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Intricacies of Patriotism

Towards a Complexity of Patriotic Allegiance

Edited By Maciej Hułas and Stanisław Fel

Intricacies of Patriotism presents a selection of concepts of patria along with their corresponding forms of patriotism. The various contributions represent different backgrounds and draw a picture of patria as a universal value that is indispensible to one’s sense of self-awareness, and the identity of groups. The different understandings of patria in this collection are examples of employing patriotism to advance the identity of the group, or the individuals within it. While eulogists of cosmopolitanism tend to portray patriotism as anachronistic and irreconcilable with the «man-of-the-world-style», the notion of patria seems to be motivated by a deep concern to preserve patriotic feelings in an undistorted fashion, and to preserve them as a value of utmost importance.
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The term, patriotism is drawn from the word patria, that is, what is related to fatherhood. This concept is founded in social science, political theory and social philosophy, and despite being commonly used and intuitively comprehended, is not subject to precise definition. Up to now, there is no clear-cut consensus of opinion as to exactly what patria consists of, and what constituents determine it. For some, it may be synonymous with ethnicity in a broad sense, which encompasses, family, commonly shared truths and beliefs, significant moments of history, a native tongue along with a specific high culture and literature. Others tend to define patria in terms of political conditions and constitutional arrangements, which are indispensable to political security, civic freedom and collective welfare. This marks a shift in the notion of patria, that transposes it from primordial and ethnic determinants, into the realm of politics and negotiable arrangements, on which citizens agree, in order to the secure its basic rights and freedoms. Still others associate the notion of patria with the specifics of the particular region in which they dwell. This concept is characteristic of the mobile societies of today. In each of these three variations of patria, an attempt is made to find the locus, which accommodates this very sense of belonging. To put it more precisely, patria relates to the source of the identity by which individuals and groups define themselves. These origins are a springboard for those who wish to reacquaint themselves with their roots....

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