A Thought on Patriotism and Nationalism

Everyone should be a patriot, by all means. Patriotism is natural to humanity, and loving your patria is as natural and virtuous as loving your pater. But don't make the mistake of confusing your patria with the political nation-state under whose power you happen to find yourself. That is called nationalism and nationalism has run roughshod over patriotism for the last 200 years. It was nationalism that told Occitanians that they had to become Frenchmen, Tuscans that they had to become Italians, Bavarians that they had to become Germans, Navarrans that they had to become Spaniards, and Virginians that they had to become Americans. Nationalism always and everywhere attempts to subsume a healthy patriotism under a love for a vast political state, and in the process turns what is primarily a peaceful appreciation of one's culture and people into a militant hunger for dominance and control on the world stage.

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