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

From: john grigg (
Date: Fri Apr 14 2000 - 14:59:44 MDT

john grigg wrote:
>Just maybe, the man is a patriot and loves his country, warts and >all.

Charlie wrote:
Just what on earth is there to love about _any_ country?
Patriotism, IMO, is a very anti-extropian sentiment. For the proof of
the pudding, just go read any history of the first world war (one that
doesn't focus on the trivial US involvement in that struggle, but goes
into the broad picture).

I admit that nations sometimes with bad/greedy/mistrustful leadership do
exploit their own people and the other nations around them. But this shows
the truth of the old saying "a nation gets the government it deserves." And
this applies whether you are talking about the people of the U.S., Iraq or

I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America. I realize my
nation has many blemishes on its record and many things still need to be

Still, I am proud of what the founding fathers did in giving us such a
brilliant foundation to build on. And I am proud of the great progress
which has been made in terms of civil rights, technological development,
military power (sometimes very rightly used such as in WWII) and the way we
have built a strong and relatively efficient commercial sector.

I am aware of the history of WWI and how the 'great powers' practically
sacrificed a generation of young men by marching them into killing zones of
artillery and machine gun fire. This war was so horrific that it even
affected a young Adolf Hitler to the point where despite becoming a moral
monster later on, he avoided the use of chemical weapons because he had seen
them used firsthand.

I think a rational patriotism is not anti-extropian. Any thoughts on this,
gentleman and ladies? Nations, at least at the present time, are an
overarching organizational structure for humanity. It is what we have to
work with, and so we should each do our best to work within it, to make
positive changes.

Perhaps in time, technological advances in such areas as nanotech, AI and
longevity will produce a population that will want and get a much more
'libertarian' approach to governments and nations. We may in time, even see
very radical approaches to this and the disbanding of some nations as we
know of them now.

Charlie, you spoke of war. WWI might be looked at as a 'civil war' within
the European world. As some citizens (especially in third world nations)
begin to gain power through the coming technologies, they may have a fervent
desire to break away from corrupt, murderous and power-hungry governments.
We may see some very vicious civil wars and insurgencies as people rise up
to get away from or overthrow oppressive governments, in the desire to
replace them with something very different.

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.

Of course, for those who feel this is far too compromising, there will in
the future the option to go to the oceans or also outer space to found the
type of communities that radical libertarians and extropians dream of. I
wish you all luck and in time may join you, but for now please understand if
I feel pride and a touch of emotion when I see the American flag waving in
the wind.


John Grigg
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