How do you convince thousands of people to risk their lives for an immoral cause, to blame foreigners for all the country’s problems and to get very overexcited when a team of overpaid dolts wearing the colours of the country they are currently supporting kicks a ball a few metres? The answer is patriotism. Those of you who know me could probably work out that I am no patriot myself, though I am no Bolshevik. I love living in Britain, I love that I have a standard of living that is probably one of the world’s top 20, I love that the jobs pay well, I love that I live in a secular country, I love that the standard of education is excellent, I love that there is little fear of natural disaster and I love that I can write this without fear of imprisonment, but that doesn’t mean I should go risk my life to kill extremists so that my country and countries like it can have more oil. (Which, of course, we should have found an alternative to years ago when we realised it was running out and damaging the environment)
It also doesn’t mean I should be against anyone less fortunate trying to live and work in my country, I should not claim that they are ‘stealing our jobs’ since they only get these jobs because they are the most qualified for them.
I most definitely should not be happy that a group of meat-heads who collectively could probably cure aids with their yearly wages and who happen to be in a team named after the country I live in manage to kick a ball past another overpaid meat-head from another country who may even have been from my country in the first place.
Being more specific, why would I feel ‘proud’ to be English anyway? It hardly has a perfect record in the human rights department. We had half of the world under a tyrannical rule. There’s another odd thing as well, saying ‘we’ when we mean ‘someone or some people that happened to come from our country’. For example:
‘Did you see the game yesterday? We scored a blinder of a goal!’
No you didn’t, you sat on your fat rear picking your belly button, eating cheese puffs and claiming that you could do better. This is another problem with patriotism, it seems to make people believe that just because they live in the same region of the planet as someone who does something great then they are somehow part of that. This is ridiculous, the Germans don’t feel that they are somehow to blame for Hitler’s atrocities, so why should you feel proud that Isaac Newton was from England? It wasn’t because he was English that he made such advancements for science, it was because he was a privileged and well-educated man.
So there you have it, patriotism is silly and only causes problems.
Written by Jim Huxter
See more at jimhuxter.wordpress.com