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Nationalism is a term denoting a strong association of individuals and groups with a national identity, in the interest of nation.

See also: Patriotism


  • If love is blind, patriotism has lost all five senses.
  • I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.
    • Albert Einstein, in a letter to Alfred Kneser (7 June 1918); Doc. 560 in The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Vol. 8
  • I am against any nationalism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as did any exaggerated personality cult.
  • Nationalism ... is like cheap alcohol. First it makes you drunk, then it makes you blind, then it kills you.
  • 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.
  • The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war.
Patriotism having become one of our topicks, Johnson suddenly uttered, in a strong determined tone, an apophthegm, at which many will start: "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." But let it be considered, that he did not mean a real and generous love of our country, but that pretended patriotism which so many, in all ages and countries, have made a cloak of self-interest.
  • Our hearts where they rocked our cradle
    Our love where we spent our toil,
    And our faith, and our hope, and our honour,
    We pledge to our native soil.
  • God gave all men all earth to love
    But since our hearts are small
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
  • Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.
  • Nationalism was so perfectly suited to its double task, the domestication of workers and the despoliation of aliens, that it appealed to everyone - everyone, that is, who wielded or aspired to wield a portion of capital.
  • Perhaps the central question in our understanding of nationalism is the role of the past in the creation of the present. ... For nationalists themselves, the role of the past is clear and unproblematic. The nation was always there, indeed it is part of the natural order, even when it was submerged in the hearts of its members.
    • Anthony D. Smith (1989, p. 18) As cited in: Öktem, Kerem. "Creating the Turk’s Homeland: Modernization, Nationalism and Geography in Southeast Turkey in the late 19 th and 20 th Centuries." Socrates Kokkalis Graduate Workshop. The City: Urban Culture, Architecture and Society. 2003.
  • [The newspapers] are talking of nationalism as if it were the property of an individual or as if it were confined to one group only. Nationalism is the property of all. Nobody can take possession of it just as a glittering word which attracts the hearts of stupid people.
    • Abd al-Karim Qasim (1959) The historical extempore speech at the Reserve Officers' College
  • What are the phenomena of nationalism? Here are some of them: 1) National egoism, from which many other negative traits of nationalism are derived, as for example — a desire for foreign conquest, a desire to oppress other nations, a desire to impose economic exploitation upon other nations, and so on; 2) national-chauvinism which is also a source of many other negative traits of nationalism, as for example national hatred, the disparagement of other nations, the disparagement of their history, culture, and scientific activities and scientific achievements, and so on, the glorification of developments in their own history that were negative and which from our Marxist point of view are considered negative.
  • Nationalism does nothing but teach you how to hate people that you never met. And all of a sudden you take pride in accomplishments you had no part in whatsoever, and you brag about- and the Americans'll go "Fuck the French! Fuck the French, if we hadn't had saved their ass in two World Wars, they'd be speakin' German right now!" And you go, "Oh, was that us?" Was that me and you, Tommy, we saved the French? Jesus! I know I blacked out a little bit after that fourth shot of Jägermeister last night, but I don't remember... I know we went through the Wendy's drive-thru to get one of them "Freschetta" sandwiches that looked so alluring on the commercial, but then we ordered it and realized we had no money, and we had to ditch out before the second window, and those douchebags in line behind us with the bass music probably got our order and we laughed about that. But I don't remember savin' the French. At all! I went through the last ten calls on my cell phone and there's nothin' incoming or outgoing to the French, lookin' for muscle on a project! I checked my pants, there's no mud stains on the knees from where we were garroting Krauts in the trenches at Verdun. I think "we" didn't do anything but watch sports bloopers while we got hammered. I think "we" should shut the fuck up!

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Sow but one seed of primal evil in the moral soil of a nation, it will grow to be a tree as broad as the sky, — to take fruitful- ness from the earth wherein it is rooted, and to cover it instead with barrenness and gloom.
  • To avert national decay, then, the moral character must be guarded. The mighty heart of the nation must be kept sound, so that its pulses, when once roused, will, like the ocean in its strength, sweep all before it. So long as the moral tone is preserved, the sun of our glory will not set; there will come no national decay and death.
  • The whole track of history is marked with the ruin of empires which having been founded in injustice, or perpetuated by wrong, were ultimately destroyed.
  • It must never be forgotten that religion gave birth to Anglo-American society. In the United States, religion is therefore commingled with all the habits of the nation and all the feelings of patriotism; whence it derives a peculiar force.
  • If the great questions of the beginning of this century were mainly political, those which will convulse the world at its close will be social.
  • Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert those pillars of human happiness, those firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.
  • No advanced thought, no mystical philosophy, no glittering abstractions, no swelling phrases about freedom, not even science with its marvelous inventions and discoveries, can help us much in sustaining this republic; still less can godless theories of creation, or any infidel attempt to rule out the Redeemer from His rightful supremacy in our hearts, afford any hope of security. That way lies despair.

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