Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Samuel Johnson, an 18th century British author was critiquing the "false patriotism" of his political opponents, but the quotation has been used in many other ways since 1775.

(That year Johnson also wrote that if colonists in America wanted representation in Parliament all they had to do was come back to England and buy an estate to be eligible to vote.)

All of which may be irrelevant to Russia's President Putin and his desire to bring Russians "back… to patriotic feelings."

But, if you judge Putin to be a scoundrel…

Putin calls for wider use of Russian flag and anthem
Russian President Vladimir Putin has tabled [introduced] a bill in parliament for wider use of state symbols such as the flag and national anthem.

He told a meeting of legal academics that their increased use in colleges would help foster patriotism among young Russians in particular…

"The wider use, at least in educational institutions, will contribute to increasing patriotism, especially among the younger generation," Mr Putin said.

"[Watching] the flying of the state flag and listening to the anthem will bring our citizens back... to patriotic feelings."



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