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-the sentiment is comparatively weak. Similarly in England, the feeling inspired by institutions is relatively much stronger than in Germany, where militarism and closely allied officialism is the dominating feature. It is obvious also that at different periods of a country's history, the strength of the different forces varies greatly. But wherever the patriotic feeling exists it may, I think, be resolved into some such elements as are here indicated. Thus do we find ourselves face to face with a highly complex sentiment. Directly or indirectly, it has to take into account innumerable facts of the most diverse kind, ranging over a very wide area. The ideas, feelings, acts of many individuals are bound up in it. Social movements, presenting problems of great intricacy, and demanding judgment of a high order are based upon it. It is, therefore, unquestionable that in the resulting conduct, there is the fullest scope for error and wrongdoing; and the apparently simple and straightforward nature of the patriotic impulse should not deter us from subjecting it to the closest scrutiny.
But before passing to a closer examination of the bias in question, it will be necessary to recall for the moment, certain features of the development of European civilisation, of which modern patriotism is the outcome. Patriotism, as we understand it to-day, is a sentiment of comparatively recent growth. The feeling corresponding to it, for instance, in Greece and Rome was real enough, but the vast difference in the social conditions both within and without these states, is fatal to the drawing of any analogy that would be helpful at the present time. The conditions which succeeded the decline of the Empire were highly unfavorable to the growth of patriotism. For many centuries, the young and vigorous races of the north strove together for the territories which had been more or less completely subject to Rome. In due course the civilised parts of the continent became parcelled out into duchies, kingdoms, and even empires. But the divisions thus formed were, in the main, geographical. The unity that existed among confederations of states was little more than a recognition of spheres of influence. Boundaries were ill-defined, languages were unsettled, the races readily transferred their allegiance from one ruler to another. Throughout the feudal period, the ideas, no less than the interests of the people could scarcely have risen above the purely local. On the other hand, there were certain influences at work which tended in a certain sense to unify the whole of the civilised continent; such, for instance, as the use of a common language by the learned of all countries, and the recognition of a common religion, of which latter, the great movement of the Crusades is the most striking manifestation. We seem to recognise the germ of the principle of nationality in the elevation of the local tongues into literary languages; but this was an extremely slow process, occupying in every country several centuries, and then only affecting a section of the people.
When at the beginning of the sixteenth century, Machiavelli declares that he prefers his country to the safety of his soul, we are conscious of an entirely new note in European history. Quite apart from the value of the Machiavellian ideal, we recognise that here is something for which some personal sacrifice may be made. It is evident that certain
with ideas and traditions in common, and associated with certain districts have been formed, and that they are conscious of having a character and destiny apart from the rest of the world. But patriotism is still of slow growth. True there has always been the stimulus derived from the fighting instinct, which caused the inhabitants of different countries to band together against a common foe; and there can be no doubt that this tended greatly to encourage the feeling of nationality, of which, perhaps, the long wars waged between France and England are the best illustration. But it will be seen that patriotism as here understood, though largely influenced by pure antagonism to alien people, embraces much more, and it is this love of country in the fuller sense which was reserved for the nineteenth century.
The nineteenth is pre-eminently the century of nationality. Since 1815 many new races have sprung up, proclaiming through their various tongues their right to recognition as distinct people. From the ruins of the Turkish power in Europe have emerged half a dozen nationalities, Greece, Roumania, Servia, Bulgaria, and others whose independence cannot long be delayed. Hungary has obtained autonomy from Austria. Italy has become a united people. Belgium has separated from Holland. And most important of all, from a political point of view, from thirty-two states, we now hear the single voice of the races of Germany. In other parts of the world, we have the striking advent of America as a world-power, and the rise of Japan. Now this national movement is in a great measure democratic. It is directed not so much against alien people, as against alien governments; it is the assertion by races of the right to work out their own destiny in their own way. In such stages of the national movement, it is obvious that patriotism of the higher kind will be called forth. The feeling at such times is at least co-extensive with the love of freedom, and commands equal admiration. But it is in the later stages of national existence that patriotism shows a tendency to run riot, and here we are met by a curious anomaly.
