Today I awoke question the virtue of patriotism. Questions run through my mind not unlike a possessed race horse. A simplistic definition of patriotism is the love of one’s country. Looking up in the Therasus I found its family of words including nationalism, loyalty, partisanship et.al. Of course the country is awash with many chaps being enrolled for patriotism classes and others educating them on patriotism. Having not attended any of the classes nor having actively engaged the breeders of patriots am ill-placed to meritoriously judge the content of the courses. Nor am I able to suitably make recommendations on either.
Notwithstanding the above defect, we can put on a weighing scale the new virtue of patriotism and we find out if it is indeed an absolute good. If we begin from first principles from the things we understand we can make an understanding of the issues at hand. If we are to eat an elephant we must cut it into tiny pieces. We therefore, by necessity, proceed having broken the issues under the broad headlines of: Love, Patriotism and war.
The first question to be asked is if patriotism is an absolute good. In my opinion it not. It cannot be compared to the greater ideal of “love for mankind”. But we are off in a rush; we ought to have defined love to make matters easier. The same Therasus Us, attaches the following appellations to Love: adoration, fanciness and worship. These are not light words. Adoration, fanciness and worship. But how can a man implanted with a logic function love without reason; impossibile!
Love is an emotion involving reciprocals; at least if its meant to last. The country being an inanimate thing it is impossible to expect one to fall head over heels when there are glaring short falls or impediments to the love affair; potholes, teargas, growing unemployment, warts and all. So while Uganda, its self has not overtly caused one to fall out of love with it some individuals may help you fall out of love with the country; thus negating the possibility of patriotism.
But under whose realm must this process of making your country lovable start? And why should not this silly nonsense be stopped all together. You must not forget that even the boundaries we are fixated about are artificial. They were man-made and imposed on us.
Next issue to concern ourselves is whether we can quantify this patriotism. Is it quite possible to make a numerical attachment. I know now all that counts can be counted at least have some qualitative measures in the same way how we are able to discern what embodies good upbringing, decency, beauty and respect. If this patriotism is as important as we are led to believe we must inveigle a method of determining in who or whom it most manifests itself. Otherwise in its present nebulous form it is the proverbial “byoya bya nswa.”
Why then do we allow our soldiers to die fighting for their motherland? Its their folly! Volenti non fit injuria; to one who is willing no harm can be done. The army presents huge obstacles to all who endeavor to enter their ranks. On day one at the recruitment center, one is forced to un-cloth to the chest; in full glare of all and sundry. Then Doctor then examines you with the plain purpose of looking for telltale scars that would justify rejection.If you are prone to scarring you are automatically rejected; you will be high maintenance on the institution.
You are made to run no less than five miles under hard and arduous conditions; before they declare you fit for the wicked tortures they have concocted in some wilderness. Coupled with spirit breaking exercises which if committed on sane and rational men would fall under the category of “inhuman and degrading treatment.” If these early tortures do not convince you to give up the foolhardy adventure why should you expect comfort and sympathy from me. The pirates of all at least got their motivations right when they signed under the black flag. At the end of the adventure was at least promise of gold of the scale of avarice.
Goodbye- am cured of the writer’s block.