Does Patriotism Still Matter?

Topics: Nation, Nationalism, Socrates Pages: 1 (312 words) Published: October 6, 2010
Does Patriotism Still Matter?


Patriotism does still matter. The definition of patriot is a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. The definition of patriotism is devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.

Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism was comprised of ideals concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law and devotion to the common good rather than identification only with a nation-state. Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “Patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does, and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.” As recently as the 18th century the idea of patriotism was viewed much differently by society. “Unlike the situation in the 19th century, when nationalism tended to be exclusive and confrontational, during the 18th century patriotism belonged with such inclusive and cohesive values as humanity and beneficence. In the discourse of the second half of the 18th century, a person who provided relief for the poor, or objected to excessively harsh penal laws, or who criticized institutions such as serfdom or slavery, was likely to be described as a good patriot. The common good to which patriotism was directed in the 18th century was socially cohesive in nature, and typically crossed social boundaries.” – From the Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment, by Harvey Chisick This view transformed over time, most likely due to the increasing establishment of nation-states in which citizens more commonly viewed themselves as members of a nation, as opposed to their religion, ethnicity or local culture. And as warfare continued to escalate between nations rather than previous monarchies, the idea of defending the nation took hold and strongly manifested itself as an ‘us against them‘way of thinking. “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” – Tom...
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