What is patriotism?

Probably, every person has heard such a word as “patriotism”. However, not everyone is able to give a clear concept of this definition. What is patriotism? To understand this and write this article.

The word “patriotism” itself has its roots in ancient Greece. Translated from the Greek language, this concept means "fatherland, compatriot." The explanatory dictionary of the Russian language defines patriotism as a moral and political principle, which lies in the love of the Fatherland and the ability to subordinate one's own interests to its interests. Patriotism implies pride in belonging to a particular state, pride in its achievements and the desire to increase and preserve these achievements for many years. Turning to the explanatory dictionary, we can now understand what patriotism manifests itself in.

If you look deeper, the historical source of patriotism is the existence of people within individual states that has been fixed for centuries and millennia, which in itself has shaped a person’s love and devotion to the place where he grew up and lived.In the conditions of the formation of national states, patriotism becomes an integral part of national identity and culture. When answering the question of how patriotism is manifested, it is enough to simply turn to the history of the Great Patriotic War, where people massively sacrificed their lives for their native land. It is these characters that are most often cited as an example when schoolchildren write an essay - what is patriotism.

Classification of types of patriotism

With what is a phenomenon of patriotism, we figured out. However, the very concept of “patriotism” has its own classification. So what are the types of patriotism?

  1. Polis patriotism is a phenomenon that was observed in the era of ancient states, and represents love for a particular city-state (polis).
  2. Imperial patriotism - expressed loyalty to the empire, as well as to its government.
  3. Ethnic patriotism is a phenomenon that represents love for a certain people without any attachment to a particular locality or state.
  4. State patriotism. It is a feeling of deep love and devotion to a particular state, country.
  5. Kvass patriotism.It represents a very strong, exaggerated feeling of love for the state and its population.

Criticism of patriotism

However, there is another opinion regarding patriotism. Lev Tolstoy considers patriotism in his writings as, in general, a destructive phenomenon. He said that love for his people and land is the true source of all the wars and sufferings associated with them. He also added that patriotism as a phenomenon is deeply alien to the Russian people. Tolstoy explained this by the fact that he had never heard from the Russian people about the sincere and present manifestation of this feeling, but much more often he paid attention to the people’s disregard for this feeling.

Summing up, I would like to note that there are many answers to the question of what patriotism means. However, all his definitions are not significantly different from each other and by and large boil down to the description of the same phenomenon.