University Suckers

Thursday, July 03, 2008


On the day before July 4th, both of a presidential candidates have posted their views on what patriotism is. Needless to say, they are both very off kilter. Presidential candidate Barack Obama's main point is this:
In the end, it may be this quality that best describes patriotism in my mind — not just a love of America in the abstract, but a very particular love for, and faith in, one another as Americans.[]

Since when has patriotism been rooted in how Americans interact? This makes zero sense.
The greatness of our country — its victories in war, its enormous wealth, its scientific and cultural achievements — have resulted from the toil, drive, struggle, restlessness, humor, and quiet heroism of the American people.

Obama refuses to acknowledge the central cause for all of our successes as a country; rational self-interest. I'm pretty sure it was excluded intentionally. But have no fear, John McCain mentions it!
Today, politics is derided for its self-interest, combativeness, duplicity, and triviality. But such failings are not unique to our age.[]

Oh right, it's a "failing". McCain continues by making his central point:
Patriotism is deeper than its symbolic expressions, than sentiments about place and kinship that move us to hold our hands over our hearts during the national anthem. It is putting the country first, before party or personal ambition, before anything. It is the willing acceptance of Americans, both those whose roots here extend back over generations and those who arrived only yesterday, to try to make a nation in which all people share in the promise and responsibilities of freedom.[bold added]

No, John McCain. What you just described is nationalism, not patriotism. Nationalism is the blind endorsement of an individual's country's actions. Nazi Germany was nationalist. To finish up on the topic of patriotism, here's part of Rand's speech to the 1974 graduating class of West Point:
There is a special reason why you, the future leaders of the United States Army, need to be philosophically armed today. You are the target of a special attack by the Kantian-Hegelian-collectivist establishment that dominates our cultural institutions at present...

I feel deeply honored by the opportunity to address you. I can say--not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots--that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world...

You have chosen to risk your lives for the defense of this country. I will not insult you by saying that you are dedicated to selfless service--it is not a virtue in my morality. In my morality, the defense of one's country means that a man is personally unwilling to live as the conquered slave of any enemy, foreign or domestic. This is an enormous virtue.

At this point, one must ask themselves, who is more wrong?


  • Well put! The greatest achievment of the U.S. is that it has not obstructed individual achievment (as much as other nations). All the things that Obama mentions are the achievments of individual Americans or groups of individuals, not of America. McCain's comments about selfless service is simply a reflection of the collectivist morality of our cultural institutions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:42 PM  

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