Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth!

Emma Goldman, "What is Patriotism?" (1908):

We Americans claim to be a peace-loving people. We hate bloodshed; we are opposed to violence. Yet we go into spasms of joy over the possibility of projecting dynamite bombs from flying machines upon helpless citizens. We are ready to hang, electrocute, or lynch anyone, who, from economic necessity, will risk his own life in the attempt upon that of some industrial magnate. Yet our hearts swell with pride at the thought that America is becoming the most powerful nation on earth, and that she will eventually plant her iron foot on the necks of all other nations.

Such is the logic of patriotism.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Wakefield" (1837):
Amid the seeming confusion of our mysterious world, individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one another and to a whole, that, by stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever.
Marilynne Robinson, "Psalm Eight" (1996):
So I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of the miracle is here, among us.


Anonymous said...

Phila - I saw something today that was pretty incredible - just short of miraculous. I'm in Lake City, Colorado - tiny place, mostly retired people live here in the summer and the fourth is beyond patriotic, as a rule. It's like a VFW picnic most years, with the Air Force jets screaming overhead to start the parade.

Today there were about 8 guys marching in the parade as Veterans to Bring the Troops Home Now! I was, well, very surprised, to say the least. That was one of the most 4th of July as Independence Day things I've seen happen in awhile. Just wanted to share.

Has Robert taken down comments?

Phila said...

Great news, Tena! Pleased to hear it. I do think we're coming to our senses, gradually....

Re: RMJ, I noticed earlier that the comments weren't working, but I can't see him closing them down (unless I were spouting even more nonsense than usual).

I think Haloscan's just having "issues."