Patriotism - Politics, Business, Civil, History - Posted: 21st May, 2005 - 1:31pm

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Is it misunderstood or misused?
Post Date: 16th May, 2005 - 11:36pm / Post ID: #



Is it misunderstood or misused?

"The feeling of patriotism - It is an immoral feeling because, instead of confessing himself a son of God . . . or even a free man guided by his own reason, each man under the influence of patriotism confesses himself the son of his fatherland and the slave of his government, and commits actions contrary to his reason and conscience."
-- Leo Tolstoy, Patriotism and Government

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17th May, 2005 - 12:29am / Post ID: #


This is a very narrow view of patriotism. What makes Tolstoy such an important source of wisdom?

Here are a few more statements about patriotism:

Patriotism is devotion to the patria, the fatherland, one's own people, the land of one's birth. Thus the genius of patriotism is the sense of identification with others. And the greater the patriot, the wider is the circle of his familial affection. That handful of simon-pure patriots, the makers and saviors of nations who have merited the title of "the Great," from Abraham, Alexander, and Alfred to Washing-ton, Bolivar, and Lincoln, are remembered as the common heroes of all mankind, who "shine as lights in the world . . . in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation" (Philippians 2:15), amazing all observers by their broad humanity, their concern for the weak and downtrodden, and the magnanimous treatment of their enemies. (Hugh Nibley)

In its broadest sense patriotism is love of and loyalty to the group and its environments. We speak of family patriotism. This sentiment holds close to the individual, the home, and the family group. We may speak of community patriotism as town, city, or state patriotism. There is also a sentiment known as school patriotism. Church patriotism is generally referred to as Church loyalty or religious fidelity.

In its most specific sense patriotism is love of country or national loyalty. (George Brimhall)

These anniversaries have particular significance to the pioneers and their descendants. These pioneers had faith in the future of America. They had an understanding of the sacred obligations and responsibilities God has imposed upon those who enjoy the blessings of this great land. To their children who form the membership of the Church, they have transmitted the sacred writings that foretold the destiny of America. What is more important, they bequeathed the testimony of their lives as an example of true patriotism, which was an expression of the faith they possessed. (Harold B. Lee)

As you can see, there are many wise men and women who extoll the virtues of patriotism. there is no doubt that patriotism can be false, it can be self-centered or even wicked. But that is true of all sorts of things. Skeptical and cynical writers (such as Tolstoy appears to be) make it seem that even familial love is generally wicked. It is my opinion that patriotism is, in general, a very positive, uplifting thing. And, I generally respect an individual's expression of patriotism, unless they show themselves to be false.

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17th May, 2005 - 12:11pm / Post ID: #

Patriotism History & Civil Business Politics

Nighthawk I agree with what you are saying about patriosm being more widerspread than simply a devotion to one's motherland.

But I think Tolstoy has a very valid point as well. Patriotism is all good and well provided it doesn't rob people of their conscience and ability to reason. It's very dangerous for society to be blindly patriotic, supporting a decision that your nation's leaders make because you are patriotic. There are countless examples in the past where patriotism has been the gunpowder for war propaganda etc.

I don't think one of the greatest writers in modern history is suggesting that a love for family is wicked?

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17th May, 2005 - 2:24pm / Post ID: #


I agree with you arvhic. It is one thing to be patriotic, but another to be a blind-patriot. Too many people today blindly rush into battles, literally or figuratively, because they feel it is the patriotic thing to do. They have no idea what the issue is or what the perspectives are on either side. Patriotism, in my opinion, is a love for one's country, and the ability to see the good in one's country, rather than constantly complain about the bad. Take the good with the bad, similar to a good marriage. One should feel a sense of pride for being a citizen of that country and not try to find every negative aspect and dwell on it. That is what patriotism simply means to me.

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18th May, 2005 - 4:48pm / Post ID: #


But, as one of Nighthawk's quotations inferred, patriotism is a love of one's fellow countrymen and land : the government may be hostile to both of those and not an object of genuine patriotism.

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18th May, 2005 - 11:50pm / Post ID: #


To me patriotism is being proud of the country from which you hail. Proud to call yourself a citizen. I also think it means not saying or doing anything that can bring shame to your country because others associate you with that country.

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19th May, 2005 - 9:09am / Post ID: #


Patrotism for me means being patriotic to my family to my religion to my homeland, to my God, to my favourite rugby team..the All Blacks!

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21st May, 2005 - 1:31pm / Post ID: #

Patriotism Politics Business Civil & History


n : one who loves and defends his or her country.

Tolstoy says: ...each man under the influence of patriotism confesses himself the son of his fatherland and the slave of his government...

Edward Abbey says: ...A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.


Abraham Lincoln says: ...As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy

He also says: ...With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan-to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

Tolstoy says: ...It is an immoral feeling because, instead of confessing himself a son of God . . . or even a free man guided by his own reason...

Franklin Roosevelt says: In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms The first is freedom of speech and expression--everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want--which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants--everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear--which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor--anywhere in the world.

Patriot, as defined, is: One who loves and defends his or her country. I love my wife, I love my kids and I love my country. Being a husband and a father and a patriot in no way compromises my greatest love, my love of God. Because I confess love for others makes me neither immoral or a slave.

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