What is Patriotism?

Topics: Samuel Johnson, Nationalism, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute Pages: 1 (352 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Patriotism is a cultural attachment to one's homeland, excluding differences caused by the dependencies of the term's meaning upon context, geography and philosophy. In a generalized sense applicable to all countries and peoples, patriotism is a devotion to one's country.It is a related sentiment to nationalism. In classical 18th century patriotism, loyalty to the State was chiefly considered in contrast to loyalty to the Church, and it was argued that clerics should not be allowed to teach in public schools as their Patriotism was heaven, so that they could not inspire love of the homeland in their studies. One of the most influential proponents of this classical notion of patriotism was Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Conversely, 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 belief that Johnson's famous remark was a criticism of patriotism itself.

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 the Great War (WWI) ranked at or near the top, whereas today it ranks at or near the bottom of patriotism surveys.

The Patriotism Score tables here are from the World Values Survey and refer to the average answer for high income residents of a...
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