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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Interdependence on This Independence Day

In Dr. Johnson's famous dictionary patriotism is defined as the last resort of a scoundrel. With all due respect to an enlightened but inferior lexicographer, I beg to submit that it is the first. -- Ambrose Bierce

True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. -- Clarence Darrow

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

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

Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism” I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one’s own nation, which is the concern with the nation’s spiritual as much as with its material welfare -— never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one’s country which is not part of one’s love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship. -- Erich Fromm

Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have 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 the others. -- Emma Goldman

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. -- Bertrand Russell

Patriotism ... for rulers is nothing else than a tool for achieving their power-hungry and money-hungry goals, and for the ruled it means renouncing their human dignity, reason, conscience, and slavish submission to those in power... Patriotism is slavery. -- Leo Tolstoy

The soul and substance of what customarily ranks as patriotism is moral cowardice — and always has been. -- Mark Twain

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. -- Oscar Wilde

And so, we end with some not so random Wilde!

1 comment:

Summerspeaker said...

Nice selection of quotations. As Howard Zinn wrote, it is particularly dangerous for Americans to be patriotic and nationalistic because this country functions as an imperial power.