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Original: From Aristotles to Albert Einstein, a Common Theme [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2016-5-26 23:01:25 |Display all floors


Let us take a leisurely stroll through the accumulated wisdoms expressed by the literati on fatherlands and citizens. Let us sit back in a comfortable seat on the express coach that takes us to Karl Marx in the 19th century and even to Aristotle 2400 years ago.


Aristotle:
"It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen."

Very ambivalent, Mr Aristotles was. Not even Donald Trump could "trump" him at it.

James Baldwin:
"I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."

A very patriotic sentiment.

Oscar Wilde:
"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious."

Note his sharp tongue...

Mark Twain:
"Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it."

Could anyone disagree with him?

Albert Einstein:
"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at oncve. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this; how despicable and ignoble war is..."

Note: Albert Einstein escaped the horrors of Nazi Germany.

Edward Abbey:
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."

Sounds oxymoronic but is the quintessence of moder democratic life.




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Post time 2016-5-26 23:10:01 |Display all floors
Why did I begin this thread?

I have my own concept of what a good citizen is; it is at variance with that of many people who confuse it with being nationalist.

In my view, a good citizen or good patriot (is there a difference?) is a person who unreservedly loves everything and everyone in his home country. That said, a good patriot protects everything in his or her country - fellow citizens, children, the elderly, the disabled, the disadvantaged; he or she pays taxes without grumbling expecting them to flow into the nation's coffers and to help pay for services to everyone. A good patriot will never litter, damage the environment gratui8tously, enrich himself or herself at the epxense of the poor or the state.

Of course, a couyntry needs to be run by dedicated and patriotic civil servants. Civil servants must prove their loyalty to the public, their love and loyalty to their compatriots.

Patriotic citizens never cheat the state or their fellow citizens and patriotic officials never take bribes or favour certain members of the public over others.  

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Post time 2016-5-27 09:17:22 |Display all floors

Karl Marx famously said:

"The working men have no counbtry."

Today many countries are running low on working men...

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Post time 2016-5-29 07:52:28 |Display all floors
seneca Post time: 2016-5-27 09:17
Karl Marx famously said:

"The working men have no counbtry."

Another good Marx quote is "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

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Post time 2016-5-29 10:32:12 |Display all floors
pimpernel2 Post time: 2016-5-29 09:26
Good original Seneca. As you know, I'm not a nationalist, or patriot to Britannia and would never de ...



Thanks for the congenial comment, Pimpernel!
I too am more comfortable watching the developments in my home country from a distance. Living among my compatriots would only raise my body temperature. In this regard, I am an expat, no matter whether I feel any attachment to that country's soil and people or not.

Then again, I believe I know where you are coming from what with your fond memories of the 1960s and 1970s. The Flower Power time had many magic effects; I was too young to be involved in Hippie activities but I benefitted from their achievements and I relish those days when dreaming was actively encouraged by the Beatles, by John Lennon etc.

Youths dream a lot more than grown-ups do; it is a pity we all have to one day abandon dreaming and become "realist". As youths, we condemned the ruling men and women of the day but as grown-ups we support them.

This is why it is important not to empty the bathwater without flushing the baby out as well. We should retain some idealism towards the system that allowed us in our youth to have dreams. We can work throughout our lives to make some of those dreams come true.

A true patriot owes his country and his country owes him; the rulers should never forget that and strive to earn their compatriots' respect.

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Post time 2016-5-30 22:05:27 |Display all floors
pimpernel2 Post time: 2016-5-29 09:26
Good original Seneca. As you know, I'm not a nationalist, or patriot to Britannia and would never de ...

Vote for Bernie.....Hippies rule...
Never Let Anyone Outside The Family Know What You're Thinking.

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Post time 2016-5-30 22:06:00 |Display all floors
pimpernel2 Post time: 2016-5-29 09:26
Good original Seneca. As you know, I'm not a nationalist, or patriot to Britannia and would never de ...

Vote for Bernie.....Hippies rule...
Never Let Anyone Outside The Family Know What You're Thinking.

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