The folly of nationalism – a *quick* defense of Horkheimer’s “rational thought.”

At what point is the love of one’s country worth destroying someone else’s life? These students have apparently made up their minds about it. Patriotism as we understand it is a sham of a virtue, promoted by certain sections of our society to keep our beliefs in line with dominant interests. Without patriotism, nobody would be willing to die in their wars or so kid themselves into ignoring global issues for the sake of their own country’s sense of pride (ie., willingness to use nuclear weapons as a qualification to be president.)

Think about the rhetoric that the government has used this decade — it’s brought back an archaic phrase like ‘homeland’ into mainstream use. One obvious trait of fascism is its use of drama and myth to cloud rational debate and reasonable judgement. You don’t think that the Nazis had a word for ‘homeland?’

You can think of it like this: What makes your high school any better than the one its team plays football against? Remember all the pep rallies and pranks perpetrated against your cross-town rivals, though?  Did they prove anyting about the superiority of your school or its football program or did it just create more work for the janitors the next morning?

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~ by Daniel on 18 April, 2008.

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