There are broad and controversial definitions for the terms Patriotism and Nationalism. This summary blog episode highlights the distinctive differences in the attitude and mindset of a Patriot in comparison to a Nationalist. It is a personal, albeit informed opinion of the author and is designed as a guiding standard which must not be necessarily accepted by all readers.
Patriotism is a love for one’s own country and countrymen. It is a love for the inherent goodness of the values that guide the system of Government and its people. It is a love that accommodates criticisms from other nations which can inform improvements to its value system. Patriotism understands the concept of collaboration and coexistence with other nations in order to solve shared problems and develop shared interests. Patriotism is informed by an objectiveknowledge of decent moral values.
Nationalism is a blind loyalty for one’s own country. It is an irrational belief system of a citizen that their country is superior to all others. It is a stubborn devotion to the values that guide the system of Government and its people regardless of the moral deficiencies of these values. Nationalism does not accommodate criticisms from other nations, nor tolerate coexistence with other nations.
A Patriot and a Nationalist can make the ultimate sacrifice on the parallel ideologies defined above; however it is crystal clear that they are not working in synergy toward a common goal.
History can bear witness, that it was the nationalistic mindset of Adolf Hitler and his infamous Nazi regime which was driven by the concept of racial supremacy that triggered the Second World War. History also bears witness that the nationalistic profile of the defunct apartheid regime of South Africa was a grave issue of global concern in the wake of the chaos and tragedy which trailed the existence of the ideology.
It is pertinent for a person to make a clear distinction between Patriotism and Nationalism in order to be morally informed in attitude when relating with others (whether compatriots or foreigners) and in the refinement of aptitude.
The vision of a Patriot is driven by a sense of responsibility which understands that even though their roots of origin maybe tied to a particular country, they are an intricate part of a larger global community. It is this realization that stirs the passion of a Patriot to ensure a collective positive and peaceful collaboration of the Human race toward ensuring the survival of the planet Earth.
The vision of a Patriot understands that the survival of the planet Earth would always guarantee a platform of existence and continuity of life for the Human Race: the generations they would leave behind.
This vision ultimately understands that though each of us may bear passports identifying us as citizens of different countries, every member of the human race is a bona fide citizen and Patriot of the planet Earth.
The perspective of the vision of a Nationalist is limited strictly to the boundaries of the ideals that define their country.
A deep reflection on the paragraphs above would avail all Nigerian citizens, and indeed any reader the knowledge that imbibing the character of Patriotism would greatly assist our effort toward building a peaceful and productive Nigerian nation. The character of Patriotism would also assist us in fostering better relations with neighboring Nations and the World at large.
On these truths and more, I rest my case on comparing the graceful finesse of Patriotism against the brute naïveté of Nationalism.
For the purpose of this summary post, Corruption can be defined as a lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); or the use of a position of trust for dishonest personal or group gain.
The country Nigeria has been defined in previous blog episodes with the last episode (‘Giving a face to our noble country‘) adding the bio-metric detail of a face to our noble nation. Just like the word Country, the word Corruption is an abstract concept which is only given boldness, effect and strength of consequence by any person that lacks a character of integrity. The soul or life of Corruption is driven by human beings. The negative consequence of Corruption knows no religious, ethnic, or political bias; it simply ravages everything within its range including countries!
The Nigerian nation has been locked in a fierce battle with Corruption for decades now. This is evident since the effect of the strength of its devastating consequence can be observed within the unimpressive nature of our national development through the decades. This has been our complaint with every sphere of the Nigerian society from time immemorial till today.
Unemployment statistics are in sky-high figures; Nigerian citizens are braving extreme odds in desperate attempts at migrating to greener havens in foreign lands; strike threats and actions are a frequent order of the day; some citizens are complaining of outright hunger and an inability to feed at minimal daily frequency, the list is endless. So it will be safe to assume that since the fight started between Nigeria and Corruption, the latter has made good progress, and is currently in good lead on points. Nigeria on the other hand when the encounter ensued erroneously, assumed it was a play-fight, and seemed very confident that corruption was no match for it, therefore there was no need to hit back, evade its punches, or at the very least have a good getaway plan.
With the foresight of today, Nigeria would have definitely done things differently.
The current situation is so terrible that the country Nigeria is lying in a daze from the severe beatings received by Corruption. Nigeria can barely move, and is fast loosing the confidence of great admirers who span the length and breadth of this planet Earth. Admirers that have tirelessly shown support with financial aids, visits, etc; you name it, they have done it.
