Hating the Flag

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year on May 17, Norway celebrates Constitution Day. In towns across the country, folks in traditional costumes walk around with little (or not so little) Norwegian flags. In Oslo, the royal family stands on the palace balcony for hours while thousands of schoolchildren march by, dipping their tiny flags in respect as they pass. It’s a unique spectacle, a blizzard of red, white, and blue, on a continent where, in many countries, overt patriotic displays have become anathema.

Yet this tradition – like so much else in Norway and the West – is under threat. For several years now, the weeks preceding May 17 have been marked by debates over whether people with immigrant backgrounds should be allowed on Constitution Day to carry the flags of their ancestral homelands instead of the Norwegian flag. This year is no exception. The other day, a spokesman for Oslo mayor Fabian Stang reiterated his refusal to forbid other countries’ flags for fear of “politicizing May 17.”

Of course, once you’ve reached the point of having to discuss whether your country’s commemoraiton of its freedom and independence should be turned into a UN-style tribute to diversity and divided loyalties, the horse has already fled the barn. The point isn’t to ban or not to ban – it’s to shape a society in which immigrants, let alone their children, wouldn’t ever think of showing up with some other flag.

The other day, in reaction to all the debate, a Norwegian blogger wrote a piece proudly entitled “I Have No Patriotism.” Yes, he admitted, he cheers for Norway to win soccer matches and the Eurovision Song Contest – but patriotism? Feh. He loves his apartment and his new shoes – but his country? The concept, he says, “is meaningless.” Patriotism is “a rhetorical strategy that is used to defend selfishness. To defend the wall between them and us.” It’s “the void that arises when you no longer believe in the global community,” an infection that has turned Norwegians into a “sick people.”

I quote this passage not because I mean to single the writer out for criticism, but because in a few sentences he manages to articulate a view held by millions in the Western world today – people who fully believe that the sentiments they’re expressing are clever, civilized, and humane. Here’s another member of the club, this one from Down Under, who explained two years ago “Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Australia Day”:

Why should all Australians love Australia?…The impulse that everyone in a country should be patriotic seems to me to come from the same place as those who think everyone in a country should belong to a particular religion…. I would never wave the flag. I find strange the idea of being filled with pride at our flag.

After all, he suggested, patriotism threatens to make Australians “more xenophobic, more opposed to those who are not ‘really’ Australian, and who threaten ‘our’ way of life.’”

Or check out this rant by a Brit who complained last year in the Huffington Post that the kind of “flag-waving” that accompanied the royal wedding, Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012, and Olympics “hinders our ability to unite on a planetary level by dividing us.” And let’s not forget the environmental angle: “time and again international committees fail to reach accord on climate change, deforestation, over-fishing and the like because the nations involved are duty bound to represent the commercial interests of their people. Their people; not people.” So just remember, Brits:

While you cheer “the boys” on the TV, dressed in your England shirts, you’re supporting a system of politics that will eventually destroy our ecology. While you prise grease-sodden sausage rolls away from your Union Jack paper plates and swill beer in honour of the Queen, you allow fascism to, yet again, root in the paving stone cracks of Europe’s national borders. By being patriotic, by feeling pride in “your” flag, you are encouraging racism and pushing life as we know it towards further crisis.

When I read this sort of thing, part of me just wants to quote Sir Walter Scott’s poem about how “the man, with soul so dead, / Who never to himself hath said, / This is my own, my native land” is fated to be “Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.” But then again, what did he know? This is how right-minded people are supposed to think nowadays. (Note, by the way, the class snobbery in the HuffPo guy’s references to “grease-sodden sausage rolls” and the like.) The whole premise of the EU, after all, is that the national state is unhealthy to children and other living things, dividing the haves from the have-nots, encouraging rivalry and xenophobia and preventing humankind from marching together, arm in arm, into the golden future time. It was, these bien pensant types argue, an excess of patriotism that led to the horrors of the twentieth century. Yet the utopian ideologies that guided yesterday’s evil empires bear far less resemblance to the patriotism on display in Norway on May 17 or in the U.S. on the Fourth of July than to the perfervid claims for the EU’s (or UN’s) wonder-working power to deliver humanity from its millennia-old travails.

Indeed, if so many leftists nowadays despise patriotism, it’s because they recognize it as the natural enemy of ideology. Although Communism has been discredited among ordinary Western citizens, its dream of “global citizenship,” of uniting “on a planetary level,” of transcending “selfishness,” lives on among leftist elites, notably in the form of environmentalism, an ideology rooted less in a love for the environment than in a contempt for capitalism, and in multiculturalism, an ideology rooted less in a love for “The Other” than in a disdain for one’s own country, culture, people, and roots.

Perhaps the most memorable demonstration of anti-patriotism in recent years was Katha Pollitt’s September 20, 2011, column in The Nation explaining why she refused to let her then 13-year-old daughter fly Old Glory from the window of their Manhattan apartment after 9/11: “The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war…There are no symbolic representations right now for the things the world really needs – equality and justice and humanity and solidarity and intelligence….The globe, not the flag, is the symbol that’s wanted now.”

This kind of outright animosity toward one’s own country and its symbols is a curious thing – a distinctively modern, and distinctively leftist, phenomenon, found (with few exceptions) in only the best, freest, and most prosperous nations. Disgruntled people in piteous, hardscrabble, corruption-ridden, jerkwater autocracies don’t make careers out of vilifying their homelands: instead, if they’re even remotely enterprising, they try to secure the right to live in some Western democracy where the native-born lefties are busy burning the flag. A corollary phenomenon, as observed in the cases of those in Norway who are so eager to see foreign flags flying on May 17, is the spectacle of Western leftists who despise their own countries’ standards but who smile upon refugees who proudly hoist the flags of the tyrannies they “fled.”

