100 Quotes About Nationalism

Nationalism is a cause that can stir people to action, or at least generate passionate debate. There are lots of different types of nationalism, which range from the destructive to the generally benign. Some nationalist movements are based on racism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, but the vast majority are not. This collection of nationalist quotes about patriotism, history, and identity are perfect for learning more about all types of nationalism.

Every day we're told that we live in the greatest country on earth. And it's always stated as an undeniable fact: Leos are born between July 23 and August 22, fitted queen-size sheets measure sixty by eighty inches, and America is the greatest country on earth. Having grown up with this in our ears, it's startling to realize that other countries have nationalistic slogans of their own, none of which are 'We're number two! . David Sedaris
Madness is something rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, peoples, and ages, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche
The world, viewed philosophically, remains a series of slave camps, where citizens — tax livestock — labor under the chains of illusion in the service of their masters. Stefan Molyneux
There is more for us to gain through love than...
There is more for us to gain through love than hate. Suzy Kassem
At times there's something so precise and mathematically chilling about nationalism. Build a dam to take away water AWAY from 40 million people. Build a dam to pretend to BRING water to 40 million people. Who are these gods that govern us? Is there no limit to their powers? Arundhati Roy
We are not sheep or cows. God didn’t create fences for us or boundaries to contain our nationalities. Man did. God didn’t draw up religious barriers to separate us from each other. Man did. And on top of that, no father would like to see his children fighting or killing each other. The Creator favors the man who spreads loves over the man who spreads hate. A religious title does not make anyone more superior over another. If a kind man stands by his conscience and exhibits truth in his words and actions, he will stand by God regardless of his faith. If mankind wants to evolve, we must learn from our past mistakes. If not, our technology will evolve without us. Suzy Kassem
As individuals die every moment, how insensitive and fabricated a love it is to set aside a day from selfish routine in prideful, patriotic commemoration of tragedy. Just as God is provoked by those who tithe simply because they feel that they must tithe, I am provoked by those who commemorate simply because they feel that they must commemorate. Criss Jami
Don’t be afraid of those failures that do not lead to a loss of life or that do not incapacitate people. Janvier ChouteuChando
Having a deep sense of understanding is a huge burden...
Having a deep sense of understanding is a huge burden for a mind that can’t directly influence things. Janvier ChouteuChando
Take a stand that reflects the widest horizons of your soul if you don’t want to be a slave to external powers. Janvier ChouteuChando
What is there in this big wide world for a man to talk about with certainty besides his homeland, home and family? Janvier ChouteuChando
The Cameroonian soul is genuine. It is noble, and it...
The Cameroonian soul is genuine. It is noble, and it embodies humanism. Janvier ChouteuChando
The good shall prevail in the end, the truth shall be the rule and the Cameroonian soul shall be free, ” Hans said in an emotion-choked voice, “However, we should never lose our heads; we should always be prepared to forgive all the repentant souls. Janvier ChouteuChando
True heroes don't fall. They only encounter temporary setbacks as...
True heroes don't fall. They only encounter temporary setbacks as they forge ahead towards progress. Janvier ChouteuChando
Time alone can nourish or erode our emotions.
Time alone can nourish or erode our emotions. Janvier ChouteuChando
…what else do we have to ensure our sanity except our love for something beyond ourselves―our love for our families, our love for our fatherland? Janvier ChouteuChando
Our love for our country is worth nothing if it...
Our love for our country is worth nothing if it deprives us of our sense of humanity, if it destroys positive consensus. Janvier ChouteuChando
...History is the key to the unity of a people....
...History is the key to the unity of a people. Its nostalgia pulls them together. Its gloom separates them further. Its successes make them stronger. Janvier ChouteuChando
Hope is soothing, but it can become deceptive if we...
Hope is soothing, but it can become deceptive if we cling to it as the last resort against reality, Janvier ChouteuChando
The world has a very serious problem, my friend' Shiva went on. 'Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich -- like me -- live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we're pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though.. Ramez Naam
Having one king, one god, one belief, they can act single-mindedly. Unknown
Imagine there's no countries It isn't hard to do Nothing to kill or die for And no religion too Imagine all the people Living life in peace You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will be as one John Lennon
National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But...
National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same. Umberto Eco
Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race, ' 'class, ' 'nation, ' and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love. Wilhelm Reich
He saw that science had become as great a hoax...
