A Country We Could Feel Proud Of – Free Ebook

among most intelligent people feeling proud of one’s country is a deeply suspect emotion perilously close to jingoism and racism it has for several generations been a mark of sophistication to disavow any nationalistic emotion the problem is that ignoring nationalism doesn’t make it go away it leaves it unguided and undeveloped ready for exploitation by the worst voices in a society we aren’t capable of doing without nationalism so the challenge is to find our way to the better kinds the desire to feel proud of one’s community is a natural and noble impulse we just need sophisticated ways of directing our urge for pride collective pride is so important because there’s never enough to be proud of in a single life nationalism takes the pressure off all of us it lightens the oppressive responsibility we’d otherwise feel to ensure that our own lives could always be stellar and heroic that’s why patriotism invariably proves especially appealing to those who have the narrowest opportunities in a society a fact that elites have not always treated with the requisite compassion with well-focused nationalism we don’t have to do it all ourselves we can find happiness in something in which we have a small stake but that goes far beyond us if our longing for collective pride were taken more seriously we learned to invest more money and energy in things that were owned by everyone because we’d recognize that this would include us it may be gratifying to own a luxury car but there’s something properly stirring about being a part owner along with 300 million others of a collection of next-generation high-speed trains that cross the land at close to the speed of sound what are the ideal targets for national pride the ancient spartans directed their pride towards military strength their neighbours the athenians felt proud of the beauty of the parthenon the quality of their playwrights and the wisdom of their philosophers a really fine society is not one that’s outgrown collective pride it’s one where people are proud of genuinely great and admirable things as a philosophical thought experiment let’s imagine the citizens of a future utopian society being asked to list some of the things that they were collectively proudest of in their society it’s not just that there are a few standout famous buildings citizens are proud of the diffuse general beauty of their urban environments in this utopia it’s normal for a very ordinary street to look exceptionally charming there’s a lot of censorship over public advertising and signage it’s entirely straightforward to get divorced but people tend not to because of the collective investment in the stages leading up to marriage and because of the sophisticated support provided by the state when things get tricky the ministry of human relationships has a powerful voice at the cabinet table no government would ever contemplate cutting back its budget public honours are taken very seriously but what’s really notable is what they’re given for the encouragement of maturity the display of wisdom the promotion of beauty and the alignment of profit with the meeting of our higher needs it’s a country obsessed with celebrities one of the top celebrities is a part-time waiter in a cafe and is widely regarded as the most well-balanced person in the country his attitude to shoes travel he loves going camping near the lakes and relationships have been highly influential another public hero is a primary school teacher she is deeply admired for her freestyle dancing and her attempts to deal with her [Music] an annual event which takes place early in the evening on the 2nd of october everyone takes time usually around 15 minutes to contemplate the sky there’s quite a bit of build up celebrities discuss their favorite kinds of clouds and why these mean so much to them and what they’re hoping to see this year the elderly reminisce about a spectacular 2010 cumulonimbus it’s not illegal or even particularly frowned upon to drink alcohol but they drink so much elderflower and other cordials because on the whole they’re very keen on keeping cheerful and focused good government is not dependent upon which particular elected representative is in charge mostly the issues which affect everyone’s life are linked to policies which are developed and applied over many years elections tend not to be about the personality of party leaders but more about tweaks to the direction in which the state is traveling the richest person in the country is a psychoanalyst the country has the world’s most beautiful network of public swimming pools on average the heads of primary schools earn more than financiers there’s a national reputation for being tactful health insurance plans cover treatment for addiction to internet pornography we’ve been too sensitive about what can go wrong around various kinds of collective pride the rallies in nuremberg evoke a constant fear of collective aggression and insanity pride in genuinely good things creates a powerful and hugely welcome sense of belonging it assuages loneliness and provides benign motivation in a secular complex and specialized world we need to feel that we’re not just stray individuals dependent for our esteem on our own achievements but also that we are members of a wider entity for which we’re prepared to work and make wise sacrifices a nation which to put it romantically we can feel ready to love our book small pleasures guides us around the best of life’s overlooked or underestimated pleasures to find out more follow the link on your screen now you

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