Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quote of the Day

"'My country, right or wrong,' is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, 'My mother, drunk or sober.'"


G.K. Chesterton, from The Defendant, p. 166 (1901, reprinted 1972).

[From Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989) via Bartleby.com]

And check out Joanne Barkan's essay "My Mother, Drunk or Sober" from the Winter 2003 issue of Dissent, in which she reconsiders Orwell's "Notes on Nationalism" (1945) after 9/11 and wrestles with the difference between a nationalist and a patriot.

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