He saw that science had become as great a hoax as religion, that nationalism was a farce, patriotism a fraud, education a form of leprosy, and that morals were for cannibals Henry Miller
Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another. Suzy Kassem
I saw exactly one picture of Marx and one of Lenin in my whole stay, but it's been a long time since ideology had anything to do with it. Not without cunning, Fat Man and Little Boy gradually mutated the whole state belief system into a debased form of Confucianism, in which traditional ancestor worship and respect for order become blended with extreme nationalism and xenophobia. Near the southernmost city of Kaesong, captured by the North in 1951, I was taken to see the beautifully preserved tombs of King and Queen Kongmin. Their significance in F.M.-L.B. cosmology is that they reigned over a then unified Korea in the 14th century, and that they were Confucian and dynastic and left many lavish memorials to themselves. The tombs are built on one hillside, and legend has it that the king sent one of his courtiers to pick the site. Second-guessing his underling, he then climbed the opposite hill. He gave instructions that if the chosen site did not please him he would wave his white handkerchief. On this signal, the courtier was to be slain. The king actually found that the site was ideal. But it was a warm day and he forgetfully mopped his brow with the white handkerchief. On coming downhill he was confronted with the courtier's fresh cadaver and exclaimed, 'Oh dear.' And ever since, my escorts told me, the opposite peak has been known as 'Oh Dear Hill.'I thought this was a perfect illustration of the caprice and cruelty of absolute leadership, and began to phrase a little pun about Kim Jong Il being the 'Oh Dear Leader, ' but it died on my lips. Christopher Hitchens
You are not white, but a rainbow of colors. You are not black, but golden. You are not just a nationality, but a citizen of the world. You are not just for the right or left, but for what is right over the wrong. You are not just rich or poor, but always wealthy in the mind and heart. You are not perfect, but flawed. You are flawed, but you are just. You may just be conscious human, but you are also a magnificentreflection of God. Suzy Kassem
Your nation needs you. Your world needs you. So, use...
Your nation needs you. Your world needs you. So, use your education to become endowed with muscles of iron and nerves of steel. Abhijit Naskar
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ? . Alex Morritt
No God, Religion, Race or Nation is higher than the...
No God, Religion, Race or Nation is higher than the humans. Abhijit Naskar
The logic behind patriotism is a mystery. At least a...
The logic behind patriotism is a mystery. At least a man who believes that his own family or clan is superior to all others is familiar with more than 0.000003% of the people involved. Criss Jami
National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic or religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars. Carl Sagan
Get rid of your useless ceremonials and be educated like...
Get rid of your useless ceremonials and be educated like your ancient ancestors — Aryabhatta, Brahmagupta, Susruta and others. Make education your purpose of life and spread it among the masses. Abhijit Naskar
Respectable opinion would never consider an assessment of the Reagan Doctrine or earlier exercises in terms of their actual human costs, and could not comprehend that such an assessment–which would yield a monstrous toll if accurately conducted on a global scale–might perhaps be a proper task in the United States. At the same level of integrity, disciplined Soviet intellectuals are horrified over real or alleged American crimes, but perceive their own only as benevolent intent gone awry, or errors of an earlier day, now overcome; the comparison is inexact and unfair, since Soviet intellectuals can plead fear as an excuse for their services to state violence. Noam Chomsky
All wars are civil wars because all men are brothers... Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than to the particular country in which he was born. Unknown
But what I would like to know, " says Albert, "is whether there would not have been a war if the Kaiser had said No.""I'm sure there would, " I interject, "he was against it from the first.""Well, if not him alone, then perhaps if twenty or thirty people in the world had said No.""That's probable, " I agree, "but they damned well said Yes.""It's queer, when one thinks about it, " goes on Kropp, "we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who's in the right?"" Perhaps both, " say I without believing it." Yes, well now, " pursues Albert, and I see that he means to drive me into a corner, "but our professors and parsons and newspapers say that we are the only ones that are right, and let's hope so;--but the French professors and parsons and newspapers say that the right is on their side, now what about that?"" That I don't know, " I say, "but whichever way it is there's war all the same and every month more countries coming in." Tjaden reappears. He is still quite excited and again joins the conversation, wondering just how a war gets started." Mostly by one country badly offending another, " answers Albert with a slight air of superiority. Then Tjaden pretends to be obtuse. "A country? I don't follow. A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat."" Are you really as stupid as that, or are you just pulling my leg?" growls Kropp, "I don't mean that at all. One people offends the other--"" Then I haven't any business here at all, " replies Tjaden, "I don't feel myself offended."" Well, let me tell you, " says Albert sourly, "it doesn't apply to tramps like you."" Then I can be going home right away, " retorts Tjaden, and we all laugh, "Ach, man! he means