questionswhere do you draw the line between patriotism and…

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I think a true patriot, while being proud and standing up for his country, still holds onto his own, personal morals, or set of beliefs.

Meanwhile a nationalist can very well blindly follow his country's leadership, no matter what direction it goes (whether good or bad). So while, at the root, nationalism isn't necessarily a bad thing, it has the potential to be bad because that person is opening himself up to the possibility of being molded by corruption.

I noticed the stark difference between these two while I lived in China. In the USA people are encouraged to speak up if they don't agree with something that their country is doing. In China this is primarily discouraged (however, they are becoming more open-minded, little by little).

A great example of a difference between the two is found in the movie, The Patriot. If Mel Gibson were a nationalist, in this movie, he would have been sympathetic to England and all of their actions in America.

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IMO, America lives a double standard. On one hand we don't truly allow people to make decisions for themselves until they're 18 (or 21) yet we begin teaching the pledge of allegiance in elementary school. Pro-patriotic reinforcement is everywhere. Anthems, political cartoons, bumper stickers, war films/ propaganda, social norms... How do we treat people that don't "support the troops?" It's a pretty huge taboo in almost any social setting. Society draws from patriotic ideals and thus these ideals do a part in shaping our culture and art as well.

I have a hard time seeing a major difference between nationalism and patriotism. America's passionate reaction to the WTC attacks allowed us to be manipulated and deceived despite warnings from media skeptics. Could we have prevented unnecessary death and suffering if we'd approached things differently?

Cosmopolitanism makes more sense to me. Take a look if you're interested or unfamiliar with the idea.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmopolitanism

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@dmaz: I think you're wrong about "blindly follow his country's leadership". I've always considered myself a nationalist, and do not follow the ill conceived direction some leaders try to forge. In fact, being someone who is both patriotic and a nationalist, I regularly speak out against these things. Not all leaders are nationalists, and some can be barely patriotic.

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@poopfeast420: "Could we have prevented unnecessary death and suffering if we'd approached things differently?"
Prevented, no. Only relocated. We will fight somewhere as long as there's a defense industry and a Congress.

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In common useage both terms are synonyms, though most tend to use patriotism to reflect a cause they themselves identify with and nationalism for causes others believe in. Some say that "one man's terrorist is another's patriot", though they would not say "another's nationalist." Nationalism tends to encompass a single group's identification with a country, such as Jewish Nationalism toward Israel, or Arian Nationalism toward Germany. Since this country is a "melting pot" of many peoples, the term Patriot tends to be more useful. Most would consider White Supremascists as nationalists, though they themselves probably consider themselves patriots. My examples might suggest a good/bad undercurrent, but I think its more inclusive/exclusive.

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I wish I hadn't read this question. It hurts to bite your tongue.

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A patriot is someone who supports their country all the time and the government when it deserves it. -Mark Twain-

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@jsimsace: If it's not worth the downvotes, it's not worth saying. It happens.

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To me, nationalism is blindly believing that your country can do no wrong and patriotism is loving and wanting the best for your country. To me, it is Nationalistic to say the United States is the best country in the world, but patriotic to say the USA has accomplished great things in the past and may have been the greatest but has slipped, and have a desire to bring it back up to its former glory. (And before anyone flames me, the USA is not first in the world in any positive category. We don't have the best median income, life expectancy, upward mobility {aka the american dream}, infant survival rates, voter turn out, distribution of wealth, GDP, math or science proficiency, literacy rate, or education system. We are however first in Military spending and people incarcerated per capita)

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@jdevenberg: Travel a little bit and you'll find the USA is still near the top (and no where near the median) in all of those categories that you suggested we are failing in....

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@dmaz: He didn't suggest that we are failing in those categories. He merely stated that we are not FIRST in the world, which is true.

I would say that being near the top in ALL those categories puts us in strong contention for "best country in the world" though. There aren't many places that can claim that.

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Near the top doesn't mean best. Especially in the education categories. We need an educated public in order to maintain our spot near the top. As education falls, we will start to see other categories follow.

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@nortonsark: I agree about this view of nationalism a bit. I am currently living in Japan and is to a degree patriotic, but the stronger view here is nationalism. The Japanese people of proud of being Japanese not necessarily that they live in Japan. There is less a pride for country than their pride for their fellow countrymen. In the US I see it differently we don't so our pride for our countrymen (with the exception of a few) but there is a great deal of it for the country itself. As stated earlier the US is a melting pot so I would say it is harder to find the since of nationalism. E.Plurbus Unum (Out of many, One), we are one in the since of being Americans, but we are not one as a people group. We identify with our country but not the people in it.
Now to say one is better than the other can be a hard thing, I do like the comradery I see here in Japan, we all remember what their sense of nationalism did to China and the US.