-‘Are you proud to be an American?'
_‘Um, I don’t know, I didn’t have a lot to do with it. You know, my parents fucked there, that’s about all." ~ Bill Hicks
"If you don't like it here, you can leave" ~ Binky the Dog-Faced Daily Mail Apologist.
I love my country. This is the truth.
I have a genuine affection for the British Isles, both for its landscape and political system, for its hills and for the Houses of Parliament*. However, this is not purely a function of my being brought up here. This is because I have an aesthetic and political sympathy with the elements I mentioned previously. Listen.
There's no consent involved in where you're brought up. By the time you're old enough and (if you're lucky) affluent enough to leave, you're already deeply involved with the Welfare State, taxation, are protected** by the police, and so are considered by many to owe something to Society. But you had no choice to be involved with these things. They were all imposed on you as a child whether you liked them or not. Furthermore, if the "debt to society" argument is refuted, then we're left with the idea that you should Love Your Country because it is, er, Your Country. Or rather, I should say, Support Your Society. This does not make any logical sense. The only reason to support and otherwise buy into a society is because you consider it a morally admirable society. Equally, if you live in a bad society, the only logical response is to leave or find a way to change it until it's better. This is why I get so annoyed at Binky's insistence that "Them immigrants shouldn't come here if they don't like Our Way Of Life (tm) so much": the whole point of a democracy is that it's got room for more than one point of view - if people who don't like aspects of the established order shouldn't move in from elsewhere, (and assuming Binky isn't just racist scum) where does that leave dissenters who live here already? I'll reiterate: The only way to react to a bad society is to seek to change it by whatever means you consider moral.
An example: If you believe that lethal force is an acceptable means of political change AND you live in a society you perceive to be morally reprehensible AND you consider said violent change proportionate, then you're morally obliged to become a terrorist. You're also a repulsive throwback to the Middle Ages who is ruining the century for all the good children. And your initials are quite possibly "G.W.B", but that's a different post. However, equally, if you believe in democracy, then you should either Vote for a party that you believe in or Stand Yourself, You Bastard. My Point: Patriotic duty is an irrational concept when based on where you happened to be born, but extremely valid if based on the Good Society (real or possible) of your own choice. To Make It More Clear: "Don't like it here? Then Revolution Is Your Moral Duty".
*Well, one of them, anyway. I'll let you guess which one I mean.
**Read: "Occasionally shot in the head if you're a bit dusky".