You know, Patriotism is one of those things that is both really cool, completely understandable, and at the same time a bit wtf. I mean, on the one hand you can’t help where you’re born, so why should you take pride in an accident. On the other hand, nearly every nation has done something kinda awesome at least once in its history and being a part of that is really pretty cool.
Still, not everyone will go for the second part, at least, not about the cool stuff. Cool things your nation did? You didn’t have a part in them so why take pride in it? But the bad stuff your nation did? Oh, you need to apologize for that shit and be ashamed of your accidentally assigned team. Which…I’ll admit never made much sense to me. Take no pride from the Good because you were not there, but take all the shame from the Bad…even though you were not there.
Which, I suppose, brings us to today’s article by Dr. Bones, a man whose doctorate I question and whose bones seem rather lacking in rigidity.
So, let’s delve into: Patriotism is a Fraud and You Have Been Duped, Herr Dr. Bones. Who makes no bones about his position.
I have always viewed Patriotism as an aberration. It seemed contrived, unreal, and foolish. Even as a child I felt there was something strange about this whole pledge of allegiance business.
I see that the dictionary is not a friend Dr. Bones has not spent much time with, since “aberration” means “departure from the normal” and, well, let’s be honest…Patriotism has been the norm for humanity since the first clans banded together in pre-history. Group pride in a group identity is something that has helped the whole of humanity survive and even thrive at times, much the way that Pride in a group identity has helped things like athletics catapult into one of the highest grossing forms of entertainment.
When you get right down to it, not only is Patriotism normal, your average person is so patriotic that they typically have multiple patriotisms. But for the sake of discussion we’ll keep this on topic for “national” patriotism.
Now, as for Herr Bones feeling there was something strange about this whole “pledge of allegiance” thing…I don’t know if I should blame his parents for not teaching him or his school. But hey, as a kid I wasn’t sure what the pledge of allegiance was about because such concepts are probably a bit beyond young minds. You have to be an adult to really grasp international politics and why supporting your nation individually might be a good thing.
But hey, first paragraph and Bones has already shot his foot, since patriotism is the norm and anti-patriotism is the aberration.
As a young boy I had an unyielding thirst to read, and somewhere along the line I become very aware of the racist history of the ole’ USA. I can’t place the how and I’ve long forgotten the why, but every morning when we’d line up to pledge our lives to the multicolored cloth hanging above us and it just felt odd to me. I kept running that line over and over again in my head “and justice for all” and it never sounded right. My half-formed mind floated to images of Emit Till, lynchings, and hooded fascists stalking the countryside in white robes. When I learned about the civil war I would often fantasize about being a military governor during Reconstruction, gleefully stringing up Klansman and racists from lamp poles and burning entire cities to the fucking ground.
So, young boy who desires to hang people based on their identity and burn entire cities to the ground has trouble understanding people who hanged others based on their identity, largely after having their cities burned to the ground.
Yeah, I’m never going to say that the USA has absolutely lived up to all its promises ever year of its existence. If anything, the USA is an alchemist tincture constantly being refined to create greater and greater amounts of justice for as many people as possible. But you don’t start with a finished product no matter how enlightened people are at the start.
But the key point with the USA has always been increasing the liberty and justice for everyone. Hel, one of the bloodiest wars in our history was about freeing a group of people from slavery so they could be free, and then spending the next hundred years working out what was justice and getting it to them. That people had different ideas about what that justice looked like doesn’t invalidate the entire thing. Heck, judging by the way a lot of college campuses are going, the whole “separate but equal” thing is still attractive to black people. Even though we had a whole movement for unification.
Still though, I do have to wonder at Bones here. He gleefully dreamed of murdering people simply because they had an ideology that he felt was wrong…and of burning down the cities which those people sought to live in and defend. Which there’s a bit of irony to, because if you study the history of the Klan they mostly got started because of…Reconstructionist governors who went around doing pretty much what Bones wanted to do.
So much for “justice for all” I guess.
Needless to say, I was an odd child.
Needless to say.
But even past the very vivd reality of race other things didn’t add up. I didn’t understand exactly what we were all so happy about, so proud of. Weren’t my classmates reading the same history books at home I was? Were they aware of the savage brutality that flag was founded on? The oceans of blood that thing had consumed?
Maybe they were just aware of the ideals for which that flag and its nation stood for. Religious and political liberty. The attempt to provide justice for all. The right to not be oppressed and enslaved by their government. Maybe they were just impressed by how epic the wars were which produced those gallons of blood. I mean, if you look at it, every nation, even the Marxist ones, are fed on oceans of blood…but the USA is one of the few countries on record who have at least tried to be decent human beings about it and spill blood primarily to defend the liberty and safety of its citizens.
