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I don't believe patriotism is ever a bad thing ... what do you think?
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Posted on 11/13/2008 11:02:58 AM PST by Sisku Hanne

I have to write about patriotism for an ethics course, and give a "bad" example of it.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: anothervanity; ethics; patriotism; vanity
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The assignment is to describe a true account of patriotism (for any nation) that has gone bad, and discuss the negative effects. But I don't think there is such a thing as a bad example of patriotism. I submit there is a difference; a dividing line between patriotism and nationalism, which obviously can be a bad thing. It's like the difference between love and obsession; one is a positive healthy expression, and the other takes it to an obsessive extreme level that can be twisted into evil. I'm interested in the opinions of others on this. Do you think patriotism is ever a bad thing?
1 posted on 11/13/2008 11:02:58 AM PST by Sisku Hanne
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To: Sisku Hanne

My country right or wrong.
To support her when right.
To right her when wrong.


2 posted on 11/13/2008 11:04:29 AM PST by stocksthatgoup
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To: Sisku Hanne

Joe Biden’s notion that paying taxes is patriotic...


3 posted on 11/13/2008 11:05:16 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: Sisku Hanne

Write it on your own terms. Challenge the premise of the assignment by writing about the difference between patriotism and nationalism.


4 posted on 11/13/2008 11:06:13 AM PST by counterpunch ( We must not re-fight 2008 in 2012.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Write it on your own terms. Challenge the premise of the assignment by writing about the difference between patriotism and nationalism.


5 posted on 11/13/2008 11:06:54 AM PST by counterpunch ( We must not re-fight 2008 in 2012.)
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To: stocksthatgoup
My country right or wrong. To support her when right. To right her when wrong.

I guess failure to do the second would be an example of "bad patriotism".

6 posted on 11/13/2008 11:07:32 AM PST by murdoog ("I am involved with politics so that politics is not involved with me"-Dan Flynn)
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To: stocksthatgoup

A bad example is feeling more patriotic because Obama won the election.


7 posted on 11/13/2008 11:08:24 AM PST by Reagan79 (Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Look at Nazi Germany for an example patriotism gone awry. It started out good but ended badly with the wrong leader.


8 posted on 11/13/2008 11:08:54 AM PST by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Sounds like the teacher of your course has the typical liberal academic bias against anything patriotic. In their tiny, well indoctrinated minds, patriotism is a rabid, anti-multicultural form of nationalism, with xenophobia thrown in for good measure, ala Hitler. So Hitler or Mussolini would make good examples. Oh, and Napoleon. When I had squishes like that for professors, I always made it a point to find out what THEY think and parrot it back to them. They never know the difference and think you’re brilliant because you agree with them. I guarantee you’ll get an A.


9 posted on 11/13/2008 11:10:11 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Sounds like the teacher of your course has the typical liberal academic bias against anything patriotic. In their tiny, well indoctrinated minds, patriotism is a rabid, anti-multicultural form of nationalism, with xenophobia thrown in for good measure, ala Hitler. So Hitler or Mussolini would make good examples. Oh, and Napoleon. When I had squishes like that for professors, I always made it a point to find out what THEY think and parrot it back to them. They never know the difference and think you’re brilliant because you agree with them. I guarantee you’ll get an A.


10 posted on 11/13/2008 11:10:54 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours.)
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To: Sisku Hanne
When I was a kid, an older guy in our neighborhood, a very nice guy with a nice family, was a veteran of the Luftwaffe. He was a former German aristocrat and an Anglophile. It tore him up to bomb London,, but he thought he had a duty to fight for his country, even though Hitler was his country's leader.

Just because of my recollection of him, I am confident that he had no concrete idea of some of the atrocities going on in Germany at the time, but it's hard to believe that no rumors reached him.

I think a case could be made that he was excessively patriotic.

11 posted on 11/13/2008 11:11:10 AM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Sounds like the teacher of your course has the typical liberal academic bias against anything patriotic. In their tiny, well indoctrinated minds, patriotism is a rabid, anti-multicultural form of nationalism, with xenophobia thrown in for good measure, ala Hitler. So Hitler or Mussolini would make good examples. Oh, and Napoleon. When I had squishes like that for professors, I always made it a point to find out what THEY think and parrot it back to them. They never know the difference and think you’re brilliant because you agree with them. I guarantee you’ll get an A.


