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View Diary: A pacifist on nationalism (67 comments)

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  •  You probably won't get a ton of support (14+ / 0-)

    for your view on this site, but I hope I read it thoroughly enough (not wearing my glasses, sorry, but tried reading it) to say that I liked it because, like you, I'm not sure what the purpose of Nationalism is and find it generally a strange concept, particularly because I am also a pacifist, and to me, obviously Nationalism is bound up in militance and nation-building or Empire. I can't really condone these. I don't condemn them outright. But they aren't my values. I do support things like cultural pride very strongly. And I understand other peoples' sense of Patriotism. I just haven't felt it before, and I feel it's probably due to a deep pacifism as well as a disdain for Empire of all sorts.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:25:30 PM PST

    •  are you serious? (6+ / 0-)

      This site is one of the few places on the internet where I'd expect most people to agree with the diarist.

      ...better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity, than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference. -FDR, 1936

      by James Allen on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 09:45:00 PM PST

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    •  Got my support :) nt (5+ / 0-)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:13:33 PM PST

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    •  It stems from realizing these passions (4+ / 0-)

      exist in all people's, even yourself, and you see the end result of what it propels people to do.  Sure, it can be a good thing.  And pacifism is wrong in certain cases where force is the only option.  If a man attacks an old woman, it's a moral imperative to stop him and not just watch.  However, when it goes from the micro to the macro, wars tend to be fairly immoral all around.  The only war I would get behind is WW2.  Past that, nada.

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:10:38 AM PST

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      •  Yes and no :) (3+ / 0-)

        Yes, it was necessary that evil was stopped, by force if necessary, but the wars were actually caused by our failure in peacetime.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 08:57:32 AM PST

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      •  Pacifism has nothing to do with the case of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chakadog

        old woman being attacked.  Some pacifists would say that the use deadly  force in that instance may be justifiable and some wouldn't.  Probably very few would object to the use of non-deadly force to protect people.  I knew a lot of pacifists who worked on psychiatric units where I consulted who took part in the crisis team when someone had to be restrained because they were being violent.  Gandhian non-violence is a political technique utilized by pacifists and others, but a commitment to non-violence as a political technique doesn't require a swearing off of all use of physical force.  Pacifism per se has to do with the use of organized deadly force for political purposes by a nation state or some other analogous large organized social entity.  

              The false comparison of organized armies with the use of force in the individual case used to be a staple of draft boards examining applicants for CO status until the courts recognized that it was philosophically invalid to equate the two situations.  Some draft boards (including my own, which was notoriously incompetent) nevertheless still kept asking the question.  As a draft counselor in those days, I would advise people likely to be asked that question during a CO hearing to tell the draft board that it was a legally and philosophically invalid question and then to answer it if they persisted in asking it,  since that gave the CO applicant prima facie evidence for a due process appeal of any resulting conviction for draft refusal.  However, Usually such instances resulted in the Selective Service itself or, as happened in my case,  the U.S. Attorney's office ordering a rehearing of the C.O. claim.  (My draft board STILL couldn't get the process right, but that's a different story.)

        Personally, I'm not sure what I'd do if I were really in a life-or-death personal situation and I had the means to use deadly force to protect myself or someone else.  That's one reason I've never owned a gun, much less carried one -- if I were scared or angry enough I might use it if I had it.  This was brought home to me about 40 years ago when the lives of my pregnant wife, our 3-year-old son, and myself were severely threatened by a couple of drunken frat-boyish joy riders who kept trying to run us off the road in the middle of nowhere on a back road in the middle of the night.  I know if I had had a gun that night I would have used it -- either out of great fear during the half-hour or longer "chase" by the frat boys or out of anger when I finally found a safe, well-lighted place to stop and they pulled in after me.  I THINK I would have tried to avoid actually injuring them if I had had a gun but just tried to incapacitate  the car or scare the hell out of them after we stopped.  But who knows what happens when you start waving a gun around or start firing it, even if only for totally defensive purposes.  God knows I was in no state to be rational at any time after that episode started.  

           So even though many pacifists may believe that the use of deadly force may be justifiable in the individual case, you probably won't find many carrying around the weapons with which to carry it out.  

    •  There is plenty of nationalism on Kos (6+ / 0-)

      this can be seen in how we are too quick to apply the hero label to everyone who wears a military uniform.

      I am not a pacifist. I would do everything that I can to support any flagrant aggression against my family or my country. However, I fully respect pacifists. They make much more sense than do warmongers. That nationalism is a form of racism is something I completely agree with.

      I am a combat veteran who quickly learned that wars are stupid and wars are not glorious. When most young people join the military they do not have a clue regarding how propaganda and war-profiteering works.

      All Quiet on the Western Front is the best anti-war movie that is ever seen. It shows how the young are recruited, and also shows how war are idiotic and senseless.

      War is costly. Peace is priceless!

      by frostbite on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 09:28:43 AM PST

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