I know some people are going to take issue with that, I mean it seems a bit far fetched with things like slavery and what happened to the native americans. But when you study the history of slavery and how it got started, you realized that Africans were brought over as slaves to start with primarily because they wouldn’t drop dead from various infectious diseases that were killing everyone else. And if you look at the history with the Native Americans, most of them died from infectious diseases which…Europeans had no understanding of, and those who died in wars did so in wars that typically followed a patter of ” settlers come (sometimes against the advice of the government), Indians attack settlers, government has to go protect its citizens, Indians die to superior numbers and firepower.
Honestly, I don’t know if Bones had this ideology as a kid, his parents taught it to him, or he picked it up in school, but it’s pretty clear that what Bones learned from history is different from what his peers learned from history. They learned the noble ideals that their nation sought to bring into the world, even if that was paid for in blood. Bones merely saw the blood…and decided the ideals weren’t worth it.
I didn’t fare much better in high school, somehow winding up in the JROTC program. Here I discovered I just didn’t care for rules, and gladly whipped my classmates up into a Soviet frenzy just for fun. One day on grass manicured with military precision, all the JROTC classes assembled to perform feats of strength in front of representatives of every branch of the military. This was to be a moment of honor, though for who was never quite clear, so I decided to do the mature thing and ruin it.
Moment of glory for others? I’mma ruin it for them.
Under that humid sun the last class marched out, distant at first but slowly holding high a homemade USSR flag and chanting the name “STALIN!” I didn’t know who Marx or Lenin was, didn’t know about gulags or purges, didn’t really understand Communism. I just knew they hated this symbol and I really liked to play Red Alert 2. The operation was a success: they were mortified and I quickly no longer had to deal with the rules of the quasi-air-force as I was soon kicked out of the program.
Can we just take a moment to embrace the irony that a kid who apparently was “smart enough” to question being patriotic about a nation because of the oceans of blood it had drunk up…was apparently not “smart enough” as well as more than happy to engage in a patriotic display for a nation whose own oceans of blood make ours look like a kiddypool?
By the way, Bones apparently has found out about all the gulags, purges, and other associated bloodbaths brought about by Stalin, Lenin, and Marx. So…you’d think a man who has so much problem with patriotic displays for nations bathed in said blood would resolve to distance himself from such things, right?
The incident was a turning point in my life. What fascinated me was the profane nature of it all: this red sweater hastily drawn upon with a black permanent marker getting the same reaction as if I’d dropped a baby on the ground. How could such a thing wield that much power over the minds of grown adults, twist and bend their logic enough to view one rag as sacred and another as the penultimate evil? What strange force made these men and woman get up everyday and willingly shed every aspect of their personality in the name of some immaterial “allegiance?”
The man with the unyielding desire to read…apparently hadn’t done enough reading.
Still, what makes a person view one symbol as sacred and another as profane, willing to rise up and place the one above them and to trod over the other even at the cost of themselves?
Dreams vs Realities. People swear allegiance to the American ideals in the hopes of spreading them through both their nation, and possibly to other nations as well. Liberty for all, Justice for all, and allowing each person to pursue their own happiness to the best of their ability. That’s the dream. The reality, especially when it comes to Soviet stuff, is that Marxism in an inherently oppressive ideology which is willing to slaughter everyone that gets in its way.
Bones wonders why they acted like he threw a baby on the ground, but that’s because Communists literally had a habit of throwing babies on the ground and stomping on them…and then sending their entire families to either mass graves, or death camps..followed by mass graves. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the military personnel who had come to review his JROTC group had been involved in actual fights with actual communists. And to see kids who were ostensibly supposed to be learning to support the ideals of Freedom, Justice, and Happiness marching around in Soviet colors with Soviet symbols shouting “Stalin!” at the top of their voices had to be…what’s that SJW term..oh yeah, Triggering.
It was only through later study that I determined these poor folks had been infected by a terrible virus, one that’s contaminated not only this country but every country on the planet. This virus infects the mind and controls the body, often causing the diseased to become violent and ignorant.
Say the guy running around championing Stalin and Marx while having no idea about death camps and gulags.
I speak of course of the virus of Patriotism.
Yeah…the lack of self awareness here is…amazing.
You Are Being Lied To
Uh, no, it was completely “propaganda.” I don’t think there was anyone who didn’t think it was propaganda. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t enjoy it for the historical accuracy of what a man had done and what were indeed mighty deeds.
Most stories about heroic warriors are indeed propaganda. Have been since the first Skald. They’re meant to inspire other people to go out and do similar deeds for their people. This isn’t a bad thing, however. Giving people both an inspiration and an example to follow are good things. They help a people define behaviors they wish to reward and have further emulated.
Much the way the Soviet Side in Red Alert 2 got Bones to go around chanting “Stalin.”
Who could have anything bad to say about a love for one’s country? Wasn’t it Patriotism that kept us united as a people, creating a sense of national solidarity?
