Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Pledge

My kids have learned the Pledge of Allegiance. This does not leave me all that happy, but neither does it leave me horrified. My wife was bemused, since her country gave up on such nationalistic drills decades ago. My mother was surprised; having lived for twelve years in California with another set of grandkids there, she thought the Pledge had been abolished. Learning that Californians had gotten rid of the Pledge makes me a bit less opposed to it, an opposition which began in high school after reading the Manifesto of the Communist Party. Now, I am wise to the common socialist origins of the Pledge and the Manifesto.

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The origin of the pledge is creepy, without question. However, it is an established part of American civic education, and something to be embraced, I think -- so long as the necessary limiting language -- "under God" is included (something that got put in thanks to Ike, it was lacking in the original pledge).

November 13, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

That's a good way to look at it, and it makes it clear why Ike's "limiting language" is so important.

November 13, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...

I never understood the problem with the Pledge.

It's not just "to the Flag," but also "to the Republic."

Them's good fightin' words these days!

If people were more interested in promoting THAT PART of the Pledge, instead of trying to remove the "under God" part, I think this country'd be better off.

November 13, 2011 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Ike's wisdom in including the limiting language was to emphasize that American civic patriotism was not the ultimate end of our Republic -- that something stood above and beyond it, something that limited what we could and should do.

November 14, 2011 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...

Exactly. Ike knew better than to immanentize the eschaton.

The Pledge, as is, isn't so bad. Puts God and the Republic in the right relationship.

I hate to consider the alternative:

A God-less empire.

November 14, 2011 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger love the girls said...

Pints : "
It's not just "to the Flag," but also "to the Republic"


The Pledge is to the federal government, that is what is wrong with it. It's a pledge of allegiance to Lincoln's consolidation.

Any man with a drop of state's rights blood flowing though him would object to it.

Although he was referring to OWS, Thadeus Kozinski nicely describes the 'Rebublic' :

"An alliance alone cannot make citizens good and just, and liberalism is an alliance pretending to be a polis, which is the worst of all options, worse than even a tyranny, for at least a tyranny is a genuine polis, albeit a defective one."

November 14, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Pints in NYC said...


Kozinski does do an excellent job with that analysis.

I do think, though, that there is a valid patriotism possible for the myth of the state here, in that one may still believe in the "Republic", however sentimentally, at its "best," especially in the noblest ideals of its founding.

There are other myths of the state than Lincolnism. And while a polis-based paideia may be good, yet an agathon-focused one is best. And of course, Plato's "7th Letter" laments the shortcomings of the polis for saving the soul.

The eschaton, after all, may not be immanentized.

November 15, 2011 at 10:37 PM  
Blogger love the girls said...

The point is, there is not, and never was a republic.

Even if the founders thought there was a republic, which they didn't, that would not cause it to exist.

Frankly, the entire concept of pledging allegiance is a corrupt notion. If a sovereign state exists, then we by nature have allegiance to it. Pledging allegiance comes out of the notion of the social compact which is unnatural.

November 16, 2011 at 2:32 AM  

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