We have already expressed our take on ‘patriotism’, but in view of the recent developments on the political scene and as the word ‘patriot’ has been bandied about without respite to condemn those with views that differ to those of the powers that be, Java thought it would be useful to have those patriots out there (particularly the ‘patriotic’ bloggers) give us their views on what they really consider what exactly it takes to be ‘patriotic’. It would help if you would check out the link above, as much of its substance is directly relevant to this post – the opening paragraph of which is as follows:
Samuel Johnson’s quote on ‘patriotism’ is perhaps the most famous of them all “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. Theodore Roosevelt, one of the better loved American presidents said in 1918, “To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is also morally treasonable to the American public”. Mark Twain said, “Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You can not shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let them label you as they may”. Howard Thurman – “During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism”. And finally, Hermann Goering (he should know about this!) “Naturally the common people don’t want war, neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”.

The thoughts in that post were expressed three years ago when the scenario in the country was decidedly different, however the definition of ‘patriotism’ doesn’t change with the scenario, so let’s check on some aspects of relevance today.

For instance, if you are a ‘patriot’, do you believe that the country is being governed in a way that is beneficial to its citizens? This would include agreeing with the rationale of the GOSL for the heavily bloated Cabinet, the massive amount of funds being spent on projects that are abandoned halfway through, the inclusion of criminal thugs in governance, the blatant abuse of power (a relatively minor one being the closing of roads at the whims and fancies of so-called VIPs), the huge security details assigned to politicians (especially since the end of the war) and other acts that are neither transparent nor beneficial to the country.

Then, if the Police Department is as inefficient as it appears to be, in that so many murders, assassinations and abductions are carried out with impunity without being resolved, shouldn’t there be some changes that would replace inefficient officers with those who could do a better job? Or do you think they are there to serve the purpose of powerful persons and not solve the many high-profile crimes that have been committed?

Would the patriots among us agree with the political appointments made that favour friends and relations of those in power over highly qualified civil-service personnel as ambassadors in countries that are important to our wellbeing?

There are hosts of other questions that we’re sure will come to mind as you read this, so there is hardly any point of listing the litany of questionable acts on the part of the GOSL (and it is really irrelevant which party or coalition is in power – the principles remain the same). Anyway, the intent of this post is to get some feedback from folk like our ‘patriotic’ bloggers, so that we may be enlightened of their views in relation to the questions posed here.

And an important question in this regard would be: “if you disagree with the GOSL’s present policies would that make you ‘unpatriotic’ or a ‘traitor’?”

Do feel free to add your thoughts – whether you consider yourself to be a ‘patriot’ or not.