ERIC Number: EJ854069
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Toward a More Generous Patriotism
Galston, William A.
Academic Questions, v15 n4 p32-35 Sep 2002
In this article, the author comments on the tension between patriotism and free inquiry, and appeals for a patriotism that allows people to think well of their country without suspending critical judgment. Patriotism does not imply automatic assent to the specific views and policies of the leaders of the regime to which one is loyal. To be topical for a moment: it is perfectly possible to disagree with President Bush about the best response to 11 September without ceasing to be a patriot, if the dissent is motivated by sincere disagreement about the course of action best calculated to promote the long-term interests of the United States. On the other hand, dissent motivated principally by the desire to attain domestic political power or (for that matter) the desire to weaken the United States in world affairs could hardly be described as patriotic. He also opines that higher education is compatible (in the looser sense) with patriotism only to the extent that the truths pursued through higher education are compatible with the propositions that undergird patriotism, and with a sensible understanding of what it is reasonable to expect from politics at its best. Individuals can determine the force of this general thesis by ascending to particulars, exploring, first, the content of academic truth.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Dissent, World Affairs, Inquiry, Freedom of Speech, Patriotism, Nationalism, Political Issues, Ethics, World Problems, Democracy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States