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As promised to Suverina, I'm making the list of people to blame for looking down on people and stuff.


I tried to find a great big list of everyone on the planet so it would be easier, but I couldn't find anything I could import here or link to. There simply isn't a great big list out there, one which I have access to, anyway.


ANYWHO...if you want to know who I blame...each and every soul who failed to step up against it. And myself, I've let things like that go, too, at times...but here is the point I would like to make:


If you are quick to label an entire society as stupid or wrong, ask yourself this: What might they think of you? What is their perspective of the world, given their circumstances, and their own 99 bazillion problems? And, if you've ever taken a step back from 'the group', you can see who the individuals are, the ones who don't really belong 100%, but don't really deserve to be ejected/rejected, either. A reasonable individual will see this.


Above all, just because a certain civilization/culture appears backwards or weird to you, don't be quick to assume that each and every human being in that group is exactly the same, in terms of their physical/mental/emotional/psychological traits, and so on. Let me give you an example from my own life. I am an American Soldier. There are a lot of stereotypes out there that suggest American Soldiers are heartless, baby-raping, shoot-everything-in-sight barbarians.


But the problem here is that: most people who make that assumption (and this has been proven) have never experienced war themselves, so they will never understand what drives men, women, even children, to commit the atrocities that get blasted all over the world by the sensationalist media (no media outlet that reports on Iraq, for example, is innocent of this) who are merely trying to get people buy their papers, watch their news channel, or whatever, and support their sponsors who give them money.


Secondly, I can tell you, from personal experience, that I have personally met and served with many true professionals, who do their job honorably and always show respect while on the job, which, for a Soldier, is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are also plenty of, for lack of a better term, dirtbags. This is inevitable in a Volunteer Army that supports a very diverse nation.


I want to finish this post on this note, specifically to Suverina: You and I have never truly met, and very likely never will. I wouldn't really have a problem with it either way. You may very well have met many Americans face-to-face, actually got to talk to them and really get to know them, and ended up making the determination that we are all dirtbags based on those individuals. Frankly there is no way you can know all of America. It is too diverse of a nation to get a full grasp on how America is, because it is changing all the time, the true culture of America, that is.


I happen to personally know a Swedish gentlemen who is currently waiting to join your army as a Medic, or something like that, out of Malmo (forgive me for not having the umlau and other pronuciation marks). I have found him to be an honorable individual, very mature, and well-educated. I have had the benefit of having a face-to-face friendship for the duration of what was my sophomore year in high school, and even got to meet his immediate family and his girlfriend.


Now, I have yet to really get an idea of what Sweden is, what it is like, etc. I did live there for a few years as a child, but I am sure that it has changed since the mid 1990's. Even if I were a full Swede to this day, still living in Stockholm (where I was born and partially raised), I likely would still be unable to fully comprehend it. The same is definetly true with America.


All I'm asking is for you, and everyone else (including myself), is to think before you speak/write. I'll be giving it my best shot.

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This is some excellent writing my old friend. Although we haven't met either, I do believe I know you at least for some part. I haven't been to America yet, and haven't spoken to any Americans in person lately (although there are more then a few around here), but I am well aware of the fact that there is more to life then just seeing everything in black and white. I'm not a religious person either, but somewhere inthere the big ol' book says: "Judge not, lest ye be judged". At some times it's very hard not to, but I wouldn't want to be in the position of being judged either.


The comment bellow is about something completely else.
I am an American Soldier. There are a lot of stereotypes out there that suggest American Soldiers are heartless, baby-raping, shoot-everything-in-sight barbarians.
I do believe most people tend to put the blame more on the people in charge then the ones who have to follow the orders. It really does sadden me that no commanding officer has yet been condemnde for what happened in in Abu Graib for example.
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I must say that I may judge the group though I'm still open to the inividuals, I know all aren't the same. It's not hard to become a cynic these days and start to hate all and everything. And I actually do that in the base, hate mankind. Though I'm open to new individuals, no matter what "group" they belong to. yes.gif

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Don't mean to bump myself, but, I wrote another short little bit, and I decided to just throw it on this thread for clarity's sake.


"We would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out a single nation to be blessed. Is not nationalism -- that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder -- one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred? These ways of thinking -- cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on -- have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.?


