Saturday, June 17, 2017


"Patriotism is proud of a country's virtues and eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism, however, trumpets its country's virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be, and proclaims itself to be, "the greatest," but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is."
- Sydney J. Harris

1 comment:

  1. Malcolm X was provocative. When people talk about deficiencies, they don't like it. They don't like hearing the truth about some things. He was a smart man.

    Sydney understands the button that "patriotism" plays in people's lives. After WW2, America was the Giant of the world. It was the greatest. Some decades later, parts of the world have caught up and are surpassing us. That might be cause for concern but if we are honest with ourselves, isn't that partly what we were fighting for, to make the world a better place. The Chinese, the Europeans think they are great but they have what they have off the backs of Americans and others around the world. It is easy to sell the idea to be great but how do you define "goodness?"

    That gets uncomfortable because you start delving into things like virtues, morals, ethics, honesty, kindness, bravery, etc. And here again, people get uncomfortable especially when they have no basis for their opinions, no foundation such as Christianity. But a slogan like MAGA, Making America Great Again, is a call to marshall spirit and determination to rise from the depths of desperation and defeat, to strive to become the kind of people we once were. There are enough of us who can still define what "that" America was like.