I decided this morning* to use the Daily Post’s patriotism prompt for the Blogging101 day 11 task to personalise a prompt (*now yesterday as after midnight at time of writing!) By afternoon the next Daily prompt, community service was published, so I’m maybe combining the two here (at the very least by blog sharing within this post!). All links in my response text lead to posts responding to Daily prompt. Those articles can also be found by visiting the Daily Post’s page for the prompt (first link above). Linked text in quotation marks is quoted directly from that linked source, but is not usually the post title, also not necessarily the overall point/opinion of that individual’s post.
Throughout the day I flitted through some great responses to the prompt(s) – there were far too many to include them all here.
“Why Patriotism is Wrong” provides interesting points of discussion and includes some great quotes to illustrate the dangerous and sometimes horrific nature of patriotic notion. I also share the sentiment that “…patriotism is blindness…”
Patriotism:- personally I struggle with that notion, and now I know I’m not alone, whatever reasoning on the issue. First I struggle with patriotism for reasons of associating that word with ‘patriarchy’ and systems of ‘hierarchy’. Secondly, in my country we have a Queen to whom we should be ‘patriotic’ and patriotism, seeming a gender-specific word, surely requires a King (? – in my ignorant and culturally confused opinion). I certainly can’t feel patriotic towards a Tory Prime Minister or a Tory-led government proliforating Nazi-type politic.
Via responses to the prompt I found it interesting to discover revelations of histories, origin, universality and commonality. I wondered at the potential multiplicity of meaning/interpretation from various posts. Intended meaning isn’t always clear and interpreted meaning isn’t always intentional.
I enjoyed a star-spangled retrospective video … I learnt some things – of cultural fact, of foreign language and tradition. It was fascinating to read a diverse range of opinion, reaction and Vibrant reflection from citizens of various countries. So many responses for which one might say “…this is a pretty damn good answer…”
If the UK is a nation striving for equality, the only equality to be secured via current government policies is ensuring that the poor suffer increased poverty on more equal terms with the poor of less developed nations. Not enough food / no food. No water / no hot water. No electricity. No income. No access to healthcare or medicine. No home. No access to employment. Yet still one might feel blessed and say “I have privileges many will never know…”
I struggle to feel proud of a country where helping those around you is no longer acceptable or commonplace. It is illegal to beg when in need, illegal to provide a beggar any money for food, illegal to sleep outside when homeless and having nowhere for refuge. Tens (or maybe hundreds) of thousands of vulnerable disabled people are denied disability rights / equality for failing to secure budget-limited disability benefits – only those in receipt of state disability benefits are classed as legally disabled. That makes a large number of disabled people ‘illegally disabled’, vulnerable with unmet need while suffering perhaps extreme inequality (in UK terms). We should be grateful we are not cast out for the devil in us, shackled and beaten …
The UK’s Welfare Reform Act 2012 is a beastly, inhumane and punative legislative absurdity of welfare repeal. Our ‘once great nation’ actively promotes and encourages the denial of dignity, human rights, equality, the means of basic sustainance for the deprived and disadvantaged. As ‘welfare reform’ progresses more and more of the population will be at risk of destitution. This apparently keeps the average taxpayer happy.
I cannot feel ‘patriotic’ and proud of my country if this is ‘the acceptable norm’ – it smacks of Nazi-type campaign, an atrocity.
While I too might say , “I am a proud Brit“, I cannot feel proud of being ‘English’ or even being ‘British’. I cannot alter the fact of where I was born. I believe in “allegiance to humanity” before nationality.
The consensus of public / media / political opinion seems to be against migrant peoples seeking immigration. I understand we (the UK) are a tiny, tiny land with not enough space or resources and a population of apparently tiny, tiny minds and immense greed. “What is the one place every one wants to go to live the “Dream”?” I cannot understand why anyone from anywhere else in the world would wish to migrate here, or even there, other than the myths including that we are a democratic and humane society, a land of fairytales. Truth is, there are for many the realities that are far more horrific and soul-destroying than those of our own.