National Pride

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Josephine
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National Pride

Postby Josephine » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:47 pm UTC

Is pride based on your heritage or your birthplace warranted?

Is pride something that can only be achieved by one's own actions, or can it be out of your control?

P.S. Racial, sexual, and ethnic pride can go in here too.
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Re: National Pride

Postby SummerGlauFan » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:50 pm UTC

If it is blind pride, no. Then you turn into Fox News :D If, however, you are proud of the accomplishments of your nation and/or group, then it is most certainly warranted.
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Re: National Pride

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

I certainly take pleasure in what I simply am.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Angua » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:00 am UTC

I get annoyed down here (probably true of any small community) where don't really count as one of them unless you were born there, even if you've been living there since you were young enough not to remember anything else and you have relatives who were born there.

I do think that you can be proud of the group and culture that you grew up in though, it shapes who you are.
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Re: National Pride

Postby sje46 » Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:13 am UTC

nbonaparte1 wrote:Is pride based on your heritage or your birthplace warranted?

Is pride something that can only be achieved by one's own actions, or can it be out of your control?

P.S. Racial, sexual, and ethnic pride can go in here too.

I've always been annoyed with people who do that. You can't control the circumstances of your birth, and pride means "loving your excellence" (Augustine). It's like saying "Good job, myself, for being an Italian-American female lesbian!" Are you excellent for happening to be born with Irish ancestry?
I'd rather put pride in things like personality. This includes intelligence, I think, because I sort of feel as though intelligence isn't 100% inherited; a great deal of it is practice, really.
I'm not against people who say things like "gay pride" and "black pride" though. If I were gay, I would have gay pride because I would be proud of not being ashamed of it. And I would only be proud of being black because I would lack shame of being black. I don't really think most people who say that really think "I rock because I'm gay!" or "I'm awesome because I'm black!"

People can be proud about anything they want; I just don't really think it's warranted.
EDIT:
I guess you are warranted to love yourself for any reason, but pride seems to be assigning the positive qualities to yourself.
You can have pride for something though, like pride for your country. I just wouldn't make that be part of my identity, to let myself feel that it makes me a better person in some way.
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Re: National Pride

Postby guenther » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:03 am UTC

I'm not sure what value metric you want to use to judge whether it's warranted, but I think there's a utility in a belief that your community has something valuable to offer. Belief has a very strongly affect behavior, and I suspect the community would suffer if there was a widespread shame versus a widespread pride.

However, I think the pride should be built on a positive image on the group, not on contrasting to the negatives of other groups. Just like with our own self-image.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Weeks » Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:57 am UTC

nbonaparte1 wrote:Is pride based on your heritage or your birthplace warranted?
Many people probably hold their heritage and birthplace in a high steed; they think their actions throughout history are generally correct and should be given as examples. This being the case, I discourage it, because I can never know if the history of my nation/tribe/culture/etc. was exactly as described in the books or tradition, and it is likely that others will not view my group with the same respect, so I'll be wary of manifesting blind pride.

That is before we consider that most, if not all human societies tend to favor their own. So there'll very likely be proud groups who are actually the scum of society.

And even then, I see pride as divisory. We could all aspire to unite ourselves further by being proud of our own humanity, instead of separating into small, isolated sects, which hold their own beliefs and discriminate against strangers. Thankfully this doesn't always happen (we have people of all races in my country, arguably coexisting in a fair way).
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Re: National Pride

Postby Turambar » Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:12 am UTC

The way I figure it, as long as you recognize that pride in your heritage is a subjective thing, that your own love for your culture is no greater nor more valid than another person's devotion to their culture, it's alright. Also, you need to be able to recognize some of the less good aspects of your culture.
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Re: National Pride

Postby GoodRudeFun » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:18 am UTC

I can't really say whether it's warranted or not. I supposed people can take pride in what ever they please, but it could be seen as misplaced if they've gone nothing to contribute to what ever they take pride in.

At any rate, it's not something I would do. I don't consider my country, race/heritage, gender, or sexuality to be defining factors of my personality, but I do consider the latter two part of personality. The former are not something I'd ever take pride in for any reason. They just aren't a part of who I am. The latter two, I don't see any reason to take pride in, because I have done nothing to earn them, they just are. I will not, however, be ashamed of any of those either. I take no pride them, why should I ever be ashamed of them?