If that Brit who banged on in HuffPo about flag-waving were writing his piece now, he’d doubtless sound off about the crowds that filled the streets of London to pay their respects to Margaret Thatcher as her funeral cortege drove by. For my part, I nearly always find it moving to see the citizens of any free country engaging in such displays. Where leftists see arrogance and xenophobia, I see a people’s humble, decent, and proper gratitude for everything that has been passed down to them. Those who scorn such public displays in the name of some dream of super-national unity plainly see themselves as being above mere patriotism – which is another way of saying that they have no respect for what their ancestors handed down to them, and no intention of ever making any kind of sacrifice (if need be) to preserve that patrimony for future generations. Pace our Norwegian blogger, it’s this lofty rejection of responsibility – not patriotism – that is the ultimate in selfishness.

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  • Alvaro

    I can't believe it is the children themselves who demand waving the flags of their native country on May 17th, and I have yet to hear of a single immigrant demanding something like that.

    The responsible are a small clique of leftist Norwegians (mostly teachers) who hate their own country – probably of the same caliber as those who longed for the Soviet Union to invade us in the 70s and 80s. They have now found a new deconstructionist purpose in multiculturalism, with new flags of not rarely totalitarian regimes flying in the Norwegian breeze, pushing the children in front of them.

    • Chris

      ….."the responsible clique are …mostly teachers" – for more on this type of clique I'd recommend Jonah Goldberg's excellent book, 'Liberal Fascism'. I use to work with these sort of people and they made me sick.

  • http://twitter.com/sheikyermami @sheikyermami

    Bravo, Bruce Bawer, bravo for a great piece!

  • Miranda Rose Smith

    Chesterton said that to have a right to do something is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. A Frenchman, living and working in Norway, would not only have the RIGHT to display the French flag on Bastille Day, he would BE RIGHT in doing it. He would have a right to display the French flag, outside his house, 365 days a year. He would have the right to parade through the streets with a French flag on Norway's Constitution Day, but he would not BE RIGHT in doing it. Constitution Day is Norway's day.

    Why don't all those Norwegians and Americans and Australians who think it's so wrong and racist to be proud of your country go live in Somalia or Syria?

    • mkat68

      "Why don't all those Norwegians and Americans and Australians who think it's so wrong and racist to be proud of your country go live in Somalia or Syria? "

      And while they're packing their bags to leave, let them remember that there are still many countries in the world where the people are not even free to do that.

  • Fnord

    “… the point of having to discuss whether your country’s commemoraiton of its freedom and Independence..”

    Errrm, 17th of May is not a commemoration of Norwegian independence. Its the day celebrating Our first national Law (Grunnloven) after the Danish colonization, during the transferrence from Danish to swedish occupation in 1814. Norwegian independence came in 1905. Its a very fundamental difference, because the Grunnlov is the equivalent to the US COnstitution and guarantees everyones freedom of expression, including wawing whatever flag you wish whenever you wish. I must say Bruce Bawer seems very badly integrated in the nation wich he so much has opinions.

    • Alvaro

      "Its the day celebrating Our first national Law (Grunnloven) after the Danish colonization,"

      Norway never was a colony, but was united through a personal union. It was only in 1536-60 that Norway was dissolved as a kingdom and integrated into Denmark. But even in this period Norway had its own laws and institutions. From 1660 and until 1814 Norway was a kingdom, though united with Denmark in a personal union.

      "during the transferrence from Danish to swedish occupation in 1814."

      I didn't know Norway was "occupied" by Denmark. Is that what you learn in school these days? And by Sweden as well? Apart from the short military campaign in 1814 called "tyttebærkrigen", I have no idea what you mean by Swedish "occupation".

    • Owmyballs

      Fnerd,
      I don't have to be Norwegian to know that Constitution Day commemorates the Constitution of Norway, and noththing whatsoever from any other country. The Grunlov doesn't refer to "freedom of expression" at all, and when refugees carry flags of the oppressive foreign nations they supposedly had to flee – on a day meant to celebrate the human rights they have been granted by the nation that has given them refuge – it is not a form of expression. It is a from of desecration.

      • Fnord

        Owmyballs: I did not know Poland and Lithuania were opressive countries that people had to flee from.

  • Norwegian Woody

    The article is based on a false equivalence between those very few opposing the flag-waving celebration of Norway as such, and the very many who believe it is quite alright for a Norwegian child with a Somali or American family background to bring along their flag (_as well_ as the Norwegian one) to display their heritage and show respect for the tolerance of that very same constitution.

    Bawer's absurd assertion that this somehow threatens to eradicate the message of constitution day in Norway just goes to show what lengths he will go to to make facts fit his prejudices.

    • Alvaro

      "Bawer's absurd assertion that this somehow threatens to eradicate the message of constitution day in Norway just goes to show what lengths he will go to to make facts fit his prejudices."

      As mentioned above, anyone has the right to wave whatever flag they like, but it does not alter the fact that it is inappropriate to drag flags of other countries into the celebration of the Norwegian constitution. Flags don't only symbolize a geographical area, but also politics. Waving with flags of dictatorships on Norwegian soil when we celebrate values like freedom of speech and democracy is not only inappropriate but also an insult.

      What kind of idiot would travel to the US and wave with a Norwegian flag on 4th of July?

    • Norwegian Dude

      So you claim that the vast majority of Norwegians support foreign flags in our celebration of May 17th? Utter rubbish from a sick, delusional mind. I would like to see your documentation.

      Please explain why waving foreign flags on our Norwegian Constitution Day is not cultural imperialism.

      Please explain why Muslims are free to display their contempt and disdain for our haram cross-worshiping flag, by waving their own Muslim halal flags? What about chanting Allahu Akbar instead of hurra during our national holiday?

