Ego-patriotism, militarism, and Anti-Semitism
make a powerful combination; they are the cause of
much mischief and suffering. And, seeing the false
gods that mankind worships, it is not surprising that in the twentieth century there should still be nations which allow their spurious patriots to disgrace them by anti- semitism in the form of pogroms. At the present time their number seems to have been reduced to one. In America we find a similar exhibition of hatred and brutality. We read of attacks by the strong on the 38 PATRIOTISM. weak; of might being right; of civilised whites butchering their coloured countrymen without mercy. Motives, similar to those that had influenced Dreyfus' enemies, i.e., that the country's good name should not suffer, were at work in this country during an inquiry held in regard to a raid made by an armed force into a friendly neighbouring country at the instigation or with the connivance of certain eminent persons interested in diamond and gold mines. The consequence was that the truth was not brought to light regarding certain transactions which, though under- taken for England's sake, did not redound to her credit. In Germany, Maximilian Harden was patriotic enough to risk the Emperor'is displeasure. He brought to light a scandal of a different kind. Ego-patriots are indeed difficult to deal with. What Shelley said of love and jealousy is equally true of patriotism and ego-patriotism: "Love is not akin to jealousy ; love does not seek its own pleasure, but the happiness of another. Jealousy is gross selfishness; it looks upon everyone who approaches as an enemy ; it's the idolatry of self, and, like canine madness, incurable." Let us, however, hope that the latter is not true with regard to ego-patriotism. CHAPTER VI. LOYALTY TO KING AND CHURCH. MANY a man is proud of being English, French, Italian, or German, or whatever other nation he may belong to, without having achieved anything to make his countrymen proud of his being a fellow-countryman of theirs. You meet Spaniards who are proud of being Spanish, of the mere fact of having been born in Spain; Englishmen proud of being English, of the fact of having been born in England ; Americans who have the same pride; Germans, Italians, French; in fact, it would be difficult to find a country the majority of whose inhabitants do not manifest pride at having been born in that particular country. The question arises whether this form of patriotism is a natural emotion ; that is to say an innate sentiment or feeling, or whether it is a fostered feeling. Would it manifest itself if it were not cultivated by the parents, at school, and by the daily surroundings ? A mother's love for her child requires no cultivation. It is there. If the mother were not forced by some instinct to protect her offspring there would be no progress, no preservation of the race, no evolution. We find patriotism among the ancients. The Greeks and Romans have died for their country; but it is doubtful whether, when one Greek was ready to lay down his life for Sparta and another for Athens ;^ when the Americans counted no sacrifice too great m the defence of their rights, and the opposing English soldier was prepared to meet death in fighting for the pretensions of his King and country ; when the citizen^ of the Italian republics risked their all in those fratricidal struggles that make up so large a part of the history of Italy during the middle ages, being often caused by feuds amongst the factions of one city; it is doubtful, we say, in view of those and many other conflicts of a similar nature, whether 40 PATRIOTISM. patriotism is an unconscious inward impulse ; whether it can be classed as being one of those fundamental laws of nature, which have had such a compelling influence on the development of the animal kingdom from the time when the first amoeba felt lonely and decided to divide itself into two parts, to the present moment when that marvellous product, the human brain, is employed in thousands of diverging lines to hasten the rate of progress ; and when that still greater mystery, the human soul, which, as Darwin, Stanley Hall, J. A. Thompson and P. Geddes teach us "is no whit less the offspring of animals than man's body, our psychic powers being new dispensations of theirs and the ascending series of graduations no more broken for the psyche 1 than for the soma a " when that still greater mystery, the human soul, is striving for the betterment of mankind; the prevalence of a com- passionate spirit; the ^substitution of kindliness and love for the rule of selfishness and force.