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Difference between Nationalism and Patriotism

Difference between Nationalism and Patriotism

Nationalism vs. Patriotism

What is Difference between Nationalism and Patriotism? Both nationalism and patriotism show the relationship of individuals to their nation. Often the two terms are confused and it is often believed that they refer to the same thing. However, there is a great difference between nationalism and patriotism.

Difference between Nationalism and Patriotism


Nationalism means giving greater importance to unity through cultural formation, including language and heritage. Patriotism refers to the love of a nation, with more emphasis on values ​​and beliefs.

When one speaks of nationalism and patriotism, one cannot avoid the famous quote by George Orwell, who said that nationalism is “the worst enemy of peace”. According to him, nationalism is the feeling that one’s own homeland is superior to others in all respects, while patriotism is nothing more than a feeling of admiration for the way of life of a nation. These concepts show that patriotism is passive by nature, while nationalism can be a bit aggressive.

Nationalism thinks only of the virtues of a country and not of its deficiencies. In addition, you may feel contempt for the virtues of other nations. Patriotism, on the other hand, values ​​responsibilities rather than valuing loyalty to one’s own country. The nationalist tries to find a justification for mistakes made in the past, while the patriot allows people to understand the deficiencies and improvements of his country.


Patriotism is based on affection and nationalism has its roots in rivalry and resentment. It can be said that nationalism is militant by nature and patriotism is based on peace.

Most nationalists assume that their country is better than any other, while patriots believe that their country is one of the best and can be improved in many ways. Patriots tend to believe in friendly relations with other countries, while some nationalists do not.

For patriots, people worldwide are considered equal, but for nationalists, only people belonging to their own country should be considered as their equals. A patriotic person tends to tolerate criticism and tries to learn something new from it, but a nationalist cannot tolerate criticism and considers it an insult.

Key differences between Nationalism and Patriotism

  • In patriotism, people express love for their country passively, while the nationalist strives for independence, interests, and domination of his nation over another and expresses his love or concern for the country in an active way.
  • Nationalism does not tolerate criticism, while patriotism accepts them and seeks to improve its country.

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