'Patriotism Is Last Refuge Of Scoundrel.' Just Look At United States And India

2020.07.07 23:29

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William Penn is often credited with introducing coffee in 1682 to the Quaker colony he founded on the banks of the Delaware River, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We can observe again and again efforts to strengthen the national self‐awareness of the members of a nation as a social group, without this being based on a revival of the idea of a nation as an abstract value community and as something that has to be cultivated.

The organizers grasp that robust economies, liberalizing social attitudes, and attractive policies may not be enough to quell the illiberal challenge, and that standing up to authoritarian bullies requires attacking them relentlessly, using the full force of a national narrative.

Apparently that is enough, however, to satisfy many people, especially families who have lost a son or daughter to war and former soldiers who have lost friends, and who need to be reassured that the patriotic response of their loved ones was justified and that they didn't die in vain.

There is certainly some truth to this view, but to focus on it exclusively ignores the very natural and concrete aspects of American patriotism: our shared memories of our nation's singular triumphs, sacrifices, and sufferings, as well as our unique traditions, culture, and land.

Between 1991 and 2014, GDP per capita tripled , poverty plunged, and life expectancy shot up from 58 to 69. Yet in 2014 the ethno-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a parliamentary majority, and its imperious leader, Narendra Modi, became prime minister.

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