      Please explain LOGICALLY how refusing to hold the flag of your host nation, while waving the flag of your home- country or the country of origin of your grand parents, is a way of showing respect for our constitution.

      As late as 2008 the May 17th committee refused foreign flags in our celebration. After that our Marxist overlords and internationalists in media, academia and politics have been busy branding everyone opposing their false fairy tale multicultural nirvana, as racists and Nazis that belongs in prison.

      Norwegian Woody, your goal is to destroy our Norwegian history/heritage and replace it with a multicultural hell-hole, and you know it. Shame on you, evil hard-left basta….

    • Drakken

      It would seem that you and your ilk are part of the problem, not all cultures and not all people are equal. When you emigrate to a country you assimilate to that culture and countries values. If you despise your own culture and people, move to the 3rd world cesspool of your choice, for many folks won't let you drag the rest of us down to 3rd world levels in our own countries, what you and your leftist ilk are doing is inviting a Balkans on steroids and at this point, I am welcoming it, if our western culture and people are to survive and thrive, we must be of the mind that all things are not all equal and do what mut be done to ensure our dominance or perish in a 3rd world cesspool. If you won't fight for what is right and just, I just as soon see you perish and good bloody riddance.

    • Owmyballs

      Nonwegian Woody,
      your dishonest and stupid excuse for the intolerance of the foreign scum who have colonized Norway has already been refuted but I will add this: How the hell can mult-culturism unite on a planetary level? The notion is completely asinine and absurd.

    • KathleenP

      Why on earth would someone want to wave the flag of their country of origin on Norway's national day? It's inappropriate and disrespectful. I attended public national day celebrations in both Japan and China when I lived there, where there were many obvious foreigners like me in attendance, and none of us would have dreamed of displaying anything other than that country's flag. It's not that we would have been arrested (no, not even in China), just that we had the common sense to know how utterly offensive such behaviour would have been. If you don't feel particularly patriotic or affectionate about the country where you're living, don't participate in national day celebrations. You won't be missed.

  • per a

    This form of anti-patriotism has been particularly conspicuous after the fall of the Soviet Union which served as the ultimate homeland for a particular group of people. Their future hope is to have the Soviet Union replaced by the United Nations which they perceive as a global version of Lenin's state. (The UN is in surprisingly many ways organized over a USSR template.) The final outcome of this development appears be what Solshenitsyn called Egocracy, – the rule of someone's Ego.

  • Paul Norheim

    Why are all these counter jihad commenters such insufferable bores, so predictable, so hysterical and so wrong while assessing threats around every corner? Bruce Bawer's blog today is an excellent example.

    Quote: "Every year on May 17, Norway celebrates Constitution Day. In towns across the country, folks in traditional costumes walk around with little (or not so little) Norwegian flags. (…) Yet this tradition – like so much else in Norway and the West – is under threat.(…) Of course, once you’ve reached the point of having to discuss whether your country’s commemoraiton of its freedom and independence should be turned into a UN-style tribute to diversity and divided loyalties, the horse has already fled the barn."

    Of course? Really? Bawers statement implies that discussions as such is an ominous sign of some sinister threat. But if democracy is such a fragile system that dissenting opinion represent an imminent danger, why not abandon democracy right now?

    In addition, Bawer ignores the significant differences between Norwegian nationalism and the nationalism of some other countries (like our neighbor Sweden). And while bashing the left (surprise, surprise!), he ignores the debates on the left regarding the interpretation of May 17th; how people like Bjørgulv Braanen regards the nation state and the celebration as a celebration of the constitution, of democratic rights, of freedom of speech — a generous tradition reaching back to Henrik Wergeland.

    • Judenlieber

      "But if democracy is such a fragile system system that dissenting opinion represent an imminent danger, why not abandon democracy right now?"
      You could ask the same rhetorical question about life. Lots of good things are fragile.
      Are you suggesting that Bawer should stop criticizing those who criticize their own culture?

    • Drakken

      It is rather funny that you mention freedom of speech in Norway when there is none, except only what you of the left have to say, anyone else? Forget it.

    • Norwegian Dude

      No idea what you are talking about. I understand you are a mouth foaming leftie and hates Mr. Bawer, a brilliant man, but what is your point? Are you able to formulate your 'thoughts' in logically sound and true argument(s)?

      Have the Norwegian population EVER been asked about mass-immigration and multiculturalism? All we ever heard from our hard-left overlords in state run and supported academia, media and politics was that in phase 1, everyone who talked about multiculturalism was a conspiracy nut. Then in phase 2 we were told that Norway already was a multicultural nation, and everyone who opposed it is a Nazi and racist.

      We never asked. Our politicians, media and academia deceived us. Our national statistic bureau SSB systematically doctored the data and hide the truth from the Norwegian population.

      Everyone in Norway know that our public sector is run by fanatic socialists and multiculturalists. But no expected or could foresee the level of dishonesty willingness to deceive a whole nation. Shame on you , evil people. Disgusting left loonies.

      • SCREW SOCIALISM

        Why don't the sane norwegians VOTE OUT the leftists?

        • Norwegian Dude

          We are brainwashed into atheism and socialism in our schools as kids. We have state run television and radio. For many decades it was forbidden to compete with our vile progressive state media, if you did you would end up in prison. Our press are getting financial support. But this support is not evenly distributed, labour union newspapers get more support than the rest. A tea-party newspaper 'Norge IDag' gets none. Our academia is a pure Marxist propaganda machine. Our 'anti-racism' and 'pro-multiculturalsim' organizations are violent thugs and heavily state subsidized as well.

          But since we are well off, due to oil and our work ethic, we are told that we can thank everything for our socialism and socialist rule. And that Americans are brainwashed by their evil, profit seeking media and corporations. Most Norwegians are too gullible to see the lies. Most Norwegians are dependent by the big state, directly or indirectly, and vote accordingly. You will soon see this problem in America as well. Thanks to Obama.

