Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > General History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

General History General History Forum - General history questions and discussions


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old December 29th, 2017, 12:53 PM   #1

Pacific_Victory's Avatar
Conseiller du Roi
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: MARE PACIFICVM
Posts: 7,538
Concrete vs. Abstract Patriotism


I'd like to have a discussion about a division I've discovered between different strands of patriotism.

I propose that Patriotism as a phenomenon is not monolithic, but can be divided into "concrete patriotism" and "abstract patriotism".

The former is a love for, and willingness to defend one's homeland. When I say homeland in this context, I am talking about the actual soil and hearth upon which one lives and upon which one depends for survival.

Abstract patriotism on the other hand is attachment to, and willingness to fight for, a set of abstract labels, judgements, and perceived characteristics shared by a defined group (such as a religious or national group).

I contend that the former variety of patriotism is as old as sedentary civilization, while the latter was slower to develop, and probably emerged around the time of the first empires, when a justification was suddenly needed regarding why someone should care when the far side of the Empire was being threatened.

Last edited by Pacific_Victory; December 29th, 2017 at 12:56 PM.
Pacific_Victory is offline  
Remove Ads
Old December 29th, 2017, 01:04 PM   #2

AlpinLuke's Avatar
Knight-errant
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Lago Maggiore, Italy
Posts: 22,639
Blog Entries: 19

It depends on how you define patriotism. Proper patriotism is the second one, the first one existed before homelands and nations existed, so that it wasn't exactly "patriotism" as we intend it. It was a form of evolved "tribalism".

Anyway, if we leave apart mere matters of definition, it's correct to say that when civilizations appeared [with some conceptualization of "citizenship"] the patriot was no more the defender of his own birthplace, but the defender of a "civitas", of a society, of a legal and administrative system which today we would call "state".

So that [again, leaving apart definitions], it's true that human societies, while they were becoming more and more complicated, saw a passage from the defense of the hometown to the defense of something well wider and symbolic [I would fight for Italy, but honestly I don't see "Italy" here around ...].
AlpinLuke is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 01:10 PM   #3

Pacific_Victory's Avatar
Conseiller du Roi
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: MARE PACIFICVM
Posts: 7,538

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
It depends on how you define patriotism. Proper patriotism is the second one, the first one existed before homelands and nations existed, so that it wasn't exactly "patriotism" as we intend it. It was a form of evolved "tribalism".
I suppose we could argue over whether early sedentary humans defending their agricultural lands and families can properly be called patriotism. I see it as such. Personally I prefer to see the two variants as opposite ends of a spectrum, and as you pointed out there is a great deal of continuity.

Quote:
Anyway, if we leave apart mere matters of definition, it's correct to say that when civilizations appeared [with some conceptualization of "citizenship"] the patriot was no more the defender of his own birthplace, but the defender of a "civitas", of a society, of a legal and administrative system which today we would call "state".

So that [again, leaving apart definitions], it's true that human societies, while they were becoming more and more complicated, saw a passage from the defense of the hometown to the defense of something well wider and symbolic [I would fight for Italy, but honestly I don't see "Italy" here around ...].
Yet as the second variety developed, the first did not disappear. Many modern people would still be willing to defend their land and homes from attackers. Yet on top of this natural patriotism, has been added a new layer of state or imperial patriotism, which uses the mechanisms of its earlier cousin to imbed itself in the human psyche.
Pacific_Victory is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 01:28 PM   #4

AlpinLuke's Avatar
Knight-errant
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Lago Maggiore, Italy
Posts: 22,639
Blog Entries: 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
I suppose we could argue over whether early sedentary humans defending their agricultural lands and families can properly be called patriotism. I see it as such. Personally I prefer to see the two variants as opposite ends of a spectrum, and as you pointed out there is a great deal of continuity.



Yet as the second variety developed, the first did not disappear. Many modern people would still be willing to defend their land and homes from attackers. Yet on top of this natural patriotism, has been added a new layer of state or imperial patriotism, which uses the mechanisms of its earlier cousin to imbed itself in the human psyche.
Today we are observing a kind of counter dynamic, there are several regional tensions where the "nation" faces a decontextualization in favor of local entities [this type of patriotism is called "separatism" nowadays].