the people as a whole, the State--" exclaims Mller."State, State"--Tjaden snaps his fingers contemptuously, "Gendarmes, police, taxes, that's your State;--if that's what you are talking about, no, thank you."" That's right, " says Kat, "you've said something for once, Tjaden. State and home-country, there's a big difference."" But they go together, " insists Kropp, "without the State there wouldn't be any home-country."" True, but just you consider, almost all of us are simple folk. And in France, too, the majority of men are labourers, workmen, or poor clerks. Now just why would a French blacksmith or a French shoemaker want to attack us? No, it is merely the rulers. I had never seen a Frenchman before I came here, and it will be just the same with the majority of Frenchmen as regards us. They weren't asked about it any more than we were."" Then what exactly is the war for?" asks Tjaden.Kat shrugs his shoulders. "There must be some people to whom the war is useful."" Well, I'm not one of them, " grins Tjaden."Not you, nor anybody else here."" Who are they then?" persists Tjaden. "It isn't any use to the Kaiser either. He has everything he can want already."" I'm not so sure about that, " contradicts Kat, "he has not had a war up till now. And every full-grown emperor requires at least one war, otherwise he would not become famous. You look in your school books."" And generals too, " adds Detering, "they become famous through war."" Even more famous than emperors, " adds Kat."There are other people back behind there who profit by the war, that's certain, " growls Detering."I think it is more of a kind of fever, " says Albert. "No one in particular wants it, and then all at once there it is. We didn't want the war, the others say the same thing--and yet half the world is in it all the same. Erich Maria Remarque
Give me ten thousand Filipino soldiers and I will conquer...
Give me ten thousand Filipino soldiers and I will conquer the world. Douglas MacArthur
To accuse nations (not leaders or governments) is the hallmark of the demo-nationalist of the nineteenth or twentieth centuries; it leads to endless hatreds, feelings of revenge, misunderstandings, and frictions. It is the surest guarantee for perpetual mass wars. Erik Von KuehneltLeddihn
The news in those days was full of war and migrants and nativists, and it was full of fracturing too, of regions pulling away from nations, and cities pulling away from hinterlands, and it seemed that as everyone was coming together everyone was also moving apart. Without borders nations appeared to be becoming somewhat illusory, and people were questioning what role they had to play. Mohsin Hamid
Inequality and poverty, unhealth and no wealth are hand in hand. And if we are all born equal that should be true in all lands. We cannot divide the world between poor and rich countries. It's like saying the ones are good, the others are junkies. That can only increase more prejudice, miseries and sorrow. Turning the wheel today it will lead to a better tomorrow. Ana Claudia Antunes
Nationalism leads to all sorts of nasty things (even Nazi...
Nationalism leads to all sorts of nasty things (even Nazi things) like fascism and war. Christina Engela
You are wrong, ” says the man. His voice is low and resonant. The metal walls of the dome, all the knives and swords and spears, all seem to vibrate with each of his words. “Your rulers and their propaganda have sold you this watered-down conceit of war, of a warrior yoked to the whims of civilization. Yet for all their self-professed civility, your rulers will gladly spend a soldier’s life to better aid their posturing, to keep the cost of a crude good low. They will send the children of others off to die and only think upon it later to grandly and loudly memorialize them, lauding their great sacrifice. Civilization is but the adoption of this cowardly method of murder. . Robert Jackson Bennett
I love my country, not my government.
I love my country, not my government. Jesse Ventura
I hold life sacred, even more since I’ve tasted freedom, ... But I've lost my fear of death... But if you join me, I will gladly give my life for you. Because this land and its people have lost too much. Lily Blake
Struggles to coerce uniformity of sentiment in support of some end thought essential to their time and country have been waged by many good as well as by evil men. Nationalism is a relatively recent phenomenon but at other times and places the ends have been racial or territorial security, support of a dynasty or regime, and particular plans for saving souls. As first and moderate methods to attain unity have failed, those bent on its accomplishment must resort to an ever-increasing severity. Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard. It seems trite but necessary to say that the First Amendment to our Constitution was designed to avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings. There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority. We set up government by consent of the governed, and the Bill of Rights denies those in power any legal opportunity to coerce that consent. Authority here is to be controlled by public opinion, not public opinion by authority. If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. Robert H. Jackson
In peace we play and freedom ring, Now let us enjoy a mantra to sing, Down here we know that today Elated it's a really sunny day, Play: It's Independence Day! Ensure you celebrate with joyful thought Never forget that for freedom we fought Dance and sing we never forgot Erase all doubts of what we got. Now it's time to celebrate, Chant hymns and vibrate! Expectations must be met. Don't give up and don't forget. As sometimes it's the only way Yield for freedom, learn to play. . Ana Claudia Antunes
When national ideals are confined to insignificant issues reflective primarily...
