Is nationalism or patriotism dangerous to society?

panorama : Patriotism? No thanks!

Patriotism describes a deep emotional bond with one's own nation, i.e. a kind of strong love and loyalty to one's own homeland. There are certainly some people who have exactly this feeling and connection with Germany. They are proud to be German and show it by hanging a black, red and gold flag from the balcony, for example. As nice as this feeling may be for these people - in my opinion, patriotism and its darker sides have to be dealt with much more critically. I think patriotism is a dangerous emotional state that cannot always be separated from nationalism.

Patriotism probably also has positive sides. Out of attachment to one's own nation, one could, for example, participate in social projects to make one's home country more socially fair. I think, however, you should always realize that patriotism can quickly lead to demarcation. Patriots tend to feel superior to other nations. Then you get to exclusion and discrimination, and the dividing line between patriotism and nationalism becomes more and more blurred. In addition, one should not underestimate the importance of the term pride. A patriot is proud of his country and willingly says it.

But can you really be proud of something that you can't do anything for and have done nothing for? You can't choose your home country or country of birth. You are born into it and then you have to live with it more or less.

You can be proud if you got a good grade in school or scored a goal in your football club. But be proud of your country? I can definitely say that I'm not proud to be German.

I don't want to tell anyone how he or she should feel about their nation. I only advocate taking a critical look at patriotism. I used to be proud to be German. I see it differently now. Patriotism? No thanks!

Leon Redlinger, 16 years

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page