Posted by Adam @ 10:36 am on February 28th 2007

National Purpose

I find the idea of ‘National Purpose’ to be disturbing, unless it’s cast as ‘freedom to choose’. Chris Dillow, lefty econonerd, has a good piece on the nonsense of Gordon Brown, presumptive British Prime Minister, calling for ‘national purpose’ as a handy catch-all solution for societal problems.

While I’m at it and on a tangent, I also don’t like daily indoctrination, for kids, into the benefits of belonging to a nation, nor direction as to which countries, or for that matter systems or religions, are bad. Those are decisions that people can make later in life. We do, in any case, seem predisposed to love our countries, even in the absence of indoctrination; furthermore, if you need indoctrination (which I don’t think is the case for the UK or the US) to convince people of the value of something, it’s probably not that valuable. This should be particularly evident to Christians (plus many other religious types) and democracy-loving Westerners, given that for both the primacy of free will is ideologically well-established.


  1. Careful, the logical road you are travelling along could lead you to support removing references to God from money, courthouses, and the national anthem. Indeed, you might find yourself supporting the notion of removing organized recitation of the anthem from classrooms.

    Comment by tessellated — 2/28/2007 @ 11:26 am

  2. I have never witnessed the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools myself, but I am sure that it’ll weird me out if I do. There’s nothing like it in UK schools.

    Comment by Adam — 2/28/2007 @ 11:28 am

  3. I remember having to do it in grades 1 and 2. I then moved to a different school system that didn’t begin the day with saying the pledge. I’m not sure how old I was when I started to question that policy (and also the reference to a supreme divinity) but it was before I made it to junior high. Had I been older, I probably would have made some sort of trouble for the teacher.

    Comment by tessellated — 2/28/2007 @ 11:43 am

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