In America you can say anything you want, as long as it doesn’t have any effect.
– Paul Goodman
The vacuity of serious thought in America is revealed in so many instances that it is difficult to put together a top-ten list of candidates. Among the fatuous contenders is that involving the question of whether NFL players should stand for the playing of the national anthem. Not since the 1988 presidential campaign, when George W. Bush focused on the sanctity of the Pledge of Allegiance to satisfy members of the boobeoisie to elect him president, has so much mental energy been spent on such a hollow topic.
Patriotic rituals serve one purpose: to reinforce the conditioning begun in childhood with flag salutes and daily Pledges of Allegiance, reminding the citizens of a state that their lives are subservient to the collective interests of the established order. Where hundreds or thousands of individuals gather for an event of common interest – such as a sporting events – the dynamics of mass psychology can be mobilized to remind those in attendance of the importance of commitments to matters that transcend the interests of their home team. Out come the flags accompanied by color-guards; a military band; and a singer to lead the crowd in the statist hymn: The Star-Spangled Banner.
The refusal of athletes or fans to stand for this observance of state dominance, is a public challenge to the homogenization of obedience to constituted authority; an admission that some – if only a handful – may be stepping to
A Libertarian Critique…
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the beat of a different drummer than the one in the Marine Corps band. The fear that not everyone is committed to…