Awhile back I wrote a post called “Patriotism v. Nationalism,” which was followed up by “Patriotism v. Paranoia,” “Patriotism v. Francis Fukuyama,” “Patriotism v. Hate Speech,” and probably some other posts. Anyway, in the first post I repeated some quotes about patriotism and nationalism I found in Bartlett’s. Here are some of them, again:
The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war. — Sidney J. Harris
Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility. Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill and calling for larger spurs and brighter beaks. I fear that nationalism is one of Englandâ€™s many spurious gifts to the world. — Richard Aldington
“Responsibility” seems to be a common theme:
What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility … a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. — Adlai Stevenson
I contend that the primary difference between patriots and nationalists is that patriots value responsibility, while nationalists value loyalty. So you know that when you read this, you are reading the words of a nationalist, not a patriot.
The “this” is Little Lulu, publishing photographs of Iranian men being bashed by the Iranian religious compliance police for wearing Western dress. They are distressing photographs; the Iranian religious compliance police represent the moral/religious absolutism I warned against in this morning’s “Wisdom of Doubt” post. For the record, I’m against it.
However, Lulu loses me when she writes crap like this:
Question: Will these photos be blared across the front pages of the international media with as much disgust and condemnation as the photos of Abu Ghraib or the manufactured Gitmo Koran-flushing riots?
Answer: Fat chance.
This is where the patriot (like me) and the nationalist (like Lulu) part company. There are many horrible things going on right now in this world, things that shock and horrify anyone with a heart. But as a patriot, I feel a special responsibility toward what my country does and particular anguish when it’s in the wrong.
Lulu refuses to acknowledge the wrongdoing and accept the responsibility; she is interested only in blind loyalty.
On some level — human and spiritual — we’re all responsible for “the whole catastrophe,” as my old Zen teacher used to put it. But as a citizen of this country, it is my duty to speak up when my country has done something wrong. This is not “hating America,” as twits like Lulu assume. It is what a patriot does.
Question: What do leftist apologists for the Iranian regime have to say about the brutal, appalling, and escalating crackdown on human rights? Yeah, you, Rosie.
The word “nothing” is linked to some videos of Rosie Oâ€™Donnell, whom Malkin seems to think is the designated spokesperson of the entire Left. Rosie is the new Ward Churchill.
It goes on. In fact, I don’t blog about everything that concerns me, because I don’t have time, although some lefties have spoken out against human rights abuses in Iran — here and here are two examples. I send a small donation monthly to Amnesty International because human rights abuses around the globe concern me deeply.
However, as a blogger, I focus on human rights abuses perpetrated by my own country, because I’m more directly responsible for what my country does than for what the government of Iran does. And I think if all citizens of all countries took responsibility for their own nations’ actions instead of pointing fingers at everybody else, the world would be a better place.
And I’ve been having this conversation with wingnuts since the late 1960s. It flies right over their pointy little heads every time.