The United States of America typically portrays their involvement in other nation’s affairs as heroic, however Zinn highlights some of the less heroic aspects of America intervening in other countries’ problems. A major problem is that America used race as a reason to either help or deny help to a country. I understand the thought process behind not helping a nation that follows opposing economic systems or policies, but I find it to be shameful that race played a role in whether the United States helped a country in a time of need. I struggle to grasp the concept that war is necessary for a nation. There will always be sensitivity within a nation when deciding whether to go to war, but unfortunately it oftentimes doesn’t even matter what the general public think about a war. The American Elites are the people that decide whether or not the nation will go to war, and consequently the elite members of society are the people who benefit from the war.
I worry that the widespread patriotism in America could have a negative impact on the world. It is much easier for the government to brainwash a group of people if they have pride in their country, and if it is easy to unite a country behind a war then it is more likely the government will choose to pursue the war. My whole life I thought of American pride as a good thing, but I am beginning to question my patriotism everyday. In this class we have broken down so many things that make loving America so difficult. In previous posts I have questioned why the education system is so flawed, but I am beginning to see the answer to my question. If people only learn the positive history about America, then they will naturally develop pride in their country, and therefore be willing to help the government when called upon to serve. I am not sure this is the reason the education system left out so many details about American history, but this is definitely a side effect that benefits the American Elites that make decisions for the country. There is a very interesting dynamic between the education system and patriotism, but I need more information to confirm the connection between them.
I completely agree with you about your idea of connecting patriotism and the education system. I think the connection between them is that the education system instills within us a patriotic attitude that we naturally go along with until we learn why we shouldn’t like we are now. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a patriotic attitude, only if it is coming from the truths of history and not from the lies we were told to believe.
I too can admit that I have questioned my patriotism as a result of this class. It’s tough to speak so highly about your country when so many perspectives of history have been swept under the rug. As I look under that metaphoric rug, the idea of being patriotic is definitely a struggle now. I’m definitely interested in discovering the new perspectives of history in this class.