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There's nothing wrong with loving your country. Patriotism is perfectly healthy, and has nothing to do with indoctrination or being blinded to your country's faults. Indeed I'd count myself an ardent (American) nationalist, and I don't refuse to acknowledge when the United States makes a mistake. What's wrong with cherishing your history, your heritage? Just because I love the principles the US stands for and the system we've chosen to espouse doesn't make me hate everyone else or think of them as inferior in any way.


Just because something can be used for evil doesn't mean that we should totally reject the concept. Think of a handgun: it can be used to defend oneself from harm or it can be used to stick up a convenience store. Should we say that simply because it can hurt people, it needs to be done away with? I personally don't think so. I do believe that we need to take individual responsibility for our actions and choices, and patriotism should never be relied on in place of rational thought. But reject nationalism? There are many instances of nationalism gluing a country together to the benefit of the citizens of that place by giving them shared sense of identity, economic opportunities, political freedoms, cultural acceptance, etc. To see only the worst results of nationalism is itself to see only one side of the proverbial coin.

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And just as there is a bright side to the communist coin, we have seen only its destructive side, because the very concept of true communism cannot be achieved, because human nature prefers that there is always a hoarder with more guns and power than any other. The same is true with nationalism. In each time that TRUE nationalism has come close to being achieved in America, we have seen very negative consequences, from the Red Scare, to the rise of such entities as the Klu Klux Klan (especially during periods of high immigration/social expansion), and even the American Nazi Party. These entities appealed to the majority population by giving them a unified identity, and then exploiting that to achieve a power base, particularly by focusing the population's attention on the supposed evils beyond their borders, or those that did not belong to this 'national identity'. We have also seen this in so-called 'mainstream' parties. Ever notice, for example, that your American president is typically male, a little over the 'middle years', white, Christian, and generally believes in a centrist, inoffensive political persuasion? A conceived national identity that our leaders are under our control, whilst, with what we have seen as of late, has turned out to have little regard for freedom, true freedom, that is.

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I couldn't find a magnet big enough to fit it all...seriously, I tried! I went to a bunch of professional magnet makers...they pretty much said to go **** myself, trying to be all polite and such. Hey, C minus for effort, you poges! Don't pretend to be military supporters and then give a guy in civilian clothes alot of crap just because they're not wearing a uniform.

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We probably have centrist leaders because most Americans don't give a damn about politics; and of those who do vote consistently they are mostly center-right. That's the prevailing attitude amongst voters. The notion that just because you don't agree with a current president that somehow the country is lacking "true freedom" reeks of arrogance.


Dictionary.com defines nationalism thusly:


1. Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.

  2. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.

  3. Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination.


Nowhere in there do I see a reference to violence, racism or submission to national corporatism (ie fascism). These are things which you have associated with nationalism, not things that a nationalist would promote. The Ku Klux Klan is hardly a nationalist organization; it's a hate group, which despises anyone who doesn't fit their narrow criteria of what they want an American to be. That's not taking pride in your country. In fact, their rhetoric is often aimed against America for allowing diversity within its borders.


And the American Nazi Party? Again, fascism uses nationalism as a tool, but by itself it is not a nationalist philosophy. Submission before the state, the individual being less important than the community, those aren't ideas that are directly linked to being devoted to one's country. You can be perfectly proud of your country, its flag, and its traditions without being a brainwashed Nazi pawn. I ask you again, why is it wrong to love one's country? Is there something inherently evil about being proud of your flag, your history?


Your comparison of national pride with ideologies of racism and mass murder is a stretch at best, and at worst a cheap shot. I'm sorry, but your entire arguement here seems rather thin. Your implication that the "mainstream" political parties are not representing the people fails to take into account that the majority of the United States is indeed white (80%) and Christian (over 70%). The age of our presidents has been fairly uniform because there are practical political realitie to overcome and it is law that nobody below the age of 35 can hold the office (in addition to being a resident for 14 years).


I consider myself a vocal champion of America's great diversity and the strength which that has added to the country. I think it's a bit off-color for you to try and link patriotism to racism, fascism and communism, which are ideologies which are only tangentially related. You might as well try to link patriotism to capitalism - it's a ridiculous comparison. Yeah, nationalism when taken too far can have serious consequences, as with anything. Freedom itself can be harmful when taken too far - that's why we have laws that create standards of behavior which we may be held accountable for upholding. But to suggest that we stop being proud of our homelands because bad things can happen if we become too proud? To me, that's like saying we should stop voting because Hitler came to power democratically. It's just an absurd proposition.

