segunda-feira, abril 22, 2013

Tragedy Elicits State Worship

The Boston Marathon Bombings, Selective Empathy, and State Worship por John Glaser:
Whenever there is a horrible attack like this one, Americans invariably morph their feelings of anger and sadness into overt expressions of state worship. It seems almost instinctual. Everybody starts proclaiming their love for the USA – their pride and admiration for the police, military, and elected officials.

This is not trivial. States are violent institutions by their very nature, but they thrive on what is called “stability” because stability means people aren’t unsatisfied and disillusioned and are therefore less likely to question the authority of the government and “cause trouble.” It is a testament to hundreds of years of ideological propaganda in concert with state formation that the first instinct of most people after such an incident is to rally around the flag, the government, its officials, and its armed militias.

In times like these, patriotism and nationalistic fervor take over – which is just another way of saying dissent and self-criticism are met with heightened hostility.

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