Patriotism-the tax test

The recent controversies about singing Land of Hope and Glory at the Proms and various posts on things like Facebook have set us at LSS thinking-how can you tell a patriot, someone who truly loves their country, from a fake one? We are filled with admiration for true patriots, those who sacrificed all in war for their community or nation, and endured hardships which we frankly doubt that we could support. We understand why genuine patriots love their flags and want to proclaim their faith in a community which is far bigger than themselves or their families. Just about every nation and religion does it, and so it seems pretty close to human nature to us.

That said, anyone who has seriously got over adolescence will have encountered another type; the tub thumper and flag waver: the ones whose mask of patriotism conceals their own agenda, for whom other people’s sacrifice is a very useful thing indeed. You may need to be able to tell one from the other before you get into a trench with them: otherwise you might find yourself facing an enemy alone, never a good place to be.

We have always found that if people love something, be it a car, a house or a community, they will put money into it. If you love your country, you will be pleased to help pay for things like schools, armed forces, roads, welfare systems and clean air, because they benefit all members of your community. Example: History shows that a good education system is a sure bastion of defence, if only because you get to produce the scientists and technologists who can make the best kit for your armed forces.

There is always room for a healthy argument about the correct level of tax. But flags and badges are cheap, anyone can wave them. A nation is like a house- you have to pay for its upkeep. Surely true patriots are more than happy to pay their share?

#patriotism #taxes #nationalism

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