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Patriotism, often a thinly veiled form of collective self-worship, celebrates our goodness, our ideals, our mercy and bemoans the perfidiousness of those who hate us. Chris Hedges, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning
Certainly the religious overlay of patriotism has come into fashion. It’s always there of course. Arthur Miller
And even the distinction between rich and poor dwindles somewhat when one regards the nation from the outside. There is no question about the inequality of wealth in England. It is grosser than in any European country, and you have only to look down the nearest street to see it. Economically, England is certainly two nations, if not three or four. But at the same time the vast majority of the people feel themselves to be a single nation and are conscious of resembling one another more than they resemble foreigners. Patriotism is usually stronger than class-hatred, and always stronger than any kind of internationalism. George Orwell, England Your England III
... Just because patriotism is all but universal and not even the rich are uninfluenced by it, there can be moments when the whole nation suddenly swings together and does the same thing, like a herd of cattle facing a wolf. There was such a moment, unmistakably, at the time of the disaster in France. After eight months of vaguely wondering what the war was about, the people suddenly knew what they had got to do: first, to get the army away from Dunkirk, and secondly to prevent invasion. It was like the awakening of a giant. Quick! Danger! The Philistines be upon thee, Samson! And then the swift unanimous action – and, then, alas, the prompt relapse into sleep. In a divided nation that would have been exactly the moment for a big peace movement to arise. But does this mean that the instinct of the English will always tell them to do the right thing? Not at all, merely that it will tell them to do the same thing. In the 1931 General Election, for instance, we all did the wrong thing in perfect unison. We were as single-minded as the Gadarene swine. But I honestly doubt whether we can say that we were shoved down the slope against our will.
It follows that British democracy is less of a fraud than it sometimes appears. A foreign observer sees only the huge inequality of wealth, the unfair electoral system, the governing-class control over the press, the radio and education, and concludes that democracy is simply a polite name for dictatorship. But this ignores the considerable agreement that does unfortunately exist between the leaders and the led. However much one may hate to admit it, it is almost certain that between 1931 and 1940 the National Government represented the will of the mass of the people. It tolerated slums, unemployment and a cowardly foreign policy. Yes, but so did public opinion. It was a stagnant period, and its natural leaders were mediocrities. ibid.
The patriotic thing to do is to critique my country. How else do you make a country better but by pointing out its flaws? Bill Maher
It’s all sentimental … and Tinkerbell’s life goes out and she dies. The love of our troops: the ultimate in fake patriotism. The troops? Are you kidding? We pay them like shit, we fuck them and trick them on deployments, we nickel and dime them on medical care when they get home, not to mention the stupid wars that we send them to. Bill Maher: But I’m Not Wrong, Sky Comedy 2021
In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favourite device of persons with something to sell. H L Mencken, US editor, 1880-1956
Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Samuel Johnson
49,353. No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots. Barbara Ehrenreich
If what your country is doing seems to you practically and morally wrong, is dissent the highest form of patriotism? Howard Zinn, ‘Dissent in Pursuit of Equality, Life, Liberty and Happiness’, attributions & variations
Imperialism, sane Imperialism, as distinguished from what I may call wild-cat Imperialism, is nothing but this – a larger patriotism. Lord Rosebery, speech 5th May 1899
Patriotism is a lively sense of collective responsibility. Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill. Richard Adlington, 1892-1962
The fact that we’ve been a great democracy doesn’t mean we will automatically keep being one if we keep waving the flag. Norman Mailer
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. Mark Twain
Never the patriot yet, but was a fool. John Dryden, 1631-1700, Absalom and Achitophel
The kind of patriotism which consists in hating all other nations. Elizabeth Gaskell, Syvia’s Lovers, 1863
You’ll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. George Bernard Shaw, O’Flaherty VC
Love of our country is another of those specious illusions, which have been invented by impostors in order to render the multitude the blind instruments of their crooked designs. William Godwin, 1756-1836, English philosopher and novelist, husband of Mary Wollstonecraft
I don’t know that atheists should be considered patriots, nor should they be considered citizens. This is one nation under God. George H W Bush, disputed quotationcited Robert Sherman
So, to be patriots, as not to forget we are gentlemen. Edmund Burke
Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism ... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all others. Emma Goldman
Sixty-foot heads ... We are calling bullshit on Mount Rushmore. Penn & Teller: Bullshit! s5e8: Mount Rushmore, Showtime 2007
We Americans love our patriotic icons ... No icon is more imposing than Mount Rushmore ... A creepy national memorial. ibid.
Is everyone supposed to feel patriotic about where they were born no matter where they were born? ibid.
Patriotism was a big theme of Blair’s 1997 Labour election victory celebration. Max Hastings, The Falklands Legacy
It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. Voltaire
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. Bertrand Russell
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. Edward Abbey
Patriotism must be founded on great principals and supported by great virtue. Henry Bolingbroke
‘My country, right or wrong’ is a thing no patriot would ever think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying ‘My mother, drunk or sober’. Gilbert K Chesterton
For what were all these country patriots born?
To hunt, and vote, and raise the price of corn? Lord Byron
You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it. Malcolm X
Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it. Denis Diderot
Patriotism ruins history. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Patriotism is the vice of nations. Oscar Wilde
What is patriotism but love of the good things we ate in our childhood? Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living