Title: Patriotism, Or Just Damn Gullible?
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 9, 2007 05:39 AM (GMT)
"As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression.
In both instances, there is a twighlight in which everything is seemingly unchanged.
It is in this twighlight that we must be most aware of any changes in the air,
lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
Let us all read my wonderful quote and continue our conversation here, so I don't miss anything,
BlackJackEmperor - March 9, 2007 05:48 AM (GMT)
As I said in the chatbox...
Being a patriot does not necessarily mean supporting the government. As long as you fight for what the ideals of Declaration of Independence, Preamble, and what this country was founded for (freedom).
I said what it stands for, not what really happened. I'm well aware of what really happened and the hypocrisy in it.
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 9, 2007 06:10 AM (GMT)
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
Let's break this thing down. Eh?
"We the People"
Really? "No new social class came to power through the door of the American Revolution. The men who engineered the revolt were largely members of the colonial ruling Elite." George Washington was the wealthiest man in America. John Hancock was a prosperous Boston merchant. Benjamin Franklin was a wealthy printer. And so on. None of the signees of the Declaration of Independance were elected representatives. It is impossible to say that they held the interest of the poor, the indentured servants and all else in their minds when they wrote the documents.
It certainly seems as though the rebellion against British rule allowed a certain group of the colonial elite to replace those loyal to England, give some benefits to small landholders, and leave poor white working people and tenant farmers in very much their old situation.
"All men are created Equal." But certainly not kept that way. I think it can go without saying that the government has favored the rich.
Aye, I'll get on this later. I'm tired damnit.
BlackJackEmperor - March 9, 2007 06:25 AM (GMT)
I see what you mean, but are you trying to disprove my point?
Miiros - March 9, 2007 07:43 AM (GMT)
The Declaration and Constitution are both fine documents. The founding ideals of the United States on paper are wonderful, but the men who rose to power did not heed their own writings. I don't think they did it out of any sort of maliciousness, but rather because of the time they lived in. The words on the Declaration meant different things to the authors back in the 1700s than they would mean to the people in the 2000s.
We can point back to those documents today and use them as an argument against tyranny and oppression. Because of these documents we can say that slavery is wrong, that people deserve equal protection under the law, etc. And when the "patriots" in power argue, we can use those documents to say: "Look, the Republic was founded for these principles." The founding fathers may have stopped vastly short, but we can keep progress moving.
Besides, sometimes people need something good to believe in. It is bad enough to realize your current leaders hate the people, but to have the (almost mythological) Founding Fathers to be like them is an unbearable thought. Whatever their intentions, they gave the future generations the tools to prevent tyranny and promote liberty.
I hope I didn't sound completely rediculous. >_>
SGT M-S - March 9, 2007 08:06 AM (GMT)
This is what has become of American Democracy...rule by oligarchy. And throughout the recent years it's become a virtual dictatorship, except we still have some semblance of a Congress up there...sort of...
I have long looked back on what was perhaps the greatest time I had in public schooling, AP American History. I have looked back (from both a conservative and liberal point of view, since I had about four teachers in that class at any given time) on what I learned and "un-learned", especially when motivated to do my own reading and such.
You know how they always talk about "history is written by the victorious". When you think about it, it really does make sense, especially when you read about civil wars and that sort of thing. But I tell you, they always say public education is 'liberal brainwashing', but that couldn't be farther from the truth. The half-truths that you hear spewed from those schools was enough to make me drop out of the regular schooling and get my high school diploma from a school about an hour away that was offering a self-paced course if you could pass a GED with at least two 800's (perfect score). I got through with high school a year ahead of my class, somehow joined the Army (wah! You volunteered to shoot that child! cries the crazed Rush Limbaugh cheerleader), and so on, so forth.
Anywho, I've read about the suppression of labor unions and the labor movement in this country from the beginning of the American 'Industrial Revolution', which was little more than an early exercise in American espianoge, as the guy who started bringing a few novel concept designs from Great Britain did so from memory, as the legend goes (there ain't much available on that particular moment, and understandably so).
