Sunday, 13 March 2011

Religion: And Patriotism

Instead of a rant about religion, today you get a quote from someone obviously wiser than me...
[A] lot of our current politics has less to do with actual policy disagreements than with resolving status anxieties. You can think of patriotism as a kind of status socialism—a collectivization of the means of self-esteem production. You don’t have to graduate from an Ivy or make a lot of money to feel proud or special about being an American; you don’t have to do a damn thing but be born here. Cultural valorization of “American-ness” relative to other status markers, then, is a kind of redistribution of psychological capital to those who lack other sources of it.
Replace "America" above with a nation of your choice. Then think about it. Hopefully you now realise why masses fall for (quasi)patriotic calls to arms, and "holier than thou" squabbles.

Sadly, as with religion, that way lies madness...

PS
Do note that there's patriotism, and then there's patriotism. But then, it is obvious.