Patriotism is deeply unfashionable these days. That’s unfortunate since I happen to believe that patriotism is in general a good thing.
On the other hand it can be a tricky thing. What do you do as a patriot when the country you loved no longer exists? When the country you loved has changed to such an extent that you no longer recognise it? And when the things you loved about it have been utterly and systematically trashed? Does there come a point when this process has gone so far that you no longer has a duty to a country that no longer represents any values that you cherish? If so, at what point is a patriot morally released from the duties that patriotism entails?
It has not yet reached that stage in Australia. The Australia in which I grew up and which I loved is not yet quite dead. Almost, but not quite. In other parts of the world the process of disintegration has clearly gone much further.
Loyalty to country is a very different thing from loyalty to government. A patriot does not feel any less loyalty to his country just because he happens to dislike the current government. A patriot will even risk his life fighting for his country in a war he disapproves of started by a government he disapproves of. You don’t fight for the government or the prime minister; you might fight for what you see as your society’s values but you’re far more likely simply to fight for your homeland and for your family.
What patriots in the western world today face is more than governments that they don’t like. It’s more like a complete regime change. The entire power structure is dominated by forces that are fundamentally hostile to homeland and family. The elites who control our society are the enemies of our society and they are far more dangerous and implacable than any external enemy.
In such a situation is patriotism still a viable option?