Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Patriotism

"Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war." - Nancy Gibbs

"I look upon the world as my fatherland... I look upon true patriotism as the brotherhood of man and the service of all to all." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it." -

"Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles." - George Jean Nathan

"Patriotism is a lively sense of responsibility. Nationalism is a silly cock crowing on its own dunghill." - Richard Aldington, born Edward Godfree Aldington

"In wartime, the degree of patriotism is directly proportional to distance from the front." - Philip Caputo

"What causes war is not patriotism, not that human beings are willing to die in defense of their dearest ones. It is the false doctrine, fostered by the few, that war spells gain." - Henry Ford

"It should be the work of a genuine and noble patriotism to raise the life of the nation to the level of its privileges; to harmonize its general practice with its abstract principles; to reduce to actual facts the ideals of its institutions; to elevate instruction into knowledge; to deepen knowledge into wisdom; to render knowledge and wisdom complete in righteousness; and to make the love of country perfect in the love of man." - Henry Giles

"The patriotism of antiquity becomes in modern societies a caricature. In antiquity, it developed naturally from the whole condition of a people, its youth, its situation, its culture - with us it is an awkward imitation. Our life demands, not separation from other nations, but constant intercourse; our city life is not that of the ancient city-state." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"There can be no patriotism without liberty, no liberty without virtue, no virtue without citizens; create citizens, and you have everything you need; without them, you will have nothing but debased slaves, from the rulers of the State downwards. To form citizens is not the work of a day; and in order to have men it is necessary to educate them when they are children." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"There is a higher form of patriotism than nationalism, and that higher form is not limited by the boundaries of one's country; but by a duty to mankind to safeguard the trust of civilization." - Oscar S. Straus, fully Oscar Solomon Straus

"True patriotism doesn’t exclude an understanding of the patriotism of others." - Elizabeth II, born Elizabeth Alexandra May NULL

"Love and business and family and religion and art and patriotism are nothing but shadows of words when a man’s starving." - O. Henry, pen name for William Sydney Porter

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." - Samuel Johnson, aka Doctor Johnson

"Religion, patriotism, race and sex are the favorite red herrings of foul political method – they are the most successful because they explode so easily and flood the mind with those unconscious prejudices which make critical thinking difficult." -

"You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or who says it." -

"By “nationalism” I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled “good” or “bad.” But secondly… I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism… By “patriotism” I mean 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. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality." -

"True patriotism doesn't exclude an understanding of the patriotism of others." - Queen Elizabeth II, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary NULL

"You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says or does it." -

"Patriotism depends as much on mutual suffering as on mutual success; and it is by that experience of all fortunes and all feelings that a great national character is created." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Patriotism is often understood to mean only a readiness for exceptional sacrifices and actions. Essentially, however, it is the sentiment which, in the relationships of our daily life and under ordinary conditions, habitually recognizes that the community is one’s substantive groundwork and end. It is out of this consciousness, which during life’s daily round stands the test in all circumstances, that there subsequently also arises the readiness for extraordinary exertions. But since men would often rather be magnanimous than law-abiding, they readily persuade themselves that they possess this exceptional patriotism in order to be sparing in the expression of a genuine patriotic sentiment or to excuse their lack of it. If again this genuine patriotism is looked upon as that which may begin of itself and arise from subjective ideas and thoughts, it is being confused with opinion, because so regarded patriotism is deprived of its true ground, objective reality." - Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

"Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy." - George Bernard Shaw

"You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race." - George Bernard Shaw

"Beauty, purity, respectability, religion, morality, art, patriotism, bravery and the rest… are mere words, useful for duping barbarians into adopting civilization, or the civilized poor into submitting to be robbed and enslaved. This is the family secret of the governing class." - George Bernard Shaw

"Patriotism, public opinion, parental duty, discipline, religion, morality, are only fine names for intimidation." - George Bernard Shaw

"A great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle (patriotism) alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward." - George Washington

"I know [patriotism] exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward." - George Washington

"It is not by reason, but most often in spite of it, that area created those sentiments that are the mainsprings of all civilization – sentiments such as honor, self-sacrifice, religious faith, patriotism, and the love of glory." - Gustave Le Bon

"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies in dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive." - Henry Steele Commager

"At its worst, American patriotism degenerates into a coarse form of national self-congratulation." - Lance Morrow

"What is patriotism but the love of the good things we ate in our childhood?" - Lin Yutang

"The modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism is loyalty to the nation all the time, loyalty to the government when it deserves it." -

"More democratic societies, including the United States, instituted measures to impose discipline on the domestic population and to institute unpopular measures under the guise of "combating terror," exploiting the atmosphere of fear and the demand for "patriotism" - which in practice means: "You shut up and I'll pursue my own agenda relentlessly." The Bush administration used the opportunity to advance its assault against most of the population, and future generations, in service to the narrow corporate interests that dominate the administration to an extent even beyond the norm." - Noam Chomsky, fully Avram Noam Chomsky

"By “nationalism” I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labeled “good” or “bad.” But secondly… I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism… By “patriotism” I mean 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. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality. " - George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair

"The highest patriotism is not a blind acceptance of official policy, but a love of one's country deep enough to call her to a higher plain. " - George McGovern, fully George Stanley McGovern

"If patriotism were defined, not as blind obedience to government, nor as submissive worship to flags and anthems, but rather as love of one's country, one's fellow citizens (all over the world), as loyalty to the principles of justice and democracy, then patriotism would require us to disobey our government, when it violated those principles." - Howard Zinn

"A successful future for America depends on the meaning we attach to being citizens of the same republic--a meaning shattered every time the left questions the intelligence of their opponents and the right questions the patriotism of those who don’t share their views. That success also will be measured by the depth of our commitment to each other—a commitment that begins in our neighborhoods and PTAs and town councils and swells upward from there. Our success rest on the shape and power of our vision--how can we pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” when the nation is a battleground of uncompromising ideas and ideologies? We need to change what’s in our minds but above all we need to change what’s in our hearts." - John Graham

"If patriotism is, as Dr. Johnson used to remark, the last refuge of the scoundrel, wrapping outdated industry in the mantle of national interest is the last refuge of the economically dispossessed. In economic terms, pleading national interest is the declining cottage industry of those who have been bypassed by the global economy." - Kenichi Ohmae

"You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says or does it. " - Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

"The modern patriotism, the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism is loyalty to the nation all the time, loyalty to the government when it deserves it." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"If the test of patriotism comes only by reflexively falling into lockstep behind the leader whenever the flag is waved, then what we have is a formula for dictatorship, not democracy." - Michael Parenti

"Unity is the great goal toward which humanity moves irresistibly. But it becomes fatal, destructive of the intelligence, the dignity, the well-being of individuals and peoples whenever it is formed without regard to liberty, either by violent means or under the authority of any theological, metaphysical, political, or even economic idea. That patriotism which tends toward unity without regard to liberty is an evil patriotism, always disastrous to the popular and real interests of the country it claims to exalt and serve. Often, without wishing to be so, it is a friend of reaction – an enemy of the revolution, i.e., the emancipation of nations and men." - Mikhail Bakunin, fully Mikhail Alexandrovich Bakunin

"The hand that gives is among the hand that takes. Money has no fatherland, financiers are without patriotism and without decency, their sole object is gain." - Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain." - Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I

"Love makes fools, marriage cuckolds and patriotism malevolent imbeciles. " - Paul Léautaud

"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, born Barbara Alexander

"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism - how passionately I hate them!" - Albert Einstein

"This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of herd life, the military system, which I abhor... This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!" - Albert Einstein