Tag Archives: radio

Radio Essay: Patriotism

This originally aired on The Final Straw radio show.

Patriotism is a really twisted if you think about it. It’s a kind of moral and intellectual cowardice. To be patriotic is to cheer for your country- which means the government of your country, which is to say the government that claims jurisdiction over you. Patriotism demands that you cheer for that government and hope it prevails over some other government that claims jurisdiction over other people.

What determines who you cheer for isn’t principles or the qualities of character demonstrated by this government or or that one, but geography. If you are born in Minnesota, patriotism demands that you cheer for the side that the Minnesota National Guard fights on, even if-such as the Civil War- your state is fighting against other states such as Georgia. You have to cheer for Minnesota and the United States. Patriotism says so, even if, for instance, you’re vacationing in Georgia at the time hostilities break out.

The issue of slavery or states rights or federalism are irrelevant.
Those are principles. Patriots don’t care about those things.What matters is geography.

Now, if you are born in one state but move to another state, patriotism demands that you cheer for the government where your house is located. So, at the time of the Civil War, if you were born in Minnesota, but you moved to Georgia, and you were in Pennsylvania  on vacation when hostilities broke out, you have to cheer for the Confederate States because your home is in Georgia. It doesn’t matter where your person is.
If all that seems very confusing, we can simplify. To be patriotic, you have to cheer for the government that gouges you for the most tax money. You are obligated to reserve your greatest allegiance to the government that robs the most.
In fact, you are obligated, as a patriot, to volunteer and lay down your life in defense of the interests of the government that gouges you by killing as many people as you can who volunteer to defend the government that gouges them.
So, if, at any time, you come to the irrational conclusion that the government that gouges you might not be superior to some other government that never took a dime from you, and that you have nothing personal against that other government or the subjects it gouges, and you have the misfortune of speaking these sentiments out loud, you can be hanged from the nearest tree as a traitor.
See, patriotism requires you to believe in your country- which, really, is your government, which really is the government gouging you- is the “good guys”even when that government isn’t acting like the“good guys.” Patriotism is a kind of mass dishonesty where every one must pretend the government isn’t a bully and a hypocrite and a liar a murderer and a thief, even when all the evidence is right under your nose tells you the government really is. Patriotism demands that you insist your county is doing “ the right thing,” even when it is a reprehensible atrocity. You have to shake pom-poms for the home team, even when the home team is a bunch of ruthless monsters. You have to blindly serve the interests of the government gouging you rather than standing up for the principles you believe in, and rather than serving your own best interests.
That’s how governments stick around. They convince the people of their nation that they are exceptional and their government is exceptional. This euphoric government worship blinds everyone to the continuous and never ending crisis the government creates. In the U.S. the government has created an untold number of crises. The financial crisis, the unemployment crisis, the drug crisis, the economic crisis, the housing crisis, the environmental crisis,the energy crisis and of coarse, the international crisis of the week, the terrorism crisis, the crime crisis,the crazy gunman shooting people in public places crisis,the infrastructure crisis and on and on…..They never end. If not for sloganeering and flag-waving that manipulates all of us, we’d recognize how government makes our lives intolerable and we’d act in our own best interests ,toppling not just our lives intolerable and we’d act in our own best interests, toppling not just our government but every government and putting down anybody else who attempted to impose another one.
My allegiance is to freedom, a world without governments. I don’t love my country. I don’t have a country. And if I had one, it certainly would not act like this.
The government hated me first.
This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from Ohio’s supermax facility. If you can hear the sound of my voice, you are the resistance.

Sean Swain Radio

Sean Swain is now providing regular commentary to The Final Straw, an anarchist radio show out of Asheville NC. They’ll be featuring a five minute segment from Sean on most every episode starting last Sunday and going until the ODRC takes away phone access.

Here’s the first show with this feature:  http://www.ashevillefm.org/the-final-straw/01/2014/hunger-strike-at-westville-in-in-sean-swain-radio-and-more

Here’s an episode from a few months back featuring a longer interview with Sean and Blackjack: http://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2013/11/11/sean-swain-blackjack-the-army-of-the-12-monkeys/

The Final Straw Radio Interview with Sean and Blackjack

The Final Straw, an anarchist radio show out of Asheville, NC recently did a show about Sean, the army of the 12 monkeys, and various related topics.

You can find it here: https://thefinalstrawradio.noblogs.org/post/2013/11/11/sean-swain-blackjack-the-army-of-the-12-monkeys/

More about The Final Straw:

The Final Straw is an hour-long radio show that strives to provide information and contribute to awareness of and participation in self-liberatory activities around the world by providing a platform to English-language listeners to learn about current struggles and ideas.  Simply stated, we promote non-sectarian Anarchism(s) to enrich the struggle and widen participation in the battles against Capital, State & Coercion.  We believe that the liberation of each is tied to the liberation of all, and so work to cover struggles against Prisons, Police, Sexism, Racism, Hetero-patriarchy and able-ism.  We support autogestion and autonomy.