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I have no problem with being arrogant when it comes to my belief that America is a sick nation that's been on a severe roller coaster since the beginning of the Reaganites Era in the early 1980's. The 60's and 70's were, apart from the lack of drug use responsibility in some cases, good times. There was a sense of true national unity and love for the land, a celebration of diversity (especially as the Civil Rights movement began to gain huge momemtum). The establishment, on the other hand, used its 'patriot' theme to inspire fearmongering against the peace movement, with the Kent State University shootings, amongst other crackdowns.


Now, getting to the real issue here: pride in one's country, at least the ideals and values that the society promotes, is NOT what I disagree with. It is the exploitation of that national pride by those who would seek to utilize that deep and powerful emotional aspect of many folks, who, due to the fact that public education at large has been geared primarily to equip people with skills to be able to compete in the job market, and has dramatically shifted away from encouraging intellectual expansion, are generally apathetic when it comes to politics, has resulted in increasing the liklihood that the spirit of nationalism will be vulnerable to exploitation. THAT is what I fear.


Pride in heritage and a diverse multi-culture is absolutely fricken awesome. Those who would exploit that 'identity' are what fricken bug me.

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Ah, I see where you stand now. Forgive my somewhat adversarial tone, I'm a bit of an arguer. smile.gif


Myself, I lean pretty conservative, but I am always up for intellectual conversation and I agree that we must always question political motivations. The cynical exploitation of patriotic sentiment, and the encouraging of blind faith in a system or a given set of values, are both things that I also despise. To borrow a phrase from Reagan, I believe in the general philosophy of "trust but verify." My love for my country is not so great that I would say, commit war crimes or trample upon the rights of others in my devotion.


Thanks for the discussion, you are indeed an eloquent guy.

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It seems most of this has all happened whilst I was away at work. (I love my job)




Marsitrania, Sir, you have spoken my words for me. It is nice to know there are others (albeit, only one I know of) who share my views on certain things. I'm not much of a writer, I'm much better off speaking to one's face rather that one's post. Seems to me as thouugh we'd be great friends if we'd ever meet.


I look foreward to many great Rp's with your great mind and charisma.



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None of which are even remotely socialist (in terms of having a free, open society.) They have preferred to expand some civil rights, while retaining absolute political control. The exception to this is the DPRK, who is playing their "I'm the crazy guy with the missiles" card, trying to negotiate international supplementation of their failed economy, which was devoted entirely to bolstering the military.


Vietnam and China are expanding their economies immensly, on the other hand, and China has even relaxed some of their control over civil liberties, but they have a long way to go.


Cuba is also another case of vast dependence on economic stimulation from foreigners, with their tourism industry being a key aspect to their economy. Again, though, apart from some excellent medical aid, still have few civil liberties and no politcal freedoms.


All of these nations have a long way to go.

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The 60's and 70's were, apart from the lack of drug use responsibility in some cases, good times. There was a sense of true national unity and love for the land, a celebration of diversity


Pardon the interuption, but I disagree.


True National Unity? - Very polarized if you ask me. Much like it is now. Peace activists, soldiers engaged in war abroad and at home. Very different views of political reality.


Don't forget the rise of the Black Panthers and the Watts and the other riot in Cleveland. Hardly good times.


Oh hey, wasn't a president assassinated? and a civil rights leader? and others? 60s were the decade of assassinations. (except Lennin and attempted Reagan in the 80s)


Sounds like some lived in a world of drug intoxicated fantasy world and the rest were in chaotic reality.


I would say the US is more diverse now than it ever has been, despite the immigration mess currently being debated.


And like the Communism dream cannot be realized in full, neither can a true Democracy. It just does not work.

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And like the Communism dream cannot be realized in full, neither can a true Democracy. It just does not work.


Know why? Because we're all humans, corruptable, weak, greedy. Everyone of us. But since dreams can not be realized completely, let's aim first for the better part.

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Honestly I don't think communism is even a perfect utopia even in its theoretical form. Sure, it's nice that everybody would have equal opportunity and the same standard of living, but economic theories also tell us that the very collective standard "perfect" theoreticaly communism would deliver would be low quality. In an absolutely perfect world I'd support something like anarcho-capitalism, that is a world without government regulation and based upon an economic system which is responsive to public demand. But because that would never work (capitalism itself requires a certain degree of regulation as concerns the environment, monopolistic behavior, and standards of fair and decent treatment), I kind of like the system we have now.

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