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Is Patriotism a Gateway Drug to Slavery? – Jonny Watt

Is patriotism the mere act of loving one’s country, or is this movement detrimental to the wellbeing of society?

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By Jonny Watt | UNITED STATES

Is patriotism the mere act of loving one’s country, or is this movement detrimental to the wellbeing of society?

This blindly followed movement is extremely contradictory with liberty and self-ownership, and on a praxeological basis, we can deduce that this ideology should have no support amongst freedom-lovers.

That said, patriots will argue that, while it has its faults, America is the greatest country to exist, and without the state, this wouldn’t be possible. While I tend to agree that America is better than most, I see a direct flaw in saying that the state is responsible for this. Rather than America being great because of the intervention of the state, America is great despite it. In fact, just about all of America’s flaws exist due to the government, and saying that it could be much worse, and thus continuing to praise America and the state is both illogical and hurtful for society.

The more leeway we, as citizens, give to our government, the more in control they are, and the more likely a shift to a more coercive and tyrannical government will occur. In fact, this is one area in which a private run (monarchical) government is superior to that of the public run (democratic) government. The very visible and extreme dichotomy between the general populace and ruling class nobles, as seen in democracy, left the former with more discontent and distrust for their government, as they felt completely separated from said government.

Due to this, monarchs had to be mindful of everything they did, as any decision deemed too coercive by the general public could be followed by either a revolution or perhaps simply a less productive society, which would hurt the king and his fellow nobles. While citizens of a democratic government tend to be more trusting of their government, as they feel a sense of involvement, American Patriots take it to the extreme and continue to let the government commit terrible, coercive, right-infringing acts.

With Patriots continuing to stay quiet, how long could it be before an age of total enslavement by the state is upon us?

Conscription, taxes, and jury duty indicate that we’re already in a state of partial enslavement. While patriots tend to be opposed to taxes, they, generally speaking, see no problem in supporting the government when it comes to conscription and jury duty, both of which border onto involuntary servitude.

If the definition of traditional slavery is the state of being the legal property of another, and thus being forced to obey them, then how can anyone justify conscription or jury duty, the legal act of the state forcing you to give them your labor? A patriot would respond that, as we are under state law, and given what the state does for us, we should be willing to give up some of our labor and fruits of our labor in order to “pay back the state.”

The problem with this argument is it completely misses the point, as this exact same argument could be applied to any other instance of slavery (including traditional slavery in America prior to 1865.) Of course, some patriotic Americans will argue that the state is what grants us our rights, and as such, we should thank them for this. While the government cannot give us rights, in rare cases, the state does protect certain God-given, inalienable rights, however, we should not thank an institution prone to infringing on our rights, just because it hasn’t yet infringed on them all.

Living with and preaching this mindset would only lead to further infringement and an overall reduction in wellbeing and freedom.  

The only solution, then, is to be as critical and judgmental of the state as possible, rather than being patriotic and supporting our country at every turn. America was founded by straying away from an overreaching and overly coercive government, and thus, to support the states attempted enslavement of its populace by following the blind path of patriotism is about as un-American as it gets.

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  1. “The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination.” – Voltaire

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