When national ideals are confined to insignificant issues reflective primarily of a personal choice, there lies a problem of distorted priorities. Moutasem Algharati
Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is...
Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it.... George Bernard Shaw
Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance. Theodore Roosevelt
Every actual democracy rests on the principle that not only are equals equal but unequals will not be treated equally. Democracy requires, therefore, first homogeneity and second–if the need arises elimination or eradication of heterogeneity. Carl Schmitt
Internationalism is in any case hostile to democracy…. The only purely popular government is local, and founded on local knowledge. The citizens can rule the city because they know the city; but it will always be an exceptional sort of citizen who has or claims the right to rule over ten cities, and these remote and altogether alien cities… To make all politics cosmopolitan is to create an aristocracy of globe-trotters. If your political outlook really takes in the Cannibal Islands, you depend of necessity upon a superior and picked minority of the people who have been to the Cannibal Islands; or rather of the still smaller and more select minority who have come back. . G.k. Chesterton
The revolution in global communications thus forces all nations to...
The revolution in global communications thus forces all nations to reconsider traditional ways of thinking about national sovereignty. George Shultz
My first world is humanity. My second world is humanism....
My first world is humanity. My second world is humanism. And, I live in the third world being merely a human. Santosh Kalwar
I thought I was getting away from politics for a while. But I now realise that the vuvuzela is to these World Cup blogs what Julius Malema is to my politics columns: a noisy, but sadly unavoidable irritant. With both Malema and the vuvuzela, their importance is far overstated. Malema: South Africa's Robert Mugabe? I think not. The vuvuzela: an archetypal symbol of 'African culture?' For African civilisation's sake, I seriously hope not. Both are getting far too much airtime than they deserve. Both have thrust themselves on to the world stage through a combination of hot air and raucous bluster. Both amuse and enervate in roughly equal measure. And both are equally harmless in and of themselves – though in Malema's case, it is the political tendency that he represents, and the right-wing interests that lie behind his diatribes that is dangerous. With the vuvu I doubt if there are such nefarious interests behind the scenes; it may upset the delicate ears of the middle classes, both here and at the BBC, but I suspect that South Africa's democracy will not be imperilled by a mass-produced plastic horn. . Richard Calland
There should no be teams to divide a nation. There should be no such thing as "Them' vs. Us' - only 'WE'. The only interests that should be discussed in Washington are those that serve the best interests of the entire country. So why is there a blue team and a red one? What does it really mean to be conservative or liberal? And if you are conservative, does that mean you will blindly agree with every leader and issue brought forth by your team? And does it mean you only serve and support the upper class even if you are low class? How does that work in your favor exactly? I understand why professionals raking in heavy figures a year would hail the Republican slant for tax reasons, but why would a young unemployed kid from Jersey with an interest in acrobatics give a damn? . Suzy Kassem
No revolution is made out of shame. I reply: Shame...