In this country, great effort has been made to demonize those who would advocate libertarian socialism in earnest, or otherwise marginalizing their influence through whatever means are deemed necessary.
But, God Willing, there'll be a reckoning for this Administration. They've enacted so many terrible things as of late. This ain't no bunch of folks that's deserving of our respect, and I feel little respect for those high in military command who pretend to faithfully serve the Commander in Chief. I DO, however, respect General Petraeus (I'm sure somewhere down the road some neo-con is going to call him General Betrayus or something when the Middle East starts getting even worse just to blame it all on him) and his acknowledgement that the present 'war of error' cannot be solved with a purely military solution. That's of course assuming the President even wants stability in the Middle East, and there is every indication that this is not so.
Anyway, I'll stop digressing here and just say that the Revolution never succeeded. As my favorite AP Amer-Histo teacher said, the Declaration of Independence was really little more than the elitists of the colonies issuing a redress of grievances to the King who refused to do business, so the bankers and merchants got the colonists riled up with all of these dreams of kicking out the British (kicking themselves out, too?), and miraculously, it worked, and the bankers and merchants suddenly had their own little slice of the world.
And I'll put these ideals and my convictions on my Sergeant's stripes. I earned them with faithful service to this country, and primarily for the sake of those on my left, right, and behind me ('cause Sergeants always lead from the front, ya know :lol: ).
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 9, 2007 04:43 PM (GMT)
I guess I won't try to finish that thing I started. I wrote an essay for AP-USH on the Delcaration where I explained how the leaders of this country have all but ignored the document.
I could go on and pick it apart and explain how most of it's most important parts have gone without say... but I won't. Too much work for a little forum.
Miiros, aren't these supposed to be the founding Ideals? Aren't these ideals supposed to be upheld? We don't have equal justice, the rich can buy their way out. Domestic tanquility; internal peace. Then why were so many strikes put down by the national guard? Common Defense; invading Cuba, Hawaii, Panama, Nicaragua, Philipenes, Mexico were all for defense? Nah, they were to grab more land so big business would have a captive market and someplace to grow their bananas and rubber and whatnot.
Well, I'd argue that they means the same things today. And when you say: "And when the "patriots" in power argue, we can use those documents to say: "Look, the Republic was founded for these principles." The founding fathers may have stopped vastly short, but we can keep progress moving." I doubt progress can happen if those in power won't let it, because if they do, those rich bastards in office and their cronies heading up the corporations might have to pay a little more tax, or go to jail, or pay fair wages. None of them wants that. They want to have their cake and eat it too, and that means keeping a thumb on the government. Government will favor the rich so long as the rich are in government.
Wow, I now realize this is an incoherent rant... dang.
Miiros - March 9, 2007 08:01 PM (GMT)
Yes, I realize all of that AC. I just like to hope that things can change rather than give into the total desperate and depressing realization that the United States government is more a part of the Axis of Evil than any other. I mean look at the progress since 1776! There's a lot of injustice left, but it will get better. . . unless it gets worse. >_>
You know, I'd love to dismiss the entire Congress and elect a new one with huge limitations for campaign spending. It would get rid of a lot of problems like personal rivalries between politicians, ties to corporate lobbyists, and downright staleness.
Sometimes the whole situation is horribly depressing for me and I'd rather just not care anymore. Ah well, I'm going to move to an island far far away from everything and start my own state based on equality, sand, and universal coconuts. Anyone want to come?
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 9, 2007 09:12 PM (GMT)
I just know that marines would show up sooner or later.
Progress since 1776 was the result of revolts, strikes and what else have you. Only when such things became large enough to actually threaten the security of the government did anything change. Hell, an 8-hour work day came at the cost of national strikes. Several of which were put down by force by the National Guard.
The good folks of St. Louis actually rebelled and set up a workers-commission to run the city after they had become convinced things weren't going to get better. The NG was sent in and a few hundred were killed, many more imprisioned. Anyway, I can't see anything actually getting better without a change in the leadership. And I mean someone like... well, me getting elected. Y'know, some common folk without a greed-based agenda...
Point being: A Vote for me is a Vote for Us!