The great increase in the means of human intercourse that has taken place during the last fifty years, has not been followed by any appreciably better feeling between the nations. Though war is, perhaps, less frequent, we have in its place an animosity which is both chronic and intensely articulate, the far-reaching evils of which are hardly less than those attending actual bloodshed. On the part of all the older states, there is the fear that their existence, or prosperity, or development is imperilled by the aggressive feeling of their neighbors; and the policy of the governing forces in each country is thus to keep alive those evidences of international hostility which, unhappily, it is never difficult to find. Clearly, there is something fundamentally wrong in this phase of the development of modern civilisation. Side by side with an unparalleled advance in all the forms of knowledge which stand for moral progress, with a marked improvement in the education of the people and a quickening of the general intellect, with a keener appreciation of art and letters, with a softening of manners, and with, at all events, a formal recognition of a higher ethical standard; we have the great groups of mankind known as nations still clinging to the barbarous law that might is right, that the well-being of one group may only be obtained at the expense of another, that the natural relation is one not of amity, but of enmity. The explanation of this strange association of degeneration and development must be sought in the old direction The arch-enemy of mankind is ignorance, and it is to this sinister influence that all forms of international ill-will, suspicion, and even jealousy, are in the main traceable. In other words, the general progress of mankind is being retarded by the bias of a crude and short-sighted patriotism.
Now let us look this idea of patriotism squarely in the face. Let us give to it, as a force in individual and social development, all the credit to which it is entitled, but let no fear of hard names turn us aside from an attempt to arrive at a fair estimate of its value. Perhaps the least questionable of all the uses of patriotism is its service to art. Under this influence the æsthetic faculties are stimulated, an entirely distinct sphere is revealed for the exercise of creative thought. It is mainly to this stimulus that we owe all the many forms of national poetry, painting, sculpture; in music, oratory, and imaginative prose writing its influence has been incalculably great. It has been the cause of much æsthetic inspiration, and of still more æsthetic appreciation. It thus introduces a special form of happiness to millions whose thought, apparently, would otherwise have been in this respect torpid. This is a great boon; let it be recorded with due prominence.
Patriotism, also, is one of the strongest incentives to selfsacrifice. For reasons which will be noticed presently, the ground here is not quite so safe, but the proposition as stated is doubtless substantially true. As a direct cause of the exhibition of physical courage, patriotism, probably, should be accorded the first place. Without enquiring too closely into the nature of this quality, or offering any comparison between the physical and moral varieties of it, we must ungrudgingly concede that it is, to an eminent degree, admirable. In the courage that leads to the sacrifice of life itself, there is something which stirs the soul to its depths. None will deny that such valour must be ranked high among the nobler attributes of human nature.
Admirable, also, is that other form of sacrifice which is chronicled not as death, but as life devoted to the welfare of one's country. With a second caution that the admiration may be qualified by other considerations, we note here the approach of the purest of all forms of patriotism; but it is significant that it is also the least characteristic, and therefore the least aggressive In ordinary estimation, the greatest patriot would be he who devoted himself most exclusively to his own country, and was indifferent or hostile to others. But it is by no means necessary so to restrict the meaning of the word. The patriotism here spoken of may be only half conscious of the existence of other countries, or may even include their wellbeing in its own.
But it is clear that when this stage is reached, we are introducing an entirely new element into the case.
Next may be noted the use of patriotism as a promoter of human sympathy. The consciousness of kindred origin, interests, and aims is a unifying principle of the utmost potency. It is undoubtedly a great corrective of many subtle forms of egoism, lifting the individual out of his immediate circle, and introducing an entirely new set of interests. The individual consciousness thus becomes fuller, richer, more complex; it ascends to a higher plane in the scale of being. There is, of course, no more fundamental emotion of human nature than that of sympathy; to it we owe that commonsense—the sense of the common interest—which is the source of some of the strongest enthusiasms and also some of the greatest social pleasures. With certain inevitable reserva