12 posted on 11/13/2008 11:11:46 AM PST by 3AngelaD (They screwed up their own countries so bad they had to leave, and now they're here screwing up ours.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

” I submit there is a difference; a dividing line between patriotism and nationalism, “

I agree. I don’t see patriotism as something aggressive or jingoistic. Nationalism can be as evidenced be dictators throughout history.


13 posted on 11/13/2008 11:12:04 AM PST by DemonDeac
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To: stocksthatgoup

Patriotism has been redefined...
due to the Obama victory...’Patriotism” no longer means what it used to.

Now...Jeremiah Wright is a Patriot
...William Ayers is a Patriot
...Michelle Obama is a Patriot

the meaning has changed...they voted for Change...they got Change.


14 posted on 11/13/2008 11:13:23 AM PST by LtKerst (Lt Kerst)
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To: Sisku Hanne

The distinction you make between excessive nationalism and patriotism is exactly the point you should make. You could call it also blind patriotism, which means that you by default support the state/regime/government of your country only because it’s currently at the helm. A healthy patriotic German would have resisted the Nazi regime, a blind patriotic German supported the regime, if not because of ideology, simply because of uncritical loyalty. The same goes for any other evil totalitarian system. Dissent to a harmful, evil or even suicidal regime/state/government can be the highest form of patriotism. The Loyalists during the Revolutionary War thought themselves to be patriotic and loyal towards the British Crown, while the American revolutionaries dissented towards their king and were patriotic to their country. You see it can also be a question of perspective.


15 posted on 11/13/2008 11:13:26 AM PST by SolidWood (Sarah Palin - Everything that is Sweetness and Light! WE STAND WITH HER!)
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To: Sisku Hanne

The distinction you make between excessive nationalism and patriotism is exactly the point. You could call it also blind patriotism, which means that you by default support the state/regime/government of your country only because it’s currently at the helm. A healthy patriotic German would have resisted the Nazi regime, a blind patriotic German supported the regime, if not because of ideology, simply because of uncritical loyalty towards the state. The same goes for any other evil totalitarian system, which though bad for the country, successfully exploited the patriotism people have towards their country. Dissent to a harmful, evil or even suicidal regime/state/government can be the highest form of patriotism. The Loyalists during the Revolutionary War thought themselves to be patriotic and loyal towards the British Crown, while the American revolutionaries dissented towards their king and were patriotic to their ideals of a free country. You see it can also be a question of perspective.


16 posted on 11/13/2008 11:16:39 AM PST by SolidWood (Sarah Palin - Everything that is Sweetness and Light! WE STAND WITH HER!)
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To: Sisku Hanne

When working on an assignment like this, it is important to establish working definitions at the onset. Thus, define “patriotism” in terms of the assignment, being aware of and perhaps making the point that the definition can vary from the undermining patriotism of the NYT to the genocide of the NAZI’s. I would then pick the best (worst) liberal example I could find, i.e. Hanoi Jane, and expound on this.


17 posted on 11/13/2008 11:17:14 AM PST by jimmyray
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To: Sisku Hanne
It's all going to depend on your definition, then. If patriotism is defined as a virtue, there can't be a bad example of it, per definition. However if you define it as a loyalty to country which can sometimes fall short, sometimes exceed the mark, sometimes be expressed in a twisted or distorted way, there are numerous examples of where patriotism has run off the track.

An example would be the Hitler Youth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler_Youth

18 posted on 11/13/2008 11:17:19 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler."--- Einstein)
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To: Sisku Hanne

When working on an assignment like this, it is important to establish working definitions at the onset. Thus, define “patriotism” in terms of the assignment, being aware of and perhaps making the point that the definition can vary from the undermining patriotism of the NYT to the genocide of the NAZI’s. I would then pick the best (worst) liberal example I could find, i.e. Hanoi Jane, and expound on this.


19 posted on 11/13/2008 11:17:36 AM PST by jimmyray
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To: stocksthatgoup

When working on an assignment like this, it is important to establish working definitions at the onset. Thus, define “patriotism” in terms of the assignment, being aware of and perhaps making the point that the definition can vary from the undermining patriotism of the NYT to the genocide of the NAZI’s. I would then pick the best (worst) liberal example I could find, i.e. Hanoi Jane, and expound on this.