No revolution is made out of shame. I reply: Shame is already revolution of a kind Karl Marx
In the transformed world political context of today, it is more essential than ever that the critique of democracy in the name of difference developed by oppositional intellectuals be formulated so carefully that these thoughts cannot be exploited for nationalist, tribalist, and xenophobic purposes. It is imperative that the politics of the 'differend' not be settled beyond and at the margins of democratic politics. Unknown
Is human dignity and human life so cheap that the rights protecting it can be traded away to appease the appetite for intimidation and prejudice of a vicious and self-centered group - for whatever reason, power, politics, nationalism, or unity? Christina Engela
Arab nationalism in its traditional form was the way in which secular Arab Christians like Edward had found and kept a place for themselves, while simultaneously avoiding the charge of being too 'Western.' It was very noticeable among the Palestinians that the most demonstrably 'extreme' nationalists–and Marxists–were often from Christian backgrounds. George Habash and Nayef Hawatmeh used to be celebrated examples of this phenomenon, long before anyone had heard of the cadres of Hamas, or Islamic Jihad. There was an element of overcompensation involved, or so I came to suspect. Christopher Hitchens
You are not just white, but a rainbow of colors. You are not just black, but golden. You are not just a nationality, but a citizen of the world. You are not just for the right or left, but for what is right over the wrong. You are not just rich or poor, but always wealthy in the mind and heart. You are not perfect, but flawed. You are flawed, but you are just. You may just be human, but you are also a magnificent reflection of God. Suzy Kassem
We can be the very first generation which fails to see the logic or pride in defining ourselves by anything else but what is found within ourselves: our values Akilnathan Logeswaran
As once-colonized nations seek to stand on their own, the countries once denuded of their past seek to assert their independent identities through the objects that tie them to it. The demand for restitution is a way to reclaim history, to assert a moral imperative over those who were once overlords. Those countries still in the shadow of more powerful empires seek to claim the symbols of antiquity and colonialism to burnish their own national mythmaking. Sharon Waxman
The local Red Cross chapter volunteered to publish his book. It came out in a deluxe, gold-embossed, Japanese-paper edition to remind the reader of human artistry, which can be a refuge from evil and a source of new, platonic stirrings. One copy was reserved for His Imperial Majesty Nicholas II. (The Tsar fairly devoured mystical works, believing that hell could be avoided by a combination of education and deceit.)" The Book of Kings and Fools, " p. 136. Unknown
Lincoln once said that America was founded on a proposition that was written by Jefferson in 1776. We are really founded on an argument about what that proposition means. Joseph J. Ellis
It is probably safe to say that in strongly hierarchical societies the only people to whom something approaching nationalist sentiments can be attributed in pre-modern times is the ruling elite, and then only at times. Patricia Crone
The oblivion, and I'll say even the historical error, are a key factor in the creation of a nation, to the extent that the progress of historical studies is often a danger to nationality. Ernest Renan
Extreme nationalism objectifies and dehumanizes those from other countries. Bryant McGill
All the little devils are proud of their hell Wake In Fright
We must plant trees, grow gardens instead of lawns, ride bicycles when we can and support responsible local businesses over big brands. Bryant McGill
If there is no love for others, love of country is just a slogan. T.F. Hodge
Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory. Ludwig Von Mises
But let’s not forget the Jew. Anybody that gives even a just criticism of the Jew is instantly labeled anti- Semite. The Jew cries louder than anybody else if anybody criticizes him. You can tell the truth about any minority in America, but make a true observation about the Jew, and if it doesn’t 't pat him on the back, then he uses his grip on the news media to label you anti- Semite. Malcolm X
The world is no longer white, black, yellow and brown. Through love, tribes have been intermixing colors to reveal a new rainbow world. And as more time passes, this racial and cultural blending will make it harder for humans to side with one race, nation or religion over another. Suzy Kassem
Segregation is a word of the past. Unity is the key to a peaceful future. Suzy Kassem
And another thing about German symphonic development: [it's] just like German philosophy, all worked out and systematized. When a German thinks, he reasons his way to a conclusion. Our Russian brother, on the other hand, starts with a conclusion and then might amuse himself with reasoning. Just keep one thing in mind. The creative act carries within itself its own aesthetic laws. When an artist revises, it means he is dissatisfied. When he revises what is already satisfying, he is Germanizing, chewing over what has [already] been said. We Russians are not cud chewers; we are omnivores! . Modest Mussorgsky
Competition works best in sports, but humans get addicted to stuff. Criss Jami
I am a lawyer, and for me it is very sad to say that there is now law here. There are weapons rather than law. What did Mao say? Power comes out of the barrel of a gun. It's very true. The situation is decadent. A lot of Serbs think this is leading us nowhere but they feel powerless. How many disagree? I don't know. Perhaps thirty percent disagree, but most of them are frightened and quiet. Perhaps sixty percent agree or are confused enough to go along. They are led by the ten percent who have the guns and who have control of the television towers. That's all they need.'p. 107 . Peter Maass
