tolstoy on Patriotism


Some quotes I recently came across from Tolstoy on patriotism. Since I used to think of my self as a patriot, these quotes kind of rattled my boat a bit, but it seems it actually really needed rattling. Ha!! Tolstoy called himself a Christian Anarchist. I wonder if he ever studied the superior model of our Bill of Rights. Anyway, for consideration, Tolstoy opinions…

“Patriotism in its simplest, clearest and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers
their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, conscience, and a slavish
enthrallment to those in power.”

“Patriotism is a leftover from barbarous times.”

“Seas of blood have been shed for the sake of patriotism. One would expect the harm and irrationality of patriotism to be self-evident to everyone. But the surprising fact is that cultured and learned people not only do not notice the harm and stupidity of patriotism, they resist every unveiling of it with the greatest obstinacy and passion (with no rational grounds), and continue to praise it as beneficent and elevating.”

“Patriotism is slavery.”

“The feeling of patriotism – It is an immoral feeling … even a free man guided by his own reason, each man under the influence of patriotism confesses himself the son of his fatherland and the slave of his government, and commits actions contrary to his reason and conscience.”

“The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.”

“The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult you can offer him. Patriotism now means
advocating plunder in the interest of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born.”

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