That's how I see it. I don't really care what others do with their pride, or where they place it. As long as it isn't detrimental to myself, my loved ones, or society as a whole (I'm looking at you, racists).
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Re: National Pride

Postby songwithnosoul » Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:42 pm UTC

I think it's perfectly natural to feel patriotic pride and pride in your heritage/race, both of which I feel, just so long as you don't take it too far and start blindly attacking or belittling other people and their nationality/heritage/race if they disagree with you or to make yourself look better. The bad thing about this type of pride is that it often leads to that kind of behaviour, but even that still comes down to a person's actions, not their feelings.
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Re: National Pride

Postby bigglesworth » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:19 pm UTC

I agree. The sense of pleasure and well-being I see upon seeing a parade and a fly-over of my nation's armed forces are of a similar nature to those I receive when I see my girlfriend. I recognise that both are irrational and caused by instinct.
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Re: National Pride

Postby CombustibleLemons » Sun Aug 02, 2009 11:41 pm UTC

I take pride in what I do not what other people do.
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Re: National Pride

Postby General_Norris » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:53 am UTC

Taking pride in nationalism is taking pride of the division of humanity.

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Re: National Pride

Postby juststrange » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:40 am UTC

Its a symbolic pride. You are lead to believe that Nation X has a reputation for being a certain desirable thing, so you take pride in claiming to be a part of it. Think of it like "I was on that research team that discovered the cure for cancer", but on a much larger, more indirect, dilute, odd, scale. It gives a sense of belonging, something we all need.

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Re: National Pride

Postby Josephine » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:17 am UTC

juststrange wrote:Its a symbolic pride. You are lead to believe that Nation X has a reputation for being a certain desirable thing, so you take pride in claiming to be a part of it. Think of it like "I was on that research team that discovered the cure for cancer", but on a much larger, more indirect, dilute, odd, scale. It gives a sense of belonging, something we all need.


Using your cancer analogy: Can someone at the university where the cure was discovered, but had no part in the research, take pride in it? Maybe, but that only stems from you contributing money. Which you do with your taxes when a nation, say, wins a war.
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Re: National Pride

Postby zug » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:56 am UTC

I dunno why, but I just feel overwhelming cynicism anytime I hear that song "Proud to be an American." And this discussion has gotten that song stuck in my head. So I'll just be nice, bow out, and say, "Not so much."
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Re: National Pride

Postby vslayer » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:03 am UTC

why should any person be proud of a place simply because their mother happened to be there when they were born? I feel a small degree of pride in the town where i grew up, but that can all be attributed to the community projects i helped with and the rugby team which i still travel out to play for. I have no pride whatsoever in the town where i was born nor the country that it happens to reside within.

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Re: National Pride

Postby winegums » Tue Aug 04, 2009 12:24 pm UTC

You should never be proud of anything you have no control over.

If you make a significant contribution to the state of your country, then you can take pride in it.
If you've raised children who go on to be successful, productive, healthy, and awesome, you can take pride in them.

However if you claim pride because you happen to live on a piece of dirt that lies on one side of an arbitrary imaginary line, I think you're stupid.

It gets worse when people talk about pride of their national characteristics. It's only slightly less absurd than being proud of your star sign.

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Re: National Pride

Postby King Author » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:06 am UTC

I think the problem is that people are using the term "pride" in many different ways. Most people who tout gay pride or American pride or something are really saying they don't have gay shame or American shame or what have you. They're using the word "pride" as the opposite of the word "shame" (which is inaccurate, of course, but séra séra) We're conceptualizing pride as a sense of accomplishment that should only be tied to your accomplishments. Since we're putting two definitions to the same emotionally-charged word, we're in dangerous philosophical territory.

Then you get into the mess of "black pride" which of course begs the question, "what about white pride?" But then that drags us into racial supremecist discussions and we're way off track.

I think it's best to simply let people (mis)use whatever words they want, and when you're not sure what they mean, ask them to elaborate.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Outchanter » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:35 pm UTC

You can't really compare race and sex to nationality. Racism and sexism are usually frowned upon, but rights are routinely extended solely on the basis of nationality - e.g. a British national has the right to travel and work in the European Union without a visa, while an American national doesn't.

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Re: National Pride

Postby mosc » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:58 pm UTC

Outchanter wrote:You can't really compare race and sex to nationality. Racism and sexism are usually frowned upon, but rights are routinely extended solely on the basis of nationality - e.g. a British national has the right to travel and work in the European Union without a visa, while an American national doesn't.

This is true for any grouping of people. There's nothing inherently derogatory about any grouping, no matter what lines you use to define the group. There's also nothing wrong with being proud to be in said group. The problems just come when people discriminate based on the arbitrary definition of the group.

