Nationalism and Patriotism


Elie Kedourie wrote in "Nationalism," perhaps his greatest work, that "Patriotism is the love of one's country or group, while Nationalism is the love of one's country or group at the expense of everyone else."

George Orwell wrote in "Notes on Nationalism," that "By 'patriotism' I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."  

I have tried to act as I imagine a patriot should and in a way that Kedourie and Orwell might approve.  I long ago decided that Nationalism as these two great minds defined it was a bad thing and that I hoped the United States would not descend to such a depth of false pride as to become nationalistic in this sense.  I have lived to be disappointed in this.

In general I support Macron's expressed view on this subject but it should be said that much of his vehemence on this subject is caused by his own search for approval in France and reluctance to see Europe deprived of the post WW2 economic benefits and subsidized defense against the USSR long provided by the United States.  From my point of view Macron appears a self serving politician in this matter.

We should all be careful not to confuse Patriotism and Nationalism.  pl

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