Encyclopedia > Patriotism

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Patriotism is a strong feeling of support for one's country (either native or in which one resides). It is often associated with ethnocentrism, i.e. the belief in the inherent superiority of the nation the patriot supports, as well as its people. It's sometimes also problematic to distinguish between Patriotism and Nationalism, as many people tend to use Nationalist as a negatively charged synonym for Patriot.

For some, patriotism can be interpreted as a political extension of the human territorial instinct; others denigrate patriotism on political grounds. Sometimes, these latter also argue against it on the grounds of either its supposed inherent ethnocentrism, territorialism, or both.

Patriots who are favorably disposed towards the current regime (and, particular under a democratic parliamentarian regime, supporters of the current government) may hold the opinion that patriotism implicates support of one's government and its policies. For others, however, strivings to improve the conditions of the Fatherland may be a strong force activating their patriotism.

See also Politics, Political science, Nationalism.

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