    • Owmyballs

      Pule Norheim,

      Why are you such a hypocrite?

      If Norwegians cant get their government to honor its own country on a national Holiday instead of a slew of third world scumholes, then democracy has already failed – not that a national holiday is meant to be a "multicultural" event.It is NOT.

      Braanen's unhinged rantings have no control over facts. Constitution Day is a celebration of Danish law and not a celebration of the country of origin of its freeloading occupiers and immigrants. If you want to change your name to multiheim then go ahead but don't portray your idiotic opinion as typical or factual.

  • Jim Williams

    Those who oppose this article present as the Nazi promoters of France, Poland, Austria, etc. After the Nazis took over, many were put to death for their vacillation. If they didn't defend their own country, how could the Germans expect them to defend them? These "One World" neophytes, ardent though they may be, could find themselves in an identical position should a revolutionary act succeed.

  • ben t

    Over the years "The Nation" mag has proved to be a strident, fully Stalinist rag. Anything it champions should be viewed with disgust.

  • http://www.clarespark.com clarespark

    You don't have to be a jingoist to appreciate the vanguard position of America. It is possible to be a patriot without covering over problems of the past. I tried to rescue American exceptionalism here: http://clarespark.com/2013/02/27/american-excepti…. "American exceptionalism retold."

  • Richard

    As long as humans divide themselves into real communities based on religion, shared history, ethnicity, and, yes, race, the Left cannot impose ITS "community" which is subservience to the Leftist run State. Thus, the recent Democrat statement that we are all one in government.

  • jacob

    I don't believe the writer's intention has been that of describing the respect for the flag in Norway as
    many see it but the meaning of it in the Western world, in which I remember seeing in New Orleans
    a war veteran being arrested by the police for hitting a hippie who had the American flag sewn to his
    fly, because the hippie was "within his 1st amendment right"….
    Nothing to wonder about, being as it is in line with the "jazzing" of the national anthem and people
    remaining seated while the national anthem is sung….
    Woe to the country who descends that low…..

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Then others have the right to burn their own legally paid for copies of the koran, draw cartoons of mohammed,

      • Johnconrad

        Oh, but, no, no, no

        You might offend the effete sensibilities of jihadists, you see.

  • SCREW SOCIALISM

    SCREW Quisling norway.

    I wish Brevik was give more guns and ammo and the Freedom to do a little housecleaning at home.

  • onecornpone

    Regardless of the History of May 17, the point of the article is Golden…

    Multiculturalism is the seed of rot!

  • infidel4life

    "… a distinctively modern, and distinctively leftist, phenomenon, …"

    Actually there is one other documented time in history when mankind attempted to unite itself: the Tower of Babel. Whether the story is metaphorical or literal, the principle is the same: When mankind seeks to unite itself on a global scale, it is in rebellion against God (*note the increasing persecution of people of Judeo/Christian faith). Now we see the same thing in the move toward a global government under the U.N. And yes, it is a distinctively leftist phenomenon, but the underlying spirit is a satanic phenomenon, heading us down the road to global tyranny, and ultimately 666.

  • RoguePatriot6

    "There are no symbolic representations right now for the things the world really needs – equality and justice and humanity and solidarity and intelligence….The globe, not the flag, is the symbol that’s wanted now"

    The globe, eh? Obviously she hasn't been to a number of regions on this globe. She'd change her mind real quick.

  • Steve Engoy

    "Indeed, if so many leftists nowadays despise patriotism, it’s because they recognize it as the natural enemy of ideology."
    Excuse me, Mr Bawker, but where did you learn reasoning like this? Agreeing with you is friend of ideology, whereas disagreeing is an enemy? Small wonder you end up making your own world view, applicable to enemies of logic.

    • Norwegian Dude

      What Mr. Bawer is saying is that nationalism is the natural enemy of ideology [ie universal socialism and multiculturalsim].

      No idea what you are talking about. It is definitely not based on logic. Paralogical leftism perhaps?

  • Victor Welch

    There is a basic tenet of life — to be predisposed towards those of similar genetic makeup. Those, across species there is a female's care and feeding of offspring, with at least a modestly similar orientation for males. Similarly, in human beings, we have a natural tendency to behave altruistically towards kith and kin, while seeing outsiders as a threat. These innate tendencies come from the competitive aspirations of what geneticist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls "The Selfish Gene." (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene).

    The great achievement of "Nationalism" is take this natural but at times destructive human instinct, and convert it into a positive aspiration. One need not be genetically or even culturally similar to be the recipient of human altruism — they simply need be "patriotic" citizens of the same "nation." Sharing the same aspirations, and responsibilities of citizenship. Thus, consider, 300 ,million people of vastly similar genetic and cultural backgrounds can proudly say, "We are all Americans" — and mean it! Sacrifices are willing made for the "good of the nation."

    Now, the point being is that — when you deconstruct nationalism, and remove it, human kind will not step forward into a one world view in which we proudly say, "We are all human beings!". This is the Utopian dream, but our experience shows something much darker. Without "nationalism" to bind us, we retreat into "tribalism." Look around, and you will notice everywhere that people are retreating into their own kith, kin and culture — and viewing those dissimilar to them as rivals (or worse). Whether it is Muslim enclaves in the "one for all united Europe", or the rise of reactionary fascism in France and the UK — we see it happening all around us. Or consider that the illiteracy rate in Detroit, MI is 50%. Does anyone believe such a staggering statistic would be allowable in Des Moines, IA? Or Duluth, MN? There is no shock or national outrage because the U.S. citizens who can not read or write are of African origin. Similarly, the illiteracy rate in Wasington, DC is 40%. Why is such a thing allowed in our nation's capital? Again, because the U.S. citizens who can not read or write are of African origin. (Note: consider that Washington, D.C. is only 50% black; and does anyone really think that the whites of Georgetown or Chevy Chase have issues with illiteracy? In order to reach the 40% figure — it means that 80% of the African American community in Washington, D.C. can not read or write!).

