Patriotism—Its Merits and Limitations
Patriotism Versus Internationalism
Patriotism Alone is not Enough
“Who is here so vile that will not love his country?”
“You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.”
Patriotism means love of one’s native land. Just as we love our father and mother, so we love land of our birth. This feeling is called patriotism.
Water Scott has rightly said:
Breather there the man with soul so dead,
Who to himself hath never said:
“This is my own, my native land.”
But we find some people who love themselves more than they love their parents. They think of their own happiness and comforts before the comforts and happiness of their father and mother. Similarly, some people love their country less and love themselves more. Such people are selfish.
This should not be the case. It shows an unfeeling heart and a selfish nature. Just as it is the first duty of a child to love his home, so also it is the first duty of every one to love the land of his birth. A man owes much to the land of his birth. Just as he grows up in the lap of his mother, he is brought from making any sacrifice for his mother land when he is called upon to do so. Who can forget the great sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chander Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Gandhi, Nehru and other freedom fighters who sacrificed their all for the freedom of their motherland? Such patriots are honoured very where in all ages.
Patriotism is of two kinds: the first is a healthy one and should be encouraged while the second one is of an undesirable kind and should be condemned. Healthy patriotism teaches us to love out county with all our heart and to do everything in our power to make our country happy, great and glorious. IT tells us to build our glory on the ruins and suffering of other nations. The first kind of patriotism is good for our country and for the world The second kind of patriotism is bad for the world and will, sooner or later, be bad for the country that oppresses others.
It is our duty to love the land of our birth. It is also our duty not to hate other nations. We must try to cultivate a healthy type of patriotism and to devote ourselves whole heartedly to the uplift and prosperity of our own country. We must not have the perverted notion of patriotism that believes in the dictum : “My country, right or wrong.” Most of the crimes against humanity have been committed by people having this type of fanatic patriotism. Patriotism must go hand in hand with internationalism. One should never forget one’s duty towards humanity in general. Such patriotism as encourages narrow, parochial fanaticism is a bad type of patriotism which has no place in a fastly progressing civilization of today.
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Not to be confused with Nationalism.
For the Japanese movie, see Patriotism (film).
Patriotism is the ideology of attachment to a homeland. This attachment can be a combination of many different features relating to one's own homeland, including ethnic, cultural, political or historical aspects. It encompasses a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism. An excess of patriotism in the defense of a nation is called chauvinism; another related term is jingoism.
The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota, meaning "countryman", ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs), meaning 'from the same country', from πατρίς (patris), meaning 'fatherland'. The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.
The general notion of civic virtue and group dedication has been attested in culture globally throughout the historical period. For the Enlightenment thinkers of 18th-century Europe, loyalty to the state was chiefly considered in contrast to loyalty to the Church. It was argued that clerics should not be allowed to teach in public schools since their patrie was heaven, so that they could not inspire love of the homeland in their students. One of the most influential proponents of this classical notion of patriotism was Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Enlightenment thinkers also criticized what they saw as the excess of patriotism. In 1774, Samuel Johnson published The Patriot, a critique of what he viewed as false patriotism. On the evening of 7 April 1775, he made the famous statement, "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."James Boswell, who reported this comment in his Life of Johnson, does not provide context for the quote, and it has therefore been argued that Johnson was in fact attacking the false use of the term "patriotism" by contemporaries such as John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (the patriot-minister) and his supporters; Johnson spoke elsewhere in favor of what he considered "true" patriotism. However, there is no direct evidence to contradict the widely held to belief that Johnson's famous remark was a criticism of patriotism itself.
Patriotism may be strengthened by adherence to a national religion (a civil religion or even a theocracy). This is the opposite of the separation of church and state demanded by the Enlightenment thinkers who saw patriotism and faith as similar and opposed forces. Michael Billig and Jean Bethke Elshtain have both argued that the difference between patriotism and faith is difficult to discern and relies largely on the attitude of the one doing the labelling.
Christopher Heath Wellman, professor of philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis, describes that a popular view of the "patriotist" position is robust obligations to compatriots and only minimal samaritan responsibilities to foreigners. Wellman calls this position "patriotist" rather than "nationalist" to single out the members of territorial, political units rather than cultural groups.
George Orwell, in his influential essay Notes on Nationalism distinguished patriotism from related concept of nationalism:
- "By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." 
"It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind." 
Marxists have taken various stances regarding patriotism. On one hand, Karl Marx famously stated that "The working men have no country" and that "the supremacy of the proletariat will cause them [national differences] to vanish still faster." The same view is promoted by present-day Trotskyists such as Alan Woods, who is "in favour of tearing down all frontiers and creating a socialist world commonwealth."
On the other hand, Stalinists and Maoists are usually in favour of socialist patriotism based on the theory of socialism in one country.
In the European Union, thinkers such as Jürgen Habermas have advocated a "Euro-patriotism", but patriotism in Europe is usually directed at the nation-state and more often than not coincides with "Euroscepticism".
Several surveys have tried to measure patriotism for various reasons, such as the Correlates of War project which found some correlation between war propensity and patriotism. The results from different studies are time dependent. For example, patriotism in Germany before World War I ranked at or near the top, whereas today it ranks at or near the bottom of patriotism surveys.
Since 1981, the World Values Survey explores people's national values and beliefs and refer to the average answer "for high income residents" of a country to the question "Are you proud to be [insert nationality]?". It ranges from 1 (not proud) to 4 (very proud).
|Look up patriotism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Patriotism.|
- Charles Blatberg, From Pluralist to Patriotic Politics: Putting Practice First, Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-19-829688-6.
- Craig Calhoun, Is it Time to Be Postnational?, in Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Minority Rights, (eds.) Stephen May, Tariq Modood and Judith Squires. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. pp. 231–56.
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- Jürgen Habermas, “Appendix II: Citizenship and National Identity,” in Between Facts and Norms: Contributions to a Discourse Theory of Law and Democracy, trans. William Rehg, MIT Press, 1996.
- Johan Huizinga, “Patriotism and Nationalism in European History”. In Men and Ideas. History, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance. Transl. by James S. Holmes and Hans van Marle. New York: Meridian Books, 1959.
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- Gilbert K. Chesterton 1922 that America is "the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence."
- John Witherspoon The Dominion of Providence Over The Passions of Man, Princeton May 17, 1776.
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