On Patriotism

“When it is a question of oneself, and even of one’s family, it is a more or less recognized thing that one mustn’t be too boastful; that one must beware of one’s judgments when one is at the same time judge and prosecutor; that one must ask oneself whether opposition on the part of others may or may not be at least partly justified; that one mustn’t try to occupy the whole stage, or think solely of oneself; in short, that limits must be set to egoism and pride. But when it comes to national egoism, national pride, not only is the field unlimited, but the highest possible degree of it seems to be imposed by something closely resembling an obligation. Regard for others, recognition of one’s own faults, modesty, the voluntary limitation of one’s desires–all are now turned into so many crimes, so many sacriliges.”

–Simone Weil, The Need For Roots


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