20 posted on 11/13/2008 11:18:00 AM PST by jimmyray
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To: Sisku Hanne

Patriotism is a positive word by definition, like words love, family, friend. But, that does not preclude this word from wrong application to do bad things. For example, in modern history...the democrats in congress claiming patriotic pride causes them to make statements which ended up emboldening our enemies and killing more of our own soldiers and innocents. The suffering caused by their “patriotism” went so far as far as for a sitting House member to declare several military personnel guilty without trial, to the press to use this to harm our efforts to liberate millions of people. I would think these are good examples of patriotism being used (wrongly of course because it truly is not patriotic) to impede good and in affect to support evil.


21 posted on 11/13/2008 11:19:35 AM PST by Wpin (God Bless All Americans, God Damn all democrats...oops he already has.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

No, I think your analysis is spot on target. Patriotism is a virtue, so there’s no bad version of it, unlike nationalism.

The only thing I can think of is that some loves should not be put above other ones. If you loved your country more than you loved God, for instance, that would be bad....just like if you loved your dog more than your wife.


22 posted on 11/13/2008 11:19:37 AM PST by Claud
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To: Sisku Hanne

I don’t think it’s ever a bad thing either, but if you blather on for a few paragraphs about ‘an illegal and unjust war’, you’ll probably get a better grade than you would otherwise.


23 posted on 11/13/2008 11:20:38 AM PST by perfect_rovian_storm
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To: Sisku Hanne
I have to write about patriotism for an ethics course, and give a "bad" example of it.

How about Biden's claim that it is patriotic to pay more taxes. That's not just bad, it's stupid.

24 posted on 11/13/2008 11:21:45 AM PST by MEGoody (Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall cause you to vote against the Democrats.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

It’s a bad thing if you’re living in Stalin-era Russia or Nazi Germany.


25 posted on 11/13/2008 11:21:54 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Sisku Hanne
CS Lewis had interesting things to say about this sort of thing. I believe it was in "Mere Christianity" where he discussed Love. Love is such a good thing -- how could there be such a thing as "bad love"?

Well, if you love your child, that is a good thing. If you love your child so much that you don't let the child have friends, or leave the house, then this becomes obsessive. If you sabotage every relationship so that your child never gets married and never establishes a family of their own, then your love has to be seen as "bad love".

Just so, Patriotism is a very fine thing. But if your Leader tells you that the Fatherland (be aware of the root of the word Patriotism) needs to be purified and that the Jewish pollution must be removed -- if the Leader tells you to work at the camps and help destroy the Jewish menace, then blind patriotism would be a bad thing.

Now, true Patriotism might involve staging a revolution to overthrow the truly bad influences and rescuing your beloved country from this terrible leader. But I think your teacher is probably expecting you to make a distinction between "blind patriotism" -- doing everything your leaders ask of you, no matter what -- and true patriotism which involves fighting against evil influences within your country so that your country can be a thing worth loving.

There should be no doubt that different people will come to different conclusions about when it is time to march along with the leader and when it is time to take up arms against that leader.

26 posted on 11/13/2008 11:22:12 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: Sisku Hanne

Mindlessly supporting your government all the time is poor patriotisim, especially when it’s your party, because it’s your party. Our government is made up of people, people with human failings. A good patriot rocks the boat and peaves people off sometime, because they’re conviction tells them it’s the right thing to do.

Bad patriotisim is easy. Say all the right slogans, plaster on the bumper stickers, hand them your money, but then don’t participate.


27 posted on 11/13/2008 11:23:10 AM PST by FreedomFerret
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To: Sisku Hanne
The assignment is to describe a true account of patriotism (for any nation) that has gone bad,

Paying taxes; they are patriotic because Joe Biden says so, and they've gone bad because George Bush and Congress are giving them away to companies when they should let nature/the markets take their course.

28 posted on 11/13/2008 11:24:05 AM PST by Born Conservative (Bohicaville: http://bohicaville.wordpress.com/)
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To: Sisku Hanne

The “bad” examples are better described as “jingoism”.


29 posted on 11/13/2008 11:24:32 AM PST by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

I suppose you could make an argument that any sort of blind loyalty has the potential for trouble. The problem though is that you wouldn’t be talking about patriotism per se, but patriotism combined with a loss of independent thinking. The “I was just following orders” school of thought.

If I were in your shoes, I’d get around what I suspect is the professor’s intent here, and choose an example from another country.


30 posted on 11/13/2008 11:25:17 AM PST by freespirited (Honk to indict the MSM for treason.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

If your love of country outweighs a love of the heavenly kingdom, and such affections conflict, that could be a “bad” thing.

