11 June 2008

Patriotism redux

"What has kept England on its feet during the past year? In part, no doubt, some vague idea about a better future, but chiefly the atavastic emotion of patriotism, the ingrained feeling of the English-speaking peoples that they are superior to foreigners. For the last twenty years the main object of English left-wing intellectuals has been to break this feeling down, and if they had succeeded, we might be watching the SS men patrolling the London streets at this moment."
- George Orwell, from an essay on H.G. Wells, 1941.

He probably has a point. If there were a bunch of nazis bombing me every night I would undoubtedly rouse myself to feel something for this country, but until that happens I can't be doing with it. Holland and Spain play better football anyway.

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