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What is the purpose of patriotism?

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Patriotism is bad.

I believe so, because patriotism prevents that one would look at his country objectively. If you are a patriot you will negate any problem that your country faces, and so you will not solve them. I strongly believe one must be critical and try to change bad things, simply despising them and blindly loving your country is not ok.

Secondly, I think patriotism can lead into chauvinism and racism, which obviously does no good. If you love your country you are less likely to respect others, which is against open-mindedness. After all, Nazism was at the beginning nothing else but only patriotic group which developed in something much bigger. I think in today's world one, patriotism limits an individuals opportunities and does not enhance one's life.

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I'm not a patriot, however, I wouldn't say that patriotism is bad.

As for me, I feel rather like a citizen of the world. But I appreciate all the things that were done by people in the past. There were lots of wars, 123 years when there was no Poland, difficult times after '45 and still here I am, born in a free and quite democratic country. It could be better, but, face it, it could be much worse.

Although, if I had a choice, I wouldn't choose to be born here, I have plans to study and then settle down abroad. But we'll see what future brings me ;).

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Patriotism, like all things, has several positive and negative factors. On the good side, the sense of patriotism is one of the strongest tools of a downtrodden nation. The idea of a pack mentality is alluring to the human nature, we forever seek reassurance from those around us that we belong just as much as my neighbour. With a heady feel of patriotism, we all belong under one banner and that feeling can be captivating for the everyman, to feel special and set apart for simply being a citizen in his or her own country. In times of grave peril, it is this spirit of patriotism that is rallied to bring masses and scores of citizens on their feet to protest and strike and demand when necessary, for the love of their country. After all, before WW2, most of Asia and large chunks of Africa were colonised, without patriotic fervour burning brightly, their independence movements would not have been as strong or as swift as they would have liked.

However as one of the OPs mentioned, patriotism can also lead to a shift in goals and a loss of sensibilities when taking to the extreme like the Nazi example. What started of as the German Workers Party for a Socialist cause of mobilisation, forever marred history with Hitler's Reich. I think that in that case, the idea of patriotism was overtly mingled with exclusivity. As previously mentioned, one of the reasons patriotic feelings are easy to imbibe beyond the sense of belonging they inspire, its also a perverse happiness in exclusivity. Schadenfreude at its finest where "I have something: membership, belonging, social standing, or identity, that you don't. The idea of exclusivity was taken higher than a few notches in that case. Those that 'belonged' were made to feel special to the nth degree and the easiest way to be made to feel special is by demeaning others in the immediate vicinity that do not 'fit' the exclusivist characteristics that you do: Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, disabled, etc. When taken to such a level, the absolutely power granted to the everyman in the 'special' category, corrupts absolutely. But I find that in this case, the sense of patriotism is shown like any other thing, feeling, or emotion in existence - in excess it will flood and drown; like possessing a knife, you can either cut the apple or the vein.

Being patriotic to the point of being branded as a zealot (like the Nazis) is patently unhealthy and it does drive attention away from the obvious problems facing the nation in question. But that doesn't take away from the fact that patriotism is a single, defining pride that unites citizens across the nation. A commonality that can be the strength of any government to successfully manoeuvre policy that complements that emotion. In a country like India, where citizens are varied in culture, attire, and language itself across state (and sometimes village) boundaries, it is an invaluable part of any form of mobilisation effort, should the need ever arise.

That's what I opine in any event.

Arrowhead.

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Does patriotism have positive or negative impacts on individuals or societies?

Positive effects have to do with the supposed necessity of competition between nations. A patriotic nation has over an unpatriotic nation the advantage of the active effort by its citizens to improve its infrastructure and defend its interests against differently interested aggressors.

Basically, it serves to protect the interests of the citizens of one region of the world as members of other regions protect their own.

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