Thomas Holbrook II | *NIXEDBLOG
There are times when opinions are stated and thoughts are provoked. Danijel Orsolic stirred up a bit of controversy when helios was attempting to bring up a point that I was trying to earlier. An interesting discussion ensued on LXer as well. I figured I would take time out to explain where I am coming from philosophy-wise myself. It is of course subject to change given time and availability of new information.
You see, I have nationalistic leanings…. to a point. I do not believe that Government should be putting flashlights in the orifices of their people if you catch my drift. In that sense, I have Libertarian leanings as well. When I kept reading the argument of nationalism being a bad thing, I realized there was a bit of confusion. Before going any further, allow me to clear up said confusion.
Nationalism vs Jingoism
Yes, there is a difference. Nationalism involves being proud of having a unique identity of sorts. For example, someone living in France can identify themselves as part of that country by declaring that they are French. This does not mean they are better than everyone else. It simply means that their home means something to them. I identify myself as an American. I love my country, even now, due to many of the opportunities that it holds (at the moment). I also liked the concept of the Founding Fathers, who deliberately set up the governmental system so that those in Congress would spend more time debating than anything (that is how it was supposed to work) so that those in all the individual states could go on with their lives as they saw fit.
Jingoism on the other hand is the real danger. It is what I refer to as blind patriotism. Just because I still like my home does not mean I will not criticize it or think of ways it could improve. Jingoists on the other hand believe in aggressive foreign policies in the name of “national security.” Most Neo-Conservatives could in a sense be considered jingoists. I consider myself an American patriot, not an American jingoist. Keep in mind there is a big difference.
Now allow me to continue.
I personally believe in freedom of choice. For instance, I myself do not own a single firearm. I do not mind seeing guns in videos and such, but I would rather not be near them if I can help it. I made this decision myself, and I am not going to take such a decision away from everyone else, which is why I support the 2nd Amendment in the Bill of Rights. I also believe that if one strongly believes in something, they should have the right to stand up for their beliefs, no matter how controversial it may seem. Remember that speech may be countered by speech.
I am a strong believer in the liberty of the individual and that infringe upon those liberties is wrong. However, I am not a one-worlder. I can see all sorts of problems if there was indeed a world government enacted, and the thought of such a thing at present absolutely frightens me. We can not have a one world government, because it would not work, period. Think of how many regions have corrupt regimes already. If one expects a one world government to solve the “evils” of smaller nation-states, I have some bad news…. it will only result in a very negative worldwide form of tyranny.
Again, while I do love the country I am in, that does not mean that I am a blind patriot. I do see some things that are very wrong, and on a very broad spectrum. For starters, the USA Patriot Act troubles me deeply to this day, especially section 802. To give you a hint, let us take a pot smoker having a joint. Since they could be endangering a human life, are they a terrorist? Think about that one for a moment, and while doing that, check this out as well. An American citizen was taken away by the military because they were deemed an “enemy combatant.”
I also do not agree with what is being done in the Middle East, particularly Iraq. While some would believe that Saddam did have WMDs, one also needs to be reminded of the following:
- It was thanks to members of the U.S. Federal Government that he was in power in the first place.
- Of course he had WMDs at one point. Where do you think he got them from? Hint: Remember Donald Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam?
Now mind you I also do not think in the confines of left-wing/right-wing as I see it as a false paradigm. In other words, left and right is a false choice pertaining to politics. I also do not subscribe to the theory of two party politics either. I do not see Democrats and Republicans as the end all to the political system in the country I am in, and I find it very sad that both major parties have such a dislike for third parties that they will do anything to prevent their recognition.
Like Danijel, I too worry about a North American Union, especially since nobody in Congress debated any of it. Want proof? Take a look for yourself:
Yes, I do fear these things coming to pass, which is why I do what I do everyday. However, I have also come to a very profound conclusion. If we are to improve ourselves and hopefully make our positive mark on this world, we need to be able to work on what we do agree on and argue about the small details later. Yes, I do see problems in this country, and I see that corporations such as Microsoft are a part of these problems.* Free and Open Source Software, or Freedomware, is something that I know a bit about and that is where a good portion of my specialty lies.
It was not a very well organized blog entry, and for that, I do apologize. Fighting through a headache while writing this was not an easy task. Therefore, I shall now end this blog by saying the three things that I started out saying, but need to say more often and more than ever before.
- Entertain Yourself
- Education Yourself
- Empower Yourself
*Note that there will be a future blog post about Microsoft. It is a series of patterns that I have noticed within the last several months. Stay tuned…..