24. Oct, 2017

24.10.17...MY COUNTRY 'TIS OF THEE 2


On a serious note after yesterday, is it possible to make objective value judgements between even adjacent neighbours? Is there a yard stick by which we can measure one nation against another and so justifiably be able to say that State A is superior to State B? If there were, would it not be but a short step to that form of patriotism that sees one’s own nation superior to everyone else’s and most frightening of all, “my country right or wrong?” (I speak as one who has walked the battlefields of the Somme).

“Instead of criticising, why don’t you just bugger off and live somewhere else?” say those who believe such a yardstick does exist in face of my denial.
My first response is to smile sorrowfully and gently point out that dissent and disloyalty are not necessarily the same thing.
My second response? If in the “Republic,” Socrates was right in claiming that “the state was the individual citizen writ large” then all states will possess the same mixture of strengths and weaknesses of the latter. We do not expect individuals to be 100% good or 100% bad but judge their actions on a sliding scale of between 60% and 40% either way. So why not assess states, including one’s own in the same way?
My third response is that all societies have the same ideologies or agendas but they have different priorities and speeds of change. Individual freedom might be high on western agendas but low on those of some Asian states. It is how things are.
(To be continued)