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 9, 2007 09:16 PM (GMT)
SGT M-S - March 9, 2007 11:14 PM (GMT)
Hey, I remember posting that on here a while ago. The POAC are cool folks, but their entire focus has been marketing products to pay their own bills.
Right, there was quite a bit of rubber-stamping back in the first four years of this millenium, right on up to November 2006. Now, even though the Dems have a considerable chunk of things, they're only good at delaying things. I've seen individuals make a stand on the important issues, but there's really no cohesive resistance to Administration policies. This is why I despise our electoral system of 'winner-takes-all', and the two-party system. It actively encourages a single part to control virtually the whole of the government, and we see where it gets us.
Run-off elections would be a decent step in the right direction. Of course, total voting reformation needs to take place. Why do we need all of these fancy means of voting? Punch-cards? E-voting? Whatever happened to picking up a pen and checking a box, walking up to the box and dropping it in?
And did you folks also know that millions of votes in this country are actually thrown away? The justification for this is that they were 'spoiled'. Hanging chads, a stray mark on the paper. And what's worse is that the voter whose vote got trashed has absolutely no way of knowing this.
And why don't they declare Election Day a federally mandated holiday? There's no way people who have to work can ever vote, except under very stressful conditions that discourage voters. Plus making voters show up with reams of paperwork proving their citizenship...this is outrageous.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 12:57 AM (GMT)
This is why the American society is dwindling, everybody just complains about the system and is so pessimistic. Americans just need to find out whats good about America (which is a lot of things) and work with it. It's life, it's tough, deal with it.
"Oh, America keeps you in one social class for good!"
Has anybody ever been to a third world country?! America actually has very good opportunities for entrepreneurship, and many grants/loans/scholarships for education. The difference between America and some other classes is that the common people actually CAN do something great. If you aren't clever enough to rise up the social classes, then you aren't clever enough to rise up the social classes. There can be only so many rich people and they have the power, it's the way its always been. If you don't have what it takes to be one of them then too bad and don't tell me they did not work to get there. This isn't the feudal age anymore. If it is inherited wealth or ill-gotten then they'll lose it all eventually if they aren't smart.
It's good to address the problems, but bagging on the Revolution? Please. Not every Revolution is a total success. Find a revolution in history that was a total success and tell me about it, I'm interested. But I'm damn sure the American Revolution was not a failure.
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 10, 2007 01:45 AM (GMT)
"This is why the American society is dwindling, everybody just complains about the system and is so pessimistic. Americans just need to find out whats good about America (which is a lot of things) and work with it."
So... think happy and it all goes away?
Yes, I've been to Bolivia. Y'know who tends to get the grants/loans/scholarships for education? Or admitted to the best schools? Those who 'donate', or more accurately, can afford to donate to that school. I, on the other hand, expect to go to a state college that is not quite as renowned. I know I'm damn well capable of the big name schools, but I lack in the fiscal readiness. Therefore, I don't get that opportunity... I'm sorry: privilege. I have gotten a scholarship. but I don't think $500 will cover it. If only I had some Senator as a father... schucks.
It isn't about being clever enough, it's; can you afford it? there's about two ways you can climb that ladder. Start a business or get a fancy education. Not only does starting a business take a good deal of knowledge (college), but a good deal of money too. Money lower classes typically don't have. Or one can get an education... see above.
These rich pukes didn't work for their inheritance... look up something called 'economies of scale'. Its a simple theory that says the larger business (which is owned by the rich scumbag) can out perform and out compete it's competetor (YOU). The big corporation will always win... it isn't about enginuity. It's size. You can sure start a business, go ahead. Odds are you'll either lose due to competition with Walmart (or whatever), or the corp. will buy you out and here we are again.
Sure, the revolution succeed in replacing the ruling elite with more ruling elite... that's about it. As I've mentioned before, any progressive change came with suffering prior. Seldom was there any one of these rich bureaucrats playing sympathizer. Certainly isn't happening today.