    What will happen if continued emphasis on "multi-cultural diversity" is promoted? If illegal immigration is rewarded? Will arbitrarily adding ten to eleven million citizens NOT dilute a commitment to a shared national identity that crosses genetic and cultural boundaries?

    Instead, we will degenerate into viciously competing tribal enclaves. When I heard justice Sonia Sotomayor's quote: ""I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." — my shocked reaction was, "My God! I am supposed to in turn take off blinders and actively discriminate in favor of white males? I am supposed to NOT engage business with a hispanic auto mechanic, or a black carpenter — but seek and prefer white males?"

    As nationalism is destroyed, that is exactly what will happen. Vicious, open, unbridled competition between tribal groups will be the norm.

    Victor Welch
    Houston, TX

  • Victor Welch

    NOTE: SAME AS THE PREVIOUS POST BUT WITH TYPO'S FIXED. MY APOLOGIES FOR BEING BOTH LONG WINDED, AND SLOPPY!

    There is a basic tenet of life — to be predisposed towards those of similar genetic makeup. Thus, across species there is a female's care and feeding of offspring, with at least a modestly similar orientation for males. Similarly, in human beings, we have a natural tendency to behave altruistically towards kith and kin, while seeing outsiders as a threat. These innate tendencies come from the competitive aspirations of what geneticist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls "The Selfish Gene." (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Selfish_Gene).

    The great achievement of "Nationalism" is take this natural but at times destructive human instinct, and convert it into a positive aspiration. One need not be genetically or even culturally similar to be the recipient of human altruism — they simply need be "patriotic" citizens of the same "nation" and thereby sharing the same aspirations, and responsibilities of citizenship. Thus, consider, 300 million people of vastly dis-similar genetic and cultural backgrounds can proudly say, "We are all Americans" — and mean it! Sacrifices are willingly by individuals made for the "good of the nation."

    Now, the point being is that — when you deconstruct nationalism, and remove it, human kind will not step forward into a one world view in which we proudly say, "We are all human beings!". This is the Utopian dream, but our experience shows something much darker.

    Without "nationalism" to bind us, we retreat into "tribalism." Look around, and you will notice everywhere that people are retreating into their own kith, kin and culture — and viewing those dissimilar to them as rivals (or worse). Whether it is Muslim enclaves in the "one for all united Europe", or the rise of reactionary fascism in France and the UK — we see it happening all around us. Or consider that the illiteracy rate in Detroit, MI is 50%. Does anyone believe such a staggering statistic would be allowable in Des Moines, IA? Or Duluth, MN? There is no shock or national outrage because the U.S. citizens who can not read or write are of African origin. (Thus, without natioanlism, people of African origin are simply members of a different "tribe").

    Similarly, the illiteracy rate in Wasington, DC is 40%. Why is such a thing allowed in our nation's capital? Again, because the U.S. citizens who can not read or write are of African origin. (Note: consider that Washington, D.C. is only 50% black; and does anyone really think that the whites of Georgetown or Chevy Chase have issues with illiteracy? In order to reach the 40% figure — it means that 80% of the African American community in Washington, D.C. can not read or write!).

    What will happen if continued emphasis on "multi-cultural diversity" is promoted? If illegal immigration is rewarded? Will arbitrarily adding ten to eleven million citizens NOT dilute a commitment to a shared national identity that crosses genetic and cultural boundaries?

    Instead, we will degenerate into viciously competing tribal enclaves. When I heard justice Sonia Sotomayor's quote: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." — my shocked reaction was, "My God! Am I supposed to in turn take off blinders and actively discriminate in favor of white males? Am I supposed to NOT engage in business with a hispanic auto mechanic, or a black carpenter — but seek and prefer white males?"

    As nationalism is destroyed, that is exactly what will happen. Vicious, open, unbridled competition between tribal groups will be the norm.

    Victor Welch
    Houston, TX

  • UCSPanther

    The vikings of old Scandinavia would not recognize their homeland for all the socialism that has infested it…

  • Mr. Polly

    If hostility to patriotism is "distinctively leftist," then our globalist elites our distinctively leftist. International finance capital is distinctively leftist. Supranational supercapitalism is distinctively leftist!

    • Myself

      Correction: should be "globalist elites ARE distinctively leftist"

  • RAS

    I recall witnessing some of the leftist rallies of the late sixties and seventies; scenes etched in my mind. The thing that impressed me was the drab sameness of the crowds. For a movement supposedly of liberation they all looked liked cattle; none outstanding, all the same. Should they display a flag of their own I imagine that it would have to be plain gray. Humanity is best served by individual identity, whether person family or state. The pride in self, in family, in country and the cooperation of others who share similar values is the beauty of it all. I am proud of America and our relationship with others. I wave my flag announcing my pride in who and what I am as they wave theirs. Each expect respect for doing so, but only when appropriate. The global herd mentality pushed by the Left will result in the end of humanity not its commencement.

    • Consider

      'All the same',huh,'none outstanding'!
      Perhaps a Führer is necessary? Führers are usually outstanding.

      Well,he global herd is much worse than the national herd.

  • Consider

    Let us discard all these 'utopian' ideals od truth, justice, freedom, unity of mankind, democracy, etc. that the 'bien pensant' dupes promote!

    • Norwegian Dude

      No, all these things are embedded in our Judeo-Christian civilization. A hard-left dictatorship based on multiculturalism aka tribal barbarism, is not.

      • Consider

        The hard left dictatorship of North Korea is promoting multiculturalism?
        Or Cuban , for tha matter?

