Sunday, 10 June 2012
Quotation Station ; Addams and Goethe - Two Views on Patriotism
Unless our conception of patriotism is progressive, it cannot hope to embody the real affection and the real interest of the nation.
There is no such thing as a patriotic art or a patriotic science. Both art and science belong, like every higher good, to all the world and can be fostered only by the free flow of mutual influence among all contemporaries, with constant regard for all we have and know of the past.
In the interest of variety, I`ve gone for a different approach to Quotation Station this time, with differing views on patriotism from Civil Rights pioneer Jane Addams and German writer Goethe.
Clearly Addams, a noted social reformer and internationalist, has no problems reconciling patriotism with progressivism whereas Goethe appears to see them as mutually exclusive.
It may be that the two meant very different things when they spoke of `patriotism`, with Addams perhaps envisaging something rather more outgoing than the insular nationalism that Goethe appears to decry.
For myself, I see no inherent contradiction between patriotism, progressivism and internationalism, and I can raise a glass to "the free flow of mutual influence among all contemporaries, with constant regard for all we have and know of the past."
But what do I know ? Form your own opinion.