Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nationalism vs. Patriotism

This entry is mainly to make me feel a little less crazy, at the very least about my use of words. My general feeling about the meaning of 'nationalism' vs. 'patriotism' is that the one has a negative connotation where the the other one has a negative connotation. Nationalist is usually used for someone who feels the need to kill lots of (innocent) people for his country, where patriot is more likely to be used for someone who ate apple pie, saved a cat from a tree, and fought for our countries valour. I mean both basically mean that you have a strong love for your country and want to do things for it right? Well, in my Russian classes and God knows why only in my Russian classes, this issue comes up a lot (as in I bring it up a lot). Basically I have been told by various teachers that the two terms are completely different (the classes were in Russian, but the words are the same as in English, just pronounced a la Boris in Rocky and Bullwinkle). I am pretty sure I am right in English (I have checked since), but in Russian since the meaning of nationality is ethnicity I guess nationalist may mean ethnic-nationalist, which wouldn't be the same thing. Funky.


Nella said...

Wait, so for Russian are we talking "nationalism" is for the country you belong too, and "patriotism" could be your believe/support of a national CAUSE?

Barbarossa said...

No,in Russian nationalism would always be athnic based, so you would be an Italian-American nationalist (i.e. supporting just one ethnic group), where a patriot you would be supporting the whole state.