Good Patriotic Folks
Pictured Enver Pasha, Leader of The Young Turks, killer of 2.6 million people.
Let us examine patriotism for a moment. What does it do? Well, in the good column it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps even our chests swell a bit when we think about it. In the negative category it justifies us killing millions of people and denying the chance for relevance and greatness to billions of others.
Why does patriotism make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. After all we don't have anything to do with being born in any certain spot. We have about as much to do with our country of origin as we do with the laws of physics. Taken from this view point, patriotism makes about as much sense as being proud that the earth is held in orbit by a force called gravity. And yet most human beings take great pride in the placement of their mother's vagina the day they were born (unless the individual created the country, or immigrated in which case they can justifiably be patriotic). The reason is inevitable superiority. You can always feel special for being patriotic. It makes you special, it makes you better than someone else. Better yet you can never screw it up, and being that it is inheritance you get it completely undeservedly. That is why we are proud of arbitrary and rapidly shifting boundaries scribbled across this globe. To be powerful and special regardless of how worthless and incompetant, regardless of how undeserving of life you are, this is the goal of humanity up to this point.
What bad has it done? Well off the top of my head, and limiting myself to genocides in the last 90 years (to include the wars caused by patriotism would likely stretch this article to thousands of pages) I seem to remember a great deal of carnage and wasting of humanity. First, starting in 1915 the Turkish people swellled up with national pride and decided to increas their national unity. The subversive and decidedly un Turkish Armenians therefore had to go. 2.6 million of them were executed, beaten to death, starved, or tortured to death for the sake of national unity. Starting in the early 30s Josef Stalin noticed that the Cossacks were not living the Russian way. This threat to Russianness, this festering afront to national security was summarily liquidated to a huge extent, some say up to 30 million. Good patriotic folks from Germany gave up everything for the glory of the nation and in the exitement threw a little party called the Holocost. Later pride in being a Hutu and the desire to strengthen Hutuness led them to murder 800,000 innocent Tutsis in Rwanda. We all remember our friend Slobodan Milosevic and his little cleansing?
One thing you'll notice is that all of these nations were destroyed, or nearly destroyed as a result of their patriotism. The Turks were so enthralled with strengthening national unity that they were destroyed in WW1 only three years later. Stalin so thoroghly staggered the USSR with his national security measures that he was nearly destroyed by a German force fighting on four fronts. Hitler committed suicide in a completely devastated country only 12 years after founding the most patriotic regime seen on earth. Rwanda went from being a crummy place to a shithole. Slobodan Milosevic now stands in front of a war crimes tribunal and looks out of his cell window only to see a torn and broken Bosnia. Look at how good patriotism is for Sudan right now. Any hope they had of economic improvement is being destroyed and they are facing the very real threat of military invasion.
Why does patriotism cause this degeneration of power? Simply, it prefers its own. At its mildest it prefers its native born for positions of power and stiffles in incoming talent not from its own boarders through immigration strangulation. It absolutely does not pursue human talent from other countries. In its more extreme forms it actively rids itself of talent that would otherwise be helping it. Germany for example, spent a great deal of energy ridding itself of people like Albert Einstien. Also "its own" is often a safe, uninspiring, uninventive person who fits into the national stereotype and is thus useless for the purposes of evolution and innovation. Without those two things power is severely crippled. Without power there is only destruction.
Hurray for national unity in Rwanda