        By the way, how it is,that our civilisation is Judeo-Christian?
        Why isn't it Greco-Roman?

        • Norwegian Dude

          Who is talking about North Korea or Cuba? Do they represent a changing force in the West like multiculturalism?

          Read a book about the legal and moral structure in ancient Greco-Roman civilization and you will understand.

          • Consider

            Where are these hard-left dictatorships in the West?

            In the legal and moral structure of the Greco-Roman civilization lying, stealing and killing were desirable behaviours?

            And to 'Judeo-Christinans' democracy, free tought, free speech, human rights etc. where at the forefront of their concerns !?

          • Norwegian Dude

            The end goal for you hard left hater is a dictatorship based on multiculturalism aka tribal barbarism. This is what you are working for .

            All human rights are based on the Bible. The whole idea about a God giving us undeniable rights is a Christian. Example Jesus Christ never infringed on someones else's free speech. He either responded with arguments or silence. Try to find free speech for ALL in Greek or Roman civilization. Compare that to the socialist/atheist hell hole we have today where in both the Netherlands and Austria the judges have expressively said that TRUTH is NOT protected free speech. Even historically documented facts are illegal in our Euro-atheist-socialist psycho society if it hurt the feelings of Muslims.

            Judging on your comment, you are completely clueless regarding history. Read some books and educate yourself.

            And please not that I don't count leftie pseudo human rights. "Right" to kill your own unborn baby. "Right" to all female shower room because you "feel" you are a woman trapped in a mans body etc.

            Anyway, you have displayed so much lack of intelligence and knowledge that I will not waste any more time answering you. Bye.

          • Consider

            Note please that I am neither a leftwinger nor a rightwinger.
            I simply react to nonsense and stupiity. Which your intervention above is packed with.

            Just a short reference to the Bible as a source of human rights as we understand them

            Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1:
            Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

            A pretty regulated market, a freemarketeer could object.

            Bye, bye.

          • Norwegian Dude

            Thank you for displaying your utter dishonesty.

            You reference to the OLD Covenant for JEWS only. I expletive said Judeo- CHRISTIAN. So either you are a typical leftie pathological LIAR or you are a typical leftie IGNORANT.

            Your example is a person that is poor and has the option to sell his labour. In return he will get food and shelter for him and his family. You must also use the Jews oral tradition to understand the Mosaic law.

            Anyway. Discussing with a combined liar and ignoramus is surely a giant waste of time. bye.

          • Consider

            For JEWS only?

            hmmmm

            Matthew 5:17

            Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

            BTW why somebody who is poor and has the option to sell his labour needs to be a slave?

          • Norwegian Dude

            Explain 'fulfill'. Or better, read at least BASIC systematic theology so you at least have a rudimentary understanding of what you are ranting about.

            'Slave' is servant. Check the original wording and put in context with same word used other places in the text.

            Don't drag your retarded atheism into this and believe you are a Rabbi and expert on mosaic law, just because you can quote mine/copy – paste from fellow atheist ignorants. Learn something. Read books.

          • Norwegian Dude

            Can't believe I am wasting more time on your vast ignorance.

            1. Explain "fulfill"

            2. The standard translation is 'servant', not slave (ex. KJV). But that will not stop they typical hate-filled and dishonest atheists. You disregard other translations and will never put the word in correct context. Shame on you and your academic dishonesty.

          • Consider

            Closing with Timonthy, and his NT contribution to the advancement of human rights

            6:1
            Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

            Mhhhh one cannot resist to include also a small contribution by Peter:

            2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward

          • Norwegian Dude

            lol

            This is expression of the command to love everyone, including enemy and cruel masters.

            Of course this is in grace contradiction to the raw hatred found among fanatic atheists. That is why you have never ever produced a civilization.

          • Consider

            'be subject to your masters with all fear' is an expression of love!?

            'Of course this is in grace contradiction to the raw hatred found among fanatic atheists.'
            OK, love then the Islamists, the Moslem Brotherhood, they will be, you say, your masters, (enemies are already) and love them.

          • Norwegian Dude

            Yes. Wishing the best for them. That they will turn away from their evil deeds and gain happiness etc.

            Either read the Bible or
            http://www.amazon.com/Captive-Iran-Remarkable-Tri

            and you will see how powerful it is. Educate yourself.

          • Norwegian Dude

            I have answered you, but reply must be approved by admin.

          • Consider

            Must have been an extremely complex reply.

    • Victor Welch

      No one said anything about discarding "ideals". This is about how achieve them. One way is to build on what works — while trying to improve, based on the western philosophy of testing a hypothesis with evidence, balancing the results with antithesis, and in turn arriving at synthesis… Through this continual process of improvement, mankind can asymptotically approach truth (although never achieving it).

      What we do know is that large segments of mankind grow weary with the struggle of improvement, and leap at destructive ideas — be it fanaticism of the left or the right. However, the favors tyranny — as long as the tyranny is enforcing fashionable ideas, no matter how destructive. Thus, they left loves Castro, Chavez, Mao, Che, etc. etc.

      As for your list: (1) truth is unachievable, but asymptotically approachable (see above). Only God embodies truth, and God's wisdom is beyond mankind. that is why we on the right believe in God. Those on the left believe they are God — thus their love of tyranny; (2) justice is largely undefinable (see Plato's Republic), is justice rigorously applying rules (see "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville) or is it abiding by the discretion of authority (monarchy? oligarchy?), or is it taking the majority view (but what a majority disallowing dissent, or a mob lynching?), or is it abiding by divine authority (theocracy?). Again, we are left to our own devices, and struggle with a balance between competing sources. (3) Freedom: where does Freedom become license? And CERTAINLY freedom and unity of mankind are incompatible. What is Freedom if not the right to be different? (4) Democracy: we have already alluded to problems with Democracy — majority rule vs. minority rights? Better yet, do we take a consensus on science? If so, who is allowed to weigh in? Everyone? Just "the experts"?