Basically, it's ok to be proud of anything... as long as you're not saying you're better than non-anythings. Of course, most people who are proud do not separate it from arrogance and superiority so it's almost always a bad thing.

National pride is good, national superiority complexes are not. Personally, I have NEVER seen national pride that did not include a national superiority complex.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Nordic Einar » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:03 pm UTC

I most certainly take pride in my ethnic ancestry. I am proud of the culture that spawned me; I love and cherish the cultural heritage my parents (and all of my long dead kin) have left for me. I very proudly wear my tartan and declare myself a Sutherland. I often joke about bleeding plaid and am fond of discussing the history of the Scottish/Nordic peoples. There is nothing wrong with being proud of where you come from, either nationally or genetically.

But there is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. While I am certainly proud of my ethnicity, I do not devalue others their ancestries or cultures. I respect (and truthfully, am fascinated by) other cultures/peoples and enjoyed greatly my travels abroad - both for the chance to learn of other cultures and share learning of my own. I feel no superiority because of my genetic make up, and do not look down on others for theirs.

I see nothing wrong with this. Distinct cultures make life and this planet interesting. It is only when people begin to oppress/discriminate against others out of their own nationalism that this becomes a problem.

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Re: National Pride

Postby TaintedDeity » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:08 pm UTC

I think pride may be the wrong word in your case.
You are glad, you are pleased etc.
Pride implies some things are worse, that you are better off.
More importantly, it implies you did anything at all to get it when really you were just born.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Nordic Einar » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:39 pm UTC

I think you're being pedantic and ignoring several other uses of the words "pride" and "proud". I do not have to feel superior to feel pride in my cultural history. Nor does it matter that I, personally, was not involved in the actions of my ancestors; I can be proud of the accomplishments of my family even if I had nothing to do with them.

There is nothing wrong with looking back at the history of my people and drawing inspiration and self-confidence from what I find there. Yes, I had no say as to whether I was born Scottish or not. I do, however, have a say in whether or not I carry on Scottish traditions, values, and virtues. I certainly can take pride in continuing the traditions of my ancestors and absolutely am proud of the fact that I (hopefully) have lived up to the legacy my people have left for me.

I feel like some posters here equate any pride in ancestry or nationality with the extremes oft found in places like the BNP or American Far Right. The two however are not the same thing. To say otherwise is either ignorant or disingenuous.

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Re: National Pride

Postby TaintedDeity » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:45 pm UTC

Ah yes, I did not think about being proud of others actions.
That makes some sense I guess, but I still think using the word pride can lead to misunderstandings.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Nordic Einar » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

I clarified in my very first post that I felt no sense of superiority, loved learning about and interacting with other cultures, and am not a racial supremacist. If anyone confuses my pride in my heritage for racial superiority DESPITE all of the above clarifications than they are LOOKING to be offended.

I will not feel badly for my cultural heritage because someone doesn't know the definition of the word pride. Especially when I clarify my stance rather plainly.

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Re: National Pride

Postby catzilla » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:13 pm UTC

Yes, racism/sexism/classism exist. However, that's rather irrelevant to the discussion.

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Re: National Pride

Postby oreoexpo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:30 pm UTC

Is pride based on your heritage or your birthplace warranted?


Pride in yourself, not really. You didn't do anything to be born Irish or Dutch or in the city of Detroit. If you wish to be proud of your heritage or birthplace because of the accomplishments made by members of that heritage or birthplace though, that is perfectly legit. For example, I am not proud of MYSELF because I am an American. I did not choose my nationality. However, I AM proud of BEING an American. This is because of two major facts about America: the fact that it was deliberately created on the principle of individual rights, and the fact that being American is as much a matter of deliberate choice as the accident of birth, i.e. someone can immigrate here, apply for citizenship, and then be accepted as American no matter what their original ancestry is. This is pride, but not in myself. It is pride in my country and in being a member of my country, because I think it espouses positive values which I agree with.

Is pride something that can only be achieved by one's own actions, or can it be out of your control?


I would say that pride in yourself specifically can only be achieved by your own actions. Even in cases where you are proud of something like a heritage or birthplace, you still have to agree that they are something to be proud of and find a legitimate reason for that pride. You cannot simply say "I am proud to be Greek." or "I am proud to have been born in London." You have to say "I am proud to be Greek because..." or "I am proud that I was born in London because...." In short, you need to find a legit reason for that pride and espouse it before you can count it as pride in yourself. Being proud of something simply because it exists or because you belong to it doesn't cut it. (The only exception would be if you in particular have done something SO amazing that your particular group would be able to claim pride in itself because they are able to claim YOU as a member. But as a rule, that is pretty unlikely to happen.)