He blushed to see other Frenchmen overcome with joy whenever they met a compatriot abroad. The would fall on each other, cluster in a raucous group, and pass whole evenings complaining about the barbarity of the locals. These were the few who actually noticed that locals did things differently. Others managed to travel so ‘covered and wrapped in a taciturn and incommunicative prudence, defending themselves from the contagion of an unknown atmosphere’ that they noticed nothing at all. . Sarah Bakewell
The passion for war is so intense that there is no undertaking so mad, or so injurious to the welfare of the State, that a man does not consider himself honored in defending it, at the risk of his life. Alexis De Tocqueville
As a woman I have a country; as a woman I cannot divest myself of that country merely bu condemning its government or by saying three times "As a woman my country is the whole world." -Notes Towards a Politics of Location. Adrienne Rich
It is not in our interest, I suppose, to let South Sudan fall under the category of the burdened societies. We must be critical about our own actions if we want to move forward as a nation proud of its immense diversity. Duop Chak Wuol
The vast majority of people are unthinking prejudice machines. Stefan Molyneux
I have a feeling that we've seen the dismantling of civilisation, brick by brick, and now we're looking into the void. We thought that we were liberating people from oppressive cultural circumstances, but we were, in fact, taking something away from them. We were killing off civility and concern. We were undermining all those little ties of loyalty and consideration and affection that are necessary for human flourishing. We thought that tradition was bad, that it created hidebound societies, that it held people down. But, in fact, what tradition was doing all along was affirming community and the sense that we are members of one another. Do we really love and respect one another more in the absence of tradition and manners and all the rest? Or have we merely converted one another into moral strangers - making our countries nothing more than hotels for the convenience of guests who are required only to avoid stepping on the toes of other guests?. Alexander McCall Smith
The humanitarian philosophies that have been developed (sometimes under some religious banner and invariably in the face of religious opposition) are human inventions, as the name implies - and our species deserves the credit. I am a devout atheist - nothing else makes any sense to me and I must admit to being bewildered by those, who in the face of what appears so obvious, still believe in a mystical creator. However I can see that the promise of infinite immortality is a more palatable proposition than the absolute certainty of finite mortality which those of us who are subject to free thought (as opposed to free will) have to look forward to and many may not have the strength of character to accept it. Thus I am a supporter of Amnesty International, a humanist and an atheist. I believe in a secular, democratic society in which women and men have total equality, and individuals can pursue their lives as they wish, free of constraints - religious or otherwise. I feel that the difficult ethical and social problems which invariably arise must be solved, as best they can, by discussion and am opposed to the crude simplistic application of dogmatic rules invented in past millennia and ascribed to a plethora of mystical creators - or the latest invention; a single creator masquerading under a plethora of pseudonyms. Organisations which seek political influence by co-ordinated effort disturb me and thus I believe religious and related pressure groups which operate in this way are acting antidemocratically and should play no part in politics. I also have problems with those who preach racist and related ideologies which seem almost indistinguishable from nationalism, patriotism and religious conviction. Harry W. Kroto
War is ruthless murder, yet it is justifiable only when a country is defending its turf from outside intruders. To convince soldiers to attack another country for no other reason than greed or strategic positioning requires creativity. And most of the time, soldiers do not really know whether they are on the side of the attackers or the defenders. This is where people misunderstand war. When you attack another country for its resources, you are the pirate. But when you protect your country from the pirates, you are the hero. Suzy Kassem
Professor Smith has kindly submitted his book to me before publication. After reading it thoroughly and with intense interest I am glad to comply with his request to give him my impression. The work is a broadly conceived attempt to portray man's fear-induced animistic and mythic ideas with all their far-flung transformations and interrelations. It relates the impact of these phantasmagorias on human destiny and the causal relationships by which they have become crystallized into organized religion. This is a biologist speaking, whose scientific training has disciplined him in a grim objectivity rarely found in the pure historian. This objectivity has not, however, hindered him from emphasizing the boundless suffering which, in its end results, this mythic thought has brought upon man. Professor Smith envisages as a redeeming force, training in objective observation of all that is available for immediate perception and in the interpretation of facts without preconceived ideas. In his view, only if every individual strives for truth can humanity attain a happier future; the atavisms in each of us that stand in the way of a friendlier destiny can only thus be rendered ineffective. His historical picture closes with the end of the nineteenth century, and with good reason. By that time it seemed that the influence of these mythic, authoritatively anchored forces which can be denoted as religious, had been reduced to a tolerable level in spite of all the persisting inertia and hypocrisy. Even then, a new branch of mythic thought had already grown strong, one not religious in nature but no less perilous to mankind -- exaggerated nationalism. Half a century has shown that this new adversary is so strong that it places in question man's very survival. It is too early for the present-day historian to write about this problem, but it is to be hoped that one will survive who can undertake the task at a later date. . Albert Einstein