Destructuralizing the "nation" [not the Roman "natio", but the modern "nation"] someone is simply going backwards.
AlpinLuke is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 01:36 PM   #5

Pacific_Victory's Avatar
Conseiller du Roi
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: MARE PACIFICVM
Posts: 7,538

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpinLuke View Post
Today we are observing a kind of counter dynamic, there are several regional tensions where the "nation" faces a decontextualization in favor of local entities [this type of patriotism is called "separatism" nowadays].

Destructuralizing the "nation" [not the Roman "natio", but the modern "nation"] someone is simply going backwards.
This is indeed an interesting trend, and I would suggest that it is perhaps an inevitablity of the artificial nautre of abstract patriotism. At some point the state or imperial power's interests will conflict with local or regional interests, and a split will occur.

Concrete patriotism on the other hand doesn't suffer from this problem, as it is always in everyone's best interests that lands and families remain safe and well cared for.
Pacific_Victory is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 01:57 PM   #6

AlpinLuke's Avatar
Knight-errant
 
Joined: Oct 2011
From: Lago Maggiore, Italy
Posts: 22,639
Blog Entries: 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacific_Victory View Post
This is indeed an interesting trend, and I would suggest that it is perhaps an inevitablity of the artificial nautre of abstract patriotism. At some point the state or imperial power's interests will conflict with local or regional interests, and a split will occur.

Concrete patriotism on the other hand doesn't suffer from this problem, as it is always in everyone's best interests that lands and families remain safe and well cared for.
Probably it's also interesting to remark that where there was a primordial democracy [in ancient Greece] the early form of "state" was a form of federation [the Greek city-states joined in case of necessity]. The city-state itself offered the context for a really pragmatic patriotism [patriotism which was rewarded with the possibility to take part to the administration of the polis ... who fought had some privileges].
AlpinLuke is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 02:42 PM   #7

Jake10's Avatar
Guardian Knight
 
Joined: Oct 2010
From: Canada
Posts: 11,954
Blog Entries: 5

In order to have ideals, a sense of culture has to exist, which means language must be established. Therefore, I would say that a strong sense of abstract patriotism depends on the stability of the culture, which is interlinked to the language of the society.

Concrete patriotism, on the other hand, seems to depend on a need to survive. We can see wild and domestic animals that are willing to fight to defend the areas they see as their own. Nevertheless, we cannot maintain our culture if we don't defend our living areas, so concrete patriotism will always be there.
Jake10 is offline  
Old December 29th, 2017, 03:34 PM   #8
Lecturer
 
Joined: Jan 2011
From: Indiana, USA
Posts: 365

It seems to me that we're looking for different definitions of patriotism when there are other words that we can use to be more precise.

e.g. Patriotism, nationalism, fascism.

They're all different, but related.
Apicius is offline  
Old December 30th, 2017, 03:10 AM   #9

dreuxeng's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Sep 2015
From: England
Posts: 1,263

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apicius View Post
It seems to me that we're looking for different definitions of patriotism when there are other words that we can use to be more precise.

e.g. Patriotism, nationalism, fascism.

They're all different, but related.
You might have added communism (Soviet Union next to China), and imperial communism.
dreuxeng is offline  
Old January 3rd, 2018, 03:29 AM   #10
Citizen
 
Joined: Jan 2018
From: London
Posts: 3

You can construe any situation in a number of ways. In particular, you can frame most situations in either an abstract, long-term sort of way or in a more concrete, immediate way.
Leesajohnson is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > General History

Tags
abstract, concrete, patriotism



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Evolution of Celtic Abstract/Iconic Art cavaros Ancient History 0 December 17th, 2014 10:01 AM
Abstract art - your opinion? antonina Art and Cultural History 77 October 24th, 2014 10:06 PM
Flag: Making the Abstract Concrete coberst Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 4 June 13th, 2010 04:37 AM
Is time an abstract idea? coberst Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 0 August 10th, 2009 01:48 AM
Why is ‘abstract idea’ like Wikipedia? coberst Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology 0 July 7th, 2009 10:32 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.