About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
My country, right or wrong?
Later on, on 17 October 1899, Schurz gave a speech at an event called the Anti-Imperialist Conference, in Chicago. Imagine anybody organizing such an event in today's America! Schurz elaborated on his original comment: “I confidently trust that the American people will prove themselves … too wise not to detect the false pride or the dangerous ambitions or the selfish schemes which so often hide themselves under that deceptive cry of mock patriotism: ‘Our country, right or wrong!’ They will not fail to recognize that our dignity, our free institutions and the peace and welfare of this and coming generations of Americans will be secure only as we cling to the watchword of true patriotism: ‘Our country—when right to be kept right; when wrong to be put right.’”
Americans have come abysmally short of Schurz's expectations during the last five years. Perhaps the Democrats will muster some of Schurz's guts during the upcoming election, and reclaim the word patriotism from the mindless and dangerous idiocy Republicans have turned it into.