Finally, one word of warning. Although you can be proud of belonging to a specific heritage, birthplace, ethnicity, etc., this doesn't allow you to assume that all members of that group are allowed to share in that pride. Each member must find the reason for that pride and agree with it themselves, or they do not deserve to share in it. This is why no tribe of people (by tribe, I refer to people who are linked together by some sort of accident of birth) is better than any other, because you cannot guarantee that a) that particular tribe DOES have any legit values that can be ascribed to it, and b) that all the individuals in the tribe have done this.

Basically, it's ok to be proud of anything... as long as you're not saying you're better than non-anythings. Of course, most people who are proud do not separate it from arrogance and superiority so it's almost always a bad thing.


For the sake of giving an example, let's say that someone is proud of themselves for some reason:

Pride is feeling good about yourself because you know that you have accomplished something good. Arrogance is feeling good about yourself for no particular reason at all, and is usually a) confused with pride, and b) accompanied by idiotic boasting and other irritating traits. Superiority can be a manifestation of either pride or arrogance (but it's usually arrogance), and is the trait of thinking that you are better than everybody else around you for what is sometimes a legitimate (but is more often an illegitimate) reason.

National pride is good, national superiority complexes are not. Personally, I have NEVER seen national pride that did not include a national superiority complex.


It is perfectly possible to be proud of your nationality while still acknowledging that someone who does not share your nationality can still be as good or better a person than you are. In fact, a good way to check whether pride in your nation is arrogance or not is to see whether that person is denigrating people from other nations, simply because they are from that nation. If they are, it's probably a superiority complex. If they're not, it's probably legitimate pride.

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Re: National Pride

Postby Nath » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:I think you're being pedantic and ignoring several other uses of the words "pride" and "proud". I do not have to feel superior to feel pride in my cultural history. Nor does it matter that I, personally, was not involved in the actions of my ancestors; I can be proud of the accomplishments of my family even if I had nothing to do with them.

I think this gets to the heart of the issue. If your sense of identity comes from being part of some group, you can be happy about some qualities or accomplishments of that group. This is especially true if you think you reflect those qualities.

Pride often (or inevitably?) comes with a sense of superiority. Good and bad are relative concepts. Whether pride is harmful or not depends on the degree; 'everybody else is inferior to me' is an example of an excessively proud attitude, while 'I am not inferior to everybody' is a more reasonable stance. These are points on a spectrum.

Yes, pride in one's nation can be arbitrary. But so can most other kinds of pride. You're intelligent/hardworking/whatever? Well, congratulations for being born with the right genes and environment for that. You can be satisfied about something even if its root causes were beyond your control.

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Re: National Pride

Postby General_Norris » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:01 pm UTC

I think you can have pirde of your coutnry, or being intelligent. You shouldn't but you can be. I agree with Nath.

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Re: National Pride

Postby Le1bn1z » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

I see no problem in being proud of one's country, one's people or one's history.

You can be proud of what one's country IS doing, so long as one is an active participant. As a member of this corporate body, one can be proud of what it has achieved in its ongoing project, within reason. Again, this only applies if one is an active contributor to the project. Pride is an aspect of attachment; one cannot well be a willing participant in a national project if one is not proud of that project.

Problems only realy start to arise when people confuse pride in one's country with self-worth. Just because one is born Canadian, American, Aussie or Brit doesn't mean that one is better than say, a Pakistani. Sure, Canucks, Yanks, Aussies and Brits worked hard to make their country better.

But we are dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants, as it were. Those living didn't make the countries what they are today, and cannot believe themselves to be superior human beings because of where they were born.
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Re: National Pride

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:12 pm UTC

I think some national pride; or pride in just about anything is useful if you aren't being a nut about it. In fact, I think it is just like optimism. Personally, I find it more valuable to take pride in what is being done right(recognizing what has been done wrong) then dragging myself through the mud to serve someone else's opinion.

Dragging yourself through the muck is never the best way of getting clean; we can rag on america or any other country ad infinitum, but we can do a lot more by working for the positive.
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Re: National Pride

Postby Outchanter » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:56 am UTC

Le1bn1z wrote:Sure, Canucks, Yanks, Aussies and Brits worked hard to make their country better.

