At its heart, patriotism is little more than a disguised form of racism in a socially palatable form. It is politically incorrect to declare racial superiority, but the pride of Nationalism is perfectly acceptable. The former threatens the social order, the latter galvanizes it; it gives the whole society a focus for their hate, an emotion, which we are often told is wrong but only for those who are close at hand never at a distance. This contradiction seems never to be addressed. The idea that one is not allowed to despise one group of people of a certain genetic disposition but are given free reign to express their disgust with another group under a common banner should indicate like an alarm bell a societies failures by a reassignment of its blame.
Hate and pride go as well together as anything can. It is usually out of a hurt pride that we feel hatred. We resent it when others reveal our faults and throw them up to our face (even though they may be perfectly true). I have felt it all too often myself, that gnawing rage that blinds us from everything but retribution, to that empty desire to "pay back." And all we accomplish is yet more resentment and more hatred. Not one of our revealed faults is corrected, are in fact made all the more obvious by our actions, and we do not grow one jot from the experience.
And it is growth that the spirit wants. The cage of nations, however, seeks to deaden the spirit. It is not in the interests of governments and corporations to have people just willy-nilly expressing freedom from fear and hate, for then, what need do we have for a government to protect us, or for corporations to supply us with luxuries to entertain us in our bunkers. Better to keep us apart and in our separate boxes - divide and conquer.
I want more of life not less of it. I do not seek to be placed within boundaries and customs by classes and categories, for the spirit is bigger than all these. I wish to believe that the great multitude of faceless nameless peoples have faces and names. That they are human as I am and will not hurt me if I show them kindness. The world will always be filled with those who hate and wish to destroy, but that should not stop the rest of us from heaving a sigh of sympathy and getting on with the stuff of life. Pride causes strife, causes hate, and causes misunderstanding in the world at large. Pride is the most salient feature of war. But pride in the self, shames the rage of the mob and can open a place in our hearts for love.