Is patriotism preventing us from loving humanity? Why people always neglect the pain of others?
Irshad, This is a very important question and probably needs a treatise to address it. Great philosophers have tried to tackle it, Plato standing out in my mind. This is why questions on hubpages are so great. Your question led me to an article in the New York Times by philosopher, Gary Gutting of Notre Dame University in the US. Of course his perspective is an American perspective, I think his article, with the provocative question "Is Our Patriotism Moral?" contains an interesting quote. He says, "For what is the animating ideal of American patriotism if not the freedom of all persons, not just its own citizens? This is apparent in our Declaration, which bases its case for independence on the principle that governments exist to “secure the rights” of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” to which all persons are equally entitled. This principle is the avowed purpose of all our actions as a nation, and we may read our history as the story of our successes and failures in carrying out this principle. America, then, is the paradox of a local historical project that aims at universal liberation. Through this project, we have a way of combining traditional patriotism with universal morality."
As for me personally, I consider myself a citizen of the world. In the song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," the lyrics are powerful: "...brothers all are we, let me walk with my brother, in perfect harmony" and assign us an important mandate.
Because my grandparents were of German origin, I think I have always viewed patriotism as very close to nationalism and that scares the heck out of me.
I have never flown the American flag for any holiday after my husband had fought in Viet Nam. I tend to be very judgmental of people who proclaim blind patriotism and fly any flag as an indication of superiority. We were born in the country we were born in by accident. To be proud we are Americans seems ludicrous to me. To be grateful for all that the United States of America provides for us seems to be closer to an ideal. It's a question of gratitude for me instead of pride
In answer to your question, I do think patriotism CAN prevent us from embracing humanity in a way that would be of benefit to mankind. So contrary to most people who applaud others for "their patriotism," for "love their country right or wrong", I question the morality of people who do so.
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