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Both previous post make valid points. To build upon those, you might consider that one must have a sense of patriotism in one's own country in order to recognize commonalities with others--to acknowledge the needs of humanity. I agree, however, that when this patriotism is allowed to run unchecked bad things happen. Fanaticism is a good description of this. Look at Hitler--the most horrific example of patriotism/fanaticism run amok.
Indeed, the previous post's assertion of patriotism morphing into nationalism is a compelling one. If nationalism is unchecked, it leads to fairly horrific elements because it is not content with national pride of one self, but rather seeks to expand this notion of pride into another nation's sovereignty or autonomy. I think that this particular item makes patriotism a concept where fear is evident and one that has to be approached with a level of sobriety and vigilance so that the right of one's nation to be proud of oneself does not extend into denying another nation the right to be left alone.
Patriotism is the feeling of love, attachment and loyalty to one's country or nation. In a way, you can say that patriotism divides the whole humanity on the basis of nationality. But this fact alone is not enough to establish that patriotism is against the humanity. We can find many example of humanity and the world divided in different types of groups, and it does not appear that all these group are against the interest of the humanity.
The most basic unit of division of the humanity, prevalent since many thousands of years and common to almost all cultured and societies in the world, is the family. Is it correct to say that the love and attachment of family members towards each other is against the principles of humanity? Similarly, can we say that existence of different companies in an economy is against the interest or principles of humanity? Making a blanket statement like this would definitely be wrong.
Division of humanity in separate groups such as nations, families, and business organizations serve some useful purpose. They enable the members of the organization to be more effective to contribute more to the welfare and happiness of each other, without harming the people outside their group. Sometimes there may be competition between groups, and as a result disparities between them. But if, in spite of disparities, every group is better off because of the division, then division is definitely not against humanity.
The current well being and prosperity and well being of the humanity today is attributable by all economists to division of labour. This divides people in different groups according to the type of work. Most certainly such division of people is not against the interest or principles of humanity.
The problem with patriotism or love and attachment for any other type of groups in society occurs when this is carried beyond reasonable limits. Then the patriotism is no more patriotism. Then turns into fanaticism. As long as patriotism is means love for your country it is good. But if gets converted in to contempt or hate for other countries, it is definitely bad.
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