Apparently Dr. Bones could have something to say that was bad about it…even as he apparently practices it in regard to a different “national group.” Though I would point out that Patriotism is more a by product of a sense of national solidarity. But hey, eggs and chickens.
First lets make one thing clear: if patriotism is so natural and so good, why in the world does the government need to keep shoving it down your throat?
Because military recruiting numbers are down and they wanna convince people to sign up would be my guess. Also, the link talks about the Military putting on a big show…which is a lot different from how Government Propaganda typically works.
Also, that wasn’t “shoving it down people’s throats. Shoving it down peoples throats would mean it was on every channel and you couldn’t escape it. It was propaganda to be sure, but it was propaganda that people could voluntarily ignore.
Of course, by this logic, any story of mighty deeds is nothing more than propaganda being shoved down our throats too.
“The war criminals at the US Pentagon have long drawn on seemingly limitless quantities of taxpayers’ money. Part of their Public Relations strategy is to maintain their claim on the lion’s share of the USA’s public treasury by sponsoring patriotic events at college and NFL football games. Their modus vivendi is to drape themselves in the American flag to inflate their budgets while boosting recruitment into the Armed Forces.
Well yes, Armies need soldiers to fight, and nothing makes people fight like believing in a dream worth fighting for.
Much like Dr. Bones running around in Soviet symbols after having embraced the propogandic dreams of Red Alert 2. Which he is still doing, even after having learned of gulags and purges. So…this is really like the pot calling the kettle black. While the pot bathes in shoe polish.
The ritualistic militarization of American football is reaching its most fascistic extremes in this, the fiftieth Superbowl Sunday. On the ground the Armed Forces Chorus will sing America the Beautiful. These soldier songsters are sharing the spotlight with Lady Gaga. She is entrusted to render the US National Anthem for the 100 million plus viewers in worldwide television audience.
And…singing the national anthem is Fasicsm.
Because of course it is. The national anthem of a representative republic is now a symbol of fascism.
You know for a guy who claimed to read a lot as a kid, Bones sure didn’t learn much did he. I’ll give that this was one big propaganda gig, but there is a huge difference between propaganda an fascism.
As CNN advertised in its CIA-sponsored news, the National Guard and Civil Air Patrol divisions of the US Air Force will guard the Superbowl skies from terrorist attack. In CNN’s spin doctoring, much attention is devoted to the F-15. We learn from the ad/news report that the F-15 has a capacity of 2000 mph, that it can ascend to up to twelve miles above land, and that it has 34 combat victories. Are these specs being included in Superbowl news to make the players and fans at Levi’s Stadium feel more secure?”
To be honest, I think I do remember hearing something about there being concerns of a terrorist attack at the Superbowl. I mean it was a big anniversary, lots of people in a tight space, and there had been several ISIS based attacks around that time and they were talking about wanting to hit the Superbowl. So….yeah, totally should not have any protection whatsoever near where territory are saying they’re going to blow shit up.
Honestly though, I suspect that CNN gave the Specs on the F-15 mostly because these are football fans who like watching men hit each other at speed, and learning about a plane that can go 2000 mph is just the kind of thing such people would eat up.
Ritualistic you say? Almost like…an enchantment? A public ritual involving death machines fresh from the killing fields of Syria and Libya “protecting” the Super Bowl from our always invisible enemies. And this isn’t the first time the NFL scored touchdowns in the name of the State.
I had an English teach who described our weekly football games as going to the Temple of Mars to worship the god of war via ritualized combat between two armies. So…Bones isn’t exactly wrong here in his description.
However, he’s arguing from a place that this is “inherently wrong/evil” where as to me and the vast majority of people would merely regard it as “is.” Look, we have our rituals as a nation. We hold weekly rituals to praise the “War God” via “ritualized combat.” So what? This is evil now? We should not praise the Gods via feats of strength simply because at times the “State” may wish to sponsor said Games?
Maybe it’s because I’ve been studying with Roman Gods for a year or so now, but I am perfectly okay with the “state” sponsoring some “rituals” if it improves public moral. I know “bread and circuses” is just a band aid, but really…things have been pretty bad lately and I think it’s okay to give people a little something to make them happy in a world gone deeply depressing.
“All this patriotic propaganda- the troop-salutes, the banner ads, even the community service events where troops and NFL teams “build or re-build” a playground together, come with a price tag.
Fourteen NFL teams were paid a total of $5.4 million by the Department of Defense to cover the nationalistic propaganda filling downtime during the games….
According to the Post, this is what the National Guard (who coughed up all but $100,000 of the millions) receives in return for its spending:
A Hometown Heroes Salute segment, online advertising and meeting space for a meeting or events, digital advertising on stadium screens, and advertising and marketing services including a kickoff video message from the Guard.”
Sounds like the “State” go ripped off.
