In —of a person expressing what he or she is by being fair to an instance of the outside world.We need to give to America the justice which both science and art give.
If you obeyed the law and had a black man who had reached New England sent back to Alabama and slavery, were you showing real allegiance to America?
Or were you hideously disloyal to what America truly is, even though millions of people seemed to agree with you?
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we are publishing a collection of your stories.
I have written on it recently and continue to, because Aesthetic Realism explains that love for country is a matter of ethics and aesthetics—in keeping with this Aesthetic Realism principle: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” The great 1968 lecture we are serializing has that principle at its basis.
And so I am going to comment on a statement which has been felt to stand for American patriotism: the Pledge of Allegiance, recited in the classrooms of the land and at other gatherings of Americans.
I am not discussing the controversies around the Pledge, though they are important: There is the question of whether it should indeed be a school fixture, with every child compelled to proclaim his or her loyalty each day.Otherwise it becomes an ego caress, or a contemptuous routine—with contempt for the statement itself, for America, and for the world.The next phrase is “to the flag of the United States of America.” We have that important thing in mind and art: a symbol.In order to be loyal, we have to see what the person or thing to whom we’re loyal And that is not the same as what he, or it, may be doing at a particular moment.The largest purpose of everyone, Aesthetic Realism explains, is to like and see rightly the world itself.If we agree with a person’s desire to be unjust, we’re not loyal to the person: we’re a collaborator in his being untrue to himself, in his doing something that will make him uglier and weaker.That kind of spurious loyalty does go on often between people, and it makes the collaborating people despise each other.Certainly, it is to want to counter anything—from the outside or from the person himself—which hurts him and makes him weaker.True allegiance includes a state of mind like this: “I am faithful to you, my dear friend, and therefore I tell you that the way you spoke to that person yesterday was unjust. The way you acted is against who you really are, who you most want to be. Siegel showed contempt to be the most dangerous, hurtful thing in each of us.America is a certain relation of earth and humanity, which, in its rich particularity, was meant to be exact about all earth and humanity.There is terrible contempt in feeling, Because this person—or family—or gang—or country—is connected with he or it must be right, and superior to all others.