• Thu
  • Oct 2, 2014
  • Updated: 10:09am

Patriotism and democracy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 February, 2004, 12:00am

Much has been said about the subject of patriotism, but I wonder whether those who condemn others for their lack of patriotic fervour have in fact clouded the issue by misunderstanding the difference between patriotism and political empathy.


Patriotism is a condition which comes with a feeling of pride and love for one's country; such feelings usually emanate from a country's history which binds a people together in their common recognition of who they are and what they stand for.


It has to be said that such nationalistic emotions are more often than not stirred up by jingoistic literature which is intended to instill in the minds of the readers ideas which may or may not be of the whole truth. After all, history is a subjective matter. Look at how two sides of a war interpret events, and even allies see things differently.


But nevertheless, patriotism is an unadulterated emotion.


Political empathy, on the other hand, is where one shares political philosophy. One can be, believe it or not, patriotic without having the same political outlook. It is called democracy.


TREVOR YANG, The Peak


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