Patriotism

In fact I don’t really care about the friction between China and Japan. All these conflicts are pointless. Let the politicians of these two countries play what they want to play. It’s never been a matter for the public mass to get concerned about. And less a matter for a foreigner to get concerned about.

Becoming a foreigner to the country of your birth is not easy. I need to frequently remind myself that China is not my country any more, that I don’t need to care any more, and that I’d better forget about those stupid things happening in China.

And as a matter of fact, I do care less about China now, at least compared to Singapore.

And this whole process shows the stupidity of patriotism. You have to love a country in which you happened to be born and to accept that this country happens to be the best and superior country in the world. If you change your nationality, you are unpatriotic, or it may be seen as a betrayal.

Patriotism is basically a collective narcissism. Narcissism is different from self-respect or self-esteem. Narcissism is irrational and self-hypnotising. Narcissism is not based on facts but a distorted, modified, perceived reality. Distortion and modification to the reality are necessary and essential; without which you can’t hypnotise yourself.

Any modern, decent government should ensure that patriotism is not a duty but a right, and that unpatriotism should not be considered as a crime. You can be a patriot, and you can refuse to be one. But you do not need to be one.

Any civilised society should consider patriotism a personal choice, together with religious belief (and disbelief) and sexual orientation, rather than a measure of morality. I am sure George Washington was very unpatriotic to the British Empire, but that didn’t remove him from the list of commonly perceived moral figures.

‘I do not love this country’ doesn’t mean ‘I hate this country’. And even if someone really hates his country, he is not less moral than a patriot. Feelings and thoughts should be free. We are not living in nineteen eighty-four, under the watch of Big Brother. We shouldn’t have thoughtcrimes.

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