now, when it will – or I should say ‘would’ – be a natural evolution, based on the material/economic/social reality that I hope our descendants will live in.
But we are not there now. And getting there will be hindered, maybe for a very long time, if America becomes the sort of country that the Left want it to become.
So … I ask myself, is it a good thing, or a bad thing, that for most of the 20th Century, the baddest brother on the block was a (flawed) liberal democracy, as opposed to, say, Nazi Germany, militarist-dominated Japan, or Stalin’s Russia?
I think it was a good thing, as no doubt you do as well. And … its citizens fought and died for it, because they loved their country, honored its flag, were proud of it. The white farm boys crawling through the surf at Omaha Beach did not think, “I’m doing this for human rights, equality and democracy.” Nor did they think, “I’m doing this because it’s the best bet I have to get a high standard of living.”
They were doing it “for America”. Most of them, by the way, if we knew their personal attitudes towards Blacks and homosexuals, would be condemned today by our self-righteous left, and their statues, had they any, would be toppled. They were fighting “for America”. (Just as the German boys opposing them were fighting, in their own minds, for Germany, not National Socialism.)
Now … I see AntiFa burning the flag … I see college administrations agreeing not to fly it, since it would offend someone. I see the Left – not the Far Left but the mainstream left, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers – pushing ‘critical race theory’, which teaches that America is saturated with racism and that this is why Black kids in Chicago kill each other by the dozen every weekend. I see the New York City Council honoring the Soviet spy Ethyl Rosenberg, and I see the Virginia Democratic Party deciding no longer to hold Jefferson Day dinnners.
I know these are not attempts to portray American history ‘warts and all’. I’m all in favor of teaching history warts and all, but not of just showing American warts. We are a nasty species of hairless tailless apes, the product of grim evolutionary selection which didn’t choose the survivors for their niceness, and genuine human history is something you actually want to shield children from for as long as possible.
American Indians are idealized today – our sports teams were given their names, our most formidable weapons systems as well. But if we really wanted to teach the truth about them, we wouldn’t omit things like this:
Male and female captives as well as teenage boys, would usually face death by ritual torture. The torture had strong [sacrificial overtones] Captives, especially warriors, were expected to show extreme self-control and composure during torture, singing “death songs”, bragging of one’s courage or deeds in battle, and otherwise showing defiance. The torture was conducted publicly in the captors’ village, and the entire population (including children) watched and participated. Common torture techniques included burning the captive, which was done one hot coal at a time, rather than on firewood pyres; beatings with switches or sticks, jabs from sharp sticks as well as genital mutilation and flaying while still alive. Captives’ fingernails were ripped out. Their fingers were broken, then twisted and yanked by children. Captives were made to eat pieces of their own flesh, and were scalped and skinned alive. Such was the fate of Jamestown Governor [John Ratcliffe.The genitalia of male captives were the focus of considerable attention, culminating with the dissection of the genitals one slice at a time. To make the torture last longer, the Native Americans and the First Nations would revive captives with rest periods during which time they were given food and water. Tortures typically began on the lower limbs, then gradually spread to the arms, then the torso. The Native Americans and the First Nations spoke of “caressing” the captives gently at first, which meant that the initial tortures were designed to cause pain, but only minimal bodily harm. By these means, the execution of a captive, especially an adult male, could take several days and night." [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captives_in_American_Indian_Wars]
Sweet. (But at least they didn’t pollute the air.) No doubt there are folks who would get off on this, but I can’t see teaching it to ten year olds. But what’s sauce for the white goose should be sauce for the non-white gander.
You want to go into detail about police brutality against Blacks in the US today? Fine. But let’s talk about Black crimes against both other Blacks, and against whites. (Some of the latter approach the Indian idea of a few days’ entertainment, by the way. Not that the liberal press will give them publicity.)
Or let’s compare the situation of Blacks ruled by whites in America, with that of Blacks ruled by other Blacks in Africa. (Question: when the dictator Samuel Doe was overthrown in Liberia, what happened to him. Details – not for those with a weak stomach – here: https://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/the-torture-of-samuel-doe/)
Not long ago, American liberals would have fought back against these far Left initiatives. Can you imagine John F Kennedy apologizing for an athlete supposedly representing us who turned her back on the flag?
“Gwen Berry, who turns 32 Tuesday, earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic track and field team after her performance in the hammer-throw over the weekend at trials in Eugene, Ore., but faced away from the American flag and toward the stands when the national anthem was played, sparking both outrage and praise on social media.”
Note that: praise. And guess from whom?
Now … I don’t have a moral attitude here. I can absolutely understand an American Indian, a Black American, a Japanese American who said, “This is not my country. It’s run by an alien race, who rule because they defeated my people in the past.” If I had been in an internment camp in California in 1942, I would probably have said go shove it when offered the chance to volunteer for the American military.
The mentality of the Japanese-American boys who did volunteer for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which became, as you probably know, the most decorated American infantry regiment in history … with a very large casualty rate… is actually hard for me to comprehend. As is the mentality of the Navajos who became the ‘Code Talkers’ in the Pacific. Or the actions of Dorie Miller.
But they made the right decision. I don’t actually know whether it was a decision made on the basis that “It’s not perfect by a long shot, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the alternatives we’re facing, and it can get better,” which would be a rational, instrumental judgement; or on the basis of the sort of deep non-rational love that the dominant white majority felt for their country, or some mixture of the two.
So I can understand Gwen Berry. She doesn’t like my country, and I’m not offended by that. She’s not an American. If I were the President and could muster the votes, i’d do my best to give her her own country, even if it required buying out lots of, say, Mississippi whites and carving out a piece of territory for people who think like her.
Let her live in a North American extension of Africa. And when the inevitable starving and slaughtered children turn up on my TV news – as happens with absolute regularity from Africa – I can just switch channels.
But the rot is well set in. Liberals are not going to resist the pressure of those to their Left, whatever their misgivings. That old white guilt is just too strong.
No one knows the future, but I wouldn’t bet on it being a bright one for a country where its ruling elite is teaching the next generation of ruling elite to despise their own country.
Soon, in historical terms, the baddest brother on the block will be a country which has no problem at all in putting ten percent of a troublesome ethnic minority into Re-education camps. (Sort of like the Racial Sensitivity Sessions being inflicted on employees of the government and ‘woke’ corporations, only more so. Agree with Big Brother or else.) Its citizens love it.
No one there burns its flag. Its citizens are not uncrtiical of the government – I know, I was astonished on my visit to China to hear bitter criticism of the government by my taxi driver in Beijing – but they love their country.
American self-hatred is one thing they aren’t going to steal.