Patriotism

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Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one's homeland or devotion to one's country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism.[1][2][3]

The English term patriot is first attested in the Elizabethan era, via Middle French from Late Latin (6th century) patriota "countryman", ultimately from Greek πατριώτης (patriōtēs) "countryman", from πατρίς (patris), "fatherland".[4] The abstract noun patriotism appears in the early 18th century.[5]

History[edit]

An American sign with a patriotic theme

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.[1]

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."[6] 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.[7] However, there is no direct evidence to contradict the widely held belief that Johnson's famous remark was a criticism of patriotism itself.

Philosophical issues[edit]

Patriotism may be strengthened by adherence to a national religion (a civil religion or even a theocracy). This is the opposite of the separation of church and state demanded by the Enlightenment thinkers who saw patriotism and faith as similar and opposed forces. Michael Billig and Jean Bethke Elshtain have both argued that the difference between patriotism and faith is difficult to discern and relies largely on the attitude of the one doing the labelling.[8]

Marxism[edit]

Marxists have taken various stances regarding patriotism. On one hand, Karl Marx famously stated that "The working men have no country"[9] 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."[10]

On the other hand, Stalinists and Maoists are usually in favour of socialist patriotism based on the theory of socialism in one country.[11]

Region-specific issues[edit]

Surveys[edit]

Country Score 1990–92
Ireland 3.74
United States 3.73
India 3.67
South Africa 3.55
Canada 3.53
Spain 3.46
United Kingdom 3.38
Denmark 3.27
Italy 3.25
Sweden 3.22
France 3.18
Finland 3.17
Belgium 3.07
Netherlands 2.93
Germany 2.75
Average 3.26
Country Score 1995–97
Venezuela 3.733
United States 3.72
South Africa 3.72
India 3.70
Peru 3.68
Slovenia 3.64
Poland 3.55
Australia 3.54
Spain 3.38
Argentina 3.29
Sweden 3.13
Moldova 2.98
Japan 2.85
Russia 2.69
Switzerland 2.59
Lithuania 2.47
Latvia 2.10
Germany 1.37
Average 3.12

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).[12] The higher value for Germany in 1990–92 likely reflects a temporary effect from reunification occurring then.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.[13]
  • 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.
  • Joshua Cohen and Martha C. Nussbaum, For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism, Beacon Press, 1996. ISBN 0-8070-4313-3.
  • George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism"[14] in England Your England and Other Essays, Secker and Warburg, 1953.
  • Igor Primoratz, ed., Patriotism, Humanity Books, 2002. ISBN 1-57392-955-7.
  • Daniel Bar-Tal and Ervin Staub, Patriotism, Wadsworth Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-8304-1410-X.
  • Maurizio Viroli, For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism, Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-19-829358-5.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Historical Dictionary of the Enlightenment - Harvey Chisick - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  2. ^ "Nationalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  3. ^ "Patriotism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  4. ^ "Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, πατρι-ώτης". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  5. ^ OED
  6. ^ Boswell, James (1986), Hibbert, Christopher, ed., The Life of Samuel Johnson, New York: Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-043116-0 
  7. ^ Griffin, Dustin (2005), Patriotism and Poetry in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-00959-6 
  8. ^ Billig, Michael. Banal Nationalism. London: Sage Publishers, 1995, p. 56-58.
  9. ^ "Communist Manifesto (Chapter 2)". Marxists.org. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Motyl, Alexander J. (2001). Encyclopedia of Nationalism, Volume II. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-227230-7. 
  12. ^ Morse, Adair. "Patriotism in Your Portfolio". Journal of Financial Markets (U of C 2008) 14 (2): 411–440. [dead link]
  13. ^ "11 - Is it time to be postnational? - University Publishing Online". Ebooks.cambridge.org. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  14. ^ "George Orwell: Notes on Nationalism" (in (Russian)). Orwell.ru. Retrieved 2013-11-03.