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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Adam Gopnik : Wine, War, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron : "Macron made a speech... as clearly directed at and agains... [feedly]

Adam Gopnik : Wine, War, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron : "Macron made a speech... as clearly directed at and agains...


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Adam GopnikWine, War, Donald Trump, and Emmanuel Macron: "Macron made a speech... as clearly directed at and against Trump as any he could have made... distinguished between nationalism (bad) and patriotism (good)... in eloquent terms...

..."Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism," he said. "Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism," he added, "In saying, 'Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,' you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great, and that which is most important: its moral values." To use a long-forgotten Howard Cosellism, I was doubly delighted by the invocation, in part because the same terms had seemed so relevant not long ago in discussing Macron's great predecessor Charles de Gaulle. He, too, had drawn that distinction, at the risk of his own life. De Gaulle knew that the patriot loves his place and its people and its idiosyncrasies; while the nationalist, of whom, for him, Adolf Hitler was the clearest and worst example, has no particular sense of affection for the place he advocates for (he is often an outsider to it, as Hitler, an Austrian, was to Germany) but channels his obsessive grievances into acts of ethnic vengeance.

It isn't clear who first made the distinction between nationalism and patriotism. Perhaps it's one of those observations that rises naturally in several places at once. Certainly, no one has made more of it in his work than John Lukacs, the American historian of Hungarian origin. Lukacs, in fact, has made it foundational to his understanding of twentieth-century history, with nationalism as the deadly solvent of civilization, and patriotism as its (partially) restorative glue. His heroes, for that reason, are the conservative patriots, Winston Churchill highest among them, along with de Gaulle. (The conservative patriots rate highly in part because the temptation of nationalism on the right is so extreme; the parallel temptation on the left is a blind faith in rational planning, even at enormous human cost...

#shouldread #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility #history

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