Patriotism vs. Nationalism


Two great quotes out of Adam Gopnik’s wonderful New Yorker essay on Winston Churchill (Aug. 30 issue).

The first:

Why should conquering Burma be of significance to a Cockney? But imperialism is the cosmopolitanism of the people, the lever by which the unempowered come to believe that their acts have world-historical meaning.

The second:

Churchill was, as [John] Lukacs insists, a patriot, imbued with a love of place and people, while Hitler was a nationalist, infuriated by a hatred of aliens and imaginary enemies.

In these days of immigrant bashing, Muslim baiting and “back to the Constitution” demagoguery, maybe it’s time for an American Churchill to rise. Who would that be?  Maybe we had it — Reagan?


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