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for me, patriotism is a loyalty to ideals that unites a country, regardless of individual differences.

Ideals that unite -- that's only the US version of patriotism (also the French); a form of nationalism where the (or rather, one) myth of unity is a (myth of) an assemblage of ideals. Loyalty to a country (or wished-for country of a separatist or uniting nationalism) doesn't depend on the particulars of that country's unity myth.

You also shouldn't confuse your own idea of patriotism with that of all other Americans. There are (still) plenty of believers in a White America, even more in an English-speaking America.

Benjamin Franklin even said he wasn't loyal to any country, not even America, but rather the ideals it represented

Did he say that as a definition of "patriotism"? Maybe not. At any rate, you shouldn't confuse a particular version of the patriotism of one particular country with the general term.

The mid 19th century was enough time to corrupt the thought of the 18th century Enlightenment thought, which has certainly happened and sadly the most in the US - the great experiment.

In my view, the system of Enlightement ideals got 'corrupted' due to its own imperfection -- the concepts of patriotism and nation included.

The Enlightement sought to replace the King with the People as the source of power and legitimacy over a State. The problem is, without a king, what defines the People and the territory of the State? Some US Founding Fathers may have thought that their country is based solely on ideas, but the Civil War showed that some subsets of the People have different ideas about who else is in their own group of People; not to mention the territorial expansion by arms West and Southwest.

In Europe, the same conflicts over defining the People and the territory of the State usually 'ended' with ethnic cleansings and wars to secede or redraw borders otherwise.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu May 21st, 2009 at 04:35:41 AM EST
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