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Guilt and Pride

George Carlin on national and ethnic pride:

I saw a slogan on a guy’s car that said “Proud to be an American” and I thought “What the fuck does that mean?”

I’ve never understood national pride. I’ve never understood ethnic pride.

I’m Irish. All four of my grandparents were Irish, and when I was a kid I would go to the St Patrick’s Day parade and they sold a button that said “Proud to be Irish”, but I knew that on Columbus day they sold the same button only it said “Proud to be Italian”, then came Black Pride, and Puerto Rican Pride. And I could never understand ethnic or national pride, because to me Pride should be reserved for something you achieve or attain on your own, not something that happens by accident of birth.

Being Irish isn’t a skill. It’s a fucking genetic accident.

You wouldn’t say I’m proud to be 5’11”. You wouldn’t be proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer.

. . .

If you’re happy, that’s fine. Happy to be an American. Be happy, don’t be proud. There’s too much pride as it is. Remember: Pride goeth before a fall.

Arthur Schopenhauer:

The cheapest form of pride however is national pride. For it reveals in the one thus afflicted the lack of individual qualities of which he could be proud, while he would not otherwise reach for what he shares with so many millions. He who possesses significant personal merits will rather recognise the defects of his own nation, as he has them constantly before his eyes, most clearly. But that poor blighter who has nothing in the world of which he can be proud, latches onto the last means of being proud, the nation to which he belongs to. Thus he recovers and is now in gratitude ready to defend with hands and feet all errors and follies which are its own.

Arthur Schopenhauer, from Wikipedia:

Schopenhauer believed that humans were motivated by only their own basic desires, or Wille zum Leben (“Will to Live”), which directed all of mankind.[25]

For Schopenhauer, human desire was futile, illogical, directionless, and, by extension, so was all human action in the world. He wrote “Man can indeed do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wants”.

Pride, from Wikipedia:

Pride is an inwardly directed emotion that carries two common meanings. With a negative connotation, pride refers to an inflated sense of one’s personal status or accomplishments, often used synonymously with hubris. With a positive connotation, pride refers to a satisfied sense of attachment toward one’s own or another’s choices and actions, or toward a whole group of people, and is a product of praise, independent self-reflection, or a fulfilled feeling of belonging.

Pride can also manifest itself as a high opinion of one’s nation (national pride) and ethnicity (ethnic pride).

Asian pride emerged prominently during European colonialism.[21] At one time, Europeans controlled 85% of the world’s land through colonialism, resulting in anti-Western feelings among Asian nations.[21] Today, some Asians still look upon European involvement in their affairs with suspicion.[21] In contrast, Asian empires are prominent and are proudly remembered by adherents to Asian Pride.

The slogan [Black Pride] has been used by African Americans (especially of sub-Saharan African origin) to denote a feeling of self-confidence, self-respect, celebrating one’s heritage, and being proud of one’s personal worth. Black pride as a national movement is closely linked with the developments of the American Civil Rights Movement

White pride is a slogan used primarily in the United States to agitate for a white race identity and is traditionally closely aligned with white supremacy, white separatism, and other extreme manifestations of white racism.

White pride, from Wikipedia:

White pride is a slogan indicating pride in being white. The slogan has been adopted by neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations.

White pride advocates claim that there is a cultural double standard in which only certain ethnic groups are permitted to openly express pride in their heritage, and that white pride is not inherently racist, being roughly analogous to racial positions such as Asian pride, black pride, or non-racial forms such as gay pride.


Philosopher David Ingram argues that “affirming ‘black pride’ is not equivalent to affirming ‘white pride,’ since the former—unlike the latter—is a defensive strategy aimed at rectifying a negative stereotype”.[10] By contrast, then, “affirmations of white pride—however thinly cloaked as affirmations of ethnic pride—serve to mask and perpetuate white privilege”.

Letter to the Editor: Support white history, culture, by Matthew Heimbach, The Towerlight at Towson University, 2 September 2012. Heimbach’s conclusion:

We must protect the security of Europeans and a future for the next generation.

This was followed a few days later by Interest for White Student Union grows, at The Towerlight, 5 September 2012:

Sophomore music education major Liam Hurlbut said he believes it is unfair for white students to have their own union.

“White power movements are illegitimate,” he said. “In the history of this country, whites never lost their power. They have always run this country and oppressed all other races. Even today whites have unearned ‘privileges’ in our society. Whites must recognize and reject this privileges to atone for the evils of our ancestors.”

Guilt and pride are opposites. The more time and energy you expend feeling guilty, the less you can feel pride, and at the same time, the more pride you feel, the less inclined you will be to accept guilt. Attacking White pride, in effect, helps inflict White guilt.

Pride arising from a satisfied sense of attachment toward one’s own kind and fulfilled feeling of belonging is perfectly normal and natural, even for Whites.

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