In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave,
and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for
then it costs nothing to be a patriot.
Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under
his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous
uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people's
countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals
between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for "the
universal brotherhood of man"- with his mouth.
| Patriotism is usually the refuge of the scoundrel.
He is the man who talks the loudest.
- Education and Citizenship speech, 5/14/1908
Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.
- More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927
A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot -- except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart. The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite -- the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter- forgive these injuries how many times? -- seventy times seven -- another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity. Well -- Patriotism has its laws. And it also is a perfectly definite one, there are not vaguenesses about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. Word it as softly as you please, the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of the dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line or a hamper of fish or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear him split the universe with is war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish, is just in man's line, it comes natural to him -- he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him.
The prayers concealed in what I have been saying is, not that patriotism should cease and not that the talk about universal brotherhood should cease, but that the incongruous firm be dissolved and each limb of it be required to transact business by itself, for the future.
- Mark Twain's Notebook
...majority Patriotism is the customary Patriotism.
- "As Regards Patriotism," Europe and Elsewhere
PORTRAITS BY TWO FLAGGS
Regarding this portrait, Mrs. Clemens complained only that the
necktie was crooked.
"But it's always crooked," said Flagg," and I have a great fancy for the line it makes."
straightened it on Clemens himself, but it immediately became
If you were to make that necktie straight people would say, 'Good
tie was left unchanged.
portrait of Clemens now hangs in the
Lotos Club, New York.
We teach them to take their patriotism at second-hand; to shout with the largest
crowd without examining into the right or wrong of the matter -- exactly as
boys under monarchies are taught and have always been taught. We teach them
to regard as traitors, and hold in aversion and contempt, such as do not shout
with the crowd, and so here in our democracy we are cheering a thing which of
all things is most foreign to it and out of place -- the delivery of our political
conscience into somebody else's keeping. This is patriotism on the Russian plan.
- Mark Twain, a Biography
The soul and substance of what customarily ranks as patriotism is moral cowardice -- and always has been.
- Mark Twain's Notebook
[Patriotism] ...is a word which always commemorates a robbery. There isn't a foot of land in the world which doesn't represent the ousting and re-ousting of a longline of successive "owners" who each in turn, as "patriots" with proud swelling hearts defended it against the next gang of "robbers" who came to steal it and did -- and became swelling-hearted patriots in their turn.
- Mark Twain's Notebook
We have a bastard Patriotism, a sarcasm, a burlesque; but we have no such thing
as a public conscience. Politically we are just a joke.
- marginalia written in Clemens's copy of The Future in America; A Search After Realities by H. G. Wells
...the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation
ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it.
- "The Czar's Soliloquy"
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