Monday, May 19, 2008

Patriotism -

Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone.
The last words of British nurse Edith Cavell, shot as a spy by the German authorities in Brussels on 12 October 1915.

True patriotism doesn't exclude an understanding of the patriotism of others. ~Queen Elizabeth II

A patriot is he whose publick conduct is regulated by one single motive, the love of his country; who, as an agent in parliament, has, for himself, neither hope nor fear, neither kindness nor resentment,but refers every thing to the common interest. - Samuel Johnson: The Patriot

To love their country has been considered as virtue in men, whose love could not be otherwise than blind, because their preference was made without, a comparison; but it has never been my fortune to find, either in ancient or modern writers, any honourable mention of those, who have, with equal blindness, hated their country.- Samuel Johnson, Taxation No Tyranny

It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see publick dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. But he sounds no alarm, when there is no enemy; he never terrifies his ncountrymen till he is terrified himself. The patriotism, therefore, may be justly doubted of him, who professes to be disturbed by incredibilities... -- Samuel Johnson: The Patriot

Still today many subscribe to the infamous assertion of E. M. Forster that, if he had to choose between betraying his country and betraying his friends, he hoped he would have the guts to betray his country. Forgotten is the reality that one is betraying one's friends by betraying one's country. Forgotten, too, is the fact that those who are the friends of tyrants and mass murderers should not be counted as friends. -- Richard John Neuhaus

Patriotism is usually stronger than class hatred, and always stronger than internationalism. George Orwell, Selected Essays

Some reformers may urge that in the ages distant future, patriotism, like the habit of monogamous marriage, will become a needless and obsolete virtue; but just at present the man who loves other countries as much as he does his own is quite as noxious a member of society as the man who loves other women as much as he loves his wife. Love of country is an elemental virtue, like love of home." --Theodore Roosevelt

Our country right or wrong. When right, to be kept right; when wrong, to be put right. ~ Carl Schurz

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?
Sir Walter Scott. 1771-1832. Canto vi. Stanza 1.
Brutus: Who is here so vile that will not love his country? --Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

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