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Nationalism, patriotism

Apr 15, 2010, 11:42 AM

Nationalism and patriotism are two basic concepts and vital ingredients for a democratic dispensation, without which development cannot be achieved in a modern day society.

However, these are concepts, which many advocate but do not in actual fact practice in real life.

It is similar to tribe, and like the family, is held together by a sense of kinship. But a nation differs from a tribe, in that it is larger than an ethic group.

While patriotism could be defined as the love of one's country, nationalism focuses more on the shaping of a nation. This includes fighting tooth and nail to defend one's national identity, the defence of the rights of a nation to remain or become a recognised entity.

This in turn brings into mind the concept of  'the rule of law.'

Although there exists nothing like so-called absolute freedom, there are guidelines that protect other people's rights from being trampled upon. This means that though one is free to exercise his/her rights, it must not be done to the extreme to infringe on the rights of others.

These concepts, therefore, represent a social order, which involves the people as a sovereign elite and a community of equals.

It would be patriotic as Gambians to foster positive and supportive attitudes towards nation-building.


"Love of Country; devotion to the welfare of one's country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one's country."