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ERIC Number: EJ794919
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 2
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
Best Traditions Patriotism: A Commentary on Miller, Wingo and Ben-Porath
Blum, Lawrence
Theory and Research in Education, v5 n1 p61-68 2007
Ben-Porath sees patriotism as involving attachment to fellow citizens as part of a shared fate community. Wingo places shared values at the center of patriotism. Miller argues that political ties to fellow nationals stemming from participation in imposing laws and policies on them will also generate obligations to non-nationals (especially the poor of many other nations). But he sees patriotism as involving a deeper love of one's nation that carries with it epistemic and moral distortions of the actual operations of one's nation, and for this reason rejects patriotism. I propose an alternative conception of patriotism (though consistent with Ben-Porath's and Wingo's) whose content is the "best traditions" of one's nation (liberty, equality, appropriate separation of powers, for example). This does not require expecting one's nation actually to live up to those traditions at any given time, thus protecting against wish-induced distortions of the historical and contemporary record. Best traditions patriotism would enable teachers to be patriotic without supporting a given current regime, and would support critical thinking and other educationally beneficial goals. Wingo fails to recognize how universal values can be combined with particularistic understandings. Ben-Porath fails to provide strong enough democratic conditions on the nation to support her view that patriotism is generally a virtue.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A