Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Christopher Dickey has a column in Newsweek where he outlines the differences between patriotism and nationalism. George Orwell wrote that patriotism was “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.” Dickey explains the distinction:

But American nationalism, unlike American patriotism, is different-and dangerous.

The second part of Orwell’s definition tells you why. Nationalism is the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or an idea, “placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests.” Patriotism is essentially about ideas and pride. Nationalism is about emotion and blood. The nationalist’s thoughts “always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. … Nationalism is power-hunger tempered by self-deception.”


At 7/10/2006 10:20:00 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

This is definitely a distinction we don't make in this country.

I think Franken said it best in LIES when he described the type of love a conservative has for its country as the kind a four-year-old has for its mother, "...everything mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow."

This is the same distinction between Nationalism and Patriotism.

It's the same reason why conservatives are pro-death penalty, anti-immigration, anti-gay, etc. It's a platform of incitement through fear and exclusionism, traditionally called Jingoism.

At 7/12/2006 07:41:00 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

Perhaps why we don't make this distinction is because we have not yet experienced authoritarianism.

A pitfall for both sides, Fascism for conservatives and Communism for liberals, authoritarianism sneaks into the room with open hands and better intentions. Few people in my generation don't remember the book and later the after school special The Wave which dealt with the appeal and feelings of righteousness in living with authoritarianism.

The Daily Show had on former Nixon aid John Dean last night, author of the new book Conservatives Without Conscience on the strain of authoritarianism running through the modern Republican Party.

Keep in mind this is a conservative who wrote this book.

At 7/12/2006 12:23:00 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I missed the John Dean interview, but am interested in the book. His last book Worse Than Watergate was timely. I'll have to see if I can find video of the Stewart interview online.

At 7/16/2006 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Found the Stewart interview with Dean here.


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