Two recurring themes continuously crop up during the Great Brexit debate are those of Patriotism and Nationalism.
It appears from whichever vantage point you take on the argument, both sides feel it is some kind patriotic or nationalistic duty to make a stand and give some kind of credit to their argument. This within itself actually just proves how hallow and vacuous either argument may be.
Adopting or attempting to attach some kind of national identity or appreciation and love of a geographic region to somehow justify an argument in the hope building a loyal fan base, just adds to the irrationality of the argument!
In many cases people in the debate will treat any thoughts or actions which are alternate to that belief as treason and the perpetrators of not fitting it with closeted idealistic belief as traitors, an offence which is apparently justified as death by hanging or some other brutal form of punishment.
The self righteous seem to regale and take great pride in this. Recounting events from bygone periods of history where this indeed may have been common place.
Certainly from a British perspective it seems this is also fully justified by the memories of men and woman who gave there lives in the 2 great wars that plagued previous century. The irony behind these arguments and the sheer idiocy in the belief is staggering.
This unfortunately is where nationalism and patriotism ultimately lead to, a dead end to advancement of humanity!
Being a patriot doesn’t mean prioritizing service to government above all else.
Being a patriot means knowing when to protect your country, knowing when to protect your Constitution, knowing when to protect your countrymen, from the violations of and encroachments of adversaries.
Those adversaries don’t have to be foreign countries.
It’s baffling how some acts are treated as treason and others are not. Lets take speeding for instance, it’s something most of are guilty of at some point or other. We are more likely to kill our fellow country man, by driving at 50 MPH through country village, than we are by voting in some referendum. Yet taking an alternate viewpoint in a referendum can be viewed as pure treason, yet speeding it treated by 3 points and fine.
The perpetrators of the speeding offence may only regard it as a mere inconvenience. Will often justify it as a by product of an over bureaucratic state, and because the high speed German manufactured luxury sedan has a high safety standard.
We can almost guarantee that any debate involving the relaxation or reduction of the speed limit will never involve the words Treason or Traitor, despite the fact thousands of people lose their lives to road traffic accidents in the UK every year.
The United Kingdom comprises of Four constituent nations, resulting in an inconsistent religious character, and there is no state church for the whole kingdom.
Despite this fact, time and time again it seems patriots try to define the UK as a Christian country and apparently Christian values. Apparently the patriotic urge is to protect these values from other religions.
It seems it is unpatriotic act to build temples of worship to other religions on British soil. Extrapolating from this is that we have the freedom of religion as long as it based on Christian dogma.
This is no freedom of religion at all. Therefore as an atheist, you are supposedly no more welcome in the UK as a muslim, Hindu, Jew or any other non Christian based belief system. Purely based on the fact your religion or lack thereof may be considered as unpatriotic at any time.
Freedom of Speech
The fallacies of patriotism is that it appears you can only have the freedom of speech if you are prepared to only say what they want you to say! If you disagree with their views or anything that constitutes an opposing view, you’re labeled as a cowardly, treacherous and an outsider.
The right to freedom of speech, can be traced back in the United Kingdom all the way to the Magna Carter in 1215. In Britain we supposedly have the right to express ourselves without persecution from others.
Yet it seemingly , persecution does not include being branded traitors and rebels for voicing differences or even sacked from ministerial positions
By the actions above, it seems you can only be a patriot as long as you agree with thoughts and sentiments of the group. You are never allowed to have a difference of opinion, because the minute you do it is an offence punishable only by death.
An ironic twist of fate, it seems George Orwell perfectly described where exactly the path where Patriotism and Nationalism leads too in his epic fictional tale of . Read this book today and take note of actual events today and you will be left with conviction that the world is on course to fulfil the same distopian ideals portrayed.
The Love for a country
Often patriots paint the picture that dying in a war defending you country is a noble and honourable death. Its seems the only way to defend or service your country is in some kind of act of aggression towards others.
We draw invisible geographic lines across the globe and declare the land mass within these boundaries to be a country. The right of ownership to be a member of these countries is purely just the accident of birth.
Depending on the audience, maybe birth is not enough and it actually requires the fact that both of your parents or even their parents before them were born within the same geographical boundaries.
You may be British by birth, but you might not be British enough to call yourself British. You might be regarded as African-British, Polish-British or whatever nation your family line originally originates from. Despite the fact that their original country of origin may not wish to associate itself with them!
How far do you have to go back in your family line before you can actually claim that you originate from a certain geographical land mass ?
When are you white enough, or black enough or even yellow enough to be considered a person worthy enough to inherit the honour to call yourself a member of a nation ?
How many plates of the national dish do you have to devour? How many cultural events do you need to attend before you can claim you appreciate its culture ?
The country that wishes to call itself Great Britain, is actually made up of 4 Different kingdoms and for that matter 4 entirely different nations. We have Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English.
The Welsh tend divide themselves up as Northern and Southern Welsh. The English as Western, Southern and Northern. The Scottish, from the outside at least divide themselves by religious lines as Protestants and Catholics.
The Irish have along similar lines and even as Unionists and Republicans. The divisions amongst it own people have caused years of trouble and turmoil. Streets and towns divided along political lines.
All this aside, when it comes time for some type of political decision, we are called upon time and time again to drop our differences and be patriots to the cause!
Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel. He is the man who talks the loudest.
Just how important is national identity and what real and value and purpose does it have ? Will a national identity feed hungry children or put a roof over their heads. Will it rescue the sick and the poor, will it keep the elderly warm on freezing cold winters evening
Does it ultimately really make a difference to your life? Do you have anymore significance in the world just because you happen to wake up in Britain as opposed to the person who woke up in Kazakstan a few hours before you.
Does your national identity provide you with anymore rights to be on the planet than anyone else?
Fallacy of national pride
Why do we feel the urge and desire to illustrate to other human beings who happen to be born in other geographic areas that because we’re born in another location that we’re better ?
We’re better at rugby, football , cricket or even tiddlywinks because we happened to have to born at certain lines of latitude and longitude. What is it about the human psyche that we think this important and it is necessary to divide ourselves up along these tribal lines.
Once you strip away or even dig down into the reasons or foundations for patriotism you find that there really is nothing tangible or even substantive behind it. Yet many people believe there is a need or some aspirational about following or clinging onto ideals on the notion that it is an act of patriotism.
Patriotism is nothing more than a fools errand and has no real value, other than to fill graveyards.