Varun Sivaram argues for the motion that ‘This House is Proud to be Patriotic’.
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Varun Sivaram opens the case for the proposition with an intriguing question: “Why is America the best country in the world?” Sivaram takes a wry look at this question, and recounts that America leads the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of people who believe angels are real, and defence spending — where America spends more than the next 26 countries combined.
However, Sivaram elucidates what patriotism isn’t — “It’s not extreme, blindfolded or disparaging”, but rather “an affinity for, and identification with, one’s country”. Moreover, he advocates how patriotism is a transcendent extension of our interpersonal relations, and that nationalism and jingoism are merely distortions of the term.
Filmed on Thursday 14th November 2013
MOTION: This House is Proud To Be Patriotic
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ABOUT VARUN SIVARAM:
Varun Sivaram is a Rhodes Scholar and former Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE OXFORD UNION SOCIETY:
The Union is the world’s most prestigious debating society, with an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford. It has been established for 190 years, aiming to promote debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe.