Current tensions in different regions of the world have re-introduced old political concepts to dinner table, water cooler, or coffee break conversations, often with vaporous imprecision. I refer to nationalism and patriotism. Which one is a good thing? Is nationalism dangerous while patriotism is good?
For instance, I was reading a column by Philip Stephens of the Financial Times only last week (See ‘The perils of Asia’s nationalist power game’) and he wrote this:
What’s wrong with nationalism, a friend in Tokyo asked me the other day? Well, there is much to be said for patriotism. As for nationalism, the answer is found in the bloody pages of European history.
That got me thinking: is it the case that nationalism is bad and patriotism is good?