The Aristocratic Confederation - March 10, 2007 01:59 AM (GMT)
Also, there are more than one reason America is circling the toilet... For instance:
- shaky early education... well, most education anyway
- infotainment...(unintelligent media)
- winner takes all gov't
- the list goes on and on
Oh... and the tolerance thing: it isn't that tolerance was originally bad. But now it's taught in school that minority traditions are right. Not just that they should be tolerated... but they are RIGHT. Meanwhile, it is illegal to say 'god', 'jesus', 'christ', 'you get the point'. Guilty white people are trying to cover those certain things that make them feel bad about something they couldn't have helped. They feel bad about rasism, so now calling someone 'black' is tremendously frowned upon and can be punished in my school. Ain't nothin' wrong with being black.... ah but no; they're 'african american'.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 02:26 AM (GMT)
I'm not even going to reply to your previous post. Yes, it is good to address the problems but too much pessimism will get you nowhere.
But yes, I agree with your point on "overtolerance". I call them black too, because that's what they are. Unless they really are from Africa.
Also, I don't really see anything morally wrong with porno. As long as you do not consume all your time looking at it. It's fine if you keep it in moderation. I'll admit I induldge a bit myself and find nothing wrong with it. But then you get Bible thumpers, just ignore them.
About need college education to start a business, you are wrong. I have friend who graduated from high school last year and already has his own personal training gym, real estate investments, and plans to start buying a few tanning salons. I've been to his house and know him pretty well, he is quite middle class which is what most of America is comprised of.
All I am saying is, I believe in America anybody can succeed. If you don't believe then you won't I guarantee it. My father is an immigrant. He came to this country with nothing but a suitcase and worked as a lousy taxi driver. Now he is an engineer for Cray Inc. and has provided my family with a life where I really can't ask for more.
(I was born and raised in America, and damn proud of it.)
SGT M-S - March 10, 2007 05:44 AM (GMT)
I tend to disagree with nationalism and having too much pride in being born and raised somewhere, but I guess that's just because I was born in Sweden and raised in a lot of different places, usually in 'Western' countries. Since I joined the Army in 2002 (I was 17 and just getting old enough to enlist with parental consent), in the wake of 9/11, I have, through my various deployments (Iraq, the Horn of Africa), seen the third world, and I've seen the way that the American government, corrupt with corporate greed and neo-conservative imperialism (both of which have been waging a cold war behind the scenes of our government since 1997), have exploited the third world and provided virtually no compensation.
I have also seen that the American people are only treated better because people stand up to the government, not because the free market capitalist 'paradise' is a paradise at all, at least not for the common man, woman, and teenager who puts in the 8 or more hours of work and doesn't even have the right to the fruits of his or her own labor; they have to buy the product of all that hard work back. That alone can get my blood boiling, especially when I hear that 50,000,000 people don't have health insurance, and those who do aren't faring much better 'cause they have to pay higher premiums to compensate for those who are not insured. That makes absolutely no sense, and it makes absolutely no sense why this country should be the only super-modern country without it. The "costs too much" rhetoric is bull, because the people making those complaints are the ones rolling millions of dollars and spending it wastefully, not using it to invest back into business like the laissez-faire champions would have you believe.
I'm far from a lazy pessimist. The fact that I openly express my Socialist beliefs in the Army is by itself a courageous act. And I know I've been given a slight benefit of the doubt simply because I am not junior enlisted.
I regularly write my Senator Sam Brownback and my Representative Jerry Moran (both of whom continue to argue that throwing money at Iraq and Afghanistan will work). I actively demonstrate and participate in peaceful disruptions, and have a very wonderful support network of activist lawyers and the like, whom I thank every chance I get for their dedication, courage, and hard work.
Now, there are honest folks in this country, I will not deny that. But facts are facts. Folks gotta stand up and be vigilant. In the Industrial Revolution here in the States, the owners of factories were getting on the wire with their buddy the state governor and asking, if it wasn't much trouble, to send down the Guardsmen and shoot those uppity workers for wanting to be treated like human beings, instead of fricken cattle.