They also worked hard to colonize other countries and take their resources.

You can't have national pride without national shame, at least not if you're being honest with yourself.

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Re: National Pride

Postby BrainMagMo » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:37 pm UTC

nbonaparte1 wrote:Is pride based on your heritage or your birthplace warranted?

Is pride something that can only be achieved by one's own actions, or can it be out of your control?

P.S. Racial, sexual, and ethnic pride can go in here too.


My first thought:
Pride A: pride in your person achievements.
Pride B: pride in things ITT.
I think these are different prides. I like to define pride by its function.
Thinking anthropologically, Pride A's purpose is to show your tribe that you have contributed, and is correlated with confidence, etc. When people are more prideful than their actions warrant, we dislike this, since that person is abusing the mechanism for its benefits.
Pride B is showing your tribe that you connect with them and appreciate their benefits. Pride B is not a "I am win" it is a "My tribe is win". Pride B is useful since it makes your tribe stronger, it can be used for war frenzy, etc.

Saying "people should have pride in their nationality since they didn't warrant it" is partially confusing pride B with pride A, and is almost unilaterally from people who are a part of the tribe that person has Pride B in.

My second thought died.

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Re: National Pride

Postby Adalwolf » Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:51 am UTC

General_Norris wrote:Taking pride in nationalism is taking pride of the division of humanity.


And the problem with this is...what, exactly?

Humans are built to live in groups, or tribes. We are not one big happy family, and never will be.

That said, I believe pride in one's nation is an important aspect for maintaining a strong nation. The more homogoneous a nation, the more unity and pride it will have. This does not mean, as others have said, that this pride will and/or should turn into arrogance that will start belittling other cultures/nations/ or whatever.

Pride is a fundamental part of being human. Pride gives people and nations the motivation to become great and powerful. Pride gives motivation to not quit, to not settle for less.
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Re: National Pride

Postby slacks » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:25 am UTC

I'm not sure how a person could disdain national pride in others, isn't such disdain a result of the value system you have largely inherited? Isn't that a form of group pride as well?

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Re: National Pride

Postby Josephine » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:07 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:Pride is a fundamental part of being human. Pride gives people and nations the motivation to become great and powerful. Pride gives motivation to not quit, to not settle for less.
Yes, this is true. However, that wasn't my original point. My question is related to unconditional pride of the nation, gender, ethnicity, etc that you were born into. Not pride achieved by something you do.
Belial wrote:Listen, what I'm saying is that he committed a felony with a zoo animal.

General_Norris
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Re: National Pride

Postby General_Norris » Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:05 pm UTC

Adalwolf wrote:Pride is a fundamental part of being human. Pride gives people and nations the motivation to become great and powerful. Pride gives motivation to not quit, to not settle for less.


That's not pride, that's ambition. Ambition is the motivation to become great and powerful. Ambition is a process and Pride an act.

mrmyay
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Re: National Pride

Postby mrmyay » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:01 am UTC

I live in China where they're ramping up for National Day- celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the nation - and national pride hangs like heavy honey off the comb here. As an American who speaks the language and has years of experience in the country, I find it unsettling. To illustrate with an example, last night I was at the Nanjing equivalent of a Kwik-E-Mart and there was a TV in one of the shop displays that was play the same propaganda segment on repeat: a little girl, five or six years old and cute as buttons, comes on camera and tells the viewer "I love my mother, I love my father, I love my fatherland (zuguo)" again, and again, and again.

Identity pride is not always a matter of choice. Many people are expected to be proud of whatever group it is to which they most obviously belong, and failure to at least appear to toe that line can be looked on poorly. This is harmful to Man's individual nature, because if you consider the statement "I am an X and Xs are good because all Xs present a certain positive quality Y", the implication is "since I am an X, I had better be Y as well, whether I like it or not". When you fill in those variable with values such as X = 1950s Housewife and Y = Subservient (which many have viewed as positive!), the bands that do the binding stand out. Such expectations can easily prove a Procrustean bed to the unprepared.

Orwell has an essay called "Notes on Nationalism" that speaks to this topic in some ways. I'd link to it, but I'm still in my first five posts so I'll respect the rules and just throw the title out there.

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Josephine
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Re: National Pride

Postby Josephine » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:39 am UTC

China is a separate issue. The overload of propaganda skews personal decisions about pride.
Belial wrote:Listen, what I'm saying is that he committed a felony with a zoo animal.


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