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 excesses 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 favour 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.
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."
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.
The Patriotism Score tables here are from the World Values Survey 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). The higher value for Germany in 1990–92 likely reflects a temporary effect from reunification occurring then.
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 231–256.
Paul Gomberg, “Patriotism is Like Racism,” in Igor Primoratz, ed., Patriotism, Humanity Books, 2002, pp. 105–112. ISBN 1-57392-955-7.
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.
Alasdair MacIntyre, 'Is Patriotism a Virtue?', in: R. Beiner (ed.), Theorizing Citizenship, 1995, State University of New York Press, pp. 209 – 228.