Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by Kevin_Kennedy, Oct 24, 2010.
Patriotism or Nationalism? - Joe Sobran
Indeed, I often wonder what patriotism means when we see a situation were young working class boys are sent willingly to war in order for big business to make billions in a feeding frenzy; the boys loose their legs and heads and the companies, the unnamed business sharks take the profits.
Or I wonder what 'greatness' means when you consider the many who live in lower class ghettos, suffer generational unemployment and have few oppotunites (except to go to war and loose...), surely in that sense 'greatness' should mean allowing those millions to have a decent share of the opportunities, a share in the American dream...
George Orwell's 'Notes on Nationalism' is worth reading.
George Orwell: Notes on Nationalism -- Language choice
‘Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved...’
Nationalism, in the extended sense in which I am using the word, includes such movements and tendencies as Communism, political Catholicism, Zionism, Antisemitism, Trotskyism and Pacifism. It does not necessarily mean loyalty to a government or a country, still less to one's own country, and it is not even strictly necessary that the units in which it deals should actually exist. To name a few obvious examples, Jewry, Islam, Christendom, the Proletariat and the White Race are all of them objects of passionate nationalistic feeling: but their existence can be seriously questioned, and there is no definition of any one of them that would be universally accepted.
Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. 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 on 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. "
Separate names with a comma.