Dissidents here might be snubbed, might be laughed at, but they by few significant means are punished by the government for being a dissident.
I find it amazing that americans CONSTANTLY use this as a source of pride, when it is entirely irrelevant.
Surprise, no one would shoot you for critizing the goverment in ANY real democracy, and there are loads other than America.here
It says that Sweden is the best functioning Democracy in the world, while america is only 17th place, beaten out by the evil socialist scandinavian countries, and large parts of the industrialised world
But ofcourse, what really matters is monetary wealth
That is a very surprising question to me. I hear about the stupid shit Bush and Co. have done all the time. You really think there is no criticism of America in the media?
Well the Media is critical, but you also have incredibly uncritical media like Fox news, who are entirely uncritical. Largely I would say the Media in the US, as in most states really, is pretty shit. But then it is a very hard job.
I find myself more confused by the line of logic that the government should not use its resources to engender support for itself than the line of logic that the government should use its resources to engender support for itself.
Yes, good point, I mean we don't want the population to be critical and observant, that is harmful for the powers at be!
And my point is that we're discussing five year olds. Give them philosophy when they can understand it, and axioms backed by ethos appeals when they can't.
The fact that they are five year olds is INCREDIBLY relevant
See five year olds can't MAKE choices. Or rather, some can, but we don't expect them to, that is why they can't vote, etc. We can't have them "optionally" recite some sentance they don't understand, indoctrinating them in whatever belief, saying that it's "optional". Instead, you should not recite this Pledge, and if some five year old genius feels a call to his nation or whatever, though personally I think he is stupid if he does, and really nwats to recite that himself before class starts, then let em. But there is no reason why such a custom should be option for children in the way that they have to actively choose to avoid it.
The same reason it is socially unacceptable to say something like "I thought Stalin was a pretty good guy" or "The Jews got what was coming for them" or "Things were so much better before women got the vote"- the majority of the people in the society disagree. They don't *force* you to agree, they just disapprove, and often greatly so.
Well that explains the reason, yet it fails to explain why it SHOULD be so, i mean stalin is pretty obvious, by most meassures he was not (tho he did create loads of wealth at the expense of human life, you approve of this no?). Not reciting a pledge, be it because you don't like to swear to a piece of cloth, or because you don't believe in god, or because you don't like the abstract love of a "nation", because the nation states system is pretty shitty, it should not be looked down upon.