Why is patriotism a “dirty” word to the political left?
What is wrong with being a patriot?
Dictionary definition of a patriot-- a person who vigorously supports his country and its way of life.
So how come, some on the left of the political spectrum, seem to think there is something wrong with being a patriot? It is also true that dictatorships which are formed from communist regimes, demand patriotism to their “new” nation that is under their control.
A patriot does not have to be a paid-up member of a far-right political movement, they can be and usually are, just ordinary people, with very little political fervour, who love the nation they are born into and live in. They see no reason for this nation to be radically changed, why should they? Democratic nations have their problems, mostly due to the vast numbers of people living in them. It is never possible to get complete consensus on anything if the participating group is over 10 people. So, when that participating group is over 50 million people, consensus is impossible. Democracy, even when not perfect, is better than one party dictatorship, it does not matter if that dictatorship claims to be socialist of fascist, they both end up the same thing, as far as the majority of people are concerned.
Socialists, the more zealous ones, are so convinced of the righteousness of their views that they, sometimes genuinely, believe the whole world should believe as they do. The whole world should be one nation governed by socialist dogma and without opposition of any sort. History is ignored, practicalities are ignored, reasoned dissent is ignored. They know what is best for every single person on the planet. From this belief comes the idea that patriotism, the support by an individual for their nation of origin, is a sin, a crime, something that must be eradicated.
The challenge for democratic nations, is how to enable patriotism to be harnessed to the democratic process. In every nation there are wide variations on political thought, since materialism is predominate in democracies, often economics and politics get merged and instead of seeking the approval of the majority, we get polarised views where the choice is Capitalism or Communism. Most rational debate on how to govern, is on the relative level of these two opposing forces. In fact, if seen as similar to the concept of Yin and Yang, it can be shown that a mix of both is essential. Each and every economic factor needs both. The amount of either will vary continuously but total capitalism cannot be long term viable in the modern technology-based world; anymore that total communism, where all are equal and no one is in charge and everything is shared, can be long term viable. If anyone disbelieves this, study history or look at those nations supposedly governed by communist ideals and see if all people are equal in every respect.
The globalisation of economic power, the present situation where vast corporate enterprises can influence the economic wellbeing of individual nations, is not ideal. In a way this is going to result in exactly the same end situation as the far left view of a world governed by communist ideology. Too much power in the hands of one “force” is not going to end well for the majority of the people.
Patriotism may be the only force able to prevent this. Patriotism may be the balancing force but it has to be reasoned, if you like, moderate, not the blinkered “my country right or wrong,” not the blind patriotism that demands all other nations are subservient to their own; type of patriotism.
In nature we can see that everything needs balance, too much water and you have floods, too much dryness and you have a desert. So, in human governance we need balance. Even in religious beliefs there has to be acceptance that other beliefs have a right to exist. No human knows the purpose of creation. No human knows what is best for every other human on the planet. Patriotism has its place and its positive aspects, accept it for what it is, but realise that there are patriots in other nations who think the same about their country, as you do about yours.