After Scanning the News and In My Weaker Moments …

‘And now, with what I saw … on both sides, the wicked folly and the wicked brute cruelty, I have had such a sickening of men in masses, and of causes, that I would not cross this room to reform parliament or prevent the union or to bring about the millennium. I speak only for myself, mind — it is my own truth alone — but man as part of a movement or a crowd is indifferent to me. He is inhuman. And I have nothing to do with nations, or nationalism. The only feelings I have — for what they are —  are for men as individuals; my loyalties, such as they may be, are to private persons alone.’

 

‘Patriotism will not do?’

 

‘My dear creature, I have done with all debate. But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.’

 

~ Patrick O’Brian, Master and Commander

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