Peace is Unpatriotic

War is armed hostile conflict between states. Peace is absence of war. Patriotism is love or devotion to one's state. Now that we've defined terms, let's look at the situation.

The US state rulers want war, in the form of occupation of foreign territories. If you have love or devotion for your state, then you go along with your rulers and support the occupations. Cheer the war, dutifully pay taxes to fund the war, sacrifice your children to fight the war, and celebrate the slaughter of innocent people to win the war.

Those of us who want peace, and are not devoted to serving the state's rulers or bleeding for their ambitions, are decidedly unpatriotic. We think the State is wrong, we think the rulers are criminals, we loathe the state - the mass-murdering institution of war and plunder.

Thus, it worries me when self-labeled peaceniks try to position themselves as patriots. It's a clear case of *failure to understand the concept.* The state is the problem, not the solution. I understand why these misguided folks do it: "Patriotism" is a sugary feel-good word on TV and in newspapers, so why not try to hijack its meaning for the cause of peace? Why not associate "peace" with the nicey-nice word "patriotism." There are two things wrong with this. One: Peace is good in itself, for many reasons. There's no need to appeal to (and soil it with) patriotism. Second: The juxtaposition of "peace" and "patriotism" sends a conflicting message. War is the health of the state; Peace is the infirmity of the state. Peace is keeping the state so weak the rulers cannot engage in foreign aggression, maintain foreign bases, or poison and bomb foreign peoples.

Appealing to nationalism, jingoism, and patriotism undermines the most effective actions and strategies for stopping war. It is unpatriotic people, the tax-resisters and draft resisters, who limit the state's ability to wage war. It is the traitors who are the most effective peacemakers. It is the teenager who says "fuck you" to the state's military recruiters, who spits on the flag and laughs at the brain-dead big lies, who will win peace.

Patriotism is the root of all evil. It is the motive-power of war, the word that calls sheep to their slaughter, the depraved fiction that glosses over mass slaughter and torture. "Patriotism" is a slave mentality, the fatuity of human lemmings willing to immolate themselves at the whim of depraved masters.

A patriotic peacenik already has the poison of the next war coursing through his tainted blood. "Stop this war," he cries, while tilling the soil for the next war. "Stop the war but love Big Brother," he bleats, glorifying the creator of all past wars, and preparing the next barbarity in Iran, or Sudan, or Colombia. To these misguided state-duped patriots we say: You cannot love and worship the god of war, and truly oppose war. To oppose war you must oppose the institutions which create war. The state is evil - it is the root cause of war. Not just your state, but all states. It's the institution, stupid!

Rise up, anti-patriots! Be seditionist, traitorous, and true to humanity. Do the right thing - condemn your state. Love thy neighbor and hate thy state. Be peaceful, unpatriotic, and proud.

Hogeye Bill


Here's a sample of what wise men throughout the ages have said about patriotism:

When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.
- Lao-Tzu (6TH CENTURY B.C.), Legendary Chinese philosopher.

Never was patriot yet, but was a fool.
- John Dryden (1631-1700), English poet, dramatist, critic.

Patriot - One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole. The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. author. The Devil's Dictionary (1881-1906).

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
- Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author, lexicographer.
Under Ambrose Bierce's entry for Patriotism in his Devil's Dictionary (see above), Bierce added: "In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer I beg to submit that it is the first."

"My country, right or wrong" ... is like saying "My mother, drunk or sober."
- G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936), British author.

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed. - Luis Bunuel (1900-1983), Spanish filmmaker. My Last Sigh, ch. 14 (1983).

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice. Erich Fromm (1900-1980), U.S. psychologist. The Sane Society, ch. 3, "Rootedness-Brotherliness vs. Incest" (1955).

Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it. - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. A Mencken Chrestomathy, "Sententiae: The Mind of Men" (1949).

Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, and conscience, and a slavish enthralment to those in power. And as such it is recommended wherever it is preached. Patriotism is slavery. - Leo Tolstoy, "On Patriotism"