      Just spouting fashionable ideals as an attempt to gather moral authority is representative of the tyranny of the left. Back to the idea of the left adoring tyranny — Castro, Che, Mao, Hugo Chavez are all idolized by the left BECAUSE they have spouted fashionable ideals… No matter that they achieve the opposite of what they espouse. They simply generate moral authority by espousing them.

      So, the question for the left is — do results matter? Taken even at their word, is arrogant destructiveness favorable to humble progress simply because of intention? Is the global hunger hardship caused by taking half of America's corn crop and forcing it through legislation to be used for ethanol somehow forgive because those who favor the policy espouse good intention? Mass murder by the left has been forgiven (Mao killed more than Hitler), so what is the boundary for the left?

      • Consider

        I just extended the reasoning that if an ideal like the unity of mankind is utopian, it may well be that some other ideals, that regardless of their philosophical complexities and inconsistencies are nevertheless cherished in our western culture, may also be utopian.
        Regarding the ‘patriotism’ that is promoted in the article as a positive value, I have only say this:
        Even if you were a Chinese, your patriotism would leave 80% of humanity beyond your valuable concern. Much less (or more) for smaller nations.
        Similarly abhorrent is a corollary that if a patriot, you should support your country only because it is yours, not because it is right or just.

        • Victor Welch

          But, in your quest to have everyone care about everyone equally — you miss the larger implications. Caring deeply for all mankind is akin to having everything of equal priority. It is a tautology — if everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority. It is why the "ism's" always kill so many. If everyone is of equal importance to you, then it is the same as everyone being equally unimportant to you.

          Similarly, if I am Chinese and live in Shanghai, but am asked to care equally for a person of Irish descent in Boston as I do for my fellow citizens of Shanghai — the result will be that I will simply care less for my local fellows, not more for some distant faceless idea.

          Also, we want to prioritize mitigating the animosity between those who are in close physical proximity for obvious reasons. It is important that our altruism and sense of universality be applied locally first — because absent that we descend into rival tribalism.

          Similarly, it is much more important for us to cooperate with those with whom we share local proximity.

          For some reason, you think it is a failing for a Chinese person to treat 80% of humanity with indifference, even if they are imbued with a special kinship with the 1 billion people. I disagree. Indifference would be a fine improvement over the international tribalism we face. And in doing away with nationalism, you bring that sort of tribal competition and resulting violence to everyone's doorstep. Again, for you, intention seems to be enough. For me, the result is more important.

        • Drakken

          People like you who stand for nothing, fall for everything. Not all cultures,people and religions are equal. Our Western civilization is worth saving and preserving because it has given us the 21st century and all that we enjoy. Let the islamist take over and we are back to the dark ages. So it really is quite simple, you either stand with the muslims, or you stand with the west, there is no longer any middle ground on the issue.

  • Consider

    Someone of repute (at the moment I can't remember exactly who) said tha patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrels.

    • Drakken

      So you stand for nothing and sinf kumbaya with the savages in the hope that they won't slaughter you and yours? Pathetic.

      • Consider

        How patriotism will safeguard me from that?

        • Drakken

          You either fight or perish, you stand with the muslim savages, or stand with the west, choose wisely.

  • Consider

    It was Samuel Johnson in 1775.

    • Victor Welch

      It's a nice quote, but again — on the left, the FIRST refuge of scoundrels is to espouse ideals, while simply achieving destruction.

      And certainly, hypocrisy and scoundrels are not wed to patriotic ideals. There are numerous examples that include the church, and all the "ism's" (from facism to socialism to communism).

      Should faith be abandoned because the organized religion can be misused? Should the ideals of the "ism's" be discarded because espousing them seems to be simply a means to power? And should patriotism and it's inherent mitigation of cultural and tribal antagonisms be fore swarn because scoundrels have hidden behind it?

      • Consider

        What do you mean with 'on the left'?
        Where the the American Founding Fathers left or right and were they scoundrels, when they espoused ideals that at their time were just that, ideals, that where not put in practice anywhere in the world.
        Regarding faith, in my opinion it should be abandoned even if the organized religion behaved in a most commendable way. Just because it is a false represenation of reality.
        Finally, patriotism as a mitigator of tribal antagonisms is a most doubious proposition. It is more likely that it will kindle that mitigate the cultural and tribal antagonisms.This happened in WWI in Europe, and again in 1990s in the Balkans.

        • Drakken

          I don't know if you have noticed in your utopian leftist worldview, but we are headed to a Balkans type scenerio faster than anyone realizes. Choose wisely.

          • Consider

            In the Balkans, they know very well what 'patriotism' is, and what 'benefits' it has secured to peoples there.

          • Drakken

            The Serbs and Croats were right.

  • http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_c3ff7e570101fdh2.html Pandora?is?known?as?a?pieces?of?jewelry?lines?which_blanche_新浪博客

    Hating the Flag
    | FrontPage Magazine

  • owmyballs

    Coninsider,

    how do you build a multicultral unity of mankind? Why is patriotism wrong for civilized countries but hunky dory for hellholes? How is defiling the national holiday of a country that gives you refuge freedom of expression? How many trolls can fit on one short bus?

    • Consider

      Perhaps as a multicultural unity has been achieved or (it seems so) in the, say, US.
      At St. Patrick's day we see much of Irish flags vawing , costumed parades and similar events in American cities. Similar situation is with the Greeks, Italians, Jews, Chinese, etc. Nevertheless no one is seeing this as threat to American unity.

      A passing obsrvation about patriotism: No one is under obligation to feel love for his country (love is after all a nonvolitional act). It is enough that he respects the law.

