Quote of the day

Saturday, October 07, 2006 at 04:17 PM

Attachment to the good habits and institutions of one's country and a modest pride in the genuine achievements of one's co-nationals is a commendable attitude, capable of forging ties and cementing community feeling. But patriotism has a strong tendency to go beyond this. The slogan, "My country, right or wrong" is palpably absurd, but the more seductive, though equally foolish, idea is that my country can actually do no wrong, or, at any rate, no serious wrong. The emotions of patriotism all too often blind us to the moral crimes and follies that "we" have committed and can again commit. When this is combined with the political advantages of populism, the mixture can be lethal. It is not only scoundrels who misuse patriotism; the foolish and opportunistic also do it.
Tony Coady, addressing the nature of patriotism in Australia's The Age.