That point in our history, and other moments in our time, have reinforced a fundamental idea that I've always held, that if it wasn't for people complaining, raising hell, and demanding change, we would have never gotten past that part of our history, and so on and so forth. For Pete's sake, the FBI, under citizen pressure, FINALLY admitted to abusing the (un)Patriot(ic) Act, snooping on people they had no business looking at.
There was a time where racism was more than calling somebody a bad name or whatever. It was outright segregation, legalized hatred. It took people to stand up to that, and I strongly support a vigilant dissenting entity in this country, because history has proven that dissent is absolutely imperative in a democratic society.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 07:51 AM (GMT)
| I tend to disagree with nationalism and having too much pride in being born and raised somewhere, |
I disagree with that. I think everybody should find some pride in their country, where they were raised, and were they were born. Nationalism is great, it means you love your country without necessarily supporting the government. It really ticks me off when people at my high school do not stand for the pledge of allegiance, that's just plain disrespect.
The education system could use some reform as well. Funding is adequate, but it sure as hell needs reform.
|corrupt with corporate greed and neo-conservative imperialism|
That's the way all empires/countries have been, and that's the way they are always going to be. The wealthy will always rule, always. But what separates America is that everybody has the opportunity to rise up and become part of that ruling elite.
I'll also have to disagree with your Socialism MS. You are not always going to have a government that will totally be for the people. While capitalism encourages advancement and keeps the prices down as long as the government regulates monopolies. Also the government stays out as much as they can, that way if you get a bad administration then it's not as bad as it could be. God knows what the Bush administration would do if they got the funding they would get if this country was socialist.
|I have also seen that the American people are only treated better because people stand up to the government, not because the free market capitalist 'paradise' is a paradise at all, at least not for the common man, woman, and teenager who puts in the 8 or more hours of work and doesn't even have the right to the fruits of his or her own labor; they have to buy the product of all that hard work back. |
You have got to be joking. If the company gives you good working conditions then all you are entitled to is a paycheck. Plus, the cost of goods here are way cheaper in some places I've been. Americans also get paid a lot higher wages as well. The common man, woman, and teenager who puts in the 8 or more hours of work actually has it pretty good.
Tagmatium Rules - March 10, 2007 03:43 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (BlackJackEmperor @ Mar 10 2007, 07:51 AM)|
| The common man, woman, and teenager who puts in the 8 or more hours of work actually has it pretty good. |
I bet a lot of these people woudl disagree with that, especially working all the hours of the day in some sh*tty dead-en job as a cleaner or the like.
|That's the way all empires/countries have been, and that's the way they are always going to be. The wealthy will always rule, always.|
I find that a bit of a flawed arguement. It's no good to say "Oh, it's always been like that, so sod even trying to change things for the better". Just because something's tradition, doesn't make it a good thing. You can't keep an inherently unjuest system ticking over, eating people and gobbling resources for no benefit for the wider population just because it's always happened like that.
|While capitalism encourages advancement and keeps the prices down as long as the government regulates monopolies.|
What happens when the government doesn't give a sh*t about regulating monopolies because the mates of the government will benefit? Prices rise for little or no gain, services suffer and the whole system breaks down, and yet it still exists because the government supports the monopoly. (Don't read this as a dig at the US government or nation, I'm not too familiar with what's going on over the Atlantic, but I know full well how sh*tty the buses in my home city are because of a government-supported monopoly)
|Nationalism is great, it means you love your country without necessarily supporting the government.|
Liking your country is one thing, nationalism is another. In my mind, it tends to infer a supporting a government/nation without questioning its actions. Nationalism isn't a good thing, in my book.
