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View Diary: George Orwell and Howard Zinn on Two Distinctly Different Concepts: Patriotism and Nationalism (78 comments)

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  •  Here is the difference, (1+ / 0-)
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    JekyllnHyde

    with great respect to Mr. Orwell: Nationalists are what your enemies are, while your friends are Patriots.

    Orwell, like many others with good intentions, strain to try to find a definition of Patriotism so that they end up with something which feels distinct from Nationalism, and which describes good behavior. Any such attempts end up with a definition of Patriotism which amounts to "Patriotism is when people of a country only follow the 'national virtues' which actually happen to be positive, and not the ones which are vile and horrid."

    So, for example, from Orwell:

    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 on other people.
    Well, my particular way of life includes paying taxes, and I do want to force that on others. More to the point, my particular way of life includes not stoning people to death in the streets, and I definitely want to force that on others. I suppose Orwell might say that his definition of "Patriotism" allows one to want to force things which one believes necessary to a civil society (like forcing people to pay taxes, etc), but once one tries to force things such as liking hot dogs and hamburgers then one is no longer a Patriot. Yeah, but there's the rub, Nationalists always believe the things they are trying to force on others are necessary for a civil society. Neocons didn't go invading Iraq wanting them to eat hot dogs and hamburgers, but went on about exporting "Freedom."

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