Nationalism vs. Patriotism

Difference Between Nationalism and Patriotism

Both nationalism and patriotism are concerned with a person’s relationship towards his nation. However, there is a difference between the two terms. Nationalism means showing interest in cultural background and linguistic environment of the country with a view to unite it. Patriotism involves love for the country. The love for the country is based on values and beliefs. This is the main difference between nationalism and patriotism.

Nationalism is sometimes considered narrow-mindedness by many people because in nationalism a person considered his own nation superior while all others inferior to it. No nation is great in real. George Orwell thinks that nationalism is the destroyer of peace. A nationalist, hates other countries and tries to dominate others by dominance declaring his country superior. But this enmity is not found in patriotism. This is one of the chief differences. Love towards one’s own country does not mean the hate towards another one.

Patriotism has its roots in love and affection while nationalism has its roots in the emotions of hate and jealousy to other nations. Patriotism functions on the basis of peace while nationalism functions on the basis of enmity and militancy.

The point of views of a nationalist and a patriot are different from each other. A nationalist thinks that his nation is great and should be made great and superior by hook or crook. On the hand a patriot thinks his nation great and tries to make it great by honesty and hard work. This is the chief difference between the two.

In this way patriotism is viewed as common in the world and desirable. Nationalism on the other hand is something undesirable for the peace. The biggest drawback of nationalist is that it considers his own nation superior to all. His belief is so firm that he really thinks his nation great while it may not be true. Thus it is a kind of illusion.


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