If your “love” of country is misguided, as some Nazis practiced, that could be a “bad” thing.


31 posted on 11/13/2008 11:26:36 AM PST by Theo (Global warming "scientists." Pro-evolution "scientists." They're both wrong.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Lots of German Jews thought they were being good, patriotic Germans when they reported for the trains.


32 posted on 11/13/2008 11:26:55 AM PST by Grut
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To: Sisku Hanne

Patriotism, by definition, is a virtue. Thus, there can be no bad examples of patriotism. Patriotism is the well-ordered love of one’s State and of one’s fellow citizens. The phrase “My country, right or wrong,” is pernicious and presupposes that national welfare, convenience, and prestige are above all moral law. So patriotism is not unreasoning sentiment, contempt for outsiders, prejudice which regards one’s own way of life as superior, jingoism. Nor is it, according to Samuel Johnson, the last refuge of the scoundrel. For true patriotism, a virtue, cannot be exercised by scoundrels.


33 posted on 11/13/2008 11:27:39 AM PST by SaintThomasMorePrayForUs
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To: Sisku Hanne

There’s patriotism, and then there’s bad nationalism.

One country’s pirate, is another country’s hero (See Lord Nelson).

Nelson was regarded as a pirate by France, and a patriot by Britain.


34 posted on 11/13/2008 11:30:03 AM PST by RinaseaofDs
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To: Sisku Hanne

Patriotism, as a virtue, is the relative mean between two extremes: nationalism, jingoism, chauvinism on the one hand and apathy and impiety with respect to fellow citizens and country on the other. Patriotism is the golden mean between vicious extremes.


35 posted on 11/13/2008 11:30:06 AM PST by SaintThomasMorePrayForUs
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To: Sisku Hanne

Sounds like a semantic difference. I suppose you could, by your definitions, cite a time when patriotism has turned into nationalism.


36 posted on 11/13/2008 11:30:22 AM PST by Sloth (What's the difference between taxation and armed robbery, aside from who's doing it?)
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To: Sisku Hanne
Good patriotism is writing your own paper instead of plagiarizing the work of other freepers.

Bad patriotism is posting a “do my homework for me” vanity thread on freerepublic, thereby wasting JimRob’s resources while you shirk your responsibilities and fellow freepers have to drag your embarrassing ass off of the forum by our earlobe and back to your desk to get to work doing your own research.

37 posted on 11/13/2008 11:31:41 AM PST by woollyone ("When the tide is low, even a shrimp has its own puddle." - Vance Havner)
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To: Sisku Hanne
Patriotism to a nation that is tyrannical is a bad thing. Before the American revolution, patriotism was for the crown. That was a bad thing.
38 posted on 11/13/2008 11:32:07 AM PST by allmendream (Wealth is EARNED not distributed.... so how could it be Redistributed?)
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To: Sisku Hanne

How would you SPECIFICALLY define the line between patriotism and nationalism?

I think nationalism is another word for extreme patriotism. Examples are very easy to identify. Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Russia under Putin (search for some articles about how crazy Putin’s supporters are — they follow him unquestioningly and consider any disagreement a form of unlawful dissent!)


39 posted on 11/13/2008 11:32:27 AM PST by 4everfree2001
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To: Sisku Hanne

Use Hitler’s Germany, for example. Talk about how he took power using his private civilian security force.


40 posted on 11/13/2008 11:32:46 AM PST by Boiling Pots (Time to dump Bush/McCain "conservatism" in the trash heap of history.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

As long as patriotism doesn’t always mean you support your government “no matter what”!?


41 posted on 11/13/2008 11:33:50 AM PST by JSDude1 (PAUL BROUN for House Republican Minority Leader..Mike Pence for conference chair!)
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To: Sisku Hanne
I have to write about patriotism for an ethics course, and give a "bad" example of it.

Agreeing to pay higher taxes annually as an act of "patriotism" comes to mind.

42 posted on 11/13/2008 11:34:23 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspell)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Patriotism is not nationalism. It is about action and devotion.

Is patriotism misguided? When you defend a nation that is indefensible. There is no defending what Germany was doing in the Nazi era. There are other Fascist nations we can look at (Italy and Spain among them adopted GENUINE fascist political parties).


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/patriotism

patriotism

–noun
devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

Origin:
1720–30; patriot + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

pa·tri·ot·ism
n. Love of and devotion to one’s country.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

patriotism

noun
love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it; “they rode the same wave of popular patriotism”; “British nationalism was in the air and patriotic sentiments ran high”

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.


