Schoppenhauer

Dear Reader,

National pride is having a renaissance. In the US a shmock was elected president with the slogan “Make America great again”.  How much of a shmock is he? Well, just check, where the slogan came from here, it (quote)

is a campaign slogan used in American politics that originated with the Ronald Reagan campaign of 1980.

And the UK went bonkers and voted to leave the EU. The motivation there too can be summarized with national pride. How successful has national pride been for the UK? As an example check the history of “Made in Germany” here,

The label was originally introduced in Britain by the Merchandise Marks Act 1887, to mark foreign produce more obviously, as foreign manufactures had been falsely marking inferior goods with the marks of renowned British manufacturing companies and importing them into the United Kingdom. …

Germany successfully leveraged the Made in Germany tag as a brand synonymous of product reliability and quality.

Oh, that worked well. Just not for the UK.

So, who needs national pride and why? Someone a lot smarter than me, Arthur Schopenhauer answered these questions:

On the other hand, the cheapest form of pride is national pride; for the man affected therewith betrays a want of individual qualities of which he might be proud, since he would not otherwise resort to that which he shares with so many millions.

The man who possesses outstanding personal qualities will rather see most clearly the faults of his own nation, for he has them constantly before his eyes.

But every miserable fool, who has nothing in the world whereof he could be proud, resorts finally to being proud of the very nation to which he belongs. In this he finds compensation and is now ready and thankful to defend, … all the faults and follies peculiar to it.

From ‘Parerga and Paralipomena’, Vol. 1, Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life, ‘What A Man Represents’

National pride gives me shivers. It was one driving force behind both world wars.

Ask yourself, don’t you have anything better to be proud of?

I am certain, you do.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

3 thoughts on “Schoppenhauer

  1. I agree, UK seems to struggle with National Pride, it’s as if we are embarrassed to show our true feelings.
    Wherever I’ve been in the USA, people fly the flag with pride. Here in UK we all disagree what flag we should fly as everyone wants to identify with which part of Britain they are from.
    My niece insists she is not British, she is Scottish, but she supports a Scottish soccer team that will only fly the Union Jack, not the Saltire in the same way their arch rivals fly the Irish flag.
    We are a nation full of bigotry & hatred.

  2. Here we go again….
    How is it that it’s fine for the US to be proud of their “American” identity and not The Brits?
    It’s not the English that have the problem with the Union Jack, it’s the Scots, Irish and Welsh who want their identity back. That puts division into the Union Flag and starts the English off wanting to fly theirs. Hail St. George! I always say I’m English, not British anyway.
    Coming out of the EU was not bonkers, it was common sense. No little Englander mentality about it either. All we want is to control things for ourselves, without the imposition of faceless bureaucrats in Brussels dictating things. Most of Europe feel the same way, but are in too deep! Brussels will make it as hard as possible for us to leave with the sort of arrangement best all round, but that’s typical as they’re afraid if we get out well others will follow. Bring it on!

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