[quote]It really ticks me off when people at my high school do not stand for the pledge of allegiance, that's just plain disrespect.[/qoute]
I, and many British people, have never really understood this whole thing, to be honest. If I was told to take a pledge of allegiance to my country, I wouldn't do it. I'd find it fairly laughable. I suspect this is completely down to cultural differences, please don't take it as a dig at you, DV.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 04:48 PM (GMT)
|I bet a lot of these people woudl disagree with that, especially working all the hours of the day in some sh*tty dead-en job as a cleaner or the like.|
The American labor force has laws against child labor, minimum wage laws, and people work in decent conditions. I've been to some farms in the Philippines and have seen children breaking their backs in the sun all day. Absolutely appaling, and here we have Americans complaining about their labor conditions.
|What happens when the government doesn't give a sh*t about regulating monopolies because the mates of the government will benefit? Prices rise for little or no gain, services suffer and the whole system breaks down, and yet it still exists because the government supports the monopoly. (Don't read this as a dig at the US government or nation, I'm not too familiar with what's going on over the Atlantic, but I know full well how sh*tty the buses in my home city are because of a government-supported monopoly)|
There's always a problem with the government not caring with any government/economic system. It would be just as bad if the government did not care in a socialist system.
|I, and many British people, have never really understood this whole thing, to be honest. If I was told to take a pledge of allegiance to my country, I wouldn't do it. I'd find it fairly laughable. I suspect this is completely down to cultural differences, please don't take it as a dig at you, DV.|
America is flawed no doubt, but I think everybody who is a citizen should show some sign of respect and have a bit of pride to be American. You do not have to stand for the pledge of allegiance at all. Which is exactly why Americans should.
I just think American society is not bad but it's getting worse and it could be better.
SGT M-S - March 10, 2007 04:56 PM (GMT)
Here's a little quantitative data to take the philosophical 'nonsense' out of the spiel.
The United States of America makes up 5% of the world's population. Now that same 5% consumes about 25% of the world's resources, and accounts for about 30% of the world's pollution. Now by any reasonable reckoning, that's a system that shouldn't be in place, nor should it be exported to any other nation.
Some good reading on the foreign policy would be 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, a guy who, when a new President would be democratically elected in a Latin America country, for example, would go to meet the new President, and offer that man (or woman, in such a recent case) $200,000,000 or so to sell out the country to the petro-dollar Saudi-Houston cartel, the IMF, and the WTO, OR Mr. Perkins (and other so-called 'Economic Hitmen') would offer them a bullet for their troubles.
A case of belligerent, empire-building foreign policy that has touched virtually every corner of the world. It's not just a danger to Americans, as we've seen in the past.
And I'll be damned if I see a woman about the same age as my mother (she's getting up there) working two jobs and I just say "Oh well, she should've known better and invested". Huh, if we had just put up with this sort of thing in the past, instead of challenging the system, I'd vouch that nothing would be the same, and it is imperative that people continue to stand up and demand progress, reform, and redress. Jesus, if nobody had stood up to the fiscal scandals of the wealthy, things like Enron, Exxon Mobil, Tyco, etc. would be commonplace. Some people will argue that a corporation's social responsibility is limited to delivering a profit to its shareholders, but it's gotten to where even those folks are getting cheated.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 05:05 PM (GMT)
Quick question: Which presidential candidate for 2008 are you guys favoring?
I want a guy to really focus on creating much more efficient fuel alternatives and get us off the dependence of Arab oil. But who?!
Vocenae - March 10, 2007 05:13 PM (GMT)
Don't change the subject, BJE.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 05:18 PM (GMT)
This is part of the subject. We are talking about reforms that need to be done in America. Choosing the right president, or the closest one to it, has a pretty significant impact in this.
BlackJackEmperor - March 10, 2007 05:27 PM (GMT)
|And I'll be damned if I see a woman about the same age as my mother (she's getting up there) working two jobs and I just say "Oh well, she should've known better and invested".|
What kind of reform do you have in mind to prevent this?
|it is imperative that people continue to stand up and demand progress, reform, and redress.|
I'll agree with that, but to what extent? Sometimes the government just has to let capitalism take its course in order for America to better compete with the global economy. But then again you get things like outsourcing which I totally despise. Forcing businesses make more and more accomodations for workers only encourages this. Then the only people who profit are the ones up top.
Lahui - August 25, 2012 10:55 AM (GMT)
Its really fascinating to go back and read some of the older threads, especially with the retrospective of being about four years in the future. I did wonder about M-S, as I never met him, and he did seem a bit on his own, but at the very least, his comment of being proud of being socialistic in the military is quite an accomplishment...