Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. “Patriotism is not:- Keep in mind as Russian Federation invade Ukraine

“What is patriotism?

Let us begin with what patriotism is not.

It is not patriotic to dodge the draft and to mock war heroes and their families.

It is not patriotic to discriminate against active-duty members of the armed forces in one’s companies, or to campaign to keep disabled veterans away from one’s property.

It is not patriotic to compare one’s search for sexual partners in New York with the military service in Vietnam that one has dodged.

It is not patriotic to avoid paying taxes, especially when American working families do pay.

It is not patriotic to ask those working, taxpaying American families to finance one’s own presidential campaign, and then to spend their contributions in one’s own companies.

It is not patriotic to admire foreign dictators.

It is not patriotic to cultivate a relationship with Muammar Gaddafi; or to say that Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin are superior leaders.

It is not patriotic to call upon Russia to intervene in an American presidential election.

It is not patriotic to cite Russian propaganda at rallies.

It is not patriotic to share an adviser with Russian oligarchs.

It is not patriotic to solicit foreign policy advice from someone who owns shares in a Russian energy company.

It is not patriotic to read a foreign policy speech written by someone on the payroll of a Russian energy company.

It is not patriotic to appoint a national security adviser who has taken money from a Russian propaganda organ.

It is not patriotic to appoint as secretary of state an oilman with Russian financial interests who is the director of a Russian-American energy company and has received the “Order of Friendship” from Putin.

The point is not that Russia and America must be enemies. The point is that patriotism involves serving your own country.


― Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Some wisdom from an old dog…54,000 people have arrived in the small Island of Ireland, 26 counties. We need to distinguish the difference between Nationalism and Patriotism. 700 years of British Rule, being part of the British Empire, means we have too look at life with the Patriotic lens and welcome Ukrainians from their home a country, under invasion from the Russian Federation. Let us again look to a man who knows so much of the history of Ukraine, a man who knows President Zelenskyy in person.

“The president is a nationalist, which is not at all the same thing as a patriot.

A nationalist encourages us to be our worst, and then tells us that we are the best.

A nationalist, ‘although endlessly brooding on power, victory, defeat, revenge,’ wrote Orwell, tends to be ‘uninterested in what happens in the real world.’

Nationalism is relativist, since the only truth is the resentment we feel when we contemplate others.

As the novelist Danilo Kiš put it, nationalism ‘has no universal values, aesthetic or ethical.’

A patriot, by contrast, wants the nation to live up to its ideals, which means asking us to be our best selves.

A patriot must be concerned with the real world, which is the only place where his country can be loved and sustained.

A patriot has universal values, standards by which he judges his nation, always wishing it well—and wishing that it would do better.”

― Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century


We allowed ourselves to accept the politics of inevitability, the sense that history could move in only one direction: toward liberal democracy… We imbibed the myth of an “end of history”. In doing so, we lowered our defences, constrained our imagination, and opened the way for precisely the kinds of regimes we told ourselves could never return.

Timothy Snyder

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for Irishhealth.com 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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