23
Jun
09

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PATRIOTISM V NATIONALISM

Patriotism is love of and/or devotion to one’s country. The word comes from the Greek patris.[1] However, patriotism has had different meanings over time, and its meaning is highly dependent upon context, geography and philosophy.

Although patriotism is used in certain vernaculars as a synonym for nationalism, nationalism is not necessarily considered an inherent part of patriotism.[2][3] Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism consisted of notions concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law and devotion to the common good, rather than pure identification with a nation-state.[4][5] Scholar J. Peter Euben writes that for the Greek philosopher Socrates, “patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.”[6]

During the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, the notion of patriotism continued to be separate from the notion of nationalism. Instead, patriotism was defined as devotion to humanity and beneficence.[2] For example, providing charity, criticizing slavery, and denouncing excessive penal laws were all considered patriotic. [2] In both ancient and modern visions of patriotism, individual responsibility to fellow citizens is an inherent component of patriotism.

Many contemporary notions of patriotism are influenced by 19th century ideas about nationalism. During the 19th century, “being patriotic” became increasingly conflated with nationalism, and even jingoism.[2] However, some notions of contemporary patriotism reject nationalism in favor of a more classic version of the idea of patriotism which includes social responsibility.[7]

1959Malaysian_flag

Nationalism refers to an ideology, a sentiment, a form of culture, or a social movement that focuses on the nation.[1] It is a type of collectivism emphasizing the collective of a specific nation. While there is significant debate over the historical origins of nations, nearly all specialists accept that nationalism, at least as an ideology and social movement, is a modern phenomenon originating in Europe.[2] Precisely where and when it emerged is difficult to determine, but its development is closely related to that of the modern state and the push for popular sovereignty that came to a head with the French Revolution in the late 18th century. Since that time, nationalism has become one of the most significant political and social forces in history, perhaps most notably as a major influence or cause of World War I and especially World War II with the rise of fascism, a radical and authoritarian nationalist ideology.[3][4][5][6]

As an ideology, nationalism holds that ‘the people’ in the doctrine of popular sovereignty is the nation, and that as a result only nation-states founded on the principle of national self-determination are legitimate. Since most states are multinational, or at least home to more than one group claiming national status,[7] in many cases nationalist pursuit of self-determination has caused conflict between people and states including war[8] (both external and domestic), secession; and in extreme cases, genocide.

Nationalism is a strong social phenomenon in the world as national flags, national anthems and national divisions are examples of ‘banal‘ nationalism that is often mentally unconscious.[9] Moreover, some scholars argue that nationalism as a sentiment or form of culture, sometimes described as ‘nationality‘ to avoid the ideology’s tarnished reputation, is the social foundation of modern society. Industrialization, democratization, and support for economic redistribution have all been at least partly attributed to the shared social context and solidarity that nationalism provides.[10][11][12]

Even though nationalism ultimately is based on supporting ones own nation, nationalists of different states may perfectly well cooperate among each other as to support the ultimate worldwide belief that all groups of nationalities have the right to have their own nations.

Nevertheless, nationalism remains a hotly contested subject on which there is little general consensus. The clearest example of opposition to nationalism is cosmopolitanism, with adherents as diverse as liberals, Marxists, and anarchists, but even nationalism’s defenders often disagree on its virtues, and it is common for nationalists of one persuasion to disparage the aspirations of others for both principled and strategic reasons. Indeed, the only fact about nationalism that is not in dispute may be that few other social phenomena have had a more enduring impact on the modern world.

WIKIPEDIA

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