Patriotism

Patriotism
n.
[Cf. F. patriotisme.] Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one’s country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one’s country. —Berkley.

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.


Ironic, isn’t it, that an American traitor named Mildred Gillars (who was known as “Axis Sally” although I think she broadcast under a different name) would take issue with the “my country right or wrong” argument to argue AGAINST America (while she was living in Germany).

Axis Sally, convicted traitor (WWII) audio sample
http://www.earthstation1.com/WWIIAudio/Axis_Sally_02c.wav
transcript:

“Well, I’m sorry girls but the time is really nearly up now and just in closing, girls, I like to ask you one question, on the level, straight shoulder to shoulder.”
“If you child behaves badly, do you agree with its misbehavior? Do you say to yourself, ‘My child, right or wrong, I don’t care what he does.’?”

“No you don’t.”

“You try to correct that child, you try to make him a better citizen.”

“Well, and what is a country? A country is only made up of people after all. Do you say, ‘My country right or wrong?’ No, girls. That’s false sentimentality and I do NOT praise(?) my country right or wrong.”

“I love America but I do NOT love Roosevelt and all of his kike boyfriends who have thrown us into the awful turmoil. And I’ll stick to my guns as long as I can tire(?) them, girls.”

“So you’ve not heard the last from me and I’m sure you must reject(?) your radio because you will want to hear more of what Germany is saying through the medium of an American girl.”


43 posted on 11/13/2008 11:35:12 AM PST by weegee (Global Warming Change? Fight Global Socialist CHANGE.)
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To: Sisku Hanne

I believe that in pre-war Germany Hitler so closely identified himself with the nation that his minions were required to swear fealty to him personally, not to him as fuhrer. That is patriotism gone wrong when it is twisted to mean unquestioning loyalty to a person rather than a nation and its ideals.


44 posted on 11/13/2008 11:35:37 AM PST by caseinpoint (Don't get thickly involved in thin things)
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To: Sisku Hanne

Perhaps you could suggest that a better term for “bad” patriotism would be “false” patriotism. Not everyone who claims to be a patriot is one, necessarily.


45 posted on 11/13/2008 11:36:44 AM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Sisku Hanne
"give a "bad" example of it."

Deutchland uber alles.

46 posted on 11/13/2008 11:37:58 AM PST by Natural Law
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To: Sisku Hanne
It depends entirely on how you define patriotism. See Post#2. But if Patriotism includes working to right your country when it goes wrong, then any negative example would have to be found in the individual's values that determine right vs wrong. If you're moral compass is off, then you could honestly believe that you are working for your country's best interest when in fact you are redistributing her down the craphole of socialism. Any resemblence to the newly elected is not entirely coincidence.
47 posted on 11/13/2008 11:38:12 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: stocksthatgoup
On a slight tangent from your actual question, keep in mind that America is completely unique in human history, in that patriotism is dedication to the ideal of individual freedom as described in the Declaration and the Constitution, not to a geographic area or a leader or even a governmental structure.

Now that being said, it could be argued that the South during the Civil War was led by patriots who, aside from the slavery issue, were dedicated to the same principles as the North (and in the case of State's Rights, more so).
48 posted on 11/13/2008 11:40:24 AM PST by aWolverine
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To: Sisku Hanne

Like any emotion - like any abstraction - patriotism is bad insofar as it can be used to manipulate people to do evil. John Wilkes Booth claimed to be a patriot. In itself it is a laudable enough emotion - love of country, love of one’s mother, love of virtue itself - but ethics involves actions, not feelings. IMHO, of course.


49 posted on 11/13/2008 11:41:16 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Sisku Hanne

You have to have a moral center of your own. You won’t be able to sort out what your patriotic duty is without clear moral principles of your own.

If service to your country obliges you to violate your moral principles, you can’t do it.

That doesn’t make you unpatriotic. If you love your country, you’re a patriot. If you’re willing to give your life to defend it, or give your life to set it right when its gone off the rails, you’re a patriot. The trick is knowing which is which.

Its important to remember that service to a given regime is not the same thing as service to country. Again, it takes a clear moral sense to be able to navigate the difference.

So, yes, patriotism rooted in morality is always a good thing. Detached from morality its like anything else detached from morality; it can lead to monstrous consequences.


50 posted on 11/13/2008 11:42:18 AM PST by marron
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