The Living Force
Since we are talking about definitions here. Lets be clear about what the word "patriot" means.paulnotbilly said:
patriot-- 1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, esp. of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
Patriot or Patriots may refer to patriotism, as well as one of many other things.
Patriotism denotes positive and supportive attitudes to a 'fatherland' (Latin patria), by individuals and groups. The 'fatherland' (or 'motherland') can be a region or a city, but patriotism usually applies to a nation and/or a nation-state. Patriotism covers such attitudes as: pride in its achievements and culture, the desire to preserve its character and the basis of the culture, and identification with other members of the nation. Patriotism is closely associated with nationalism, and is often used as a synonym for it. Strictly speaking, nationalism is an ideology - but it often promotes patriotic attitudes as desirable and appropriate. (Both nationalist political movements, and patriotic expression, may be negative towards other people's 'fatherland').
Patriotism has connotations of self-sacrifice, implying that the individual should place the interests of the nation, and common good of its political community, above their personal and group interests. In wartime, the sacrifice may extend to their own life. In this context, patriotism is seen as an explanation for the apparent suspension of the instinct for self-preservation, which implies that no-one would voluntarily serve in a wartime army.
Patriotism has other ethical connotations: it implies that the 'fatherland' (however defined) is a moral standard or moral value in itself. The expression my country right or wrong - perhaps a misquotation of the American naval officer Stephen Decatur, but also attributed to Carl Schurz - is the extreme form of this belief.
The primary implication of patriotism in ethics is that a person has more moral duties to fellow members of the national community, than to non-members. In social science terminology, this doctrine is a form of discrimination. Criticism of patriotism in ethics is mainly directed at this moral preference: the view (in ethics) that moral duties apply equally to all humans is known as cosmopolitanism. In practice, many patriots would see treason rather than cosmopolitanism as the 'opposite of patriotism'.