Archive for the ‘patriotism’ Category

Patriotism is a necessary step to the love of mankind

May 10, 2013

To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those who compose it; and as none but bad men would justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage.—Reflections (IV. 50).

No man ever was attached by a sense of pride, partiality, or real affection to a description of square measurements. He never will glory in belonging to the chequer No. 71, or to any other badge-ticket. We begin our public affections in our families. No cold relation is a zealous citizen. We pass on to our neighbourhoods, and our habitual provincial connexions. These are inns and resting-places. Such divisions of our country as have been formed by habit, and not by a sudden jerk of authority, were so many little images of the great country in which the heart found something which it could fill. The love to the whole is not extinguished by this subordinate partiality.— Reflections (IV. 218).

Edmund Burke

Quite the opposite of men like Bertrand Russell who ‘loved mankind and hated men’. Burke would say, ‘You cannot love mankind unless you love men’.