What is nationalism? Nationalism means to give more importance to unity by way of a cultural background, including language and heritage. Nationalism is also a feeling that one`s country is superior to another in all aspects. It also can be a little aggressive and radical by nature. It also makes one to think only of one`s country`s virtues and makes one try to find justification for the mistakes made in the past. On the other hand, patriotism means the love for a nation, with more emphasis on values and beliefs and is merely is a feeling of admiration for a way of life.
It is also passive by nature because people all over the world are considered equal. Patriotism also pertains to value responsibilities rather than just valuing loyalty towards one`s own country and enables people to understand both the shortcomings and improvements made. Based on statements above, I think patriotism is better for nation-building. Nation-building is the process of constructing or structuring a national identity using the power of the state. This process aims at the unification of the people within the state so that it remains politically stable and viable in the long run.
Nation-building can involve the use of propaganda or major infrastructure development to foster social harmony and economic growth. The first and most important reason I think patriotism is better for nation-building is because it allows individuals to care about their country as a whole. To put it in a simpler way, it allows them to think twice before taking an action and making decisions that are going to affect their nation. For example, a visitor from America would never behave indecently in Malaysia because he or she is aware that it would bring bad name to their country.
This will increase our respect towards their country which would lead to the rapid growth of their nation. Furthermore, patriotism is also a voluntary emotion that people display in different ways. For example, some people thinks that it is simply showing respect during the Pledge of Allegiance while for others it is proudly serving in the Military in order to protect their nation even if it puts their own life at risk and takes them away from the comforts of their home and their family.
Both this group of people are also important because their attitudes could lead to the strengthening of a nation. On top of that, most forms of government try to install patriotism into the members of their society, especially for children by providing them with the appropriate educational material for them to base their thoughts. This is actually done to influence their own beliefs about the concepts of patriotism. If they have not very much exposure to the idea then they likely have not formed their own opinion on it.
This can cause them to behave inappropriately which could lead to the ruining of a nation. Other than that, while there are always those who seem to display their patriotism on a regular basis which leads to nation-building, it seems that when a nation is in a crisis it is more apparent. For example when there is a war taking place the symbols of patriotism seem to be everywhere where the people help among each other. A better example is after terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on World Trade Centre (WTC) emotions ran high in the areas of patriotism and protecting the United States.
Besides that, during times of natural disaster such as Hurricane Katrina people support each other compassionately showing their patriotism. This caused people all over the world to look up upon them which brought to the betterment of their nation. In addition to that, the idealism of patriotism also means that people care about their society. It provides them with principled limits which they work hard to act in accordance with. Since it is important to understand why patriotism means more to some people than others it also depends on the events in their life that have been linked to patriotism.
For example a young man may be very patriotic because his father, grandfather and great grandfather all served their country for a particular purpose such as to achieve independence from intruders. This will make him to love his country more and also to initiate others to love the country more. This will make the country a harmonious and peaceful place to live in and also forms a well-developed nation. In a nutshell, patriotism is easier to be inculcated in many aspects of a nation and also its citizens compared to nationalism.
Besides that, practicing nationalism would not bring to the betterment of a nation as it is aggressive by nature and also would ruin the unity of a nation. In contrast, patriotism is passive by nature and easier to be achieved as most people prefer peace and harmony compared to war. It is also a positive move towards a well-built nation. Practising patriotism also will lead to a healthy and peaceful formation of an individual, society and nation. I would end with a quote by Charles de Gaulle that goes “Patriotism is when love for your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. “