I couldn’t find a better explanation of Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation than this…
Perhaps Samuel Johnson’s most famous quotation is “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
The point, as I always understood it, is that appealing to loyalty to one’s own country is the act of a demagogue, of one who will say and do anything to gain public approval and political power. Primarily, it casts those who disagree as unpatriotic, hostile to the institutions and interests of their own country. Honest disagreement becomes character assassination. Underneath the appeal is the exploitation of bigoted or prejudiced feelings of the masses.
The quote is famous, but I don’t know the context in which it was said. I do know that there is nothing wrong with patriotism itself. Your country is, after all, the land you call home. To do what is best for your country is to do what is best for your home…
(Our thanks to The Partial Observer)
After squandering billions of our tax dollars in mismanagement and outright corruption, pushing through a secret Order in Council to enable the suppression of free speech and opposition, ignoring and then openly threatening citizens who ask reasonable questions about the lack of accountability and transparency and the corrupt conflicts of interest that make overnight millionaires of elected representatives – the Barbados Labour Party is now wrapping itself in the flag as its last defense.
In the latest government article published at the Barbados Labour Party Blog and in The Nation News, citizens are told that they should remain quiet about corruption in the Barbados government. To publicly speak about government corruption is “unpatriotic”…
“… posting negative economic and political comments about Barbados on the World Wide Web can certainly not be considered a patriotic thing to do.”
The government is acting much like a husband who beats his wife and then blames her when she reveals his violence to the community.
No word in the BLP article about the $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that the Prime Minister was caught depositing into his personal bank account. Nothing in the article about the secret Order In Council that the government is using to listen to citizens’ phone calls and read their emails. Nothing about government ministers who become overnight millionaires or build a home for their girlfriends on land that they expropriated as a member of Cabinet. Nothing about reporters beaten by police for the offense of taking an accident scene photo. Nothing about the government official who had the police arrest a female tenant and strip search her over a civil debt for back rent. Nothing about police using “pre-signed” blank search warrants to terrorize a family in the middle of the night.
The list goes on and on and on.
The BLP article attempts to link Barbados Free Press and Barbados Underground blogs to the opposition DLP party. The government must attempt this because they just can’t accept the reality that the ordinary non-political citizens of Barbados have had their fill of corruption and oppression.
But like that beaten wife who has had enough, who is not going to take it any longer, the ordinary citizens of Barbados are crying out to the community and to the world that this is what is being done to our country.
No, Mr. Prime Minister, we will not be silenced.
Now Mr. Prime Minister, about that $750,000 “campaign donation cheque” that you deposited into your personal bank account …