Sunday, June 05, 2005

patriotism - like religion but excited over soil instead of thin air

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." - George Orwell

"Conceit, arrogance and egotism are the essentials of patriotism... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all others."
- Emma Goldman

"Samuel Johnson's saying that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels has some truth in it but not nearly enough. Patriotism, in truth, is the great nursery of scoundrels, and its annual output is probably greater than that of even religion. Its chief glories are the demagogue, the military bully, and the spreaders of libels and false history. Its philosophy rests firmly on the doctrine that the end justifies the means - that any blow, whether above or below the belt, is fair against dissenters from its wholesale denial of plain facts."
- H. L. Mencken

"Patriot, n. A herd member who compensates for lack of self-esteem by identifying with an abstraction. An enemy of individual freedom. See also 'Bootlicker.'" - Robert Tefton