FROM ISSUE NUMBER 127 - SPRING 1997 GO TO TABLE OF CONTENTS

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On patriotism

WALTER BERNS

PATRIOTISM means love of country and implies a readiness to sacrifice for it, to fight for it, perhaps even to give one’s life for it. In the traditional or Spartan sense, patriots are those who love their country simply because it is their country—because it is “their birthplace and the mansion of their fathers,” as Alexis de Tocqueville put it in his Democracy in America. It is a kind of filial piety. 

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