Re: Is rational patriotism anti-extropian? I don't think so...

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 15:42:13 MDT

john grigg wrote:

> Charlie Stross wrote:
> you wrote:
> For starters, nationalism -- which is inextricably linked with patriotism --
> is deeply anti-libertarian. _Any_ ideology that tries to fit people into
> pigeon-holes is to some extent anti-extropian, and nationalism, which in
> extreme cases subordinates the individual to the state, is exactly that.
> (end)
> Out of control nationalism is strongly linked with patriotism, but the
> perversion of it that I discussed above. I can see the point of your
> statement that any ideology that tries to pigeon-hole people is to some
> extent anti-extropian.

There will always be joiners. One of the reasons Extropianism isn't a huge
organization is specifically because of its ethic of not shiving much of a git
about group growth and group politics.

Joiners will join or follow whatever trips their trigger, be they nation states,
city states, sports teams (which probably causes more total chaos in europe than
anything else), rock bands, or car or software companies... or operating

> you continues:
> I'd also like to note that from a non-American perspective making children
> swear an oath of allegiance in school each day looks positively Orwellian,
> and I don't see massive military power as being admirable, either.
> (end)
> I sure don't consider children taking the oath of allegiance to be
> 'brainwashing!' There is nothing similar in England? I am surprised. The
> sad thing is that as a schoolboy in the U.S., I did not have the meaning of
> it really explained to me. I remember my friends and I purposely changing
> the words to be 'funny' and making eachother laugh. But generally I took it
> seriously and felt patriotic as I spoke the words. I would want any future
> child of mine to continue taking the pledge.

I consider the pledge of allegiance to be falsely directed. The pledge should be
directed toward the Constitution, a copy of which should be in every classroom.
I don't see this as a bad thing at all. Pledging allegiance to a flag, that can
mean whatever the government and the media want it to mean, is a rather empty
and mindless task.

> you continue:
> The national system we've been bequeathed is just a degenerate form
> of the monarchical system, with the powers devolved to a national level
> which is just a replacement for the Crown.
> (end)
> Modern democracies are just a degenerate form of the monarchial system? For
> reasons stated above I would have to disagree. I can see some connection
> but not the wholesale link you do. I appreciate having the vast power one
> man used to have as king being spread around with various branches of
> government that are limited by checks and balances. And we can try to
> influence or change things without being hung or imprisoned if the king
> really dislikes the idea.

Charlie still lives under a system where the head of state IS in fact a monarch,
and his system has no written constitution that recognises that all rights
originate in the individual, who delegates them to the government. This is the
primary difference between the US and every other english speaking country. They
all still have the Queen as head of state, the sovereign, or else the Queen
delegated her sovereignty to the parliament, the state, so that the citizens of
such countries are still the subjects of the government.

> I do think I understand your point as being that ultimately, the federal
> gov'ts of even democracies still have incredible power over the citizenry,
> even if it is generally more fairly used. And we are expected as citizens
> to be generally loyal subjects to not a king anymore, but our flag and p.m.
> or president.

In which I agree with Charlie is totally wrong. The Constitution is the only
thing that deserves or gets my loyalty.

> I wrote:
> I fervently hope that in the first world and especially in the United
> States, that dialogue and change can be done in productive and peaceful
> ways. Rather then an elimination of the U.S. government, I see changes that
> would simply reduce its size and influence, while handing over much more
> power to the people.
> (end)

Returning it to its former lack of brilliance. Thats the crux of the matter
though, youd have to chuck millions of people addicted to government power or
government benefits out on their arses to sink or swim. Weaning would be easier,
but it takes constant pressure to work the spoiled brat off the teat of the

> Remember the Falkland Islands? Now, that was a patriotic scene with all
> those Brits waving at the ships loaded down with troops and equipment to
> stop those vicious Argentines from trying to control land right off their
> shores. ;)

Not quite right off their shores. About as far as Iceland is from Greenland.

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