A few years ago on of my friends bought an American Car and proudly claimed to be very patriotic as he purchased an American car instead of a German Car. He was perfectly entitled to his opinion and I congratulated him as he stood out for the notion of what he believed as patriotism. But America as a nation has more of a practical view of patriotism where it clearly is a supporter of free international trade and does not impose conditions on its population to only purchase Made in America Products. So is Patriotism for an American about supporting Made in America Products. This is a very narrow slice of patriotism and patriotism stands for much more than that.
Patriotism is the respect and veneration you have for your home land. As such Patriotism is used in the context of a country and I have never heard any one saying I am very Patriotic New Yorker which as such makes perfect sense but what he means is that he is a Patriotic American living in New York. Some People are more inclined to patriotism than others as they take a great pride in their culture, heritage and their identity. The external stimuli which the person receives while growing up in the favor of his home land adds more flesh to inherent patriotic inklings of a person.
The roots of patriotism lie in a Man’s attachment to a piece of Land. A Farmer dependent on his land for a good harvest and livelihood would end up looking up to his Land as the ultimate provider. As more people have a collective attachment to a larger piece of land within a geographical construct the seeds of patriotism begin to emerge. Now historically life in the old world was all about different warring sets of people from contiguous geographic areas fighting each other for access to more land in the hunt for resources and subjugate the people who by the virtue of their birth viewed themselves as the custodians of the land. As the Custodians of the land fought their invaders patriotism as a virtue was the most sacrosanct. Ironically Patriotism with its deep territorial connection also was increasingly seen as a tool to mobilize and indoctrinate people about their cultural identity and cultural superiority. Ironically Patriotism a virtue was now being increasingly used more as a motive to invade others lands than to protect ones lands. Well the world went through a lot of cycles of wars and mayhem in the name of someone’s patriotism. World War I and World War II are testament to that.
The world we live in today is diametrically opposite to the old world. We reached the present state after waves of imperialism where many countries tried to expand their empires and as they prospered at the expense of the custodians of the land the fervor of geographical patriotism spread like wild fire. European Colonialism with its ideology based on white man’s burden had more to do with promoting the patriotic feelings in the lands they ruled over. As the imperialist powers receded back to their locus of control the new born patriotic nations started looking more inward and became more nationalistic where my American Friends view of Patriotism was next to divine.
In the nationalistic setting most people confused the notion of patriotism with shutting off their doors to the outside world and started taking great pride in all which emanated from within to the extent that people in a nationalistic and a patriotic country had no access to the goods of the outside world. A Economic nightmare because of a lopsided view of patriotism. As years went by common sense prevailed as the custodians of the land realized patriotism is as much to do with the love for their land but not much to do with viewing the outside world through a veil of suspicion. They slowly started to emerge from their self-imposed exile and opened their windows to the outside world starting the era of Globalization.
Globalization? What does that mean more Jobs or less jobs more opportunity or less opportunity. From a Custodian of Lands perspective it means they have traded of some of their inherent right on their land to get some access to the resources of the other peoples land. For if your Land does not produce diamonds and only rice would you not trade some rice for a few precious diamonds of a faraway land? So it all means once again the world is again viewed as a whole than pieces that make that whole. In the era of the Globalization Cosmopolitanism is the buzz word the ideal of nationalistic patriotism is passé and there is no shame in custodian of the land crossing the sea for greener pastures and again not a cardinal sin for the custodians of land to sympathize with and support their home land from a faraway land. As custodians of land move away in the pursuit of a better life the notion of patriotism undergoes a radical shift. Is he with his adopted land his home land or somewhere in-between? This is when the custodian of the land realizes how he had such an insular view of the world and his view of patriotism as just as it may seem in his home land is nothing but a mirage and in the bigger scheme of thing when seeing world as the one home land for the entire humanity patriotism is possibly a virtue of great pride but laced with insularity.