      • owmyballs

        ConInsider,
        St Patrick's Day is not Independence Day and has nothng to do with the Constitution. Nor are any of the other ethnic "situations" you alluded to. I notice that you made sure to keep Mexicans off your idiotic list.

        Stop trying to beat off that straw man about forced patriotism and answer my questions, troll.

        • Consider

          I definitely shall not answer any question asked in such uncouth maner, you cretin.

          By the way

          cretin

          1779, from Fr. Alpine dialect crestin, "a dwarfed and deformed idiot" of a type formerly found in families in the Alpine lands, a condition caused by a congenital deficiency of thyroid hormones, from V.L. *christianus "a Christian," a generic term for "anyone," but often with a sense of "poor fellow."

  • Guest

    Lefty has disconnected himself, by choice, from any earthly culture. He is always at war with his resident culture, fighting his imagined good fight for his utopia. They live in a dreamworld and yearn for a dreamworld that will never exist.

    It becomes clearer from leftist escapees and converts, that leftists are secret zealots, much like the jihadist living in the west. They live for subversion and destruction for destructions sake, of this dirty reality.

    Watching the left has become a drinking game. What new supposed wrong will lefty seek to correct? It's absurd, from CO2 in the air, to a new third gender, to 'free' stuff for everyone, to you name it, take a drink! It's pure nihilism requiring more and more power to try to defeat this 'unfair' reality itself. Each so called win for lefty makes him that much more neurotic and disconnected. Every time they pull one over on the culture, they feel that much closer to their imaginary utopia. And like a drug addict, they only need more and more of a power fix.

    For the non-left, we have to learn how to see them for what they are.

    • Consider

      The lefty may have read the words of our savior, a have had a good teacher:

      Matthew

      10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
      10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
      10:36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
      10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

      • Norwegian Dude

        If you actually have read the Bible, you would have understood the context.

        If you stand up for good and truth in the world, you will be hated by many. This will cause conflicts and may tear families apart.

        Example: Evangelic pastors were the first to be sent to death camps (Nacht und Nebel) in Germany.

        So, if you in Nazi Germany rather supported Hitler to gain peace in the family, you are not worthy Jesus Christ.

        Read:
        http://www.amazon.com/Bonhoeffer-Pastor-Martyr-Pr

        Please educate yourself.

        • Consider

          Sorry but what you are doing is to interpret, as priests and theologians have always done.
          Do not read the Bible from cover to cover(an advice from a theologian), since you could become an atheist or at least a Budhist, but cherrypick passages that suit your purpose.
          What you have read may mean something else, or even the oposite of what is written, depending on circumstances.

          Regarding my exchange with the 'Guest' , where you intrude, the 'lefties' seem to have the same problem; they stand up for good and truth (in their opinion of course) in the world and this causes conflict. This conflict is the main objection, as I undestand, to their stance by the author of the message-.

          • Norwegian Dude

            Sorry, but it is exactly the opposite. I was an atheist until I read the Bible from cover to cover and understood that renowned atheists like Nietzsche and Bertrand Russel were lying through their teeth.

            Therefore it is so easy for me to see what kind of atheist ignorant and deceived fool you are.

            You have done nothing but taking things out of context. You don't even understand the difference between the Old and New Covenant. Kids learn that in Sunday school. You are an atheist due to ignorance.

          • Consider

            Even when trying to interpret the Biblical passages as to make them digestible to ordinary mind you fall in contradictions.
            Once, we learn that we should love all people even the wicked slave owners.
            Then we are iformed that we may use a sword, tear families appart etc. if we are fighting for the trutht and for the good. Perhaps under some interpretation (using various tools as "contexts" , "translations", "symbolism", and similar) the wicked slave owners may fall in this category and consistency and common sense may apparently be restored.

            I know very well the difference between Old and New Convenant and also uderstand why you insist on it. This is a standard deffensive tactics that fall in the category "context" and similar tricks. Just want to remind you that the ten commandments are from the OT.

            Anyhow, I have finished with you.

            The end, fin, fine, Das Ende, no more.

          • Norwegian Dude

            No. You area again and again displaying your intellectual dishonesty with quote mining and deliberately distorting translations to fit your evil atheist agenda.

            You arguments have again and again revealed that you are completely clueless regarding systematic theology and don't understand the difference between the Old and New Covenant.

            The very fact that you mention that the Ten Commandments are in the OT documents this.

          • Guest

            Zealots share at least one thing in common, – a complete disconnect with reality. When you see one talk about honesty it's quite disgusting. They invent their arbitrary delusions or refer to someone else's book of arbitrary delusions, and they run from there without a care toward any sort of logical validation. You couldn't even drive a car with this mental method. But when it comes to ethics off they go. This makes earth an absolute mad house. But they never give it up, they're zealots. Zeal and stupidity. People wonder why aliens don't come here. I don't even want to be here.

          • Consider

            Well, jump from a cliff.

          • Guest

            Nah, for me it will be rafter and a rope or pills. I'm over 50 and in the zone. Adios mffer.

  • Owmyballs

    ConInsder,

    leftwing anti-Christian retards are hilarious when they plagiarize the juvenile arguments of other leftwing anti-Christian retards.

    Christians did not murder 200 to 300 million people in the 20th century. Atheists did. I guess your lack of any contribution to humanity makes you retards really, really angry.

  • Owmyballs

    Your parents would have to have been homo sapiens for you to have inherited cretinism. Your brain rot was obviously caused by anal herpes. You should change your troll alais to “owmy@$$.”

  • Owmyballs

    Fnerd,

    I didn’t know Polacks and Lithuanians insisted on showing contempt for a Danish Holiday by waving foreign flags. Oh, wait. That’s because they DON’T. If you like the idea of outsiders crapping on your country and its holiday rename your country multiland.