Our Independence Day of 1st October 1960, was gracefully attended by a powerful representation of Her Royal Majesty the Great Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. In addition to eminent members of the modern British Monarch, our well-wishers consisted a colorful host of prominent foreign dignitaries. I believe this action was intended to send a resoundingly strong message of encouragement, support and hope for the project Nigeria to all and sundry.
Currently, and previously, several attempts have been made by Nigeria to fight back however its been a ferocious onslaught of frightening magnitude by Corruption. The amazing fact through this drama remains that Nigeria appears not ready to give up the fight, and this resilience is infuriating the heartless Corruption who does not even realize that good sportsmanship should have demanded a reprieve for the opponent.
The fact ought to be very clear to all and sundry that this is not a game anymore. Corruption has come with the profile of a death-match to a friendly encounter and this was not the ‘understanding’ with Nigeria at the onset.
Nigeria would need to take drastic measures to survive this encounter and this is the reason every single Patriot left in the country would need to rise up to the call of the National Anthem. Every single Nigerian Patriot would need the motivation of the national pledge engraved in their spirit to fire up their morale.
It has become a non-negotiable reality of fact, that Nigeria must resoundingly win this encounter. However, this is not a physical battle, it is a battle of concepts with subtle and peculiar attributes. It is a battle that requires our collective encouragement of any patriotic attempt by any citizen to put up a fight against any form of ignoble unpatriotic action from any other citizenof Nigerian heritage.
The first step would be to put a face(s) on the concept called Corruption, and this should aid the Patriots to identify the scourge when they see it. There is no attribute of Corruption which represents the moral undertone of any line in our national Pledge; so definitely a corrupt culprit cannot be a Nigerian patriot. A Nigerian patriot would always protect the interest of the Nigerian nation.
A corrupt culprit could possibly be a person from another nationality, which is fair thinking since their allegiance would most definitely be to their own country. However, we are all aware that our government institutions and private business endeavors are not majorly driven by foreigners, there would be no need to look in that direction, besides no national creed of any well meaning foreign nation would be so empty of moral content to incite such decadent behavior.
Corruption in Nigeria has been given life by citizens who engage in unpatriotic actions regardless the frequency or magnitude of such actions. The God givenconscience in each of us will bear witness to this truth by a cursory observation of actions of a majority of the citizens within our immediate environment. We sincerely do not need to look far for the culprits.
We can say that the fight between Nigeria and Corruption is literally a fight between the patriotic citizens of the country and their non-patriotic siblings. It is a fight between noble actions of patriotism and ignoble counter actions with no patriotic undertone.
The boundaries of patriotism are not limited by lines of immediate or extended family, religion, tribalism, or political sentiments, neither the boundaries of the devastation of corruption. In order to guarantee a sure win, the mentality of the Patriot should equally bear no sentiments of such dimensions.
It should be safe for a sane mind to assume that we ought not to stand arms akimbo whilst a summation of unpatriotic actions destroys our country and the future of our generations to come. A collective patriotic response in counter measure does not call for a single blow; a whisper of violence; extending a drop of hatred; or indeed any other action that lacks noble patriotic finesse. This skill we can all learn by understudying the life of the Great Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
The spread of activities driven by corrupt intent is virtually in every sphere of the Nigerian society. Granted, it may have started within the leadership class of the country, but currently It is not only found within the leadership or political class in the country. It actually exists right inside our homes, our organizations, our schools, our hospitals, on our roads, in our markets, our businesses, at work, at play, virtually everywhere!
The fight cannot be left to a single individual or group; it must be fought by every single Nigerian Citizen. I am certain that if we could all collectively engrave the message of the national pledge in our spirit, in thought, in word and in deed, the current fight between Nigeria and Corruption would be an easier walk in the park for our country.
Bearing in mind that the present Nigerian narrative regarding corruption has spanned decades of our collective neglect for our nation, reversing the current trend would require a process of consistent continuity across very thread that defines the fabric of the Nigerian society. It should be a synchronized process spanning the dynamic pinnacle of leadership, down to the crannies of our homes. It would not be a process with overnight success however this approach is guaranteed to yield positive results on the long run. It would require the strong armor of patience and maturity on the body of all of Nigeria’s finest Patriots; You and I inclusive.
In conclusion, it would certainly be very correct and best for us to collectively muster the Will to act against this scourge in order to continue with our determined walk of necessity toward the dream Nigeria. We desperately need to pound this lethal enemy of our great Nation to smithereens. A stitch in time as wisely recommended, definitely and surely saves nine.