Culture makes lies plausible through exposure to time. It makes prejudice seem like physics intergenerationally. It is therefore the most dangerous opponent of philosophy, because it feels the most credible to the average person. Stefan Molyneux
A banal mysticism, which is so banal that all the mysticism seems to have evaporated long ago, binds 'us' to the homeland - that special place which is more than a place, more than a geophysical area. Michael Billig
Let's stop kidding ourselves that Greek debt is the Euro's key problem. With Greece gone, who's next ? Alex Morritt
Nationalism and ethnic pride, in the long run, delay human development, and the misery they cause must be recognized. If enough people saw that , maybe we wouldn't have so many wars. Harvey Pekar
Thanks to Lana Turner, Eleven Eleven, The Nation, LIT Magazine (USA), Critical Quarterly (UK), Beautiful Outlaw Press, no press, The Capilano Review, cv2, Rhubarb and Centre A Gallery (Canada). Unknown
We have not noticed how fast the rest has risen. Most of the industrialized world--and a good part of the nonindustrialized world as well--has better cell phone service than the United States. Broadband is faster and cheaper across the industrial world, from Canada to France to Japan, and the United States now stands sixteenth in the world in broadband penetration per capita. Americans are constantly told by their politicians that the only thing we have to learn from other countries' health care systems is to be thankful for ours. Most Americans ignore the fact that a third of the country's public schools are totally dysfunctional (because their children go to the other two-thirds). The American litigation system is now routinely referred to as a huge cost to doing business, but no one dares propose any reform of it. Our mortgage deduction for housing costs a staggering $80 billion a year, and we are told it is crucial to support home ownership, except that Margaret Thatcher eliminated it in Britain, and yet that country has the same rate of home ownership as the United States. We rarely look around and notice other options and alternatives, convinced that "we're number one. Fareed Zakaria
I am not posing these questions only to the world at large. I query us who own Christ as our life. Can God be pleased by the vast and increasing inequities among us? Is he not grieved by our arrogant accumulation, while Christian brothers and sisters elsewhere languish and die? Is it not obligatory upon us to see beyond the nose of our own national interest, so that justice may roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream? Is there not an obligation upon us to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God is we want to live in his wonderful peace? . Richard J. Foster
The old exhortations to nationalist fervor and jingoist pride have begun to lose their appeal. Perhaps because of rising standards of living, children are being treated better worldwide. In only a few decades, sweeping global changes have begun to move in precisely the directions needed for human survival. A new consciousness is developing which recognizes that we are one species. Carl Sagan
The existence of excessive nationalism is a symptom of a deeper problem in the collective consciousness, which is continually being exploited. Bryant McGill
Richard Wright and his Negro intellectual colleagues never realized the plain truth that no one in the United States understood the revolutionary potential of the Negro better than the Negro's white radical allies. They understood it instinctively, and revolutionary theory had little to do with it. What Wright could not see was that what the Negro's allies feared most of all was that this sleeping, dream-walking black giant might wake up and direct the revolution all by himself, relegating his white allies to a humiliating second-class status. The negro's allies were not about to tell the Negro anything that might place him on the path to greater power and independence in the revolutionary movement than they themselves had. The rules of the power game meant that unless the American Negro taught himself the profound implications of his own revolutionary significance in America, it would never be taught to him by anybody else. Unless the Negro intellectuals understood that in pursuit of this self-understanding, they would have to make their own rules, by and for themselves, nationalism would forever remain--as it was for Wright-- "a bewildering and vexing question. Harold Cruse
Asked what would be his idea of Heaven, one statesman in 1897 said it would be to "receive a flow of telegrams alternating news of a British victory by sea and a British victory by land. Barbara W. Tuchman
All this visible greatness was really one with Nineveh and Tyre. Barbara W. Tuchman
The path to the ethnic democratization of American society is through its culture, that is to say through its cultural apparatus, which comprises the eyes, the ears, and the "mind" of capitalism and is twentieth-century voice to the world. Thus to democratize the cultural apparatus is tantamount to revolutionizing American society itself into the living realization of its professed ideas. Seeing the problem in another way, to revolutionize the cultural apparatus is to deal fundamentally with the unsolved American question of nationality-- Which group speaks for America and for the glorification of which ethnic image? Either all group images speak for themselves and for the nation, or American nationality will never be determined. Harold Cruse