It’s kinda funny, Bones seems to be pushing this whole “evil state propaganda is taking over the NFL to use it to spread their evil propaganda” and then he shows the price tag. Which shows that the “state” got ripped off is that’s literally all they got for that money. I mean, good grief Bones…if this was a State enforced propaganda which was to be shoved down our throats, the State would have taken that time and resources, not paid millions of dollars for the paltry amount of things they got.
Clearly, the man with no idea of gulags and purges also knows nothing of state enforced propaganda.
Frankly, as a taxpayer, I’m more pissed at the NFL for charging that much than I am for the Government for paying market prices along with the rest of the advertisers the NFL is apparently ripping off.
How about all these Pagans taking orders about what to write from Marxists? How about the propaganda division for Gods & Radicals actually working for the Wild Hunt and Patheos?
How about all those Fascism articles lately?
“In the past decade, government subsidies to Hollywood production studios have increased substantially. In 2002 only five states provided subsidies to the film industry. In 2012, forty-five states including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico all offer Motion Picture Incentives (MPIs) through a variety of grants, cash rebates, and other special privileges to film crews in order to encourage movie producers to shoot films in their municipality. Favors to film companies also include tax credits which are not subsidies per se, but nonetheless provide the recipients with advantages over less-politically-favored industries…
So the latest figure I can find from 2010 said Hollywood made about $11 Billion in box office alone. We’re now six years after that and movies have only gotten bigger and bigger. There’s a lot of money to be made in movies now.
But the fact that more States are offering incentives to get Hollywood to come make movies and spread some of that cash around is apparently proof that the State wants to make all movies propaganda…or something. I mean, creating jobs, keeping their people employed, all that other stuff…nah. It’s all about “muh patriotism.”
“In return for our obliged battle contributions the Defense Department uses its propaganda wing, which is strictly dedicated to editing, approving, and overlooking film scripts, and making sure that Hollywood abides by the American patriotic ideal; it’s known as the Film Liaison Office….Furthermore, John Rizzo, the ex-general counsel of the CIA, affirmed that America’s main intelligence-gathering agency has a very “special relationship” with the entertainment industry. “There are officers assigned to this account full-time,” Rizzo claims. “Movie industry vets are receptive to helping the CIA in any way they can, probably in equal parts because they are sincerely patriotic and because it gives them a taste of real-life intrigue and excitement.”
Yeah…this makes it sound like the CIA and military have final say on all scripts, but that’s not true. That’s not even true about all military movie scripts. Just the ones that the Military gets asked to help with.
Or is this just supposed to be one of those “Hail Hydra” moments where there’s a giant shadowy conspiracy to indoctrinate everyone into being a patriot so that the Government can…Government?
All this effort in getting you to believe something sure looks suspicious, doesn’t it? It’s like a car salesmen sweating profusely and assuring you that “nothing is wrong with this car. It definitely wasn’t in an accident. Definitely. Totally fine, totally not damaged.” Ask any military recruiter just how often you’ll be able to study for those “free college courses,” or how quickly you can expect treatment if you’re injured and you’ll see much the same stammering.
No it doesn’t, Bones.
It just looks like people either doing their job or trying to keep a dream alive. Honestly, the amount of effort Bones is putting into making this look like a “giant conspiracy to propaganda” is the effort that is making me suspicious.
Bones and I are looking at the exact same things. We both recognize them for what they are. But where as I simply see a thing working at is intends within the system of its world, Bones sees a giant evil conspiracy to destroy…what? All man kind? To strip people of their agency so that they will help defend their homeland and believe in the ideals of its people?
Look, if you don’t teach people what you believe, they will never know what you believe. If you wish people to share your beliefs, you have to spread those beliefs. Because if you do not, no one will know what you believe or come to believe it yourself.
I honestly don’t know if Bones doesn’t realize he’s as much a propagandist as he claims the State is. He’s running around, trying to convince people to buy into his Brand. To believe what he believes and invest them with patriotism into his cause as opposed to the “Cause” he is against.
So we have to ask ourselves: just why is Uncle Sam so interested in controlling how you think about him?
For the same reason Gods & Radicals is so interested in controlling what we think about Paganism, Fascism, the New-Right, and Marxism.
If you convince someone that you are Good, they will follow you. If you convince them that someone else is bad, they will be against that bad person. If you convince them that the only options are standing with the Good You or the Bad Them, then you have a better chance of making them do what you want in order to avoid becoming part of the “them.”
You know, not unlike how your co-writer Chris Thompson used a part of a sentience that I wrote (not the whole sentence, part of it) to write an entire propaganda article about how I and those like me were calling for the extermination of people like him and you, without linking to the original post btw. Oh, and then went on to say this:
Once again we see Lucius’s Law: The Sin you are most vitriolically against is the one you are most guilty of yourself.
We’ll carry on in Part 2